September 16, 2014
This was a new piece of material culture to me and I’ve seen a lot of maps over the years and yes, I even have a favorite map (or maybe three).
It not only interesting as a piece of functional art but as a culture statement. The plate dates to the early 19th century, ca., 1830. The form of map is a tad bit older, roughly 1000 years and is often attributed to a monk named Gyōki (668–749). It was an early attempt to show in graphic form the entire country of Japan and the basic form has remained in use ever since.
There are interesting variant maps. Some show a Land of Women along an edge. Others have a Land of Pygmies. Both are unfortunately missing on our version.
The plate is in excellent condition and serves as a reminder of how much there is to learn in the world and how much we grow accustomed to a particular version of what we’ve learned, however obsolete it may become. It measures 11 3/4 x 15 inches.
August 11, 2014
Swan or goose tile by Eunice Parsons. She just turned 97 and is still actively making art.
I’m jealous. I can make art, but finishing it is one thing and selling it in the world . . . that’s even more of a hustle.
Hats off to her though. To be making art, active and happy at nearly a century is an impressive feat.
This tile is an earlier work, before she moved to collage pieces and is dated 1983. It measures 8 3/4 inches square and came out of a home of refined taste in south east Portland. That owner originally purchased it from us about seven or so years ago. I am unsure of the provenance before that time.
July 2, 2014
A well written manuscript music sheet on vellum in brown*, red and blue ink. It bears the original pencil/carbon guide lines for inking and is 18 x 24 inches.
We’re uncertain of the date but best probability is 15th century +/- a few decades. We’ve seen very similar ones dated from the 14th century (i.e., 1300’s) to 1550 but it seems there was no cohesive logic for the dates assigned. I showed this copy to one of our local rare book experts and in his opinion it might date as late as the 17th century and is probably of Spanish origin.
Regardless, this was part of a song book, with letters large enough to be seen while standing in a choral group (think Gregorian Chants).
On one side are verses from Psalm 33 (verse 9): Gustate et videte, quoniam suavis est Dominus: beatus vir qui, the remainder of the line sperat in eo would be continued upon the next page. Roughly translated this reads O taste and see that the Lord is sweet: blessed is the man that [hopeth in him]. Followers of the Tom Waits ‘Chocolate Jesus‘ hypothesis would no doubt agree.
On the other side is a somewhat more enigmatic phrase “Ecce enim deus adiubat me et dominus susceptor est anime mee. Conuerte mala . . . It took a bit to figure out but this is Psalm 54 and would read For behold God is my helper: and the Lord is the protector of my soul. Turn back . . . and if continued in full as on the next page of our manuscript (reading inimicis meis et in ueritate tua disperde illos) it would finish the evils upon my enemies; and cut them off in thy truth.
For a text that’s seen 500 years or more go by it is in good condition. If one were so inclined it could probably use a touch of conservation work but there are no immediately serious issues.
*Brown is a relative thing. This is really Iron gall ink
, which started out quite dark but fades to a lovely brown over time.
May 27, 2014
Another Wally plate, 8 1/4 inches in diameter.
Methinks he’s got his artist wrong, but you get the idea.
May 20, 2014
In the cutthroat world of corporate spokes-animals we have our own list of suspects. As usual there’s no proof.
8 1/4 inches in diameter.
May 17, 2014
Wally . . . he’s so dreamy in a Messianic sort of way.
8 1/4 inches in diameter.
March 29, 2014
Two out of three owls sleep securely as another stands watch.
Nice handcrafted ceramic charger or shallow bowl measuring 12 inches in diameter and in perfect condition. Unmarked.
December 7, 2013
An impressive highly detailed original pencil drawing by Menalkas Selander.
Selander was a second generation Oregon artist born in 1913, the son of Arthur Selander. He was educated at the Art Institute of Chicago. Additionally he was a member of and one time president of the Oregon Society of Artists. His works are included in the collections of the Maryhill Museum, the Oregon Historical Society and the Smithsonian Institution.
Measures 16 by 21 inches in frame and in excellent condition.
November 27, 2013
An interesting ceramic ” Cityscape Diptych” made in 1976 by Dennis Lee Cunningham, an Oregon artist.
There are two big ceramic tiles with glaze or mason’s stain painted scenes.
In frame it measures 18 1/2 inches wide by 21 tall. It is in excellent condition, signed on the reverse and one tile bears impressed marks* that the artist likely used to sign other pieces as well.
*We see a lot of marks and illegible signatures. If it weren’t for the clear label on the back we probably would have never come up with the artist’s name.
November 6, 2013
Titled upon the reverse in pencil “Wailing Wall in the Old City in Jerusalem.” I’m not sure who titled it as there are all sorts of markings upon the back.
It measures about 12 1/2 by 6 3/4 in frame. It is in great condition and has been attributed to Marc Chagall by a previous owner. Chagall did work in ceramic, but it seems this is an area that professional scholars, art historians and others have largely neglected. As such I can’t say for certain that this is a work of his, nor can I say it is not.