Friday, 15 October 2010

Upcoming Trip to Sotheby’s

Upcoming Trip to Sotheby’s




I am planning a trip to an auction at Sotheby’s in June. I have a real interest in 20th century British art and they have an art auction scheduled. I have spent a great deal of time planning this trip.



While I was browsing the Sotheby’s online catalog, I found a signed Sickert named South Fa├žade of St. Jacques. I saw this painting once in London in 1971. It has been in Canada since its purchase around that same time.



The painting is thought to be painted around 1900 after the artist had been in the town of Dieppe for two years. He found a great deal of beauty in this medieval place. He loved the architecture and it was the subject of a lot of his work. Sotheby’s has several pieces of his work up for auction at this event.



I also noted in the catalog that Sotheby’s will be auctioning off a watercolor of a cat by the artist Gwen John. She painted a lot of cats and also portraits of seated women. She was known to paint the same picture over and over again like Monet did.



There was another lot listed in the Sotheby’s catalog that interested me. I really am partial to Sickert and there was a painting that he completed in Venice while he was there with his wife. There are stories of marital troubles between them and the trip to Venice is thought to have been taken to repair their marriage.



I can’t wait to see the painting Thunder in the Mountains by James Dickson Innes. His watercolors are really splendid. The painting is thought to have been painted in 1910 in the mountains of North Wales. Sotheby’s has such an extensive catalogue for this auction.



I’m anxiously awaiting my trip to London. I love Sotheby’s art auctions and going out to expensive restaurants at night. I plan to go to the Mango Tree while I’m there. It is the best Thai food, hands down, that I’ve ever eaten.



My business partner was really taken with the Landscape Near Lyons painted by Sir Matthew Smith. I liked this oil painting as well. The Sotheby’s catalogue reported that the painting was done in 1922 and that there is a still life of flowers on the reverse. My partner will be unable to make this trip and has asked me to bid on it for him.



I have a small private collection of pencil drawings. I liked the Flower in a Glass Vase that was penned by Christopher Wood in 1925. I think that it would display nicely with other still lifes that I have. I think that this pencil art may well go for twelve thousand dollars. My favorite pencil drawings have all been found at Sotheby’s auctions



I have a patron that is very interested in a lot at the Sotheby’s auction that contains Poppies by Ivon Hithchens. She has authorized me to bid up to sixty five thousand dollars for her. I hope that I am successful in acquiring it for her. I know that this Sotheby’s auction will be well attended because they all are. It is too much to hope for that no one will notice this fantastic painting.



After looking forward to this trip for so long and poring over the Sotheby’s catalogue so intently, I must say that I have my heart set on Broomswade by John Piper. I absolutely must have this watercolor. The person that is selling it has been the only owner. He bought it directly from John Piper in 1966. If I win nothing else, I will win this painting.



The only other painting that I plan to bid on at the Sotheby’s auction is one by William Turnbull. There is a collector that I know that desperately wants this painting. He owns several of this artist sculptures and has now started to collect his paintings.

Unique Faberge Eggs

Unique Faberge Eggs




Faberge Eggs have always been special to me. I’ve been searching them out at art auctions since I was in my early twenties. I did a term paper on the Faberge Company and their history of making eggs for the Russian Tsars between 1885 and 1917.



The first Faberge Egg that I ever found at an art auction was actually quite by chance. The Faberge Egg was not one of the advertised items and was actually a bottle topper. I instantly fell in love with it and took it home from the art auction for one hundred dollars.



I saw an advertisement for a tropical Faberge Egg from a collection St. Petersburg. It was set to be up for sale at an art auction in New York City. I knew that I was going to be unable to purchase it, but I wanted to see it in person and at least put in one of the lower bids.



The tropical Faberge Egg at that art auction in New York City ended up selling for over six thousand dollars. That is out of my price range, but I was happy just to have been in the same room with this masterpiece. The eggs themselves are just exciting to be near.



The first Faberge Egg was made in 1885. I know that it will never turn up in an art auction, but hopefully I will see it someday in an exhibit. The first one was commissioned by Tsar Alexander III and was given to his wife as an Easter present. The surprise inside the egg was a golden hen in a golden yolk. The hen was wearing a tiny crown with a ruby hanging inside.



The antique Russian Faberge Egg that I found at an art auction recently was so detailed. The silver enamel egg has rubies and eagles and is marked with Faberge hallmarks. I was able to win this egg because I was bidding with someone else’s money. The best eggs always end up with the richest people.



The piece that I want in my collection is a genuine Lillies of the Valley Faberge Egg. I found one at an art auction I went to ten years ago. I was unable to buy the one I saw, because I didn’t have the money at the time. I’ve been saving for the time that I see another one.



The Lillies of the Valley Faberge Egg is covered with pearls and pale pink enamel. The egg is on a stand that has legs of matte green-gold leaves with rose dewdrops. The gold-stemmed lilies of the valley have green enamelled leaves and pearl flowers. I will look for this egg at every art auction I ever attend.



This Faberge Egg is delightful. It is surmounted by an Imperial crown of rose crystals. There is a pearl knob that reveals the surprise of this egg. The surprise is portrait miniatures of Czar Nicholas II and his two oldest daughters. The portraits are framed in rose crystals and backed with gold panels. I have heard a rumor that one will be at an art auction next year in Miami.



The last art auction I attended I purchased a Faberge Egg called the Imperial Clover Egg. It was for my personal collection and I won it for under a thousand dollars. I felt like it was quite a steal at that price.



The Imperial Clover Faberge Egg was originally made with a four leaf clover inside of it that had portraits of the four daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra. The portraits went missing during the Russian Revolution. The egg that I bought at the art auction had a stem of clovers standing upright. Two clovers in green enamel and the third, a four leaf clover, was done in diamonds. The diamond four leaf clover is a pin that can be worn.

Stained Glass Art Auctions

Stained Glass Art Auctions




I have found some really beautiful pieces of artistic stained glass at art auctions. The worship committee at my church asked me to find some church window stained glass when I went to an art auction last fall. I found an excellent piece for them that was framed and 73” X 38.5”. The congregation loved it.



I found some wonderful stained glass at an art auction for a client that was trying to complete his new kitchen. The three windows I won were exactly right for him. The stained glass had a Victorian star design in shades of blue. The borders were all beveled and the piece was hand cut and soldered.



The modern stained glass windows sometimes come sandwiched between two pieces of tempered glass to protect them for years of use. The windows I bought at the art auction were framed in vinyl. Each of the stained glass windows was 30” X 30”.



Stained glass art auctions always include lampshades. I went through a period of time where I purchased every stained glass lampshade I would find at an art auction. I am a little more discerning, now. I found a stained glass lampshade not long ago that I purchased for my mother.



My mother just redecorated her bedroom in green and mauve. The stained glass lampshade that I found for her only had variations of those two colors running through it. It was perfect for her and she really liked it when I gave it to her.



I had a call from a client last week that asked me to find a piece of stained glass to hang in a picture window. She always had a curtain hanging over that window, so I had trouble picturing what it looked like. I stopped by her house and chatted with her before I went to the art auction so that I could get better idea of what would delight her.



I talked with this client for awhile and found out that she used to grow roses competitively, but that since her arthritis had gotten worse, she was no longer able to garden. She had a curtain hanging over that window so that she wouldn’t have to look into her bare backyard. I instantly knew exactly what kind of stained glass art piece she needed.



The art auction was a lot of fun and I found a large oval stained glass piece to hang over the picture window for my client. It was almost three feet tall and just under two feet wide. The red roses done in stained glass were just magnificent. She was so happy after the stained glass was delivered; she thanked me with coffee and bagels.



She hired me again to find a special piece for her bedroom window. She liked the idea of replacing the curtains in her home with stained glass pieces of art that I could find for her at art auctions. I looked at the way her bedroom was decorated taking special notice of the colors she used.



I found a fantastic stained glass piece for her at the art auction of a peacock with lavender in the background. It fit really well with her existing decorating. She hired my son to hang this piece for her. She was pleased with his work and has promised him future jobs that require more strength than she possesses.



I was asked by a friend of mine to find a special piece of stained glass for his office. I went to three art auctions before I could find something that felt right. His taste and furnishings run the direction of more contemporary than most pieces of stained glass usually represent.



The third art auction I attended had a contemporary piece of stained glass art that depicted a landmark in Anchorage, Alaska. I did not know it at the time, but my friend had family in Alaska and was actually familiar with this landmark. I purchased it because I liked the style and the coloring, but it turned out to be an even better choice because of its subject matter.

Special Hummel Figurines

Special Hummel Figurines




I find old Hummel figurines at art auctions all the time. I’ve been collecting them for my mother and her sister for a long time. They don’t have the time to go to art auctions, but they have the money to buy nice figurines.



The Apple Tree Boy Hummel figurine I found for my aunt last year was so cute. I attended an art auction about an hour away from my house and they had lots of decorative collectibles. I was able to find several items for my mother and also for my father.



My mother and her sister both want to have an Umbrella Boy Hummel figurine. I have only been able to find one at all of the art auctions I’ve attended. They share the piece equally while I’m looking for a second piece.



The whimsical Hummel figurine called Pleasant Journey is so cute. It was the first Hummel that mother and my aunt ever received. The scene is of two children pulling a third child in a wagon. My grandmother found it at an art auction and it reminded her of her children. She gave it to her two daughters on their shared birthday.



My dad sings in a barbershop quartet. My mother asked me to find an appropriate Hummel figurine at one of the art auctions I attend to give to him for his birthday. I actually was unable to find just the right item for over a year.



My mother was thrilled when I found the Harmony in Four Parts Hummel figurine at an art auction in our hometown. She presented it to him on his birthday and he really liked it. I think she may have liked it more, but that is okay with him. He has always been very supportive of my mother’s collecting.



My mother gave my son a Hummel figurine when he graduated from high school. I thought it was an odd gift to give a kid that had never expressed any interest in collecting them. She did choose a nice piece from her collection that I had purchased for her several years ago at an art auction. She gave him the Hummel figurine Little Fiddler because he plays the violin.



When my aunt went on a cruise, I decided to find her a nautical Hummel figurine. I had to attend four art auctions before I found one. I ended up purchasing the Hummel figurine called Land in Sight. She loved it.



Hummel figurine Let’s Tell The World was a special piece. It is really pretty and it depicts three children ringing a bell. My cousin has been going with me to art auctions looking for it. She thinks that we need to give it to our mothers to share like they do the Umbrella Boy.



I don’t usually collect Hummel figurines. I leave that to my mother and my aunt. The only exception to this is the “Can I Play?” Hummel figurine. I found it at an art auction and it reminded me of playing at my grandmother’s house when I was a child with my brother and my cousin.



The most expensive Hummel figurine that I’ve found at an art auction in the last couple of years was a vintage piece called School Girls. I got into a bidding frenzy with another collector and ended up spending a thousand dollars. The piece was celebrated with a party at my aunt’s house.

Quilts from Art Auctions

Quilts from Art Auctions




I’ve been traveling throughout California attending art auctions looking for unique quilts. I have had a lot of success. I have found so many quilts that you could tell were filled with thousands of hours of careful planning and stitching.



I was attending at art auction in Orange and found a wonderful quilt. The quilt was from the Civil War era and was made in the design of Blazing Stars. There was a wonderful appliqued red and green swag-like border. The center of the quilt has a feathered heart hand quilted.



The art auction that I went to in San Bruno had a fabulous quilt that was made in the 1860s. The quilt was hand appliqued using cheddar, red and green cotton solid fabrics. The background was white and the border has a meandering flowering vine. It was truly special.



I found a great quilt that was made in 1894 while I was at an art auction in Rancho Cucamonga. The style of the quilt was really fun. It was called a Victorian Crazy Quilt. There was so much elaborate hand embroidery over every seam and within the blocks, it was magnificent.



I was on vacation in Napa and attended an art auction that had several really nice quilts. The one that I won was made in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and was completed in the 1870s. I like the design called Ocean Waves. The chain had earth green and chocolate brown triangles that were pieced with exceedingly fine skill and precision. The border and background color was warm, cadmium orange.



The quilt I found at an art auction in Paradise was an 1840's thin, cotton Quaker quilt, which measures 108" x 88" and had 10 stitches per inch. It was a Quaker cotton wedding quilt. The top border, near the pillows, had a blue print and each side and the bottom had wide borders with North Carolina Quilt blocks in each corner. There were two rows of North Carolina Lilies in the center, and one row on each side facing outward.



The quilt made its way into the art auction because someone made the decision to sell some of the great historic heirlooms that were passed down through her family to her. I was very fortunate to acquire this heirloom that had passed through the many generations of Quaker families. Now I own one of the great Pennsylvania Quaker masterpieces.



Log cabin quilts are a design that I have always liked. My grandmother made a quilt using this design for me when I was twelve. I found one made in a similar fashion at an art auction Los Gatos. The quilt was made in the 1870s and was made by Mennonites.



I was lucky to find the art auction, it was difficult to find. The quilt is just fantastic. The light and dark design of this quilt has a red center on one side with two green bars, two cinnamon bars and two blue bars and then two red bars and on the other side of the red square in the center are two yellows, two black and white stripe, two lovely Lancaster blue bars, and two peppermint stripe bars.



There was an art auction in Huntington Beach that advertised quilts and I was really happy with the pieces that I found there. The quilt that I bought had a pictorial motif, like an album quilt, with a lot of interesting designs. Each block was quite different and special.

Native American Art Auctions: Art Antiques

Native American Art Auctions: Art Antiques




Whether traditional or contemporary, Native American artwork is both highly collectible and universally appealing. Native American art forms the basis of many exemplary public as well as private art collections. People that collect Native American artwork can be very passionate about their collections.



Older, more traditional Native American artwork and cultural artifacts are not merely revered and / or emulated by modern artists, they are also held dear as parts of art collections the world over.



Fine Native American art done by well known American Indian artists, such as Nampeyo, the Hopi potter, can raise the caliber of a private or public art collection quite significantly. Iris Nampeyo lived on the Hopi Reservation in Arizona. She made a good income making pots and selling them at local trading posts.



A remarkable aspect of Nampeyo’s work is that over time she became more ad more interested in making pots according to ancient ways, as opposed to the modern pottery that was being made by people at the time. The quality of her work, as well as her interest and use of ancient pottery techniques certainly add to the demand and high price tags of her work.



If you find yourself in the market for Native American art antiques, be prepared to pay the price. Particularly with Native American art, availability doesn’t correlate to demand or cost, as is the case with many other highly collectible art types.



Items such as early Plains beadwork or late nineteenth century basketry are certainly examples of what would be considered extremely rare finds in the world of Native American art auctions.



When choosing from various art pieces, compare styles, read and research. This is really the only way to educate oneself about the various types of American Indian art. Then it’s time to shop around. Just like anything else, you won’t know what’s available unless you take the time to comparison shop.



During the 1900s many of the Native American art and crafts that other peoples associate with American Indians began to be commercially produced, especially by Asian nations. These Native American fakes became so widely purchased that several millions of dollars were taken from the American Indian artists in the form of cheap imitation Native American art.



Before purchasing Native American art antiques it’s a good idea to perform additional research has to the authenticity of the piece or pieces. Unless you’re highly knowledgeable on the topic and have experience spotting fakes, this type of art can be extremely hard to verify by inexperienced sight alone.



All in all, collecting American Indian art antiques is just like collecting any other antique, the definitive and primary timeframe is anything that is pre-1950s. Although a name that is well known can seriously increase the value of an object, condition, workmanship and prevalence are factors that are just as important.



Increasingly, even seasoned art dealers that deal in American Indian art find it difficult to discern authentic art antiques from imitation pieces. For this reason, it is particularly important to opt for dealing with reputable sources. In order to ensure that your perfect Native American art antique is the real deal it’s worth taking the time to locate such a well known art dealer or museum.



There are specialized art museums and dealers that offer Native American art pieces. These organizations generally are most interested in promoting Native art and cultures. The better of these institutions and organizations directly invest many of the profits gained from the sale of art pieces back into the Native American community.



When it comes to collecting Native American art antiques or any other type of art, don’t buy it unless you absolutely love it. Your best pieces are going to cost a pretty penny. If you don’t fall in love with a piece, chances are you’re not going to like it any better once it’s on your wall. So hold out for the perfect piece, you’ll be glad you did.

Looking for Collectible Postcards

Looking for Collectible Postcards




I’ve found that the best place to find collectible postcards is at art auctions. I was at an art auction in Eastlake, Ohio looking for stained glass and found them auctioning a lot of vintage collectible postcards. I bought the lot at the art auction and it contained almost three thousand beautiful collectible postcards.



About thirty percent of the collectible postcards were pre-linen. These are postcards that were all made before 1930. The linen collectible postcards were made from 1930 to 1945 and the lot I won at the art auction had thirty percent linen cards as well.



Forty percent of the lot I won at the art auction was for early chrome collectible postcards. Most of them were from the fifties and sixties. There were also collectible postcards from the British museum series from the seventies.



The collectible postcards that are my favorite are all turn of the century and were sent for holidays. Valentine’s Day collectible postcards from the early 1900s are very romantic. The Christmas postcards have some really nice artwork. I was really fortunate with the purchase at the art auction because the assortment was so varied.



My collection of collectible postcards contains many different themes. I like the non-US card. I found an art auction that had a shoebox full of these postcards and they were from places like Bermuda, Zurich, Rio de Janeiro, Dresden, Germany, Ireland and even Istanbul. I had never owned a collectible postcard from Niger before that art auction.



People who do not collect vintage collectible postcards just don’t understand their value. They are usually not even mentioned as being part of an art auction. I go to art auctions every other weekend on the off chance that there will be collectible postcards on the auction block.



I am always so pleased when I find linen ere collectible postcards at an art auction. The auctioneer at most art auctions does not even announce the lot as linen postcards; he usually just announces it as vintage or old collectible postcards. His lack of knowledge of the subject almost always works to my advantage.



I have various collections of collectible postcards within the main collection. I tried for awhile to complete a set of state views in all linen era postcards. I can’t even count how many art auctions I attended before I even had thirty of the forty eight states. I know that I finally tired of the pursuit and have just put it on the back burner.



The holiday collectible postcards go to collectors of more than just postcards. I’ve seen people buy holiday collectible postcards at an art auction just to frame and decorate with them during certain holidays. I actually found five really nice vintage Christmas collectible postcards at an art auction and had them framed for my mother as a Christmas gift.



I went to an art auction and estate sale of a man whose grandfather had been a colonel army officer. The collectible postcards that I found there were fantastic. The officer had amassed 353 different postcards from India. It was amazing. They had been tucked into an album and never used and were in perfect condition.



For awhile, I thought that I wanted to collect postcards from soldiers in WWI. I found a two hundred piece lot of this type of collectible postcards at an art auction in New Haven. The mix of cards was British, French and German. It was interesting because some of the collectible postcards were censored. I’ve never seen censored collectible postcards before.



The most I’ve ever spent on collectible postcards at an art auction was $530 for four postcards. They were all from 1904 and they depicted automobile racing. They were in pristine condition. I doubt that I will ever find any more even remotely like this the rest of my life. They were exceptional.



The lot of collectible postcards I found last weekend was really fun to look through. The art auction had a lot of things from a family that had emigrated here from Serbia. The postcards were all from either Serbia or Belgrade. This was a good lot and it went for the opening bid.