On 9 October a 1974 Porsche 911 Targa will be up for grabs to the highest bidder at Bonhams’ Zoute sale in Belgium (and not the Netherlands, as the source claims). The classic car used to belong to the Algemene Verkeersdienst (AVD – traffic cops) and was one of the few European states to use the Porsche for motorway patrol. They also had their own uniforms, white instead of the usual blue and orange helmets (see short photo session video).
According to Autoweek, before the Targa model was available, the AVD used Porsche 356 cabrios, but the 911 Targas remained in use through 1993 when the unit switched to Volvos. The AVD preferred the Targa model to the 911 coupe as it allowed for a greater range of visibility and officer passengers could stand in the car to give traffic directions in emergencies or while moving slowly.
This car was restored with as many original parts as possible and is known as ‘Alex 12:85’. It is expected to fetch between €98,000 and $143,000.
The Instituut Collectie Nederland, the agency that manages the national government’s art collection, is selling art (Dutch) from its depots and storage rooms of a number of museums for cheap on eBay. Much of the art was acquired as part of the BKR (Beeldende Kunstenaars Regeling, Visual Arts Arrangement) during which many government-appointed artists got an income in exchange for regularly producing art for municipalities. ICN is selling about 50 pieces a week this way, and according to the Volkskrant video below (Dutch), the works are selling fairly cheaply, with prices starting at no more than 17,50 euro.
Trouw mentioned in January (Dutch) that ICN is selling all this art because the depots are brimming over. The paper quotes Marina Raymakers of ICN:
There are lots of pieces that just never leave their storage. Many collections have simply grown too big, [and] many works simply no longer fit in a museum collection.”
We organised a large auction at an auction house last year, but the Internet has a lower threshold. It draws a different audience, which is a good thing. Everybody gets a chance this way.
A lot of the art produced as part of the BKR has actually been used by the government, although the arrangement was also known for producing some hideous art that all but the artists involved were only too eager to hide in storage. I remember reading stories about artists actually suing the government over the latter type of use, using moral rights provisions in the Dutch copyright law to claim that hiding an ugly art work was a form of infringement. If anybody can tell me if I remember correctly, please do. A quick google did not produce any results.
Illustration: this unnamed painting by Bertus de Meij is currently up for auction at eBay, the price being 81,50 euro after 6 bids. His San Grimignano sold for 425 euro in January, according to Trouw.
One of only three surviving silver microscopes of the Father of microbiology, Renaissance scientist Antonie van Leeuwenhoek (1632-1723), will be sold on April 8 at an auction at Christie’s in London, writes De Telegraaf (Dutch). The auction house expects to sell the silver device for somewhere between 75,000 and 105,000 euro.
The other two surviving Leeuwenhoek microscopes are at the Deutsches Museum in Munich and the Museum Boerhaave in Leiden.
Van Leeuwenhoek built his own microscopes, superior to what was available at the time (the first microscope was invented in Middelburg seven years before his birth), but kept the secret to his lenses meticulously hidden, and only in the 1950s did scientists manage to reconstruct them. It turned out that rather than grinding lenses, Van Leeuwenhoek seems to have used a glass fusing method, which allowed him to quickly make a microscope, of which he constructed around 400 during his lifetime.
The Internet Archive has The Select Works of Antony van Leeuwenhoek, translations into English of Van Leeuwenhoek’s many observations, unfortunately without his drawings. Fascinating stuff, almost like being alive in the 21st century.
The silver microscope that will be sold at Christie’s was used by Van Leeuwenhoek to discover sperm cells. The current owner found it during the 1970s among old laboratory equipment.
Portrait of Van Leeuwenhoek by Jan Verkolje (1650-1693).
This is a gable decoration on the building of the Bloemenlust flower auction house on the Oosteinderweg in Aalsmeer just South of Amsterdam. I ran into it today while biking through the neighbourhood. It’s carved entirely out of brick. The text—abreviated here and there—reads Bloemenlust Coöperatieve Veilingsvereeniging (Bloemenlust co-operative auction association).
After a merger in 1968 with the Centrale Veiling and a subsequent move to a new location, the 1922 building became a restaurant. The new auction would go on the become the largest in the world for flowers, housed in the second largest building in terms of floor space.
Fairy tale theme park Land van Ooit (Land of Someday) has gone bankrupt, and its attractions will be sold during an online auction on Monday. Located in Noord-Brabant near Drunen, Land van Ooit pretended to be a country where visiting children were considered to be knights and knightesses. The park originally employed a lot of actors to make the theme come alive, but in later days when visitor numbers dwindled it resorted to fast rides to attract customers.
Online auction house Troostwijk will start receiving bids on Monday. The auction closes March 10. Troostwijk fear that a lot of people will use the viewing days (March 8 and 9) for a day out to a theme park. “Children will only be allowed in under supervision, and the rides may not be used,” according to Troostwijk’s Karel van Schoonevelt in DagjeWeg (Dutch). “There is a lot of interest in this auction,” he added. “It rarely happens that a theme park goes bankrupt.” The company will also charge an entrance fee of 2.50 euro.
Among the artefacts being auctioned are giants, giant furniture, dolls, the electronics to make it all come alive, lots of actual furniture, and so on.