Sep 182015


In the early 20th century, photography fought to be acknowledged as an authentic art-form in its own right. Consequently, some photographers of the era took inspiration from classical painting and sculpture. This work is a perfect example, taking as its muse Greek architectural decoration, specifically the elegant and noble frieze of the Parthenon at the Acropolis in Athens, Greece . . .

The photographer’s name is Nikolas Boris, about which there is some historical information. Research has found that he was a Greek artist and graduate of the Art Academy of Athens who, as a teenager, immigrated to the United States in 1917, and quickly began a successful career as a photography with a studio in Cincinnati, Ohio. Although almost unknown today, in his time, Boris was a well known and respected artist, publishing his work in the leading photography magazines of the day. He was known for both landscape and portrait photography that embraced the aesthetic of classical oil painting. The Smithsonian Museum owns nine of his photographs made in Greece during the 1920s. This piece is likely from the same era of his career. (For those seeking more information on Nikolas Boris, the 1930/Janurary—December/vol. XXXVII issue of the photographic monthly, Camera Craft offers a brief biography, as well as high praise reviews of his work.)

The bottom margin of the mounting board is signed with the artist’s name and the total of the piece: “Bas Relief”. The name is a reference to the sculptural friezes of the Parthenon in the Acropolis in Athens which depict similar scenes; by placing the models against a mottled backdrop with diffused lighting,and shooting the pose with a shallow depth-of-field, the artist conveys the sculptural technique of low-life stone carving so famously used by Phidias in the Parthenon’s frieze. One last note on the title of this photograph: I believe this is a very early edition of this piece; apparently, later editions (only one of which I was able to locate) were re-named “Greek Athletes”.

Although very old and in less than perfect condition, this photograph still retains is primal power, the artist’s vision and classical composition captured for immortality. This is a rare artwork, and very likely the only one like it you will find available anywhere else! And it will make a stunning addition any decor or collection of early photography, representations of athleticism in art, or, indeed, any admiration of the male figure in motion.

status: sold


 Posted by at 2:02 AM
Mar 132015


October 28, 1893. A clean, crisp autumn day. Cocksure young bucks take to the track for the 880 Yards Run . . .  A pistol crack, and they’re off! It’s Yale against Harvard against all the other Ivy League schools, and it’s neck and neck to the finish, one break’s from the pack, and the trophy goes to Yale!

Awarded by the Yale Athletic Association to Samuel Scoville (grandnephew of Harriet Beecher Stowe, celebrated author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin), first prize is this fabulous silver-plated loving cup — so-called because the two handles allow lovers to pass it back and forth to each other — but toady it’s just the lads, best friends raise a toast together after the race.

Beautifully designed by renown silversmiths Wilcox Co. of Meriden, Connecticut, this trophy is absolutely magnificent: a great bit of collegiate history, and a fine addition to any collection of sports memorabilia!

status: sold

 Posted by at 5:43 AM
Nov 222014


The art of design . . .  Automotive firms and car enthusiasts around the world look to Mark Stehrenberger to imagine the look of automobiles of yet to be made. His dramatic, high-impact illustrations have been featured in all the major motor magazines; they offer an intensely colorful vision of the future.

This large-format, mixed-media rendering imagines the 1989 Chrysler Mojave: sleek, sporty, and undeniably sexy — a flash of lightning! As an unbuilt virtual prototype, this sports car streaks through the imagination at top speed!

Rare, one-of-a-kind original artworks like this are incredibly collectible — and not just by the legions of dedicated Stehrenberger fans; anyone with an interest in industrial design or automotive history will be keen to drive this into their collection!

status: sold

 Posted by at 2:41 AM
Feb 182012

Tennis is for overachievers; squash, the over-zeaous; and ping-pong is for the not serious enough… But badminton is a gentleman’s game: dignified, elegant, challenging without having to break a sweat…

Here’s an incredible pair of vintage Wright and Ditson “Prize Cup” badminton rackets. These classic rackets are made from top-quality wood laminate with genuine leather grips; as an added bonus, each racket comes with its own wooden press to keep it straight and true. All are fantastic shape. The gut strings are tight and springy; the frames straight and true. However, this is, of course, antique equipment, c. 1930, so there are some sign of wear on the handles, and the “Prize Cup” logos are certainly worn (but still legible); these merely add to their timeless charm.

Altogether a lovely pair ready to serve!

status: sold

 Posted by at 4:28 PM

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