Thursday, May 29, 2008

Not Your Grandmother's Wedgewood

From the newly found A very interesting site on new design. I found these pieces so fascinating.

Michael Eden created the Wedgwoodn’t tureen by using rapid manufacturing and ceramic materials which don’t need firing.

A research student in Ceramics & Glass at the Royal College of Art in London, Eden has been experimenting with methods of 3D printing using digital data to create ceramic objects with the same properties as conventional ceramics.

Visit the project blog for more information.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The National Portrait Gallery UK Annual Competition

One of my favorite Museums in London is the National Portrait Gallery. The Museum holds an annual competition sponsored by British Petroleum that has become a favorite stop of mine when I'm lucky enough to get to see it. I have always found the genre of portrait painting interesting. There are so many questions about how they are created. Is the piece commissioned? Is the subject a loved one? Is is a great work of art? Is it the product of a narcissist? When viewing another human being do we see ourselves or wish we were them, or in this new century era do we wince? Unlike portraits commissioned by the aristocracy or the elite of old, so many painters today want to show the warts and all. Some pieces from recent winners are shocking in their truth and some are true works of art. I love it all and just drink in the creative mind. The winners from the 2008 competition will go on exhibition at the Gallery from 12 June - 14 September 2008. To those lucky enough to cross the pond this very expensive summer I encourage a stop by. Here a few pictures from last year's winners. I'll post the winner's for 2008 when they are announced.

First Prize - 2007- Paul Emsley

Oil on canvas
Trained at Cape Technical College, Cape Town, in recent years Paul Emsley has won the Silver Award for Works on Paper (Art London 2005); First Prize in the Singer & Friedlander Sunday Times Watercolour Exhibition (2002) and Third Prize in 2003 and 2001. The sitter is the contemporary artist, Michael Simpson. Both artists live in the same town, and Elmsley had always been struck by Simpson’s appearance. Elmsley worked from a series of short sittings as he felt he could not ask his subject to sit for long periods of time. The portrait took five weeks to complete.

Second Prize - David Lawton

Oil on canvas panel
David Lawton undertook a Foundation Course in Art at Chester College of Further Education (1977–1978) followed by a BA degree in English and Social Anthropology at Lancaster University (1978–81). He has exhibited at the BP Portrait Award (2000), won the Small Picture Award, Manchester Academy of Fine Arts (2003) and the RSBA Prize, Royal Birmingham Society of Artists (2004). Lawton has painted his friend Stephen on a number of occasions. When previously selected for the BP Award exhibition, Lawton’s entry was a nude study of Stephen called ‘The Tough Guy’. The sittings for this year’s portrait took place at Lawton’s home in September 2006.

Third Prize - Johan AnderssonOil on canvas
Born in Sweden, Johan Andersson moved to England at the age of 8. He is currently studying fine art at Central St Martin’s Art and Design College, London where he gained a Foundation Diploma in 2005. His work was exhibited as part of the Direction 2007 Group show at London’s Lethaby Gallery. His portrait is of his 21-year-old friend Tamara. Their friendship adds a silent tension which is revealed in the shyness of Tamara’s demeanour. “This insecurity of posing nude,” he says “is evident in the awkwardness of the pose.” Johan says he was trying to challenge attitudes to voyeurism through his portrait. Johan Andersson receives £6,000 for Tamara which is painted in oil on canvas and measures 1000 x 734mm.

Young Artist Award and Visitor Choice Award - Hynek Martinec

Acrylic on wooden board
Born in the Czech Republic, Hynek Martinec graduated from the Academy of Fine Art, Prague in 2005. In 2003 he won the Academy’s Studio Prize. He has had solo exhibitions in Prague and Paris and currently works as a painter in both cities and London.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Design thoughts by Yves Behar

If you have 18 minutes and love new design ideas and thoughts on the future, I can only say WATCH this video with Yves Behar. Its well worth your time. Thank you again to TED.

A Great Loss

A huge fan of his many films I link in honor of the sad news of the passing of Sydney Pollack.

Caveat Emptor

Every year or two a scandal erupts in the antiques field. Its a place where these kinds of things are bound to happen and it saddens me. But in this case, heads are sure to roll. My love of the business only impresses on myself to say, " It is what it is." And if you love it and the seller is honest...enjoy it for what it is.
New York Times
May 22, 2008

Furniture Restorer’s Allegations of Deception Shake Antiques Trade

MICHAEL SMITH, a prominent decorator in Los Angeles, was staggered when a friend called from London in early April with the news: John Hobbs, a London antiques dealer known for superb English and Continental furniture, stratospheric prices and wealthy American clients, had been accused by his longtime restorer of selling fakes.

Mr. Smith said he was panicked at the thought that two very expensive mahogany chests of drawers he acquired for a California financier in September — described on the invoice as a fine pair of English commodes, circa 1830 — might not be worth anything close to what he had paid.

His fears might have been justified. Detailed workshop records and photographs provided by Dennis Buggins, Mr. Hobbs’s restorer for 21 years, indicate that Mr. Smith’s commodes were designed and fabricated between 2004 and 2006, using materials plundered from several old wardrobes and a linen press. The cost, Mr. Buggins said, was about $55,000. The asking price was 365,000 pounds ($736,000 at the time), a retail markup of more than 1,000 percent, although Mr. Smith managed to pay $450,000.

Since last month, when The Sunday Times in London published Mr. Buggins’s initial allegations and Mr. Hobbs’s adamant denials, what began as a bitter financial dispute between the two men has become a source of anxiety for collectors and interior designers around the world.

Fakes and copies are hardly a novelty in the antiques business. But, if true, the allegations being made against Mr. Hobbs — whose clients include David H. Koch and Leslie H. Wexner and the fashion designers Oscar de la Renta and Valentino — suggest deception and audacity on an extraordinary scale. In a telephone interview, Mr. Buggins claimed that since 1992 his workshop has handled about 1,875 items for John Hobbs, more than half of which involved major alterations or outright inventions.

On April 7, the day after The Sunday Times reported the dispute in two articles (written in part by Christopher Owen, one of the reporters for this article), the British Antique Dealers’ Association suspended Mr. Hobbs’s membership. On May 6, Mr. Hobbs resigned from the group.

Moving vans were parked outside Mr. Hobbs’s shop in Dove Walk, off London’s Pimlico Road, for more than a week in late April, sparking rumors among dealers in the area that he might be emptying his store of fakes or closing it down. But Mr. Hobbs insisted the timing was incidental.

“We’re taking this opportunity to redecorate, that’s all,” he said. “I’m not going out of business.” Mr. Buggins’s accusations are “just ludicrous,” he said. “He never made any fakes for me, ever.”

The dispute between the dealer and the restorer began in September. According to John Hobbs’s son, Rupert, it was a result of his father’s attempt to intervene in an ongoing legal battle between Carlton Hobbs — John Hobbs’s brother and former business partner — and Mr. Buggins. “Dennis then decided that John and Carlton were colluding against him,” Rupert Hobbs wrote in an e-mail. In any case, money stopped changing hands.

Mr. Buggins said he was obliged to lay off the 30 subcontracted craftsmen he had working on projects for Mr. Hobbs, who for 18 months had been his only major client. He was also compelled, he said, to sell his 13th-century farmhouse in the Kent countryside and adjoining buildings that housed his workshop.

The two men are now embroiled in a lawsuit, and Mr. Buggins claims that Mr. Hobbs owes him about $840,000. (In December, Mr. Hobbs filed a counterclaim in the amount of 2.7 million pounds, about $5.3 million, against the return of antiques and works of art and damages.) Mr. Buggins came forward with his allegations, he said, because of his anger at the treatment by his longtime employer, and his discovery that Mr. Hobbs was misrepresenting his handiwork as authentic antiques.

Since the Sunday Times articles appeared last month, some collectors have approached Christie’s requesting appraisals of the authenticity of items they purchased from John Hobbs, a spokeswoman for the auction house said. In late April, David H. Wilson, a leading furniture restorer and appraiser based in New Jersey, flew to England at the behest of a handful of private clients to inspect their collections, he said.

“Several pieces gave me cause for concern,” Mr. Wilson said, “so the suspicions of my clients were well founded.”

In New York, gossip about the allegations has spread quickly along Fifth and Park Avenues.

“Every rich person was buying things from John or Carlton or both,” said Thierry Millerand, a New York antiques dealer and former worldwide head of Sotheby’s European furniture department, referring to Mr. Hobbs, 62, and his brother, 51, who now sells antiques in New York. The brothers had a falling out and dissolved their partnership in 1993.

“John has held himself up to the public as such a high-end dealer,” Mr. Wilson said. “That’s why people are so shocked. People were paying a premium, assuming that by doing so they were getting the very best.” Several high-profile New York decorators have spent large amounts of their clients’ money at Mr. Hobbs’s store, including Peter Marino and Bunny Williams, who declined to be interviewed for this article, and Juan Pablo Molyneux, who sidestepped questions about the accusations leveled at Mr. Hobbs.

“John’s things were always exceptional,” Mr. Molyneux said, “with the kind of humor and fantasy I like, instead of boring brown English furniture. I’m very confident that I bought what I paid for.”

Mr. Molyneux seemed unperturbed when told that Mr. Buggins had identified as fake a pair of side tables that he had purchased believing they were antiques, for a Russian businessman’s London apartment. (An article in Architectural Digest in 2005 listed Mr. Hobbs as the source for the tables. Mr. Buggins, shown a copy, claimed to have made them from scratch, using old wood.)

“They’re very beautiful,” Mr. Molyneux said. “When I’m shopping for my projects, I’m not buying for investment. I buy a piece because it tells a story in the room.”

“I have a clause in my contract saying I’m not responsible for the antiques we buy,” he added. “I know a lot about antiques, but I’m not an expert.”

Another New York decorator was less sanguine. “It’s very nerve-racking,” he said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he anticipated lawsuits from clients. “I’ve spent millions at John Hobbs. Now I expect I’ll be in striped pajamas.”

But he is unrepentant about his aesthetic choices. “John Hobbs puts on an incredible show — no one else came close to his place in Dove Walk,” he added. “A piece of furniture might be $4 million, but it’s presented superbly.”

Mr. Smith, the Los Angeles decorator — who canceled his commode purchase, leaving his client “happy with the resolution,” he said — was shaken by the experience. “Antiques are the last business based on trust,” he added. “You take things on a handshake deal. That someone would abuse that trust is staggering.”

And Robert Couturier, a leading designer based in New York, described himself as incredibly angry at Mr. Hobbs. “It’s such an abuse of confidence,” he added. “Nobody questioned his honesty. It’s very sad.”

MR. HOBBS insisted that he used Mr. Buggins only for restoration and making authorized copies of antiques.

“He made replicas occasionally, once every two years where maybe there was a set of 10 chairs and a client wanted 14,” he said. “But it would be at the client’s request. They wouldn’t be fakes, they’d simply be replicas.”

Records from Mr. Buggins’s workshop appear to tell a different story. Photographs illustrate how he transformed plain, relatively inexpensive pieces of furniture into high-end antiques.

“It’s basically recladding,” Mr. Buggins said. Starting with an inexpensive item, “you use the best materials you can find and literally clad your new design onto that carcass.” Period wardrobes with beautifully aged patinas — known as breakers — were the staple ingredient. “You take the doors and panels and thin them down to 2 or 3 millimeters to use as veneer,” he said.

As John Hobbs’s demand for the production of new “antiques” grew, Mr. Buggins said, it became necessary to rent a barn five miles from the Kent workshop to store his raw materials.

“The barn was massive,” Mr. Buggins said. “It was stocked with 500 wardrobes. John bought stunning ones, absolutely the best. He called them blank canvases.”

The creation of one of his most astonishing inventions — a mahogany partners desk — was documented in 2006 with photographs taken before, during and after. The later images match a desk that John Hobbs recently offered for sale, with a photograph and an accompanying description printed on his letterhead that heralds the desk as “large and important gilt metal mounted mahogany pedestal partners desk, early 19th century in the manner of Marsh and Tatham.” This furniture maker, the description explains helpfully, “was highly successful in attracting royal and aristocratic patrons, and in common with other leading makers, they seldom identified their work with trade labels or stamps.”

Mr. Buggins offered a different explanation for the absence of vintage markings: “I actually designed that desk,” he said.

The cost for labor and materials, Mr. Buggins said, was about 100,000 pounds, or $180,000. Mr. Hobbs’s asking price was 1.2 million pounds (about $2.4 million), a figure that might seem implausible even if the desk’s history were not in question, except that the record price paid for British furniture at auction, 1.76 million pounds for the Anglesey Desk at Christie’s in 1993, was for a desk attributed to Marsh & Tatham.

Mr. Buggins insists that until the time of his lawsuit with Mr. Hobbs, he was unaware that his works were being offered for sale as antiques. “I’m absolutely stunned,” he said.

Through Rupert Hobbs, who runs the London store, Mr. Hobbs declined to comment on Mr. Buggins’s allegations about the desk or the other pieces he was asked about in an e-mail message.

Mr. Buggins said he was also surprised to find, in preparing evidence for his lawsuit last fall, that some of the “antiques” he had manufactured were posted, along with fictional descriptions, on Mr. Hobbs’s Web site (

As of Wednesday, the Web site displayed a pair of walnut pedestal cupboards that Mr. Buggins claims to have fabricated using columns that he salvaged from the Tate Gallery in London.

The same columns, he said, were used to create another desk recently offered for sale by Mr. Hobbs, described in a memo on his letterhead as “an unusual double-sided walnut pedestal desk, English 19th century.” The description goes on to suggest that its design would “indicate a commission from a gentleman scholar with an interest in mechanics.” Mr. Buggins said it was fabricated for a fraction of Mr. Hobbs’s asking price of 195,000 pounds ($390,000).

Mr. Hobbs also recently offered “a pair of painted geometric mirrors, Italian 19th century,” priced at 58,000 pounds (or $115,000). Mr. Buggins, on seeing the memo for these pieces, claimed that they were originally plain frames and that he had added the decorative panels, corner plates and lozenges.

To support this allegation, Mr. Buggins supplied a photograph to reporters that showed a mirror propped against a white van outside his workshop, halfway through the process of being embellished with adornments like those described by Mr. Hobbs’s memo. The resemblance between the incomplete mirror in Mr. Buggins’s picture and the one on Mr. Hobbs’s presentation sheet was striking.

Last week Mr. Buggins’s allegations widened to include pieces of furniture sold at auction by Christie’s in 2005 and 2007, all with a John Hobbs provenance. A pair of “Spanish silvered clear and blue foil-backed mirrors, 18th century,” which went for $192,000 in New York in May 2005, was made using old mirror plates and old pine, possibly from a church pew, Mr. Buggins said.

And in September 2007, Christie’s London sold two desks with descriptions that Mr. Buggins called spurious, both in a single-seller auction, “From City Chic to Alpine Retreat, Holland Park and St. Moritz.” Christie’s declined to name the seller, but experts familiar with the collection and the peregrinations of its owner identified her as Louise T. Blouin MacBain, the magazine owner and art collector. Ms. MacBain did not respond to three requests for comment made through her personal assistant.

A spokesman for Christie’s, Toby Usnik, said: “We take such allegations very seriously and will be reviewing any consignments which give us cause for concern and taking such steps as we consider appropriate.”

Mr. Usnik declined to elaborate on whether Christie’s had a policy of alerting the buyer of a piece of furniture when the authenticity of a piece was questioned by its alleged creator. “Our dealings with our clients are confidential,” he said, “but we will take such steps as we consider appropriate depending on the outcome of our review.”

Mr. Buggins said there were more revelations ahead. He claims he is considering setting up a Web site making records available for every substantially altered or fabricated item that passed through his workshop — not just those for John Hobbs — over the past 20 years.

Along with designers and clients, Mr. Buggins’s allegations about John Hobbs appear to have caused discomfort for at least one other dealer: Mr. Hobbs’s estranged brother, Carlton, who sells furniture from a former Vanderbilt mansion at 60 East 93rd Street, which he bought in 2002. On May 7, Carlton Hobbs issued a press release offering “an independent and accredited expert assessment, at no cost to clients, of any item purchased from the firm in the last 15 years.”

The document, posted on the Internet, made no mention of John Hobbs. But anyone familiar with the situation could hardly fail to grasp what was meant by the reference to “concerns recently expressed in the London antiques community about reproductions and replicas of historical pieces alleged to have been misrepresented as authentic period artifacts.”

The press release also offered a refund for any item “found to have an issue of authenticity or degree of restoration,” though it left the criteria for establishing that vague.

One reason Carlton Hobbs might want to reassure his clients is his own history with Mr. Buggins. Although Mr. Buggins declined to name any of his clients except John Hobbs, citing legal reasons, records for the New York State Civil Supreme Court show he filed a lawsuit against Carlton Hobbs in October 2007, in a dispute over the ownership of several pieces of furniture. An affidavit for that case given by Stefanie Rinza, a managing director of Carlton Hobbs LLC, describes a 20-year working relationship between Carlton Hobbs and Mr. Buggins that was in force in late 2005, when Mr. Hobbs was paying Mr. Buggins’s firm “approximately 25,000 pounds a month” for restoration work.

Mr. Buggins declined to comment on the lawsuit, as did Drew Biondo, a spokesman for Carlton Hobbs — though Mr. Biondo did deny that his boss had had a working relationship with Mr. Buggins that involved the creation or sale of fakes.

Told of Carlton Hobbs’s legal and professional involvement with Mr. Buggins, a few decorators have expressed dismay. And his dramatic press release, intended to assuage collectors’ fears and to distance him from the allegations against his brother, seems for some to have raised the possibility that Carlton Hobbs might somehow be involved in selling fakes.

Mr. Couturier, for one, seemed distressed.

“I’m a much better client of Carlton than I was of John,” he said. “With Carlton it’s a lot of money. If it’s true, it would be dreadful.”

But presuming it isn’t, Mr. Couturier is still worried about the short- and long-term repercussions of the Hobbs scandal. The real fallout, he worries, may be for the antiques trade as a whole. “People are nervous,” he said. “People will say they don’t like antiques because half of them are fake anyway.”

Friday, May 23, 2008

Mr. Brooks

I don't normally post opinion/editorials, but I enjoyed David Brooks' kind words about bloggers and their ilk this morning. It is nice way to start this Memorial Day holiday. I hope everyone gets some time to smell the roses these next couple of days. They are in glorious bloom here in our Nation's Capital. After the last few weeks of feeling like perhaps its time to build an Ark, the local climatologists are promising sunshine. Happy Memorial Day all.

The New York Times
May 23, 2008

Op-Ed Columnist

The Alpha Geeks

In 1950, Dr. Seuss published a book called “If I Ran the Zoo.” It contained the sentence: “I’ll sail to Ka-Troo, and bring back an IT-KUTCH, a PREEP, and a PROO, a NERKLE, a NERD, and a SEERSUCKER, too!” According to the psychologist David Anderegg, that’s believed to be the first printed use of the word “nerd” in modern English.

The next year, Newsweek noticed that nerd was being used in Detroit as a substitute for “square.” But, as Ander-egg writes in his book, “Nerds,” the term didn’t really blossom onto mass consciousness until The Fonz used it in “Happy Days” in the mid- to late-1970s. And thus began what you might call the ascent of nerdism in modern America.

At first, a nerd was a geek with better grades. The word described a high-school or college outcast who was persecuted by the jocks, preps, frat boys and sorority sisters. Nerds had their own heroes (Stan Lee of comic book fame), their own vocations (Dungeons & Dragons), their own religion (supplied by George Lucas and “Star Wars”) and their own skill sets (tech support). But even as “Revenge of the Nerds” was gracing the nation’s movie screens, a different version of nerd-dom was percolating through popular culture. Elvis Costello and The Talking Heads’s David Byrne popularized a cool geek style that’s led to Moby, Weezer, Vampire Weekend and even self-styled “nerdcore” rock and geeksta rappers.

The future historians of the nerd ascendancy will likely note that the great empowerment phase began in the 1980s with the rise of Microsoft and the digital economy. Nerds began making large amounts of money and acquired economic credibility, the seedbed of social prestige. The information revolution produced a parade of highly confident nerd moguls — Bill Gates and Paul Allen, Larry Page and Sergey Brin and so on.

Among adults, the words “geek” and “nerd” exchanged status positions. A nerd was still socially tainted, but geekdom acquired its own cool counterculture. A geek possessed a certain passion for specialized knowledge, but also a high degree of cultural awareness and poise that a nerd lacked.

Geeks not only rebelled against jocks, but they distinguished themselves from alienated and self-pitying outsiders who wept with recognition when they read “Catcher in the Rye.” If Holden Caulfield was the sensitive loner from the age of nerd oppression, then Harry Potter was the magical leader in the age of geek empowerment.

But the biggest change was not Silicon Valley itself. Rather, the new technology created a range of mental playgrounds where the new geeks could display their cultural capital. The jock can shine on the football field, but the geeks can display their supple sensibilities and well-modulated emotions on their Facebook pages, blogs, text messages and Twitter feeds. Now there are armies of designers, researchers, media mavens and other cultural producers with a talent for whimsical self-mockery, arcane social references and late-night analysis.

They can visit eclectic sites like and Cool Hunting, experiment with fonts, admire Stewart Brand and Lawrence Lessig and join social-networking communities with ironical names. They’ve created a new definition of what it means to be cool, a definition that leaves out the talents of the jocks, the M.B.A.-types and the less educated. In “The Laws of Cool,” Alan Liu writes: “Cool is a feeling for information.” When someone has that dexterity, you know it.

Tina Fey, who once was on the cover of Geek Monthly magazine, has emerged as a symbol of the geek who grows into a swan. There is now a cool geek fashion style, which can be found on shopping sites all over the Web (think Japanese sneakers and text-laden T-shirts). Schwinn now makes a retro-looking Sid/Nancy bicycle, which is sweet and clunky even though it has a faux-angry name. There are now millions of educated-class types guided by geek manners and status rules.

The news that being a geek is cool has apparently not permeated either junior high schools or the Republican Party. George Bush plays an interesting role in the tale of nerd ascent. With his professed disdain for intellectual things, he’s energized and alienated the entire geek cohort, and with it most college-educated Americans under 30. Newly militant, geeks are more coherent and active than they might otherwise be.

Barack Obama has become the Prince Caspian of the iPhone hordes. They honor him with videos and posters that combine aesthetic mastery with unabashed hero-worship. People in the 1950s used to earnestly debate the role of the intellectual in modern politics. But the Lionel Trilling authority-figure has been displaced by the mass class of blog-writing culture producers.

So, in a relatively short period of time, the social structure has flipped. For as it is written, the last shall be first and the geek shall inherit the earth.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Okay I'll Admit It

I wanted David Cook to win. Cheers Mr. Cook. Now I'll go back to saying I don't watch TV. Till Next Year ;)

Monday, May 19, 2008

An UnCanny Resemblance

This Thursday, May 22, 2008, I, along with a most fetching companion, will head to the Warner Theater in downtown D.C. for the 37th Annual Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities. We'll be lucky enough to listen and watch Pulitzer Prize-winning author John Updike give the annual lecture on,"The Clarity of Things, What Is American About American Art." While I know from past experience that these evenings can be both learned and entertaining; in discussing the upcoming evening today with my friends/co-workers, a certain youthful but very intelligent young lady pointed out a very amusing yet eerie resemblance. The program's cover photograph is of the famous portrait of Paul Revere by John Singleton Copley. It was pointed out to the assembled, well trained eyes that he bears an uncanny resemblance to an actor of the day. It's really very funny and incredibly true. Obviously others have seen the same thing as you will see below. I'll write about the lecture later in the week, but until then, do you see it too?

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Results from Weschlers May 17, 2008 Auction

Here are the results from yesterday's Auction. Again, adding from the original post, it surely seems that I'm focusing on auctions, but it comes with the season. Weschler's Auction House here in DC is having a big sale on May 17th. I spent last night going through the entire catalogue, which meant close to five hundred items. I culled from those listings the objects that caught my eye and will present them below. You can view the entire catalogue here at Weschler's May Auction.

I am neither a fine arts expert nor do I have any relationship with Weschler's. I highlight their auctions because, for one Homer's Odd, is DCcentric. I do live here and I have bought many pieces at this auction house. I have been very happy with the establishment. I find them to be honest and earnest in providing pertinent information about the background of the items they put up for sale and what provenance and repair work has been done on the object. Enough said. You want to see some great pieces? Lets take a walk

Sale 1315 Lot 252

Russian Silver Mounted Cut Glass Claret Jug
Khlebnikov, Moscow, 1908-1917
The pierced and foliate-embossed collar continuing to a swag-decorated handle and a hinged lid; the clear glass body cut with fans and diamonds. Marked on side of collar and interior of lid.
Height: 11-1/4 in (28.6 cm)
Estimate $2,500-3,500 SOLD FOR $2,800

Sale 1315 Lot 227

American Hardstone Mounted Sterling Humidor
Possibly Sweetser & Co., New York, 1900-1915
The hinged lid, surmounted by a carved hardstone fu-dog finial, opening to view a cedar-lined interior. Impressed on the underside S&E and E31.
Height with finial: 5-1/4 in (13.3 cm); Width: 7 in (17.8 cm); Depth: 5-1/2 in (14 cm)
Estimate $600-800 SOLD FOR $600

Sale 1315 Lot 199

Chippendale Polychrome Decorated Pine Blanket Chest
Probably Lancaster County, PA, Dated 1782
Having a hinged lid opening to view a deep well with a side hinged-top till, the front panel of the dovetailed case with carved columns flanking three arched panels polychrome decorated with tulips and six-pointed compasses in shades of cream, blue, red and brown, the central and right panels painted 1782 and NOLL, respectively. Probably lacking feet.
Height: 20-1/2 in (52.1 cm); Width: 51-3/4 in (131.4 cm); Depth: 24 in (61 cm)
Estimate $5,000-7,000 SOLD FOR $5,000.00

Edwardian Satinwood Crossbanded and Ebonized Line Inlaid Mahogany RecamierCirca 1900

With green velvet upholstery. Minor losses to inlay.
Height: 32-1/2 in (82.6 cm); Length: 65-1/2 in (166.4 cm)
Estimate $800-1,200 Sale 1315 Lot 489 SOLD FOR $550.00 that was a deal.

Sale 1315 Lot 394

Charles X Walnut Lit de Alcove
Circa 1820-1830
Height: 41-1/2 in (105.4 cm); Width: 47 in (119.4 cm)
Estimate $1,000-1,500 SOLD FOR $850.00. Another deal.

Sale 1315 Lot 474

George III Style Black Japanned Side Cabinet
19th Century
The doors opening to view three later ebonized shelves. Probably decorated at a later date.
Height: 82-1/2 in (209.6 m); Width: 46-1/4 in (117.5 cm); Depth: 20-3/4 in (52.7 cm)
Estimate $800-1,200 DID NOT SELL

Sale 1315 Lot 138

Group of Four Chinese Export 'Ship Portrait' Table Articles
20th Century
Consisting of a cobalt blue decorated covered entrée dish and covered sauce tureen, and a pair of brown 'Fitzhugh'-type border plates with gilt highlights; each polychrome decorated with a three-masted United States naval vessel. One plate with a chip to the rim.
Length of entrée dish: 11-1/4 in (28.6 cm); Diameter of plate: 9-3/4 in (24.8 cm)
Estimate $400-600Sale 1315 Lot 162 SOLD FOR $275.00 A Great Deal.

Sale 1315 Lot 451

Pair of George III Style Mahogany Knife Urns
20th Century
Each having a lift-off top opening to reveal an interior fitted for cutlery. Some cracks to veneer.
Height: 23 in (58.4 cm)
Estimate $800-1,200 SOLD FOR $1,000

Sale 1315 Lot 468

George III Style Satinwood Inlaid Mahogany Desk
Locks stamped Hobbs & Co., London, Early 20th Century
Top with some sun-fading; overall with abrasions; formerly with gallery top.
Height: 30-1/2 in (77.5 cm); Width: 59-3/4 in (151.8 cm); Depth: 27-1/2 in (69.9 cm)
Estimate $600-800 SOLD FOR $850.00

Sale 1315 Lot 363

Pair of Louis XV Style Ormolu and Bronze Figural Two-Light Candelabra
Circa 1900
One cast as a satyr, the other a young girl; each supporting two ormolu candle arms, raised on a green-veined marble base. Underside of each base inscribed No. 11519. Each base with drilled hole.
Overall height: 16 in (40.6 cm)
Estimate $1,000-1,500 SOLD FOR $1,400.00

Sale 1315 Lot 191

Queen Anne Cherry Highboy Base
Connecticut or Rhode Island, Circa 1760-1780
Top board and urn drop finials replaced.
Height: 35 in (88.9 cm); Width: 42-1/2 in (108 cm); Depth: 22-3/4 in (83.2 cm)
Estimate $1,000-1,500Sale 1315 Lot 191 SOLD FOR $1,100.00

Sale 1315 Lot 484

Regency Mahogany Three-Tier What-Not
Early 19th Century
Minor repairs and cracks.
Height: 44 in (111.8 cm); Width: 17-1/2 in (44.5 cm); Depth: 17-1/2 in (44.5 cm)
Estimate $800-1,200Sale 1315 Lot 494 SOLD FOR $1,100.00

Sale 1315 Lot 476

George III Style Mahogany Chest of Drawers
19th Century
Top, brasses and feet replaced.
Height: 40 in (101.6 cm); Width: 46 in (116.8 cm); Depth: 22 in (55.9 cm)
Estimate $600-800 DID NOT SELL

Sale 1315 Lot 387

Louis XVI Style Brass Mounted Mahogany Bureau Plat
20th Century
Having a gilt-stenciled brown leather inset top. Some staining to leather top.
Height: 30 in (76.2 cm); Width: 67-1/2 in (171.5 cm); Depth: 33-1/4 in (84.5 cm)
Estimate $1,500-2,500 SOLD FOR $850.00, I think that was a deal.

As noted in catalogue; some dents to brass mounts; some scratches and gouges to top

Sale 1315 Lot 92

Pair of Japanese Polychrome and Gilt Ceramic Vases
20th Century
Now mounted as lamps.
Height of vases: 14-3/4 in (37.5 cm)
Estimate $500-700 DID NOT SELL

Sale 1315 Lot 78

Pair of Chinese Blue and White Hexagonal 'Yen-Yen' Vases
Guangxu-Xuantong Period (1875-1912)
Each now drilled and mounted as lamps. Each with scattered iron pitting to glaze.
Height of vases: 17-1/2 in (44.5 cm).SOLD FOR $2,600.00 Ah, Blue and White is huge this year.

Sale 1315 Lot 137

Three Pairs of Chinese Export 'Armorial' Soup Plates
20th Century
Each polychrome decorated with a central armorial crest.
Greatest diameter: 10 in (25.4 cm)
Estimate $400-600 SOLD FOR $700.00

Off-Limits Architecture

From today's New York Times, Moment Blog, a great piece by Felix Burrichter on Off-Limits Architecture. I've heard of the Cloud Club before and would love to see it and sip a Martini from that perch.

For the Moment | Off-Limits Architecture

(Kenneth Pietrobono)

This week’s guest blogger is Felix Burrichter, a New York-based architect. Burrichter, who was born in Germany, is also the founder and editor of PIN-UP, an independent biannual magazine launched in the fall of 2006, whose unlikely editorial foundations are architecture and sex. To read all of Felix Burrichter’s previous blog posts, click here.

For this last entry, I am joined by Pierre Alexandre de Looz, PIN–UP’s editor at large, to bring you some of our favorite architectural wonders in New York. It’s a nostalgic tour of places that are mostly off-limits — which, of course, adds to their magnetism.

Delegates Lounge at the United Nations
The Delegates Lounge at the U.N. is our number one East River recommendation. A private smoker’s bar to this day, it offers stiff drinks and stunning river views from a canted panoramic window. The bar and lounge, musty and well worn, still reek of past style and power. It’s the sort of place where, in the ‘70s, the chic modernist furniture would have sat the likes of Princess Bagaaya of Uganda flanked by her spear-wielding bodyguards while taking a break from her ambassadorial duties. At the time, it was open to the public at happy hour, but these days your best bet of getting in is to work for an N.G.O. — or to date a U.N. official.

The AMF Monorail ride at the New York Word’s Fair, 1964

New York 1964 World’s Fair Ground
The remains of New York’s 1964 World’s Fair in Flushing Meadow Park, Queens are testament to one of the most grandiose plans of a grandiose planner, Robert Moses. (See a documentary clip of Moses talking about the fair here.) The land also has some noteworthy literary pedigree: it once served as the city ash dump mentioned by F. Scott Fitzgerald in “The Great Gatsby.” These days, you can still see the super-chromed Unisphere, Philip Johnson’s New State Pavilion and the Port Authority’s hovering helicopter pad cum cocktail lounge (called “Drinks Around the World”; 120 ft above ground). It’s a tawdry imperial vision that’s hard not to love, even if it is currently reduced to an odd sight seen from a cab on the way to and from J.F.K. Airport.

Photo: Randy Juster/
The Cloud Club
Perched on top of one of New York’s most elegant skyscrapers, the Chrysler Building, the Cloud Club is an Art Déco masterpiece sans pareil. A sleeping beauty waiting to be kissed to life, it’s a former men’s-only club famous for its black bean soup and the high-flying executives who used to slurp it there before it closed in the late ‘70s. Matthew Barney filmed part of “Cremaster 3″ at the Cloud Club, but your only chance to see it in person is if you’re invited to a private party, for which parts of it can still be rented.

McCarren Pool, Williamsburg
If you want to reenact a few scenes from “Ciao, Manhattan,” in which Edie Sedgwick’s character lived in an empty swimming pool, visit McCarren Pool before it’s soon restored to its former glory. Also designed under Robert Moses, through public initiatives created by the New Deal, the massive facility opened in 1936 to hold 6,800 swimmers. The over-the-top gatehouse — a cross between the machismo of Italian fascism and the colonial largesse of British India — has taken to graffiti over the years like a fish to water. The writing on these walls makes for a gorgeous and now endangered setting. Your last chance to see the pool in its current state is over the summer, perhaps during an M.I.A. concert, or a screening of “Desperately Seeking Susan.”

More than anything, off-limits architecture is not only an exercise of power, but also a flight of the heart. And that’s exactly what we learned from watching this stunning performance of Phoebe Legere (Hunter S. Thompson’s ex-bride). It’s our final video for the week, and it shows her on an effortless hunt for clashing environments, all on the wings of love:

Monday, May 12, 2008

A Grand Central Delicious Tale

Though I haven't lived most of my life in New York City, I love being able to claim that I was born there and consider myself a true native, as this where my family is really of . To this day, I still have a bed in the city that I love, when I'm lucky enough to visit. While I know the city and the public transportation system like the back of my hand my heart still quickens every time I enter Grand Central Station. I've found a great new site called Monumental Adventure which has videos about the great and small aspects of the city and has videos about London as well. I highly recommend this website. Here is a short video with the actor Griffin Dunne on a youthful, whispering, romantic experience in Grand Central Station.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Arte Y Pico Award

Many thanks to My Notting Hill , a great blog on its own, for nominating me for an Arte Y Pico award. Having last won a blue ribbon in the twelve and under swim relay at summer camp; that was nine years ago; this comes as a great surprise. From what I garner about the the reward, we are all winners from around the world in all different languages and cultures. This makes it all the more gratifying, as my love are different languages and cultures. I would be remiss in not forwarding the information about the award and nominating my five favorite blogs. And so.. The nominations for Arte Y Pico 2008, from this blogger to the next are!!!

Whoa, I forgot the rules.

1. Pick 5 blogs that deserve the award for creativity, design, interesting material, and also contribute to the blogging community, no matter what language.
2. Each award has to have the name of the author and also a link to his/her blog to be visited by everyone.
3. Each award winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her/him the award itself.
4. The Award winner and the one who has given the prize have to show the link of Arte Y Pico blog, so everyone will know the origin of this award.
5. To show these rules.

Okay, I may break the rules a touch in that my favorite blogs may not be created by an individual. I'm coming to understand that creating a blog that reaches many people may need more than one person to keep up with the beast that requires continual feeding. Lastly, I not even sure these sites would fit the definition of a blog but then we are so young. So here goes..

1. Cote De Texas. For her amazing insight ,expertise and incredible output. I get tired just thinking about the amount of work she accomplishes.

2. The Peak of Chic. Consummate good taste, and always something to read. Don't know how it's done.

3. Arts and Letters Daily. Probably not a blog but close enough.

4.Chocolate And Zucchini. I have to include a food site! And, she did start off as a blog. See, blogs can take you places you never imagined.

5. Video Jug. A great video site for " How do I do that." I use it all the time.

I left out so many and apologize.

Eclectic Weekend Shopping in Connecticut

A quick shout out for a blogger that I'm a fan of, Ferret and Hound. Besides loving the blog's title there is always something fresh and interesting to read there.It's author Claudia highlighted what looks like a great new store in Warren, CT., Privet House. I support people willing to take a chance at creating a treasure store and making it look so good. Great Good Luck to all involved. I'm sure Claudia and the folks at Rural Intelligence ,who took the pictures , won't mind a bit more media coverage.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

A Wonderful London Museum and Shop

A quick video of a wonderful Museum and shop in London for the child in all of us. Pollocks Toy Museum is a must see on your next trip across the pond. Enjoy.