The Right of Spring Updated!

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That’s right, friends – as we all begin to stir from the long dark cave of winter, (not to mention the whole weird last year) the air is filled with celebration and the scent of freshly realized glass paperweights, ready to clothe the meadows.  In other words, it’s time for the LH Selman 2021 Spring Brochure, and if you’ve made a purchase from us during the last eighteen months, a collectible copy of this publication, filled with Marty’s exquisite photographs, will soon be sprouting in a mailbox very near you.

All the wonderful adjectives that describe this most hopeful of seasons are to be found in these freshly created avatars of design, color and craft, nestled in the pages, planted deep by all the usual suspects in the fine glass art weight pantheon.  Ready to take center stage are the dashing color harmonies and pointillist perfections of Michael Hunter and Damon MacNaught. Over from stage right comes the irrepressible joy of a children’s book brought to life by Clinton Smith – and sweeping in behind are the delightful and thought-provoking botanical explorations by Cathy Richardson, followed by the playful and attention-grabbing interpretations of California’s natural beauty above and below the waterline, that have become Mayauel Ward’s trademark. This is a performance worthy of Broadway, with something for all!  And wait until you see Melissa’s magnum of roses!  Splendid performances by Gordon Smith and Dave Graeber and Chris Sherwin and others are impatiently awaiting by the curtain their cues for a surprise performance.

And the centerfold for the Spring brochure is none other than Mr. Ken Rosenfeld, with an assortment of delightfully conceived and adroitly executed offerings to accompany his groundbreaking interview that is our latest installment in the Pop Bio Series.  Let’s see if we can unveil the man behind the myth behind the artist, or something like that!

Finally, what would Spring be, without a little Spring Cleaning? Right!!  So there just might be a number of fine works with new Spring prices on them, available in the catalogue.  I know – what more could you ask for?   In closing, we apologize for borrowing without permission from Diaghilev, Nijinsky and Stravinsky, but at least no young dancers were sacrificed in a ritual summoning of Spring!  Who needs that when you have the world’s finest paperweights to offer up?

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

Paul’s Selections: Winter 2021 Auction 77

LUCKY SEVENS!

GLASS PAPERWEIGHT AUCTION 77 IS HERE BECAUSE YOU DEMANDED IT! AND FRANKLY BECAUSE IT WAS ON THE SCHEDULE ANYWAY…

Remember when you couldn’t wait to be “21,” the year that ended your career as just another teenager, the year when you knew that everything would finally be so much better?  WELL it’s 2021, people, the second month of the second year of the third decade of the first century of the third millennium – on this, the third planet from the Sun.  Is all of this coincidence, the year we all turned 21 together?  Hardly. What does it all mean?  We have no idea; it was just fun to point out.  And yes, we know 21 is divisible by “7” yielding the sacred number “3.”  We’re still throwing the I Ching to see what it all means, but it’s likely the Fates want each of you to acquire at least 3 weights…or maybe 7?!  Stay tuned.

Anyway, we have a ridiculously talented lineup of glass artists this time around, some of whom you may have heard of already.  From the 360 lots featuring 365 weights (don’t worry; it will all become clear) I’ve chosen a relative handful to pass by you like flash cards, a tease to remind you to take a really good look at all of the offerings, and also please always remember that as finely wrought as our online and printed images are – the weights are just much more beautiful. (They’d better be, or you all would just be saving money by cutting and or printing Marty’s pictures out and sticking them on your refrigerators.)  So kick back and take a quick stroll through a sample variety of the gorgeous creations that we’ve brought together for your viewing pleasure, as they used to say on TV.

DON’T TREAD ON ME

LOT 1. Rare antique Clichy spaced millefiori and roses on moss ground paperweight.

That’s right people, because this is the classic moss ground Clichy you hear whispered about. They are real, it turns out, not mythological. Every now and then there is a sighting – and we have one here. Rapturous reviews of these paperweights have drawn favorable comparisons with 16th century French tapestries.  (And you shouldn’t tread on those, either.) And if you buy this, you can sneak your coveted Clichy into the Cloisters in New York City, where “The Hunt of the Unicorn” tapestry resides, and compare for yourself.  Just don’t let the guards see it because they’ll think you just managed to pocket one of the museum’s treasures.  And be prepared to hear arguments that unicorns do exist!

TOLSTOY, STRAVINSKY, AND THE GUY WHO MADE THIS!

LOT 2. Very rare antique Russian dahlia bouquet pedestal faceted paperweight.

Three titans of 19th century Russian art reside in this title; why is it that the glass masters were often too bashful to claim authorship of their creations? This powerfully constructed chess rook of a “masterweight” (yeah, I just now coined that term) looks Russian from across the room.  The reassuring, masculine geometry of the design is perfectly balanced by the bright and lovely arrangement of dahlias within.  It belongs in a still life painting by the great Ilya Repin, whose name ranks in stature with the others, but wouldn’t fit on the marquee above!

AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM IS ALIVE AND WELL!

LOT 3. Very rare antique Mount Washington four flowers on a vine magnum paperweight.

And the proof is in this stunning and well-documented American masterwork. This exuberant and delicately hued bouquet, guarded by robust leaves and resplendent in the spring dew, once belonged to a true paperweight-collecting dynasty. We define dynasty as one where three generations have shared the passion for collecting fine glass paperweights.  Now That’s how you raise grandchildren!  Ask for more images of this powerful work of art.

YOU HAVE ONE CHANCE TO MAKE A FIRST IMPRESSION

LOT 6. Extremely rare antique, probably Clichy, quince fruit bouquet paperweight.

Here we’re bouncing from the new world to the old—with an almost impressionistic depiction of the quince fruit—so symbolic of the heart of the biblical world, specifically an area known as the Levant.  If that pesky pandemic has put a pause to your plans to peruse the ancient holy lands, then instead of risking travel please ponder the perennial pleasures to be gained from pursuing the purchase of this pear-shaped phenomena.  What…you didn’t know alliteration was prized in the Roman Empire?  Read your classics!

SIMPLY DELICIOUS!

LOT 9. Antique Baccarat 1847 spaced millefiori with silhouette canes on colorful upset muslin paperweight.

The artist who cooked this happy concoction up had to have had dinner on his mind.  The warm and happy colors that you find most often in a busy kitchen are all here; the first half of the visual spectrum is dominant in this fine and dated weight, and is redolent of fruits, vegetables, and baked goods on a white latticinio linen tablecloth.  Charming Gridels fill out the design and form an animal farm around the kitchen.  What did we used to say, “Call me anything you want, just don’t call me late for dinner!”  Lame, I know…

SERENE COMPLEXITY

LOT 12. Outstanding antique Clichy close concentric millefiori aventurine stave basket paperweight.

 A contradiction in terms, you say?  The word complexity usually makes you think of having to make an appointment at the genius bar in the nearest Apple store.  Nay, pilgrim, for though it may be hard to believe, incredible complexity and complete serenity have found common ground in this very unusual gem of a paperweight.  Seriously folks, there is an astounding geometric perfection to this weight; and radiating from this almost hypnotically kaleidoscopic design is nonetheless a sense of calm that is all too rare these days.  A masterpiece. Eat your heart out, Mother Nature; a man made this.  So much for the mathematics of snowflakes!

BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY!

LOT 13. Extremely rare antique Bohemian Dr. W.E. Fuss close packed millefiori paperweight.

Been waiting to use that title, and here, finally is a weight that deserves it!  This is a gleaming little treasure, sporting, dare I say, an ebullient selection of canes ranging from less familiar to the cheerfully exotic.  (Word on the street has it that there is even an “undocumented” cane mixing it up at this party.) Buy the weight and we’ll spill the beans on the great German chemist responsible for this offering.

DARWIN WOULD APPROVE

Lot 78. Paul Stankard 2001 red melon, purple bell flowers, damselfly and mask paperweight.

The title’s description pretty much says it all.  Fecundity reigns supreme in this paean to everything natural.  Only Paul tackles all of creation in a single paperweight and pulls it off, as he unites animal, vegetable and mineral in one fell swoop, or gather, as the case may be.  The gallery’s phrase “worlds in your hand” never rang truer!

WATCH WHERE YOU STEP!

LOT 101. Gordon Smith 1997 tarantula on red desert floor paperweight.

As an artist, I would think that hiring a tarantula as a model for your painting or sculpture to be questionable at best.  But here Gordon is really taking chances, what with his working plein air out in the desert.  Maybe he thought that this way, he could get away without having to pay him or something.  At any rate it’s an impressive and convincing and yes, appealing glass portrait of the infamously hirsute arachnid, set quietly in a really charming terra-cotta, terra firma.

AND TO THINK JACK TRADED A COW FOR FIVE OF THEM?

LOT 117. Melissa Ayotte 2006 “Forbidden Fruit” caterpillars and rosary peas paperweight.

Abrus Precatorius, or rosary peas – are distinctive-looking red seeds with a black spot that are commonly used in jewelry and toys, especially in items from abroad. The entire plant is toxic, but the beans are highly poisonous to humans.  And these happy little caterpillars couldn’t be more pleased, seeing as how they are happily munching on the buds, with no worry of having to share.  Melissa, as you may know, is exhaustive in her desire for verisimilitude and she does a wonderful job here with her recreation of an unusual, yet fascinating tableau. Wait until those caterpillars get thrown out of the garden by Jophiel!

REMEMBER “HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING”?

LOT 121. David Graeber 2020 lilac, daisy and berry all-over bouquet green block paperweight.

That’s right, it was a book that became a musical that became a movie.  Why so popular you ask?  Because it was a blueprint for success without effort.  And so we have here in this extremely well-tailored, block paperweight by Mr. Graeber, the key for your own overdue climb to the top.  Seriously, from the thoughtful but serious-looking translucent green base to the clear and precise rendering of the perfectly positioned bouquet to the sturdy outlines of the dome, this weight says that you are here to win!  This is an executive’s paperweight.  It exudes confidence and capability.  The bouquet shows you have a warm core and the solid vase it rests in shows you are absolutely formidable.  Take it with you to conferences, and carry the day every time!  It will pay for itself in your ever-increasing bonuses!  Oh yeah, men would benefit from purchasing this as well…

THE FERRARI OF THE FOREST FLOOR!

LOT 139. Delmo Tarsitano lace-back salamander and blue flower environmental magnum paperweight.

This is a wonderfully alive, wired into a wall socket, electric blue salamander—whipping his way through the forest floor.  Skeins of gossamer wires made of light and energy wrap themselves around this streamlined, built for speed creature who could outrun you on your best day.  Sleek as a sports car with such vibrant pinstriping that he makes you think only the checkered flag could slow him down!  Delmo provides a hyper-realistic speckled ground and a single bright blue flower for a perfect counterpoint finish.

THE VERY DEFINITION OF PLEASING TO THE EYE

LOT 152. Mayauel Ward 2005 yellow rose bouquet paperweight.

This is a just such a crisp and fresh and airy presentation.   Cleanly scalloped yellow roses might grab your eye first but the delicate color harmony here have your eye balanced as it dances slowly around from flowers and buds to leaves and berries and back again. And take a closer look at those stamens.  A bright and happy creation.

STUDY ABROAD WITHOUT HAVING TO LEAVE HOME!

LOT 175. Loren Stump 2001 murrini portraits magnum faceted paperweight.

Remember “The Grand Tour” where young men and women (chaperoned of course) of centuries past would travel across the continent for exposure to the cultural legacy of classical antiquity and the Renaissance?  It was then the only way to hear certain music and see particular works of art. Well if you acquire Loren’s incredible magnum—you can maybe knock a couple weeks off your itinerary.  Wow! We have here an overview of Renaissance and Baroque Italy with architectural studies and about a dozen pictorial biographies thrown in. This artist has united Italy more successfully than Garibaldi ever did!  There even appear to be some “touristas” thrown in for good measure.  Wait a minute – where’d that cowboy come from?  Just goes to show you – history is always open to interpretation.  Comes with an Honorary Associate Degree in Historical Applied Armchair Travel, Level 3.

NOW YOU SEE IT, NOW YOU DON’T

LOT 214. Saint Louis 1972 millefiori circlets pink carpet ground paperweight.

I bring this lovely Saint Louis to your attention for the benefit of those of you who really enjoy their optical illusions as a cornerstone of their glass collecting. This gracefully designed weight veritably leaps up and “out” to 2-2.5 times its original size.  It’s the classic paperweight optical phenomenon, but on a few steroids.  The illusion, as you turn the glass in your hands will make children laugh and their eyes widen, as if you had just palmed a coin in a magic trick.  Or maybe it’s just me?  It’s the simple pleasures you’re grateful for after this last year.

ART BRUT AND THE WORLD OF PAPERWEIGHTS!

LOT 231. Salvador Ysart dimensional butterfly and concentric millefiori paperweight.

Here we have what I consider to be a gorgeous example of what Jean Dubuffet termed “Art Brut,” an art form exemplified by raw emotion and crude energy. We hope Sal didn’t have some of the traditional primitive and outsider artists’ problems, but here he certainly made something that Picasso may have admired. A fellow Spaniard, Picasso spoke of spending his efforts at “unlearning” and finding the child within.  The color scheme of rich but toned-down colors also has the vibrancy of finger-painting, but the finished weight shows a mature artistic vision and awareness.

SOMEONE CALL TIMOTHY LEARY AND PETER MAX!

LOT 279. Schmidt/Rhea 1988 abstract tubes and multi-colored patches paperweight.

Yes, someone needs to ring these guys up and tell them we found their one and only collaboration.  They thought the dual pseudonyms would fool us?  Take a good look and see if you don’t think it’s them also.  And if you can’t afford an original signed Max, this is the next best thing. What’s that?  Timothy Leary’s dead?  No, he’s just outside, looking in – get out your Moody Blues album for clues!  And as we say, if you can remember the SIXTIES – YOU WEREN’T THERE!

On that note we are returning return control of your visual field to you so you can get on with your day. Remember to call or write with any questions or even to share your opinions, and good luck in the auction!

For dates, facts, and other… useful information… on the auction, click here. 

77th Paperweight Auction: Winter 2021

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 2021, 77th Glass Paperweight Auction, featuring 360 lots, antique and modern, as well as choice paperweight-related objects. Initial bidding begins Tuesday, February 16th at 9am, with competitive bidding beginning on Tuesday, March 2nd.

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.

76th Paperweight Auction: Fall 2020

TO PLACE BIDS CLICK HERE : AUCTION WEBSITE

If you’ve landed here by mistake from our auction 77 email, we made the mistake! Please click the NEXT button in the top right corner.

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 Fall 2020, 76th Glass Paperweight Auction, featuring 360 lots, antique and modern, as well as choice paperweight-related objects. Initial bidding begins Monday, October 19th at 9am, with competitive bidding beginning on Tuesday, November 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.

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.

Paul’s Selections: Fall 2020 Auction 76

 

LAST AUCTION BEFORE SOME ELECTION??

Yes, good citizen, the government goofed and had their big deal election scheduled on the opening day of our Auction 76! Boy did they panic, most likely in fear of no one showing up until after initial bidding that day.  BUT – out of respect and deference to the Constitution, the LH Selman Gallery agreed to move its Fall 2020, Auction 76 from our original launch date of November 3rd to October 19th – after a private request was made by both lawyered-up, chambers of Congress.  Imagine that.  We were the only thing those folks could all agree on!  Something about stealing their thunder on the wrong day in the fine print. It was a pain – guess how tiny 435 faces are, all on our Zoom screen pleading their case!  Well, anyway, we’ve done our part and we know that after you’ve read through the list of candidates that LH Selman is putting forward below, that you’ll see that we’re actually the strongest party—and the most fun party!!  So browse the profiles of your favorite glass roots candidates to see which ones, under close inspection, exhibit the traits and values that best represent your interests in the clear light of day … or under your color-corrected full spectrum quasar series 5 Vista pure Tesla specials.  Because we know you take light seriously!  Also, just where those choices you make, actually stand, are critical – so we’re providing stands (as usual) and you can manipulate your choices to take a stand in any direction you Alone decide.  Feel the Power, but keep the Light on it…

Before we begin, we have the usual disclaimer about how we couldn’t possibly describe all the looming marvels that await your discerning judgment – all TRUE.  Just know that every artist you know and love and every favorite school and style of weight is somewhere in this auction inviting you to consider adopting their own platform!  We chose a dozen lots this time to expound briefly about.  That leaves just 96.67% of the auction for you to investigate on your own.  Sound daunting?  So is choosing the right metropolitan water commissioner.  That’s why we offer extra images and first hand reports on those candidates with the most appeal to you.  Now to whet your appetites…

AND NOW, DETAILS ON A DOZEN DAZZLING LOTS FROM AUCTION 76!

 

THIS WILL ALSO MATCH YOUR FINEST CARRARA MARBLE FOYER

LOT 1. Very rare antique Saint Louis two-colored crown newel post.

There are newel posts and then there are newel posts.  Historically, a fine antique newel post in Europe was a sign of elegant staircase completion, a magnificent cherry on a beautifully constructed ice cream sundae made from old growth forests. (What – you haven’t had Ben & Jerry’s Great Northern Bird’s-Eye Maple Grain Spumoni??) This glass wonder is very nearly as perfect as human hands are capable of, then or now.  Ask to see a variety of extra angles and you’ll see for yourself. It’s hard not to be aware of just how pleased they had to be with how the shape and graceful interplay of the alternating ribbons came out.  Your biggest problem will be finding the appropriate staircase.  Or, you can finally show yourself to be the renegade that you’ve suppressed within you until this very moment, and place this globe of distinction anywhere you darn like!  After all, it is a Saint Louis crown and isn’t your home your castle?

 

NEVER TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING!

LOT 2, Rare antique Baccarat 1848 scattered millefiori and Gridel silhouettes magnum paperweight

So if the Fates came to you and asked of you, “You can only have one, single, solitary, antique Baccarat 1848 (of course with the date!) scattered millefiori and Gridel silhouettes weight, which one would you choose?  SURPRISE!! IT SHOULD BE THIS ONE!  Reason being—this Magnum is simply the largest, healthiest, and most outstanding example of an 1848 Baccarat we’ve come across since Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos donned their robes.  (Ahem, the aforementioned Fates – you thought we were kidding?). The unusual addition of a striking diamond-cut base perimeter quite completes the picture.   Whatever you decide to acquire, just please don’t mess with Atropos, and never, ever ask to see her scissors…. We suggest you just fulfill your fateful destiny and attain this shining example of the artform.

 

MINERALS & SPIRITS (NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH MINERAL SPIRITS)

LOT 3. Antique Bacchus close packed millefiori paperweight.

Oh Wow – You’ve heard of Stendhal’s Syndrome, where the body and spirit reel from an intoxicating artistic experience? If you enjoy that, (and you should, you adventurer) then this is the paperweight for you!  How the ancients managed to create the appearance of precious malachite which has properties of both mineral and gemstone in this glorious stave basket, and also to appear to soak the whole of the design itself in that precious spirit whose name is whispered, ‘absinthe,” is beyond imagination.  Word on the old-world cobblestone street has it, that the secret to the emerald elixir had to do with its distillation through ancient wormwood.  France outlawed the spirit as WWI came along, afraid her soldiers wouldn’t fight as well as the hearty Germans, soaked in beer. Truth – no one wanted to drink the water back then if they could avoid it.  So everyone grabbed a brew and made the conflict possible. On a lighter note there are bustling about in the design – cheerfully delicious red, white and green soft-hued canes various descriptions. They perfectly offset the well-placed crisp and brighter canes for sharp and pleasing contrast. The rare honeycomb cane explains the bees loping in to sniff your cocktail.  And is that really a small line of canes showing (albeit abruptly) the phases of the moon, or have I just been too close to the absinthe?

 

IF YOU ENJOYED HITCHCOCK’S “VERTIGO” TAKE A LOOK AT THIS,

BUT HOLD ON TO THE RAILING.

LOT 4. Rare antique New England Glass Company millefiori nosegay and close concentric millefiori mushroom paperweight.

You have to see the illusion of depth in this beautiful American antique to believe it!  A crisply precise nosegay seems to hover over a thousand-foot drop in the mineral-filled earth, past the crust, past the mantle all the way to daylight again!!  Yes, as you’ve likely not seen before – these beautiful complex canes and their sweet palette of colors are swept down melting like Rapunzel’s golden locks, flowing over the edge of a mushroom-shaped well and lining its interior walls all the way down.  Just the opposite of what happened in real life – where Rapunzel really let her hair down on the outside of a tower for some clown who didn’t mind getting entangled (get it?) in another relationship with a beautiful stranger with a sob story.  Seriously, this offers an astounding illusion of depth, facilitated by the clear and open base – An intriguingly unusual and carefully made artwork you will likely have to fight for, as well you should. And remember, you can fall for this weight; just don’t fall into it!

 

IF AN ANGEL, AGLOW IN THE MORNING DEW, KISSED A STRAWBERRY

AND THEN HANDED IT TO YOU…

LOT 7. Extremely rare antique Pantin three strawberries paperweight.

…IT WOULD LOOK A LOT LIKE THIS PANTIN.  Striking, sensuous, and silky-wet in appearance, it’s a wonder anyone could work back then with such seeming confidence. The strawberries soft naturalism is perfectly balanced with the masterfully dimensional leaves, and how they got the delicate sepals to flip up as casually as wisps of hair on a baby’s brow, we’ll never know. (So unfair when some 4-month-olds have manes like Troy Donahue!) And last but not least we have the translucent and delicately defined stem pathways that ultimately feed the glorious fruit which feeds our mouths and imaginations. Yes, strawberries have always had more than just food appeal. This is particularly apparent in the Prado’s “Garden of Earthly Delights” by Hieronymus Bosch (1455-1516). It’s a complicated picture capable of all sorts of interpretations which sadly we don’t have time to go into (actually we’re not board-certified to discuss…) – but a good reproduction would look very fitting as a backdrop to your new Pantin.

 

POWERFUL CURVES AHEAD

LOT 13. Antique Clichy hexafoil millefiori garland and central rose faceted paperweight

This paperweight possesses more curves than the Golden Age of Hollywood. Yes, with its distinctive pink and green rose center, attended by serene blue and lacy whites—this artwork will fit hand your hand like a true friend.  Every curve leads you to another curve.  The basic design of this paperweight is a hexafoil, which is said to derive from the six-petal lily, a symbol of purity. There are also whispers of the hexafoil relating to “witch markings” which the adults call “apotropaic” marks—the word is from the Greek and it involves trapping and/or warding off evil spirits.  So many reasons to relish this flowing, feminine, antique talismanic artwork in your own collection. Hexafoil designs flourished in Gothic architecture where the six-leaf design with concentric circles were found in homes and public buildings, where they served as signs of protection.  Museum putty included if you decide you’d like to sleep with it on your forehead for maximum protection and serenity.

 

BETTER THAN PAINT BY NUMBERS

LOT 17. Antique Saint Louis 1848 close concentric millefiori paperweight.

It’s hard to describe just how beautiful this antique Saint Louis concentric millefiori paperweight is.  It boils down to the satisfying and delightful harmony created by the neon celery green in visual tension with the electric cobalt, both complemented by the perfect counterpoint of peach, or rose blush and WOW, does that ever work in both setting off and refining the overall palette.  This is as sophisticated and pleasing a color arrangement as you’ll find in an antique weight. Whoever made this in 1848 was pretty sanguine about the fact that all of Europe was immersed in revolution. Some people can just find the “zone” when they’re making art!

 

HAIL TO THE QUEEN, EXCEPT IN BARBADOS (look it up)

LOT 20. Rare antique Baccarat Queen Victoria sulphide on ruby ground footed faceted paperweight.

What can you say about Her Majesty, Queen Victoria (ruled 1837-1901) that hasn’t been said already?  Likely nothing.  Besides, if you actually have some memories of her, you are way too old!  The musical band the Kinks loved her in their own subversive way with the brilliant 1970s homage, “Victoria” and if you want a great history lesson to dance around the room to – while you also totally cringe – there is absolutely nothing better.  Having said all that this is the most elegant and sophisticated sulphide we’ve seen of her.  Quite an affectionate artwork from the French, who, over the years had spent as much time at war with the English as not. Did you remember that French was the official spoken language at the Court of St. James for 300 years?

Oh yeah, Vicky – Barbados just called, they’re moving out of the basement and getting their own apartment.

 

YOU CAN’T SAY OUR ADS DON’T ALSO INFORM!

LOT 129. Debbie Tarsitano “Scarlet Dahlia” paperweight.

The distinctive and energetic individuality of each and every petal in this Debbie Tarsitano Dahlia is something to behold. Each petal is as different from its neighbor as it is similar – quite a feat when one is creating one after another. Now Cezanne’s 2000 paintings (or fewer) – all of some table top fruit, makes perfect sense! (At least fruit for still lifes was real back then – they needed to paint fast.)  And these scarlet petals, these countless, lambent ambassadors of beauty (too much?) all but breathe as they float lightly upon a ground consisting of subtle shades of blue, hair-fine bits of “straw.”  Actually, we reached out to Debbie and found out that “straw” is not the right word. (We do go the extra mile, around here-you’re welcome!)

“The ground is called my ‘Filament Ground.’

It is composed of thousands of hair-like strands of glass. The strands are created from the ends of pulled petals. When I pull petals it produces many strands of hair like glass which fall onto the work table. In the past I swept them up and threw them away.

One day, I decided to collect the strands and store them in a wooden cigar box a neighbor gave me. I saved them for a few years. Then, I thought I could use the glass to make an unusual and new type of ground. I put the strands between two pieces of paper, placed it all on the floor and stepped on it with my foot. Loved the crunching sound.

The result – tiny crushed thin strands of random color glass. I began to use the new ground successfully in my paperweights and sculptures and loved the effect. I realized later that my Dad used hair-like strands in his spider’s nest. He may have come across the same concept, I will never know, as I created mine long after his death. I feel he may have purposely pulled the strands for his nests. I often re-use materials; often discarded materials can be recycled into the work to make something new and exciting.”  DT

 

WINNER OF THE TOO CUTE FOR WORDS CATEGORY IN AUCTION 76

LOT 149. Bob Banford snake on yellow ground miniature paperweight.

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Just ask anyone …

 

WE CAN’T AFFORD AN AD IN VANITY FAIR, BUT WE CAN DROP THEIR NAME…

LOT 218. Baccarat 1987 plum blossoms on ruby ground paperweight, from the Oriental Series.

When French and Asian tastes combine, the results can be serenity itself. When no less a fashion forward maven such as Tom Ford (of Vanity Fair notoriety) markets “Plum Japonais” as a fragrance so, “…lush and exotic, delectable, luscious, sensual…with irresistible complexity…”  you know to kneel at the door while you write the check, and please don’t soil the welcome mat with your grateful forehead.  Tom’s homage to a sacred symbol of Spring (at least where the ume plum is concerned) starts at over $600. for just over 8 ounces.  We have something better in this meditative Plum Blossom Baccarat – a stunningly beautiful and attainable confluence of these two, sublime cultural aesthetics, perfected in glass.  (Remember when 8 oz. of perfume only lasted your one aunt for about a week?). Bamboo mat extra.

 

IN SPACE NO ONE CAN HEAR YOU BID

LOT 273. Philabaum Studios 2006 air bubble and reptile skin-patterned surface design high-domed faceted paperweight.

Here is a really striking and unusual artwork; its design reminds me of something that might have been brought back unwisely from a space voyage under Captain Ridley Scott.  For those of you who haven’t just fled the room, be daring enough to consider this startlingly-designed weight!  It actually resembles an egg-shaped reptilian Hermès Birkin bag with the small issue of your not being able to put anything inside it. However, let’s put that in perspective; in 2015 a pink, crocodile-skin Hermès Birkin, with gold and diamond hardware, sold at Christie’s in Hong Kong for $223,000.00!  Do you really think someone is going to jam that purse full of leaky pens and wallets and water bottles? No.  So, with no quotidian functionality involved, we’re talking rough equivalence here. Except that this beautiful paperweight sits here before you as opposed to your being put on a ten-year waiting list for it (depending on what materials the Birkins are finalized with).   This weight comes with a free copy of the film (ask someone).

 

Okay, glass fanatics, as the candles melt down and the wind howls on the gullies and peat bogs, it’s time for all of you to tuck your notes inside your bonnets and capes and make your ways safely back over the midnight moors to your own castles and time-share condos. And remember to leave room in your imagination for the other 348 offerings in this veritable king’s ransom!  And we beseech thee, oh sisters and brethren of the glass spirits, to watch for the herald bringing the actual auction scrolls to you but in a fortnight’s passing. And did we mention the full moon?

For more information on the auction, click here. 

Fall Glass Harvest 2020 Brochure

 

DON’T FORGET TO THANK YOUR LETTER CARRIER!

Friends,

As we go gently careening into Fall, we notice that there’s a bit of strange excitement in the air, what with summer vacations to exotic European locales having so quickly wound down. And over there one hears the welcome peal of school bells off in the digital distance. Things feel a little different. Rumors abound.  And lately the Weather Channel has been more exciting than Netflix!  Something unusual is in the offing…

What, you cry, is “afoot”?  What does it all portend?  Well…the answer lies with the United States Postal Service.  That’s right, Patriots – it is all about your impending copies of the official LH Selman “Autumn Glass Harvest” which will provide food for both the eye and the soul, as well as bring you all the pleasures of a summer getaway for this and for every season yet to come!  This Harvest is replete with fresh paperweight produce from many of the finest artisanal glass studios in the country—and also includes some gourmet European treats.  That’s right, they’re making glass good enough to eat.  (But please don’t; we still can’t find our copy of The Glass Extraction Guide 2004.)   

So check your mailboxes and get these mouthwatering paperweight menus into your hands, filled as they are, with tasty offerings—and order your favorites quickly as each serving is one of a kind.  You might also act with alacrity, because all the digital mailboxes in the paperweight community will be right behind you in receiving the catalogues in their cybernetic slots.  Enjoy 22 pages of finely selected treats, mostly warm from the oven.  Maybe (no promises) we can get Damon MacNaught, who loves to bake fresh bread for his family (and they DO have a farm!) to throw in a loaf with every one of his specialty millefiori creations.  And we asked Michael Hunter to prepare a recipe for his favorite style of Haggis to be included with each of his perfectly harmonized fields of color.  The list of gourmet glass artists in this brochure reads like an Avengers roll call, and no wonder—they all have super powers in the studio!  There are orbs by Cathy Richardson with wondrous etching, and new short stories painted in glass by Alison Ruzsa.  Cornucopias of flowering plants blossom in all directions by David Graeber and acutely observed landscapes from the desert to the water bottom represent Gordon Smith. Ken Rosenfeld checked in with a quartet of gems including a stunningly charismatic seahorse, while the aforementioned Hunter shows off his new tropical pet, the elegant toucan.   You know all the other names whose works we are grateful to be able to offer you, including Mayauel Ward, Clinton Smith and Chris Sherwin and others.  But time and space being what they are – “we must away ere break of day,” as JRR Tolkien would say…  

And last but not least – don’t forget to examine our back cover this issue; we could be featuring YOU!  

 

Paul’s Selections: Summer 2020 Auction 75

 

If WE were married, this would be our Diamond Anniversary. 

If we were employees, celebrating 75 years of service, we’d likely be sleeping on the job.

And if we were a 75-year-old Buick, we might be sitting around with plants growing through our open hoods, or we might have been melted down and repurposed as suitcases and skateboard wheels.

So thankfully, our 75th is an Auction, where we celebrate – an adventure in paperweights, featuring nothing but good times.  Our stunning catalogue is filled with endless pages of handcrafted, hand-selected, and hand-some works of wonder, and all hand-placed on the shelves! Now we just need a hand from you to help find loving homes (come back from the ledge – we’re done rapping!) for them all.  This auction is so full of quality, you’ll be tempted to pay for your weight twice, just because it will feel like the right thing to do!

So let’s take a quick glance at about 3% of the lots together, shall we?  That leaves the joy of discovering the other 97% of this auction’s offerings to you on your own, aided by our 65-page treasure map!!

AND WATCH MORE OF OUR SPIN VIDEOS THIS AUCTION – THEY CONTAIN VITAMINS FOR YOUR EYES, AND ARE ONLY SECONDS LONG!!!

And they require real effort, so show you care!

And don’t forget, Competitive Bidding begins on Tuesday, July 21st. For more details click on the Auction Blog.

(All right, drawing blind from a bucket with 360 numbered balls, we happened to pull out no 1 first, so let’s chat a while…) 

 

LOT NO 1: Very rare Antique Mount Washington tri-colored rose bouquet and millefiori butterflies magnum paperweight.  

And claiming the number one spot in this high-toned slugfest is an America First, Second and Third level work of Art– all in one exuberant paperweight!  That’s Right, Patriots!  Remember John Prine’s classic 1970s song, “Your Flag Decal Won’t Get You into Heaven Anymore”?  Maybe not, but NOW we have found a paperweight that WILL!!  No Kidding!  And if you ever find that you’re turned away from the Pearly Gates with this Mount Washington Masterpiece in your hands as an entry fee, you may return it for full refund.  Look up the description and take pride in this apotheosis of skilled American workmanship, (with help from the finest immigrant European glassworkers, artisans and artists of the time).  Ask to see close-ups of this glasswork. 

You likely won’t be seeing this again.  And by the way, the Prine song is based on a true story!   

 

LOT NO. 2: Extremely rare antique Pantin pink rose and bud paperweight

Shifting gears from the Mount Washington, with its raw power mindful of a sculpture by Sir Jacob Epstein, we move on to a flower that looks as though it were painted in beautiful dimensionality by none other than Henri Fantin-Latour the 19th century French genius! (Did you guess that?)  This is bulbously deliciously dimensional, a real piece of royal pastry, reigning on a stately white cake…Okay, a cupcake, maybe, but just work with us, willya?

 

LOT NO. 3: Antique Baccarat 1848 scattered millefiori and gridel silhouettes on blue carpet ground paperweight.

This is simply a crisply assembled classic with sparkling canes on a vibrating carpet of the richest blue, and dazzled with a million tiny stars.  Examples of this weight don’t come better than this stellar example.  A high point in any Baccarat collection.  

 

LOT NO. 6: Very rare antique Saint Louis patterned millefiori and dancing devils carpet ground paperweight.

This is an awesome paperweight. What looks like a star cluster or cosmic cloud, slowly peeling back and drawing you into the center of what – the universe or maybe the heart of a complicated flower budding slowly open?  This work sports a very unusual set of interlocking and overlapping cane fields that aggregate to become something that appears organic And wouldn’t you just know it – at the center of everything there are two devils as delicate as an etching by Whistler, sketched with a hypodermic needle in bright red.  At least they’re just dancing – or maybe it’s dancing like in West Side Story, where a social faux pas could get you a lethally sharp rebuke?  You need to call for close-ups of the close-ups on this exquisite paperweight.

 

LOT NO. 15: Antique Clichy close concentric millefiori and roses stave basket paperweight. 

This little garden of lush roses and baby blues is concentrically disciplined but otherwise very playful in its rings of unusually sequenced pastels. There’s a reason Clichy isn’t with us making modern weights.  They knew they had done their very best a century and a half ago, and they’re content to rest on their laurels and read the great press clippings from yesteryear. 

 

LOT NO. 120: David Graeber 2020 all-over cherry and pink blossom bouquet with honeybee swarm orb.  

Just read page 27 in the auction catalogue.  And look up the Glass Art magazine May/June 2020, article, because you really can’t describe this wonderworld – it would take too long.

Let’s just say, “Okay it’s all real inside!”  No one who walks in the gallery believes us anyway!

 

LOT NO. 163: Cathy Richardson 2016 koi engraved surface design paperweight.

With this new Cathy Richardson splashing around on your favorite presentation table, you’ll need little else for a good while by way of classic and classy entertainment.  (You may now dump the 5 streaming services and their 3000 programs.)   This masterful paperweight is akin to a flowing, decorated, transparent silk kimono wrapped around an azure globe—which is covered with an engraved interlocking of playful koi. Every slight tilt of the axis here and you have a notable visual shift in the interplay between the members of this dance academy.  Some of the koi are a bit bold while other koi are a bit …coy (sorry – couldn’t resist!). The sculpture is a graceful demonstration of captivating tension between stasis and motion. The only tension here is that there is only 1 of these, and there are quite a few of you out there.  Sorry about that!  

 

LOT NO.192: Alison Ruzsa 2001 “Technicolor Dance Party” frosted house-shaped magnum paperweight.

You’ve heard that “People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones!”
BUT THEY CAN SURE THROW A ROCKIN’ PARTY!!

That’s Right, folks! Alison Ruzsa is throwing a bash, and people are almost dancing on air! Lot 192 features a splendid shindig with viewing on all four sides of the house.
Intentional, subtle rippling in the glass windows lends perfectly to the rhythmic motion of the colorfully clad dancers, who are generously spaced throughout the dance floor. Turns out that this is the inspiration for the Prince song where they were going to party like it’s 1999! 

 

LOT NO. 247: Noble Effort 1984 clear-encased close packed millefiori marble.

Voted the absolute most fun lot of the auction, this weight combines a colorful children’s toy block or puzzle aesthetic with a formidable and intricate design that draws the eye around and teases you to see if you can look everywhere at once!  Looks like a lot of people want to relive their childhood by fighting tooth and nail for this unusual and coveted toy.  Tooth and nail – yeah, that was definitely kindergarten in my Chicago neighborhood!   

 

LOT NO. 264: Lundberg Studios bird, clouds and stars compound paperweight.

We’re running out of your time, so let’s just finish with this auction’s winner of the “Too Cute for Words” award: ____________________________________________________________!!!

Apologies to all those who lobbied for their favorite lots to be covered and were disappointed.

It’s a good life lesson for you. And a donation of less than $50 gets you nowhere near the front of the line.  So, for the other 350 lots – get over to your computers and open those catalogues!!!

OKAY – THANK YOU ALL AND AS YOU MOVE TOWARD THE EXITS, REMEMBER TO VOTE IN AUCTION 75…!

(Click HERE to begin placing bids!)

L.H. Selman’s 75th Paperweight Auction

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 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.

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