Monday, 30 September 2013

Albert Pommier (1880-1943) - Medals

Albert Pommier (1880-1943) was not an artist I knew until I spotted these medals during one of my many internet searches. These ethnic studies have the feel of Emile Monier with a slight hint of art deco and I need to know more about the artist and his works ---

These are titled
 Arabic selling fruit - Veiled Women
Moorish Dancer - Arab riding on a donkey. 

Albert was a French sculptor and medalist, his dates are dates are variously recorded as 1880/1882 - 1943/44, which can only make research more difficult. Although we are certain the he studied sculptor at L'Ecole des Beaux Arts, Paris in opening decades of the 20th Century. where, no doubt he would have been schooled in the traditions of 19th Century classicism.

He probably felt limited by such traditional styles and went off travelling to find "his style" - he is recorded as having stayed at the Villa Abd-el-Tif in Algiers and perhaps it was during this stay that he was inspired to create the medals illustrated above - two of these are held in the collection of the Algiers Museum. During his time there he was awarded the prestigious Prix Abd-el-Tif for sculpture in 1914.

Many of the medal seen are African subjects, both studies of the animals and the peoples. Here are a few more.

Another group of works are his military subject and War Memorials, all created c1916 to 1935. These include memorials at Frejus (see right) and another in Lyon. I am struggling with the translation, but I think the Frejus monument was carved from Carrera marble and exhibited at the 1937 Grand Prix de l'Exposition Internationale, yet another source suggests a date of erection as 1931.

Albert Pommier, was a talented sculptor but perhaps as commercially successful as many of his contemporaries, such as Jean Vernon for example.

Here is another medal showing the same soldier as the memorial.

His medals are signed with a PA monogram and I wonder whether this is reason so few medals are found on internet searches - lots of scope for attribution mistakes. Are more medals out there lying in stock boxes as "un-identified" artist ??

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Sleepy Children - eBay Results & John Brunsden

Not much to report -- As I guessed, I was surprised at the sale price of these two pictures.

The Cedric Hodgson "Poppy Sleeps" made the distressing amount of £9.99 !! Whilst the M R Ward failed to sell. With hand on heart; I really knew they were going to struggle. Why ?? everything about them is out of favour. Small is yesterday's size -- everything, including pictures has to super sized. Black and white is last centuries colours, minor artists and finally in today climate of political correctness, who wants to be seen buying pictures of other peoples young children!!

This week on eBay I am trying these --

Both are etching aquatints by the contemporary British art printmaker John Brunsden. The subject matter is quite different to the majority of pictures by him. Often his compositions are expansive stylised landscapes with sweeping vistas and mesmerising  perspectives.

I don't know whether the differences makes my pictures more or less desirable -- or perhaps just different. I will just wait and see.

Friday, 6 September 2013

Sleepy Children - Today on Ebay

Sorry; but this a blatant advert for two etchings that I am trying to sell on eBay. Both follow the theme of sleeping children and both have stories attached.

This one is signed M R Ward and date "09"

..... and this is by Cedric Hodgson or the Baron of Rye

Both a sensitive studies of children and a both quite small. Just the size that sold very well a few years age, much like the subject. The first was one of 2 similar studies I had for sales at the last Antiques for Everyone, the other was bought by "celebrity" dealer Mark Hill to use in his lectures on what to buy !! Naturally a lady fell in love with it and tried to buy it from Mark; sadly for her it was not for sale. As any good dealer would, he told the lady that she was in luck as he could point her to our stand with another similar picture of the same girl and still for sale. 

Soon after I sold the picture. Only for it to be returned 10 minutes later !! What & Why ? Well she had fallen in love with the other etching and this just wasn't the same !! I know many a dealer would have said "Sorry, darling, too late" but no; I returned her the money and here it is.

The second etching "Poppy Sleeps" is adorable, especially with the little Golly watching over her. This picture has already featured on this blog and was for sale on my gallery site - Where it was view by an enthusiast of this artist who emailed me to advise that they had not seen this picture before. A gauarnteed sale you would think --- NO

So --- there they are on Ebay for the whole world to bid on -- have look and watch. You will be amazed at the price they make.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Monica Poole - Tree Stump

I have already posted about the art Monica Poole (1921-2003) and her wood engravings.

I have recently been lucky enough to find another wood engraving by her -- titled "Tree Stump", which I picture just below.

The other pictures I have seen by her have been beautifully executed but quite traditional compositions. You know the type, very detailed studies of flowers and landscapes. This pictures takes the art of wood engraving to another level, it is a beguiling picture of a rotting tree stump, a darkly dramatic composition of decay. It reminds me of the Paul Nash (1889-1946) painting of the World Wars.

There seems to be so much more going on than a simple tree stump - is that a face I see inside the stump ? A Green Man of the wild wood taking refuse ? The only living things is Ivy, that parasitic plant that strangles the life from many a tree.

It is such a shame that wood engraving has fallen out of fashion, who does it today ? Once upon a time many a book or periodical was illustrated solely with these.