Sunday, January 29, 2012

Trotting off to Nashville

Just got the truck, which I'm packing with the odd, the offbeat, the beautiful to take to the Tailgate-Music Valley Antique Show. The show opens Thursday at 9 a.m. and continues until 5 p.m. Saturday. Adding to the excitement is the new venue -- the Hendersonville Expo Center, 90 Volunteer Drive, Hendersonville, Tenn. But even if the show were in a cornfield, it would be exciting for me because this will be my first time setting up. The Heart of Country show, about 15 miles from Hendersonville, will take place simultaneously at the Opryland Hotel. Together, the two events are going to draw art and antiques lovers from around the country. The exposure for a dealer like me, who has relied solely on the internet, can't be beat.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Paul Markle's box

Mr. Markle disclosed on this box where he lives and that he likes to fish and tipple on occasion.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Walnuts chair

A child's chair decorated with nailed on walnut shells and some smaller shells. The back slats have painted decoration. 25 inches tall, 15 inches wide and 13 inches deep, it's from Wisconsin, early 20th century. A neat example of what a creative person can do when scraps normally discarded are reused.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

White fox

Possibly part of a tavern sign, circa 1900, according to Ken Farmer Auctions. The carved wood fox, from New York State, will be auctioned next weekend. I like that it's just one color, except for the black feet. Is it supposed to be an arctic or snow fox? The Hudson Valley is not exactly the tundra, but perhaps the business was called the Snow Fox Tavern.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Metro Show opens today

The Metro Show in New York is noteworthy because of its diversity of high-end offerings, from historical items to outsider art. The three objects pictured here are what I would buy if I were more successful at making money. From top are a hardware store figure from Stephen Score, an African-American desk/secretary from Ricco Maresca, and a sheet metal cowboy trade sign from American Primitive Gallery. The show closes on Sunday.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

$50,000 and up

At the Peter Brams Collection of Important Woodlands Indian Art auction on Tuesday, the three items pictured here each sold for $50,000 and higher (before the house fee). The first two photos show the Thompson Family seated human effigy feast ladle, Algonquian, first half 18th century. The ladle was found decades ago in the basement of the Alexander Thompson homestead in Thompson Ridge, Orange County, N.Y. Hammer price: $55,000. The maple burl effigy bowl, Sauk-Fox/Mesquikie, circa 1820, 4 inches high, 13 1/8 inches in diameter, sold for $50,000. The figured maple lynx/bobcat effigy ladle, shown in the last two photos, Great Lakes, circa 1780, sold for $72,500. All information gleaned from the Keno Auctions online catalog.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

John Gerdes faux marquetry tray

John Gerdes was a folk artist from Maitland, Fla., who combined electronics and precise painting to make distinctive work. The Smithsonian American Art Museum collection includes a Gerdes painting, and the Mennello Museum of American Art owns several Gerdeses. Michael Mennello commented in the Gerdes obituary published in the Orlando Sentinel 11 years ago this month that Gerdes "will go down in history as one of the major 20th century artists." I visited Mr. Gerdes in the 1990s and bought this trompe l'oeil tray. He painted it in 1936 while living in Cleveland. At the time Mr. Gerdes was in his early 20s. He died Jan. 3, 2001 at age 87.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Native-American club, ex Peter Brams

On Jan. 17, Keno Auctions will sell the Woodlands Indian art collection of Peter Brams, a New York collector. The collection features bowls, effigy ladles, etc. made by Native Americans who lived east of the Mississippi River. Particularly interesting to me are catalog photos of Mr. Brams' apartment, crammed with those artifacts (and a pair of yellow railroad lanterns he bought from me). The club pictured here also belonged Mr. Brams, which I acquired on trade with a New York gallery. Mr. Brams said it was made by the Delaware Indians (named after the Delaware River, a major river in the Northeast that forms a border between New York and Pennsylvania). The Delaware, also called the Lenape, were pushed off their land and now live primarily in Oklahoma. Before Mr. Brams owned the club, Raymond Saroff owned it. He was a pioneering folk art collector and early fan of the artist Claes Oldenberg. Mr. Saroff made the 1962 film "Happenings," about Oldenburg's "Ray Gun Theater," held in a New York store.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

You Happy Puppet

The title is from a 10,000 Maniacs song. "When the master's gone you hang there with your eyes and your limbs so lifeless." I dunno. This guy looks alive to me. I just obtained a stand for him, so he agreed to have his portrait taken. The puppet will accompany me to the Tailgate-Music Valley Antique Show Feb. 2-4.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Dressed for the cold or a holdup

Have ski masks ever been cool? When I was a youngster in upstate New York, I wore a knit ski mask on a few frigid days, until I was told I looked like a dork. Better to have my face fall off than suffer those insults. The design on the mask in the top photo is interesting -- it looks like war paint. And the man's tongue is peeking out through the mouth opening, adding to the cold warrior look. The contemporary masks seem to concede there is no looking cool wearing this thing, so let's be ridiculous. Turn every frigid day into Halloween. Just don't forget how you look when you go to the bank.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Savannah and Tybee Island

We spent the New Year's weekend 250 miles away from our home, in Savannah and on Tybee Island. My favorite statue in Savannah might be one of the newest -- the stiff looking, stainless steel Police Officers Monument, which dates only to 1982. The model for the 5-foot, 8-inch statue was patrolman R.I. Ketterman. The idea for the statue was hatched in 1963 when the president of the Police Officer's Wives Association promised the widow of a recently slain officer that Savannah police killed in the line of action will be publicly remembered. A storefront church window in the historic district, decorated by a self-taught painter, diverted my attention from the beautiful architecture. On Sunday, hundreds of people gathered on the beach for the annual Polar Plunge, which wasn't very polar, with temperatures in the 60s. Guinness World Records was on hand to determine whether the number of people wearing bathing caps was a world record. The result will be announced later in the year. Others at the beach went above and beyond in their attire and simply basked in the attention of shutterbugs like me.

19th century caricature head

10 inches tall, it sold for $1,900 at Copake Auction in Copake, N.Y., on New Year's Day.