Welcome to the L.H. Selman 2018 Winter Auction #68


List of Reserve Prices for Unsold Lots

Click Here for Auction Website

As you may know, the auction is fully online, hosted on our AUCTION WEBSITE. A web friendly digital e-catalog can be viewed at E-CATALOG (also above), while a printed copy of the catalog (gorgeous, informative and printed in the USA!) 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.

Initial Bidding will begin at 9am CST on Tuesday, February 20th. Initial bidding ends on Monday, March 5th at 5pm CST by phone and at 11:59pm CST by Internet. Competitive bidding typically continues during initial bidding, but officially begins Tuesday March 6th. (initial and competitive bidding explained below) For any questions about the auction process please contact us in the gallery at 800-583-1177, or email Paul via paul@paperweight.com.

During initial bidding, when you see an artwork that catches your eye, you may place a bid of ten dollars or more, in order to ensure that you have secured a position in the competitive bidding on that lot in the second half of the auction.) We recommend that you give the catalog’s Conditions of Sale a careful examination for a full understanding of the protocols, some of which have been updated. And don’t hesitate to just give us a call to enquire about our unique auction format or for condition reports. You can also make an appointment to view the auction in person at our gallery in Chicago, 410 S. Michigan Ave., suite 207. We would love to see and meet every one of you (not on the same day)! Please bring your best smile for a bonus – your picture taken with D.J. the Wonder Dog and chief of art glass security at the gallery. If you prefer to place any or all bids by phone, or have any questions, we’re at 1-800-0766.

(We can it call the Almost Springtime Auction if you would feel more comfortable…) Anyway we’d like to give you all a playful peek into a handful of the highlights and bright lights of the next carnivalesque melee we refer to as our slow close auction (we Are getting faster) and get you to forget about going to work or eating breakfast and instead just focus on which jewel-like art glass works you will suddenly realize you have to have to successfully continue on Life’s proper path. Seriously – if you are reading this you’re already in agreement that art is as important to the soul as bread (whole grain, no GMO, no bleaching) is critical to the body!

This is just a capricious hint of a preview – with 336 auction lots we can only offer a random handful of quick glimpses of what’s going to be available.

We also provide a good number of extremely helpful spin videos, which show the weights rotating in slow motion of a full 361 degrees. Yes, you read right, 361, because we bring an extra degree of effort to everything!

So let’s get to it, shall we?

Peace in Wartime

Rare antique Baccarat 1848 white and red stardust carpet ground paperweight. Est.

Rare antique Baccarat 1848 white and red stardust carpet ground paperweight.
Est. $15,000—20,000

Lot 1. It is fascinating that such a precious and splendid object as this antique Baccarat 1848 white and red stardust carpet ground paperweight, was created during the greatest revolutionary period the world has ever seen. It feels perfect holding it today–imagine the respite it provided about 170 years ago when heads were rolling! At that moment the now famous Gridel silhouettes were scarcely a year or two in existence, but many of them grace this peaceful glass landscape with carefully positioned and finely delineated animals. The stardust flow gently around the canes like sea grass in an undulating current. Their red centers advance the sense of movement like minute sparks of electricity. There is a vibrancy to this calmness. Even the multi-colored signature/date cane seems unusually vivid and crisp. This is an outstanding example of an antique paperweight.

From top to Bottom

Rare antique Saint Louis four-panel close packed millefiori paperweight.

Rare antique Saint Louis four-panel close packed millefiori paperweight.
Est. $16,000—20,000

Lot 2. This antique Saint Louis formal design has on display an impressive variety of finely wrought complex canes assembled for your most orderly garden, one that you would never allow your friends to step foot in, but you might let them hold carefully in their hands. The complex center cane feels alive with those tiny bugles announcing the immanent arrival of royalty. For those of you with a really sharp eye for color, there seems to be a record number of subtle tones in this work. Descriptions with names such as coral and pistachio are applicable here. A very carefully considered arrangement of canes delicately fills each of the garden segments; each quadrant is precisely groomed with a pair of perfectly tapering cobalt, coral and white twists. Even the base of this weight is gorgeous, with the final row of millefiori drawn ever thinner to coalesce into a single pinpoint. Ask us for an image of the base – you’ll be very impressed!

Patriots can do more than throw a Football!

Very rare antique New England Glass Company sheaf of flowers and fruit on swirling latticinio magnum paperweight.

Very rare antique New England Glass Company sheaf of flowers and fruit on swirling latticinio magnum paperweight.
Est. $8,000—12,000

Lot 3. We’re again blessed with fine and rare examples of classic artworks for this outing. Word must be getting around we’re here to stay! (Don’t forget the gallery turns 50 next year!) Next up is a piece that could be called “Boston Strong!” American-made Yankee ingenuity, much of which we acquired somehow from our European cousins. Anyway, they did an outstanding job here. This “superb magnum” sports not only beautiful clematis, apples and blushing pears, but also an almost mathematically perfect double swirl latticinio. What supreme handcraft workers were capable of long before the cold faux perfection of so much that is mass-manufactured today. As you would all agree, there has always been an inimitable warmth to the hand-made.

And from our kinfolk who played opposite the Patriots…

Antique Bacchus close concentric millefiori paperweight.

Antique Bacchus close concentric millefiori paperweight.
Est. $9,000—12,000

Lot 4. No, we’re not referring to the victorious Eagles, we mean our irritable cousins from across the big pond that took exception to our yearning for independence. But since we’ve all been friends again ever since the Beatles conquered Ed Sullivan and America, I can without hesitation celebrate the virtues of this classic Bacchus weight, with its trademark color palette (no one does teal like Bacchus) and iconic canes. This weight has an exceptionally fresh look with a certain airy comfort within which the tubes and stars seem almost to float a little. Americans can take pride in owning this weight – it’s mostly reds, whites and blues!

They can do anything you can do, Better!

Rare antique Baccarat three-flower bouquet paperweight.

Rare antique Baccarat three-flower bouquet paperweight.
Est. $8,000—10,000

Lot 6. Fightin’ words I know. But that’s what happened when the French looked at the early weights being shown off in the Venice area. They took a good idea and made it theirs and then they made it great. Bragging rights are assured when one looks this thoughtfully constructed and unusually heavy weight. The maker here was particularly conscious of the interplay of positive and negative spaces. And the white double clematis, the Type II primrose and the Type I pansy elegantly unite as paperweight royalty in this star-studded offering. You’re lucky the French let this get out of their country. Of exceptional subtlety are the two top petals of the pansy; they exude radiant purples, lavenders and wine-colored reds. And the primrose petals boast translucent scarlet centers. Gorgeous – nearly edible!

This should come with its own magnifying Glass

Antique Clichy rose and millefiori mushroom double overlay faceted paperweight.

Antique Clichy rose and millefiori mushroom double overlay faceted paperweight.
Est. $7,000—9,000

Lot 8. Seriously, the roses in this Antique Clichy are so elegantly crisp in this work they deserve the closest inspection! This is a sumptuous production with the delicate mushroom topped off with a handsome coat of uniformly sized flowers and florets of harmoniously tinted colors. The rich cobalt over white double overlay adds class and style while the grid-cut base presents something of an under-lit dance floor in appeal.

This could have been from the Medici Family Collection…

Antique Clichy millefiori quatrefoil garland paperweight.

Antique Clichy millefiori quatrefoil garland paperweight.
Est. $6,000—8,000

Lot 10. Wow. This weight sports the richest, velvety blood red we’ve seen in quite some time. Of course this makes the blues, whites and greens jump in contrast as if they were levitating a micron off the ground. The blues are particularly lush in this paperweight. Wish you all could see this in your hands, but then we feel that way about all our offerings. This Clichy has a decadently rich, opulently plush feel.

Look down at the Stars!

Rare antique Baccarat close packed millefiori stardust mushroom paperweight

Rare antique Baccarat close packed millefiori stardust mushroom paperweight
Est. $4,000—5,000

Lot 15. Yes now you know what mushrooms that pepper the forest floors and celestial bodies of burning gas a billion light years away have in common. It is this rare antique Baccarat stardust staved mushroom boasting a delightful and generous variety of millefiori bursting up and out from the cap! The generous glass dome on this hefty art work projects an almost hallucinatory size differential!

It’s okay to behave like Animals

Antique Baccarat interlaced millefiori trefoil garlands with Gridel silhouettes paperweight.

Antique Baccarat interlaced millefiori trefoil garlands with Gridel silhouettes paperweight.
Est. $4,000—5,000

Lot 18. Here is an elegant and airy double trefoil wherein a half dozen animals in silhouette are quietly behaving, each having been granted its own lovely pen of both white and green and white and red millefiori. This is a lovely piece nicely proportioned, with a fortress cane at the center with an all-star (get it?) honor guard presiding over the tiny zoo that surrounds it.

Selling snow in the Winter

Rare antique Clichy close packed millefiori on sodden snow in stave basket paperweight.

Rare antique Clichy close packed millefiori on sodden snow in stave basket paperweight.
Est. $1,500—3,000

Lot 21. We hesitate to fully describe this so maybe we’ll just say it’s a lighthearted cluster of both simple and complex canes of every color shape and design you can think of, all under the same roof…I mean dome. Okay, okay, it’s on sodden snow! Lovely, wet, sodden snow. That may sound appealing by August – or not, but don’t let that dampen your enthusiasm! This is a lovely antique, corralled by a ring of complex canes with alternating red and white staves supporting it all.

Yes, good things still come in small Packages

Antique Clichy close concentric millefiori miniature paperweight.

Antique Clichy close concentric millefiori miniature paperweight.
Est. $1,000—1,500

Lot 50. Skipping way too far ahead, (but what can you do with an embarrassment of riches and a limited time frame??) we have a delicious little mini, one of several in this auction for those of you lamenting space considerations in your display cabinets. If you can’t fit this on your shelf – you probably can’t even close your cabinet door. This mini Clichy stretches just 1 3/4 “ in diameter but visually it punches way above its weight. It must; it jumped out at me from a field of beautiful glass works! Starting with the restrained beauty of the central white and green rose this little dense pack of complex and pastry mold canes has a very natural quality. Squint and you could be looking out your window at a corner of a royal garden.

All you need to decorate an entire Room!

Antique Val Saint Lambert ruby overlay fancy-cut faceted paperweight.

Antique Val Saint Lambert ruby overlay fancy-cut faceted paperweight.
Est. $1,000-1,200

Lot 71. I would expect to find this fancy-cut translucent overlay extravaganza on the desk of the owner of the finest hotel-saloon that San Francisco had to offer back in the days of the Gold Rush. This and Lot 70, really should be purchased by the same person. I can’t say enough about them; they’re very different but wow, what a pair they would make! Between the ruby richness and the cascading light play and the ornate elegant cutting, they could preside over a high-class soirée all by themselves! Don’t take our word for it – call for multiple views, and you’ll see we’re absolutely not exaggerating.

“But, you can’t just live in the glorious Past…
There are living artists to feed!”
(In other words we’re moving on to contemporary weights)

A complete garden that requires no Water

Paul Stankard’s 2013 goat’s beard, pod and honeybees orb.

Paul Stankard’s 2013 goat’s beard, pod and honeybees orb.
Est. $4,000—6,000

Lot 78. It will however demand your careful attention. Paul Stankard’s wizardry is on full display in this 2013 magical realm of lifelike buds, blossoms, branches and bees. You should really view the spin video of this. Casual visitors to the gallery look at us to see if we’re pulling their leg with a weight such as this when we say it’s all solid glass within solid glass. But you know…

You can’t not look at This

Chris Buzzini 1992 red roses fancy-cut faceted paperweight.

Chris Buzzini 1992 red roses fancy-cut faceted paperweight.
Est. $800—1,200

Lot 90. Talk about demanding attention! This Buzzini is not to be ignored, shimmering from every angle. This piece (from an edition of 15) offers an exquisite pair of roses in bloom but the glasscutter deserves equal billing on the marquee!

Better than real Life?

Melissa Ayotte 2008 red rose bouquet paperweight.

Melissa Ayotte 2008 red rose bouquet paperweight.
Est. $500—700

Lot 96. Almost better. Melissa’s bouquet of the lushest most romantic red roses and attendant bellflowers is so sumptuous that even if you’re a satisfied single man, you’ll want to meet someone special just to be able to offer this as a gift. We take pride in our photography but these are noticeably brighter than we could capture with the printing inks in our catalogue. Gentlemen – photograph yourselves holding this on your dating site and have multiple phone lines ready!

Meet the runner-up for a career with GEICO

Rick Ayotte 1992 “Red Salamander in Marsh” paperweight, from the PondLife series.

Rick Ayotte 1992 “Red Salamander in Marsh” paperweight, from the PondLife series.
Est. $1,200—1,600

Lot 115. This happy little salamander in a friendly marsh is so bright it is almost iridescent. Its head is lifted as though he just heard you looking at him. A colorful and lively tableau from Rick Ayotte in an edition limited to 50.

Make sure you have a Coaster!

Damon MacNaught 2017 open concentric millefiori on latticinio inlaid wood table.

Damon MacNaught 2017 open concentric millefiori on latticinio inlaid wood table.
Est. $5,500—6,500

Lot 120. We rightfully give a full page to this handcrafted triumph in the catalogue. Damon MacNaught, with the help of Andrew Najarian and wood artist Stephan Micheletto-Blouin here offers a stunning example of pushing the envelope in an art form. This magnificent collaboration has resulted in a table. A table like no other, since the tabletop surface is unique. There are to date, two such works, noticeably different as far as the millefiori on latticinio, but then Damon strives for each work out of his studio to be unique. The table also has a tilt function that allows a vertical viewing option. This art table could finish a room setting in a way that will make you want to embed all your weights in your furniture. This is serious glass with abundant class. Consider the envelope torn apart!

We know you have limited time so we’ll just say we have a wonderful variety of works by most of the names that come to mind in the field of contemporary fine art paperweights, including a half dozen gems each by Debbie Tarsitano, Victor Trabucco, Bob Banford, Mayauel Ward, Charles Kaziun, Deacons, Saint Louis, Baccarat, Lundberg, and many others – you get the picture! We’ve time to run just a couple more past you!

Hallelujah or is it Alleluia?

Ken Rosenfeld 2015 arching bouquet paperweight.

Ken Rosenfeld 2015 arching bouquet paperweight.
[Est. $700—1,000

Lot 139. Either way there is a transcendent quality that is exuded by this masterful work. Ken’s arching bouquet truly radiates a sense of well-being and the melon slice faceting completes the celebratory visual with sunshine-like rays emanating in all directions. Ask for more pictures.

Worlds within Worlds

Cathy Richardson 2014 “Carved Wild Rose” upright sand-carved paperweight.

Cathy Richardson 2014 “Carved Wild Rose” upright sand-carved paperweight.
Est. $1,400—1,800

Lot 175. Cathy Richardson, as many of you know is not only a master glass artist insofar as what goes into her weights. She is a world-class designer and sculptor of the outside surfaces of her weights, etching, carving and sanding her visions onto the glass that cradles the treasures within. This one will take a dozen photographs to give you an inkling of an idea of what this accomplished beauty has to offer… Make every attempt to see this in person. No, we won’t pay your way to get here.

Okay Glass Lovers we think that’s about all you can take – so that leaves well over 300 weights for you to discover on your own, either when you get the catalogue in the mail or by perusing it online. Contact us with any questions and thank you for your time and attention, and the best of luck to all of you in the upcoming auction!

Small Worlds: Contemporary Paperweights at The Flint Institute of Arts

(Flint, MI) Small Worlds—on view April 7, 2018 through May 29, 2019— features a survey of glass paperweights from the 19th century to present day. The exhibition highlights different techniques, styles, and various types of paperweights. The 19th century was the classic period for paperweight manufacture. This exhibition features works from European glass factories, including the French crystal manufactures Baccarat, Clichy, and St. Louis. Paperweight production all but ceased in Europe by the late 19th century but was revived in the mid-20th century in both Europe and America. Independent artists experimented with new designs, techniques, and materials. Paperweights continue to be a popular object of art today, and manufacturers and artists all over the world have enlarged the scope, scale, design and fabrication of this diminutive object.

This exhibition not only features a vast collection of historical European paperweights from the FIA’s permanent collection but also a large variety of contemporary paperweights from important private collections. There are twenty-two contemporary artists whose works are included in the exhibition. Some of the earliest contemporary paperweights showcased were created by members of the Studio Glass Movement including Charles Kaziun and Dominick Labino. The collection expands to include twenty more current paperweight makers. There are many works by Paul Stankard, Rick Ayotte and Cathy Richardson to name a few that are on view in the exhibition.

About the Flint Institute of Arts

The Flint Institute of Arts is Michigan’s second largest art museum and one of the largest museum art schools in the nation. The FIA promotes the power of the visual arts by providing lifelong learning opportunities to engage and educate a diverse regional audience. The FIA is committed to making art available, approachable, and accessible to all through a broad range of interpretive programs that allow multiple ways of accessing information on the permanent collection and temporary exhibitions. The FIA’s mission is to advance the understanding and appreciation of art for all through collections, exhibitions, and educational programs. Saturdays are free thanks to Huntington Bank. For more information, please call 810.234.1695 or visit www.flintarts.org.

Yellow Tea Rose with Loose Strife Blossoms and Blueberries

Paul Stankard, American, b. 1943. Yellow Tea Rose with Loose Strife Blossoms and Blueberries, 2007. Glass. 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches. Private Collection.

Terror in the Treetops, 1999 Paperweight

Rick Ayotte, American, b. 1944. Terror in the Treetops, 1999. Glass. 3 x 3 3/4 inches. Collection of Gordon Park

CONTACT: Kathryn Sharbaugh, Director of Development
Flint Institute of Arts
P: 810.234.1695
E: ksharbaugh@flintarts.org

Setting The Record Straight

Regarding a Lamentable Lapse at the Highest Level!

(Never Trust Pro-Bono Lobbyists—
Their Hearts Just Aren’t In It.)

While the 2018 State of the Union Address is recently behind us, there is one upcoming event of national importance that went entirely unmentioned …

You Guessed It –


Here to right that wrong, we—the five person, hand-selected team at the L.H. Selman Ltd. paperweight party headquarters are busy defending your inalienable rights to love glass! To that end, we are announcing our Winter 2018, 68th Glass Paperweight Auction, featuring 336 lots, antique and modern artworks, including choice paperweight-related objects (wait until you see Lot 120!). Initial Bidding will be broadcast live (so to speak) starting at 9am CST on Tuesday, February 20th. Initial bidding ends on Monday, March 5th at 5pm CST by phone and at 11:59pm CST by Internet. Gloves come off and competitive bidding begins Tuesday March 6th. For any questions about the auction process please contact us in the gallery at 800-583-1177, or email Paul via paul@paperweight.com.

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 (gorgeous, informative and printed in the USA!) is for sale at PRINT-CATALOG. During initial bidding, when you see an artwork that catches your eye, you may place a bid of ten dollars or more, in order to ensure that you have secured a position in the competitive bidding on that lot in the second half of the auction. (It’s a smart move and…it’s perfectly legal!) We recommend that you give the catalog’s Conditions of Sale a careful examination for a full understanding of the protocols, some of which have been updated. And don’t hesitate to just give us a call to enquire about our unique auction format or for condition reports. You can also make an appointment to view the auction in person at our gallery in Chicago, 410 S. Michigan Ave., suite 207. We would love to see and meet every one of you (not on the same day)! Please bring your Independent Glass Party voting stub for a bonus – your picture taken with D.J. the Wonder Dog and chief of art glass security. If you prefer to place any or all bids by phone, or have any questions, we’re at 1-800-538-0766.

We are also constitutionally obliged to describe the beauty of the offerings in Auction 68. From rare antiques hailing from every major glass house to cutting edge (yes, we know) contemporary works from individual studios, we have very carefully chosen, photographed, described and organized 336 items that we feel proudly pass muster and join the ranks of first-rate offerings from a glass administration working hard to earn your support for another term. Watch this space for forthcoming public information—vetted descriptions filled with the unvarnished truths—enthusiastic exposés, one after another detailing the beauty, splendor and straightforward appeal of some of the finest glass sculptures available. Best of luck to you in the upcoming auction, which is open to you as a card-carrying member of the party. And remember, when it comes to the importance of art glass in your lives, we strive for transparency!

One More Under Our Belt!

One More Under Our Belt

Yes, an old school expression for an old school (with a young heart) art form. Auction 67 is history, and with 88% of the lots selling, it is also another success. (62 of the 76 antique weights offered found homes amongst you.) We dearly hope you enjoyed it all. The weights are, as I write this, being cradled up and shipped out to the winners, and many of you have just received them. For those of you keeping score, you’ll notice Marty has been increasing the number of spin videos of premier lots; we hope they have helped give a truer sense of the spectacular presence of many of these artworks. This writer believes that we would sell 110% of the lots were you all able to materialize in the gallery long enough to experience the paperweights in your hands. Short of that we try to provide complete descriptions and offer always to send extra photographs including close-ups of anything you request. And we welcome suggestions and corrections; how else would we keep improving? We struggle with schedules all year, marking deadlines and back-dating the steps we need to take to meet them, so that, for instance, we can get all the Fall auction weights to you before the holidays. Many of you have expressed surprise to realize we work at least two auctions in advance, with the next catalogue already designed and filled while the one before is just being newly unveiled.

We are continually working to balance the auctions as though we are tuning fine musical instruments. Penelope conducts our tiny orchestra, while Ben composes the score. There is the ratio of the antique to the contemporary. There is the desire to include all the artists we hold in esteem balanced with what works are available. There is the behind the scenes work of researching the most precisely possible technical definition and history of what can be an unusual or mysterious offering. There is the detailed search for the market value and the absolute need to consider both our consignors and our collectors in arriving at a reasonable and rewarding amount for everyone involved. The photographing, description writing, sequencing, and proofreading involved, are exhausting. Then we hold our breaths to see if the printers do a good job and get the auction catalogues to the mailing house in time. Then we exhale for ten minutes until the bell rings for the curtain to rise on the bidding!

In between and all year long, we sell from the gallery, put out two to three brochures, a calendar, publish the occasional book (thank you John Hawley), host artist appearances (thank you, Mike and Sue Hunter and Alison Ruzsa) and attend PCA conventions (Norfolk and NEPCA). Molly (among performing so many other tasks) keeps you all well informed from behind the wheel of all our social media. It has been busy! In 2017 we were also gratified to be a conduit for an impromptu auction, GLASS FOR LIFE, initiated by Dave Graeber and realized by a dozen glass artists from around the country offering up their skills and artistry in a highly successful effort to quickly raise funds ($12,690.00) all of which went to alleviate the woes caused by Hurricane Harvey. Between the highly dramatic weather patterns we’ve been experiencing and the always-challenging political and social landscapes worldwide, it’s been a daunting twelve months for many. We have, especially this year, been told again and again by you about the succor, inspiration, and regenerative power provided by the artworks in your collections. Above the entrance to the lobby of the landmarked Fine Arts Building, wherein our gallery is located are the words,


We’re all in this together. Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah!

Ben, Penelope, Marty, Molly and Paul
…and D.J.

FALL is here, so naturally, our FALL Auction is around the corner!




As we approach what will be our 50th and 10th anniversaries as the LH Selman gallery respectively (2019 will mark 40 years in California plus 10 in Chicago), L.H. Selman, Ltd. is pleased to announce our Fall 2017, 67th Glass Paperweight Auction, featuring 340 lots, antique and modern, as well as carefully selected paperweight-related objects. Initial Bidding commences on Monday, October 23rd, at 9:00 am, CST. The auction is fully online, hosted on our AUCTION WEBSITE. A web friendly digital e-catalog can be viewed at E-CATALOGUE, while a printed copy of the catalog is for sale at PRINT CATALOGUE.  When you see an auction item that catches your eye, please do not fail to place an initial bid in order to ensure that you will have a position in the competitive bidding on that artwork, which will follow in the second half of the auction. Initial bidding ends on Monday November 6th at midnight CST, and competitive bidding begins on Tuesday, November 7th at 9:00 am, CST .  We recommend that you give the catalog’s Conditions of Sale a careful examination for a full understanding of the protocols (some of them revised) or give us a call to enquire about our unique auction format. You can also make an appointment to see every lot at our gallery at 410 S. Michigan Ave., suite 207.  We would love to see you all in person! And if you prefer to bid by phone, or have any questions, just give us a call at 1-800-538-0766.  Please remember to ask for specific condition reports or to request extra photographic images; either alternate angles or close-ups. We are also happy to talk with you over the phone about a paperweight while it’s in our hands.  (We’ve tried printing out extra views of weights to send by regular mail but the printer’s inks and paper available don’t allow for quality reproduction.)  The good news is that select lots, including all of the first 20 in this Fall 2017 auction, are available for viewing as spin videos. These rotating visuals are especially helpful for some of the more complex weights.  Just give a call!  312-583-1177 or 800-538-0766. Enough of the introductory niceties!  It’s time to tempt you with some appetizing examples as the curtain rises for the next performance.  We have another cornucopia of visual delights, this season, including a complete set of rare knives from the collection of an Italian Princely family, exquisite and unusual antique weights,  several enticing Christmas pieces, choice marbles, and besides having every outstanding name you are used to seeing in our catalogues we have unusual entries by generally elusive artists such as Johne Parsley, James Kontes and Janet Kelman.  So get comfortable when you receive our catalogue and take your time perusing its pages, either literally or digitally. You deserve it.

Auction #67 Fall 2017 Preview

A Feast for the Eyes in a Rich Blue Basket from Our Fall Harvest…

Antique Clichy millefiori Carpet

LOT 1. Exceptional and very rare antique Clichy millefiori carpet ground in a stave basket with signature cane paperweight.

“Exquisite” is the first, second and third word(s) that comes to mind for Lot 1. And at 2¼ inches diameter, if you could nestle this intimate weight in your hand and see the gorgeous pastel palette, well-designed geometries and needle-like sharpness to the execution, you would immediately be asking where the “Buy It Now” button is. According to The Dictionary of Glass Paperweights, “ Ten stardust grounds have been documented from Clichy” (page 319). Crisply delicate white stardust canes with rich blue bull’s-eye centers populate a field where a variety of softly colored millefiori canes are satisfyingly set in two concentric rings of 7 and 12, with a signature cane in the outer ring. It’s all sheathed in a royal blue stave basket. Come see this in person if you can. Come see them all. And step up and decide if you want to be one of the ten, or might that make eleven? Est. $22,000—30,000

Come to Our Autumn Garden Party!

Very Rare Antique Saint Louis Four-Paneled Close Packed Millefiori Cross Paperweight LOT 2. Spectacular and very rare antique Saint Louis four-paneled close packed millefiori cross paperweight. Spectacular is the right word here. Spectacle! This Saint Louis weight announces itself with exuberance. At 3 inches across and with an impressive heft, it’s a work of art with an attitude barely contained by its carefully designated geometry reminiscent of European classic, decorative gardens. This weight has almost everything from its magnificently dominant centerpiece (with its 28 point-complex cog that looks ablaze and with a delicate blue flower nestled within and sitting atop all) at the intersection of the converging lines formed by the orderly, white ogee-tipped, red-cored flower cog canes. This cruciform is pleasingly and symmetrically bracketed by green, white and red twists that also serve to restrain the fecund garden of attending complex canes that fill the balance of the garden. Est. $16,000—20,000

Even Vegetables Sound Delicious in French!

Rare Antique Baccarat 1848 “Choufleur” Gridel Silhouettes And Millefiori Carpet Ground Paperweight. LOT 5. Rare antique Baccarat 1848 “choufleur” Gridel silhouettes and millefiori carpet ground paperweight. Reminiscent of a head of cauliflower from your French garden, this weight from the year of revolution offers a tranquil and delightful refuge. Loosely packed, complex whorl canes each centered with a pale, dusky yellow cane and surrounded by more yellow canes and still others of an almost ephemeral mauve sway gently before your eye. That subtle interplay of color and whorl lead to a quiet illusion of all over harmonious movement in a field that is anchored by a well-designed pattern of classic Gridel silhouette and picture canes interspersed throughout. Traces of latticinio can be espied if you investigate the interstices in the cane field. A wonderfully executed antique weight that rewards close inspection. Page 61 of The Encyclopedia of Glass Paperweights offers similar examples. Be careful with that spade. Est. $14,000—17,000

What Could Better than Dining in Venice with a Princely Family—Who Are Such Fine Hosts that They Offer Their Credentials!

Antique Venetian (circa 1843-1848) Set Of Twelve Enamel And Millefiori Fruit Knives LOT 6. Antique Venetian (circa 1843-1848) Set of Twelve Enamel and Millefiori Fruit Knives, by Giovanni Battista Franchini. Where to begin? Giovanni Franchini and son Giacomo were lauded in the mid-19th century for their artistic genius and craftsmanship. They came up with letter and portrait canes, distinct millefiori and stunning enamel glass. Adapting and combining a variety of their technical methods to painstakingly assemble elements around a core, they created objects of art that were also to be useful in daily life, at least for those of means. This included walking sticks and parasols…and the regal cutlery you see offered here today. Beautiful brass-colored gilt metal blades, each anchored luxuriantly in hilts of dazzlingly multi-colored cylindrical and hexagonal enamel glass. Each handle boasts a carnivalesque array of blue, mint green, red and white in a scramble with copper adventurine and a variety of millefiori canes including complex stars, cogs, circlets and several types of roses considered to be the progenitors of the famous Clichy rose cane…and more; you’ll have to read the catalogue. But really – what couldn’t taste like a royal feast when your wielding a king’s ransom just to cut and spread with? Safe for peanut butter. Do Not Microwave. And really, if you buy the set – we’ll “spill the beans” and tell you the name of the host! Est. $16,000—20,000

“Sticking” to the Theme of a Feast, We Offer Some Lovely Pastry!

Rare And Notable Antique Pantin Monogram And Patterned Millefiori Paperweight. LOT 10. Rare and notable antique Pantin monogram and patterned millefiori paperweight. Here we have seven C-scroll garland loops of ten or more contrasting and tasty pastry molds or millefiori; each has an eighth loop of ten pink and white tube roses, often presumed to be early or late Clichy or even Val Saint Lambert, that radiate around a central stardust ring like so many petals. Each loop sports either a pastry mold or a large six-point star, with the exception of one large and lush tube rose. A cut-out monogram of the letters “D” and “P” in a blue painted cog almost appear to have been lovingly exuded by a cake decorating gun finishing a birthday surprise. These letters have been associated historically with the initials of the Duchess of Parma. This well-documented offering is presented in The Art of the Paperweight: Challenging Tradition (p.34), and the Selman Summer 1995 auction catalogue, Important Paperweights from the Collection of Charles William Gaylord (Lot 115). Est. $4,000—6,000

And What Garden Table is Complete Without Some Honey?

Antique Val Saint Lambert Patterned Millefiori Circlets And Rose Canes Paperweight LOT 11. Antique Val Saint Lambert patterned millefiori circlets and rose canes paperweight. With the brightness of a child’s kaleidoscope but also offering a design sophistication more resembling a Swiss watch, this luminously happy, high keyed paperweight gives out light as though it’s plugged into a wall socket. It could change your mood faster than chocolate. And it has honey! A perfect pocket of honey-colored cane reigns in the center of a delicately reddish/pink and white honeycomb surround. Five seemingly independent but satisfyingly complementary satellites dance around in a cheerful constellation. Each satellite has different center cane attended by between 5 and 10 smaller complex canes. They are all buoyed by a stream of floating parallel white latticinio twists, which is itself embraced by a necklace of striped, candy-cane colored twists. This is flat out, one of the happiest antique weights you’ll come across! Est. $3,000—4,000

And the Butterfly Completes the Garden…

Spectacular Antique Baccarat Butterfly Over White Double Clematis Compound Faceted Paperweight LOT 14. Spectacular antique baccarat butterfly over white double clematis compound faceted paperweight. Another honeycomb holds the center of the lovely white clematis, but you have a wait a moment until the butterfly passes before you can view easily. The butterfly, which in cultures around the world symbolizes endurance, change, hope, and even life itself—is here rendered in a most subtle fashion. The precise, small bluish eyes gaze at nothing in particular. Its top set of wings are tattooed with a pleasing set of related patterns that seem to have been applied with an eye dropper and spread out just so, to satisfying conclusion—and which on closer inspection reveal themselves to be carefully heated slices of millefiori. The lower wings, half concealed, are a quiet riot of scrambled color, discharged with energy from some tiny but potent palette, and they resemble in no small measure, certain efforts by the renown oil painter Sam Francis. Our little friend, when light intervenes, is shown to consist of an almost gossamer, purple latticinio flattish tube body. Multiple facets amplify the sense of movement within with the additional aid of the star-cut base. Est. $7,000—9,000 Here we’ll regretfully depart from the antique as we only have so much space and time (a problem we all have) and jump more than 50 lots ahead to introduce a few examples from the contemporary wing of the auction.  So just remember there are 76 fine and outstanding examples of the antique that demand close inspection, and we stand ready to supply you with condition reports and additional photographs of those weights that particularly catch your eye.  So let us now dip our toes into the most recent two centuries.

And Now for Something Completely Different!

Paul Stankard Passion Fruit Cube Paperweight LOT 80. Paul Stankard passion fruit cube paperweight. Okay, not to totally exhaust the food and garden metaphor but this was too perfect to resist. We have a wondrous array of Paul Stankard weights to offer from the subtle to the stunning, but this presentation of passion fruit is too delicious not to share here. The red skin and seeds,, the pale interior flesh, finely nestled among the leaves and soil with all the colors of the fecund earth almost beg to be a centerpiece on a formal garden table – a proper setting with which to begin every meal. Est. $4,000—5,000

Serene and Sensuous

Chris Buzzini 2012 Bellflower Bouquet Paperweight LOT 90. Chris Buzzini 2012 bellflower bouquet paperweight. We have a half dozen classic Chris Buzzini weights this time and everyone knows Chris’ work as exemplifying a serene sensibility with an almost eastern approach to the use of negative space in his generally spare compositions. This lot is one where Chris breaks out a little with a typically clean and well delineated design, but with a more lush and sensuous over all feel. We wish you all could hold this (and all our offerings) in your hands. Est. $2,500—3,500

A Medieval Tapestry?

Jim Brown 2017 Lavender Cross-Patterned Millefiori Fluted Faceted Paperweight LOT 182. Jim Brown 2017 lavender cross-patterned millefiori fluted faceted paperweight. We’re fortunate to have three Jim Brown weights for this party. This elegant work has the feel and look to some of us of a detail from a French medieval tapestry. The central stardust cane rests at the center of four lavender millefiori tubes that appear to be woven of finest thread. The four close-packed millefiori garden quadrants have been executed with a quiet precision, giving an over all spirit of tranquility, something that is welcome in our frenetic culture. The fluted side faceting adds to the gracefulness. This piece will lower your blood pressure while putting a grateful smile on your face. Ask for extra images of this. Est. $850—1,000

We See These Once in a (Cobalt) Blue Moon

Johne Parsley 1992 Peaches And Blossoms Miniature Faceted Paperweight LOT 188. Johne Parsley 1992 peaches and blossoms miniature faceted paperweight. A flawless pair of delectable peaches and blossoms with crimson cherries nestled between on variegated leaves amount to a handsome, compact and balanced composition proving once again that sometimes the very best things come in small packages. Bathed in an intense translucent blue. You just may have to battle for this one, as we’re rarely lucky enough to snag a Johne Parsley for one of our auctions—but believe us, this is worth competing for. Each of the six symmetrical facets offers a marvelous view of the entire arrangement. At just over two inches in diameter, this truly has the look and feel of a large jewel, with perfect colors and striking optics. Est. $800—1,000

Do You Believe in the Fourth Dimension?

James Kontes Pink Roses And Buds On White Upset Muslin Paperweight LOT 189. James Kontes pink roses and buds on white upset muslin paperweight. Really, the voluminous dimensionality of this weight coupled with its masterful but playful sensibility are something you should see. There is a boisterous life to the stems and leaves as they carry strength to the flower giving an over all feeling of good health and well-being to the composition. The opulent pale pink roses are offset perfectly by the extreme delicacy of the stamens, which are fine as human hair. The upset muslin cushioning it all has a light-hearted quality while the translucent cobalt ground adds to the finesse. Est. $3,500—4,500

Speaking of Playful…

Saint Louis 1975 “Hawaiian Millefiori” Paperweight LOT 206. Saint Louis 1975 “Hawaiian Millefiori” paperweight. Joyful strips of turquoise, verdant greens, tropical magentas and white flower canes flow along before your eyes like so many airborne blossoms. We’re told Paul Jokelson, inspired by a shirt, suggested this design to the people at the Saint Louis factory. You can meditate to the vibrant rhythms of that island paradise and save the airfare in one motion. Est. $500–$700

And Speaking of the Theme of “Fall”…

Saint Louis 2003 “Temptation” Serpent And Apple Three-Section Paperweight LOT 209. Saint Louis 2003 “Temptation” serpent and apple three-section paperweight. This is a beautiful way to embrace the idea of the fall from grace and the struggle to be human. (Never listen to garden critters.) Here we have a removable lid that features a marvelously life-like serpent who, when the weight is closed-surrounds the richly red apple. When opened, we have the golden-etched Adam and Eve separated by the magnificent symbol of knowledge and carnality all while its appearance belies the price to be paid for hubris and transgression. Remove the apple at your peril, and don’t forget to lock the garden gate behind you. Est. $1,500—2,000

You Could Look at This for Years…

Perthshire Paperweight 1986 Close Packed Millefiori Paperweight LOT 314. Perthshire paperweight 1986 close packed millefiori paperweight. After counting to just over 6,175 (or was it 6,176?) we lost track of the number of individual canes and have to begin again, or you can become the new owner of this phenomenally dense packed weight and call us with the eventual count. Seriously this pointillist study is amazing. It actually shimmers with detail and a feeling of movement as your eye is teased back and forth across the surface. The multitudinous shades of color nonetheless coalesce into a harmonious landscape that can leave you with the feeling of flying above all the gardens on the earth knitted together. Est. $500—700 That’s it for now! The merest ‘taste’ of things to come, and thank you for allowing us all the food and garden analogies! Remember initial bidding starts October 23rd! Good Luck to you all.

Wrapping Up a Wild Week

The Spirit of the Moment!

It’s been quite the seven days! Last week began with Monday, September18th, which was the final day for the auction, GLASS FOR LIFE, an artist-driven affair of the heart initiated and led by Dave Graeber.  The auction resulted in $12,690.00 being raised in 48 hours of bidding—with 100% of every dollar realized (sent directly by the winning collectors) going to relieve the suffering and damage caused by Hurricane Harvey and also Hurricane Irma.  Organizations benefitting include CERF+, UNICEF, the Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts, The American Red Cross and Catholic Charities of Houston-Galveston.  Thank you, everyone, involved!

Then we cascaded along the next few days to our anticipated special event, “The Spirit of the Moment,” a weekend honoring the glass artistry of Alison Ruzsa. It included an exhibition of the artist’s recently arrived works, champagne toasts, shipboard dining on the Lake, and culminating in a well-attended live studio glassmaking demonstration, co-sponsored by the Midwest Paperweight Collectors Association.  There were great conversations, new faces to welcome and of course, more good food and toasts to wind up the day.  Several attendees went home with a new glass tableau by Alison to add to their paperweight collections.

We thank Alison, known not only for her unique storytelling style in multi-media glasswork but for her quick, dry wit, which always enlivens our discussions. A big thank you goes out to Nancy Alfano who helmed her visit as well as to the Midwest PCA who co-sponsored the demonstration. It was great to meet Lita and Marshall Weinstein and their friends from the Midwest Contemporary Glass Art Group, who came to witness Alison’s skills as she created beautiful new romantic illusions in glass before their eyes. Alison could not have done this without the skills and service of Sharon Gilbert, owner of the Talisman Glass Studio. Sharon not only shared her studio; she spent the entire Saturday afternoon alternating movements with Alison as they shared tasks and techniques in what amounted to a nimble dance of craftsmanship.

And yes, it was a bit warm in there-but we wouldn’t have missed it.  Check our website for available works by the artist as well as more of her story.  Until next time!

Alison Ruzsa visits Chicago September 22-23.

Alison Ruzsa

Alison Ruzsa

“graceful gestures in glass…”


L.H. Selman Ltd. is extremely pleased to announce the upcoming appearance and studio demonstration of a unique voice in the world of art glass today.

Alison Ruzsa, the artist, who lives in New York, will be in Chicago on September 22nd and 23rd. Please join us for a reception, exhibition and live studio demonstration that weekend.

Alison has been active and successful in her pursuit of creative glass making of all kinds for close to three decades. Her recent glassworks are known for combining color sensitivity, romantic tableaux, and a touch of wry humor in multi-media. To learn more about Alison click HERE to read her Biography and Resume. To see works available from Alison please click HERE. Alison will be bringing fresh work with her for the show, so yet another reason to join us!

This will be your only chance to see Alison Ruzsa in a live demonstration in the Chicago area for some time to come, so please avail yourselves of this opportunity the weekend of September 22nd & 23rd. RSVP via our contact page today.

Alison Ruzsa | The Glass Gallery

: Event Schedule :

Friday, September 22.

4 pm – 6 pm – Artist Reception Libations at the LH Selman Gallery. Alison’s works will be available for viewing and purchase.

6:30 pm – Lakefront Dinner Alison and the Selman team will be at the nearby
Columbia Yacht Club in a unique but informal setting aboard the historic
Great Lakes Steamship, Abegweit.
((Dinner, $25/person (or comped with paperweight purchase per person)
Limited Menu: Cash bar))
Please R.S.V.P. to the Selman Gallery Saturday, September 9th.  Contact Us

Saturday, September 23.

11:30 – Midwest PCA members (only) will enjoy a members’ lunch at Salerno’s Restaurant in West Town. To RSVP or become a member of the Midwest PCA
please contact Nancy Alfano via the Midwest PCA website: www.midwestpaperweightcollectors.com

1 pm – 3 pm – Introduction to Alison followed by her live studio demonstration made possible by the kind permission of our associate and the owner of Talisman Studio, Sharon Gilbert. Sharon, herself an accomplished glass artist and instructor, will also be assisting Alison, which is both deeply appreciated and valuable. During this time the artist’s new works will also be on display and available for purchase. The Talisman is located at 469 North Racine Avenue in the West Town neighborhood.  Convenient Parking available.

After 5 pm – Following a break for Alison post demonstration, Alison Ruzsa, Nancy Alfano and members of the Selman gallery staff will be convening for a comfortable dinner at a restaurant somewhere between the Talisman Studio (469 North Racine Ave.) and the Loop. You’re welcome to sit with us or around us and share convivial conversation with the glass-loving devotees. Individual checks. Please R.S.V.P. to us (without commitment) – by September 1.

Alison Ruzsa SPIRIT OF THE MOMENT | The Glass Gallery

Location of the Demonstration:
Sharon Gilbert
Sharon Gilbert
Talisman Glass Studio
469 North Racine Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60622
Tel: 312-455-9555

Midwest Paperweight Collectors
Midwest Paperweight Collectors
Website: http://www.midwestpaperweightcollectors.com/
Email: info@midwestpaperweightcollectors.com
Tel: 312-623-0001

L. H. Selman | The Glass Gallery
L.H. Selman Ltd.
410 South Michigan, Gallery 207
Chicago, Illinois 60605
Tel. 312-583-1177

L.H. Selman Ltd. 66th Paperweight Auction



List of Reserve Prices for Unsold Lots


We Proudly Present

Our Own Glass-Fire(d) Works!!

Initial bidding begins Today, Wednesday, July 5th, 2017..  Click this sentence to be routed to the auction website where you can place your bids. The last day to place initial bids is Monday, July 17th, 2017, at 5:00 pm CST. The auction is fully online, hosted on our Auction Website, which will be live soon.  A web-friendly digital e-catalog can be viewed at E-CATALOG, while a printed copy is for sale at PRINT-CATALOG.  If you see something to your liking, please do not fail to place an initial bid to ensure that you secure a position in the competitive bidding that follows in the second half of the auction.  Competitive bidding begins Tuesday, July 18th at 9 am CST.  We recommend that you give the catalog’s Conditions of Sale a careful examination for a full understanding of the protocols or give us a call to inquire about our unique auction format.  You can also make an appointment to see every lot 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.

As always we are happy to provide extra images by email as well as to talk with you over the phone about a paperweight while it’s in our hands.  (We’ve tried printing out extra views for regular post but the printer’s inks and paper available don’t allow for quality reproduction.)  Select lots (including many in the first 20) in this Summer ’17 are available for viewing as spin videos. These rotating visuals are especially helpful for some of the more complex weights.  Just give a call!  312-583-1177 or 800-538-0766.

And yes, of course, the weight you’ve been looking for is in here somewhere (forgive the bad puns and hyperbole today). So in light of the fact that we have in this auction 77 antique and 264 contemporary paperweights, bottles, and marbles we’re limited here today in what we can cover.  Let’s set the tone with a few excellent examples from the abundance of choices.  These weights not only offer beauty and the highest degree of artistry and craftsmanship but also a sense of well-being.  And that may be their true gift!

Please refer to the catalog for full descriptions of the lots for the following…


LOT 1. The first entries in the auction are most often from those three venerable French houses, Clichy, Baccarat and St. Louis. BUT this time—the No.1 spot (patriotic drumroll) goes to the Yankees at the New England Glass Company! (Yes, we know half their workers were from France and Great Britain – just play along…)  This NEGC bouquet on latticinio faceted paperweight boasts an arrangement of very dimensional and multi-tiered clematis in several colors with numerous finely variegated leaves.  Stems and a delicate yellow ribbon gather all together to complete the arrangement.  “These superb three-dimensional beauties rank among the best of all paperweights produced by the New England Glass Company, and in fact, the best produced by any glassworks.  They made very few of these…no duplicates exist.  Their quality is such that they probably served as presentation pieces given to important personages. “—The Art of the Paperweight-the Boston & Sandwich and New England Glass Companies.  Featured in a special exhibit at the Bergstrom Mahler Museum in 2014-2016.

Extremely rare magnum antique New England Glass Company bouquet on latticinio faceted paperweight.

Extremely rare magnum antique New England Glass Company bouquet on latticinio faceted paperweight.


Beautiful hues of the color blue play both major and notable supporting roles in the first several lots this time around.  According to one of the 3 million plus entries on the all-knowing Internet,  “Blue is the color of the sky and the sea.  It is often associated with depth and stability.  It symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, truth, and heaven. Blue is considered beneficial to mind and body.”  Maybe you can’t buy love, but looking below, it seems as though all the other good things are up for bidding!

LOT 5. Here we have a gorgeous antique Baccarat interlaced millefiori trefoil garlands in blue double overlay faceted paperweight.  Two interlaced trefoil garlands create a perfect space for the central arrowhead cane, with an outer ring of white stars, ringed by a red bull’s eye-centered-white stardust.  Blue-over-white double overlay, with traces of sterling from a stencil indicating gilding.

Antique Baccarat interlaced millefiori trefoil garlands in blue double overlay faceted paperweight.

Antique Baccarat interlaced millefiori trefoil garlands in blue double overlay faceted paperweight.

LOT 15    The antique Clichy interlaced millefiori quatrefoil garlands paperweight that you see here continues nicely on the theme of blue as a restful, positive sensory experience.

Antique Clichy interlaced millefiori quatrefoil garlands paperweight.

Antique Clichy interlaced millefiori quatrefoil garlands paperweight.


LOT 20 As we cast our eye around over our current “embarrassment of riches” there is another holiday that comes to mind. This artwork seems to hold the promise of a charmed life to the lucky bearer of this glass firework, filled as it is with shamrocks (7, of course) and the symbolically beneficial butterflies. We all know St. Patrick but did you know that many cultures associate the butterfly with our souls? Around the world, people view the butterfly as representing change, hope, and life.

Here we have a rare antique Baccarat concentric shamrock and butterfly millefiori on upset muslin faceted paperweight.

“These are weights of power and impact whose design must have taken considerable thought.”—The Encyclopedia of Glass Paperweights, page 56

Rare Antique Baccarat concentric shamrock and butterfly millefiori on upset muslin faceted paperweight.

Rare Antique Baccarat concentric shamrock and butterfly millefiori on upset muslin faceted paperweight.


Remember that all 77 antique as well as the 264 contemporary paperweights have been carefully chosen and presented to provide a balanced and intriguing selection. This auction is a wonderland populated by exotic creations: Lot 14 features a stoic, antique camel; Lot 21 dazzles with a lush pink and black dahlia, Lot 26 seduces, with a gorgeously ethereal green serpent sporting eyes that would make you eat any apple, Lot 69 is a hallucination: a seldom-seen ghostly sailing ship with a tiny red flag atop its mast. There is, of course, a host of other lovingly conceived and rendered items, including fruits and flowers and faces! Many of these are embedded in, embellished with, or embraced by lush leaves, swinging swirls, gorgeous grounds, twisting torsades and magnificent millefiori. And all these carefully crafted artworks provide a much-needed sense of well-being and balance in today’s world!


LOT 69 The very rare antique Millville frit sailing ship from the C. Frank Kireker Collection. A white frit schooner, with sails, fully deployed, floats on blue water over a clear, footed base. “But the most ingenious paperweights at Millville, were those upright scenes derived from iron or steel dies and made by Michael Kane. In paper-thin colored glass pictures as delicate as if they had been etched, Kane shows…a yacht, a clipper ship…in a superb series of vignettes that sets the pulse to beating with chauvinistic nostalgia. These large, clear, heavy handsome weights come plain, footed, on pedestals, and occasionally, as with the clipper ships, in pairs that were probably used as mantel ornaments.”—The Encyclopedia of Glass Paperweights, page 240.

Very rare Millville frit sailing ship pedestal paperweight.

Very rare Millville frit sailing ship pedestal paperweight.


As often is the case we begin our contemporary selections with the Dean, Paul Stankard. If you are a Stankard collector, you may want to clear out another room in the house because this time around we just happen to be able to offer a mini-treasure trove (a term mathematicians know equals 16).

LOT 79 portrays an elegant interplay of blue convolvulus morning glories lying on a sandy ground beside smaller yellow blooms with delicate petals. Berries and foliage complete the composition with the network of stems.

Paul Stankard 1984 Blue Convolvulus morning glories paperweight.

Paul Stankard 1984 Blue Convolvulus morning glories paperweight.


Tired of rising at 3 a.m. to catch a glance of that redstart or blue tit?

Yes, us as well. So what a relief to realize that we have in the auction aviary from Rick Ayotte, a dozen or so birds that will always wait around ‘til 8 a.m. when you start to make coffee like a normal human being. Why they’ll even let you pick them up and stroke them!

LOT 112 is a charming example. An American redstart atop a branch of orange tiger lilies. Surrounding them are petite buds and green leaves, layered with another cluster of tiger lilies.

Rick Ayotte 1986 "American Redstart with Tiger Lilies"compound paperweight.

Rick Ayotte 1986 “American Redstart with Tiger Lilies”compound paperweight.


LOT 144 That’s right! We congratulate Victor Trabucco on his museum retrospective—Glass Within Glass: The Magic of the Trabucco Studio, on view at the Burchfield Penney Art Center through September 17th, 2017. It features the paperweight artistry of Victor, David, and Jon Trabucco.

But, if you can’t get there, we just happen to have a half a dozen beautiful examples ready for your home from over two decades of Victor’s achievement; the works range from 1981 to 1999.

Featured here; 1983 strawberry and blossom upright faceted paperweight, from the C. Frank Kireker Collection.

Victor Trabucco 1983 strawberry and blossom upright faceted paperweight.

Victor Trabucco 1983 strawberry and blossom upright faceted paperweight.


LOT 162 Bob Banford’s daffodil bouquet magnum faceted paperweight. This is simply too joyful an explosion of high-spirited nature not to show you. Spring eternal… and what also makes this piece stand out so is the dimensionality from the excellent faceting.

Bob Banford daffodil bouquet magnum faceted paperweight.

Bob Banford daffodil bouquet magnum faceted paperweight.


LOT 179 That’s right folks! You say you just ran out of the room at home and don’t know which of your favorite collecting themes to indulge in? This charming trio of elements by Colin fits nicely as the frog, fruit, and flowers complement each other well in size, palette, and placement. Nature should always be in such harmony.

Colin Richardson 2013 poison dart frog paperweight.

Colin Richardson 2013 poison dart frog paperweight.


Lot 264 Danny Salazar, who worked in our booth at the Norfolk PCA like a champion—exudes southern California, and it’s completely in evidence here. This carefree beta fish leads a completely left coast lifestyle, floating in a gentle pastel sea.

Daniel Salazar / Lunberg Studios 1987 beta fish compound paperweight.

Daniel Salazar / Lunberg Studios 1987 beta fish compound paperweight.


We do wish we had time and space to spotlight all of the talented artists whose work appears in the auction but then that’s why you have the auction catalog, don’t you? You must have read somewhere by now that the human brain (and heart?) responds much better in the areas of cognition and retention from examining printed matter on paper, than when reading the same information on a computer screen. Enough said!

In Auction #66, most of the Usual (talented) Suspects are all here: Gordon Smith, Clinton Smith, Chris Buzzini, D’Onofrio, Debbie Tarsitano, Cathy Richardson, Charles Kaziun Jr., Drew Ebelhare, Damon MacNaught, Paul Ysart, William Manson, and Francis Whittemore—among many others including post-classic and modern weights by the Scottish and French houses, as well as works from some American studios such as Orient & Flume. We admire all these artists and are proud to have them as friends and associates. We regret not being able to feature works by each of them here, but you should really see our beautifully printed catalogs, where Marty Susmaras has coaxed and caressed truly attractive and dimensional images into being, that become a permanent record for all the artists!


You may have to really roll up your sleeves this time to get a David Graeber, Mayauel Ward, Eric Hansen, Mike Hunter, James Shaw, or Melissa Ayotte (among others) because we were only able to obtain 1 weight by each artist for this auction! So fight hard and play nice!


LOT 335 So because we can’t choose a favorite from the all-star team above to close out with, we’re going in a different direction and leaving you with an eye-grabbing marble filled with abstract millefiori rods and star canes by Karuna Glass…or was that your guess?!

Karuna Glass abstract millefiori rods and star canes marble by Doug Sweet.

Karuna Glass abstract millefiori rods and star canes marble by Doug Sweet.

Finally, we thank you for your time and just want to say to those of you who may not have seen the card insert in our “Glass in a Class by Itself” booklet –


There is little that compares to the thrill of collecting. Over the centuries we have expressed our desires for culture by surrounding ourselves with increasingly sophisticated examples of beauty and refinement. The finely crafted paperweight represents the epitome of the art of sculpture in glass. It requires imaginative artistry, extreme craftsmanship, military discipline, endless patience, and just a touch of luck— in each and every handmade objet d’art.”

Thank you and good luck in the auction!

Ben, Penelope, Marty, Paul and Molly.

L.H. Selman Ltd.

Save the Date!!

Hello, all glass art and paperweight lovers—


We at the Selman Gallery would like to create something a little different for the next edition of our 15- month Calendar and Price Guide.  We want to create an attractive document that that will not only give you images of beautiful fine glass paperweights, with the days, weeks and months of the year(s) as reference—but a calendar that will also inform, delight and remind you of interesting chapters in the history of the art form.

What we need from you is a verifiable date, or a day of the year  (or a week or a month) special in the history of glass and especially glass paperweight history.

It can be a birthday of a well-known artist, or a famous collector or the date an artist opened his or her own studio.

It can be the date when the highest price ever paid at auction for a paperweight was realized.(The name of the auction house also, please…)

It can be the date (and year) that the Corning Museum of Glass or the Great Exhibition of London opened or the date that the historic “Flowers That Clothe the Meadows” exhibition began.

It can be the date if you can find it off when the English Crown changed the punitive trade law, which began to allow the English glass houses to compete with the French.

It can be the date Truman Capote died with “The White Rose” weight, given him by Colette, on his bedside table, and / or the day that Colette allowed Capote to visit her, arranged by her friend and his acquaintance, Jean Cocteau.

It can be the date that King Farouk had to abandon his throne, leaving behind his famous collection and the date of that sale.

If we receive word in time and it is fairly certain that the date will not change  – it can be the current date of important fairs, such as Wheaton or Norfolk or the Houston PCA, etc.  Or it can be the date of the founding of a particular PCA.

It can be the dates of inventions or advances in glass technology, (i.e. the date dichroic glass    was patented.  The date Clichy opened a factory in Clichy.  The date that …you get the idea!

Again, even if you only know the month and year in which something historic or interesting happened we might be able to work with that…  So start scratching your heads and give us your input.

Thank you in advance for your participation!

Paul Berlanga
Molly Rindfuss

PCA Norfolk and The Nepca Boston Conventions

(Michael and Sue Hunter on their U.S. Tour)
Paul Berlanga

Michael and Sue Hunter began a whirlwind tour in the U.S. recently, flying in from Scotland to Chicago on April 21.  Our good friend and paperweight grande dame Nancy Alfano saw them safely to her home before bringing them down to the Selman Gallery on Michigan Avenue the next day for an afternoon lecture and conversation filled with Michael’s trademark bone-dry humor!  Michael shared stories of his decades-long love affair with glass, including an explanation of his often self-taught working methods that have served him so well in a career that has had him looking for extra storage for his awards and citations!  The Hunters also brought along recent works still warm from the oven that sold briskly, as his collectors know that his output is always “1 of 1” with obvious variations between each final weight.  Before our gallery get-together the Hunters met members of the Midwest PCA at a breakfast at the Congress Plaza hotel a block away; the members also joined us for the lecture.  Too bad we couldn’t have Michael perform an actual demonstration but we heard that there were some who might oppose having thousands of degrees of glass melting flame present in the 135 year-old landmark Fine Arts Building.  (Party-poopers.) Michael inserted hilarious asides delivered deadpan and totally entertained the group while Sue kept him on conversational track, adding a correction or the additional tidbit here and there.

Drinks afterward with Nancy and the Hunters at the Aon Building was a welcome finish to the day and provided our Scottish guests with breathtaking views from the 80th floor of the downtown landscape.

We next encountered the Hunters in Norfolk, Virginia at the big PCA convention of April 27-30.  It was my first convention and I was assisting Ben Clark at The Selman booth where we had an entire glass cabinet filled with recent Hunter creations including some dazzlingly elegant candlesticks and cheerful apples and pears created with a patchwork quilt effect that reflected Mike’s interest in the original homespun bedding traditions.  The candlesticks and patchwork fruit sold out and orders had to be taken. It’s a real bonus to have Sue behind the counter, able to explain every last detail of the processes and intentions.  Mike would occasionally chime in, but he also enjoyed wandering the show floor with its thousands of glass distractions. There was a bonus in Norfolk unavailable at the Chicago meeting; here collectors were able to witness Mike and Sue (his irreplaceable studio mate and yes, some of those innovative designs evolved from her initial inspiration!) give demonstrations at the newly outfitted Glass Studio of the Chrysler Museum of Art.  They collaborated with both Colin Richardson and Chris Sherwin to produce separate works that then sold at the ensuing PCA auction for the organization’s benefit.  Rounding out the assembled all stars giving demonstrations were Dave Graeber, Damon MacNaught, Andy Najarian, Mayauel Ward, Clinton Smith and Gordon Smith – with Cathy Richardson as ringmaster deftly explaining to the crowd what was happening.  It was very interesting watching them all, not only for the creation of the weights themselves, but witnessing the absolutely focused intensity, the zones they seemed to reach while also quickly adapting to the working styles and physical movements of one another.  In a nearby room, Andy Najarian was performing magic, cutting, grinding and polishing glass by hand and eye!  He was estimating multiple geometric spaces visually.  Really I would not have believed it had I not seen it.

Let’s back up just a bit. It all began Thursday morning after registration and a generous buffet breakfast. Phil Edelman presiding as emcee outdid Bob Hope on his best day with sharp wit and sly delivery, setting a warm tone for all that followed.

And what followed involved 9 sessions of highly researched and heartfelt presentations.  There were also the aforementioned totally engaging live demonstrations of glassmaking by teams of contemporary artists (many working together for the first time) at the nearby Glass Studio of the Chrysler Museum, as well as a tour of the museum itself.

On the sales floor the dealers followed the artists in a week of presenting one dazzling array after another of the finest examples in the field of paperweights outside of museum collections.  I arrived a bit late and didn’t have adequate time to truly appreciate all the dealer offerings, but Ken Rosenfeld, Eric Hansen, Gordon Smith, Dave Graeber, Drew Ebelhare and Sue Fox, Victor Trabucco, and the others all had me wishing I had deeper pockets.  Maybe next year…  One note; a few dealers mentioned that it might be worth trying to have the artists’ setups in the same big room as the dealers.  (I was disappointed in not really being able to get around to examine each dealer’s wares in depth, but I did have the pleasure of meeting several of them.  Mayauel Ward had stunning and sumptuous glass works of all description – not only a feat of creation, but of transport from the west coast.  Paul and Karen Dunlop’s booth was a college seminar of Pantin history; yes they had other beautiful weights as well.

An additional bonus to the sales floor was to be found in our Selman booth by the presence of John Hawley, who signed copies of his revised and updated classic, The Boston & Sandwich Glass Company.  Please contact us at Selman for your copy.


Without space and memory to cover each presentation adequately, I apologize right now for mentioning some lectures at greater length than others.  All mistakes and omissions are mine alone. Let me also interject here that it was great to be able to put faces to what had been just names on the web and voices on the phone.

In Session 1, Alan Thornton, the English dealer and collector gave an impressive defense of his estimates of the numbers of various groups of paperweights extant worldwide by the use of mathematical extrapolation using what he could from reliable existing records. I was delighted to realize from one of the slides Alan presented, that it became clear that in one of his masterworks in oil—the great French Impressionist painter Seurat actually was primarily interested in rendering the all important Clichy glass factory at La Garenne—with the bathers in the foreground flanking it as a casual afterthought…or maybe that’s just my willful interpretation!

In Session 2, Paul Dunlop delivered an illuminating lecture on the world of Pantin and provided the best possible visuals.  Not only did he present excellent slides; his booth was filled with a collection of Pantin weights as fine as anything one could hope to see anywhere in one setting.  Paul also proved to be an invaluable under-bidder at the PCA auction later on!  In addition, Paul kindly brought me a poster from a one-man show exhibition of his photo-realist paintings at the Phoenix Art Museum.  He and I have a shared background in representational painting, except that he was actually successful!

Next, Cathy Richardson in Session 3 shared her journey in the arts, away from the world of academic science and toward what has become the great passion in her life.

The world of the hard sciences has had its share of politics and gender issues, but science’s loss came to be the art world’s gain.  Cathy’s dedication and success has proven quite influential, given that her son Colin is also a highly regarded glass artist himself.

In Session 4, Allan Port and Angela Bowey explained the interesting crosscurrents between glassmakers in a speech “Vasart, Pirelli & Lassman.”  I would give a lot to know what the two of them know, not only about paperweights and their history, but also about art and antiques in general.  Also, Allan is an absolute doppleganger for a dear old friend of mine and I’m looking for the photograph to send him.

Session 5: “Emerging From the Shadow”– was about an artist’s influences. Drew Ebelhare, Dave Graeber, Eric Hansen and Daniel Salazar gave the audience the gifts of their memories and feelings about developing as people as well as artists.  Drew was as usual, a bit non-conformist to the delight of many with the only wordless  (Andy Kaufman inspired?) presentation with entertaining images and very unusual music.  Drew is also always the best-dressed glassmaker in the house. And try as I might to compliment him and Sue Fox, they will not tell me just how they attain that gorgeous and edible-looking Dreamsicle color in some of their creations.  Danny Salazar’s good-natured reminiscences (he should always be in a good mood, having grown up in southern California!) Among his memories and experience of course is his tenure at Lundberg Studios and all welcomed his remarks.  Danny should write a book about it. He was also cheerfully invaluable in the Selman booth, being the best possible salesman for the beautiful weights he had created and brought to the booth.  (Thank you Danny!)  Eric Hansen shared tales of life in a multi-generational glass family with a touching note about the undoing of the sales market for his family’s glass animals by hordes of cheaply made and low-priced imports.  Things got better later, he said.  (That’s partly why we need arts education in this country – the development of taste!)  I also remember seeing one of the most beautiful weights of the fair at his table.  It’s almost hard to like a guy who has that much talent in different areas.  If you don’t know, Eric’s resume includes having been a Navy pilot and (currently) an airline pilot!

Dave Graeber opened his heart in an instance of sharing, above and beyond what a presentation might call for.  He spoke of his development under two mentors—Paul Stankard and George Vail. Dave’s relationship with Stankard is well known.  But you could only hope to have a student or acolyte feel about you the bone-deep love, respect and gratitude Dave Graeber has for Mr. Vail, who helped prepare him at an earlier time in his life for the challenges ahead of him.

Friday Session 6 saw Virginia Laidet of the Chrysler Museum provide a general introductory welcome to the attendees.

In a most intimate presentation (Session 7-“The Next Evolution”) Melissa Ayotte, shared her philosophy of life and her love of nature as they imbue her passionate struggle to create an art form that incorporates the essence of classic paperweight-making while focusing also on other elements close to her soul; chief among them being symbols of personal growth, reflection and spirituality.  Please try to access her talk.  A side note; I was impressed by how she tries to maintain a fundamental validity to her pieces. One example: she carefully researched just what seeds and bits of plants would be found in an early Indian bowl made by a particular tribe where she had recreated the bowl as a magnum paperweight. Melissa faithfully placed these inside.  And she balances it all with motherhood.  (I need to up my game!)

Session 8 – In “Antique Sulphide Paperweights,” Dr. Barton, attending the fair with his wife Nancy, offered a scholarly and illuminating presentation on the subject.  I tried to take notes in the dark but had to give up from falling behind and just decided to enjoy the moment and take solace for whatever I did retain.  I’m grateful for the reminder from him to never even touch with an ungloved hand the gold finish on a royal portrait sulphide.  He also in an email explained to me the likely reason why there are many sulphides featuring Robert E. Lee and none of General Grant.  Much of the French sympathy lay with the South during our Civil War, which dovetailed nicely with their ambitions in Mexico during that time.  Also Lee was a more refined and appealing subject.  I’m thinking the romance and tragedy of his lost cause also appealed to the French who have had artists on their currency and philosophers listed as such in their phone directories!

The Norfolk PCA convention ended with quite a surprise…

On day 3 of the PCA conference in Norfolk, Wes Clark took the stage for Session 9 – his talk was “In Pursuit of the Russian Imperial Ring, a 30 Year Odyssey.”   An engaging and seasoned speaker, he slowly released his line and led the audience as nimbly as a veteran fisherman; everyone was hooked!  Initially building a parallel momentum of suspense based on his own international treasure hunts for rarities in the paperweight world (with Mr. Magoo as his PowerPoint avatar!) Wes segued to Larry Selman’s own greatest clandestine adventure—securing the majestic “Russian Ring” in the ominous backstreets of Eastern Europe.  The “crowning” achievement of Wes’ speech was the totally unexpected announcement that the Ring was actually about to enter the room!  Unseen for years, the Selman gallery had once again taken possession of the fabled artwork, even if only for a brief period and by the good graces of a very reclusive collector.  The crowd was stunned and delightfully surprised, responding with huge applause. I polled almost a dozen people afterward, could find no one who had begun to guess the climax of the presentation, so quietly and smoothly had Wes ramped up the sense of anticipation in his tone.  (Later I discovered that a few people had noticed the absence of Ben in the room when Wes called him, and began to have their suspicions.)  Despite that, Wes had, according to many there, provided the surprise highlight of the 3 days of presentations.  That afternoon, from open to close, the Selman booth was swamped with admiring collectors just staring and with several artists, led by Damon MacNaught and Gordon Smith putting their heads together in a vigorous conversation of how possibly to reverse-engineer this masterpiece!

(They came to no consensus.)  We thank the civically minded if very private patron of the arts who allowed us to share the unparalleled achievement that the Ring represents in the history of glasswork!  You should have been there!

Russian Ring – Brief Description of Wes Clark’s lecture

“A big thank you to Katie Malone-Smith for the following photographs…just don’t blame her for the captions!”

All-Star Ballet: L-R, Mayauel Ward, Clinton Smith, Cathy Richardson, Chris Sherwin Dave Graeber.

All-Star Ballet: L-R, Mayauel Ward, Clinton Smith, Cathy Richardson, Chris Sherwin Dave Graeber.

Glass Weights Incorporated, a.k.a. The Artists

Glass Weights Incorporated, a.k.a. The Artists

PCA party favors by Chris Sherwin

PCA party favors by Chris Sherwin

Excellent Accommodations

Excellent Accommodations

Silhouettes at Selman’s

Silhouettes at Selman’s

Phil (Bob Hope) Edelman

Phil (Bob Hope) Edelman

D. Graeber, D. Salazar, E. Hansen, D. Ebelhare- waiting to testify…

D. Graeber, D. Salazar, E. Hansen, D. Ebelhare- waiting to testify…

Experts listening to specialists

Experts listening to specialists

There will be a quiz!

There will be a quiz!

Sue and Mike in the kitchen

Sue and Mike in the kitchen



Glass color Wheel of Fortune

Glass color Wheel of Fortune

Nothing like a live performance!

Nothing like a live performance!

Ben with bodyguards

Ben with bodyguards

All fired up!

All fired up!

“And the award goes to…!”

“And the award goes to…!”

Look carefully – you’re here somewhere…

Look carefully – you’re here somewhere…

“All in the Family” (the Ayottes)

“All in the Family” (the Ayottes)

All volunteer army

All volunteer army

“I don’t know…buy all 10, or send junior to college?”

“I don’t know…buy all 10, or send junior to college?”

“Too heavy to lift…it weighs a million bucks!”

“Too heavy to lift…it weighs a million bucks!”

Following the final formal presentation Jim Lefever, Alan Thornton and Andrew Dohan generously hosted an Identification Clinic.  It was also the third day of the dealers’ fair, where people had a last opportunity to purchase additions to their collections as well as view the stunning and reclusive Imperial Russian Ring.

Interspersed with all this were daily announcements and board meetings hosted by selfless members who gave their time and energy to the cause.   I also met Michael Calleri, who helms the Glass Paperweight Group and who documented the PCA Convention so that all the collectors could see everything on the Internet.  We also connected over the abysmal quality of so much film reviewing today.

He’s already saved me from wasting money at the movie ticket office with his thoughtful but no-nonsense reviews.  Thank you Michael!

The Norfolk event ended on a high note Saturday evening with a cocktail hour followed by a satisfying banquet.  As people were finishing their meals the auction of the collaborative works done at the museum glass studio were auctioned off with some real but good-natured competitive spirits on display.  Talk began informally of where the next event would occur, with Louisville mentioned by more than one attendee.  Chris Sherwin went above and beyond in providing this year’s lovely takeaway weight for everyone at the finale.

At this, my first PCA fair I must say I was genuinely impressed by not only the beauty of the assembled offerings of gorgeous glass art and the passion of the lectures and presentations, but also the sense of fraternity among the men and women who fill the ranks of collectors and dealers.  I felt a definite affectionate kinship among you all who were present there and who are reading this.  From the Greatest Generation to the Baby Boomers and even on to those gifted and prescient Millennials who are picking up the torch—I saw nothing but respect and sharing.

It was a pleasure to be there.

Co-incidence? – I don’t think so!  In a surprise move the NATO Alliance saw fit celebrate our PCA members event with a grand parade throughout the downtown area of Norfolk.  Google it if you don’t believe me.  Thank you, half of Europe!!!

Impressed by the international salute, the Hunters departed on Sunday with Diane Warning, who graciously hosted them before bringing them to their next stop – the NEPCA convention.  There, in a hotel in the town of Marlborough outside of Boston, Michael again spoke to an appreciative audience.  Now, Michael claims to be color-blind but when asked how he could achieve the subtle and absolutely harmonious palettes that give many of his works their singular aura, he straightaway says “I read German” meaning he does it by German color charts and number tables. I’m scratching my head over that one, but it certainly seems to work well.  The NEPCA fair attendees were also grateful for an interesting overview; “The Contemporary Paperweight Collection of Richard Schimmelpfeng” was delivered by Kirk Nelson, director of the New Bedford Museum of Glass of Massachusetts.  Allan Port was the lead speaker, generous with his time as well as donations to the table that held some very nice “door prizes.”  Thank you again, Allan for the glass weight of the Earth I took home.

The list of people to acknowledge for their time, energy and devotion to the organizations that bring lovers of paperweights together is indeed a long one and I apologize to any speakers, artists and collectors whom I have failed to identify individually or correctly.  It truly was a gathering of dedicated collectors, artists and dealers. Thanks to Phil Edelman, Diane Warning, Martha Foley, Ellen Rostker, Don Formigli, Deb Zonies, Clara Ayotte, Allan Port and all the glass lovers who gave and continue to give of their time and energy to keep the flame alive beyond the glass studio.

A last thank you to Bob Hartman, a Florida dealer and one of the heroes of the PCA auction.   I tried to stand near him and pick up some of that happy-go-lucky charm of his.  Thank you Bob for reminding me to smile more –

I hope next time I won’t be operating with a severely pinched nerve in my shoulder! Until next time!