L.H. Selman, Ltd. is pleased to announce our Winter 2019, 71st Glass Paperweight Auction, featuring 336 lots, antique and modern, as well as choice paperweight-related objects. Initial Bidding commences Monday, February 25th at 9:00 am CST. Initial bidding ends on Monday, March 11th at 5pm CST by phone and at 11:59pm CST by Internet. 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 begins on Tuesday, March 12th.
We recommend that you give the catalog’s Conditions of Sale a careful examination for a full understanding of the protocols, and please note that we have adjusted the language on our condition statements. A key can be found in the Conditions of Sale on page 62 of the catalog. Please call the gallery with any questions about these changes or the auction format, and don’t forget, we’re always happy to send additional images, videos or condition reports upon request.
You can also make an appointment to see every lot in person at our gallery in Chicago, 410 S. Michigan Ave., suite 207. We would love to see you all in person! If you prefer to place any or all bids by phone, or have any questions, just give us a call at 1-800-538-0766.
IF NONE OF THIS MAKES SENSE WE’RE BLAMING IT ON SPRING FEVER, AFTER WIND CHILLS OF 52 BELOW HERE IN CHICAGO, OUR BRAINS ARE STILL FROZEN!
We’ve consulted the eminent Chicago law firm, Dewey, Cheatem & Howe (Get it?) and they’ve assured us that we’re not the responsible types. And while we’re discussing these critical issues we want to take this opportunity to crush a couple of nasty rumors that have been flooding the Internet:
No. 1 – We never park the paperweight-mobile in a lot so that we straddle the lines and take two spots. Nope, that’s not us.
No. 2 – It is a bald-faced lie, that we ourselves secretly only collect Bakelite and bottle caps.
Now that that’s done – On to the Hunt! Let’s start at the beginning, shall we…!
Gazing at the Sorcerer’s Dessert!
We just learned a new word last night just in time (on television no less) and it’s called for here. ‘Ensorcell’ is the word. (Why it took so long to learn a word that came into being in the mid-16th century is embarrassing…) But we are definitely ensorcelled, or enchanted by this work, filled with a magical cloud of tiny stars, whose shifting densities giving the appearance of quiet movement, gentle undulation. The softly colored and exquisitely positioned trefoils resemble a line of delicate frosting on a cream topping off a decadent French dessert displayed on the Sun King’s table in Versailles. This work should be edible – it was certainly baked well enough! Call for details of the recipe!
This Will Look Great Parked Next to Your Vintage Sports Car!
We move now from the quietest pastels to a riot of vibrant reddish orange canes absolutely carousing (there’s no other word for it!) around more than a dozen brightly attired and proudly posturing Gridel portraits. There’s also a very interesting cane with an elegant white bird wearing the world’s tiniest shamrocks for footwear. No Blarney! Ask for a close-up! You may think you already have an antique Baccarat with Gridel silhouettes and a perfect red, white and blue “1848” in the waistband, but this weight could take pride of place in the category. Even the canes below the sightline are perfectly poised with one another. This is an exciting weight. It’s a crime that the 19th century glass master didn’t get to sign this one!
Before the Palme d’Or at Cannes or the Souvenir Henri Desgrange at the Tour de France There Was …
… THE GOLD MEDAL at the Exposition Universelle, Paris! That is what was awarded Pantin in 1878 for its magnificent glass on display. Glass creations such as this pink dahlia just may have had something to do with that. Each petal of this gorgeous dahlia seems filled with a little breath of air and has an abundantly lifelike quality. The dark green stem and variegated leaves (and nascent bud) are also very natural in their hues. This also has an extra heavy lead crystal and a generous dome. Don’t think you can wait for this impressive tour de force (French, get it?) to ever come around again. Try for it in earnest now or be content with cutting out the picture you see here.
A Cabbage for Car Buffs!
This very rare Baccarat is a compact classic. Fully loaded with a gleaming finish and custom (star-cut) detailing. No, not a ’57 Thunderbird…better- maybe a ’57 Baccarat. Under 10% of antique Baccarat roses sport this kind of ruffle trim and red linen interior. And this beauty has the original “4 on the floor” shift stem system with 4 vibrantly lush leaf groupings. As the Beach Boys used to sing – you want the pink slip on this baby! (Okay – that’s just the receipt of ownership). One other thing – this has an incredible sunroof; serious light magnification. Just get used to catching everyone’s eyes when you’re seen with this one! Cool sunglasses required.
♪♪…Nobody Does it Better…♫♫
Even the English, with their sometime incomprehensible reserve, would have to admit that this “Is a bit of all right!” Stateside we have to say that this is simply one of the most visually pleasing weights the glass masters at Baachus have ever produced. Gentle as a fresh pillow, the weight contains a wonderful variety of canes both large and small that jostle comfortably in a pastel sea dotted with deeper color accents. The interplay serves to both define a satisfying pattern as well as to create a dynamic visual, and all in a very subtle framework. The center complex cane, dominated by pinks is a gossamer wonder with its outer circle of canes partially translucent and looking as if they might just float away. And a tip of the English hat to Her Majesty comes in the form of the allusive hollow oak leaves. Even James Bond, when confronted about a romance with a beautiful foreign spy, snapped back, “What I did, I did for Queen and Country!” Loyalty! Nobody does it like the English.
Just Recovered From a Major Museum Robbery!
This large gem, fresh from a daring 1995 New Year’s heist at the New York Historical Society is here offered …Excuse me – what? It was de-accessioned legally and sold at Sotheby’s that year? Okay…well, at least that makes an interstate sale a bit easier for our bookkeeping. So anyway, this beautifully disciplined concentric millefiori with a range of lively and sophisticated colors, and dominated by various lush shades of green is quite extraordinary. The contrasts are a delight to eye. If you need a weight to go with your tux and top hat you might consider this on your favorite table at the Stork Club. And it has a white spaced stave basket below embracing transparent blue within as a finishing touch. The perfect table setting. 13 crisp Clichy roses at no extra charge!
Sometimes, Beauty Really Is Everything!
We heard of a rumor going around that we’re pre-disposed to say nice things about paperweights. Fact is, it’s easy to do when you’re staring at the quality and variety we’ve assembled for this time at bat! Lot 14 is an exceptionally well thought-out work with the sizes of the canes increasing very, very gradually as they radiate from the center. While technically a close pack, this comes close to also being a concentric in its formation. The careful suffusion of different reds, greens, blues and whites achieves a harmony, a balance that bespeaks very careful consideration taken in the aggregation of canes in the initial design. (What, you didn’t think we could also talk seriously?!) A stave basket of white and blue separated by thin soft dark spaces provides an almost contemporary flair to the finish.
No Jokes for This One.
A classically well done antique with a rare assemblage of elements on a handsome blue jasper ground. Very heavy crystal. (Did you see where it said “possibly unique,” below?) A commanding, almost noble artwork. A fine addition to your family coat of arms!
This Could Replace the MGM Studio Lion.
Honestly, (okay so we’re wildly exaggerating). But remember the massive lion’s roaring cameo that began every MGM major motion picture? That’s the initial impact this delicately detailed but very impactful and beautiful salmon-colored Baccarat pompon had on us due in large part to the incredible dramatic play of light provided by the generous, even sumptuous melon cut base. The deep and curved grooves in the crystal provide a remarkable contrast of light lines radiating outward from this classic motif. This could make a fine replacement – how do we know they took good care of the lion anyway, he never sounded too happy? And while we’re on subject of nature what’s with the salmon; how did one fish inspire the color palettes of so many glass artists?
If You Knew How Many Forest Floors We Hunted Through to Find This Magnificent Specimen!
For about the same price as a couple of Champignon (mushroom) appetizers (which you pay for after they’re already gone!) at Manhattan’s Per Se French Restaurant on Columbus Circle, you can instead have this magnificent specimen to enjoy. And then enjoy it again tomorrow, and tomorrow! You get the pitch! This lot presents a brilliant example of the art form, an absolutely gorgeous and delicately hued mushroom heralded by a spirited pink torsade, host to a twisting white ribbon dancing through it, and a mercury ring (mercury not included) all showcasing the finest in French art du verre. (Yeah, we’re using Google.) Elegantly signed by the chef on the stem of this champignon au naturel. There’s a lot more to say but we don’t know the language (and Penelope’s off in a meeting)… except “au revoir pour le moment!
Seriously, Who Knew Early Americans Were This Happy?
This delicate effusion of happy and lush pastel canes stacked like a weightless dessert is an unusually joyous piece of American art glass. The paperweight has a generous top facet and six egg-shaped, gently scalloped facets that sensually accentuate the height of the work and effectively magnify the delightful ruffled and lacy canes to where they expand upward to fill the space. White and baby blue cog canes form a low stave basket and jettison from the center of the base in a wonderful design that looks like a dramatic explosion frozen.
More Than Just Another Pretty Odd-Looking Face!
This is seriously depressing to write. Really, this man accomplished more in his sleep than the rest of us here have while awake! With a young adulthood that included being beaten regularly by his brother while assisting said brother with his printing press, then fleeing Boston penniless and later being cheated out of several months wages by the governor of Pennsylvania, Benjamin Franklin of course then went on to help birth the country while discovering (in his spare time), electricity and also inventing the forerunners of half the things you use and depend on today. That’s frankly (yes, intentional pun) too impressive to comprehend and likely the reason we don’t celebrate this genius the way we should. The comparison hurts too much. Obviously the man needs a Broadway Musical. But in the meantime you can redeem yourself by acquiring this very finely rendered likeness of the man whom many scholars think of as one of the two greatest Americans. (No, the other is not Tom Brady.) Yes, it was made in France but after all, we modeled our own revolution after theirs. And not long after we won independence the French sold us the rest of our future country for a song. It’s just too bad they didn’t own it. And “odd looking” – well some sources claim that it was Ben’s first wife’s first reaction upon seeing him. Thankfully he wasn’t perfect. The weight is, though.
The Breath of Life Itself…Held Forever!
This looks natural and effortless, a look all artists aspire to accomplish. Feel the elements, flowing around in the glass almost casually – it breathes; nothing is forced or too stylized; we’re especially taken with the graceful line work on both the leaves and the blueberries. The bee is stunning of course, and here also the single human figure (or spirit person if you meditate) integrated quietly and effectively. Pleasing and harmonious colors. The magnification in this dome is unusually strong and illusionistic. Playfully lyrical and perfectly executed.
No Need for Panic!
Well, weren’t we pleased to discover that an Agoseris is such a strikingly beautiful multi-tiered flower, and not something dragging its armored tail around in Jurassic Park! The nascent flower as well as the one in full bloom displays a gossamer delicacy that needs to be seen to be appreciated. With this graceful offering this artist proves again how less can be more. In art works the spaces between are also part of a successful, intentional design, just as the spaces between the words you speak carry their own import. Positive needs Negative to be whole and Chris Buzzini imbues most of his fine work with this simple but profound message.
Okay, Forget Everything We Just Told You!
From the sublimely spare to the strikingly sumptuous; in just two lots! Yes, there is also much to be said for the feeling that this carefully designed celebration (a tired word, we’ll only use it once) of a garden in renaissance brings to your sensibilities. The sensuous curling and folds of the petals combined with a soft spring palette bespeak a limitless fecundity. The six green leaves hosting the design are so deeply rich in hue as to make one think they’ve been recently watered. Here is your garden in a glass. “Enchantment” is a perfect name for this, since “ensorcelled” was claimed by lot 1. And there has been no more dedicated an artist that Rick Ayotte, who spent so much time studying nature firsthand, that the family filed a missing persons report each morning to get him home for supper.
Think of It As a Visual Vitamin for the Soul.
Not only do good things come in small packages—some of the best things do also. Such is the case at hand. This modest at a glance little offering, half-hidden in our display, nonetheless catches our eyes every time we walk past. A compact ode to life that punches above its weight, as they say. Meticulous variegation in the lifelike leaves embracing incredibly subtle gradations on the berries. This is so well and lovingly done we should be allowed to sell each berry separately, but management says no, if you win the lot, you get the entire cluster!
“Who can turn the world on with her smile…?”
10 points if you caught that. That’s right. If you peer closely into this joyful tale of a young woman coming into her own as she’s coming into the big city, you can almost imagine the hint of a smile on her face while she strides triumphantly through her new home. You can see the auction catalogue for an explanation of the biblical labor that brought this uplifting little biographical profile into being. We’ll say here though, that the trees in spring flush and the light-catching crystal ground rising to meet her all serve well to create a sense of fine storytelling supported additionally by the stylish painting of the happy-to-see-her city. She’s got this hands down. After you scan left on the lot 120 to see the extra photos, feel free to ask for even more details; this work offers a multitude of different visuals. And with this work of glass art (7 layers) behind you, “You might just make it after all…!”
Overwhelmed Yet By All This Happiness?
Clearly spring is coming. This bulbous beauty is another weight that needs to be seen in order to be seen. We mean the leaves on the pansies alone are worth the price of admission. And as nice as our catalogues can be, we can’t always control the look of the final printing. So if you fancy this, please check the online catalogue or call us for extra images that feature the almost iridescent velvet glow of the pansies. Gorgeous. Here Bob has created a design that is stately in its balance and formalism but one that also delights with playful swirls encircling unopened buds and petals on other stems that look to be open almost in laughter! The clear strawberry cut ground brings a sense of movement to perfectly complement the arrangement. This is a mature and confident work.
Too Amazingly Unusual Not to Mention!
Here is another design that begs for multiple images. This twisting, turning, flowering, frightening, incantatory glass artwork that would be at home in the wizard’s chamber in Game of Thrones is somehow also playful. In certain angles with its head bowed and its paws/talons perched like a puppy’s it looks to be waiting for you to throw the ball, or a skull? So there’s something for everyone here, created by a masterful hand. The balance, the harmony between the elements is perfect. Where else will you ever find the most beautifully wrought bell Flowers flowing into the abdomen of a magnificent miniature dragon?
A Classy Piece by a Classic Artist
Ysart’s lively crown cushion also grabbed our attention with its airy flowing ease of motion and direction, as it features a lovely arrangement of delicate flowers with what looks like brushwork from a tiny oil painting palette. There is a lot of motion for the eye to follow, from brushy flowers and delineated stems into the radiating rivers of latticinio. Hey, that’s why it caught our eye; we thought we saw it move!
“We’re Off to See The Wonderful Lizard of OZ!”
Okay, so Kansas isn’t in the UK! This is still a splendid work by Scotland’s own Michael Hunter. We won’t claim this as a piece for the men, but the subject matter, a lizard confidently sitting astride the world in his victorious grasp together with the semi precious silver and gold treasure (captured from the enemy?) enveloping a royal marine blue (or cobalt?) core safely in his clutches resembles more than a few graduation portraits we’ve seen from some of the military academies and business colleges! A perfect graduation gift!
Simply too Wonderful Not to Bring to Your Attention!
We happy to have 18 lovely contemporary Saint Louis weights this time around but since we can’t show them all, this stunning piece won the coin toss. As beautiful as the discipline of mathematics itself, with the most reassuring blue that was ever to infuse a paperweight, this work, just sitting there is the very embodiment of contentment. Let the oceans rise. Let Netflix fail. None of it matters if you have this paperweight at home.
WOW – We lost track of Your Time!!
Okay, you may go home now but we hope you’re excited about just a few of the highlights awaiting your investigation as Auction catalogue 71 begins to wing its way to you. You can also view the auction on our LH Selman site.
As Johnny Carson used to say, “We’re sorry we ran long and couldn’t have Zambor the Magician on tonight, we’ll reschedule…” In our case we’re sorry we didn’t get to pay homage to our Trabuccos, Tarsitanos, Kaziuns, Whitefriars, Lundbergs, Perthshires and a host of other talented performers starring in our upcoming extravaganza, L.H. Selman Auction #71!
Thank you, Goodbye for Now and Drive safely!