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!
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…
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!
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.