Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Around the Houses - Woodcuts

Just a short posting highlighting lots coming up for sale at auction in the next few weeks. There are some stunning works of art (art as in unaffordable) plus many interesting decorative prints.

John Hall Thorpe (1874-1947) "Primula and Forget-Me-Knots"
These are a bit of a standard, but still very popular.
From the photograph it looks clean !! - take care with there condition reports.
at Woolley & Wallis on 12/12/12 lot 276 est £100/150 - Link

Sylvan G Boxsius (1878-1941)
described as "S. G. Boxius woodblock print circa 1920 of farmstead in landscape, 36.5cm x 28cm."
at Andrew Hilditch Auctioneers on 5/12/12 lot 24 est £50-100 - Link
I was going for this myself but changed my mind - all yours !!

Edward McKnight Kauffer (1890-1954)
"Flight" - a rare woodcut, 1917
Bloomsbury Auctions on 4/12/12 lot 50 - Link
estimate - £30000 - £50000 !!!
go on treat yourself !! it's Christmas

Edward Alexander Wadsworth (1889-1949)
Riponelli: A Village in Lemnos
Bloomsbury Auctions on 4/12/12 lot 54 - Link
estimate - £10000 - £15000 - a bargain

Robert Gibbings (1889-1958)
Male Nude - woodcut, 1914
again at Bloomsbury - Lot63 - est £2000-3000
A very striking design - extremely rare - but HOW MUCH !!

Bloomsbury Auctions have a fantastic sale with plenty of "art" prints by such luminaries as, Edward Alexander Wadsworth (1889-1949), Paul Nash (1889-1946),Felix Edouard Vallotton (1865-1925),Lyonel Feininger (1871-1956),Emil Nolde (1867-1956), Edward McKnight Kauffer & and Robert Gibbings. Their catalogue is worth looking at.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Rene Lalique - Medals

It is often forgotten that Rene Lalique (1860-1945), of the eponymous glass makers, was initially famed for his jewellery designer and that his artist skills were finely honed at the Crystal Palace School of Art in Sydenham, South London !! (also refered to as the Sydenham School of Art). Now of course many of his glass designs are considered iconic examples of "Art Deco" with designs such as the Victoire car mascot.

These art deco glass items are now extremely valuable (even the new ones) and are out of reach for most collectors of modest wealth. However, if I told you that genuine signed period works can be bought on for as little as 15euros, would believe me? Well you could at the time of posting - just search "lalique medaille"

..... and this is what you could buy. An original period brass "medaille" given away by the charitable fund the "Orphelinat Des Armees" during the 1914-18 World War. It is signed "R Lalique" and decorated with a pretty art nouveau mother hugging her child. The version on the right is made from card, which I assume was given to less generous donators !!

This postcard show the medal, dating it to June 1915.

This is just one of a series of bronze medals designed by Lalique, another is shown at the top of the page. A more affordable entry level to Lalique collectorable. However, I am sure that some of the rarer ones are valuable. I will try and find pictures of most of them for a future posting - so remember to register as a follower, otherwise you might miss it.

There are many books on the subject - including these.


Monday, 19 November 2012

Anie Mouroux (1887-1978) - First Lady Medalist

It is remarkable that of the hundreds of artist who created bronze medals - Anie Mouroux is the first female artist that I have encountered !! Why ? possibly we forget that 19th century attitudes towards the acceptance of creative women into the "establishment" of art schools like the Ecole Nationale prolonged well into the 20th century.

Fortunately, This Paris born lady was accepted and studied at the L'Ecole Nationale Superieure Des Beaux Arts in Paris and was the first woman artist to win a prize in the sculptor section at Le Concours Du Grnd Prix De Rome and that was as late as 1919 !! Onwards and upwards .... she went on to win a gold medal at the L'Ecole des Beaux Arts and a silver medal at the Salon des Artistes Français.

Paris - New York flight 1930 medal - front and back

She went on to create some stunning art deco style bronze medals including the ones shown above.

In addition to her commercial success she was appointed Professor at the L'Ecole des Beaux Arts in Casablanca and the curator of the city's Municipal Museum before being made a Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur.

The majority of her work seems to be these exquisite bronze medals, which are finely engraved with the compositions being very clean, uncluttered, slightly art deco influenced designs -- my taste.

Oddly another group of designs, were a series of faïence pottery figures made by at the Henriot Quimper factory in c1950. Including; a bust of Sainte Anne and St Anne with Children. The later being exhibited at the Musée Galliera à Paris in the 1929 exhibition L'art et le Mobilier Religieux Modernes.

Some these Quimper figures are striking design and have a presence, despite the limitations of the pottery and glazes. The earthenware they used never seems to take the fine detail, lacking the details of porcelain.

Franklin D Roosevelt

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Sunday, 18 November 2012

Louis Icart (1888-1950)

Louis is considered the "master" of the Boudoir Art genre, although not the first to develop the style, he was the premier exponent of it in terms quantity, longevity and consistent quality. He is to Boudoir as Clarice Cliff would be to British Art Deco - the name the man in the street was mostly likely to know.

"Two Friends" - Art Deco Period

He created images that even today are the epitome of "Art Deco" and continue in popularity, reproduced as facsimile prints, calenders, books and even fridge magnets !! now that is fame.

I not going to spend too long on the life but on his art, as much has already been researched and published about Icart. Just do a quick Google to find numerous biographies.

Fashion Period etchings.

I recommend that you purchase -- Louis Icart: The Complete Etchings. It's illustrations show most of Icart's published etchings, although the early Fashion Period is incomplete. I use this book every day and it has saved me from making costly mistakes -- how why ? because it details the correct copyright information for each, the absence of which may mean it is a copy or lithographic version. A beautiful book to look at, well worth tracking down.

The Green Robe.

In my opinion his etching fall into several distinct group in terms of style - the early "Fashion Period" of fashionable Belle Epoque women, a style similar to Paul Cesar Helleu (1857-1927) and early Maurice Milliere (1871-1946), "World War 1" with dark and often sentimental compositions, "Art Deco" with every thing you expect and the "Late Art Deco" which as a more graphic pin up quality.

Advise to collectors - be 100% sure before buying - these are valuable prints and as a results have been subject to reproduction. As with all of these prints - condition condition condition. Clean, bright, beautifully presented pictures will often cost multiples of the price of a flat, brown, spotty, damaged or poorly framed example ..... and that is way it should be !! I only want beautiful examples hanging on my wall - don't settle for anything less.

 SEE - for current stock.

Gestes De Femme - WW1 period

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Monday, 12 November 2012

Blair Hughes-Stanton - Wood Engraving

.......... or more specifically the wood engravings used to illustrate "The Searchers" a play by Velona Pilcher.

This work for theatre is sub titled "A War Play" described in the foreword - "This play takes place in an Evacuation Hospital near the Front during the last War, but on which side we - the audience - are not told. The uniforms are ambiguous. The colours predominating in the performance are black and white and khaki, and there is also a little red, as we shall see, that comes from flames and flowers and from the crosses on the shoulders of the Searcher"

This book dating to 1929 is a First Edition of the "Reading Version" limited to 1000 copies  and is illustrated with wood engravings by Hughes Blair-Stanton (1902-1981). Oddly the dust cover states "with twelve wood engravings" whilst the title page suggests only 9. Actually 9 large scale scenes, as above, plus the cover motif repeated 3 times.

The cover notes on the edition say "The delicate sombre woodcuts of Blair Hughes-Stanton illumine the author's conception and suggest to the reader the staged spectacle"

The book ends with a passage from Shelley's Prometheus Unbound

My wings are folded o'er mine ears:
My wings are crossed o'er mine eyes:
Yet through their silver shade appears,
And through their lulling plumes arise,
A shape, a throng of sounds;
May it be no ill to thee
O thou of many wounds!
Near whom, for our sweet sister's sake,
Ever thus we watch and wake.

In Remembrance.....

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Antonio Pena (1894-1947)

Quite often I buy things just on the strength of the design. Completely unprejudiced by my own knowledge or someone else's opinion. A method of buying that should be adopted more widely, if you like, can afford it and the price seems fair, then buy it !!

And it was by this method that  I bought this bronze medal.

It inscribed on the back "Edificio De La Facultad De Ingenieria. Piedra Fundamental Veintiuno De Abril. MCMXXXVIII Montevideo ROU" and signed A Pena. Which sort of translates to "Building Of The Faculty Of Engineering.  Cornerstone Laid. Twenty First Of April 1938 Montevideo, University of the Republic" - Indicating that it was minted to commemorate the start of the construction a new University building in Montevideo.

This building, which as design by the architect Julio Vilamajó, still stands and since 1973 has been a registered landmark. Originally the project to build started in 1936 with construction from 1938. It was partially opened in 1942 and fully completed in 1953.
.......... going back to the medal ....... who was A Pena ?? If I have got the attribution correct he was.....

Antonio Pena (1894-1947) was an Uruguayan artist sculptor who workd in bronze and on paper. He was awarded a travelling scholarship in 1921 after completing his study in Uruguay. He travelled from 1923 during his tour he studied under; Antoine Bourdelle (1861-1929) in Paris, Anton Hanak (1875-1934) in Vienna and with Guido Balsamo Stella (1882-1941) in Florence.

This extensive study seems to have paid off as his works were regularly accepted for exhibition, both in a Urugauy and Internationally. His awards include: 2nd Prize for the sculpture in the exhibit “Salón del Centenario” (1930), the Silver Medal in the Spanish-American Exhibition of Sevilla (1930) and a Diploma of Honor in the International Show of Arts and Techniques of Paris (1937).

 Monuments to International Fraternity and Hernandarias

He also received First Prize in Buenos Aires to design the Monument to International Fraternity (Argentina &     Uruguay) (1936) in collaboration with the architect Julio Villamajó. He won Second Prize in the selection for the Monument to General San Martín (1942) and First Prize in the selection of the Monument for Hernandarias in Carmelo, Colonia. Finally he won First Prize for the Monument at the ANCAP building.

Small works in bronze

He was a multi media artist exhibiting works on paper including etching and works in bronze from the tiny medals, large ornamental sculpture to the monumental commemorative statues. His art can found in museums throughout Uruguay, the Americas and Europe.

 Medals 5, 8 and 11

During his career he designed at least 12 different medals on bronze or silvered bronze. These include, 1- Dr. Enrique Pouey (1928), 2 - Fiesta de la Locomocion (1930), 3- Sección Fenemina de Enseñanza Secundaria (1936), 4 - Piedra Fundamental Edificio Facultad de Ingeniería (1938), 5 - Congreso Sudamericano de Derecho Internacional Privado (1939), 6 - Inauguracion del monumento de Horacio Abadie Santos (1940), 7 - Medalla del Campeonato Sudamericano de Futbol (1942), 8 - Uruguay Chile Monumento al Gral O'Higgins (1943), 9 - Andres Lamas (1943), 10 - Dr. Teodoro M. Vilardebo (1943), 11 - Inauguracion de la Represa de Rincon del Bonete (1945) and 12 - Franklin D. Roosevelt (1945)

Medals 7 and 12

Antonio's lasting legacy includes monumental civic sculpture, the University and his medals. The football medal was still being awarded as late as 1981 !!

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Internet references include.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Floril - Boudoir Art

Does this signature read as - "Floril" ??

A signature seen on these recent purchases, a pair of small original etchings of cute 1920's girls. I have no doubt that these are period as the came old period frames and the paper was nearly brown with age. But who is Floril ?

I can't find any biographicals details at all. I have traced several sold on French eBay over the years but none of those listing are available to view. I assume the artist is French and the style would date them to the early to mid 1920's, no real surprise.

Is Floril a real name ? was there a Monsieur or Madame Floril or perhaps it is a non de plume of a more established artist, used on his lesser work?

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Georges Ridet (1906-1967)

Arrrr..... Very soft and furry !! This medal just made me smile, reminding me of childhood pets. 

The rabbit is a well observed study finely executed and placing  it within a cartouche seems to lift the design from ordinary to something with an moderne art deco twist. A simple but a clever trick !!

.... and you wouldn't be surprised to learn that it was designed in 1931 in the middle of the Art Deco period. This was designed by the French medaillier, Georges Ridet (1906-1967)

From a series of trades.

Georges was born in 1906 and initially studied at the École des Beaux-Arts at Dijon before completing his art training at the École Nationale Supérior des Beaux-Arts de Paris where he was a student of Henri Auguste Jules Patey (1855-1930) and Henri Dropsy (1885-1969).

His style is moderne, none of the classicism of the previous generation, designs of simplified blocks  and geometric shapes. This style must have been appreciated as he received a mention at the Salon des Artistes Français in 1928 before wining bronze medal in 1931. Also he achieved international success, being awarded second prize for sculpture at the 1935 Grand Prix de Rome.

 Battle Ship by Ridet with a design by Lenoir on the reverse.

Classical head with an art deco twist.

There does not seem to be many designs by Ridet, a few from the 1930's and the slightly later series of trades. I wonder how big this series was ? I have seen 3 different ones, Le Fer, Le Bois and La Pierre. All in all not much information on Georges, more would be appreciated, please comment.

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