Friday, February 28, 2014

Folkloric & Fabulous

A matching  pair of Bavarian porcelain vessels from Germany. Their shape is clean and contemporary - with a twist. Made by KPM in the 60s, the teal and mustard transfer pattern is the kind of motif you might see in traditional ethnic costumes. The juxtaposition makes for a wholly modernist statement.
12" and 18"

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Calling All Architecture Buffs

Once again we've amassed an impressive collection of these architectural models of German Radio/TV towers from the mid-century. Hand lathed and made from a mix of materials, from bronze to copper to stainless steel. This grouping (and I insist they do look best en masse) features a few which incorporate plastic or Lucite elements to replicate the look of windows. A knowledgeable customer once told me that creating these were a prerequisite for graduating architecture school and that some of these models went on to be realized as genuine structures throughout Germany.
They range from 13" to 18"

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

French 50s

French Opaline glass with a touch of Napoleonic flair. The clasp and pull are doré (gilt bronze) and the pearly glass has an ethereal glow.
7"

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Weird but Wonderful

The aliens have arrived - an odd but extraordinary collection of West German ceramic heads from the 1960s. Each has its own distinctive glaze and distant gaze. These are modernist in an almost Picaso-esque way.
Each about 9"

Monday, February 24, 2014

Pretty in Pastels

A trio of Barbini perfume bottles in an array of feminine color-ways. From lavender to periwinkle to robins egg blue - these three are sold separately, but I think they would be lovely as a vanity set to pretty up the powder room.
8"- 12" - 13"

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Mood Indigo

Once again Empoli Does Carnaby with this Italian take on the classic 60s Holmegaard ball stopper bottle - shown here in a gorgeous shade of electric blue!
10.5"

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Solid as a Rock

An awesome example of stunning symmetry in design - thanks in good part to Mother Nature. The striations in the Agate surface are so rich in tone and visual texture that it looks like wood grain. This Italian box from the 60s also features the stark contrast of a white alabaster lining. I imagine it would house your Rolex and rings quite nicely.
7" x 4" x 1.5"

Friday, February 21, 2014

Funky Cool Mdina

These axe-shaped vases (actually called a 'Fish-Vase') are the designs of Michael Harris. Michael was a singularly inventive British glass blower who moved to Malta in the late 60's in order to start the Mdina Glass Studio. The one in the front is a wild-colored amalgam of swirls and is signed. The saturated blue version is signed and dated 1978. With his ability to create abstract expressions, Harris may be remembered as the Jackson Pollock of glass.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Weird Wedgwood

When one thinks of the British institution that is Wedgwood (est. 1759) one thinks mainly of classical romantic scenes in relief on matte porcelain. In fact, these vessels have a more masculine look than the typical flowery wedding presents of yore - sometime in the mid-century, Wedgwood created this decidedly modernist pattern - a super-graph black and white design.
3.5", 5"

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Pushing Seasons

If you're like me, you just can't wait for spring to arrive! Until the weather cooperates, you can add a little greenery to your life with these Italian ceramic obelisks from the 1960s.
17" each
NOTE: The shop will close at 6pm this evening

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Leaf Relief

A single large variegated leaf decorates this modernist vase designed under the direction of Kaj Franck for Arabia, Finland, 1960s. The glaze is a very dark blue/black with the leaf appearing scratched in - revealing the true white color of the clay beneath.
8.5"h x 7.25"w

Monday, February 17, 2014

Tall Italian

A signature pattern from Italian factory Laca Albisola for import by Raymor. An impressively tall iteration with a great long bottle neck - the shape works nicely with the vertical stripes. Chartreuse, black and teal over nubby grey - a wonderfully evocative 1950s color palette.
20"
NOTE: We will close tonight @6

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Really Good Gunnar

Any regular reader will be familiar with our fondness for the works of the longtime creative director of Rörstrand, so one would understand our thrill of finding a piece made by Gunnar Nylund's hand from his own studio. I love the irregularity of the grid-like incising and great earthy tones of the glaze.
10.25"
NOTE: We will close tomorrow @6

Saturday, February 15, 2014

A Horse Is a Horse...Of Course

Of course - Unless it's a gold glazed ceramic from the 50s! This playful take on a Tang Dynasty equine sculpture is by Bitossi or perhaps it could be Alvino Bagni for Raymor. But, in any case, it's a much more animated and modernist style than we are accustomed to seeing.
11.5"h x 12"w

Friday, February 14, 2014

Pinch Me...

Another stunning piece by Florence-based factory Ceramiche Zaccagnini. This surreal vase has a very literal pinched surface - you can practically see the fingerprints. Golden and crackled with a hint of oxblood peeking through the surface.
10"

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Enormous Empoli

An exciting example of Empoli glass from the 50s - that mushroomy taupe color we love and in a monumental size we are forever in search of.  I must also mention the rarity in finding one complete with the matching clear ball stopper. A must-have for the covetous Italian glass collector.
29"

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Art That Moves

video
1950s bronze tabletop mobile from the late great Russell Seacrest (1935-2010). His work originated at the famous Shop One of the Rochester Institute of Technology where Secrest earned an Associates in Applied Science degree from the School for American Craftsmen. During his prolific carreer he also created modernist jewelery and even a public fountain in Chicago (see below).
14.5"

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Bronze Beauty

The above piece was created in 1971 by Jane F. Ullman (1908-1991), a sculptress whose bronze portraits of artists and scholars stand in locations ranging from UCLA to Coluz, France (the famous bust seen below of writer and poet Gertrude Stein). Able to flow from the real to the surreal - her modern works were abstractions - diametrically opposed to her literal portraits. This piece seems to me a nod to Henry Moore. UPDATE: We've just now received correspondence from Jane Ullman's son, Ted. He informs us that this piece titled "Crescendo" was much more influenced by Alexander Archipenko with whom she studied. Thanks Ted!
13.5" high including base (14" x 12")

Monday, February 10, 2014

Copper Keeper

In contrast to the rough organic look of "Fat Lava" pottery from Germany is the copper glaze works of Johannes Andreas Urban. A small studio ceramicist with a wonderful hand and technique that utilized real copper that when fired results in a reflective rosy glow.
Monumental @ 17"

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Le Bling Français

In honor of New York Fashion Week, we offer the most fabulous evening bag we've ever seen. Made in a limited edition of twelve (ours is etched 1/12 on a bottom rhinestone) likely sometime in the late 80s. The company 31 Fevrier, Paris (a fantasy date for a fantasy bag) was launched in 1987 by partners Hélène Nepomiatzi and Marc Gourmelen and the quality suggests a couture level of craftsmanship. The striking originality of 31 Février had won for its founders prestigious collaborations with Karl Lagerfeld, Thierry Mugler, Chloé, & Paco Rabanne. The clasp and frame are gilded bronze with no less than 150 stones with an average height of 1" each - this is a sparkling fashion statement and a jewel of a find.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Mint Condition

A sublime hand blown glass vase created by the multi-talented Vicke Lindstrand (1904-1983) the legendary Swedish designer who began his career at glass manufacturer Orrefors in 1928. This piece was made early in his tenure for the equally important Kosta (later known as Kosta Boda) sometime in the 1950s. There is an upward gradation of opalescent coloration from clear to a pleasing minty green.
14"h

Friday, February 7, 2014

Hole in One

The one and only Flavio Poli for Seguso Vetri d'Arte. No one did more fluid sommerso glass than the maestro Segniōre Poli. This vase goes from raspberry to periwinkle blue to clear in a classic hollow centered form.
11" to the tip of the asymmetrical lip

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Lovely Lacquers

Both of these early 20th Century Japanese lacquers share a secret in their center. The bento box above hides a royal family crest (or mon) under the flora decorated lid, while the seemingly simple box below reveals a groovy gilt pattern.
 Bento: 6"h x 7" in diameter
 Box: Lid is 9" x 4" x 1.5"h

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Moorish is More

I'm always seeing architecture in objects and this lidded jar by Barbini seems to me Arabesque in form. Murano, 1950s.
7"

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Vanity Pair

Mushroom is how I would describe this taupe-y color of cased glass from mid-century Empoli. A modernist decorative set for the powder-room. I'm familiar with the bottle, but the low covered dish is especially rare.
10", 4" x 6"

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Coveted Kåge

One of the most sought-after lines in Scandinavian pottery right now is called "Farsta" by Wilhelm Kåge for Gustavsberg, 1950s. The shapes and glazes in this collection are profoundly original and are less practical and more pieces of fine art. The color of the matte clay of the striated foot is nearly purple and the interior is a world of blue and olive green and amethyst.
4.5", 6.5"

Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Sound of The End of History

70s Does Deco

Villeroy and Boch is one of those European porcelain companies that have been around, in one form or another, since the 18th century. My point is that they have a vast archive of works to reference in the creation of thier collections. Based on the makers mark, these Bavarian  porcelains would have been produced in the 70s, but they have a kind of Art Deco feeling - perhaps a re-issue or simply part of that revival in deco design that happened at the time.
15.5", 12"