Antique postcard: Beach at Lake Bluff, IL.

Browsing through some Ebay listings the other day, I found some really great antique postcards highlighting the look of Chicago's North Shore towns back in the 1910s and 1920s.

Here's a great shot of the beach at Lake Bluff, Illinois (courtesy of Ebay seller, jialong).

I sometimes hang out at this Lake Michigan beach when the weather is warmer and the ravines and beach look pretty much the same, except there are now steel girders separating portions of the beach
and huge granite rock pilings jutting out into the water.

The granite boulders are great for climbing and hanging out on, as well as shore fishing from. Good times.

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Art market: upcoming major London auctions reports on the upcoming London art sales at Sotheby's and Christie's.

Click through to read their summary of next week's impressionist and modern art auctions, expected to bring in around £400m (over the coming two weeks) judging by pre-sale estimates.

The art market has staged a massive rebound since its downturn during the 2008 financial crisis.

This is probably in no small part due to the restorative effects of "quantitative easing" on the world's financial markets and the pocketbooks of market participants (bankers, hedge fund managers, etc.). The money is flowing, and for a certain segment of rich buyers, a good deal of that money has been directed at high quality gems, artworks, and antiques.

Back to the auctions: you'll find catalogues for the Impressionist and Modern Art sales at the Sotheby's and Christie's websites. You can also find links to the major auction houses in our "links" sidebar. If the paintings are a bit out of your reach, you can at least have a glimpse for free!

Image: Picasso's "La Lecture" via

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Leigh Keno buys a (very expensive) chair

Leigh Keno (of Antiques Roadshow fame) buys a rather unique and expensive armchair at auction.

As you'll see from the clip, Leigh is bidding for a rare World War I-era chair designed by Gerrit Rietveld. This particular piece is regarded as a work of art, literally; the blue and red version of this chair sits in the Museum of Modern Art. Leigh calls this chair "the essence of modern design... it's not a chair, its' a sculpture."

Enjoy the video, and watch the unveiling of the diminutive chair in Part 2.

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