Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Unusual Mourning Family Portrait Post Mortem Iowa

Can't figure this one out. A pretty standard family portrait, but the man third from the left wasn't present when the photo was taken. His portrait is superimposed by the photographer. Given the fact that the rest of the family is wearing black, I would speculate that this is a post-mortem mourning portrait. Photographed by Let Grand Studio in Onawa, Iowa.

Pre-John Currin Charcoal Portrait Drawing

This vintage charcoal drawing of a woman has a real John Currin feel to it. Except, unlike the worst of Currin's work (and I like a lot of his works!), this doesn't feel like it's trying to out-Weird anybody. It just IS plain weird!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Jim Caswell's Latest Stuff...

One of the country's best dealers in Spanish Colonial art is right here in Santa Monica, CA. Jim Caswell has been plying his trade with an artist's eye (also an accomplished sculptor) for longer than he probably cares to remember, but that's a good thing for us. In addition to his consistently great santos, retablos and ex-votos, every once and a while he'll source other unusually great pieces from other parts of the world.

Here's some great new pieces that he currently has in stock.

Historia's Description: A very unusual exvoto/milagro from the north of Brazil. This would have been used to seek a cure for an ailment or left in a chapel as an act of thanks for receiving the miracle of health. As far as we know these breast carvings are unique to Brazilian Catholicism.

Historia Description: A unique carved exvoto/milagro from the north of Brazil. This would have been used to seek a cure for an ailment or left in a chapel as an act of thanks for receiving the miracle of health. This ex-voto is so poignant, showing the sweetly smiling face of a woman who must have survived a double-mastectomy, judging from the scar across her chest. Custom mounted on metal stand.

Go to his website for even more:

WWII German Prisoner War Painting

Another great Thrift Store painting for Jim Shaw:

Seller's description: It was painted by a German Prisoner of war during World War 2. The painting is of a US Military Officers wife and was painted by a German prisoner of war. After seeing the prisoners talent the guard gave him a picture of his wife back home and asked the captive to paint his sweethearts picture so he could take it back to her. The prisoner agreed to only after working out a deal with the guard so he would be provided with materials to paint on and some paints. The painting is done on a scrap piece of box that was from some sort of military shipment that had been sent there. The size of the picture is and is signed on the bottom P.W. German Ratazerak (the PW stands for Prisoner of War).

Friday, August 17, 2007

Thursday, August 9, 2007


Four saleman’s samples for early carry on luggage. Recently on eBay from Harris Diamant. Sold for $ 400.00 for all 4.

From seller's description:
It took great perseverance to assemble this set of four, rare, saleman’s demonstrators for early carry on luggage. I purchased them as an assembled collection and decided to sell them that way. The bodies of these cases are made of plywood. These colorful cases preceded the plastic sort of Samsonite luggage we frequently see today. I estimate that they were made shortly after World War 2. Each is 10 ½ inches tall. They taper toward the top, so the bottoms are 7 inches by 15 inches, the tops are 5 ½ inches by 15 inches. One seems to be of somewhat earlier manufacture than the others in that the “new alligator finish” has not arrived yet.. The colors, which are quite strong, are on a plastic material the likes of Naugahide or leatherette. The graphic of the four cases together is quite striking. The plywood has a mellow, golden patina. The overall condition is quite good. Note that the latch covers on two cases are missing. This does not hamper the function of the latches. They work just fine. Note too that the gold leaf lettering “Samsonite Demonstrator Case” is absent from the back of one case.


Very rare tintype of a folk art carved articulated snake!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Christ's Entry Into Pennsylvania?

Sorry for the long break! I took a week off to travel the West (Zion and Bryce National Parks, which were simply awesome) and I just changed jobs, so my life has been a little hectic of late. But happily I came back to the following...

Folk Art dealer Jim Linderman has this great original photograph of a reunion of GOONS up on eBay right now. Class of 1911 from Sacony Valley Pennsylvania. Reminds me of the great Ensor painting, probably the single best painting in Los Angeles (at The Getty).