May 282015
 


An original vintage 1974 Polish circus poster depicting a falling pyramid of acrobats (also a metaphor for the instability government); designed by Marian Stachurski; full-color, offset lithographic print. Poster measures approximately 27″ x 37″, and comes mounted to archival card-stock, framed under clear UV-stabilized acrylic in elegant brass frame. Overall condition is very good, some urface abrasions and fading; displays absolutely beautifully!

status: sold

 Posted by at 7:45 PM
May 032015
 

 

 

Countless faces: portraits of men, women, and children; endless landscapes; Manifest Destiny and the westward expansion of the nation; the American Civil War; the advent of the automobile . . .  What marvelous, strange and wonderful, or even tragic moments has this lens witnessed and documented?

Manufactured in Paris by famed opticians, Jean Theodor Jamine and Alphonse Darlot, and produced in great numbers in the second half of the 19th century, lenses like this were the Nikon of their day.

Whenever you think of the archetypal, antique wood-box camera, a photographer standing under a black shroud behind it, this was the lens on the front, Jamin-Darlot’s most popular model: the Cône Centraliser featuring rack-and-pinion focus, and a reversible lens-element for taking either portrait or landscape photographs.

This exacting instrument is a triumph of machined brass and ground glass, handmade with precision yet idiosyncratic characteristics that make it desirable to this day — both for aficionados of traditional large-format, wet-plate photography, and also modern devotees that mount these lenses to the latest digital cameras!

 

status: sold

 Posted by at 12:41 AM
Mar 162015
 

 

Pictures machine woven from colorful silk strands were first produced in the 1860s by the Englishman Thomas Stevens. He adapted Jacquard looms, designed to weave intricate decorative patterns, to produce figurative designs. (Jacquard looms created their designs by means of a series of punch-cards that regulated the color and placement of the strands, a method that was, interestingly, an early ancestor of computer programing). The resulting “Stevengraph” process was quickly adopted by various manufacturers in Britain’s textile industry, and the resulting bookmarks, pictures, portraits, and postcards became very collectible — and still are today. 

This is a very rare and unusual example of a large landscape Stevengraph, dating from the early 20th century. The picture is the view from Victoria Peak, located in the (then) British colony of Hong Kong, looking out over Victoria Harbor to mainland China. Judging from the style of architecture and its density, this scene dates from the late Victorian era, c. 1890 — a view that looks rather different today! (See below.)

An absolutely fascinating example of art, industry, social and colonial history woven together in a single, beautiful textile.

 

status: sold

 Posted by at 6:41 PM
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
Feb 222015
 

 

                           

The charm of Mexican folk art is in its combination of elegant stylization, humble materials, and remarkable craftsmanship. This brass and copper mobile is a perfect example. Reminiscent of the work of Sergio Bustamante, and of the same era, this piece is both stylish and whimsical, perfectly mid-century modern: a balancing peacock, decorated with enameled rosettes, gently swings on his perch under two revolving doves circling sunny medallions, each element handmade from copper and brass, hung from a wrought-iron frame. Una espléndida móvil!

status: sold 

 Posted by at 11:08 PM
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

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