TO PLACE BIDS CLICK HERE : AUCTION WEBSITE

L.H. Selman, Ltd. is pleased to announce our upcoming Summer 2021, 78th Glass Paperweight Auction, featuring 360 lots, antique and modern, as well as choice paperweight-related objects. Initial bidding begins Monday, June 28th at 9am, with competitive bidding beginning on Tuesday, July 13th.

The auction is fully online, hosted on our AUCTION WEBSITE. A web friendly digital e-catalog can be viewed above, 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 the Auction 78 playlist on 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.


And by that of course we mean fans and fanatics of the magical and sometimes maniacal sport of non-contact Bidding – designed for acquiring weights at our midseason / midsummer LH Selman Gallery’s 78th Paperweight Auction! (To Place Bids Click Here for the Auction Website)

Yes, our American mid-summer classic is here. Where once it truly was a life and death game (at least for the Aztecs) the contest now retains the excitement of those glorious days with the added benefit of the fact that in these more modern times your greatest injury may be no more than severe disappointment. But Know This — repeated auction disappointment can require a sling or even a body cast, and you really don’t want it building up in your joints. So don’t let it happen to YOU; act now and sell off all those dusty Bit-Coins and have your chips ready. Thank the gods and cash-strapped state governments for legalizing off-site betting (sorry, we meant BIDDING!) almost everywhere. The weights we have on deck this time around could fill any stadium with admirers, but with the price of gas being what it is – we figure that many of you will just catch the action from the comfort of home and skip the watered-down beer.

 

Note of Caution

Dear Fellow Glass Lover, as per usual this is a fatally flawed exercise; it’s an attempt to bring you some real sense of the overwhelming cornucopia that we offer in every auction. So forgive us in advance for missing your own choices and enjoy a few paperweight backstories with us If you’ve the time … and even if you don’t, please make the time! And if you call about a particular weight we didn’t cover, I can make up a story on the spot, just for you. Now that’s service!

 

AMERICA IS BACK AND MORE BEAUTIFUL THAN EVER!

 

LOT 1. Very rare antique Mount Washington dove in flight over blue rose bouquet magnum paperweight.

 

This quietly effervescent Mount Washington would be an American classic except that it’s SO RARE that we don’t think enough people have actually even seen one for it to be declared a classic! It’s an inspiring, even hopeful design — with the international symbol of peace, (especially since the Picasso sketch in 1949) the striking, lush rose, covered with the blue of well-being, and coupled with bursting buds that celebrate the fecundity of life. This weight is so outstanding you can feel good about charging your friends a fee just to look at it in your home. Soon the weight will be paying for itself, with lines out the door and down the block. Just a thought. Seriously, let the kids find their own ways through grad school. This is your one shot!

 

FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE?

 

LOT 2. Rare Russian antique flower bouquet faceted paperweight.

 

Dangerously attractive, exotic and mysterious – the very definition of a Russian treasure. Yes, of course I’m referring to Dame Helen Mirren. And this glorious Russian weight has all those same characteristics, so the two reminded me of one another. And now to finally unmask the Academy Award-winning Helen Mirren – or should I say … Elena Lydia Vasilievna Mironova! – daughter of a former Russian aristocrat, and a possible double agent all these years!! We think she’s here to entertain and we never noticed that she’s been busy stealing our hearts in plain sight! And we also think there are secrets here never to be told, residing both within the stunning weight itself as well as in Helen’s little black book. At any rate, we know that Mother Russia would love to reclaim both these treasures, but we’re not issuing and visas for either any time soon. The phrase “You can’t go home again,” was originally written with Russia in mind.

 

CAUTION: OBJECTS IN MIRROR ARE CLOSER THAN THEY APPEAR

 

LOT 5. Important and rare antique Clichy spaced millefiori and roses on moss ground paperweight.

This is magnificent. Not only is this a classic Clichy green moss carpet ground paperweight, but this example has the most high-octane and ebullient canes we’ve seen in this V12 sports model. We may have to test this one for crystal steroids. I mean stand back, because each cane in this explosive design has its own set of drums and a microphone, and you doubters should ask for close-ups to see for yourselves. And yes, the almost hallucinogenic and vertiginous curves on this outstanding glass sculpture may lure your eyes a bit out of their sockets. Worth the pain.

 

FRESH SCHOLARSHIP UNCOVERS THE UNCOMFORTABLE TRUTH ABOUT GREAT ART?

 

LOT 6. Extremely rare antique Baccarat close packed millefiori stave basket paperweight.

The word Baccarat has long denoted life lived with an edge, a cut above. From the world’s leading crystal to the dangerous card game played only in casinos by secret agents smoking unfiltered cigarettes—Baccarat sets you apart. Many of you know this but some of you are viewing this exquisite example of one of the glass house’s finest creations for the first time. The myriad, beautifully disparate elements within the dome come together in a seamless and concise visual statement. The overall harmony is so very pleasing that it belies the careful attention to detail that went into its design. As a matter of fact, I think it’s safe to say that the masters at Baccarat have had an undeniable and crucial impact on the work of the great Impressionist painters. The understanding of how color placement affects the eye differently using discrete juxtaposition as opposed to traditional blending may have been learned not from the close study of the natural world after all – but likely Seurat or Monet just brought a couple Baccarat paperweights to the local bistro, and after several glasses of wine and beer, (back then people avoided water whenever possible) our pantheon of painters began to re-visualize the world. How fitting then, that the magnificent Impressionist holdings in the Chicago Art Institute (thanks largely to one prescient and generous woman) would seem to reside on a foundation in the form of the great Arthur Rubloff Paperweight Collection two floors below!!

 

LONG BEFORE MUDDY WATERS THERE WAS CLICHY-LA-GARENNE!

 

LOT 7. Rare antique Clichy blue millefiori chequer paperweight.

 

What? You say that here have been too many songs written about the color blue. There’s even an entire genre simply called, Blues. You may feel blue, or have the blues but can you play the Blues, if you haven’t lived the Blues? And just when you thought you’d been exposed to every shade, tone and tint of blue that there ever was, along comes this fresh-as-a-daisy Clichy filled with slightly electric baby blue filament twists, and dotted throughout with wonderful complex canes. So take a good look and see if you can resist throwing some chips on the table and going all in for a real beauty and a fresh take on the world’s favorite color, dressing the world’s finest art form.

 

WITH ANY LUCK, YOU’LL GET ROBIN WILLIAMS!

 

LOT 10. Exceptional antique Saint Louis flat flower bouquet paperweight.

 

Remember Aladdin’s Lamp? Sure you do. Well the wonderfully twisting stem of this classical arrangement makes the weight, weightless, appearing to rise like smoke from the bottle or lamp. At least that’s how it struck me. (And why is it always Aladdin’s LAMP but then you also always hear about putting the genie back in the BOTTLE?). And boy, it was hard to tell if the Robin Williams’ genie was actually a jinn, or he was just full of gin, so manic was he in the role. Anyway, this weight is beautifully balanced in shapes and colors with the star-cut base providing the icing on the cake – or is it the frosting on the glass? Wait a minute; that’s frost on the glass and ice refers to jewels, right? All this technical nomenclature becomes overwhelming – just take a good look, folks; it’s a knockout bouquet that will add chic styling and enviable pizzazz to your antique holdings. Ask for close-ups!

 

NO MORE BRASS KNUCKLES IN CYBERSPACE, PLEASE!

 

LOT 35. Antique Baccarat macedoine end-of-day filigree miniature paperweight.

 

Just wanted to point out that these playful and compact modernist creations DO come along from time to time. If memory serves, there was some serious dueling recently at auction that had us all a little concerned… OKAY, Just Kidding – it was fun to watch! But truth be told, that iteration was engraved. Here, the macedoine’s design resembles a bright and cheerful little square puzzle in a circular frame; the happy and motion-filled twists are barely restrained by the more delicately spun latticinio segments — and the interplay results in a very satisfying harmony. Lot 35 presents a good opportunity for those of you, who are still not sleeping well for having fallen by the wayside last time around in digital battle over the last macedoine. Who knew a little salad could cause such a stir?

 

HE’S GOT THE WHOLE WORLD IN HIS HANDS

 

LOT 78. Paul Stankard flower bouquet with seed pods and blueberries orb.

 

Sometimes you’ll see Paul Stankard’s name misspelled as Paul “Standard,” and you know what?Maybe artificial intelligence with its aggravating auto-correct is on to something; after all – Paul has set the STANDARD, so it would be only fitting that he owns the very word. This wonderful orb is only a further argument in favor of a name change. Wherever you look, turning this glass earth around in your fortunate hands, you see life in all its manifold glory erupting and uncoiling from the soil, stretching the ligaments of life heavenward. Be grateful
that the fine glass gives the weight’s unbelievably fertile elements a finite universe to explore, or you could wake up one morning on a pillow of ferns and covered in dew, with a full forest inside what was your home the night before.

 

DOING IT RIGHT, DOWN UNDER

 

LOT 100. Andrew Byers 2008 tulip, crocus and daisy all-over bouquet paperweight.

 

Word on the street has it that Andrew Byers has been edging past both Mad Max (look him up) and the lovable Crocodile Dundee to become the best-known and most-loved artistic Australian/New Zealander! Or is it that we’re just a little myopic around these parts? Anyway, Byers is certainly favored among serious paperweight collectors, and here we have a trio of varied designs to satisfy different desires. Lot 100 is especially special if you’ll pardon the parlance, with the artist’s lively constructions and cheerful pastel palette on full display. And just think – you didn’t have to go to the other side of the world to purchase this. Oh, unless you already live over there and want to bring the weight back to the Southern Hemisphere!

 

SEEING YOUR WORK ALL THE WAY THROUGH!

 

LOT 120. Vandermark Merritt Glass Studios 1985 “Orchid” diatreta and insculpture paperweight, by Barry Sautner and Doug Merritt

 

Inspired. In the most fundamental sense, there are two basic approaches to sculpture. You build up or you break down. (There are all kinds of variations and crossover and hybrid techniques, but for our purposes, it holds.) The more difficult of the two techniques is breaking down; that is to say when you begin with a mass of your medium, and you know the finished artwork is trapped or hiding within that block, (whether it’s of wood, marble or glass). You have to free the finished artwork by subtraction. You know what you want to do and likely have made endless measurements in your notebooks because in this approach, mistakes are deadly. Michelangelo was and is the world’s greatest sculptor, and this is how he worked.
A similar dedication is apparent in Lot 120, this small glass masterpiece, where the artists had managed to coax the complex and delicate floral forms out of the solid glass surrounding them, while avoiding terrible accidents (including possible cracks from flawed glass). Think of how the tension must build; the closer you get to finalizing the work the more devastating the outcome of an error. Excavating these wondrous shapes and often gossamer-like designs is not for the faint of heart. You have to be pretty tough to work with these flowers!

 

BEWARE THOSE WHO WALK BENEATH!

 

LOT 144. Jim D’Onofrio 2007 “Blue and Gold Macaw” parrot on a branch paperweight.

 

This remarkable bird situated in its palpably humid environs has the visceral presence of a Fauvist painting in three dimensions. (Fauvism, or “wild beasts,” was a pre-WW I French school of painting.) Seriously, there’s an enlarged detail of the parrot on the inside rear cover of the auction catalogue that begs to be framed. With a coat of breath-taking blue (yeah, that’s an official color name now) this bird perches almost regally on the branch. He’s ready for lunch and someone better be ready to bring it, or else. A marvelously dimensional experience. Ask to see the hologram! Oh, wait those are still in production; until then we can still offer Marty’s magnificent Spin Videos!

 

MATISSE WOULD HAVE ASKED FOR LESSONS!

 

Lot 237. Michael Hunter 2008 “Swirley 2” filigree cushion large vase

 

This looks and feels like a wizard’s magical glass basket! The lively, moving and breathing shapes resemble a school of happy-go-lucky sea anemones in a wild dance! The multiple techniques Michael recruited for the vase’s execution require more explanation than we have time or room for in this setting, so suffice it to say you are in the hands of a true master, who is so very accomplished, he makes it all look a bit too easy. Don’t be fooled. Yes, we know – it won’t fit in your paperweight cabinet, but you do have a table somewhere on premises that would allow you to make a glorious statement with this magnificent creation, don’t you? Honestly, this masterful sculpture has the design and flair of a Matisse! This is so striking, it will set the tone not only for the room it is in, but for any room adjoining that space! And you are going to be the one to own this. Get ready.

 

____________________________________________________________

 

Okay fellow glass lovers, we’re out of time today and we’re raising the shades and letting light back in the room. It’s time to go home and reflect on how much more attention you need to pay to any weight that you see in this auction. If you like something, you really owe it to yourself to contact us with any questions and to request more photographic variations by which you can make more fully informed decisions. For those folks who actually make it to the gallery to review what they’ve chosen online to bid for, they invariably are surprised at two things — how much more appealing are the weights they already favor, but also, how positively struck they are by a good number of other weights that they glossed over and / or missed entirely!

So, don’t be a glosser! Enjoy the catalogue slowly and ask us about anything…

Thank you for your time in an overcrowded world of blogs and postings; we appreciate your
support. And good luck in the auction.

PB

 

 


Great Lakes Paperweights

GO JOHNNY, GO JOHNNY, GO JOHNNY GO!

Frankly, the past Covid-dominated year has been one where I have accomplished some pretty daunting projects and I thought I would be seeing an end, or at least, a slowdown afterward. 2021 was to be a time of transformation in my life; haven’t we all imagined that!

Then the news came.

The Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass had just acquired fifteen Johne Parsley paperweights, to add to its permanent holdings, a gift from the collection of Marge and Gary McClanahan. Their largesse brings the Bergstrom holdings up to twenty Parsley jewels, paperweights that span his late-blooming career as a glass artist. Since Johne’s passing in 2009, I think back on the memory of his celebrated achievements as a contemporary paperweight maker, one of the best of the best. He has earned his place in the hallow halls of the Bergstrom, as well as in other worthy glass museums and private collections worldwide.

Johne’s love for glass was well established early in life. Before he could drive a car, he observed glass making through the bleak, open-door factories of West Virginia. He rode the rails from West Virginia to Chicago to see the “Bohemian glass blowers” and technological innovations at the 1933 Century of Progress International Exposition, in Chicago. With fire in his belly, Johne made small objets d’art, which were sold in New York City’s department stores while he was also a scientific glass blower at the Metropolitan Life Co. During his career as a chemical engineer, Johne built a small studio as part of his humble abodes in Kentucky, Michigan and Pennsylvania. There was no doubt that his passion was wrapped around a pair of cross fires (as well as around his close-knit family).

Johne left us in 2009. His botanical paperweights, when sold at recent auctions, have been snatched up immediately. So it’s wonderful to pay tribute to him once again as part of the Bergstom-Mahler’s New On View exhibition. The upcoming lecture is the fourth in a series of events which celebrate his life and give new meaning to the phrase, “self-made.” Since his death, the PCA arranged for an exhibition of his works at its Toledo, Ohio conference. The three Parsley children, with artists, friends and collectors watching melted his imperfect weights (and per the artist’s wishes) at Wheaton Village in 2018. 2019 gave light to his work in Crieff, Scotland where I met Peter McDougall of the former Perthshire Paperweights. Johne was the first American artist to work at this famed, high-quality glassworks. Their work led to a collection of outstanding piedouche paperweights. The weight showcased Warden Pears and blossoms laid atop white lace canes, encircled by millefiori and perched on a latticinio basket with double torsades — all encased in handsomely faceted optical crystal.

I am privileged to lecture on Johne, the artist, the man and my father on July 8, 2021 at 6:00 PM CDT. Together, we’ll look at his works acquired by the Bergstrom-Mahler and wander through the family images that paint a picture of this self-made man despite the odds of world wars, The Great Depression, and loss of family. Nothing stopped him. “Go Johnny!”
~~~
Please join me on July 8 by logging into bmmglass.com. The 6:00 PM CT lecture will be followed by a question and answer session.

More information on glass artist Johne Parsley can be found at
Great Lakes Paperweights: The Johne Parsley Legacy Project
greatlakespaperweights.org.


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, Chris Sherwin and others are impatiently waiting by the curtain for their cues.

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! To read the full installment click “The Quiet Road Warrior”.

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 paraphrasing our booklet’s title without permission, from Mr. William Wordsworth’s excellent Ode to Intimations of Immortality.  We do believe that if he had only had the opportunity to see a paperweight, he might have written his ode just a little differently!


 No. 7 in the LHS Pop Mini-Bio Series

 

Kenneth Paul Rosenfeld: The Quiet Road Warrior of Paperweights

 

We all know Ken Rosenfeld … or do we?  This button-down but genial artist graduated from the University of California with a BA in art in 1972.  From there he attended Southern Illinois University, where he abandoned his earlier focus on ceramics, falling abruptly for the seductive siren call of glassblowing.  Ken says that having an uncle on faculty made the choice of SIU more appealing.  Despite the fact that Ken reached adulthood during the Age of Aquarius in Timothy Leary’s California and then traveled to SIU—he quietly earned his MFA and emerged apparently unscathed from college life, to apprentice at Correia Glass Studio back in Southern California.  He also increased his skill level during a short employment that followed, with Radnoti Glass Technology Inc.—a scientific glasshouse that nonetheless found time to manufacture fancy lighting fixtures for premier Las Vegas hotels.  (Must have been important clients … )

 

Correia was “a tough place to work,” Ken remembers.  During his stint there, Ken, nurturing more artistic ambitions, attended the 1981 PCA Convention in New York City where he hoped to meet the leading lampwork artists, and familiarize himself with the culture he was considering joining.  He remembers positive engagements with the Kontes brothers and Victor Trabucco.   Ken left Correia with no regrets and by 1983, he had established his own studio where he began creating his own fine glass paperweights.

 

By 1990, Ken and Marilyn, his wife of thirty years, also left California with no regrets, drawn to the quiet neighborhoods around Portland, Oregon with their shockingly clean air and better availability of housing. Marilyn is retired after three decades in administration at Blue Cross Blue Shield.  Ken remembers first meeting her at a dance in his hometown Los Angeles.  Back to the quiet neighborhood. It was 2006, and Ken and Marilyn have recently moved from another home and studio on the other side of Portland.  Ken was close with Gary Scrutton of Parabelle fame, and Ken hired Gary’s brother, Stan, an award-winning architect, to create an efficient glass studio of about 320 square feet for his work.  Spare and simple.  (And Stan worked in exchange for paperweights, every artist’s dream!)  On the outside, it is styled to closely copy the appearance of his home, just a few paces feet away.  It is here that the Rosenfeld magic occurs.

 

Rosenfeld weights are well known for their carefully constructed, straightforward designs and pleasing, often radiant colors.  His delightful flower arrangements run the gamut from spare and stylish to lavish, but it is in other creations such as his contemplative roosters, shimmering Koi fish, and festive scrambles that his wry humor and quiet affection for his subject matter are fully on display.  It really looks like the artist had fun bringing all these elements to life in glass.  Ken says, “I like the directness of lampwork; it’s straight from brain to fingers to glass!”  He then added, “And to the fingers of the collector!”  He feels that there’s an immediate understanding, a more visceral connection between the artist and the beholder, that is made possible by employing lampwork, than by working with other techniques.

 

A surprise came when we realized that this business-like and soft-spoken artist (born in 1950) is also an enthusiastic biker who has, over the years, burned through a dozen motorcycles including four Harleys!  (We further realized that Ken is really smart when he said he would never ride in Chicago!)  Currently he powers his Suzuki Boulevard C50 on the Oregonian backroads. “It’s a diversion, you’re really just IN the moment,” he emphasizes.  So during our first phone call, we abandoned our planned list of stultifyingly technical questions (you’re welcome).  Armed with this new information, we switched to a more appropriate topic, and began to ask questions such as what did he think of “The Great Escape,” the 1963 film classic, and did he think he could have made his stolen motorcycle jump the barbed wire fence as well as Steve McQueen?  Ken slowly furrowed his brow, (yes, we could actually hear it compressing over the phone) as he silently pondered whether we were off our medications…

 

Taking the hint and fearing he might hang up the phone, we switched subjects again.  We asked, “Is it true that behind every great glass artist is a spouse ready with burn ointment?”  Crickets.  Fortunately, Ken reports no serious burns over his long career combining glass and flame.  We also inquired about other issues of personal interest; including whether he collects artworks himself, and what were his other hobbies. What about cooking?  Ken said he only dabbles in the kitchen and he favors Italian cuisine.  On the actual collecting front, Ken is the proud owner of a single, fine Parabelle weight.  He also once owned a serious and “fabulous” coin collection which he sold years ago.  He began with American coins, and later focused on the ancient Greeks and Romans.  Later still Ken grew enamored of Spanish colonial silver cob coins, with a fascinating history all their own!  He also at one time enjoyed the challenge of finding collectable and valuable Kewpie dolls.  Don’t smile; did you know a 1913 small-sized German-produced bisque Kewpie is valued as high as $20,000?  (For you younger readers, collecting was at one time actually a delicious hunt, a daunting but addictive challenge, right up until the all too bittersweet introduction of the internet.)

 

Ken also has an overwhelming passion for painters and painting; he especially loves the landscape and western artists whose exhibitions he attends. Two favorites are Howard Terpning and Mark Maggiori.  He has no immediate plans to trade a torch for a brush, but he does find inspiration in the dedication, craft and attention to detail that are the hallmarks of these stunningly beautiful oil paintings by the best artists in the field.

 

While in the studio, Ken spends a great deal of his time and energy with research and experiment.  Some days he spends hours studying design and naturalist imagery on the web for inspiration and detailed reference points.  He works fairly regular hours but they’re not set in stone.  And he works completely alone, with National Public Radio, the blues, and rock ‘n’ roll, often playing in the background.  He performs all of his own cutting and polishing, preferring not to have to deal with the exigencies of outsourcing the finishing touches.  When he first decided to begin finishing his own glasswork, Ken did some reading, and then went out and bought a protractor, a compass, and stencils of different sizes to teach himself the art of faceting.  He would then transfer a pattern he had created on paper, onto the surface of the weight, holding the pattern in place and outlining it in permanent ink.  “It took months to master,” he says, although the artist humbly adds that his faceting is fairly rudimentary, created only when he decides that it will improve a weight’s design.  Ken is assisted by an engraving machine and a “sphere” machine in his one-man-band operation.  So when Ken says, “It’s a choreography to produce a paperweight,” he’s not exaggerating.  Schott’s advanced optical glass is the artist’s absolute preference to work with and he rues the day when the last available Schott slug is accounted for.   And Ken employs a pair of Cress ovens that subsequently heat and then anneal his Schott glass creations.  It’s engrossing work, and the artist mused aloud, “I do lose track of time when I work.  Time stops.  Maybe aging stops – maybe I can stay young that way!”

Let us know, Ken, but at least your wonderful glass sculptures will always be (as the bard Rod Stewart sings) “Forever Young!”

 

 

Postscript –

 

Word on the street reports that in the film, McQueen’s stolen motorcycle was a 1962 modified Triumph TR6R (disguised as a German BMWR75) and that Steve’s friend and stunt double Bud Elkins did the actual jump.  After principal shooting, McQueen (no longer hampered by a silly contract that stated he needed to stay alive long enough to make the movie) did indeed accomplish the jump.  And we know that Ken could have, also!

 

 


Greetings, Glass Lovers Extraordinaire;

Yes, Along with the Season of Hope, comes

The LH Selman Gallery of Fine Glass Paperweights

NEW WEBSITE!

After much planning and preparation, this digital labor of love is hereby declared online and at your service.  We have been preparing for this moment for a long time, and we share below, a report of our renewed presence and ongoing dedication to the sublime artform of fine glass paperweights.

*We have refreshed and modernized our classic website, with clean lines, (check out the beautiful aqua), more spacious design and easier-to-read text. However, we strove to maintain the old comfort level and so your login information will remain the same, and we expect that what you used to enjoy about our website’s traditional formatting will still be recognizably familiar. So despite the updated look and feel, everything should be intuitive and easy to deal with. However, please let us know immediately of any issues or difficulties that you may encounter, so that we are able to make changes in the very near future. We don’t anticipate any errors, but everything in life is a work in progress.  Just ask any glass artist!

*There is now, for your viewing pleasure, “WELCOME” – a short movie available on our website, and designed to showcase the Gallery. Produced for us by the very talented people at Hike Creative, we hope this brisk little piece of cinema will reignite pleasurable memories of your visits with us over the years. It also can serve to effortlessly introduce your passion to others in a wordless triumph of luxurious imagery!  During the shutdown, while no one was in the gallery, the filmmakers set up their equipment and captured the Selman space in its very best light. There is another video planned that will lavishly record the creation of glass paperweights that understandably, had to be delayed until the artists are able to join us in person.  You’ll find “WELCOME” prominently featured on our Homepage, accompanied by a delicate but ebullient original musical score that may imprint itself upon you and “play” whenever you see a paperweight!

* As part of a major ongoing effort, our most recent auction catalogs are now digitized and available to read online.  More will be made available as time allows, until the project is complete! To access them, you’ll simply go to the “Auction” tab on our Main Menu via our Homepage, and select “Auction Catalogs.” Then click “Read On-Screen” to begin your E-reading experience! From here on, we plan to continue adding forthcoming E-catalogs and other Paperweight Press publications to the platform. In addition, we will, for the first time, have spin videos of selected weights available to view on our main site. Here too, more will be added on a regular basis.  Please check back regularly to stay current with ongoing developments.

Our Gallery is pleased to assist in an effort alongside many of you out there, who are devoted to developing a more complete and accessible aggregation of paperweight-related information—knowledge critical to learning, research, and the serious market.  As we hope you see, we at the LH Selman Gallery are dedicated to helping provide more than a streamlined service platform for paperweight collectors.  We try to serve the field itself well beyond mercantile considerations.  (Yes, there are easier ways to do what we do.)  The work that we put into this Gallery, from conventions to publications, reflects a dedication to expanding awareness of this most exquisite of artforms, and yes, we love helping to carry the torch.  Please enjoy the new website!

 


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. 


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.


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.


 

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.