Meet an Award-Winning Master Glass Artist!

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L.H. Selman Ltd. is pleased to announce a rare opportunity for you to meet Michael Hunter, an exceptional artist and master craftsman in the glass art field.  Mike and Sue, his wife and studio partner, of TWISTS GLASS STUDIO of Scotland, will be in Chicago and available for 1 day, April 22.  We invite you to join us at the L.H. Selman Ltd. Gallery of Fine Glass Paperweights to meet them and enjoy a presentation by the award-winning glassmaker (sorry- no demonstrations that afternoon). The Hunters will also be exhibiting new paperweights and glasswork.

No Admission Charge. Refreshments will be served.

Read more about Mike and Sue Hunter and Twists Glass Studio on our website: Twists Glass Studio Bio

WHO:            Mike and Susan Hunter of Twists Glass Studio
WHAT:           Lecture/Conversation and Presentation of newly arrived works
WHEN:          Saturday, April 221- 4 p.m.
WHERE:        L.H. Selman Gallery, 410 South Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL. 60605
WHY:             Because You Deserve It!

 QUESTIONS: Please Contact Paul or Molly at 312-583-1177 or 800-538-0766

Master Glass Artist

Mike Hunter 2015 “Devo” magnum paperweight. In honor of the proposed Scottish secession of 2014, two three-dimensional lizards, each made from astonishing compilations of murrini faces, climb across a large red, white and blue orb draped on one side with the British flag and on the other with that of Scotland. Edition #1 of 1. Signature cane. Signed. Diameter 4 1/4″.

Hunter Candle Sticks Glass Paperweights Glass Paperweights

Good Things Come to Those Who Weight!

As the world fixates on politics and current events, we need to take a moment and remember what is truly important in life. We need a cause we can ALL get behind— a movement worth all the letters and phone calls and late night tweets you can muster – and a communal quest that can reunite this great country in the process.

That’s right – we need to see Paperweights on our United States Postal Service stamps. Lick it Loud and Stick it Proud! (Sorry about that – but you get the idea!)

Rick Ayotte Paperweights International Paperweights International Paperweights Gary & Doris Scrutton American Paperweights

Here are some ideas from the Selman archives for what all our beautiful glass treasures could look like, spreading the word about Glass Paperweights – that most complex and rewarding of glass art forms, the old-fashioned way – on letters!

Why, this could reignite an interest in penmanship all by itself, and it has been shown through testing that intellectual development is aided by the hand-eye-mind coordination that is involved in the “simple” act of writing.  So how about it?  Let’s salvage the cognition and coordination of our grade school students starting right now, and in the process put beautiful images of paperweights in front of everyone who can still read!  Drop us a line with your thoughts and ideas! http://www.theglassgallery.com/

And don’t forget to call your elected representatives!

We have to Stick Together!

Through A Glass (Paperweight) Darkly

The Perils of Purchasing a Perfect Paperweight!

Would you kill for your Queen? Or King?  How about for a likeness of her— A sulphide encased in fine crystal?  Would you steal from a trusted relative?

Would you kill an old gentleman in a retirement village simply for the view from his room, and steal his single remaining rare antique paperweight as a trophy?

Antique collecting in general and antique paperweights specifically conjure up a sense of the gentle and refined, a rarified world of polite manners and erudition.  Images of paddles raised silently at Sotheby’s, Christies, and yes, L.H. Selman.  (Wait – did you miss our historic auction of paperweights from the Art Institute of Chicago this past September where the bidding flew fast and furious?).  For information on selling at our auctions contact http://www.theglassgallery.com/sell-paperweights/

To see the offerings of our current auction, #65, Winter, 2017, go to www.selman.com/auction.

So, with all that veneer of elegant manners and good breeding it’s good to be reminded from time to time that art collectors are people too!  Just because someone has the aesthetic sense to acquire rare Clichy, Saint Louis and Baccarat crystal paperweights from either our Michigan Avenue gallery in Chicago, or from our thrice-yearly auctions, doesn’t mean that they only read Shakespeare.  In fact, if they are devotees of the Bard, it is actually much more likely that they have room in their hearts for “murder most foul.”  Maybe you shouldn’t be showing off your “to die for” collection of fine glass paperweights to too many people!

Reinforcing this notion of being a little careful with your rare and antique concentric millefiori, mushrooms, torsade twists, crown swirls, royal sulphides, tri-color bouquets and quatrefoil garlands—all caressed into little domes of heated fine crystal—are a few volumes on our library shelves that some of you may not be aware of, and a couple of them were published by our own Paperweight Press! See all our available publications at http://www.theglassgallery.com/ Read and learn!

Unfortunately, L.H. Selman has sold out of these titles, but they are certainly worth looking out for as charming gifts to high-minded lovers of fine glass who might not otherwise become aware of the sinister possibilities that can arise, when the love of collectible paperweights is taken too far…

P.G. Wodehouse is a household name in the literary world, regarded by many to be the finest comic author of his time.  In the Purloined Paperweight, (originally published in 1967 and reprinted by Mr. Larry Selman in 1986, Wodehouse leads us on a delightful romp through the world of human foibles wrapped in a mystery over a missing antique paperweight.

P. G. Wodehouse | Glass Paperweight P. G. Wodehouse | Glass Paperweight

The other Paperweight Press offering, The Curse of the Imperial Paperweights (1995) comes from one of the most respected collectors and authorities in the field, Mr. George N. Kulles.  The author did extensive biographical research into the lives of many of the world’s best-known and historically important collectors, and wove their stories and collections into a lively and informative entertainment that begins its narrative at Sotheby’s, Chicago and weaves through several generations of paperweight lovers, all of whom made their marks on history.

The Curse of the Imperial Paperweights | Glass Paperweight

The Curse of the Imperial Paperweights | Glass Paperweight

The third title, The Weight of Death (2016), is by Nicky Stratton and addresses the aforementioned black heart who just might have murdered an old man in hopes of getting his apartment and who takes his rare paperweight as a trophy!

The Weight of Death | Glass Paperweight

Maybe you should read these in a locked room— with your weights tucked round you…

http://www.theglassgallery.com/

Something About Collecting Paperweights

Must Inspire Generosity

Recently the L.H. Selman Gallery worked with the Art Institute of Chicago to reallocate part of the museum’s collection of paperweights back into private circulation, with all monies accruing from the hammer prices going directly to the AIC for further acquisitions.  That catalogue of the historic sale on Saturday, September 17th, 2016, is still available for your reference library at http://www.theglassgallery.com/

Included in the catalogue are four brief biographies of four of the most prominent families in Chicago’s history. Pauline and Potter Palmer II donated the use of their fabled mansion on Lake Shore Drive to the American Red Cross during the Second World War to be used as a training facility for teaching surgical dressings. And the Children’s Home & Aid Society offers the Pauline K. Palmer Award for exceptional commitment and service to families.  Ella Grace Burdick was always busy with charitable endeavors and she left 26 charitable bequests on her passing in 1960 at the age of 90.  And Lucy B. Kretchmer’s life was filled with public service, and her wake was held at Chicago’s St. Chrysostom’s on the Gold Coast.

But today we want to share a little story about the generosity of Mr. Arthur Rubloff, who left the Chicago Art Institute the most valuable and historic glass paperweight collection to ever enter a museum; http://www.artic.edu/exhibition/expanded-gallery-arthur-rubloff-collection-paperweights.

He also left a collection of bronzes to the same institution valued in the millions. And yes – he also left the AIC a bequest of millions of dollars…but sometimes those acts are difficult to relate to from the sheer magnitude of the events.  Here’s something still impressive in scale but also impressive in its off-hand immediacy…

On a cold, cold day in the 1980s, clothiers Joe Silverberg and his brother Gene were set to open their flagship store, Bigsby & Kruthers at 1750 North Clark in Chicago. They had success at their other smaller locations and were respected throughout the industry and stood out as pioneering a fashion-forward sense with a European edge. Also They had leased the space from the Arthur Rubloff Co. and the Hilton organization, and they were leveraged to the hilt to reach that point.

They were almost ready, with fixtures and inventory slated for prompt arrival, to fill the huge, three-story venue. And they were dead in the water.

Shortly before the opening date, with all their sources of revenues tapped out, the unthinkable happened. One of Chicago’s colder winters saw fit to burst the pipes and plumbing, resulting in serious flood damage to every floor. Joe remembers being completely despondent. There was no relief in sight.

While Joe and his brother are slumped in his office, Arthur Rubloff unexpectedly walks in – dressed as always, “to the nines.” Joe remembers him dressed in grey, impeccably tailored, including his derby – of course everything matching. “He was beautiful to see,” says Joe. Rubloff, Joe said, was so sartorially fanatical, he would send his favorite clothes to Manhattan for proper dry cleaning.

“Why the long faces?” Rubloff asked.  Joe told him.

“What will it take to see you through this?” Arthur continued.

“$100,000.00,” replied Joe immediately, with no sense of where that money could possibly come from.

Rubloff immediately walked over and picked up the phone and called the Lake Shore Bank on Michigan Avenue, where he was a member of the board. Joe heard him say, “Let me talk to…” Then Rubloff spoke again when the man came on the line. “I want a check made out to Joe Silverberg for $100,000.00, and I want it here inside of an hour.”

It was done.  Bigsby’s opened on schedule and—unbelievably in big business—the loan was repaid without a dollar in interest.

Thought you’d like to know.

http://www.theglassgallery.com/blog/

Renowned Surrealist Photographer as Classical Sculptor of Baccarat Sulphides

Books Provide a Wealth of Information !

One of the interesting aspects of the art world is when top tier artists cross over to other related fields.  The renowned photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson considered himself a draughtsman.  Picasso wrote a wartime play in which feminist writer Simone de Beauvoir debuted one of the roles . Edward Ruscha the hyper successful artist launched his acting career in filmmaker Alan Rudolph’s cult hit “Choose Me.”

But it may be a bit surprising to some to find that our own very specifically defined art field of fine glass paperweights has a connection to a world-class artist from the world of modern photography.  The talented and beautiful Dora Maar was also a painter and one of the great loves and muses of the aforementioned Picasso,  (a portrait of her by the master sold in 2006 for almost one hundred million dollars) But her personal claim to artistic fame is as a photographer, whose vintage works are now treasured and highly sought after.  She was an important contributor to the Surrealist movement and her visionary photographs have sold for as much as $216,000 in the marketplace.

It seems unusual to find that a celebrated symbol of all that is avant-garde was also a gifted sculptor, contributing two of the well-known, classically rendered examples of the art of sulphide portraiture to that re-emerging field.  Her sulphides, of English Prime Minister Winston Churchill and General Robert E. Lee, the leader of the Confederate Army, were created in 1954 for Baccarat. The very accomplished likenesses reveal a sense of strength, nobility and determination in the two major historic figures.

churchill sulphide

The first mention we came across of Dora Maar was in Sulphides, the 1968 book by Paul Jokelson, the man credited with having personally convinced the great French glass houses to revive and revitalize the 19th century paperweight phenomenon.

(Later Jokelson would aid Arthur Rubloff in assembling his world-class paperweight collection which resides in our own Art Institute of Chicago.) On page 125, Jokelson writes of an array of works, “These cameos were sculptured by three great French artiists: Gilbert Poillerat, Dora Maar, and Albert David.”

Lawrence Selman himself mentions Dora Maar in his handsomely produced book, The Art of the Paperweight, published by the Paperweight Press in 1988, with but a single sentence, “Dora Maar(sometimes spelled Mar), a protégée of Picasso, also designed two sulphides for Baccarat.”

leesulphide

Paul Dunlop, a longtime specialist and authority on paperweights comes to the rescue of the mystery as to exactly which two pieces Maar created, on pages 146 and 147 of his invaluable volume, Baccarat Paperweights: two centuries of beauty, published in 2013.  He also provides the year both were made – 1954.  Maar chose to sign these weights with the alternate spelling of “Mar” for reasons unknown.

Just thought you’d find it interesting…

Schedule of Events for 2017…

A schedule of events not to be missed in 2017!

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January 28, 2017 – May 20, 2017: Currently running at the Pearl Fincher Museum is a wonderful exhibit of glass paperweights from a prominent collection in Houston. The exhibit features antique and modern examples of the highest caliber as well as photographs on loan from the Selman gallery. This is not to be missed if you are in the area. For more information click http://www.pearlmfa.org/current-exhibitions.html

March 18th, 10:30 – 3pm: The Midwest Paperweight Collectors Spring Meeting is not to be missed. Hosted at a prominent collectors home in Wisconsin is a rare collection of glass paperweight artist John Parsley’s work. Also in attendance will be artist Cathy Richardson who’s work deserves an up close look. For more information click over to their website: http://www.midwestpaperweightcollectors.com/events/march-18-2017-mpc-spring-meeting-at-the-home-of-collector/

April 8th : Ben Clark from LH Selman is bringing Andrew Najarian as the guest artist to the Delaware Valley PCA meeting.  DVPCA is terrific organization run by passionate paperweight people, if you are in the area we highly recommend attending this meeting and joining the group while you’re there. Andrew Najarian is an accomplished glass worker with experience from all facets (pun intended) of the glass community. As a teacher as well, he gives great presentations… so do not cut this meeting from your calendar! http://dvpaperweights.org/wp/

April 22nd : Accomplished millefiori paperweight maker and all around glass master Mike Hunter will be in Chicago with is wife Sue before heading to the PCA convention. A reception will be hosted at the Selman gallery for Mike so please join us for an intimate chance to get to know Mike and his work up close. More details about this event will be released in the coming weeks. To see Mike’s work click HERE.

April 26-29 : The PCA convention is in Norfolk Virginia this year. The details for the event are best listed out on their website found HERE, but take it from us.. do not miss this event. Every artist and collector who is looking to learn and see first hand new works offered through the dealer booths, will want to be there early and often. The location presents a wonderful opportunity to see a part of this great country while enjoying a schedule of events that top any glass paperweight enthusiasts wish list.

May 6th : After Mike Hunter wows the crowds in Chicago and at the convention in Norfolk, he will continue on to the New England Paperweight Collectors Association meeting. Details can be found on their website HERE. If you are unable to see Mike at either of the mentioned events we stress not to miss this last opportunity to see him in person this year. We are grateful that Mike and his wife Sue have joined us state-side this year, don’t take this for granted and make your way to the NEPCA to see him!

September 23rd : Last on this list, but without a doubt not least… join us in Chicago for this rare opportunity to see Alison Ruzsa perform a hands on demo at Talisman Studio. Talisman has been an amazing ally to the Selman gallery, now offering their studio for the 3rd time since we arrived in Chicago. Their terrific facilities have allowed our artists to showcase their awesome skills, and this is another opportunity for just that! Alison’s techniques are original and awe inspiring. The scene’s she sets deserve a close look, and what better way than to see her at work in person. The Selman gallery will host a reception for Alison that weekend as well, so if you love Alison please contact the Midwest PCA and the Selman gallery to reserve your spot. http://www.midwestpaperweightcollectors.com/

Melissa Ayotte on Fear No Art Chicago

Melissa Ayotte takes to the torch in this episode of Fear No Art Chicago.

We are forever grateful for Melissa Ayotte and her pursuits in the paperweight arena. Melissa was asked to be a part of a great show that ran in Chicago for several years on WTTW. This clip features Melissa in action and is worth a watch!

Winter 2017 Auction Reserve Prices Available…

List of Unsold Lots Availble at their Reserve Price

CLICK THIS AUCTION WEBSITE LINK TO PLACE BIDS

CLICK THIS AUCTION WEBSITE LINK TO PLACE BIDS

List of Unsold Lots Availble at their Reserve Price

For a limited time unsold lots from the Winter 2017 Auction are availble at their reserve price. This is a buy-it-now event, lots can be instantly purchased. The above link is to a LIST of the reserve prices posted to dropbox. We recommend using the list alongside the digital copy of the catalog posted for easy reference. You can also go directly to the auction website and click the tab RESERVE PRICES to take any action or peruse what is availble directly on the auction website. Continue reading

Unsold Lots Available at Reserve Prices…

CLICK THIS AUCTION WEBSITE LINK TO PLACE BIDS

CLICK THIS AUCTION WEBSITE LINK TO PLACE BIDS

CLICK to view the LIST of RESERVE PRICES

L.H. Selman, Ltd. is excited to announce our Fall 2016, 64th Glass Paperweight Auction, featuring 336 lots, antique and modern, as well as some choice paperweight-related objects. The auction is fully online, hosted on our AUCTION WEBSITE. A web friendly digital e-catalog can be viewed at E-CATALOG. Initial bidding starts today October 24th, and will end on Monday, November 7th. If you see something to your liking, do not hesitate to place an initial bid in order to ensure your position in the ensuing competitive bidding that follows in the second half of the auction. (We recommend that you give the catalog careful examination for a full understanding of the protocols.) You can also see every lot in person at our gallery in Chicago, 410 S. Michigan Ave., #207. If it’s possible for you, we would love to see you in person! If you prefer to place bids by phone or you have any questions , just give us a call at 1-800-538-0766. Continue reading

Art Institute of Chicago to sell 400 paperweights from its permanent collection

Art Institute of Chicago to sell 400 paperweights from its permanent collection

Antique Clichy close packed millefiori in pink and white stave basket paperweight. From the Rubloff Collection. Good condition, bruise to side. Diameter 3 1/4”

Antique Baccarat Napoleon III with red and white torsade faceted paperweight. From the Rubloff Collection. Good condition. Diameter 3 1/16”

Antique Baccarat Napoleon III with red and white torsade faceted paperweight. From the Rubloff Collection. Good condition. Diameter 3 1/16”

Antique Baccarat blue primrose star-cut paperweight. From the Rubloff Collection. Excellent condition. Diameter 2 9/16”

Antique Baccarat blue primrose star-cut paperweight. From the Rubloff Collection. Excellent condition. Diameter 2 9/16”

On Saturday, September 17th, 2016, Chicago’s L.H. Selman Gallery is auctioning close to 400 glass paperweights that had been part of the Art Institute of Chicago’s permanent collection. The artwork on the block had been donated to the Institute by Arthur Rubloff, Potter and Pauline Palmer, Ella Grace Burwick and Lucy K. Kretchmer. According to Benjamin Clark, CEO and owner of L.H. Selman, the non-profit organization helping to create awareness of glass paperweights as an art form known as The Glass Paperweight Foundation “will receive 100-percent of the net proceeds of the buyer’s premium.” (The buyer’s premium is an additional cost a buyer pays when they win a lot. In this case it will be between 20-25% of the hammer price.) According to Christopher Monkhouse, the Eloise W. Martin Chair and Curator, Department of European Decorative Arts at the Art Institute of Chicago: “The net proceeds of the sale of will be used towards to purchase of artwork for the Art Institute of Chicago.” Monkhouse also explains that “deaccessioning artwork is a very sensitive matter for museums, but in rare occasions they are forced to do it, particularly when the collection is too large or a substantial number of close duplicates are kept in storage.” Case in point, Arthur Rubloff regularly acquired entire series of paperweights for one specific item, this eccentric practice naturally added sizeable numbers of duplicates to his collection. In 2012 after the Museum expanded the Arthur Rubloff Paperweight Gallery many of these paperweights were sent to storage because great examples were already on display. The museum is putting the duplicates back the in the hands of the public. Continue reading