Want information on the auction, view the catalog, watch the How-To video? Click Here. Looking to be entertained? We’ve got you covered below..:)

I WOKE UP LAST NIGHT TO THE NEWS FEED ON MY PHONE –
THE VIDEO SHOWED ME! I WAS WANDERING THROUGH PSYCHEDELICALLY
STAINED, SHIFTING GLASS WALLS OF A BRIGHTLY LIT CANYON. HAUNTING MUSIC WITH A
NERVOUS PIANO UNDERPINNING SEDUCTIVE VOCALS TILTED THE WORLD A BIT FURTHER…
BENEATH MY FEET WERE SMOOTH AND GENTLY MOVING SQUARE TILES DEPICTING A WORLD
WHERE FINE GLASS PAPERWEIGHTS AND MARBLES RULED OVER EVERY KINGDOM.
THE WHOLE LANDSCAPE WAS IN MOTION, ALIVE WITH OVER-SIZED ARTWORKS
THAT WANTED TO DANCE. INDEED, SOME WEIGHTS WERE RIDING AROUND ON A VAST
TURNTABLE LIKE THE GREAT PAINTED HORSES OF YESTERYEAR’S GRANDEST CIRCUS
CAROUSELS…. SOPHISTICATED SAINT LOUIS WAX SEAL HANDLES IN RED AND BLUE PINSTRIPES
STOOD TALL AND MADE DAPPER COUNTERPOINTS TO THE WILDLY EXPANSIVE FLOATING
SUNFLOWER THAT BADE ME DON SUNGLASSES AS I APPROACHED. A STOUT HUNTER PILLAR
MINUS ITS CRENNELATED PARAPET DOUBLED AS AN APARTMENT BUILDING WITH MARILYN
MONROE GAZING OUT ONE OF THE WINDOWS AT A RACE BETWEEN AN ELEGANTLY ETCHED
ANTIQUE STAG AND A MODERN RACEHORSE SPORTING A JOCKEY. THERE WAS AN UNDERSEA
GARDEN WITH INQUISITIVE SCHOOLS OF BRIGHLY-COLORED FISH AND A BLOSSOMING
MUSHROOM WEARING A CUT GLASS TUXEDO! AND DID I CATCH A REFLECTED GLIMPSE OF A
TORRID RABBIT ROMANCE? HOW DID THEY GET PAST GORDON’S GILA MONSTER SARGEANT AT
ARMS! THE HOSTESS, THAT DELICATELY ROYAL CLICHY OVER THERE ON THE LEFT, SHALL HEAR
OF THIS!
OR, WAIT! WAS THIS REALLY ON MY NEWS FEED IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT??
OR WAS IT ALL JUST A FEVER DREAM – MY STATE OF ANTICIPATION OVER THE UPCOMING L.H.
SELMAN AUCTION 85, PRESSED UPON MY IMAGINATION?
MOVE OVER, LITTLE NEMO –
(AND FOR ANYONE WHO KNOWS THIS REFERENCE, PLEASE CALL ME SO WE CAN BE FRIENDS!)
AND REMEMBER, THIS DOESN’T HAVE TO BE JUST A DREAM – AS LONG AS YOU’RE THE HIGH
BIDDER!


 

 

L.H. Selman, Ltd.’s  Fall 2023, 85th Glass Paperweight Auction, featuring 360 lots, antique and modern, as well as choice paperweight-related objects has concluded. Details on it are below. Our next auction is in early 2024, with another coming in the Summer and then the Fall. Prices Realized are available on our auction website, click the link below to see the auction still online.

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, all 360 lots now have videos available.

By placing an initial bid on a lot, you ensure that you have a position in the competitive bidding that follows in the second stage of the auction. Each lot closes individually, when one bidder is left, and they’ve bid above the reserve price. Competitive bidding concludes after each lot has closed, whereby the Buy-At-Reserve stage commences offering all unsold lots at their reserve prices.

Here is a video explaining the auction process. 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.

We’ve prepared a video featuring a fun assortment from the auction lineup. Enjoy!


Want information on the auction, view the catalog, watch the How-To video? Click Here. Looking to be entertained? We’ve got you covered below..:)


WELCOME!

First… watch the video.

Then, please place yourselves on the sacred mats, thank you so very much…  I was thumbing for a ride through the space-time continuum, past the Boulevard of Broken Dreams and down the Rabbit Hole, to research the truth-bearing Internet, for this blog post for the current LH Selman auction, and I came across a timely article. It is about the meaning and symbolism of the number 84. According to the heavenly extraterrestrials, “84” presents a combination of the energies and vibrations of the numbers 8 and 4.

 

“8” connotes personal power, abundance, and success. “8” is a dynamite number, other than on a pool table.  “4” on the other hand, is indicative of hard work and determination. (It’s the best number of legs to have on your horse.) When we combine the vibrational energies of these two numbers, we get the message that 84 is a sign of manifestation and abundance in our lives. The angels are telling us to stay focused and never surrender, because good things are coming our way. By that, of course they mean fine glass paperweights.

 

Simply put, please feel confident to engage in tireless digital combat—bidding for those weights that you know Heaven intended for only your shelves! Do ya hear? It is no accident that this is Auction #84, but then, as you know it to be the truth in the spiritual realm….  “There are no accidents!”  (Actually, that quote was by Marthe Keller in the 1977 action thriller, “BLACK SUNDAY,” but I digress.) Hell of a film, sorry to cuss…

TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING NEVER APPLIES TO GLASS CELEBRATIONS!

That is why this time, for Auction 84, we’re simply going to peek in at a swinging party already in progress. I mean this batch of fine glass paperweights—the same ones you just swooned to in the introductory cinematic film clip, the one that opens our website. What a group, filled with “A Listers.” Royal antiques rubbing shoulders with brash and talented pretenders to the throne. Every paperweight shape and all styles of guest are welcome here at the fiesta.

From sculptures with multiple facets hovering over a lovingly lush strawberry patch offered by the legendary James Kontes (in a rare public appearance)—to the smooth as glass perfect dome housing an 1847 French Baccarat picture puzzle with the cleanest and clearest date cane you have ever seen. This is the example you’ve been holding out for! Nestled in with these stars is a sparkling optical illusion by Saint Louis, that they call a Honeycomb, and which they have populated with dozens of smiling cherries… or is it actually just 2 cherries and dozens of perfectly scalloped glass illusions?

Checking out other well-dressed guests at this gala and one can’t help but applaud the glistening shimmer of this rare antique Saint Louis upright bouquet with encased green aventurine. I won’t even begin to get into the complex details of what was required to finish off this illustrious gown of glass, but if you care at all for the finest workmanship, you will read Penelope’s eye-opening explanation. (And if at this point, you’re beginning to suspect that we are only selling all these as a museum-worthy set, and well, we pondered it, but even we wouldn’t do that to you.) And WOW, there’s the new Hunter vase. I think Walt Disney had a hand here; the Sorcerer’s Apprentice waved his master’s wand from the top of the studio steps and the studio drawers opened. With that, brilliantly colored canes began popping out and began twirling around the vase to complete the bottom like the feral creatures that finished Cinderella’s dress!

About now you’re starting to worry about me and you’re thinking they had better give me a vacation… yeah, I get it.

Speaking of A listers, the antique Baccarat cross-patterned millefiori garlands pedestal paperweight has a commanding almost “dress uniform” presence. The footed base feels powerful, and the fortress design completes this confident cornerstone of high-end craft. But besides the stately and imposing older guests, there is a group of lively younger attendees such as Mike Hunter, Cathy Richardson and Debbie Tarsitano. Cathy is represented by a delightful trio of vibrantly colored fish, safely ensconced above a bed of colorful corals and protected by an outer ring of carved ferns. One of One, folks! And I think Debbie just may have used something artists are familiar with called “Dr. PH. Martin’s Radiant Concentrated Watercolors” to color the large pansy in her festive offering. These dyes are borderline nuclear in their intensity and that is how Debbie’s center of interest appears to me; it is so radiant!  And over there, tucked almost out of sight, is the Audrey Hepburn of guests, Charles Kaziun Junior’s jaw-droppingly delicate white lilies miniature perfume bottle, with a cobalt blue goldstone ground. I’ve seen photos of the artist, and how his strong hands were capable of such delicate rendering is beyond comprehension.

The real takeaway from this party (and I missed greeting a couple of them!) is that we all need to be going to more parties like this one, that celebrate art, liveliness and beauty. And nothing says that better than fine glass. I wish you could all get down, over, or up to the gallery at some point, especially during auction, to simply wonder at this cornucopia of the finest paperweights available anywhere (I was paid extra to say that) and enrich your existence. We also don’t mind when you buy something….

Good luck in Auction 84, and please call us with any que


Auction Website : Click HERE to Bid

Auction Website : Click HERE to Bid

L.H. Selman, Ltd.’s  Summer 2023, 84th Glass Paperweight Auction, featuring 360 lots, antique and modern, as well as choice paperweight-related objects will begin June 5th at 9am, with competitive bidding beginning June 20th.

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 also be accessed via our YouTube Channel.

By placing an initial bid on a lot, you ensure that you have a position in the competitive bidding that follows in the second stage of the auction. Each lot closes individually, when one bidder is left, and they’ve bid above the reserve price. Competitive bidding concludes after each lot has closed, whereby the Buy-At-Reserve stage commences offering all unsold lots at their reserve prices.

Here is a video explaining the auction process. 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.


This Spring will be Celebrated in Pixels!

With apologies to Mr. Gutenberg and his early printing press, we’ve decided to offer our traditional Spring brochure as a digital presentation only—as we feel we’ll also be seeing most of you in person next month at Wheaton Arts Glass Paperweight Festival, and where you’ll have many of these artists to visit with in person!  But in the meantime, if one of these hypnotic Hunter or gorgeous Graeber creations (or any of the other delightful selections) appeal to you, we would recommend acquiring them now to avoid disappointment!

After paging through the booklet, click New Arrivals to see more images and videos of each piece.

As a tip of the cap to the inventor of the video camera, Louis Le Prince, a video was created highlighting the new designs, you can watch it below.


Arrive here looking for the time/date/link-to information on the Winter Auction? CLICK HERE…

If you haven’t seen the video yet, click play below. More of a reader? Paul’s got what you need below the video!

The Paperweight Circus has once again dropped anchor down at Yasgur’s farm, just outside of town.  And with it, the one and only LH Selman Paperweight Auction 83 is back again under the Big Top!

Put aside last month’s dishes and other cares and woes and indulge in your passions and desires, especially those that center around – (yes, “around” is accepted in informal writing) – the fine art glass paperweights!

So, hold off on your White Lotus Netflix binging for the next little while, and ignore the Duncan Hines special coconut layer cake in the oven. Tell the grandkids you are sorry, and you’ll try hard to make their next graduations… You have to focus!

This is the adult fine art glass world calling…And yes, I know by now that you all know to ask for more photographs and to call with any questions regarding the auction, so I won’t even bother mentioning it here!

Ladies and Gentleman, and …well, frankly, anyone with a working computer or pretty much any stray soul who happens to fall into the doorway with some coin of the realm,  we welcome you back to the joyous fray, to the, dare we say, internecine conflagration of mutually affectionate competition between you and all  your old friends who for better and worse, share your eye for beauty? It is time again to man and woman the parapets, sort of as in days of yore, and fight for the Crown, or at least the Crown weights!

And Remember as You Wade into the Contest—

WHATEVER IT TAKES

is not just a banner for football locker rooms!

The more the world spins and the more historic events that occur, (including last month’s contested revelation that the planet’s molten inner core has halted its spin relative to the mantle) the more we need inspiration, a.k.a. Art Glass Paperweights, to help our souls flourish in this challenging but still very aspirational environment—

As I was just perusing the array of Auction 83 paperweights in our main cabinet, I was of course aware of the dramatic differences in color, subject matter and design.

But more than any distinctions to be drawn, I was struck by the similarities of these sparkling jewels in their sense of purpose.  Each weight is a wave of acknowledgment, a handshake, a tip of the hat, an affectionate glance, a full embrace – to life itself.  And when you buy a paperweight (de notre part) you are doing no less than validating humanity itself!!

 

Get Your Programs and Grab Your Seats…


A TOUCH OF ART NOUVEAU IN HARDSCRABBLE NEW ENGLAND

LOT 2. Extremely rare antique New England Glass Company pink and white rose standard paperweight.

Torn from the pages of history, (in this case specifically page 124 of Glass Paperweights of the New York Historical Society) this weight is defined by Paul Hollister as an “…extremely rare lamp work performance …on a par with similar French work.” And if that is not enough, this is that same exact weight that Paul wrote about, from the NYHS collection. Great referral for a weight applying for a new position in your own paperweight organization!

 

YOU THINK “PLANET OF THE APES” CAME FROM NOWHERE?

LOT 3. Antique Silesian/Bohemian, attributed to Riesengebirge Josephinenhutte, spaced concentric millefiori and silhouette paperweight.

Speaking of history, this weight with a striking central cane of a monkey/ ape might just have been owned (okay, probably not) by Sir Charles Darwin.  He had just published On the Origin of Species in 1859.  We take these designs in stride, but actually, larger monkeys and the great apes were still fairly exotic creatures to the average European, and this rather vibrant design centered on one such, must have intrigued many viewers.

The first gorilla in an English zoo was in 1930.  The Web says that the first gorilla born in captivity was at the Columbus Zoo in 1956. But don’t worry, no foreign government will try to repatriate this artwork from your collection.  We’ll send you the documents as soon as they’re dry.

 

HOW SHARP WERE THOSE VICTORIAN KNITTING NEEDLES?

LOT 4. Antique Baccarat close packed millefiori and Gridel silhouettes paperweight.

A classic weight. This particular example bears an unrivaled intensity for clarity and crispness. It looks as though each cane were rendered by the use of a microscope and hypodermic needle! Ask for close-ups but only if you have a 4K screen at home…!

 

ARTWORK THAT HAS YOUR BACK!

LOT 6. Rare antique Saint Louis blue and white marbrie paperweight.

This royal-looking French weight looks as though it had an actual function; it is somewhat muscular and almost utilitarian. There is an intensity to it.  In this case it may have reminded  people of earlier, hollow-blown glass balls that were employed to ward off evil spirits— again, in days of yore (although we could probably all use one over our televisions and computers). There’s something special about artworks that are beautiful but also look as though they have supernatural powers.

 

IF YOU REMEMBER WOODSTOCK, YOU WEREN’T THERE!

LOT 9. Antique Baccarat millefiore butterfly and garland paperweight.

Some of the butterflies in the antique Baccarat weights have amusing eyes, but this one is different. Here the eyes look intelligent and almost haunted. That makes this an arresting specimen to begin with, but in addition, it is about the largest and most powerful butterfly I’ve seen. On top of that – its luminous, psychedelic wings are perfect to the eye. If you ever wanted a butterfly that could qualify for a Super Bowl flyover, tackle and retrieve unidentified balloons, and baby sit the triplet dragons from the Game of Thrones…you have found it!  You can even offset the hammer price by marketing its likeness to the Air Force for decals on the B-1, an idea approved by Joni Mitchell: “And I dreamed I saw the jet bombers riding shotgun in the sky and they were turning into butterflies above our nation.” What a nice idea.

 

KEEP A.I. OUT OF THE WORLD OF PAPERWEIGHTS!

LOT 11 . Antique Baccarat interlaced millefiori trefoil garlands paperweight.

Very occasionally, antique trefoils are successful to the point where they look almost as precise as if they had been designed using French curves and protractors, but not often. The whole idea of handcrafted glass is that it is, in fact, handcrafted. The joy is found in pursuit of the absolutely most successful artistic realization possible—by the use of the human heart, eye and hand facing off with the most difficult art medium ever devised.  This trefoil represents just such a success. Look closely…no you can’t use a caliper!

 

MORE ROSES THAN THE MOB FUNERAL FOR TONY SOPRANO

LOT 43. Excellent antique Clichy cinquefoil millefiori garland on turquoise paperweight.

Before we take our leave of the venerable antiques section, I would be remiss not to mention a phenomenal offering of a classic Clichy with a wonderful design blessed with a multitude of roses. This weight belongs at the Kentucky Derby, a.k.a. “The Run for the Roses.”  Shakespeare would be envious. It just doesn’t get any better than this.  And as if it weren’t enough, this beauty comes directly from the garden of Art and Joyce Elder.  What is better than a jewel shared by the Elder of the (paperweight) tribe?  Did you wince?   No Disrespect.


I’m being threatened with a loitering charge here in the gallery because I am immobilized by the immense selection of top-shelf contemporary weights.  It’s never easy to choose what to write about in either category, but I could spend the entire blog on one or two pages! So, since the auction has already started and you’re always busy, I’ll try to be brief.


NO WONDER SO MUCH ECCLESIASTICAL ART IS IN STAINED GLASS

LOT 82. Paul Stankard 1986 waterlilies and pads paperweight.

I have waxed poetic in earlier columns about Paul’s weights; those that embody the entire breadth of the natural environment, those that spread a sense of the Spirit and the Divine, and those earlier works of studious discovery of individual plants and flowers. And of course, they all overlap. But this weight, Lot 82, features his slightly less frequent poetry relating to water, the sine qua non, of the elements of nature.  Okay earth, air and fire are pretty cool to have around too. The aqua color of the surface of the water in this work is sublimely calming like no other single color I’ve seen in a weight. And the pads are lively to where they seem wet and alive in the water, dressed in their little flowery friends.  This is an aesthetically and psychically healing artwork.  Take a breath.

 

JUST DO NOT OFFER TO ARM WRESTLE THIS MAN!

LOT 93. David Graeber 2017 lemon and blossom branch fluted paperweight.

With a half dozen of Dave’s weights, it’s a tough decision what example to choose for critically impartial analysis.  (Thanks again for dinner and for the Phillies’ baseball you caught in the stands and turned and gave to me last season at Wrigley Field … oh, also and for my ticket, Dave!)

Anyway, green and yellow lie next to one another on the color wheel but in this masterful exercise, they act more as opposites on the chart as the  brilliant  lemons pop up and out of the rich emerald translucence like mortar rounds, oops, I mean holiday fireworks! And the fluted rib cage gives dynamic lift to the entire design. This is one very alive artwork.

 

“IF THE HOUSE IS ROCKIN’, DON’T BOTHER KNOCKIN’…”

LOT 113. Rick Ayotte 1981 “Redheaded Woodpecker in Oak Tree” faceted paperweight.

The talented and indefatigable Rick Ayotte is well represented here with numerous brilliant works, but you can’t look at Lot 113 without breaking into a smile.  The weight has a great design and is nicely balanced in the facets. Our no-nonsense parent is perched with authority while  Junior peeks out–perfectly framed in the window, waiting for lunch. Only 5 in the edition!

 

ARTISTS PROOF EDITION #1 OF #1 FROM THE ARTIST’S COLLECTION.

LOT 121. Doug Merritt and Barry Sautner 1987 collaborative “Tulip Tree 1” diatreta and insculpture faceted paperweight.

Marty has done a spectacular job capturing the quiet masterwork that is lot 121.  Merritt and Sautner have endlessly pushed the boundaries of small-scale art glass sculpture and its interface with traditional paperweight forms.  The miracle is how Sautner, who died more than 20 years ago, could have produced as many works of genius as he did!  Call us for a recap of the diatreta process, which dates back in part, to the Romans and their work with their finest vases.  This reverse and inverse art technique relates to the traditional glass sculpting in the same way that Ginger Rogers related to the great Fred Astaire. She matched him move by move and step by step, only backwards and in high heels. That’s diatreta!

 

THIS WEIGHT IS GETTING A LOT OF BUZZ!

LOT 134. Chris Buzzini 2004 blueberry and flower bouquet in battuto-cut paperweight.

Sorry, I won’t do that again…

The elegantly scalloped framing provided by the battuto technique caresses your eye and draws it inward.  The faceting provides a genuinely shimmering environment for this exquisitely designed and colored composition.  And, if you buy this, you won’t have to stammer and say to guests, “Well, no, I don’t have a single battuto-cut weight anywhere in my collection.”    Come on, don’t do that to yourself. Step up and live a little!

 

BLACK IS THE NEW BLACK

LOT 142. Ken Rosenfeld 2012 morning glory braided vine bouquet paperweight .

I was all set to comment on lot 141, Ken’s knockout arrangement of an intricate bouquet tucked inside a chandelier when I couldn’t take my eyes off the gorgeous and lively design of lot 142, cushioned on a bed of black velvet. If Astaire and Rogers were holding a paperweight as fashionable as themselves, it would be this.

 

HEY! VALENTINE’S DAY COMES AGAIN NEXT YEAR, TOO !

LOT 150. Gordon Smith (2018) three roses and five buds paperweight.

These three roses and their buds look as though they were woven from a fine pink silk.  Seriously romantic tableau in this weight.  Don’t even think you can pick this up later. Now is your chance. This is destiny calling, whether you want to cement a flourishing relationship or celebrate one’s long success, this is a priceless and timeless symbol of love.

 

THE ONLY PLACE YOU WOULD  WANT TO SEE THEM…

LOT 156. Clinton Smith 2013 inchworms and apples paperweight.

Clinton creates wonderful arrangements that have sophisticated design, but which really appeal to the child inside of us all. These inchworms look as happy as Snow White’s dwarfs marching on their way to work in the morning, except for Grumpy, of course. And there are plenty of happy and healthy-looking apples for the little cretins to tear through by quitting time.

 

NATURE WHIPPED INTO SHAPE!

LOT 201. Mike Hunter 2013 patterned millefiori stripes of roses paperweight.

You realize when you meet him, that Michael is not rigid in person. His untucked Bugs Bunny Alien Invader tee shirt testifies to that.  But when it comes to his work, he strives for the intersection of harmonious beauty and hand-crafted technical precision. Every weight he makes bears witness to this, but I do especially love the lot in question…

 

THE LITTLE ONE YOU ALL MISSED!

LOT 354. Näf Glass 2013 fume vortex and opal marble, by Dan Neff.

Is this the eye of a dragon or a worm hole to the far side of the universe?  Why can’t it be both? The depths of delight this small treasure has to offer can really only be experienced with the human eye, so please get to the gallery if you possibly can!

 

Throwing In the Towel!!

I apologize here for not having room to cover all the weights that truly deserve praise and also deserve to have something true and entertaining written about them—the four perfect designs from Melissa come to mind, Cathy Richardson’s gems, D’Onofrio’s high-energy narratives, the Banford’s delicate baskets, Damon’s dazzling close-packs and on and on and on.  Maybe I’ll try for a blog covering 50-60 lots, next time…that is if I don’t go on a hunger strike waiting to feel the love…

THANK YOU ALL FOR THE INVALUABLE GIFT OF YOUR TIME!

 

 

 


Auction Website : Click HERE to Bid

Auction Website : Click HERE to Bid

 

L.H. Selman, Ltd.’s  Winter 2023, 83rd Glass Paperweight Auction, featuring 361 lots, antique and modern, as well as choice paperweight-related objects began February 13th at 9am, with competitive bidding beginning February 28th. The auction is now in the Buy at Reserve Stage, all unsold lots are available at their Reserve Price in a buy-it-now opportunity.

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 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.


Arrive here looking for the time/date/link-to information on the Fall Auction? CLICK HERE…

If you haven’t seen the video yet, click play below, it’s worth it!

Friends, today a seasoned collector came in and browsed the auction and could not stop noting how affecting and appealing the weights are in person.  That’s right. The finest cameras cannot always capture the shimmering reality of a fine glass artwork in your hand. I’ve long thought that if everyone could appear to preview the auction in-person, we would easily find new homes for 157% of the offerings… In the meantime, DO NOT Hesitate to call or write to us for any extra detailed images!  It is also frustrating being limited to examining 5% or fewer of the weights to highlight in this column, when so, so many are spectacular.  But we keep calm and carry on!  So in lieu of being able to materialize into the gallery, don’t hesitate to ask for further descriptions, detailed images/videos, condition reports, you name it, and more… you’re no bother – put us to work!

____________

A BULKED-UP AMERICAN ALL-STAR

LOT 1. Rare antique Mount Washington pink rosebuds magnum paperweight.

THIS IS A MASSIVE and beautiful Mount Washington Rose poised regally in its own Superbowl Dome.  And I am barely overstating the size.  I recently saw a Cubs vs. Phillies game with a Mr. Dave Graeber, (who was thrown a ball by a Philly player, but I digress) and I estimate that the stadium would just fit into this Washington weight dome.  There are apartments in New York City that – completely empty – would not be able to accommodate this magnificent accomplishment in glass.  Each petal in the rose has a soft fade, resulting in a fabulous array of shades of reddish pink.  Two lustrous buds welcome you like a mother’s hands, outstretched from a healthy stalk, and five robust and well-spaced leaves spread out like rays from the sun. Another American Masterpiece. Hard to see why the French glassworks ever stayed popular, once the Yankees’ operations were in full bloom. One more thing: the better beers at Wrigley Field were $14.00 PER CAN! Save your money for paperweights…!  All jokes aside, this is a monumental Mount Washington weight. It will not only be the centerpiece of your collection, but it will be the centerpiece of your entire base camp!

THERE APPEARS TO BE A DISTINCT POSSIBILITY OF A CHANCE THAT JUST MAYBE…

LOT 2. Antique European, attributed to Russia, 1847 scrambled millefiori paperweight.

Lots of mystery surrounds all things Russian, or all things attributed to Russia. And while they did not invent paperweights, they certainly have some absolutely magnificent examples, this included, of the artform credited to them.  During the later 19th century, Czars Alexanders II & III (and later Nicholas) each instituted major reforms of sorts.  Apparently one of those improvements involved increased aesthetic enlightenment, so a cattle call (no, make that ‘casting call’) went out to European glass artists to come to St. Petersburg and share the creative wealth.  And that obviously resulted in crossover influence.  This handsome, scramble we call Lot 2 is likely a Russian rarity, (the Cyrillic letters are certainly one clue) but such examples are few and far between, so act accordingly and don’t think you’ll see another anytime soon. One thing the Russians did invent, according to them, was baseball.  They called it ‘Lapta’ (don’t ask) and get this – they claim to have put the first astronaut in space!!!  Yuri something or other. Maybe he invented baseball while he was up there.  

LOOK FOR PERFECTION WITHIN, FIRST 

LOT 3. Spectacular and very rare Saint Louis four-paneled close packed millefiori and silhouette paperweight.

IF I COULD AFFORD an antique in this auction, it might be this. Forget what I just said about French glass houses. This weight has the most sublime color scape imaginable. The delicate and sophisticated color arrangements are truly too subtle to describe and do the artwork justice, especially when we can simply and easily send you extra Images on request!  Even Penelope, who is careful with her wording, refers to the weight as being “in the style of the dazzling European decorative gardens…”. By the way, this is the very weight that graced the renowned New York Historical Society collection.  In the 1974 publication on its holdings, the great Paul Hollister labels the piece, “SUPERB!”  And if it’s good enough for Manhattan, it’s good enough for you!

HIT ME!

LOT 4. Outstanding and rare antique Baccarat cinquefoil garland with Gridel canes paperweight.

Just the very word Baccarat conjures up the early scene in the film classic, Doctor No, with Sean Connery as James Bond, playing the elite card game of that name (referred to in the film by the French phrase Chemin de fer), while smoking unfiltered Morlands and looking lethally handsome and all the while winning thousands of English pounds and captivating the beautiful Sylvia Trench.  (Look it up – it happened!)  And yes, that is the feeling this weight will convey to you, dear lover of all things French—albeit through a Scottish actor portraying an Englishman.  This weight has the striking air of sophistication and refinement to match anything I described in the above scenario, translated into fine glass and offering no chance of lung cancer.  Extra charge for Sylvia Trench. 

21 AND OLDER, PLEASE!

LOT 16. Rare antique Clichy close concentric millefiori stave basket paperweight.

This is a compact masterwork. It breathes restrained elegance and sophistication. What you can really only see in person and what also gives this vintage Patek Phillipe of a paperweight a lightness of spirit is a score of perfectly arranged micro-bubbles that sparkle like microscopic diamonds – with the weight in a stand and bathed in overhead light. An adult weight for adults only!   (Unless you’re a kid with money, then call me…)

“MAMA TOLD ME NOT TO COME!”

LOT 21. Antique French, attributed to Grenelle or Saint-Mandé, end-of-day scrambled millefiori and roses paperweight.

Honestly – raise your hands here if you thought we were trying to fool you or If you thought we had the nightshift finish the cataloguing.  YES, this IS an antique; this delightful free-for-all reminds me of several legendary parties from my youth—I only wish that I had been invited to some of them.  And it is not only unusually large for an antique scramble, with a confident, swashbuckling, free-wheeling air about it – it serves as a reminder that FUN is both contemporary and historical, or antique! Have you ever looked at the paintings by Brueghel, of the peasants partying in the fields after harvest? Wow.  And Edgar Allen Poe wrote about a phenomenal blowout of a party – a renowned masked ball people still read about.  Anyway, this rambunctious antique party favor will zest up your collection, and maybe remind YOU TOO, of legendary parties from your youth that you were not invited to.  In the case of Poe, that would have been a good thing…

NO SCHOOL TAUGHT YOU HOW TO MAKE GLASS COME TO LIFE LIKE THIS!

LOT 96. David Graeber 2014 chrysanthemum, lilac and berry all-over bouquets stacked pedestal paperweight.

Remember the revolutionary school of arts and crafts united with new technologies, named the Bauhaus? Me neither; it was closed by the National Socialist Party in 1933.  Although several school leaders fled here to Chicago, and we have many reminders of the Bauhaus ethos, not the least of which are several buildings designed by Mies van der Rohe.  Anyway, the shape of Dave’s lively, stacked pedestal bears an arresting resemblance to certain paintings and ballet costumes created by Oskar Schlemmer, a renowned painter and sculptor and Master of Form at the Bauhaus theatre workshop.  In Lot 96, there is a splendid balance between the two geometric forms, the (head) sphere and the (body) edited ovoid. Together, there is to this viewer, a superbly realized human form standing proudly on a richly warm red translucent base. Otherwise, those at the Bauhaus had nothing on Dave’s flame work… Finally, I would say that this splendidly detailed creation is both monumental and meditative. I swear that if I were lucky enough to buy this it would feel more like an adoption than a purchase.  A brilliant accomplishment.

AND TO THINK WE USED TO TRUST MUSEUMS!

LOT 126. Mike Hunter 2019 close packed silhouettes, murrini and roses with latticinio incalmo vase.

Some have called for this stunning vase to be returned from the British Museum to the Grand Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Which is interesting because that heralded cultural project is not completely finished with construction. The fact is that the British Museum is not in possession of this masterwork. It is LOT 126 here at the Selman gallery in Chicago!!  The British Museum does, however, still hold the Elgin Marbles. (What nerve – not only did the British Museum receive stolen goods, but they also renamed the culturally priceless ancient sculptural frieze they accepted, after the aristocratic clown that swiped them!)  Egyptian scholars who have mistaken Michael’s creation for a five-thousand-year-old masterwork in glass belonging to a pharaoh, have made an understandable mistake. Except that Michael Hunter’s workmanship is simply superior to anything of theirs I can Google.  This vase – created from an encyclopedic array of exquisite glass canes, brilliantly juxtaposed, and spanning decades of dedicated experiment and design –represents an autobiography of the paperweight career of one of our most celebrated artists.  Call for extra photographic details. Museum guard extra. 

YES, THEY SERVE THANKSGIVING DINNER AT THE MGM GRAND HOTEL & CASINO!

LOT 151. Ken Rosenfeld 2020 “Fall Bouquet” sunflower, pinecones, rose hip and pumpkin paperweight.

I was trying to think of why this weight keeps catching my eye.  I realized there’s a comforting sweep to it, a gently arching, somewhat vertical flow and offering a gesture of lush harvest and well-being. I love it.  In the Thanksgiving of my imagination, the assemblage it presents would adorn the old but brightly painted white wooden door of grandma’s small farm; The door opens with her smile close behind and delicious cooking odors filling the foyer. In the Thanksgiving of reality, she sold the farm 6 years ago and is currently living with her sister in a condo in Reno, Nevada. You can find her 7 days a week at the Silver Legacy Resort Casino, where she’s addicted to chain smoking and the slots. Sorry, did I overshare? They don’t pay me extra for this column, but they did tell me I could vent once in a while.  Anyway, you should get this paperweight and create your own new memories of well-being! And on your next holiday visit, bring a dish with you; maybe your own grandmother won’t resent you and spend your inheritance on the pool boys at the Bellagio.

WHERE’S LORD BYRON WHEN YOU NEED HIM?

LOT 164. Doug Merritt and Barry Sautner 1985 collaborative “Tiger Lily” diatreta and insculpture faceted paperweight.

There are delightful weights I have shown but not described, saying simply “Too cute for words,” get it?  But here, there’s nothing to say because I’m not Lord Byron. It would take his gifts to do justice to this workmanship. I mean  Doug and Barry give the finest examples of Roman vases with diatreta work,  a run for their money. And please do take the time to read Penelope’s exquisitely phrased description.  There’s no humorous angle to write about here; the piece is simply glorious!  Maybe Byron would be speechless.  Sometimes the poets just stand back and let it all be…

R.I.P. ROLAND MAX ERLACHER, 1933 – 2022.

LOT 165. Max Erlacher 1970 “The Bird and the Nest” engraved, faceted paperweight.

A lovely example by the master. Born onto the simmering cauldron of 1930s Austria, which was sandwiched between Italy and Germany, Max survived WWII, and after intense technical training in glass, he came to Corning New York in 1957, already certified as a Master Engraver by Lobmeyr, and there he remained throughout his career.  A consummate artist and passionate perfectionist, as well as a teacher and a gentleman, we shall not see his like again…

BUT WATCH OUT FOR THE STROKE OF MIDNIGHT!!

LOT 254. Paul Ysart red aventurine flower crown cushion paperweight.

Without exaggeration, here’s another weight for which you should consider paying us twice. Why? Because the base is stunning enough to merit its own base!  And if you admire fine abstract designs, you’ll relish the playful glassy streams of pristine white, dancing around like the Disney film where fluttering ribbons, cloth and threads assembled in thin air the dress for Cinderella on the night of the Grand Ball. (I think some mice and birds also helped out!) 

Then turn this weight over and you’ll see some of the most elegantly pulled latticinio in paperweight history.  The reds in the dome are of a delicate, watery translucence which provides a perfect ethereal backdrop for the lacy ribbons.  Hey, and what about the center?  Cheerful red petals of the single flower surround a geometrically perfect complex cane center and the lush green stem and leaves shimmer with aventurine. Don’t think of buying this as a gift for someone, because you will never give it away!

“I WATCHED C-BEAMS GLITTER IN THE DARK NEAR THE TANNHÄUSER GATE.” ~Roy Batty

LOT 365. Gateson Recko 2022 “Universe” with Opal Moon and yellow nebula marble.

Looking at this marble by Gateson Recko, I get a delicious sense of vertigo–almost falling into the universe, or should I say Multiverse…or Multiverses!  Several phrases come to mind here about this and weights in the adjoining lots. “Good Things Come in Small Packages.”  “Space, The Final Frontier,” and “We saved the Best for Last!” and even our own, “Worlds in Your Hand!” I mean if there were ever a weight or sorcerer’s crystal where 2 inches succeeded in traversing light years and encompassing the Heavens, THIS IS IT !  Sweeping interstellar vistas reveal everything beyond – from distant nebula to constellations to a delicate rendering of a maybe second Earth!  (Maybe there IS a Planet B!). How in the World (pun intended) did the artist crowbar whole galaxies into a glass golf ball?  It’s so magical, I don’t even want to know. “There are more things in heaven and earth, fellow collector, than are dreamt of in your cosmological philosophy.”  (It also appears that we have inaugurated Space Force just in time!)  This and the other 2-inch wonder marbles will expand your mind. In heaven’s name, watch Marty’s spin videos…no excuses!

—————

Ok, so maybe you akin our auctions to a human-paced waltz, while others compare it to progressive jazz, man. But, with courtesies observed, our current method works very well for most everyone of you.  In our auctions you can answer the doorbell without missing your favorite lot. You can take a walk, or go to a party! Live your life, you know we will be in touch if needed, which we hope you appreciate as much as we do.  Our connections with you during the sale, and our literal physical connections to the lots in auction right now, make us your ally and friend.

We appreciate your business, your bids, and your patience if you’ve made it this far… thank you.

Now get to your bids page! Click HERE to visit the auction website. 


Auction Website : Click HERE to Bid

LIST OF UNSOLD LOTS AT RESERVE PRICES TO PURCHASE : HERE

L.H. Selman, Ltd.’s  Fall 2022, 82nd Glass Paperweight Auction, featuring 366 lots, antique and modern, as well as choice paperweight-related objects began October 17th at 9am, with competitive bidding beginning November 1st. The auction is now in the Buy-At-Reserve stage, where all unsold lots have been released at their reserve price for instant purchase. This is a buy-it-now opportunity. Preview the list above and buy-at-reserve directly on the auction website, also linked above.

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 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.


Arrive here looking for the time/date/link-to information on the Summer Auction? CLICK HERE

If you haven’t seen the video yet, click play below, it’s worth it!

 

OKAY – LIKE WE AGREED TO, LAST TIME—I AM, THIS TIME AROUND, WAXING POETIC ABOUT LOT 1 AND THEN I’LL JUST TEASE YOU ABOUT THE REST BECAUSE YOU ALL HAVE LIVES OUTSIDE OF PAPERWEIGHT COLLECTING.  (ALTHOUGH WE WOULD ALL AGREE THAT, THAT OUTSIDE TIME ISN’T NEARLY AS IMPORTANT.)

 

Lot 1. Extremely rare antique Mount Washington dimensional fruit bouquet with flowers magnum paperweight.

THE WEIGHT OF HISTORY WRAPPED IN A BEACH TOWEL !

Picture this; late 1960s Atlanta.  The Milwaukee Braves have arrived to put the city on the Major League Baseball map.  The Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Company (with an eponymously named product originally dubbed “a brain tonic and intellectual beverage”) has conquered the market, thanks to following troops throughout the world during the Second World War.  Plans are afoot to vastly expand the airport on the way to making the city, “the Aviation Center of the South.”  In other words, Atlanta has just finally recovered from General Sherman’s criminally sloppy visit. But if you think all that is exciting, keep listening. It gets better.

It is 1968-69 and paperweight dealer Larry Engle works his booth at the DS Clark Antique Show, as is his custom. Larry took part in the professional circuit of antique shows for 52 years before retiring not long ago. He lives in central Florida, but displays his wares in Atlanta three times a year as part of that circuit.

A curious woman has been visiting Larry’s table and examining his weights, over the last year and a half. She would occasionally point to certain artworks and say that she owned similar pieces, but she would never buy anything. Larry doesn’t know what to make of her and finally says, “Well, if I can’t sell you anything, surely you must have something that you would sell to me?” She pauses and says maybe he would like to see a rare Mount Washington. Flash forward one day.  She reappears and brings something large, wrapped very casually in a beach towel, to his table. She is with a man this time and he tries to convince her to keep the wrapped object.  Engle gets the sense they’re married and that the man either is or was a soldier.  She says she was living in France during the Second World War, and that is where she came to possess the paperweights she owns.  Engle had been expecting little when he saw a beach towel, and he is shocked to see the extremely rare Mount Washington fruit bouquet with flowers magnum. It is breathtaking—a nineteenth century, dynamically dimensional creation of fruits, flowers and leaves—robustly sculpted, and filled with passionate color and fearless fecundity.  This glass sculpture emanates beauty, strength and energy.

Larry picks his jaw back up from the floor and they strike a deal. The woman insists that he makes out the check simply to “CASH.” He never sees her again.

Of course, you already know that weight is our Lot #1.

And now it is up to you, the perspicacious and successful bidder, to write the next chapter in the history of this mysterious landmark artwork that somehow made its way east over the Pond and back again, with the greatest conflagration in history as a backdrop.  Top THAT during your curatorship of this weight!  We won’t even get into the legendary conclusion of this weight’s journey, during the Paperweight Collectors Association Convention at the Corning Museum, where two gargantuan collectors vied for the treasure to a photo-finish.

What did you all say?  You have a few more minutes? Okay, if you insist…. So, it turns out that Larry Engle never intended to sell this weight.  At least he made no attempt to do so for the next two decades following his purchase.  His wife Pat saw things a little differently, and there were numerous discussions with her about selling the treasure. To Larry, this landmark paperweight was magical, almost a family member, and thankfully he couldn’t see our look of horror over the phone as he impishly related having once tossed the weight a full 10 feet to Melissa, his young teenage daughter, chiding her not to drop it. He did admit afterward that they were in the backyard on grass and soil, and yes – she caught it.

Flash forward to 1987.  Larry prepares for the big PCA show, which is being held that year at the venerable Corning Museum.  Larry Engle thought he’d left the Mount Washington securely in the family bank deposit box.  He had shown photographs of the weight around to some of his antique clients for information and the pleasure of shared appreciation. So, when collectors Emanuel (Manny) Lacher and Julius Tarshis came to the booth asking if Larry had finally brought it this time, he said no. And as he said no, Pat said “Oh no, actually, it’s right here!”

Yes, horrified readers, Pat had retrieved the Mount Washington from the bank and sequestered it with the Corning-bound inventory. Outnumbered 100 to 1 by Pat and daughter Melissa – Larry Engle finally gives in.  It is now for sale.

Larry names a price, an amount that is intended to allow him to keep the magnificent paperweight. The two heavyweight collectors (get it?)  retired to their corners and brooded, sometimes revisiting Larry’s booth.  Larry Selman had his booth directly across the aisle and told Larry Engle he would never sell the weight at that price.  Larry smiled and replied, “I don’t care, I’m happy keeping it!”

The afternoon wore on. Then finally, Manny Lacher, was walking away from Larry’s booth to again confer with his wife about meeting the retail price, when he saw his collecting nemesis, Julius Tarshis, coming up the aisle toward Engle’s booth.  Larry says Manny Lacher stopped suddenly, pivoted and sped quickly back to complete the sale at full retail minus a modest, last minute discount. We think Larry wanted to avoid having a grown man crying in the aisle.  What a good guy.

And as we said above – “And now it is up to you to write the next chapter…!”

Did I mention that the weight is sensuous and stunning?  Please examine Marty’s excellent spin videos and read Penelope’s wonderful description of this American masterpiece in glass. And fix bayonets for the bidding! Also remember – there’s no crying in paperweights.

At the end of the interview, I asked Larry, “Looking back, you must feel good about having made the sale that day?”

“Well…yes” he conceded, “But I feel like I lost a friend!”

I said, “You mean the losing collector would no longer talk to you?”

NO,” he stressed, sounding like I hadn’t been listening earlier.

“I Mean the WEIGHT!

What a Wondrous Elixir is the Fine Art of Glass Paperweights…!

Well, We’re keeping our word and avoiding the white paper treatment for each and every lot item.  But just call me to discuss anything that intrigues you. Okay, on to more bite-size reflections as promised…

 

Lot 2. Outstanding and extremely rare antique Clichy three flower bouquet paperweight.

PERFECTION, ANYONE?

This is a sublimely successful artwork with a small cluster of clematis blooms, so very carefully rendered that they look as though if you chipped them out of the glass and put them in water, they would keep growing! Seriously! The pistils and stamens are flawlessly executed.  Ask for close-ups!

This is world-class artistic expression joined to world-class craftsmanship giving a TED Talk in fine glass sculpture.  Don’t know TED?  Call me.

 

Lot 3. Antique English, attributed to Bacchus, scattered millefiori on sodden snow ground paperweight

HYPNAGOGIA IN GLASS?

This paperweight should be part and parcel of every therapeutic hypnotist’s bag of magic tricks.  Gloriously idiosyncratic canes bob and weave around, leaving vapor trails  in a seductively cloudy dream bath.  Some of the lusciously colored canes are reaching the surface while others are still emerging from their oneiric slumber. (No, actually, I didn’t have to look that spelling up.)  A basket of emerald staves girdles from beneath and serves as an incredibly elegant futon while you lay back and regress!

 

Lot 4. Rare antique Clichy scattered millefiori and roses magnum paperweight.

LOOKING DOWN UPON A CELESTIAL MAP OF GLASS!

Wow!  For those of you who prefer the crisp and bright light of day to the languid dreamscape of the prior discussion, this weight is the brass ring, and a magnum to boot! Crisply executed (yes, I needed that word twice) and brilliantly colorful, these gorgeously executed canes appear as laser-cut holograms happily floating mid-air around the most regal Clichy rose in memory. What? It won’t fit on your display shelf?  Move the television into the hallway and use the stand.  This is healthier for your eyes, anyway.

 

Lot 6. Very rare antique Sandwich Glass Company basket of pink and white roses paperweight.

YANKEE  POWER

This unusual but accomplished weight has a real devil-may-care, raw and fearless sensibility.  Very early American. The design itself has a rough impressionism that nonetheless results in a satisfyingly executed basket with rows of emerald, geometric abstract shapes topped by swirling flowers that resemble bits of tasty cake pastry applied with a palette knife.  A refreshing approach to a paperweight.

 

Lot 9. Antique Baccarat 1847 close packed millefiori and Gridel silhouettes paperweight.

WHAT DO YOU SAY ABOUT  CARY GRANT AND PATEK PHILIPPE?

That’s right, you’d say they’re out of our league.  And you’d be right.  But there is another classic representative of our high end culture, the complex and beautiful antique Baccarat close packed millefiori and Gridel silhouettes paperweight with a date cane. BUT, this paradigm of beauty and quality is actually well within our grasp—no, not our collective grasp—Your grasp!  That’s right, relieved reader, YOU can afford this well-known classic artwork.  Watch Marty’s spin videos. It’s lucky that you have two chances to attain one this time around.

 

Lot 29. Antique French or Belgian, attributed to Val Saint-Lambert, pictorial sulphide paperweight.

LET’S HOPE SHE HAS A  HAMMACHER SCHLEMMER!

That’s right, concerned citizens; brazen street crime is no longer confined to bad neighborhoods in big cities!  It has made its way to the country lane where we witness here the daylight assault on a mother (or nanny) and her young children (or charges) by some rogue geese hellbent on doing serious damage to them all.

The woman steadfastly parries and thrusts with her bumbershoot.  Let us hope it is well-made, unlike the single-use umbrellas that are all too common in these parts.  And you should know that geese take no prisoners. I’ve been chased out of my way while walking along Lake Michigan here in Chicago. The assailants  seem a less dangerous here, behind some hard fine glass.  But we also can’t get inside to help her!  An artwork and also a timely exposé. Remember Hitchcock’s “The Birds?”

 

Lot 84. Paul Stankard 1994 mountain laurel over-all bouquet paperweight.

DON’T YOU CRINGE WHEN THEY MAKE IT LOOK SO EASY?

I would say we are blessed with a veritable cornucopia of works by Paul Stankard in this auction, but the term is redundant when we speak of the king of naturalist verisimilitude. You’ll find that cornucopia of life in each of his works, including in the more sparely rendered tableaux.  That’s because Paul puts life into every detail and even a depiction of the slightest flower and single leaf bear his dedicated attention.  (What?  Is Paul paying me on the side? No, but it’s not at all a bad idea!)  Anyway, this mountain laurel is a seemingly lighthearted paean to nature, that displays Paul’s mastery but is also airy in construction.  There’s a sense of ease to it.  The gossamer delicacy of the elements, especially of the pistil and stamen in the laurels is hard to believe.  But believe it!

 

Lot 91. Dave Graeber and Ed Poore 2012 collaborative Asian rose, chrysanthemum and pussy willow bouquet in a plaque basket-cut paperweight.

THE WORD THAT MEANS THAT THERE ARE NO WORDS

Frankly, I’m tired to trying to describe Dave Graeber’s brilliant work and feeling like the words keep falling short. The word “ineffable” comes to mind; that’s something too intense or too great or too beautiful to be described by language.

It originally referred to the failure and danger of describing or defining God. Well, we already saw what happened to Prometheus defying the gods, and Dave is inexplicably humble—so we won’t use “ineffable,”let’s just say that there is not a more accomplished and alluring paperweight out there, than this partnership between Dave and Ed.  In fact, this delicate but eye-catching treasure will make you want to move up your next big anniversary or maybe remarry your spouse just to have an excuse to acquire this!  Well, a real paperweight collector doesn’t need a reason. So let’s see if you pick up the glove  and go to your bid sheets!  Gosh, I’m out of room without having really described this! It does look to me like it was created by a sorcerer using a needle that flowed colors upon command. Exquisite.  You MUST ask for close-ups to believe the infinitesimal exactitude.  At least the harmonious, sophisticated color palette is available for appreciation by the normal human eye!

 

Lot 117. Rick Ayotte 2003 “Sunshine” chickadee and sunflower miniature paperweight

AT LEAST THESE BIRDS WON’T WAKE YOU UP!

I just want to say here that this little tableau is so wonderfully wrought that I found myself trying to feed the bird and water the sunflower. This whole series sparkles with life. And while they don’t need to be fed, they do like it when you talk to them!

 

Lot 120. Doug Merritt and Barry Sautner 1987 collaborative “Pansy” diatreta and insculpture faceted paperweight.

NO ONE SHOULD BE ABLE TO DO THIS.

Well, what is there to say here that Marty’s spectacular photographs don’t already display? Remember Prometheus, who defied the other gods and brought the secret of fire to mankind (among other things), a real faux pas on his part, for which he paid dearly.   Well, from what god did Barry Sautner (and Doug Merritt) learn the dark magic arts of diatreta?  Honestly, think of the very most difficult feat you’ve ever accomplished.  Now, think of doing it backwards and inside out, with no margin for error.  Understand?  Maybe Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, except backwards and in high heels, but if she and Fred had a misstep, they yelled “cut” and reshot the scene for the cameras. If Barry had a misstep, well, it’s all over.  That takes passion, conviction and breathtaking ability.  He lived, playing with fire, and that’s all on display here. And do read Penelope’s beautifully written description.  This is a glass work for the ages, But you can be the one to pass it down!

 

Lot 130. Debbie Tarsitano latticinio flower, lady bugs and heart-shaped millefiori garland paperweight.

RELAX OR PAY THE PRICE!

A small garden of love wrapped in a heart.  The central flower has a charmingly casual laciness to the leaves.  And Debbie’s hallmark color palette never fails to

entertain and comfort.  All in all, with this on your bed stand to encounter first thing every day, you’ll be able to toss at least one of your blood pressure prescriptions. So get the weight and you’ll lighten up!  I’m dead serious! Includes the happiest ladybugs you’ll ever find this side of a PIXAR release!

 

Lot 139. Ken Rosenfeld 2004 pink dahlia paperweight.

PARTY OF ‘ONE’ IS SOMETIMES A GOOD THING!

Take a hard look at this relatively unimposing weight, folks.  I dare you to find an unconvincing molecule anywhere. This striking, literally breathing single dahlia is perfect and perfectly lifelike. I think Ken took a good look at this and thought, “I can’t top that, and stopped adding other elements, wisely choosing to give the design its own little glass throne. What? He works like that all the time?  No wonder I dropped out of hot shop before I started – wise move on my part.  Study this flower; you’ll find yourself forgetting to blink!

 

Lot 165. Mayauel Ward 2013 daisy and berry bouquet paperweight.

“YES, YOU CAN GO TO THE RESTROOM BUT YOU M A Y NOT!”

Raise your hand in silence if you recognize that quote! Well, she was harsh, but this joyful and brilliantly colored paperweight would have made even my 6th grade home room teacher, Sister James Martin crack a smile, and that was impossible. Thin and vicious as Margaret Hamilton in the Wizard of Oz, she had the dead eyes of Poe’s Raven, set unblinking, in perfect round-rim wire glasses, as she stood there and dared you to show any signs of life at your desk.  We never saw her hands as they always stayed folded beneath her tunic, fondling a weapon of some sort. Did I mention her jaw was an anvil?  Anyway, if anything could have made her smile, it would have been this artwork; Mayauel’s joyful daisies and berries cradled in an enticing cluster of grapes, blueberries and bellflowers.  I would say I think Sister James Martin has probably passed away, (given that she was almost 200 years old then) but I’m not certain she was ever really alive. We never saw her actually breathe. However, this paperweight is alive, resplendent with color and life, a veritable song in glass. Hallelujah!

 

Lot 299. Peter McDougall three millefiori butterflies, flower and buds paperweight.

A HAPPY CONCLUSION

This exquisitely rendered weight with the butterflies and flowers nestled lightly on a pillow of “Dreamsicle,” is too delicious to describe, but much too much fun not to mention!  Ciao for Now, friends!

 

Okay!  Thank you for your time and good luck to all of you in the bidding and remember to please call and share all your questions and remarks.  Hopefully they’ll all have at least something to do with paperweights.  We now return you to your regular lives until the checkered paperweight flag calls you back!!