Paul’s Selections: Fall 2020 Auction 76

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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.