L.H. Selman’s 75th Paperweight Auction

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TO PLACE BIDS CLICK HERE : AUCTION WEBSITE

TO PLACE BIDS CLICK HERE : AUCTION WEBSITE

L.H. Selman, Ltd. is pleased to announce our Summer 2020, 75th Glass Paperweight Auction, featuring 360 lots, antique and modern, as well as choice paperweight-related objects. Initial bidding begins Monday, July 6th at 9am, with competitive bidding beginning on Tuesday, July 21st.

The auction is fully online, hosted on our AUCTION WEBSITE. A web friendly digital e-catalog can be viewed at E-CATALOG, while a printed copy of the catalog is for sale at PRINT-CATALOG. For those of you who have enjoyed watching spin videos of featured pieces, they can be accessed via our YouTube Channel. If you see something to your liking, please do not fail to place an initial bid in order to ensure that you have a position in the competitive bidding that follows in the second half of the auction. Competitive bidding concludes after each lot closes, whereby the Buy-At-Reserve stage commences offering all unsold lots at their reserve prices.

If you’re new to our auctions, or if you would just like a refresher, we recently put together a video explaining the auction process. So we encourage you to watch for a full explanation of our unique slow close auctions, including the different stages, rules and processes. And please call us at (312) 583-1177 if you have any questions

We recommend that you give the catalog’s Conditions of Sale a careful examination for a full understanding of the protocols. A key for condition statements can be found in the Conditions of Sale page in the catalog. Please call the gallery with any questions about these changes or the auction format, and don’t forget, we’re always happy to send additional images, videos or condition reports upon request.

We are currently open to visit by appointment only, so please get in touch to schedule a time to see every lot in person at our gallery in Chicago, 410 S. Michigan Ave., suite 207. If you prefer to place any or all bids by phone, or have any questions, just give us a call at 1-800-538-0766.

Updates: Gallery Open By Appointment

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We’re happy to announce that the gallery is now open for visits by appointment only. Please get in touch if you’d like to make an appointment to stop by the gallery.

And of course, our website is still open for orders, and we are able to ship any online purchases.  If you have any questions about availability or anything else, please reach out and we will get in touch as soon as possible.

You can reach us by phone or email, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

We hope that everyone stays safe and healthy during this time.

Sincerely,
The L.H. Selman Team

Spring 2020 Brochure: Reflecting on the Gift of Glass

 

Hello Everyone. As you all already know, we draw inspiration, pleasure and even strength – often a communal strength – from the Arts. And you are also aware that this is especially true in trying times.

By now, our booklets should have been delivered to your mailboxes. We hope you’ll find joy in these pages. They are filled with heartfelt offerings from artists who have devoted their lives to sharing their love of glass and the art it can become, with you all.

 

All of the paperweights featured in the Spring Brochure can be found on our website under NEW ARRIVALS.

Although we are closed to the public, we can still accommodate shipping online orders. If you’d like to place an order by phone or email, please leave us a message and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

-Your Friends at the Selman Gallery

Auction 74 Winter 2020: Post-Auction Check-In

 

Hello, fellow glass lovers!

So just how do we capture your attention at this point in all of our much too busy lives?  Okay, not at all busy for most of us at the moment—but certainly we’re all overloaded, dare we say inundated … with news, data, information, occasional knowledge and that all-too-rare glimpse of actual wisdom.  It’s a topsy-turvy world just now! There – so much for current events and archaic expressions. We’ll also try not to write a piece here that rivals the length of a Vanity Fair profile or an Atlantic expose… although they are both great periodicals!

Simply put, we at the Selman Gallery want to very briefly thank you for making Auction 74 a success. 91% of the lots sold, and many of you have already received your new paperweights. Notes we have received about what a lift the weights are bringing you make us feel really good about having cat-burgled our way back into the gallery’s building to get the winnings packed and shipped!  Okay, so that was mostly just before the actual lockdown. 

That’s right, we do have a note on our website that may have made you think we were all completely away for the month, and we apologize for any confusion.  At the last minute we all decided to turn down the offer of a staff outing, facilitated by the unexpected arrival of free cruise ship tickets… (Remember, if it’s too good to be true…)  So yes, with our own remote, isolated workspaces and HAZMAT gear, we’re virtually around, although not open to the public. But we’re responding to emails and if you call we will be forwarded your messages and we’ll get back to you.  We’re able to function remotely almost as usual, including shipping. Everything on our website is available. In fact our new brochure will be finding its way to your mail boxes (the real ones) very soon, filled with fine art glass to help you welcome Spring. Yes, Spring is still scheduled!

And that art will help see us all through.  Andre Malraux, the great French adventurer, writer, statesman and Minister of Cultural Affairs wrote in the classic, The Voices of Silence,  “Art is Man’s Revolt Against Fate.”  We bet it sounds even nobler in French.  As long as we have the Arts, we’ll triumph.  Okay, sure, fine rooftop dining and a private swimming pool would certainly add to the zest.  That’s on you.

Back to the auction.  You have all seen many fine paperweights over the years in your collecting.  That makes us a little nervous and keeps us on our toes and keenly focused on the auction selection process each time at bat.  But thus far, we seem to have succeeded in gathering an exciting number of sweet surprises for you to ponder, delight to, strive for and often acquire!  (Okay, yes, occasionally there’s reason to lament…) And yes, Auction 74’s Lot 1 was special, (actually darn special) but so were so many other weights throughout this most recent carnival outing.  Lot 1 was addressed thoroughly in the pre-sale auction blog and it’s obvious that the weight’s connection to the great James Bond and saving the Free World (go back and read the blog!!) played a big part in the battle for ownership.  At least there were no mortalities this time around. Antiques acquitted themselves quite well in general with 35 of the first 40 lots finding new homes among you all. 

Lot 1. Superb and rare antique Russian flower bouquet faceted paperweight.

You seemed happy with the selection of modern and contemporary weights as well, to judge by the excitement in many lots.  Beginning, as is the norm with Paul Stankard classics, we moved on to James Kontes’ voluptuous flowers and fruits and then on to a striking Andrew Byers’ tribute to New Zealand marigolds. Next came the bidding on a glow-in-the-dark Johne Parsley, (more fun to say than “Vaseline”) Lot 101, which went the full 15 rounds!  And you could have chipped a tooth going after the lifelike peaches in Rick Ayotte’s Lot 116. All but one of you has missed your chance at that. We think a New Yorker bought the Hunter Big Apple, and there were gorgeous Trabuccos and Tarsitanos to thrill the eye, and on and on and on…  

Lot 101. Johne Parsley 1993 daffodils miniature paperweight.

We’ll end polishing the list of your newly adopted glass treasures right here (as promised)—although the auction is certainly fun to recap, what with the memories of your phone calls and inquiries, tensions and excitements.  And we also enjoy each and every one of your reported pleasures upon receiving the artworks. It can actually be an emotional experience for us here, as we ride along with you all on the hunt. In other words, we at the Selman gallery take a real pride in being a part of all this.  So in closing, we’d just like to say again, thank you. This is a trying time for us all and we can only hope to find the same strength and good will in our larger social networks that we already have and enjoy in our far flung but nonetheless tightly knit paperweight community. And do keep an eye out for our beautiful brochure, coming soon.

Lot 116. Rick Ayotte 2004 two peaches with blossoms paperweight.

Remember using the great old idiomatic expression, “See You in the Funny Papers?”  Neither do we. That was the 1920s.

But we’ll be in touch, soon. 

 Stay Safe.

Your Friends at The Selman Gallery

 

Paul’s Selections: Auction 74

 

MORE THAN ANY ONE MONTH IN 2020 DESERVES??

SUPER BOWL LIV.:  FEBRUARY 2

THE ACADEMY AWARDS XCII.:  FEBRUARY 9

VALENTINE’S DAY MDXXIV:  FEBRUARY 14

We understand what you’re thinking; these are or were nice warm-up distractions, – but when’s the MAIN EVENT?

(we’re glad you asked)

As the Curtain Pulls Back on the Main Stage, We are Proud to Announce …

THE L.H. SELMAN LTD.’s PAPERWEIGHT AUCTION LXXIV:  FEBRUARY 18 

“Late February days; and now, at last, Might you have thought that winter’s woe was past; So fair the sky was and so soft the air.” William Morris

That’s Right, kids!  We’re classing up the joint with nothing but those Roman Numerals and 19th century quotes to let you know just how important this month is in your lives.  And rightfully, it’s been building to a fitting climax…

The Gridiron and Hollywood have their places.  But here now, is the real world, the world of magnificent glass paperweights – where clearly, (too obvious?) we offer you such incredible opportunities in the world of fine glass art, that all the other dates in February should just be embarrassed.  Really? Average resale price for a ticket to the Super Bowl reached $9,000. (high of $46K!) while the market value of the Swag Bags at the Oscars has been reported to cash out at around $215,000. (No, that’s the correct number of zeros.)  And trust us, you won’t even find a handy caliper tucked inside those giveaways like we had in our bags at “Celebrate the Paperweight!”  The Nerve. And don’t even think about the real cost if Valentine’s Day goes really, really, well! (Adjusting for inflation and figuring on say, three children and the inevitable mortgage – well, we’ll need the Roman Numerals to figure out that impending cost.)  

So, I think we’ve determined which of these monumental dates is offering the best deal in town here, right? You can have a wonderful experience participating in our exciting Winter 2020 Auction at absolutely No Cost!  Really! No…wait a minute – actually that’s provided you don’t win anything, and what fun would that be? Answer – NO FUN!

So be glad you passed on attending the Super Bowl.  And since no regular folks are even allowed to buy tickets to this year’s Academy Awards, you likely would not have qualified for an Oscar Swag Bag – so that leaves True Love and Fine Glass.  No Comparison, We Know! Now the considerable savings you’ve realized from passing on the rest of February events can really be put to intelligent, long term and rewarding use. (We mean paperweights, not mortgage payments and college tuitions.)

So Without Further Ado, (who said that, Ed Sullivan or Bill Shakespeare?) let us to the main event.  

FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE!

LOT I (1).  Superb and rare antique Russian flower bouquet faceted paperweight.

Now we know what everyone in that movie was really after – our own very special LOT 1!  

“From Russia With Love” is supposedly based on a Cold War attempt to spirit a Russian decoding device called a Lektor, out of Constantinople–but anyone with a crosshair scope can see that the Lektor’s case was actually designed to protect special art glass, with room left for a dagger and a belt of Krugerrands.  (Our own President Kennedy listed From Russia With Love as one of his 10 favorite books, and the film was the last that he saw before going to Dallas in November of 1963.)  Word on the street has it that it might have been author Sir Ian Fleming himself who successfully retrieved this magnificent Russian magnum faceted paperweight.  With faceting that gives the impression of a massive rare gemstone and that harbors a full garden of nestling velvety florals, we’re pretty sure the Hermitage would be pleased to see this lavishly textured masterwork returned to Mother Russia for free.  Fat chance – Bond risked his life to get it, and you deserve a chance to enjoy it. But if you don’t measure up, it could also possibly wind up in the Queen Mother’s collection. Word is she’s got money to burn, with Harry off the payroll!  

 

ARE YOU READY FOR GENETICALLY ENHANCED ART?

LOT III (3). Rare antique Baccarat four-flower bouquet with “thousand petal” pink rose paperweight.

Remember the 1957 film Man of a Thousand Faces?  We don’t either.  But here we have the flower with a thousand blooms, or close to it, anyway.  This entire garden on a stem is all the more amazing when you realize that the original French glass masters had to have learned something of the Principles of Inheritance from one Gregor Johann Mendel (1822-1884) the Father of Genetics. (Remember how the high school pea experiments smelled?). Mendel was finishing his studies at the University of Vienna around 1845 and we think it could only have been he who shared something of his discoveries with the Boys of Baccarat.  This is one crossbred beauty! And this is your chance to support art and science at the same time!

GOT MILK?  IT WORKS FOR MARIAH CAREY!

LOT XII (12). Antique Bacchus patterned millefiori circlets on sodden snow ground paperweight.

This beautiful weight can be best described as possessing qualities both crisp and smooth simultaneously. Canes with delicately tinted hues are all relaxing in a luxurious milk bath – just ask Mariah “I bathe in milk” Carey; she swears by them as beauty treatments. Yet for all the softness in this surface, there is also a distinct brightness to it.  You’ll never see a more harmoniously delicate palette than in this unusual Bacchus. It is almost reminiscent of a medieval object of veneration proudly displayed in the Library at Trinity College between the Book of Kells and the Book of Hours. (Reference Room Only). And you thought the Dark Ages were Dark? Not by a long shot – providing you don’t count all the forced confessions! 

MORE VOLTAGE THAN THE THIRD RAIL IN A SUBWAY

LOT XVI (16). Rare antique Clichy blue and white barber pole, millefiori and rose chequer paperweight.

Electrically charged barber poles, snake and collide their ways among lusciously large complex canes like bumper cars in a Chinese puzzle, to offer a near psychedelic visual.  A rich and satisfying palette with fabulous canes, including a beautifully executed trademark rose. There is a jazzy, almost vibrating rhythm to this arrangement that makes you think it could almost move by itself. Museum putty on request to hold it still.

WHY OLD ROADSIDE DINER TABLES ARE COOL AGAIN

LOT XXVI (26). Antique Bohemian Riedel close packed millefiori paperweight.

Black and Silver. Sorry, Raiders fans (your team last won a Super Bowl in 1984).  But your colors thrive in this antique Bohemian weight. It’s filled with a beguiling variety of less familiar shapes and colors, all resting on a ground that resembles ultra-cool American postwar 1940s Deco-style kitchen tables and countertops.  And believe it – that period is hot in today’s market. The 40s and 50s are about as antique as the market goes. (You can’t even give away fine Chippendale.) But just don’t try digging up the bits of ‘silver’ scattered throughout the weight. It doesn’t work that way. Remember the end of Raging Bull, (DeNiro won the Academy Award for Best Actor 1981) where Jake LaMotta cut the jewels out of his championship belt to pawn – only to discover that it was really the belt as history and symbol (the jewels didn’t hurt) that provided the value?  So leave the weight alone and enjoy it whole, Jake… 

I’M LOOKING THROUGH YOU, (WHERE DID YOU GO?)

LOT XXXVIII (38).  Very Rare Baccarat Type II blue primrose miniature paperweight.

We hear many discussions about the importance of “transparency” in business and government, and sometimes this applies to the arts as well. The Beatles covered this concept nicely with the hit song, “I’m Looking Through You,” back in the Sixties…  Marcel Duchamp made some of his greatest work of transparent glass. (Put the phone down – we’re not here to quibble…) And the paperweight Oscar for greatest transparent beauty in a work of glass or transparent medium goes to ……. The Baccarat Primrose, with its way too cool for school and totally transparent blue petals!!!  This is a radiating little treasure, (thanks in part to the star-cut base).  And speaking of stars – Elizabeth Taylor would’ve snapped this up as a large earring and commissioned its mate.  Subtle and gorgeous. 

WHEN IS A PEACH NOT A PEACH?  (ASK MAGRITTE.)

LOT CXVI (116). Rick Ayotte 2004 two peaches with blossoms paperweight.

It always makes the hair on our several heads stand on end to read critical essays in the arts that employ that exhausted formula of desperately seeking to elevate a reputation by drawing comparisons in the minds of the readers between the artist under discussion and another who enjoys universal acclaim.  BUT HERE we can say that there is – without exaggeration – a close kinship in quality between the finest Ayotte weights and the paintings of Jan Davidsz de Heem, a true 17th century Dutch master.  Their works are closely related because both artists strive for and achieve absolute verisimilitude in their depictions of the natural world. The peaches, blossoms and almost breathing leaves in Lot 116 hold their own and more against de Heem’s stunning still lifes (yes, that’s the right grammar)- which were among the sought-after highlights of the Golden Age of Dutch painting.  AND, de Heem only had to master 2 dimensions! Ever hear of Stendahl’s Syndrome? It could apply here…you could faint from desire for these fruits.  Eat a good breakfast before looking at this weight.  

AND YES, THE SEEDS WILL KILL YOU …

LOT CXX (120). Mike Hunter 2017 “Patch” patchwork apple hollow sculpture.

If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, and you come to own this glorious specimen, you’ll never again need to even have a check-up.  This apple is a high caliber masterwork by a master worker – a superbly structured glass quilt combining several techniques and multiple patterns; it is a celebration of the possible.  Just don’t eat a full 200 seeds in one sitting, (look it up) or we’ll be getting it back from your estate for another auction… 

MAKE IT A DOUBLE!

LOT CXXXIII (133). Chris Buzzini 1993 Artist Proof lilac and buttercup rectangular paperweight.

You know how in the chicer restaurants these days, the tendency with certain drinks is to include only a single, major league ice cube just a little bit smaller than the glass itself? Me neither.  But we hear from friends it’s a ‘Thing!’ Now we know where the mixologists found their inspiration – the Buzzini Top Shelf Ice Cube Paperweight!  That’s right, kids – fresh frozen fruit has been followed by flash frozen flowers! Thank you, technology! And, this crisp-looking beauty also has a gorgeous ‘green anise’ back that provides the perfect foil for the compact but lively arrangement within.  The sides are icily textured, of course and the weight is cool to the touch. If Fred Astaire and William Powell were alive today, they would quip to the death over which man deserved this treasure. Which would then leave the Buzzini on the Rocks (or Rock) for Ginger Rogers and Myrna Loy to share amicably.  And so it goes…

MORE TREASURES OF THE SIERRA MADRE

LOT CL (150). Bob Banford entwined black snake with spider and ladybug paperweight.

Very spotty job here by Mr. Banford, and we mean that in the best way!  These convincingly shaped and positioned characters might have been just a bit too delightfully unsettling were it not for the deco martini olives two of them are sporting like Versace jackets. Or is this a mirage; is it what Humphrey Bogart saw after weeks in the desert and days out of water?  All three of these creatures look like they’re too cool to rumble. Besides, looks like Ladybug is asking the Sir Snake to tell Mr. Spider that it’s meatless Friday. The artist leaves us wondering. Some say the job of the artist is not to supply answers but mainly to ask the right questions. Maybe they’ll all settle for feasting on the plant.  Maybe we’ll never know. 

LOVE IS BLUE. 

LOT CCXX (220). Baccarat 1994 “Bouquet de lilas” lilacs magnum paperweight.

YES, you old romantics – of course it had to be Frenchmen (Pierre Cour and André Popp) who wrote the little ballad “Love Is Blue,” that was played every single waking minute of the late 1960s and on into the 1970s.  (Laws were passed after that.) When Paul Mauriat recorded it, it became and remained (until 2017) the only performance by a French artist to top the Billboard Hot 100. The song has appeared everywhere from The Simpsons to the closing credits of Mad Men.  And now we know the source, the inspiration for this obsession – a glass paperweight made by – of course – Frenchmen!!  This Baccarat weight is pure blue. It sings blue and whispers blue. It breathes blue. It glows blue. You thought the sky and sea were blue…well, they used to be.  And compared to this glass artwork, the next most beautiful blue in the world looks brown. Oh, wait a moment, our Blue didn’t come along until 1994!  We’re still right!

MISS THE GAME OF THRONES?

LOT CCLXVII (267). Lundberg Studios 1995 dragon engraved surface paperweight.

Well if the Super Bowl didn’t slake your thirst for stylish conflict and violence, you’re in Luck!  Daenerys Targaryen has heard your pleas. (Also, HBO is not doing a sequel, so the dragon’s contract is up and he’s available.)  Honestly, this magnificent Dragon is something to behold! It wraps sinuously and omnipotently around the shimmering golden skies in an effort to circle the world and catch up with itself.  Be relieved it’s not looking your way. Iridescent gold and matte black (actually it’s a very striking translucent amber) have always been one of the most exquisite combinations, frequently employed during the Art Deco movement. Here they are joined to stunning effect. The famed Czech artist Lubomir Richter, who has etched his name delicately at the baseline, has truly outdone himself with elegant cutting that is in equal measure delicate and muscular. Screaming peasants not included. 

 

  Okay, gang, we heard the bell too.  Close your books and mark down your favorites on the palms of your hands in ball point pens.  We’ll see you soon! 

Click here for more information on the auction, to view the digital catalog, or to begin placing bids. 

L.H. Selman’s 74th Paperweight Auction, Winter 2020

TO PLACE BIDS CLICK HERE : AUCTION WEBSITE

LIST OF UNSOLD LOTS AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE AT RESERVE PRICES

TO PLACE BIDS CLICK HERE : AUCTION WEBSITE

LIST OF UNSOLD LOTS AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE AT RESERVE PRICES

L.H. Selman, Ltd. is pleased to announce our Winter 2020, 74th Glass Paperweight Auction, featuring 360 lots, antique and modern, as well as choice paperweight-related objects. Initial bidding begins Tuesday, February 18th at 9am, with competitive bidding beginning on Tuesday, March 3rd.

The auction is fully online, hosted on our AUCTION WEBSITE. A web friendly digital e-catalog can be viewed at E-CATALOG, while a printed copy of the catalog is for sale at PRINT-CATALOG. For those of you who have enjoyed watching spin videos of featured pieces, they can be accessed via our YouTube Channel. If you see something to your liking, please do not fail to place an initial bid in order to ensure that you have a position in the competitive bidding that follows in the second half of the auction. Competitive bidding concludes after each lot closes, whereby the Buy-At-Reserve stage commences offering all unsold lots at their reserve prices.

If you’re new to our auctions, or if you would just like a refresher, we recently put together a video explaining the auction process. So we encourage you to watch for a full explanation of our unique slow close auctions, including the different stages, rules and processes. And please call us at (312) 583-1177 if you have any questions

We recommend that you give the catalog’s Conditions of Sale a careful examination for a full understanding of the protocols. A key for condition statements can be found in the Conditions of Sale page in the catalog. Please call the gallery with any questions about these changes or the auction format, and don’t forget, we’re always happy to send additional images, videos or condition reports upon request.

You can also make an appointment to see every lot in person at our gallery in Chicago, 410 S. Michigan Ave., suite 207.  We would love to see you all in person! If you prefer to place any or all bids by phone, or have any questions, just give us a call at 1-800-538-0766.

2020-2021 Paperweight Calendar

Tempus Fugit/Time Flies!

So…if you’re trying to navigate the unpredictable events in this coming year and you do not have a complimentary LH Selman Gallery Official 2020 Calendar,

…people might just start to talk about you. So, don’t be ostracized, just give us a call and claim one while they last!

They’re very helpful, with lustrous arrays of mouthwatering paperweights, and yes–all those little boxes nicely laid out for your appointments.  And this year’s edition also includes Larry Selman’s own illustrated historical narrative of the first forty years of this premier operation. Call now. Isn’t your “time” worth it?

                                 HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Paul’s Selections from Auction 73

HELLO AND HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

L.H. SELMAN AUCTION 73!

FEATURING PAUL’S CAREFULLY SELECTED AT RANDOM SAMPLE LOTS 

AND DESIGNED TO GIVE YOU JUST THE BAREST TASTE OF THE UPCOMING FEAST, A SNEAK PEEK AT A FEW OF THE MANY UNIQUE GLASS TREATS WITH WHICH YOU CAN FILL YOUR (BUBBLE-BAG LINED) HALLOWEEN SACKS FROM THE UPCOMING AUCTION – AND HOPING YOU MAKE IT BACK HOME SAFELY, WHAT WITH ALL THE PERILS OF SORCERERS, CATWOMEN, VAMPIRES AND PIRATES LURKING IN THE HOLIDAY SHADOWS, NOT TO MENTION THE MASK SLIDING DOWN ON YOUR FIELD OF VISION AT EVERY DARK AND BUSY STREET CORNER… 

OH WAIT – WE’LL JUST SHIP THEM TO YOU!

WE ALSO WANT TO SAY WE PAID THE RANSOM AND THE AUCTION 73 CATALOGUES HAVE BEEN FOUND UNHARMED AND WILL BE IN YOUR WAITING ARMS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!!

INITIAL BIDDING BEGINS MONDAY OCTOBER 21

 

GRAND STAIRCASE NOT INCLUDED.

LOT 1: Exceptional and very rare antique Clichy close packed millefiori and roses stave basket newel post.

Word on the street has it that this glass masterpiece once resided in the wizard Merlin’s study, and that Camelot only fell because he misplaced it one weekend.  After that disaster he affixed the orb to a solid royal brass base to curb what turned out to be the sphere’s nocturnal wanderings. (Merlin himself can still be seen wandering the neighborhoods around Halloween…) This Clichy treasure now comes with a Wizard and Pirate-Proof red velvet-lined wooden cabinet box complete with a brass handle, lock and key.  Yes, you could buy your way out of conscription in the King’s navy with this landmark. (You know they got half their sailors by kidnapping them!) This weight could be employed as the official Newell Post not just of Windsor Castle, but of the entire Crown.

Of course, that could lead to a war with the French who rightfully claim this Gallic masterpiece.  (Did you know that for 300 years, French was the official language of the Court of St. James?). But truth be told, this glorious crystal balloon would be worth an armed conflict.

Numbering at over 350 (feel free to fact-check and you’ll find 337…yeah, we know,) this kaleidoscope of exquisite millefiori won’t have to fight for your attention.  You’ll barely be able to look at anything else. The field includes a record number of varied rose canes (okay, 30) – and the only thing you’ll need for the perfect setting is a grand marble staircase–or even better, a nice dining room table.  And yet for all its imposing presence, it is also a graceful and streamlined 11th century, lighter-than-air balloon, barely tethered to the earth. Sorry, the helium is extra.

 

NO SELF-ESTEEM ISSUES HERE

Lot 2:  Rare antique Clichy spaced concentric millefiori on moss ground paperweight.

This vibrant glass creation of beautifully rendered canes playing in a breathing carpet of living green, is such a sublime classic, the reference books fall all over themselves with attempts to convey how they can barely attempt to convey in words the extremely high quality on display here. One major volume likens these Clichy paperweights to the finest French tapestries (the moss carpet even shimmers from beneath). And another describes them as being the prized possessions of a few “advanced” collectors.  Well, well, well. We here think differently and we know you’re not going to take that implied slight lying down! You know who you are and so do we (thanks to modern technology). So, sit up and pour yourself a good bourbon, and get in the fight for this stunning standard-bearer of great French paperweights. 

 

EXTRATERRESTRIAL GIFT FOUND IN A METEORITE?

Lot 3: Rare antique Bacchus close packed millefiori encased double overlay paperweight.

This amazingly compact Bacchus creation is unlike anything we’ve seen in a long, long time. 

A world within a world. A beautiful, small planet inside its own tiny solar system, wrapped by salmon-tinted solar winds swirling protectively.  Delicate red stars dance across the surface of this intriguing interior sphere, which is replete with canes of eye-catching complexity.

This enchanting and unusual objet d’ art would in fact have been right at home on Merlin’s shelf.  Thank goodness for the protective glass dome because this is one little planet that looks downright edible!

 

YOU WON’T FIND THESE AT HOME DEPOT!

Lot 14: Rare antique Clichy pair of end-of day scrambled millefiori and roses door knobs.

Actually, it can be difficult to find anything at Home Depot, with one employee every four acres of floor space, but that’s another discussion.  Here we have the finishing touches for the interior door(s) leading into your inner sanctum, i.e., where you keep your many glass treasures. Think about it, just how often do you get to handle any given weight in your collection?  Well, satisfaction is close at hand (get it?) with these gorgeous roses and scrambled canes, welcoming your touch as often as you enter or leave your paperweight cave!

 

STRETCHING A POINT?

Lot 22: Unusual antique English large millefiori mushroom pedestal paperweight.

Some of us wanted to keep this attractive and extreme illustration of the stunning optical properties of glass, for the official Paperweight Foundation mini museum located here at the gallery.  But the consignor somehow sees things differently so it is up for sale! This “party of one” boasts a cobalt blue cross as the center of the cane, and from the top it top looks to be 3/8” in length in both directions whereas the almost microscopic dot it comes to at the base is totally unreadable as anything more than a faint period at the end of a sentence. Amazing visual! 

 

EVERYTHING SOUNDS BETTER IN FRENCH

Lot 30: Antique Baccarat 1846 close packed millefiori paperweight.

Baudelaire, de Beauvoir, Baguettes, Bordeaux, Brie, Brigitte Bardot, Bouguereau, Berlioz, Biarritz, Bugatti and of course – Baccarat.  All Classics. And let’s face it, we’re all a little jealous, aren’t we? Well, you can fix that with this exemplar of the dated close pack millefiori resting on your night stand.  Remember, if we can’t all BE French, we can at least buy their stuff! 

 

BACK TO THE FUTURE!

Lot 57: Rare antique Saint Louis patterned millefiori and squares paperweight.

In a tip of the hat to naval flags and anticipating neoplasticism jewelry from the 1920s Dutch De Stijl movement, (look it up!)  this forward-looking homage to modernist design in art glass is really a little astonishing. A bold and intriguing geometry for an antique paperweight.  (But did you catch our misuse of the term homage to describe something yet to be created!)

 

COIN OF THE REALM

Lot 73: Rare unidentified antique, possibly Clichy, “Bank Notes” sulphide paperweight.

The day is coming when you’ll pay for your groceries with the blink of your chip-embedded eye.  By then all paper and metal currencies will be found in museum print and collectible departments. Get ahead of the game with this Bank Note, safely ensconced in solid glass and start your own museum department today! (By the way, the letters are debossed with the most elegant and delicate blue/lavender ever seen).  Be careful not to jump the gun and encase or laminate too much of your savings – the gesture is not fully appreciated everywhere. As a matter of fact, one of our in-laws had a very early American dollar bill laminated as a way to preserve it and protect its value…but that’s another sad story…. 

 

EVERYTHING BUT SINATRA SINGING ONLY FOR YOU

Lot 93: David Graeber 2010 “Autumn in Chicago” fall chrysanthemums paperweight, from the Chicago series.

All of autumn’s quieter colors are so gently embedded and intertwined with the mums in this weight so as to evoke a sense of absolute comfort and well-being.  Think of the fireplace in your Frank Lloyd Wright designed home; the two of you snuggled in Pendleton blankets in front of the fire and watching the hound chew playfully on your old briar pipe with Thanksgiving looming.  That is but one of the scenes that will appear before you with this quiet masterwork in your hands. The only decision ahead of you is which supper club (“where everybody knows your name”) to make your way to for a candlelit meal, culminating with the best pumpkin pie you’ve ever had.  Yes, THAT is what you get holding this weight.

(Pipe, dog and dessert not included.)

 

SILLY RABBIT, TRIX ARE FOR KIDS!

Lot 333:  Perthshire Paperweights (1994) “Fruit” faceted paperweight.

Nothing really outlandish to say here (except that film director Quentin Tarantino hijacked the meme – take our word for it).  This “lemon yellow and orange-orange” weight is as delightful and cheerful as the old Saturday morning cartoons and their cereal commercials. This compact cornucopia bears fruit both serene and delicious, to combine two words that have never appeared in print together before describing the same thing…

ALRIGHT!  HERE’S WHERE WE APOLOGIZE TO EVERYONE FOR THE 349 WEIGHTS WE DIDN’T GET TO, BUT WE DO HAVE A WISECRACK READY FOR EACH LOT SO JUST CALL US!

AND NO PANICKING! WE HAVE SUMPTUOUS AMOUNTS OF YOUR FAVORITE NAMES AND THEMES AND COLORS AS YOU’LL SEE IN A VERY FEW DAYS!

UNTIL THEN IT’S JUST WEIGHT AND SEE!

(Sorry, we wrote that on a bet…)

L.H. Selman’s 73rd Paperweight Auction, Fall 2019

TO PLACE BIDS CLICK HERE : AUCTION WEBSITE

LIST OF RESERVE PRICES FOR UNSOLD LOTS AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE

L.H. Selman, Ltd. is pleased to announce our Fall 2019, 73rd Glass Paperweight Auction, featuring 360 lots, antique and modern, as well as choice paperweight-related objects. Initial bidding begins Monday, October 21st at 9am, with competitive bidding beginning on Tuesday, November 5th.

The auction is fully online, hosted on our AUCTION WEBSITE. A web friendly digital e-catalog can be viewed at E-CATALOG, while a printed copy of the catalog is for sale at PRINT-CATALOG. For those of you who have enjoyed watching spin videos of featured pieces, they can be accessed via our YouTube Channel. If you see something to your liking, please do not fail to place an initial bid in order to ensure that you have a position in the competitive bidding that follows in the second half of the auction. Competitive bidding concludes after each lot closes, whereby the Buy-At-Reserve stage commences offering all unsold lots at their reserve prices.

If you’re new to our auctions, or if you would just like a refresher, we recently put together a video explaining the auction process. So we encourage you to watch for a full explanation of our unique slow close auctions, including the different stages, rules and processes. And please call us at (312) 583-1177 if you have any questions

We recommend that you give the catalog’s Conditions of Sale a careful examination for a full understanding of the protocols. A key for condition statements can be found in the Conditions of Sale page in the catalog. Please call the gallery with any questions about these changes or the auction format, and don’t forget, we’re always happy to send additional images, videos or condition reports upon request.

You can also make an appointment to see every lot in person at our gallery in Chicago, 410 S. Michigan Ave., suite 207.  We would love to see you all in person! If you prefer to place any or all bids by phone, or have any questions, just give us a call at 1-800-538-0766.

L. H. Selman Ltd. Celebrates 50 Years in Paperweights!

This year, as we look back over the past fifty years of our life with fine glass paperweights, there is much to be grateful for. First, we are grateful for the glass artists, whose creative genius and honed technical skills have produced some of the finest work in glass ever seen. Secondly, we are grateful for the collectors—the appreciative audience who continue to treasure and build their fine collections. Thirdly, we are grateful for other paperweight dealers who over the years have challenged us to do our very best, and who worked together with us to educate the public and to promote the artists and their work. Together, these three groups have elevated the art form to the high standard it enjoys today. And finally, we are profoundly grateful for the opportunity to work in an a rewarding environment, in a field we love.

As part of our celebration this year, we thought you might enjoy reading a little about the history of L. H. Selman, Ltd., founded in 1969 by Lawrence Selman. We have condensed what could be a large tome into what we hope will be an entertaining scrapbook of snapshots from the past.

For old-times, this will be a nostalgic walk down Memory Lane. For newer collectors, we hope you will pick up some new information for your ongoing journey into glass collecting. We are betting that everyone will learn something they didn’t know before!

Selman’s Introduction to Fine Glass Paperweights:

In the late1960s, when young Americans were tuning in to peace, love, and self-discovery, Lawrence Selman found himself at a personal crossroads. With a PhD in organic chemistry from Yale under his belt (thanks to the persistence of his dedicated mother), and a passion for playing early music on the viola da gamba, Selman needed to make a choice: Continue with an academic career? Or follow his passion for playing music?

Larry Selman playing a treble viola da gamba

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the end, Selman chose a different path altogether. He chose the path of innovators from the Renaissance era whose music he had been smitten by. During the Renaissance, skills and talents from many fields of expertise were combined in a life of extraordinary creativity. In other words, why not do it all: Continue to be a scholar, play music, and…. sell glass paperweights!

Larry Selman was introduced to fine glass paperweights through a fellow musician Jack Curtis, who was a collector. Originally from Cleveland Ohio, Selman was teaching chemistry in San Diego at the time, and became a regular visitor to Curtis’s home in Temecula, California, where afternoons spent playing early music (Renaissance and Elizabethan) on various instruments often extended late into the night.

“A musician friend of mine lived in a remote and rustic setting,” he recalls. “Each time I visited, he showed me a different group of collectibles from his wide and varied interests. Once it was fine Japanese prints; another time he introduced me to the nuances of American folk art. One day he brought out his paperweight collection. For the first time, I saw the intricacies of the millefiori canes and the splendid colors captured in them. At once I imagined the pleasures of owning and collecting these small works of art.”

Larry Selman found himself fascinated with these diminutive objets d’art, so much so that he accompanied Curtis one afternoon to Knotts Berry Farm, in Buena Park, California. The glassblower Harold Hacker had set up a booth where he formed tiny animals and flowers of borosilicate glass, under a hot torch.  In addition to the animals, Hacker offered for sale some glass paperweights he had made from furnace glass in a separate studio. Selman bought a paperweight for himself, and Curtis, encouraged him to buy yet another. And thus a simple afternoon visit to an amusement park spawned a new paperweight collector, and a long career.

A Harold Hacker paperweight

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On a visit to Cleveland to visit his mother, Selman found himself perusing a local newspaper which sported a “Paperweights Wanted” ad in the classified section. He happened to have with him the recently-acquired Harold Hacker paperweights, so he contacted the collector in Cleveland. “Oh my God! You have a Harold Hacker paperweight!” she exclaimed. When she offered to buy them he was flummoxed. He didn’t know what price to put on them, naively thinking that it wouldn’t be right to sell them for more than what he had paid for them. So he ended up trading his Harold Hacker weights for several popular commemorative sulphide weights from her collection.

Kitchen Table Mail-Order Business:

It wasn’t long before the small works of art became more than a passing fancy for Selman. When his teaching schedule allowed, he found himself traveling across the country to purchase and sell fine glass paperweights. Eventually, he found himself so enamored with playing early chamber music, that he decided to take time away from his job as a professor of chemistry in order to have time to play.

In an interview with Heather Knight, writer for the San Francisco Chronicle in 2000, Selman recalls: “My mother couldn’t believe it,” he said. She kept saying, ‘You went to graduate school in chemistry. What are you doing?’ ” But Selman believed that knowledge and skills acquired in one field are transferable to another, and he continued to follow his passion.

Needing some form of livelihood while he pursued his dream of playing music, Selman published his first Catalogue of Collector’s Paperweights, with photos in black and white, where he offered contemporary (Scottish and American) and antique paperweights (French, American, English, Sulphides) as well as books, and lucite stands.

The woodblock print of the Glassmaker’s Chair was taken from Apsley Pellatt’s book, Curiosities of Glass Making

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This would be the first of many regular catalogs published by the mail-order company. Selman loved to collect early prints of glass artists, and decided to put a classic image of a glass worker at his bench on the cover. That image later became—and remains—the company’s logo.

Also in 1970, Selman sent out his first regular (monthly) mailing to his growing list of collectors. While the catalog, published occasionally, was meant to offer a broad array of paperweights, both contemporary and antique, the monthly mailings would feature a particular artist or glass house, with regular special offerings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This first mailing was sent out in letter format, produced on a typewriter. Later, mailings would become more sophisticated, with professional printing and high-quality color photographs.

Future marketing efforts would eventually include major art and antique fairs, collector’s meetings, an internet web site, live telephone and online auctions, gallery events, museum events, paperweight festivals, and collectors’ weekends with artists.

Early in his paperweight career, Selman became acquainted with a London antique dealer, Alan Tilman, who in turn introduced him to Stuart Drysdale, founder of the newly-established Perthshire Paperweights in Crieff, Scotland. Stuart Drysdale and Selman began traveling around the UK and the United States, visiting both shops and collectors to introduce them to paperweights.

English antique dealer Alan Tilman (left) and Stuart Drysdale of Perthshire Paperweights.

Early on, Selman had also gotten to know Paul Jokelson, a French American who in the 1950s had persuaded the French factories of Saint Louis and Baccarat to reinvent the art form, whose secrets had been lost to glass workers since its demise in the1860s. Jokelson had been importing paperweights while living in New York. Both Drysdale and Jokelson were very influential in Selman’s development, and became life-long friends.

Paul Jokelson, founder of the Paperweight Collectors Association, who single-handedly persuaded the French glass house of Saint Louis to begin making paperweights in the 1950s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Publishing Company—Paperweight Press:

Recognizing a void in information available to the paperweight-collecting community, Selman decided to create a publishing company—Paperweight Press—through which he could distribute his own growing knowledge of paperweights for the benefit of collectors, new and established. Even a small personal library can be an invaluable resource for collectors. This is still true, even in today’s online Google-based research world. Selman’s first effort was Paperweights for Collectors, which he co-authored with his first wife, Linda Pope. The book proved indispensable, and many other titles followed.

First paperweight book authored by Lawrence H. Selman and Linda Pope and published by Paperweight Press

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lawrence Selman introduced a series of books titled The Art of the Paperweight, the first of which was a coffee-table edition, considered a must for collectors. This book is now available in digital form on our website. Other books in the series included The Art of the Paperweight, Saint Louis, by Gerard Ingold, which depicted modern paperweights made in the Saint Louis Factory in France from 1970 through 1981. This was followed by The Art of the Paperweight, Perthshire, which included photos and descriptions all paperweights made at the Perthshire factory through 1983.

The Art of the Paperweight series

The ever popular All about Paperweights, first published in 1992, was reprinted many times, with later editions including an updated price guide. Songs Without Words, The Art of the Paperweight, Rick Ayotte, was published in 1997, a comprehensive record of the artist’s work from 1978 through 1995.

In addition to the Art of the Paperweight series, Paperweight Press went on to publish many titles by various experts in the field.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paul Hollister’s Paperweight “Bible”; the Mahoney / McClanahan documentation of Perthshire’s vast paperweight production

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Art Elder’s memoir of paperweight collecting; the Exhibit catalog of Texas PCA collectors, starring their amazing collections

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For a comprehensive list of books available from Paperweight Press, see our website: https://www.theglassgallery.com/publications

In 1975, Paperweight News was launched—a regular newsletter for collectors with information, announcements about upcoming events, paperweight terminology, glossaries, history, humor and trivia. Many articles were contributed by paperweight collectors.

First Issue of Paperweight News, January 1975

 

 

Last issue of Paperweight news, 1993

Selman continued to travel regularly to antique shows around the country, announcing upcoming trips via post cards mailed to collectors who lived in the area to be visited.

Newspaper clipping of Larry Selman at an antique fair.

Selman also traveled to artist fairs where he encouraged budding glass workers to try their hand at making paperweights; he was instrumental in helping establish Jim Lundberg and Mark Cantor and their studio in Davenport, California, which spawned a group of artists—some of whom are still active today.

Early in his paperweight career, Selman began attending meetings of the Paperweight Collectors Association (PCA), founded in 1953 by Paul Jokelson, with multiple regional chapters for collectors, dealers, and artists. Selman attended all of the biannual national meetings of the PCA until he sold the business in 2009, after which the new owners have continued to represent the company at PCA events.  Over the years, L. H. Selman Ltd. contributed many articles to the organization’s annual publication the PCA Bulletin.

Attendees at an early PCA meeting

Larry Selman and Paul Hollister identify rare weights at a PCA meeting

Early Paperweight Maker, Paul Ysart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ray Banford and Larry Selman, 1979

Larry Selman and Paul Stankard,, 1984

Paperweight artists at a PCA event, 1987. See how many you can identify!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 1971, Selman moved to San Francisco, where catalogs two through five were published, the latter partially in color.

The 1973 closepack from Perthshire (left, bottom right) was offered for $130, James Lundberg paperweights were priced at $32; on a separate page, a Paul Standard floral weight could be had for $200.

L. H. Selman Ltd. Gallery in Santa Cruz:

Eventually the business was incorporated as L. H. Selman Ltd, in Santa Cruz, California, where Selman had moved in 1974 in order to keep playing early music with his friends. Employees were hired, and a modest brick and mortar gallery was established at 761 Chestnut Street, which became something of a mecca for paperweight enthusiasts worldwide. At this point, Selman was better known in New York or London than in Santa Cruz. “It’s hard for people to take me seriously,” he frequently recalled. “I say I’m a paperweight dealer and I get a look like, ‘Yeah, right! Tell me another story.’”

761 Chestnut Street, Santa Cruz, California

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 1976 son Matthew was born, followed by son Noah in 1978. Larry continued playing early music in Santa Cruz with Bill Matthews, who he had met in San Diego, and a cadre of local early music aficionados. He played concerts with The Antiquariun Funks, The Byrd Consort, and The Santa Cruz Baroque Festival.

Newspaper announcement of concert to be played with Stephen Pollard and Mary Elliott, 1975

Early staff at L. H. Selman Ltd.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While serving on the board of directors for the Santa Cruz Baroque Festival, Selman met Marti Edwards, who shared his passion for early music. In 1989, Larry married Marti, who soon joined him in the business, where she worked as an active partner for the next twenty years. Marti Selman recalls, “Because we met so late in life, we decided to treasure each day together and savor our lives intensely, treating each year as though it were five. By this reckoning, we have now been married 150 years!”

The home base in Santa Cruz continued to grow. Support staff were added, including a computer programmer (Stephen), a writer (Ron), office staff (Stephanie, Carol and others), and sales staff (Suzanne and others)—the latter three staying with the company for multiple decades. Customer service was considered a top priority. From the beginning and throughout its history, L. H. Selman Ltd. has always maintained a “satisfaction guaranteed” policy. If a collector was not entirely pleased with a purchase, it could always be returned for a full refund.

Paperweight Auctions:

Selman found himself regularly traveling to the world’s most prestigious auction houses (Sotheby’s and Christie’s in London and Parke-Bernet in New York), where he would acquire weights for his stock or serve as an agent to collectors.

Larry previewing weights at an auction house

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One particular collector, Arthur Rubloff, a colossal real estate developer from Chicago, enlisted Selman to bid for him at auction—a relationship that lasted many years. When Rubloff bequeathed his famous paperweight collection to the Art Institute of Chicago, Selman appraised it for the museum. The paperweight collection at the Art Institute remains one of the museum’s most popular exhibits.

Arthur Rubloff and friend, PCA convention 1975

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 1990, to celebrate Selman’s first 20 years in business, Paul Jokelson encouraged Selman to host a paperweight auction. Jokelson had decided to sell his most prized paperweight—the famous Bird in the Nest, which he had bought at an antique store in Paris in 1925, and which had first piqued his interest in paperweights. Over the years he had attempted to learn more information about the piece, but neither the dealer who sold it to him or anyone else had seen anything like it before or since. Jokelson offered the paperweight as the linch-pin for this new auction endeavor—the first of many to follow (seventy, to date). Selman auctions began as telephone sales and evolved into today’s online bidding model. The Bird in the Nest sold for $182,600 and held the world record for a time as the highest-priced paperweight ever sold at auction.

First auction catalog, featuring Paul Jokelson’s famous Bird in the Nest paperweight

Collector Jerry Gard previews paperweights at one our of early phone / mail auctions.

Paperweights on the Internet:

Selman had long been fascinated with the seeming magic of mail order. “Here I am in California, and I can do business with someone on the other side of the country—or the world. It seems like magic.” As part of his mail order business, he established the International Paperweight Society—a sort of loyalty club where members were eligible for special offers, including free shipping of paperweights purchased. Think Selman Prime. Other benefits included an annual paperweight calendar, and various goodies such as calipers for measuring paperweight dimensions, and a variety of desk accessories—always paperweight related.

The advent of the internet deepened Selman’s interest in communicating with people from far away. He had taken some early computer code-writing classes in the 1970s, which served him well when he decided to single-handedly set up a website for the Society, with a chat group for members and pages about individual paperweight artists. The Society grew in membership and became a cadre of serious paperweight collectors who would attend many events which L. H. Selman Ltd. would host.

Here are the opening paragraphs of a press release (complete with photo attached) announcing Selman’s new presence on the internet, 1995:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the paperweight auctions grew in popularity, the ease of bidding online brought about many changes to how these auctions were held. Selman eventually hired a professional programmer to write the computer code for the online auctions, and actually partnered with Amazon to hold one of the first live auctions ever to be held on the internet. From that point on, the auctions were held online rather than by telephone, with bids coming in from around the world on a 24-hour basis.

Paperweight Festivals:

In 1992, after recently hosting Bar Mitzvah parties for their two sons, the Selmans decided to use their newly-acquired party-planning skills to host a paperweight Festival for members of the International Paperweight Society. Marti had previously had experience in organizing conferences in her earlier career at the University of California, Santa Cruz. The Paperweight Festival would be a weekend event in Santa Cruz, incorporating learning about how paperweights are made, meeting with artists and collectors, and serious collecting—all in a fun party atmosphere.

The Paperweight Festivals were a huge hit with collectors from around the country and Europe, who enjoyed escaping to sunny California on the second weekend of November. The first festival assembled a surprising hundred people, and the Selmans continued hosting the event for five consecutive years.

Luckily, there are two paperweight makers in the Santa Cruz area, so the schedule for the weekend always included visits to these studios. They also included all kinds of artist demonstrations in lampworking and other facets of paperweight creation. There were lectures and talks by artists, games, puzzles, door prizes, and an auction. There was always special time reserved with an artist. Some weekends included wine tasting or a sunset sail on the Monterey Bay. Others included flower arranging with Debbie Tarsitano, a birding walk with Rick Ayotte, Scottish Reel dancing with Miriam Drysdale, and a “design your own paperweight,” session with the Drysdales, where guests arranged millefiori canes which were then shipped back to Scotland for encasement. All the contemporary paperweight artists and factories were invited and were asked to join L. H. Selman Ltd. in donating a weight which would be either given as a door prize for lucky attendees, or to be auctioned to raise money for the newly-formed IPS Foundation.

Banners flown at IPS Festivals

Schedule of Events, First International Paperweight Society Festival, 1992

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Design your own paperweight with Neil and Miriam Drysdale, IPS Festival,1995

Mayuel Ward, demonstrating at IPS Festival,1995

Barry Sautner displaying his glass carving techniques, IPS Festival,1995

Randy Grubb, demonstrating at IPS Festival,1995

Chris Buzzini, demonstrating at IPS Festival,1995

Bob Banford demonstrating at IPS Festival, 1995

Rick and Clara Ayotte, IPS Festival, 1995

Wine tasting and hanging out with artists on the Chardonnay; Emcee Dan MacLeith, artists Randy Grubb, Bob Banford, Mayuel Ward, IPS Festival, 1995

Staff members Ron and Suzanne, also worked long hours and wore a lot of different hats during events

Staff members Carol, Stephanie and Candy worked long hours at the festivals, this one in 1994

Paperweight collector Daniel MacLeith (center) was the lively Emcee of the IPS Festivals

Flower arranging with Debbie Tarsitano, IPS Festival, 1994

Artist group shot, IPS Festival, 1994. Can you name them all?

Artist Group shot, IPS Festival, 1993:
L to R Mayuel Ward, Johnne Parsley, Randy Grubb, Ken Rosenfeld, Greg Held of Orient & Flume, Gordon Smith, Steve Lundberg, Mark Birchfield, Andrew Fote, Scott Beyers of Orient & Flume, William Birchfield, Chris Buzzini, Bob Banford, Daniel Salazar, Drew Ebelhare, David Salazar. Debbie Tarsitano missing from this photo but she was there (see photo below)

Gordon Smith, IPS Festival, 1993

Ken Rosenfeld, IPS Festival, 1993

Debbie Tarsitano, IPS Festival, 1993

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Miriam Drysale teaches the art of dancing Scottish reels, IPS Festival,1995

Neil Drysdale, Margaret and Paul Jokelson, Miriam Drysdale relaxing at the IPS Festival, 1995

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The fifth festival, held at the Pan Pacific Hotel in downtown San Francisco, drew over 300 attendees, and featured as special guest speaker, paperweight collector Robin Leach, host of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. His repeated line at the final banquet which drew a lot of laughs, was “Suzanne has my credit card!”

Suzanne enticing Robin Leach with a potential addition to his collection, IPS Festival, 1996

 

 

 

Steve Lundberg demonstrating at the San Francisco State glass studio, IPS Festival, 1996

Colin Terris of Cathness Glass, IPS Festival, 1996

Robin Leach collected paperweights with fish themes. Here he is admiring one made by Daniel Salazar, IPS Festival, 1996

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The festival also featured a special exhibit of artist Rick Ayotte’s work titled Songs Without Words: The Art of the Paperweight—Rick Ayotte. The exhibit, which was housed in a historic bank in downtown San Francisco, was open to the public for the purpose of educating people about the art form.

Viewing the Ayotte Exhibit, titled Songs Without Words, IPS Festival, 1996

Melissa, Rick and Clara Ayotte with Margaret and Paul Jokelson at the Ayotte Exhibit at Union Bank, San Francisco, IPS Festival, 1996

Exhibit catalogue for Ayotte exhibit during IPS Festival in San Francisco, 1996

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every year at the IPS Festival, Paul Jokelson was crowned “King of Paperweights” in a ceremony at dinner on Saturday evening. “Her Royal Majesty” Margaret Jokelson also graced us with her presence. Every year, this crowning ceremony became more and more elaborate. The King reveled in all this attention, and jokingly offered his ring to be kissed.

Le Roi Des Presse-Papiers on his throne, First IPS Festival, 1992

The King of Paperweights being presented with a glass scepter by Steve Lundberg, who made the scepter, now kisses his ring in jest and admiration, as Emcee Daniel Macleith looks on, IPS Festival, 1995

Bob Banford crowns the King with a glass diadem he has made for Paul Jokelson, IPS Festival, 1996

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But enough fun and frivolity. The International Paperweight Society has been responsible for more than just festivals.

IPS Foundation:

In the early 1990s The International Paperweight Society Foundation was established as a non-profit 501(c) (3) organization for the purpose of supporting the art form and educating the public.

One of the Foundation’s first endeavors was to set up a traveling exhibit of 57 classic antique and 51 contemporary paperweights which would travel internationally. The exhibit, titled Challenging Tradition, contained paperweights from L. H. Selman Ltd. and various private collections and from November, 1993 to January, 1995 traveled to six different locations around the US and Scotland, with a color catalog commemorating the exhibit.

Challenging Tradition was exhibited at the Art Museum of Santa Cruz, California; MSC Forsythe Center Galleries at Texas A & M University; the Muscatine Art Center, Muscatine, Iowa; Scone Palace, Perth, Scotland (accompanied by artist Randall Grub); the Jones Museum of Glass and Ceramics, Douglas Hill, Maine; and Villa Terrace Museum of the Decorative Arts, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Larry Selman, Jeanette and Randy Grubb, Peter McDougall at Scone Palace, Challenging Tradition Exhibit, 1994

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over the years the IPS Foundation funded scholarships for new paperweight artists (The Jokelson Fund); raised funds via a special online auction for glass artist Steve Lundberg to purchase a van after he contracted ALS and could no longer drive; established a paperweight museum on the West Coast; and, through the work of the Clark family, donated funds to expand and refurbish the Arthur Rubloff paperweight exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Brochure soliciting donations for the Jokelson Fund

New Gallery in Santa Cruz:

By the late 1990s, L. H. Selman Ltd., was running out of room in its original location on Chestnut Street. With a showroom (Larry’s office), a packing / shipping and storage room, and 10 employees crowded in three small offices, the Selmans began looking around for a new location. In 1998 they found a two-story, 5,000 square foot office building just 3 blocks away on Locust Street, and hired paperweight collector and friend Daniel MacLeith to refurbish the space. The upper floor would offer spacious office and conference space while the bottom floor would become a beautiful gallery and museum space.

The new space—The Glass Gallery—was large enough to accommodate plenty of paperweights in its mahogany cabinets, as well as floor space to accommodate pedestals to display contemporary glass sculpture. When the business moved to Chicago in 2009, MacLeith’s mahogany cabinets moved to the new location on Michigan Avenue, appropriately across the street from Chicago’s Art Institute.

New gallery at 123 Locust Street

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All of major paperweight glass houses were represented: Baccarat, St. Louis, Perthshire, Caithness, Orient and Flume; as well as all of the contemporary studio paperweight artists, including Rick Ayotte, Melissa Ayotte, Bob Banford, Ray Banford, Chris Buzzini, Andrew Byers, John Deacons, Jim Donofrio, Drew Ebelhare, Randall Grub, Michael Hunter, James Lundberg, Steve Lundberg, Perthshire Paperweights, Ken Rosenfeld, Colin and Kathy Richardson, Alison Ruzsa, David Salazar, Daniel Salazar, Barry Sautner, Gordon Smith, Paul Stankard, Debbie Tarsitano, Victor Trabucco, Mayauel Ward, and others.

Contemporary glass sculpture artists were also included, such as the work of Ed Kachurik, Michael Leeds, Jared deLong, Denali Crystal, Marsha Blaker and Paul Desomma, Duncan MacClellan, Richard Ritter, Davide Salvadore, Rick Satava, Barry Sautner, Jesse Taj, and others.

The new space offered more opportunity for gallery openings, auctions, and collectors’ meetings and museum exhibits. The museum was able to offer space for special exhibits, such as the works of a particular artist, or a sulphide collection. Larry Selman still has in his possession, a world-class collection of antique sulphide objects.

Interior of the IPS Paperweight Museum at 123 Locust Street

When a small shop space became available for rent just up the street, Selman opened a small satellite shop which was open to the public, rather than the by-appointment schedule of the large gallery. The small shop, The Glass Gallery II, offered more affordable paperweights, small sculptures and glass jewelry.

The Glass Gallery II at 103 Locust Street, Santa Cruz

Collector’s Weekends:

With the new gallery as a wonderful destination for paperweight collectors, we began hosting what we called Collectors Weekends, which offered a small number of collectors the opportunity to spend the weekend with a particular paperweight artist. A small group of collectors (usually around 10 or twelve couples) were ensconced with one of their favorite paperweight artists at the lovely Inn at Depot Hill. Activities included dining with the artist at some of the best restaurants in the area, including the historic and romantic Shadowbrook Restaurant, wine tasting at local wineries, and even trips to the local flea market—all in the company of the artist. Of course, there was always time for browsing the paperweights in the gallery.

At times, collectors and artists looked back with nostalgia at the five large festivals of former days and expressed a desire for another large event. But after five years of back-to-back festival planning, Marti was ready for a change. “I was exhausted,” she recalls. “It took a year to plan one of those weekends, and after five years, I really couldn’t do it again.” But in the end, the smaller gatherings became a favorite of collectors and artists, as well as the staff at L. H. Selman Ltd., where friendships deepened and lasting bonds were made in a more relaxed and intimate atmosphere.

Carl Carter learning to handle the punty under direction of David Salazar, 2001

Randy Grubb displays his slumped glass sculpture, 2001

Events with Randy Grubb usually involved some classic cars, 2001

Randy Grubb “flaming” Emcee Dan MacLeith’s rental car, 2001

Alison Ruzsa (right) poses with Marti Selman, modeling glass jewelry at Glass Weekend, 2004. L. H. Selman Ltd. “discovered” Alison at SOFA Chicago.

Paul Jokelson hamming it up with Clara Ayotte. He has put on Rick Ayotte’s name tag, 2000

Late night dessert and port; Emcee Dan MacLeith models silk paperweight boxers by Nicole Miller, 2001

Collectors picked blueberries at the Selman farm in the Santa Cruz mountains during a weekend with the Ayottes, 2001

Jim D’Onofrio demonstrating at a Collectors’ Weekend, 2001

Rare and unusual paperweights from around the world:

By now, the online auctions at L. H. Selman Ltd. were so well established that Selman did not need to travel to London and New York auctions to acquire paperweights for his customers. As the presence of L. H. Selman Ltd. on the internet grew, offers to purchase rare pieces began to surface from hitherto-unknown collections in Eastern Europe. Once again, Selman found himself traveling to Europe to buy paperweights, but this time from individuals rather than at auction. Trips to Poland and Belgium yielded a rare Pantin Lizard magnum paperweight, as well as a one-of-a-kind glass ring, possibly from Russia, both of which sold at record prices.

Rare Pantin magnum lizard paperweight

Unique “Russian Ring”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the most fascinating facets of buying and selling paperweights over the years has been learning about the stories each piece has to tell. Provenance is important in all fields of collecting, of course, and each paperweight has its own history—whether we know the details or not. In a case like the rare Russian Ring, and Jokelson’s Bird in the Nest, the unique story is lost to history. But when someone is able to unearth the history of a particular paperweight, it is an exciting and satisfying find.

Paul Jokelson’s famous “Bird in the Nest” paperweight which he found in Paris

The stunning Baccarat Quadrille from the Gaylord Collection.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Selman recalls, “Over the years, we have watched particular pieces change hands numerous times. In some cases, we helped parents build a fine collection; and then when it was time to pass it on and their children were not interested, we had the pleasure of selling the collection again in one of our auctions. Of course, one of the most gratifying aspects of our career in glass paperweights has been getting to know such wonderful people. Our clients were consistently delighted with their acquisitions, and rarely did we ever encounter a collector who was dissatisfied. Life really doesn’t get any better than this!”

Marti Selman takes notes for an appraisal for a collection coming up for auction.

Passing the Torch:

With the business established for forty years, and the thought of retirement lurking in the back of his mind, Selman consulted with numerous professionals about how he might retire. But his business model didn’t fit the mold of the people who help to sell businesses. “My accountant told me to just reduce the prices and have a huge sale,” recalls Selman. “Of course, I wasn’t about to do that.”

Eventually Selman reached out to his collectors in an email, asking if anyone knew of someone who might be interested in acquiring the business. Out of several responders, the family of Wes Clark (who had been avid collectors for many years), kept surfacing as the best successor to carry on the legacy of L. H. Selman Ltd. / The Glass Gallery. On July 15, 2009, the sale documents were signed and plans were made to move the business to Chicago, where Mitch and Ben Clark would operate out of the Fine Arts Building, appropriately just down the street from the Art Institute and Arthur Rubloff’s world-class paperweight collection.

The Clarks kept the L. H. Selman Ltd. name, and continue to offer online auctions, gallery events and collector’s weekends, while promoting the new work of paperweight artists as well as educating the public about the art form.

Larry and Marti Selman (right) “passing the torch” to Ben and Mitch Clark

Post Script:

Since selling the business to the Clark family in 2009, Selman has returned to his early passions of photography and playing early music on the viola da gamba. Larry and Marti have traveled extensively for bird and street photography.

Selman’s ongoing passion for photography can be seen at the following websites:

For birds:  http://www.MostlyBirds.com

For black and white street photography:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/lselman/

Most recently, Larry has gone back to his early passion of playing the viola da gamba with other lovers of early music.

(At left) Larry Selman playing viola da gamba at the home of Michael Foote, Tucson, AZ

Photos courtesy of L. H. Selman Ltd. archives and photo collection of Larry and Marti Selman