Saturday, November 30, 2013

Support The Little Guys

A reminder that today is AmEx's answer to Black Friday in support of independent shops.  A grouping of miniatures mostly from the Swedish studio of Rolf Palm (the exception in front is by Winblad). All are tiny and meant as sales tools - samples exhibiting various glazing techniques.
tallest is under 5"!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Lovely Lacquer

Deco era Japanese Bento box decorated with gilt Ichō mons (royal family crest) in the form of what appear to be Ginko leaves, a popular motif in Japanese art - considered “the bearer of hope” and a symbol of peace. This box has four sections, but comes with an extra lid, so it can be displayed as a single tower or 2 sections of 2.
total height = 10"
NOTE: We will be closed today - back on "Small Business Saturday"

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Here's hoping you're gorging on the myriad delicacies of the day! We are back in business as of "Shop Small Saturday" (we refuse to abide by all that Black Friday nonsense)...but until then, we eat!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


A pair from the hand of the famous Hertha Bengston of Rörstrand, 1950s, Sweden.  It's always fun to find slight variations in color and glaze of the same shape. 
both 6" x 5"
Here's Hertha pictured in her studio with a couple of works in progress. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Emerald Egg

The egg as decorative object is an eternal classic, but this glowing find was made in Murano circa 1970. The true emerald hue gives it a jewel-like quality and is best displayed near a bright light source to see the deeply saturated green tone and to appreciate hand etched striations. It looks both medieval like some dragon egg from "Game of Thrones' and Sci-Fi like an alien pod. Regardless, it is chic in any era.
About the size of an ostrich egg- 7"  including the custom Lucite base.

NOTE: We will be closed Wed-Friday to celebrate Thanksgiving - back on "Small Business Saturday"

Monday, November 25, 2013

Further Adventures in Aventurine

A grand example of glass from the Isle of Murano in the rarest colorway of black with loads of copper (aventurine) and bits of colored millefiori- seemily floating in space.
12" x 12"

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Under The Sea

Italian 'repousse' (hand hammered) copper relief of the great Greek god Poseidon, early 20th century, Italy. Possibly from a yacht or a seaside hotel.
16.5" x 33"

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Large & The Small

We celebrate the upcoming American Express sponsored event "Shop Small Saturday" with this extra large Bitossi navy blue ceramic. At 16.5" x 9.5" certainly one of the biggest vessels from the company we have ever seen.
Even though the actual "Shop Small" campaign by AmEx is on November 30th, we like to get the word out early.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Atomic Artifacts

Italian ceramic boxes by the likes of Bitossi are one of our mainstays, but occasionally we have to feature some design stand-outs. These two capture the mood of the future obsessed era with their space-age motifs.
Boxtops are around 8" x 4"

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Furniture Fare

In honor of the newly renovated Poltrona Frau showroom, the renowned Italian furniture company had an event in their deluxe SoHo spot on Wooster. We are honored to be once again asked to accessorize the new space and fresh furniture line with our equally luxurious vintage wares.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Knotted Wood

Antoni Gaudí's influence can be found in almost every creative discipline in Spain. Just look at the surreal and organic at once design of this pair of mid-century ( around 1962) Spanish chairs, marked "Ruedas" Sonseca, Toledo. Carved from some type of indigenous hard wood, we're guessing Olive or Walnut.
29" tall and 20.5" wide

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Over-the-top Inlay

Two sides to two small vessels created by Sven Jonson for Gustavsberg, Sweden, 1960s
Silver inlay on graphite black ceramic from a line called "Facett"
Both measure 5"

Monday, November 18, 2013

Major Meji

The intricacy of Japanese Imari porcelain is of the mind bending variety. Every inch sees detailed renderings - in coral, cobalt, and hand painted gold - of sacred cranes and symbolic chrysanthemum. A museum worthy work dating to the late 1880s, placing this piece in the middle of the Meiji Restoration period in Japan - wherein there was an emergence of the highest quality goods for export. This piece is signed Shinzen.
20" tall

Sunday, November 17, 2013


Belgium is not a country we often acquire items from, so we are pleased to present this pair of matching deep blue ceramic vases created in 1927.  The company is Boch Frères which was founded in 1841. They have a distinctively modern look with their bold graphic links but also an old world feel with the subtle crazing in the glaze.
9 1/2 "

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Keepin' it Real

The 1960s Italian Lucite ice bucket makes another editorial appearance in this month's Real Simple holiday issue. The annual "Entertaining Made Easy" feature suggests dressing up your bar cart with a bit of glam for Thanksgiving. Sounds festive to us!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Hollywood Legend

A rare signed piece from Sascha Brastoff, the man who went from b-list actor to designer to the stars in mid-century Hollywood. Glass enamel on copper with highlights of gold leaf. Meant as a hanging platter, original hook intact.
12" in diameter
Seen here in his LA studio, circa 1947

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Early Jere

When we think of the prolific (and now reissued) Curtis Jere, we think of his iconic brass wall sculptures. But, here is an example of an early and rare tabletop bronze sculpture. Signed and dated, 1969. Perfectly patinated and set on an Onyx base.
23" tall and 11 1/2" wide

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Buy the Foot

Original Carl Auböck paperweight, bronze, 1950s
4" from toe to heel and 2" tall
A designer whose work just gains in popularity as evidenced by the handsome coffee table tome seen above.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Italian Hobnail

The term Hobnail has been around since the 1500s and referred to the nails used to secure the sole of a boot, however it is also used in the 20th century and beyond to describe this dotty glass. Typically you see molded versions made popular in the 30s called "Depression Glass", however, what you see here is a masterful hand blown Italian style glass. The dots were either applied or pulled from the base design to achieve the polka dotted raised pattern on these Empoli vases.
12" and 8"

Monday, November 11, 2013

Super Modeline

Modeline - an American outfit out of California created this very architectural tiered lamp, carved of solid walnut, in the 1950s. Atypical for a company known for more kitschy "Atomic-Age" designs, this appears more streamline and serious, almost Scandinavian in form.
NOTE: We will close at 6pm today for the holiday 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Gemmo Gem

One of the most fascinating Bavarian porcelain lines is by German factory Heinrich, for the very reason that the designer Karl Leutner created the Gemmo series. Not the first time I've extolled praises on this technique of hand carving into the porcelain surface and then guiding the groove as it were. This sizable piece has a flowing pastel abstract floral/leaf overlay. The color palette feels late 50s early 60s to our eyes.
11.5" x 11" wide

NOTE: We will close at 6pm tomorrow for the holiday

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Under The Sea

At 20.5 " tall, this is certainly the biggest Bitossi piece we have seen (identified by a "Bit" mark on the original Raymor paper sticker). I'm amused by the fact that the stenciled fish seem to be applied using a natural sponge - adding a layer of underwater irony - not to mention a muted sea-foam color palette.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Chinese Chairs

A majestic pair of carved rosewood chairs with myriad mother-of-pearl inlay featuring peacocks decorating the center panels. A sort of Asian take on Art Nouveau - which makes historical sense as these come from turn of the century China, circa 1900.
46" x 26" x 19"deep

Thursday, November 7, 2013

New York at Night

A theme that never tires in art is the spectacular skyline of New York City. This fabulous 60s statement is by an American artist named Edith Montlack. The abstract cityscape is achieved by a process consisting of applying and removing oil paint with a palette knife and adding texture with many brush strokes. The color combination is particularly pleasing with shades of teal and highlights of red and orange. Look closely and you can see through the dusky haze a hint of the Empire State Building in the center of the canvas.
30" x 26" including its original frame

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

In Publishing News

Tickled are we to be included in the new tome from author and webmaster Charlie Suisman. As the founder of the website Manhattan Users Guide, Suisman has a vast knowledge of the retail landscape of New York City. He is the author of a number of guidebooks and has written for the New York Times, Food and Wine, InStyle and Budget Travel. This book is a special honor as it singles us out as one of New York's 100 most interesting stores - an adjective we certainly embrace.
cover illustration: Matte Stephens
photo credit: Rainer Facklam

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A Vessel for Gathering Nuts

Michael Andersen & Son topped this lidded ginger jar with a sweet little squirrel pull, making this Danish ceramic perfectly seasonal as the temperature dips. Created in Rønne, Bornholm, 1930s/40s.
8.5" to the tip of the furry squirrel tail

Monday, November 4, 2013

Fancy Apothecary

I would love to see this glamorous Murano piece filled with a collection of mini-soaps acquired from world travels, or as a hard-candy container on a low coffee table. Old Hollywood style from Barbini, 1950s.
13.5" tall

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Londi Rarities

One of Bitossi's most renown artisans (and there were many who came through the factory) is the maestro Aldo Londi. We adore his cubist color blocking on the left and his use of applied polka-dots on the right. Both are hard to find designs, and in mint condition.
12" each

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Germanic Geometric

A very rare hot orange-y red super-graphic floor vase by Cari Zalloni for Steuler, West Germany. This is a prime example of 70s modernism, a look that is making a huge return in the world of interior design.
16" high and 9.5 wide

Friday, November 1, 2013

Gnarly and Noteworthy

Is it an astounding table or perhaps it's a stunning stool? Made from all natural materials, Chinese, 19th century. 
A burly root wood base crafted around a multicolored striated Fluorite Crystal top. An example of chic Chinoiserie that is timeless in its visual interest.
Roughly 14" x 14"