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Appraiser, collector and dealer everything wonderful and unique. Welcome to my marvelous menagerie...

Oct 082014
 

 

                           

 

This is a rare, early abstract sculpture by San Diego artist, Jack Boyd (b. 1934 – d. 1982). The piece is an assemblage of various slabs of steel cut and shaped, then cast in bronze and welded together to form a masterwork of beauty and craftsmanship. This figural work appears to defy gravityand the laws of physicsas ridged metal seems to flow and undulate: a suspended moment perfectly captured, movement and motion immortalized!

 

status: sold

 Posted by at 4:03 PM
Sep 042014
 

 

From the Late Middle Ages to Louis XIV to Martha Stewart, the sunburst mirror has been a favored decorative accent for over 500 years. One if its earliest sightings is in Jan van Eyck’s 1434 painting Portrait of Giovanni Arnolfini and his Wife which features a strikingly similar mirror. Two centuries later, Louis XIV, the fabled Sun King whose chosen emblem was the radiant Sun, gave the Venetian Republic a run for its money by establishing the first Northern European glass and mirror factory at St. Gobain, France. However, Louis didn’t think to combine his love of bright mirrors and golden suns ― that innovation came from industrious craftsman working with the detritus from the looting of the French Revolution. Flash forward to 1940s Paris, and artists like Gilbert Poillerat and Line Vautrin began producing modern examples like the one you see here. And now they’re still popular with modern designers;  regal accents much admired for their timeless style and sunny disposition.

 

status: sold

 Posted by at 5:06 PM
Sep 022014
 

The Los Angles Biltmore Hotel in downtown LA was opened in 1923, and it quickly became the meeting place for Hollywood’s elite―so much so that the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences was actually founded just a few years later at a luncheon in the hotel’s Crystal Ballroom!

Of course, the hotel’s rich opulent style was the key to its charm and success, and this Gorham silver-plate creamer dating from 1924 (just one year after the Biltmore’s grand opening) is a wonderful example. The silver now tarnished black and its regal body battered, its patina speaks of decades of sterling service. This unassuming little object has felt the hands of countless beautiful starlets and handsome leading-men―and has probably overheard some of the juiciest gossip ever uttered! In fact, this creamer may even have been the one that tumbled to the floor when, in that legendary first meeting of the Academy, MGM’s art-director, Cedric Gibbons reached for Louis B. Mayer’s linen napkin to sketch on it the preliminary design for the now-famous Oscar statue!

Classic Hollywood Regency style steeped in Silver Screen history!

 

status: sold 

 Posted by at 7:46 PM
Aug 232014
 

 

The idea of going to war wearing jewelry might seem odd, but during World War II, men’s sterling silver bracelets like this were traditionally given to departing U.S. soldiers by their sweethearts; bestowed as a token of love, but also to identify the body if they were killed in combat. This example was given to pilot “F. Griscom” of the U.S. Army Airborne Corps or “A.B.C.” (as stated on the reverse).

A rare and compelling bit of romantic military history!

 

status: sold

 Posted by at 9:25 PM
Aug 162014
 

Here’s yet another fantastic vintage pepper mill designed by the incomparable Jens Harald Quistgaard. Fitted with the famous, flawless Peugeot mechanism, this model is one of his earliest designs (made for Dansk before they brand-named their goods; this one is simply stamped “Danmark”). Wonderfully collectible, this is a quintessential example of artistic form combined with effortless functionality: perfectly Danish Modern.

status: sold

 Posted by at 12:11 AM
Jun 152014
 

 

1967: The Summer of Love and rock and roll. But just months before everyone got wild at Woodstock, legendary illustrator Stanley Mouse, the man behind countless classic concert posters and record album-sleeves, produced this iconic image for the Sierra Club’s 10th Biennial Wilderness Conference.

Significantly influenced by the graphic sensibilities of the Art Nouveau movement, Stanley’s work featured heavily ornamented, hand-drawn fonts and intricately decorative scrollwork in psycadellic, eye-bending compositions (his work for The Grateful Dead being the best known examples). The design for this one is a bit more tame; however, the image of the noble savage surrounded by a marijuana-leaf boarder effectively declares, without a doubt, the Sierra Club’s true target audience.

Ephemera like this paper poster were never intended to last longer than the events they advertised, so mint examples like this one that survived the 60s unscathed (like the hippies themselves), are incredibly rare, indeed!

status: sold

 Posted by at 11:05 PM
May 272014
 

Magnificent and elegant. this hammered copper tray by Empire is a true statement piece that will command attention amidst any decor. Measuring nearly 14″ in diameter, this bold object embodies the very best qualities of the Arts & Crafts movement: earthy materials; rich patination; raw, hands-on craftsmanship; and striking design elements. Empty, it’s reminiscent of an ancient warrior’s shield; full, it’s a powerful vessel of protection. The hammered textures and raised, riveted motifs give this piece a timeless beauty that only a one-of-a-kind, handmade antique can offer!

status: sold

 

 

 Posted by at 7:30 PM
Apr 132014
 

In the late 13th century, the city of Venice, fearing the outbreak of fire, declared a nearby island as the official sector for its glassblowers; and ever since, the greatest glassworks of Italy have taken that island’s name: Murano.

When you think of Italian art glass, you almost certainly hold in your mind the fine and filigreed forms first produced on this fabled isle: swirling multicolored vases, scintillating chandeliers, the famed “thousand flowers” bouquets of millefiori paperweights… Less well known, but much more accessible―and collectible―is beautiful Venetian beadwork. Using a small table-torch, a technique known as lampwork transforms glass into stunning and sparkling jewels.

First developed amidst the creative bloom of the Renaissance, fiorato (flower) or “wedding cake” beads (as they are known to collectors) are the ultimate example of this art-form . Each bead is exquisitely and delicately handmade; as many as six layers of molten glass are twirled and fused together to combine opaque, iridescent, and metallic materials in an effect that’s entirely reminiscent of cake-icing decoration―and every bit as tasty! 

Dating from the 1920s, this necklace and earrings set combines the ancient glassmaking technique of fiorato with Art Deco accents to create a timeless confection that’s both elegant and bold!

status: sold

 Posted by at 5:08 PM
Jan 032014
 

In the incomparable classic black and white romantic comedy “Roman Holiday”, there are actually three incredible stars: Audrey Hepburn, Gregory Peck, and Hubert de Givenchy. Women still swoon for Gregory; and of course, Audrey’s beauty is legendary, but it was Givenchy that presented her to perfection! His costume designs for this film and many others starring Miss Hepburn continue to dazzle and delight in true, timeless fashion.

Audrey and Hubert were close friends for most of their lives, and in 1957, Givenchy asked his master perfumer to create the now-famous fragrance, L’Interdit especially for her. The name means “The Forbidden”; and, like Audrey herself, it is both delicate and complex, as well as demure and devastatingly sexy. Miss Hepburn wore L’Interdit exclusively as her very own private perfume; and then, in the early 1960s, Givenchy made it available to the world… Citrus, peach and strawberry swirl with rose, jasmine and violets to sway above sandalwood, amber and vetiver: a fragrance worthy of a silver screen goddess—or any woman who seeks to beguile her leading man!

status: sold

 Posted by at 3:12 AM

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