Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Glasgow School - Brass Tray

The picture below show a fine quality hand decorated repousse decorated brass tray fully marked with a mongram with the letter MHR ? but who is this. I don't know and have failed to find out. Is there anyone out there with the knowledge.

A good clear stamped mark would suggest a made up die, so I would assume is was made as part of a production run rather than a one off lucky evening class product . The brass and repousse would suggest a Marion Henderson Wilson or Glasgow School connection.

This is a beautifully made tray with followed seams and rolled edges. May be comercially factory made product decorated by a skilled artisan. 

Any comments ??

Monday, 28 March 2011

Monica Poole (1921-2003) - Wood Engraver

I was trawling back through my files of pictures of pictures and was reminded of this artist; Monica Poole; artist, teacher and master wood engraver. I first encountered her when I lucked on the print illustrated, as it was poorly framed and behind that horrid non-reflective glass that flattens all pictures to make them look like photo copies, I was able to buy it very cheaply. I had not heard of her before, but the quality was trying to shine through. Once out in the light of day the quality really stood out and led to some trawling for info.

As often with modern post 1945 artists little has been written about them and so soon after her death her work is only appreciated by a few die hard collectors. Luckily; the internet was a rich mine of information with full obituarys published shortly after her death by papers such as the Guardian and Daily Telegraph. 

Monica was born in Canterbury, Kent and went on to study at the Thanet School of Art where she first encounter wood engraving. After WW11 during which she had worked in a factory, she completed a diploma in illustration at the Central School of Arts and Crafts where her teachers included the respected master wood engraver John Farleigh. Monica went on the published a book of his work after his death titled "The Wood Engravings of John Farleigh" (1985)

Her book illustration work is limited and I could only find one title that included her work; Reginald Turner's Kent (1950). She seems to be an artist out of her time.  If she had been working in the 1920's or 30's I am sure she would have been ranked with the like of Clare Leighton, Eric Gill, Agnes Miller Parker,  Blair Hughes-Stanton or her mentor John Farleigh but by the 1950's and 60's wood engraving was not the chosen method of illustration, it was out of fashion.

Even though her chosen technique was out of fashion during the post war years she did continue to publish prints like the one shown which often took months to complete and only sold in small editions. She also taught at the Tonbridge Adult Education Centre in Kent.

Fortunantly times change and her skills were appreciated more during the 1980's and 1990's she was able to exhibit extensively with a major retrospective being held at the Ashmolean Museum in 1993. Monica was elected a member of the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers and Engravers in 1967 and examples of her work can be found on collections such as the Victoria & Albert Museum, British Museum, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, the Fitzwilliam, Cambridge and in the Ashmolean, Oxford.

There is a photographic quality with 1st class wood engraving and this work certainly has it. One to look out for !!

Here are a few books on wood engraving ; (sponsored links)
Monica Poole: Wood Engraver
The Wood Engravings Of John Farleigh By Monica Poole


Friday, 25 March 2011

Frank Martin (1921 - 2005) - Hollywood Prints

If you love the glamour of Hollywood's silent movie era then you will love the prints created by the British artist Frank Vernon Martin. All singing and dancing jazz age images with girls, architecture and dogs.

Until a little under 2 years ago I would have said who ?? but now we are completely hooked and have invested a great deal of time and money in promoting his works. We discovered him at a picture sale and just fell for them. I am sure we had seen his work before, but on this day our minds were open for the "wow factor" of glamour girls beautifully presented in showy gallery frames.

Time spent running up down the country to and from vendors and auctions. Time spent researching these girls, actresses certainly know how to live life to the full. Example; Ruby Keeler shown on the left was a Hollywood dancer actress famed for her role in 42nd Street and her on screen partnership with Dick Powell. She was in fact Mrs Al Jolson.

You will soon become aware of a theme that runs through Frank's work. What you ask ? and if you can't work it out have a look at the pencil sketch of Linda Darnell and you will see that some things are missing?

Lyda Roberti

But who was he ?? 

Frank Martin was born in Dulwich and educated at Uppingham School where he won a history scholarship to Hertford College, Oxford and in 1941 he enlisted in the Royal Artillery. In 1946 he entered the printing school at St Martin's School of Art, London, where he was taught etching by Clifford Webb and wood engraving by Gertrude Hermes. He also took instruction from John Buckland Wright. There are three masters of their art !

He elected to the Society of Wood Engravers in 1952 and from 1953 he was teaching etching, engraving, lino-cutting and graphic design at Camberwell School of Art. He was an excellent teacher and stayed until 1980, becoming senior lecturer in graphic design in 1965 and head of the graphic arts department from 1976 until his retirement.

His  commercial career  included; as a fashion illustrator for the Sunday Times, illustrator of  adverts and books, including; Ursula Bloom's 1959 novel, Youth At The Gate, The Readers' Digest Bedside Book Of The Art Of Living (1956), The Manual Of Catholic Prayer (1962) and the letterhead for Evelyn Waugh's stationery. He illustrated 12 book for the Folio Society including; Thornton Wilder's The Bridge of San Luis Rey and Oscar Wilde’s Salome.

 Corrine Griffiths                                  Delores Costello    

Frank Martin was enthralled by the stars of the silver screen. His love of the iconography of film found expression in the Hollywood series he began in the 1960s. He worked with the grain of the wood turning glamorous screen stills into prints. The images included; Tallulah Bankhead, Clara Bow, Greta Garbo, Lillian Gish, Jean Harlow and Rita Hayworth as well as the Ziegfield Follies, the Keystone Cops and Montgomery Clift. These are perhaps his most celebrated work.

Ida Lupino                                   Glenda Farrell

He held 25 one-man shows from 1956. Exhibiting at the Folio Society, the National Film Theatre, the Lyric Theatre and the Leeds International Film Festival. Overseas, he exhibited in Berlin, Dublin, New Zealand and the United States. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers and Engravers in 1961, a member of the Society of Industrial Artists and Designers in 1959 and an honorary academician of the Accademia delle Arti del Disegno of Florence in 1965.

Mary Brian                                       Vilma Banky

He wrote several books. Some detailing his works such as Hollywood Continental, The Wood Engravings of Frank Martin and Drawn From Life, a series of reminiscences of his young female models. Hollywood Continental concentrates on the glamour of the art deco period and has a near complete listing of his printed works up to 1987. Also the rare limited edition "Shadowlands" book is a prize to be hunted for, again with glorious picture of film related prints with the story that inspired them.

Fontaines - edition of 8

His work can be found in public and private collections throughout the world including; the Tate Gallery and the collections of Elton John and Sir Michael Caine and his Daughter Mel Martin is an actor.

And his the recurring theme ?? I am not sure but I can't recall too many golden age of the silver screen goddesses just wearing their socks !! quite a few nipples pop out off his pictures.

There quite a few actresses and dancers to collect including; Jessie Matthews, Rita Hayworth, Norma Talmadge, Greta Garbo, Carrol Lombard, Anita Page, Bessie Love, Clara Bow, Louise Brooks, Constance Bennett, Elissi Landi, Evelyn Brent, Madge Bellemy, Vera Zorina and Raquel Torres to name a few.

In addition he did series of art deco coastal landscapes and interiors, which included glamorous flapper type lounging around or walking their Borzoi. There have evocative names such as Riviera, Ventimiglia, Hispano Suiza, The Promenade and Mondaines.

His art was not limited to Hollywood glamour, he published other abstract images more typical of 1960's art, such as the one below, titled "Jan"

We will be exhibiting a selection of etchings, woodcuts and watercolour by Frank Martin at -
The Pavilions of Harrogate
Antiques & Fine Art Fair
Friday 31st October - Sunday 2nd November 2014
Click here for FREE tickets

For our current stock of pictures by Frank Martin - www.meridiangallery.co.uk

Any questions or requests. Please email me at steven@meridiangallery.co.uk

We are always looking to buy works by this artist.

For more pictures of his work, try his books;
Shadowland, Pictures from a Silent Screen, Woodcuts & Drypoints
Frank Martin: Hollywood - Continental

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Maurice Delannoy (1885-1972)

We have now returned from the Antiques for Everyone antiques fair and can now continue with the postings.

Here I return to medal engravers with this art deco swimming medal signed by M Delannoy. This work is heavily influence by the moderne style that was popular in France during the 1920's. What we would now call "art deco" or "jazz age". Clean bold design interpretations of figures, nature and classical references. Have look at medals4trade website for more examples. 

Their are several sites detailing his exhibition record and prizes won, although I think something has been lost in translation. So what follows is my best effort.

Maurice Delannoy (1885-1972) was a French sculptor and medalist working in the art deco style designing coins and medals. He studied at the Ecole de Germain Pilon and studied under Charles Valton (1851-1918) and Jules Roine Edward. Later in his life he was a professor of drawing. 

He exhibited at the Salon des Artistes Français before being imprisoned during WW1 and was awarded a "mention" in 1921, bronze in 1923 and a silver medal in 1926. Diplômes d'honneur aux expositions de 1925 & 1937. He was awarded the Medal d' Honneur in 1936 and made a Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur in 1947.

There is an example by him in the Victoria and Albert Museum collection.

Here is a gallery of designs seen - please return to view new finds.


His designs were so highly regarded by "La Monnaie De Paris" (Paris Mint) that they were chosen for a series of postcards illustrating their product - It would be an interesting posting to try and trace all these cards and illustrate them with the real medal !!!

To return to the "20thC Medal Artists" index - CLICK HERE
This blog is "free to all" with no joining fees - financed by the few clicks on sponsored adverts.

More medals in no particular order;


Internet refernces include;

Monday, 14 March 2011

Barbara Peyton - Printmaker

Here is a lovely strong art deco image for you. Signed Barbara Peyton and dated 1933. It appears to be a woodcut with some finer wood engraving simply printed in black on a white paper. However; as with so many of these simpler prints it has been very difficult tracking down any detail about the artist.

There is a short entry in the Encyclopaedia of British Artist which confirms that she was an artist who lived in Hayes, Kent and exhibited at the Royal Academy.

A quick bit of googling has added a little bit more detail with confirmation the she was a student at  the Central School of Arts and Crafts; what is now the University of the Arts London - Central St Martins. They have a wood engraving of a Goat dated 1932 with their museum collection.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Mystery Print #1

 Here a little puzzle for you. An unsigned print of a winter landscape. It looks to be a woodblock or linocut print as the bleed through of the ink is significant.

The feel of the composition is Austrian Secession c1905 but this is just a guess. The only clue is a faint and tiny embossed stamp which appears to read "L'Escargot Du Paris". Surely not !! It might be a retailers, gallery, publishers or owners mark.

Any help would be appreciated.

Help has already arrived - thanks to Gerrie.
This print is by the Austrian artist Carl Moll (1861 - 1945) who has been subject of a recent posting on Modern Printmakers blog -  http://haji-b.blogspot.com/2011/02/carl-moll-secessio-plebis-in-montem.html

Thursday, 10 March 2011

André Beloborodoff (1886-1965)

 The continuing theme of printmaker continues with a Russian emigre artist living in Italy. Another work of art signed by the artist with 2 signatures and a monogram but incredibly time consuming to track down, not helped by the various ways his name can be spelt. Luckily once I had found out who he was then the information just kept on appearing and I am sure that there is much more to find.

Here we have very fine woodblock print by the Russian émigré artist André Iacovlevitch Beloborodoff (Andrei Beloborodov) (1886-1965). It is titled Rome and dated 14th December 1934. The artist has signed the print in pencil and with an AB monogram within the image and numbered the edition 3-20. In addition it is inscribed, dated and signed again on the backing card.

He was a Russian born artist working from the 1930’s in Italy. He was born in Tula in the Russian Empire and studied at the Imperial Academy of Fine Art in St Petersburg, completing his study in 1915.

Although he was awarded a scholarship, the “Grand Prix de Rome” WW1 and the revolution meant that he was unable to go. However, by 1919 he was able to “escape” travelling to Paris and finally to Rome in 1934. Within his papers there is a United Kingdom registration dated 1919, so I would assume that he spent some time here soon after leaving Russia.

He known to have exhibited at the 1930 “Art Russe” in Bruxelles and his work featured in such publications as "The Russian Art to Paris" and "Russia and the World Slav", which reproduced works of Russian artists that were working currently in France 1928-1931.  

He exhibited widely, including;
1923 - Exposition dans les Salons de M W Hirschmann, Paris.
1924 - Exposition dans Hotel Jean Charpentier, Paris.
1929 - Exposition d'oeuvres de Andre Beloborodoff, Hotel Jean Charpentier, Paris.
1934 - 
Andre Beloborodoff; architecte et peintre; Hotel Jean Charpentier, Paris.
1934 - Views of Rome and Italy; Exhibition at the Countess Pecci-Blunt, Rome.
1936 - Museum of Rome. The new monumental Rome (pictures of urban Mussolini)
1953 - Galleria San Marco
1954 - The Prussian Blue, Naples.

Documents from his paper indicate a friendship with the ballerina Anna Pavlova as during the period 1920-21 they exchanged correspondence and she was subject of several drawings by him.

His paintings rarely come on the market – here are a few that we have located.

Further references;