Fall Glass Harvest 2020 Brochure

 

DON’T FORGET TO THANK YOUR LETTER CARRIER!

Friends,

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

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

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

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

 

Paul’s Selections: Summer 2020 Auction 75

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

And they require real effort, so show you care!

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

(Click HERE to begin placing bids!)

L.H. Selman’s 75th Paperweight Auction

TO PLACE BIDS CLICK HERE : AUCTION WEBSITE

LIST OF UNSOLD LOTS AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE AT RESERVE PRICES

TO PLACE BIDS CLICK HERE : AUCTION WEBSITE

LIST OF UNSOLD LOTS AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE AT RESERVE PRICES

L.H. Selman, Ltd. is pleased to announce our Summer 2020, 75th Glass Paperweight Auction, featuring 360 lots, antique and modern, as well as choice paperweight-related objects. Initial bidding begins Monday, July 6th at 9am, with competitive bidding beginning on Tuesday, July 21st.

The auction is fully online, hosted on our AUCTION WEBSITE. A web friendly digital e-catalog can be viewed at E-CATALOG, while a printed copy of the catalog is for sale at PRINT-CATALOG. For those of you who have enjoyed watching spin videos of featured pieces, they can be accessed via our YouTube Channel. If you see something to your liking, please do not fail to place an initial bid in order to ensure that you have a position in the competitive bidding that follows in the second half of the auction. Competitive bidding concludes after each lot closes, whereby the Buy-At-Reserve stage commences offering all unsold lots at their reserve prices.

If you’re new to our auctions, or if you would just like a refresher, we recently put together a video explaining the auction process. So we encourage you to watch for a full explanation of our unique slow close auctions, including the different stages, rules and processes. And please call us at (312) 583-1177 if you have any questions

We recommend that you give the catalog’s Conditions of Sale a careful examination for a full understanding of the protocols. A key for condition statements can be found in the Conditions of Sale page in the catalog. Please call the gallery with any questions about these changes or the auction format, and don’t forget, we’re always happy to send additional images, videos or condition reports upon request.

We are currently open to visit by appointment only, so please get in touch to schedule a time to see every lot in person at our gallery in Chicago, 410 S. Michigan Ave., suite 207. If you prefer to place any or all bids by phone, or have any questions, just give us a call at 1-800-538-0766.

Spring 2020 Brochure: Reflecting on the Gift of Glass

 

Hello Everyone. As you all already know, we draw inspiration, pleasure and even strength – often a communal strength – from the Arts. And you are also aware that this is especially true in trying times.

By now, our booklets should have been delivered to your mailboxes. We hope you’ll find joy in these pages. They are filled with heartfelt offerings from artists who have devoted their lives to sharing their love of glass and the art it can become, with you all.

 

All of the paperweights featured in the Spring Brochure can be found on our website under NEW ARRIVALS.

Although we are closed to the public, we can still accommodate shipping online orders. If you’d like to place an order by phone or email, please leave us a message and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

-Your Friends at the Selman Gallery

Auction 74 Winter 2020: Post-Auction Check-In

 

Hello, fellow glass lovers!

So just how do we capture your attention at this point in all of our much too busy lives?  Okay, not at all busy for most of us at the moment—but certainly we’re all overloaded, dare we say inundated … with news, data, information, occasional knowledge and that all-too-rare glimpse of actual wisdom.  It’s a topsy-turvy world just now! There – so much for current events and archaic expressions. We’ll also try not to write a piece here that rivals the length of a Vanity Fair profile or an Atlantic expose… although they are both great periodicals!

Simply put, we at the Selman Gallery want to very briefly thank you for making Auction 74 a success. 91% of the lots sold, and many of you have already received your new paperweights. Notes we have received about what a lift the weights are bringing you make us feel really good about having cat-burgled our way back into the gallery’s building to get the winnings packed and shipped!  Okay, so that was mostly just before the actual lockdown. 

That’s right, we do have a note on our website that may have made you think we were all completely away for the month, and we apologize for any confusion.  At the last minute we all decided to turn down the offer of a staff outing, facilitated by the unexpected arrival of free cruise ship tickets… (Remember, if it’s too good to be true…)  So yes, with our own remote, isolated workspaces and HAZMAT gear, we’re virtually around, although not open to the public. But we’re responding to emails and if you call we will be forwarded your messages and we’ll get back to you.  We’re able to function remotely almost as usual, including shipping. Everything on our website is available. In fact our new brochure will be finding its way to your mail boxes (the real ones) very soon, filled with fine art glass to help you welcome Spring. Yes, Spring is still scheduled!

And that art will help see us all through.  Andre Malraux, the great French adventurer, writer, statesman and Minister of Cultural Affairs wrote in the classic, The Voices of Silence,  “Art is Man’s Revolt Against Fate.”  We bet it sounds even nobler in French.  As long as we have the Arts, we’ll triumph.  Okay, sure, fine rooftop dining and a private swimming pool would certainly add to the zest.  That’s on you.

Back to the auction.  You have all seen many fine paperweights over the years in your collecting.  That makes us a little nervous and keeps us on our toes and keenly focused on the auction selection process each time at bat.  But thus far, we seem to have succeeded in gathering an exciting number of sweet surprises for you to ponder, delight to, strive for and often acquire!  (Okay, yes, occasionally there’s reason to lament…) And yes, Auction 74’s Lot 1 was special, (actually darn special) but so were so many other weights throughout this most recent carnival outing.  Lot 1 was addressed thoroughly in the pre-sale auction blog and it’s obvious that the weight’s connection to the great James Bond and saving the Free World (go back and read the blog!!) played a big part in the battle for ownership.  At least there were no mortalities this time around. Antiques acquitted themselves quite well in general with 35 of the first 40 lots finding new homes among you all. 

Lot 1. Superb and rare antique Russian flower bouquet faceted paperweight.

You seemed happy with the selection of modern and contemporary weights as well, to judge by the excitement in many lots.  Beginning, as is the norm with Paul Stankard classics, we moved on to James Kontes’ voluptuous flowers and fruits and then on to a striking Andrew Byers’ tribute to New Zealand marigolds. Next came the bidding on a glow-in-the-dark Johne Parsley, (more fun to say than “Vaseline”) Lot 101, which went the full 15 rounds!  And you could have chipped a tooth going after the lifelike peaches in Rick Ayotte’s Lot 116. All but one of you has missed your chance at that. We think a New Yorker bought the Hunter Big Apple, and there were gorgeous Trabuccos and Tarsitanos to thrill the eye, and on and on and on…  

Lot 101. Johne Parsley 1993 daffodils miniature paperweight.

We’ll end polishing the list of your newly adopted glass treasures right here (as promised)—although the auction is certainly fun to recap, what with the memories of your phone calls and inquiries, tensions and excitements.  And we also enjoy each and every one of your reported pleasures upon receiving the artworks. It can actually be an emotional experience for us here, as we ride along with you all on the hunt. In other words, we at the Selman gallery take a real pride in being a part of all this.  So in closing, we’d just like to say again, thank you. This is a trying time for us all and we can only hope to find the same strength and good will in our larger social networks that we already have and enjoy in our far flung but nonetheless tightly knit paperweight community. And do keep an eye out for our beautiful brochure, coming soon.

Lot 116. Rick Ayotte 2004 two peaches with blossoms paperweight.

Remember using the great old idiomatic expression, “See You in the Funny Papers?”  Neither do we. That was the 1920s.

But we’ll be in touch, soon. 

 Stay Safe.

Your Friends at The Selman Gallery

 

Updates: Gallery Open By Appointment

Featured

We’re happy to announce that the gallery is now open for visits by appointment only. Please get in touch if you’d like to make an appointment to stop by the gallery.

And of course, our website is still open for orders, and we are able to ship any online purchases.  If you have any questions about availability or anything else, please reach out and we will get in touch as soon as possible.

You can reach us by phone or email, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

We hope that everyone stays safe and healthy during this time.

Sincerely,
The L.H. Selman Team

Paul’s Selections: Auction 74

 

MORE THAN ANY ONE MONTH IN 2020 DESERVES??

SUPER BOWL LIV.:  FEBRUARY 2

THE ACADEMY AWARDS XCII.:  FEBRUARY 9

VALENTINE’S DAY MDXXIV:  FEBRUARY 14

We understand what you’re thinking; these are or were nice warm-up distractions, – but when’s the MAIN EVENT?

(we’re glad you asked)

As the Curtain Pulls Back on the Main Stage, We are Proud to Announce …

THE L.H. SELMAN LTD.’s PAPERWEIGHT AUCTION LXXIV:  FEBRUARY 18 

“Late February days; and now, at last, Might you have thought that winter’s woe was past; So fair the sky was and so soft the air.” William Morris

That’s Right, kids!  We’re classing up the joint with nothing but those Roman Numerals and 19th century quotes to let you know just how important this month is in your lives.  And rightfully, it’s been building to a fitting climax…

The Gridiron and Hollywood have their places.  But here now, is the real world, the world of magnificent glass paperweights – where clearly, (too obvious?) we offer you such incredible opportunities in the world of fine glass art, that all the other dates in February should just be embarrassed.  Really? Average resale price for a ticket to the Super Bowl reached $9,000. (high of $46K!) while the market value of the Swag Bags at the Oscars has been reported to cash out at around $215,000. (No, that’s the correct number of zeros.)  And trust us, you won’t even find a handy caliper tucked inside those giveaways like we had in our bags at “Celebrate the Paperweight!”  The Nerve. And don’t even think about the real cost if Valentine’s Day goes really, really, well! (Adjusting for inflation and figuring on say, three children and the inevitable mortgage – well, we’ll need the Roman Numerals to figure out that impending cost.)  

So, I think we’ve determined which of these monumental dates is offering the best deal in town here, right? You can have a wonderful experience participating in our exciting Winter 2020 Auction at absolutely No Cost!  Really! No…wait a minute – actually that’s provided you don’t win anything, and what fun would that be? Answer – NO FUN!

So be glad you passed on attending the Super Bowl.  And since no regular folks are even allowed to buy tickets to this year’s Academy Awards, you likely would not have qualified for an Oscar Swag Bag – so that leaves True Love and Fine Glass.  No Comparison, We Know! Now the considerable savings you’ve realized from passing on the rest of February events can really be put to intelligent, long term and rewarding use. (We mean paperweights, not mortgage payments and college tuitions.)

So Without Further Ado, (who said that, Ed Sullivan or Bill Shakespeare?) let us to the main event.  

FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE!

LOT I (1).  Superb and rare antique Russian flower bouquet faceted paperweight.

Now we know what everyone in that movie was really after – our own very special LOT 1!  

“From Russia With Love” is supposedly based on a Cold War attempt to spirit a Russian decoding device called a Lektor, out of Constantinople–but anyone with a crosshair scope can see that the Lektor’s case was actually designed to protect special art glass, with room left for a dagger and a belt of Krugerrands.  (Our own President Kennedy listed From Russia With Love as one of his 10 favorite books, and the film was the last that he saw before going to Dallas in November of 1963.)  Word on the street has it that it might have been author Sir Ian Fleming himself who successfully retrieved this magnificent Russian magnum faceted paperweight.  With faceting that gives the impression of a massive rare gemstone and that harbors a full garden of nestling velvety florals, we’re pretty sure the Hermitage would be pleased to see this lavishly textured masterwork returned to Mother Russia for free.  Fat chance – Bond risked his life to get it, and you deserve a chance to enjoy it. But if you don’t measure up, it could also possibly wind up in the Queen Mother’s collection. Word is she’s got money to burn, with Harry off the payroll!  

 

ARE YOU READY FOR GENETICALLY ENHANCED ART?

LOT III (3). Rare antique Baccarat four-flower bouquet with “thousand petal” pink rose paperweight.

Remember the 1957 film Man of a Thousand Faces?  We don’t either.  But here we have the flower with a thousand blooms, or close to it, anyway.  This entire garden on a stem is all the more amazing when you realize that the original French glass masters had to have learned something of the Principles of Inheritance from one Gregor Johann Mendel (1822-1884) the Father of Genetics. (Remember how the high school pea experiments smelled?). Mendel was finishing his studies at the University of Vienna around 1845 and we think it could only have been he who shared something of his discoveries with the Boys of Baccarat.  This is one crossbred beauty! And this is your chance to support art and science at the same time!

GOT MILK?  IT WORKS FOR MARIAH CAREY!

LOT XII (12). Antique Bacchus patterned millefiori circlets on sodden snow ground paperweight.

This beautiful weight can be best described as possessing qualities both crisp and smooth simultaneously. Canes with delicately tinted hues are all relaxing in a luxurious milk bath – just ask Mariah “I bathe in milk” Carey; she swears by them as beauty treatments. Yet for all the softness in this surface, there is also a distinct brightness to it.  You’ll never see a more harmoniously delicate palette than in this unusual Bacchus. It is almost reminiscent of a medieval object of veneration proudly displayed in the Library at Trinity College between the Book of Kells and the Book of Hours. (Reference Room Only). And you thought the Dark Ages were Dark? Not by a long shot – providing you don’t count all the forced confessions! 

MORE VOLTAGE THAN THE THIRD RAIL IN A SUBWAY

LOT XVI (16). Rare antique Clichy blue and white barber pole, millefiori and rose chequer paperweight.

Electrically charged barber poles, snake and collide their ways among lusciously large complex canes like bumper cars in a Chinese puzzle, to offer a near psychedelic visual.  A rich and satisfying palette with fabulous canes, including a beautifully executed trademark rose. There is a jazzy, almost vibrating rhythm to this arrangement that makes you think it could almost move by itself. Museum putty on request to hold it still.

WHY OLD ROADSIDE DINER TABLES ARE COOL AGAIN

LOT XXVI (26). Antique Bohemian Riedel close packed millefiori paperweight.

Black and Silver. Sorry, Raiders fans (your team last won a Super Bowl in 1984).  But your colors thrive in this antique Bohemian weight. It’s filled with a beguiling variety of less familiar shapes and colors, all resting on a ground that resembles ultra-cool American postwar 1940s Deco-style kitchen tables and countertops.  And believe it – that period is hot in today’s market. The 40s and 50s are about as antique as the market goes. (You can’t even give away fine Chippendale.) But just don’t try digging up the bits of ‘silver’ scattered throughout the weight. It doesn’t work that way. Remember the end of Raging Bull, (DeNiro won the Academy Award for Best Actor 1981) where Jake LaMotta cut the jewels out of his championship belt to pawn – only to discover that it was really the belt as history and symbol (the jewels didn’t hurt) that provided the value?  So leave the weight alone and enjoy it whole, Jake… 

I’M LOOKING THROUGH YOU, (WHERE DID YOU GO?)

LOT XXXVIII (38).  Very Rare Baccarat Type II blue primrose miniature paperweight.

We hear many discussions about the importance of “transparency” in business and government, and sometimes this applies to the arts as well. The Beatles covered this concept nicely with the hit song, “I’m Looking Through You,” back in the Sixties…  Marcel Duchamp made some of his greatest work of transparent glass. (Put the phone down – we’re not here to quibble…) And the paperweight Oscar for greatest transparent beauty in a work of glass or transparent medium goes to ……. The Baccarat Primrose, with its way too cool for school and totally transparent blue petals!!!  This is a radiating little treasure, (thanks in part to the star-cut base).  And speaking of stars – Elizabeth Taylor would’ve snapped this up as a large earring and commissioned its mate.  Subtle and gorgeous. 

WHEN IS A PEACH NOT A PEACH?  (ASK MAGRITTE.)

LOT CXVI (116). Rick Ayotte 2004 two peaches with blossoms paperweight.

It always makes the hair on our several heads stand on end to read critical essays in the arts that employ that exhausted formula of desperately seeking to elevate a reputation by drawing comparisons in the minds of the readers between the artist under discussion and another who enjoys universal acclaim.  BUT HERE we can say that there is – without exaggeration – a close kinship in quality between the finest Ayotte weights and the paintings of Jan Davidsz de Heem, a true 17th century Dutch master.  Their works are closely related because both artists strive for and achieve absolute verisimilitude in their depictions of the natural world. The peaches, blossoms and almost breathing leaves in Lot 116 hold their own and more against de Heem’s stunning still lifes (yes, that’s the right grammar)- which were among the sought-after highlights of the Golden Age of Dutch painting.  AND, de Heem only had to master 2 dimensions! Ever hear of Stendahl’s Syndrome? It could apply here…you could faint from desire for these fruits.  Eat a good breakfast before looking at this weight.  

AND YES, THE SEEDS WILL KILL YOU …

LOT CXX (120). Mike Hunter 2017 “Patch” patchwork apple hollow sculpture.

If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, and you come to own this glorious specimen, you’ll never again need to even have a check-up.  This apple is a high caliber masterwork by a master worker – a superbly structured glass quilt combining several techniques and multiple patterns; it is a celebration of the possible.  Just don’t eat a full 200 seeds in one sitting, (look it up) or we’ll be getting it back from your estate for another auction… 

MAKE IT A DOUBLE!

LOT CXXXIII (133). Chris Buzzini 1993 Artist Proof lilac and buttercup rectangular paperweight.

You know how in the chicer restaurants these days, the tendency with certain drinks is to include only a single, major league ice cube just a little bit smaller than the glass itself? Me neither.  But we hear from friends it’s a ‘Thing!’ Now we know where the mixologists found their inspiration – the Buzzini Top Shelf Ice Cube Paperweight!  That’s right, kids – fresh frozen fruit has been followed by flash frozen flowers! Thank you, technology! And, this crisp-looking beauty also has a gorgeous ‘green anise’ back that provides the perfect foil for the compact but lively arrangement within.  The sides are icily textured, of course and the weight is cool to the touch. If Fred Astaire and William Powell were alive today, they would quip to the death over which man deserved this treasure. Which would then leave the Buzzini on the Rocks (or Rock) for Ginger Rogers and Myrna Loy to share amicably.  And so it goes…

MORE TREASURES OF THE SIERRA MADRE

LOT CL (150). Bob Banford entwined black snake with spider and ladybug paperweight.

Very spotty job here by Mr. Banford, and we mean that in the best way!  These convincingly shaped and positioned characters might have been just a bit too delightfully unsettling were it not for the deco martini olives two of them are sporting like Versace jackets. Or is this a mirage; is it what Humphrey Bogart saw after weeks in the desert and days out of water?  All three of these creatures look like they’re too cool to rumble. Besides, looks like Ladybug is asking the Sir Snake to tell Mr. Spider that it’s meatless Friday. The artist leaves us wondering. Some say the job of the artist is not to supply answers but mainly to ask the right questions. Maybe they’ll all settle for feasting on the plant.  Maybe we’ll never know. 

LOVE IS BLUE. 

LOT CCXX (220). Baccarat 1994 “Bouquet de lilas” lilacs magnum paperweight.

YES, you old romantics – of course it had to be Frenchmen (Pierre Cour and André Popp) who wrote the little ballad “Love Is Blue,” that was played every single waking minute of the late 1960s and on into the 1970s.  (Laws were passed after that.) When Paul Mauriat recorded it, it became and remained (until 2017) the only performance by a French artist to top the Billboard Hot 100. The song has appeared everywhere from The Simpsons to the closing credits of Mad Men.  And now we know the source, the inspiration for this obsession – a glass paperweight made by – of course – Frenchmen!!  This Baccarat weight is pure blue. It sings blue and whispers blue. It breathes blue. It glows blue. You thought the sky and sea were blue…well, they used to be.  And compared to this glass artwork, the next most beautiful blue in the world looks brown. Oh, wait a moment, our Blue didn’t come along until 1994!  We’re still right!

MISS THE GAME OF THRONES?

LOT CCLXVII (267). Lundberg Studios 1995 dragon engraved surface paperweight.

Well if the Super Bowl didn’t slake your thirst for stylish conflict and violence, you’re in Luck!  Daenerys Targaryen has heard your pleas. (Also, HBO is not doing a sequel, so the dragon’s contract is up and he’s available.)  Honestly, this magnificent Dragon is something to behold! It wraps sinuously and omnipotently around the shimmering golden skies in an effort to circle the world and catch up with itself.  Be relieved it’s not looking your way. Iridescent gold and matte black (actually it’s a very striking translucent amber) have always been one of the most exquisite combinations, frequently employed during the Art Deco movement. Here they are joined to stunning effect. The famed Czech artist Lubomir Richter, who has etched his name delicately at the baseline, has truly outdone himself with elegant cutting that is in equal measure delicate and muscular. Screaming peasants not included. 

 

  Okay, gang, we heard the bell too.  Close your books and mark down your favorites on the palms of your hands in ball point pens.  We’ll see you soon! 

Click here for more information on the auction, to view the digital catalog, or to begin placing bids. 

L.H. Selman’s 74th Paperweight Auction, Winter 2020

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 2020, 74th Glass Paperweight Auction, featuring 360 lots, antique and modern, as well as choice paperweight-related objects. Initial bidding begins Tuesday, February 18th at 9am, with competitive bidding beginning on Tuesday, March 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.

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.

2020-2021 Paperweight Calendar

Tempus Fugit/Time Flies!

So…if you’re trying to navigate the unpredictable events in this coming year and you do not have a complimentary LH Selman Gallery Official 2020 Calendar,

…people might just start to talk about you. So, don’t be ostracized, just give us a call and claim one while they last!

They’re very helpful, with lustrous arrays of mouthwatering paperweights, and yes–all those little boxes nicely laid out for your appointments.  And this year’s edition also includes Larry Selman’s own illustrated historical narrative of the first forty years of this premier operation. Call now. Isn’t your “time” worth it?

                                 HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Paul’s Selections from Auction 73

HELLO AND HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

L.H. SELMAN AUCTION 73!

FEATURING PAUL’S CAREFULLY SELECTED AT RANDOM SAMPLE LOTS 

AND DESIGNED TO GIVE YOU JUST THE BAREST TASTE OF THE UPCOMING FEAST, A SNEAK PEEK AT A FEW OF THE MANY UNIQUE GLASS TREATS WITH WHICH YOU CAN FILL YOUR (BUBBLE-BAG LINED) HALLOWEEN SACKS FROM THE UPCOMING AUCTION – AND HOPING YOU MAKE IT BACK HOME SAFELY, WHAT WITH ALL THE PERILS OF SORCERERS, CATWOMEN, VAMPIRES AND PIRATES LURKING IN THE HOLIDAY SHADOWS, NOT TO MENTION THE MASK SLIDING DOWN ON YOUR FIELD OF VISION AT EVERY DARK AND BUSY STREET CORNER… 

OH WAIT – WE’LL JUST SHIP THEM TO YOU!

WE ALSO WANT TO SAY WE PAID THE RANSOM AND THE AUCTION 73 CATALOGUES HAVE BEEN FOUND UNHARMED AND WILL BE IN YOUR WAITING ARMS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!!

INITIAL BIDDING BEGINS MONDAY OCTOBER 21

 

GRAND STAIRCASE NOT INCLUDED.

LOT 1: Exceptional and very rare antique Clichy close packed millefiori and roses stave basket newel post.

Word on the street has it that this glass masterpiece once resided in the wizard Merlin’s study, and that Camelot only fell because he misplaced it one weekend.  After that disaster he affixed the orb to a solid royal brass base to curb what turned out to be the sphere’s nocturnal wanderings. (Merlin himself can still be seen wandering the neighborhoods around Halloween…) This Clichy treasure now comes with a Wizard and Pirate-Proof red velvet-lined wooden cabinet box complete with a brass handle, lock and key.  Yes, you could buy your way out of conscription in the King’s navy with this landmark. (You know they got half their sailors by kidnapping them!) This weight could be employed as the official Newell Post not just of Windsor Castle, but of the entire Crown.

Of course, that could lead to a war with the French who rightfully claim this Gallic masterpiece.  (Did you know that for 300 years, French was the official language of the Court of St. James?). But truth be told, this glorious crystal balloon would be worth an armed conflict.

Numbering at over 350 (feel free to fact-check and you’ll find 337…yeah, we know,) this kaleidoscope of exquisite millefiori won’t have to fight for your attention.  You’ll barely be able to look at anything else. The field includes a record number of varied rose canes (okay, 30) – and the only thing you’ll need for the perfect setting is a grand marble staircase–or even better, a nice dining room table.  And yet for all its imposing presence, it is also a graceful and streamlined 11th century, lighter-than-air balloon, barely tethered to the earth. Sorry, the helium is extra.

 

NO SELF-ESTEEM ISSUES HERE

Lot 2:  Rare antique Clichy spaced concentric millefiori on moss ground paperweight.

This vibrant glass creation of beautifully rendered canes playing in a breathing carpet of living green, is such a sublime classic, the reference books fall all over themselves with attempts to convey how they can barely attempt to convey in words the extremely high quality on display here. One major volume likens these Clichy paperweights to the finest French tapestries (the moss carpet even shimmers from beneath). And another describes them as being the prized possessions of a few “advanced” collectors.  Well, well, well. We here think differently and we know you’re not going to take that implied slight lying down! You know who you are and so do we (thanks to modern technology). So, sit up and pour yourself a good bourbon, and get in the fight for this stunning standard-bearer of great French paperweights. 

 

EXTRATERRESTRIAL GIFT FOUND IN A METEORITE?

Lot 3: Rare antique Bacchus close packed millefiori encased double overlay paperweight.

This amazingly compact Bacchus creation is unlike anything we’ve seen in a long, long time. 

A world within a world. A beautiful, small planet inside its own tiny solar system, wrapped by salmon-tinted solar winds swirling protectively.  Delicate red stars dance across the surface of this intriguing interior sphere, which is replete with canes of eye-catching complexity.

This enchanting and unusual objet d’ art would in fact have been right at home on Merlin’s shelf.  Thank goodness for the protective glass dome because this is one little planet that looks downright edible!

 

YOU WON’T FIND THESE AT HOME DEPOT!

Lot 14: Rare antique Clichy pair of end-of day scrambled millefiori and roses door knobs.

Actually, it can be difficult to find anything at Home Depot, with one employee every four acres of floor space, but that’s another discussion.  Here we have the finishing touches for the interior door(s) leading into your inner sanctum, i.e., where you keep your many glass treasures. Think about it, just how often do you get to handle any given weight in your collection?  Well, satisfaction is close at hand (get it?) with these gorgeous roses and scrambled canes, welcoming your touch as often as you enter or leave your paperweight cave!

 

STRETCHING A POINT?

Lot 22: Unusual antique English large millefiori mushroom pedestal paperweight.

Some of us wanted to keep this attractive and extreme illustration of the stunning optical properties of glass, for the official Paperweight Foundation mini museum located here at the gallery.  But the consignor somehow sees things differently so it is up for sale! This “party of one” boasts a cobalt blue cross as the center of the cane, and from the top it top looks to be 3/8” in length in both directions whereas the almost microscopic dot it comes to at the base is totally unreadable as anything more than a faint period at the end of a sentence. Amazing visual! 

 

EVERYTHING SOUNDS BETTER IN FRENCH

Lot 30: Antique Baccarat 1846 close packed millefiori paperweight.

Baudelaire, de Beauvoir, Baguettes, Bordeaux, Brie, Brigitte Bardot, Bouguereau, Berlioz, Biarritz, Bugatti and of course – Baccarat.  All Classics. And let’s face it, we’re all a little jealous, aren’t we? Well, you can fix that with this exemplar of the dated close pack millefiori resting on your night stand.  Remember, if we can’t all BE French, we can at least buy their stuff! 

 

BACK TO THE FUTURE!

Lot 57: Rare antique Saint Louis patterned millefiori and squares paperweight.

In a tip of the hat to naval flags and anticipating neoplasticism jewelry from the 1920s Dutch De Stijl movement, (look it up!)  this forward-looking homage to modernist design in art glass is really a little astonishing. A bold and intriguing geometry for an antique paperweight.  (But did you catch our misuse of the term homage to describe something yet to be created!)

 

COIN OF THE REALM

Lot 73: Rare unidentified antique, possibly Clichy, “Bank Notes” sulphide paperweight.

The day is coming when you’ll pay for your groceries with the blink of your chip-embedded eye.  By then all paper and metal currencies will be found in museum print and collectible departments. Get ahead of the game with this Bank Note, safely ensconced in solid glass and start your own museum department today! (By the way, the letters are debossed with the most elegant and delicate blue/lavender ever seen).  Be careful not to jump the gun and encase or laminate too much of your savings – the gesture is not fully appreciated everywhere. As a matter of fact, one of our in-laws had a very early American dollar bill laminated as a way to preserve it and protect its value…but that’s another sad story…. 

 

EVERYTHING BUT SINATRA SINGING ONLY FOR YOU

Lot 93: David Graeber 2010 “Autumn in Chicago” fall chrysanthemums paperweight, from the Chicago series.

All of autumn’s quieter colors are so gently embedded and intertwined with the mums in this weight so as to evoke a sense of absolute comfort and well-being.  Think of the fireplace in your Frank Lloyd Wright designed home; the two of you snuggled in Pendleton blankets in front of the fire and watching the hound chew playfully on your old briar pipe with Thanksgiving looming.  That is but one of the scenes that will appear before you with this quiet masterwork in your hands. The only decision ahead of you is which supper club (“where everybody knows your name”) to make your way to for a candlelit meal, culminating with the best pumpkin pie you’ve ever had.  Yes, THAT is what you get holding this weight.

(Pipe, dog and dessert not included.)

 

SILLY RABBIT, TRIX ARE FOR KIDS!

Lot 333:  Perthshire Paperweights (1994) “Fruit” faceted paperweight.

Nothing really outlandish to say here (except that film director Quentin Tarantino hijacked the meme – take our word for it).  This “lemon yellow and orange-orange” weight is as delightful and cheerful as the old Saturday morning cartoons and their cereal commercials. This compact cornucopia bears fruit both serene and delicious, to combine two words that have never appeared in print together before describing the same thing…

ALRIGHT!  HERE’S WHERE WE APOLOGIZE TO EVERYONE FOR THE 349 WEIGHTS WE DIDN’T GET TO, BUT WE DO HAVE A WISECRACK READY FOR EACH LOT SO JUST CALL US!

AND NO PANICKING! WE HAVE SUMPTUOUS AMOUNTS OF YOUR FAVORITE NAMES AND THEMES AND COLORS AS YOU’LL SEE IN A VERY FEW DAYS!

UNTIL THEN IT’S JUST WEIGHT AND SEE!

(Sorry, we wrote that on a bet…)