Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Craig Ferguson Fan

While my eyelids are always very heavy and better sense should rule, I do find myself more often than not trying to stay awake to listen to Craig Ferguson's opening monologue on the Late late Show on CBS. I continually find him funny and insightful, with a keen eye on America, and he is pleasure to watch. He, perhaps without intention or because sobriety blesses him with being smart as a whip, has become a 21st Century de Tocqueville. I spent the last hour watching youtube clips of his speech at the White House Correspondents Dinner. I did this for two reasons, one, I'm a fan, and second because I'd neither heard nor read much in the press about his performance. After seeing what he had to say I understood. It was very much a case of ,"The Emperor Has No Clothes." And no, he wasn't talking about the President. I highly recommend watching the speech, available on youtube, which only enforced my feeling that this gentleman is going places. It looks like he's beating Conan in some media markets. But for me, it was a previous monologue on The Late Late Show that caught me unawares and cemented in my mind what a decent new American we should welcome to our shores. Its a monologue about Brittany Spears of all things! It is riveting, humble, funny, true and reveals the what we so seldom get to see, a gentleman. Here is the video of Craig Speaking from the Heart.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Fly me to the moons of Saturn

A quick, late Sunday evening entry to enjoy. Along with my love of art and the ancients there comes a fascination and love of the new and the future. Yes, I am a Trekker. Always have been, always will be. Here is a lecture from TED by Planetary scientist Carolyn Porco, on the Cassini mission to Saturn. It's entitled, "Fly me to the moons of Saturn.". Its way cool dude. Live Long and Prosper.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Weschler's April 19th 2008 Auction

Here is an update to my March posting on Weschler's April 19th auction.

The auction was held yesterday on a very nice spring day here in DC. Perhaps that is the reason for all the pieces sold, (two went unsold), failing to meet their high estimates. It looks like a few good deals were made yesterday. Today would have been a better day to attract a crowd as we've had over two inches of rain fall in the DC region. This would have made a perfect day to stay indoors and bid on such nice objects. Let's take a look at the winning bids. I must say, I loved that last small French impressionist painting.

Highlights, personally picked, for Weschler's April 19, 2008 Auction, in Washington DC. For a complete view of the listings for the auction simply click here, WESCHLERS.

Group of Five Steuben Clear Glass Table Articles
Consisting of a set of four 'Teardrop' candlesticks, shape no. 7792, circa 1937; and an oval bowl, shape no. 7970, designed by George Thompson, circa 1949. Each inscribed on the underside Steuben. One candlestick broken at base of shaft.
Height of candlestick: 8-7/8 in (22.5 cm); Width of bowl: 9-5/8 in (24.4 cm)
Estimate $500-1,000. Sold for $700.00

Pair of Le Corbusier 'LC/2' Chromed Metal and Leather Chairs
Probably Manufactured by Cassina, Design Introduced 1928
Each upholstered in tan leather upon a chromed tubular metal frame. Each with an Atelier International, Ltd. cloth label on the underside of the seat cushion; each impressed on the underside of one arm Le Corbusier and LC/2; the first impressed 945, the second 956. Each with some distress and wear to leather.

Estimate $1,200-1,800. Sold for $850.00. Guess they weren't in the best condition.

George Nakashima Walnut Three-Legged Side Table
Circa 1972-1973
Having a shaped triangular top with a single free edge raised on three tapering dowel legs. Unmarked.
Height: 17 in (43.2 cm); Width: 22-1/4 in (56.5 cm); Depth: 18 in (45.7 cm)
Estimate $1,200-1,800. Sold for $1,700.00

Jacob Epstein (British 1880-1959)
First Portrait of Isobel (Silber 221)
Bronze sculpture with dark-brown patina, executed in 1932, edition 6/6.
Height: 21-1/2 in (54.6 cm)
Estimate $20,000-30,000. Sold for $14,000.00. Wow, way low.

Stephen S. Pace (American b. 1918)
Two Oxen
Signed Pace and dated 73 l.r., signed Stephen Pace and titled on a paper label affixed to the verso
Oil on canvas
30 x 40 in (76.2 x 101.6 cm)
Estimate $10,000-15,000. Unsold. Shame, I loved the painting.

Victor Salmones (Mexican b. 1937)
Recumbent Male Dancer
Signed Victor Salmones lower reverse
Bronze sculpture with dark brown patina
Height: 32 in (81.3 cm)
Greatest width: 67 in (170.2 cm)
Estimate $4,000-6,000. Sold For $5,500.00

Grant Wood (American 1891-1942)
Fertility (Cole 15)
Lithograph, 1939, signed Grant Wood in pencil l.r., edition of 250, published by Associated American Artists, New York; laid down, with mat toning and glue residue along the margins, a few points of yellow spotting and a few minor points of restoration in the barn. Framed.
Image size: 229 x 302 mm (9 x 11-7/8 in)
Estimate $2,000-4,000. Sold For $3,400.00. Looks like a deal.

James Abbott McNeil Whistler (American 1834-1903)
Billingsgate (Kennedy 47)
Etching, 1859, signed Whistler within the plate at l.r.; apparently in good condition overall. Framed.*
Plate size: 152 x 222 mm (6 x 8-3/4 in)
Estimate $1,000-1,500. Sold For $700.00. That was a deal!

Pablo Picasso (Spanish 1881-1973)
L' Abreuvoir from La Suite des Saltimbanques (Bloch 8)
Drypoint on Van Gelder paper, 1905-1913, edition of 250, published by Vollard, Paris; with some minor surface soiling along the margins. Unframed.
Plate size: 121 x 191 mm (4-3/4 x 7-1/2 in)
Estimate $6,000-8,000. Unsold. Used to be a fan. Not so sure anymore.

Manolo (Miguel Hugué) (Cuban 1872-1945)

Figure of a Seated Woman
Unsigned, inscribed No. 4 with founder's mark CIRE/ C. VALSUANI/PERDUE on the side of the base
Bronze sculpture with dark brown patina
Height: 9-7/8 in (25.1 cm)
Estimate $1,200-1,800. Sold For $1,800.00

Lois Mailou Jones (American 1905-1998)

A View of Windsor Castle
Signed Lois M. Jones, located London and dated '38 l.r.
Watercolor and graphite on paper; with some slight fading and an area of spotting in the u.r. corner. Framed.*
Sight size: 14-3/4 x 19 in (37.5 x 48.3 cm)
Estimate $2,500-3,500. Sold For $3,000.00

Manner of Thomas Sully (American Early 19th Century)
Portrait of a Young Girl in a Diaphanous Gown
Oil on canvas
30 x 24-3/4 in (76.2 x 62.9 cm)
Estimate $2,000-3,000. Sold For $1,200.00. A good deal.

The canvas has been relined. With scattered fine craquelure, most notably in the areas of flesh-colored pigment. With some minor spots of surface soiling, most notably a yellow surface spot on the sitter''s shoulder and a small spot on her right cheek. With an even milky-green varnish visible under UV examination. Scattered areas of restoration in the background, with some scattered minor restoration on the sitter''s face, hair and gown, with heavy restoration visible on the back of her top hand.

Charles Edward Dixon (British 1872-1934)
Limehouse Reach
Signed Charles Dixon, titled and dated 02 l.l.
Watercolor and ink on paper mounted on paperboard; with toning along the margins. Framed.
Sheet size: 10-1/2 x 30-1/2 in (26.7 x 77.5 cm)
Estimate $3,000-5,000. Sold For $4,800.00

Giovanni Lomi (Italian 1889-1969)
Strada di Firenze
Signed Lomi Giovanni and inscribed faintly in Italian on the verso
Oil on panel
9-3/4 x 6-3/4 in (24.8 x 17.1 cm)
Estimate $1,500-2,500. Sold For $2,000.00

With a couple of small areas of pigment loss in the u.l. quadrant. A small point of gold leaf transfer along the u.l. perimeter. No restoration is visible under UV examination


Luigi Steffani (Italian 1827-1898)
Colpo di Vento
Signed L. Steffani l.r.
Oil on canvas
11-1/2 x 17-3/4 in (29.2 x 45.1 cm)
Estimate $10,000-15,000. Sold For $7,000.00. A great buy.

Pandolfini Casa D''Aste, Firenze, 1984, lot 199.

With some scattered minor frame abrasion, some points with surface pigment loss, along the edges of the canvas. Some light soiling in the sky area. With a few minor points of restoration in the area of the ocean at c.r. visible under UV examination

Georges Charles Robin (French 1904-1928)
Estuary of the Seine
Signed Georges Robin l.r.
Oil on canvas
18 x 22 in (45.7 x 55.9 cm)
Estimate $2,000-4,000. Sold For $3,000.00

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Daily Painter Phenomenon

A new home business created as a result of the internet is the Daily Painter. These are individuals who create small original paintings which are put up for auction, either by the painter's own site or through a collective site or Ebay. I've followed this new business plan for a few months and have read a number of articles about these men and women who try to create a product to sustain their life's passion. There is a great deal of sorting the wheat from the chaff, but there are great deals to be found, and most of all, these are original, individual works that would look great on a side table (they tend to be small) or as a collection put together artfully on a wall. I subscribe to a few fellows and ladies whose work I admire.

They send me via they're email subscriber list what is available this day. There are a few websites where many artists come together to display their work. One of the top sites is Daily Painters. Just for example, tonight I found an artist that I think is incredible. Her name is Jelaine Faunce and her work is beautiful.

These are sort of virtual street art fairs. You can spend a few pleasant minutes perusing what's on offer but I have found that the real talents have their own sites. It's a part of what I love about this internet phenomenon.

Another artist that I'm honored to highlight is Justin Clayton. Very evocative and elegant and pleasing. I'd love to have a few pieces of his works.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

I'm sure most of you are aware of Carnegie Mellon Professor Randy Pausch, who is dying from pancreatic cancer. He gave his last lecture at the university Sept. 18, 2007, before a packed McConomy Auditorium. In his moving talk, "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams," Pausch talked about his lessons learned and gave advice to students and many guests from around the world who traveled to this special lecture, on how to achieve their own career and personal goals. In just a few minutes ABC News will profile this fine gentleman. Should you miss it I have linked here to the lecture. I'm being way behind the curve here, as millions have viewed the lecture online, and only became aware of this man and his wise words in the past week. I simply link as a service to something so worthwhile. Put a quiet hour aside and watch. And say a prayer. Here is the link to Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Blue and White

My thanks to The Peak of Chic for a knock on the side of my head for my next posting. I'm sure that Carolyne Roehm's new book, A Passion for Blue and White, will be on many a coffee table and designer library. I'm a life long believer that this combination of colors always looks fresh and timeless at the same time. I took some pictures today of a great source for this kind of look (hint, we are in DC. ). Sorry for being vague, but if you see something of interest please email me.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

The true face of Leonardo Da Vinci?

A fascinating short lecture from TED by Siegfried Woldhek on The true face of the great Leonardo Da Vinci. TED is linked on the sidebar here. Be careful, you may get hooked, and perhaps smarter.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Classical Architectural Prints

A well framed period architectural print always looks great on your library, entry hall or for that sake any room wall. The late, great, Bill Blass was a huge fan of old prints from the classical era. A terrific source, based in Germany is Philographikon, founded in 1974 by Rainer Rauhut, Member of the German Association of Anitquarian Book and Printsellers and International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB). Herr Rauhut has an amazing collection of prints on almost every subject. His website is a virtual treasure trove that can keep you online for hours. We American's may find it a bit costly but the artifacts speak for themselves.