Friday, January 31, 2014

Just Did It!

Yesterday we had the great privilege to deliver a PowerPoint presentation to the top tier of Nike executives - headed by John Hoke, Vice President of Design. The slide show and Q&A was themed around color theory, obsessive collecting, and how to obtain a curator's eye. We love the fact two seemingly disparate worlds such as a purveyor of decorative objects like ourselves and a global sneaker/sportswear brand can share so many insights into the creative process. It was an inspirational hour - we think for both teams alike!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Patinated Pair

A lovely example of Art Deco bronzes from Ystad Brons, Sweden 1925. The patina is a very deliberate design created by the company in the early part of the 20th century to give these urns an antiqued feel. The irony, of course, is that they are now nearly antiques.
8", 10"

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Out of Africa

We are not sure of the country of origin, but the continent is certainly Africa. Impressive how intricately detailed the carving is given how hard a wood these were crafted from - our best guess is Rosewood. The faces are just beautifully rendered. Mid-Century - Exotica of the best quality, created to appeal to tourists to the region.
Between 9.5" and 10" each

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Deco Duo

A pair of French Deco creamy crazed ceramic vases made in the same era as my favorite building - The Chrysler. It amazes me how a design scheme could span the globe so universally in the early part of the 20th century  & without the benefit of the internet. The 20s and 30s was a fascinating time for design. Architecture, interiors and objects alike became stripped down and futuristic all at once.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Pottery Pair

A couple of groovy cobalt with brown vases from Denmark's Knabstrup studio. Intriguing objects on their own, no doubt, but I just love the idea of high and low flower arrangements. 
10", 4"

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Glamorous & Graphic

Porcelain that feels high 80s - as if plucked from the runway of Stephen Sprouse. The punky spiked tangerine vase (actually from the 60s) is by Bavarian manufacturer Scherzer while its patterned partner is by Hutschenreuther.
11"high,  6.5wide" x 8high"

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Tremendous Tazza

An Ertruscan Revival bowl made mid-century by Ceramiche Zaccagnini
Florence, Italy, 1950s
Low with fluid lines define the "Tazza" form and the decoration is purely Pre-Roman Italian. The hand-painted details are 24k gold - possibly a museum reproduction for the well heeled tourist.
5" high, 13" in diameter

Friday, January 24, 2014

Mauve Murano Trio

A plummy grouping of cased glass canisters from the venerable Vistosi factory in Venice, circa 1960s. We are selling this as a set only, due to the fact that acquiring 3 at once of the same shade and shape is quite a feat, not to mention purple is among one of the rarest colors to find.
5", 7", 9"

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Also in from Deutschland

This pair of Porcelain vases have just arrived today. The taller is a part of a line designed by the great Hans Theo Baumann for Rosenthal. The shorter oval is another Hutschenreuther find. Aesthetically, the combined effect reminds me of Gustav Klimt's  “Portrait of Adele Block-Bauer I", the painting that Ronald S. Lauder paid $135 million for at auction back in 2006 (the most paid for a painting). Our pieces are obviously a veritable bargain in comparison.
18", 12.25"

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Just In from Germany

Even in a crazy snow storm we are receiving fantastic items from as far away as Deutschland. This group of German gems are a mixed media melange of graphic porcelain and groovy studio pottery. The ceramic is a 60s hand-thrown piece from Sgrafo attributed to designer Peter Müller - it's all about that single band of gold! The rectangular Bavarian Jackson Pollock-like porcelain vases are from the 70s/80s and are most likely by Hermann Schwahn for Hutschenreuther.
Heights are 10", 6", and 4"

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Extra Zebra

Our zebra theme continues with a rare complete set from Barovier & Toso's Zebrati line of striped glass objects...a bowl and two candlesticks. Great for a mantle of dining room table. Murano, Italy, 1950s.
Bowl 3.5" x 7.5"
Candle Sticks  7.5"

Monday, January 20, 2014

Zebra Puzzle Box

It's a mystery as to the maker of this stripy ceramic box, but the type of clay and style looks mid-century Japanese. There is a wonderful anamorphic/handmade quality to this whimsical piece.
5" x 5"
NOTE: We will close @ 6pm today in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Africa by Way of Italy

Another totem of Tribal art, this time from the 1950s and the imagination of Italian artisans at the Società Anonima Ceramiche Zaccagnini (est. 1905), Florence , Italy. Heavy terracotta with white glaze - made to mount on the wall.
14" x 9"

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Out of Africa

A beaded figure from the Bamileke Tribe, Cameroon, Africa. These type of statues are associated with royal ceremonies and represent the chief. The size and decoration symbolize the position of a person it the hierarchy and were often kept in the chiefs residences. This tribe is well known for their incredible abilities with beading and this little guy is a great 20th century example.

Friday, January 17, 2014


This adorable vase may be tiny (just a hair over 3" tall) but it is a huge achievement. Created by the great Gunnar Nylund for Rorstrand, circa 1950s. Whether this was a sample model for a larger piece or originally intended as a miniature is anyone's guess. It boggles the mind that such fine lines and complex decoration could be crafted in such a diminutive size. The checkerboard motif also lends it a sort of Alice in Wonderland feeling.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Under The Sea

We are certainly familiar with the famous glass aquariums of maestro Alfredo Barbini for Salviati. But, who knew that he ever created candle sticks? I am in awe over the detail and realism in the design, right down to playful eyes and lifelike scales - not to mention the air bubbles seemingly emerging from the tropical fishes mouths!
Approximately 5" x 5"

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


Another dream Deco find - This elephant vase was created by Rudolf Wels for Moser & Sohne, for their "Animor" series, circa 1925. Deep amethyst glass is acid etched and gilt, with bands of black and amber lacquer circling the base. The intricate detail of the precious pachyderms at play is a stunning sight to behold. Incised with the artist's initials "RW" in the gold grass and signed Moser Karlsbad Czecho Slovakia on the bottom.  
11 3/4" tall by 7 1/2" wide

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Sensational Citrus

Barbini bottles of the fanciest variety in a color we have never seen before - bright lemon yellow! It is amazing that these were even made...let alone survived since the 1950s. Yellow is a difficult color to work with - a chemical composition that the glass blowers avoid because of the tendency for it to shatter during production. These are an ultra-fine find - only sold as a pair.
26.5", 20.5"

Monday, January 13, 2014

More Londi Lovelies

Another pair of fish themed ceramics from the maestro Aldo Londi, circa 1950s, made for Bitossi for import by Raymor. This style of pottery is extra textural enhanced by a thick crackled glass glaze.
Box: 8 x 4 x 2.5
Rectangular Bowl: 8 x 6 x 2

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Londi Lot

We love acquiring an entire important private collection all at once. The treasure trove you see above is vast line from Aldo Londi for Bitossi, circa the 1960s. The fish are especially important and of a large scale (pun intended).
Fish: 15" x 4.5"
Center Selection: Vase 12", Lidded Jar 7", Box 8 x 4 x 2.25"
Charger: 12.5 "

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Bagni Rarity

We recognize Alvino Bagni as one of the important names in Mid-Century Italian ceramics. He was quite prolific with his output for Bitossi and importer Raymor, but this piece is extra special in its scale and the fact that it actually signed by the man himself. Likely from his own studio.
Monumental @ 17.5" high x 14" wide

Friday, January 10, 2014

Fabulous Philippines

Our discerning clients are truly a global group. For the past couple of years we have been working with one of Manila's most celebrated TV personalities and trusted journalists - Korina Sanchez. The Murano lamps by Fratelli Toso that she fell in love with here in NYC were carefully shipped to her pied-à-terre just in time for a photo shoot for the premier issue of Elle Decor Philippines. (November 2013).

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Back to Brazil

A desirable collectable from Brazil is exemplified above. Boxes crafted with inlaid veneer, also known as Marquetry, became popular in the early part of the 20th century to the many Americans and European tourists flocking to the exotic locale of Rio de Janeiro. The artisanal tradition continues today, but our example is from the 40s.
9.5" x 7" x 3"

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


We decided to feature this spectacular piece the day after the Quartz obelisks for the very reason that it shares a sensibility to those natural objects. Embedded within the glass is a mix of minerals creating a veining not unlike semiprecious stones. The raised decoration is a sort of symmetrical basket weave. Created by the venerable David Guéron (1892 – 1950) in the 1920s or 30s for his French factory called Verrerie D'Art Degue.  The 10.5" vase is signed (atypically) on the outside "Dague" and "France" on the underside.
Among the company's most accomplished achievements was their contribution to France's crowning glory that was the (short lived) transatlantic ship The Normandie.
The surviving piece seen above is a part of the permanent collection of New York's Metropolitan Museum.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


I've often said there is no more divine designer than Mother Nature. Brazil is the source of some of the finest semi-precious stones in the world. These obelisks (the largest examples our dealer has had in years) are stunning monoliths of complex Quartz. millions of years in the making + a 10 hour flight yesterday from Rio to NYC.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Blame it on Rio

We've just this morning returned from a buying trip in Rio de Janeiro and have a couple of treasures we acquired in that glorious modernist city.
First up is this pair of over-sized decorative dice - Brazilian rosewood dotted with white laminate. Very mid-century minimal, but we knew it was no gamble to cart these all the way back from the Southern Hemisphere.
7.5" cubed and 6.5" cubed

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Hey Squirrel-Friend

Thorkild Olsen was famous for this distinctive crackle glazed line designed in the 1940s for Royal Copenhagen. Typically the forms of these vessels were strenuously classical, so, we were only too amused to find this extremely humorous squirrel lidded piece. The excellence of the rendering takes its theme away from kitsch and into admirable.
14" to the top of his fuzzy tail

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Extraordinary Stigs

Another master of the craft is the great Stig Lindberg...and this is an intriguing pair from his own studio. What's interesting is that the coloration on both are are so similar, but the subject matter so different. Vertical leaves on the shorter and abstract graphics on the far piece.
5.5", 6.5"

Friday, January 3, 2014

Stunning Stålhane

Carl Harry Stålhane is considered a legend in Sweden where he rose to the height of fame working at the Rörstrand factory. Known for his clean, symmetrical lines and complex glazes inspired by Ancient Chinese pottery. The matte but mottled coloration has a cool, almost crystalline, look. Certainly a special, singular, piece from this master.
8" x 6"

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Duo from Seguso

A very handsome pair in black/gold and clear...with an chocolate colored interior. We love the simplicity of form here - there's an almost stripped down quality. It's as if Seguso was going for a Mod-goes-Deco look.
Murano, Italy, 1960s.
8.5", 5"

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


Here's a resolution - more decorating in the near future - A festive Bavarian porcelain piece from the 1980s, for your viewing pleasure!