Sunday, June 28, 2009


English silver plated epergne with cut crystal bowls, 19" wide, 19" high, sold at Northgate Gallery on Dec. 3, 2005 for $1200

An epergne is a table centerpiece with a central bowl and arms which extend from the center. The arms also terminate in bowls or holders for fruit or flowers. The epergne's history has ties to the seventeenth century when foods that had been eaten from a common bowl began being served on individual plates.

Although records indicate that the first epergne appeared in England around 1720, there are no known examples from that period. However, the earliest known examples are very large with cast feet and hanging baskets. They were often used to save space on the table and provided a convenient way for guests to serve themselves smaller items such as nuts and fruit. Silver epergnes with glass bowls first began to appear around 1770. From the late 19th-early 20th centuries the form of the Epergne was briefly revived but mainly for decorative purposes. In America during that perioed, Gorham was one of the best makers of the Epergne. Today, Epergnes are regularly offered in the marketplace. Often they are glass, silver, or a combination of both. Below is an Epergne which will be sold in July at Brunk Auctions in Asheville, North Carolina.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


"There is nothing ugly in art except that which is without character, that is to say, that which offers no outer or inner truth"-Auguste Rodin

Character and truth are at the heart of the photographs of the French artist known as "J.R". His work is inspired by those that often have no voice. He travels to violent places and interviews people who have been the victims of rape, abuse, discrimination, and poverty. Once he has an idea of who his subjects are, he photographs them, blows up the portraits to larger-than-life size, and plasters them on walls, buildings, and landmarks around the area. In this way, J.R. has much more in common with the graffiti artists who question the way public space is used. Most recently, J.R. has traveled to Africa and Brazil to focus on the women who have suffered through civil war.
The exhibition of the photographs in public spaces has given a voice to those who would otherwise be overlooked. While a photograph in a small frame has to be sought out and examined, J.R.'s images are just the opposite. A photograph which takes up the entire facade of a building confronts every person who is walking down the street.
It would be difficult to valuate the large scale pieces. Like a lot of large scale art, not many people would have a place to hang these works. Secondly, it is unlikely that they could be removed from the buildings without being torn to shreds. Recently, there have been some small scale pieces by the artist which have sold at auction. The prices for those works can be seen below.


Title: Favela
Description: signed, titled, dated 2008 and numbered 2/3 on a label affixed to the
Medium: chromogenic print on metallic paper, mntd on aluminum
Year of Work: 2008
Size: Height 31.5 in.; Width 56.3 in.
Edition : 2/3
Sale of : Sotheby's New York: Wednesday, May 13, 2009 [Lot 00305]Contemporary Art Day Sale
Estimate: $10,000 - $12,000
Sold For: $25,000

Title:Ladj ly-Braquage
Description: signed, dated 2008 and stamped on a label affixed to the
Medium: photographic print on paper mntd on wood
Year of Work: 2008
Size: Height 27.4 in.; Width 41.5 in.
Sale of : Sotheby's London: Friday, February 06, 2009 [Lot 00173]Contemporary Art Day Sale
Estimate: 10,000 - 15,000 BP ($14,615 -$ 21,923)
Sold For: 26,250 BP ($38,220 )

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Calvin Klein, Silkscreen on offset, 51.3 X 30.3, 3/5, signed Cornette de Saint-Cyr: Sunday, October 26, 2008, sold for $9,597

Brian Donnelly was born in New Jersey, educated at the School of Visual Art in New York, worked as an illustrator for Disney, became a graffiti artist in New York and currently works as an artist showing his work in galleries as well as designing his own line of toys and clothing for a company in Japan called Original Fake.

Kaws OriginalFake Pillow, Brown, produced by Medicom Toy, $78 sold here

Kaws first became well known as a a graffiti artist around New York by placing his art atop bus stop advertisements, billboards, and walls. He has said he chose the moniker "Kaws" for no other reason than he liked the way the letters looked together in his graffiti script. Today, the artist finds himself in a place many professional artists would like to be: He's famous. But it is not the kind of fame that makes him known exclusively among wealthy collectors and art professionals. Kaws was born in 1974. He is part of generation "X" (an interesting coincidence since he likes to use the "X" in the place of eyes in many of his works). But like many of his generation, he is a man of many income streams. There is the art which can bring in a lot of money. Wikipedia says that the artist's sculpture "Wonderful World" recently sold in Japan for $400,000. There is also the clothing line, the toys, and the knicknacks which appeal to an entirely different group of buyers. These items are affordable and allow a younger consumer to know and appreciate his work.

If creating a future market for his expensive works by grooming his young buyers now is an inventive tactic, then Kaw's ability to interest his own generation is nothing short of marketing genius. By taking familiar and comforting images such as the Smurfs, the Michelan Man, and the Simpsons and transforming them into something entirely new and recognizably "Kaws", Donnelly has enticed a market of buyers who find those images both familiar and new. And as any owner of Andy Warhol's Campbell's Soup cans could tell you: Familar + New = Vast Fortune.

Chum, painted cast vinyl, 2002, 13 X 8.5 X 4, edition of 500, stamped, Philips De Pury (London), Sept. 6, 2008, sold for $1,836

Friday, June 5, 2009


Rookwood Bunny paperweight, 1961, cinnamon high glaze, impressed with Rookwood date and shape 6160. Estimate $250-$350
It is June which means it is time for the rabbits to start eating the vegetables in your garden. It also means that it is time for the Fine American and European Art Pottery and Art Glass annual sale at Cincinnati Art Galleries. The sale will take place on June 6th and June 7th.
Rookwood began in 1880 by Marie Longworth Nichols and ended production in 1960. Over the years, Rookwood followed the trends and became proficient in many styles including art nouveau, arts and crafts, and art deco. One thing that never changed was the company's quality. From the beginning, the company employed talented artists whose craftsmanship was second-to-none. Nichols desired for her company to be different than the other companies who produced commercial products. To differentiate her company, she hired artists who already had reputations as good painters and craftspeople. The early green and gold colors of Rookwood glazes came from clay in the Ohio Valley Region.
For more information or to view the auction online visit the Cincinnati Art Galleries website here.