Jan 212015
 

To think that this tiny teapot is over 300 years old is remarkable; crafted near the end of the reign of the Chinese emperor Kangxi (1662-1722), this very pretty piece of porcelain has crossed continents, sailed the seas aboard Dutch merchant ships, and certainly steeped countless cups of tea. Yet, it has retained its buxom beauty throughout — even displayed in someone’s front-yard amidst the detritus of more modern, disposable knickknacks, this diminutive teapot declared itself as something special.

Just four inches tall, the pot features a ribbed octagonal compressed balustrade form, a straight spout, “C” shaped handle. and beautifully delicate, hand-painted Imari decorations of cobalt blue underglaze with iron-red and gilt gold overglaze.

Now rescued from obscurity, it will soon be appreciated by a new collector, almost assuredly someone in China. It’s time for this little beauty to return home . . .

status: sold 

 Posted by at 7:24 PM
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
Nov 032014
 

 

Straight from the world’s most exclusive catwalks comes this fabulous vintage example of true Parisian bijoux d’art by ACCÈS-OCEAN! This is where modern art and jewelry meet: a stunning pair of sterling silver discs that dangle-drop to geometric resin blocks embedded with flashing opalescent foil.

In the late 1960s, French designer Caroline Anderson studied at L’Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris; afterwards she went to New York, soon becoming involved with The Factory, Andy Warhol’s legendary creative cauldron. She launched ACCÈS-OCEAN in 1975. Working with wood, metal, resin, polyurethane, and plexiglass, her jewelry creations are more modern sculpture than jewelry. Christian Dior, Helmut Lang, Christian Lacroix, Jean Paul Gaultier, Lancôme and Guerlain all featured her work in their fashion publicity; ACCÈS-OCEAN was also represented in various galleries in Paris, San Francisco, and New York.

Remarkably fresh and fun after all these years, these future-retro earrings are still way ahead of their time!

 

status: sold

 Posted by at 8:47 PM
Oct 192014
 

Science-fiction, like all great literature, deals with classic themes of conflict, typically transposed to a different, often fantastical setting: Man vs. Man, Man vs. Nature, Man vs. the Supernatural, Woman vs. Little Green Men from Mars . . .

Apparently, the male 18 to 35 year old demographic hasn’t changed much in the last half-century; boys of all ages still thrill at thoughts of bizarre monsters and scantly clad damsels in distress; and this selection of classic science-fiction magazines from the 1950s and 60s proves the point.

Political correctness and feminist grievances aside, the genre has certainly created some original cover-art! But beyond the titillation, closer examination reveals an ironic, self-effacing humor in these images; a mocking, tongue-in-cheek commentary on the desires and depravations of mankind.

Once essentially dismissed as an unimportant fringe element, sci-fi (and, of course, fantasy) fans and fiction now easily hold their own, and command a significant portion of the market in both bookstores and cinemas. This would never have happened without pulp mags like these in which once little known authors like Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov and Phillip K. Dick got their start, and inspired generations of future storytellers. Science-fiction is now a definitive part of popular culture — and our modern mythology, as well.

 

status: 145 volumes, sold

 Posted by at 4:51 PM
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
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
Aug 222013
 

Jens Quistgaard must have loved pepper. This is evident by the fact that he designed dozens of completely unique pepper-mills (some that even incorporated salt-shakers) for Dansk of Denmark; each one a work of art, each a mini-monument of culinary architecture. Here is his “phillips screwdriver” design, so-called for the bold cross-knob on top.

Recently, through research and experimentation, I’ve developed an amazing, all-natural method to restore and beautify any and all wooden kitchen items; one that’s perfect for cutting the grease and grime of decades, eliminating bacteria, and returning warmth and glow to the woodgrain. The trick is simple, yet counter-intuitive: fine-grade steel-wool and lemon juice. No soap, no sanding, just good old fashioned elbow-grease and the miraculous properties of citrus. Don’t be afraid to rinse the wood thoroughly after a thorough buffing with lemon juice―but be sure to pat-dry immediately; then, after the wood is completely air-dry, polish with pure food-grade mineral oil. Nothing else cleans as safely or brings out the glow and luster as wonderfully. Works a treat on salad bowls, too!

It seems a shame to me that our modern world, despite its many advances, completely fails to produce anything as simply elegant as that executed by Jens more than half a century ago . . .  But that’s just one of the many reasons that makes collecting genuine Danish Modern designs so satisfying and enjoyable!

status: sold

 Posted by at 5:09 AM

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