Blog Posts tagged with general antiques & arts

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A glittering tablescape in M.S.  Rau Antiques' exhibition, Aristocracy: Luxury and Leisure in Britain

Dining with the Victorians: An Aristocratic Indulgence

Posted: December 13, 2017 13:34 Last Updated: | Bill Rau

M.S. Rau Antiques’ latest exhibition, Aristocracy: Luxury and Leisure in Britain, delves into the aristocratic lifestyle of 19th-century England’s most elite families. While also exploring the history of tea, the centuries-old tradition of the hunting party, and the modern phenomenon of the Great Exhibition, the exhibition also boasts a remarkable dinner spread at the apex of the show. Set with gleaming mother of pearl and silver flatware, golden candelabra and exquisite porcelain, the tablescape offers a momentary glimpse into the long-standing traditions that surround the dinner table. ...


Frères Rochat crafted this rare, early Swiss singing bird box with the desirable fusée movement, housed in an elegant engraved silver and hand-enameled case.  Circa 1840.

The Tiniest of Treasures: Rare & Important Singing Bird Boxes

Posted: November 29, 2017 15:38 Last Updated: | Bill Rau

It’s often been said that the best gifts come in small packages. The maxim certainly rings true when delving into the world of antique singing bird boxes.  The Magic Within Masterpieces that literally fit in the palm of your hand, singing bird boxes combine the engineering genius of the watchmaker with the cultivated eye of the jeweler. At once, these miniature marvels appear to be snuffboxes – magnificent objets d’art delectably crafted of luxurious materials such as silver, gold, tortoiseshell or enamel – which is why they are often referred to as “tabatières à oiseau chanteur” (“s...


Au Val Saint-Nicolas près Dieppe, Matin by Claude Monet.  Oil on canvas.  Signed, dated 1897.

Five Important Considerations When Buying Fine Art

Posted: November 06, 2017 12:34 Last Updated: | Bill Rau

The art market is a $45 billion global industry. With so much activity, in galleries, online, at fairs, and elsewhere, the act of collecting can be daunting. Whether you have eclectic taste or are assembling a highly curated collection, the five considerations below will help you build a collection with confidence. Provenance and Literature An artwork’s provenance, or chain of ownership, is crucial in establishing its authenticity and historical importance. It helps to trace the whereabouts of a work over time, backwards to the point it exited an artist’s studio. In addition to buildi...


With its luminous palette and feathery brushstrokes, "Le Gué aux Cinq Vaches" is exemplary of Corot's mature style.  Oil on canvas.  Signed "Corot", circa 1865

The Landscapes of Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot

Posted: June 13, 2017 10:56 Last Updated: | Bill Rau

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot is regarded by many as the most important landscape artist of the 19th century. Though he identified primarily with the Barbizon artists that painted in the Forest of Fontainebleau, Corot proved to be a bridge between the academic and the avant-garde, with his canvases showing the earliest hints of the techniques and ideals that led to the formation of Impressionism. Corot took up painting in adolescence, executing his first landscapes inspired by casual nature walks in his late teens. Between 1821 and 1822, the burgeoning artist devoted himself to oil paintin...


Mary DeNeale Morgan (1868 - 1948) "Cypress Trees, Carmel" Oil on canvas, 30 x 40 inches AVAILABLE NOW

Early California Painters of the Monterey Peninsula

Posted: April 13, 2017 15:08 Last Updated: | The Editorial Staff at William A. Karges Fine Art

By Rob Pierce, Associate Director, William A. Karges Fine Art, Santa Monica Since the beginning of the 20th century, the climactic landscape of the Monterey Peninsula has attracted artists from around the world, eager to try their hand at capturing the spirit of the dramatic shoreline. Over the ensuing century, hundreds of artists produced thousands of works, each a unique interpretation of the region’s natural beauty. After the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, the region was inundated with musicians, writers, painters and other artists who established an artist colony after th...


Folk Dancers by Jacques Martin-Ferrières.  The artist's inimitable technique, rich with swift and short brushstrokes of opaque color, reveals the strong influence of his father, Henri Martin, and the legendary Post-Impressionist generation before him.

More Than a Name: The Paintings of Jacques Martin-Ferrières

Posted: April 07, 2017 15:14 Last Updated: | Bill Rau

The paintings of Jacques Martin-Ferrières (1893-1972), abounding with exuberance and skill, stand as brilliantly-hued snapshots of the human spirit. The son of famed Post-Impressionist Henri Martin, Martin-Ferrières sought to step out of his father’s commanding shadow and forge a path of his own, a feat that he not only achieved, but surpassed.  By the age of six, it became clear that art was in Martin-Ferrières’ blood, as he had already begun to draw regularly and dabble in painting. At first, however, he didn’t allow art to be a driving force in his life, deciding instead to devote his...


Set against a serene seascape, the woman in this work, entitled September, exemplifies the elegance of Cassigneul's work.

Art of Inspiration: The Paintings of Jean-Pierre Cassigneul

Posted: February 03, 2017 16:25 Last Updated: | Bill Rau

Vibrant, evocative and captivating, the works of contemporary French artist Jean-Pierre Cassigneul arouse the senses with their distinctive blend of classical beauty and avant-garde sophistication. Every brushstroke executed through the course of his over-60-year career pays tribute to the modern art masters that came before in a style that is uniquely Cassigneul. Cassigneul’s artistic gifts were evident as a small boy growing up in Paris. Incredibly, with the encouragement of his parents, he had his first solo exhibition at the Lucy Krogh Gallery in 1952 when he was just 17. Then a stud...


Charles Bullet Ohio River Valley watercolor.

Charles Bullet: Visions of Kentucky and Florida

Posted: January 31, 2017 11:40 Last Updated: | Warren Payne

Charles Bullet, an Ohio Valley School artist, was born in Cincinnati in 1860 but lived much of his life across the Ohio River in Campbell County, Kentucky.  He was a winter resident of the Fort Myers, Florida, area and is as well-known for his early Florida paintings as for his work along the Ohio in Kentucky and Indiana.   His father, Charles Bullett (the son dropped the last “t”), was a sculptor and stoneworker who worked in Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati but eventually moved the family to Louisville, Kentucky, where he was  a partner in Muldoon, Bullett & Co. (the enterprise s...


Helen LaFrance's memory paintings document her life as an African-American woman.

Helen LaFrance: Insider outsider

Posted: January 27, 2017 10:37 Last Updated: | Warren Payne

Helen LaFrance (b. 1919) has been an artist since her childhood on her family’s farm in her native Graves County, Kentucky. She is considered a self-taught memory painter, a category in so-called naïve or outsider art, and she also makes quilts and other textiles, animal carvings and dolls. Her works are in the collections of media mogul Oprah Winfrey and artist Red Grooms, as well as many institutions including the Van Nelle collection of tobacco art in Holland. She has been exhibited all over the Commonwealth of Kentucky, from Mayfield to Murray to Owensboro to Bowling Green, and in N...


An 1882 Botto oil of the Venetian lagoon.

Botto's up

Posted: September 06, 2016 12:42 Last Updated: | Warren Payne

Louisville, Kentucky, native John Bartholomew Botto (1842-1910) was one of the earliest Ohio Valley Tonalists. His works are few and far between, even in his native state. We know the Speed Art Museum has four, including two of the best we’ve seen, and Ashland, The Henry Clay Estate, in Lexington, Kentucky, has at least two. We’ve seen a large riverscape in a private collection –  and we once saw a small harbor painting loose on the market. Not many Louisville artists die in their country home outside Paris, leaving an estate of $150,000 to $200,000 ($4,000,000 in current cash) – and a b...


One of only seven known to exist, this immense Farcot conical mystery clock was made for and purchased at the great London International Exhibition of 1862.

Made to Mesmerize: The Farcot Conical Mystery Clock

Posted: June 14, 2016 11:53 Last Updated: | Bill Rau

The great International Exhibitions of the 19th and early 20th centuries were the means by which the world’s latest artistic, industrial and technological innovations could take center stage. Attracting millions of visitors over the duration, it was these world’s fairs that allowed artisans from every discipline to showcase their absolute best to a global audience that included royalty and the social elite. For a craftsman, their exhibit was a watershed moment with the power to make or break their career. The 1862 International Exhibition had been a long time coming. The exhibition marked...


This incredible Pembroke table is one of the handful of pieces created by the legendary Thomas Chippendale that is still in private hands.

A Legacy of Excellence: The Paxton House Pembroke Table Crafted by Thomas Chippendale

Posted: April 05, 2016 15:48 Last Updated: | Bill Rau

The mere mention of “Chippendale” invokes thoughts of sophistication and the absolute finest furniture ever made...and rightly so. Thomas Chippendale (1718-1779) was legendary for his furniture designs that blended English, Chinese and Gothic motifs to create the distinctly elegant style that bears his name. In fact, the English cabinetmaker is the first to have an entire style named after him and not a monarch.   Born into a family of carpenters, little is known about his early career. What is certain is that Chippendale was primarily a designer. His influential treatise of design, Th...


Egyptian Revival Clock Garniture

Secrets of the Pyramids: Is Another Egyptian Revival on the Horizon?

Posted: January 26, 2016 08:43 Last Updated: | Bill Rau

Coffins, mummies, pyramids and ancient tombs – words that seem more at home in a film script have been recently seen flooding headlines. Archeologists and Egyptologists seem on the brink of a major discovery that would rock both the academic world and popular culture. With stories about cosmic particles and secret chambers in the Great Pyramids to the burial site of one particularly famous ancient Egyptian, Queen Nefertiti, eyes are looking to Egypt for the next big revelation about this fascinating, though mysterious, ancient culture. In the art and antiques world, these revelations are...


Pencil portrait titled "Gentile's Daughter" ...a colored pencil drawing on parchment paper.

Artist To Artist Interview...The why of becoming an artist

Posted: December 17, 2015 07:39 Last Updated: | Rex Stewart

For nearly fifty years, my mind and hands raced to create pieces that stirred the imagination of my viewers. It was never an accident that the skills I possessed were given to gloat over what I could or could not do; but to find clarity in this strange journey while creating subject matter that brought about the quest of -why? Every artist has a story or account relative to their existance. No two paths are alike. And yet, in the journey that's taken, there seem to be explosive egos that dictate the formalities of the creator. I found this to be perplexed during my early years because th...


Francois Linke Secretarie

Pre-Holiday Auctions Become Essential for Retail Market

Posted: December 01, 2015 13:49 Last Updated: | Joseph Ronan Clarke

As the country saw a downturn in storefront traffic on Black Friday, retailers now turn to auction as the best way to buy before the holidays. Clarke Auction's upcoming December 6th sale provides a quality selection on a carefully selected date to bolster retail holiday stockings (no pun intended) and collection building alike.  The wide variety of fine art, modern design, Asian antiques and decorative arts present important works across a number of markets, including several extensive collections of fine jewelry and watches that will be featured in the sale.  Fine art selections will ...


Entitled "Vachère dans une Clairière," this painting showcases the legendary Camille Pissarro's mastery of color and light.

Pissarro's Legacy: Over a Century of Breathtaking Art

Posted: October 29, 2015 08:56 Last Updated: | Bill Rau

Considered by many to be the father of Impressionism and one of the most respected artists of the 19th century, Camille Pissarro forever changed the course of art history.  With an artistic career that spanned over 50 years, the revolutionary patriarch influenced the likes of Monet, Cézanne, Cassatt and van Gogh with the founding ideals of portraying everyday life, always remaining true to the innate beauty of the natural world. Composed during one of the Impressionist master’s most significant periods, Vachère dans une Clairière is the culmination of everything the artist had tirelessly...


Bust of Christ by Edmonia Lewis, 1870

Exciting Edmonia Lewis Discovery

Posted: September 15, 2015 00:30 Last Updated: | M. Richardson

EXCITING EDMONIA LEWIS DISCOVERY An important discovery has been made of an1870 Bust of Christ by the Afro-Indian sculptor Edmonia Lewis (1842-1907). It was created for the Marquis of Bute, one of her earliest British patrons and is in the Bute family collection on the Isle of Bute off of Scotland.  An earlier piece by her commissioned by the Marquis, a Madonna and Child With Angels, is lost and thought to have been destroyed in a fire. A work by Lewis of this name was auctioned in London in the latter part of the 19th-century, but with no illustration and little other information...


Left: Fairy and Crane, Embroidery with silk from the Qing Dynasty.  Right: Covered ewer, Porcelain painted in enamels from the Qing Dynasty

The Significance of Cranes as Symbols in Chinese Art and Carpets

Posted: September 04, 2015 10:48 Last Updated: | Omri Schwartz

Cranes in Chinese art -- Since ancient times, the Chinese have been exceptionally creative in using various living, non-living and imaginary objects to represent abstract ideas. They have a symbol for everything, including life, death and longevity. One glance at Chinese art and carpets can educate on the myriads of Chinese symbols. Among the most popular and widely used symbols are the ones for longevity. They include bamboo, cicada, peach, gourd, pine, deer and crane. Cranes, or herons as they are also referred to as, play an important role in Chinese mytholog...


The Alexander Hamilton Passing Kingston Point -limited edition artist remarque print.

Remembering in art the steamboat Alexander Hamilton

Posted: August 03, 2015 02:52 Last Updated: | Rex Stewart

After 35 years... The Hudson River Day Line was a unique steamboat service that operated on New York's Hudson River during the heyday of travel. It was an experience for thousands to ride these large vessels to each port of call from Albany to New York City during the 19th-20th centuries. The most memorable in contemporary times were the steamboats that many, whom in the final era of that time, remember all too well, which included the ROBERT FULTON, PETER STUYVESANT and ALEXANDER HAMILTON. The last mentioned steamboat is the focus of this writing. Built in 1923, she served as ...


Jeff & Amelia Jeffers, owners of both Garth's Auctioneers (Columbus, Ohio) and Selkirk Auctioneers (St.  Louis, Missouri)

Checking Up, Checking In & Checking Out Your Auction Firm

Posted: July 24, 2015 12:14 Last Updated: | Amelia & Jeff Jeffers

I work with collectors from all over the country. Many of the folks I meet tell me they just don't know how to compare auction and appraisal services. Do you choose the firm who offers the highest values when evaluating your items? Clearly, high values could simply be a tool for luring business. Do you go with the cheapest? Lower fees definitely do not mean highest return. What is the saying?  You get what you pay for? I always recommend that my potential sellers visit us for an auction, or - at the very least - check out our website before, during and after an auction...


Attributed to famed royal portraitist Franz Xavier Winterhalter, this painting of Napoleon III was commissioned by the Emperor and given to the Marquess of Londonderry, Charles Vane.

A Storied Past: The Marquess of Londonderry’s Portrait of Napoleon III

Posted: July 01, 2015 16:01 Last Updated: | Bill Rau

M.S. Rau Antiques has spent the past 103 years searching the world for objects that are both incredibly beautiful and one-of-a-kind.  Every now and then, we come across a piece that has that “it factor” of also having a fascinating story to tell…a work of art with a provenance that sounds as if it were taken from an epic legend rather than the pages of history. This exceptional Portrait of Napoleon III is just such a historical masterpiece. Attributed to renowned royal portraitist Franz Xavier Winterhalter, this portrait of Napoleon III was commissioned and given by the Empero...


Protect Your Antique Rugs from Fading with These Tips

Protect Your Antique Carpets from the Effects of Sunlight

Posted: June 26, 2015 12:15 Last Updated: | Omri Schwartz

What You Should Know About Light and Antique Carpets It's a ritual at London's Victoria & Albert Museum. On the hour and half-hour, the Ardabil carpet is lit for a brief 10 minutes, so visitors to the Jameel Gallery of Islamic Art can behold its splendor. The enclosed display case and lighting system in Room 42 were specially crafted to showcase the world-famous 16th century Safavid carpet and to preserve its exquisite colors. While few collectors display priceless artifacts on the floor, most do value their antique carpets and want to protect the rich colors and stru...


Women work on hooked rugs in 1929 | Nazmiyal

Hooked Rugs: An American Tradition

Posted: June 08, 2015 09:29 Last Updated: | Omri Schwartz

Hooked Rugs -- American hooked rugs are as quintessentially American as jazz music is. Like the latter, it had a very humble beginning but grew to become a unique American tradition. Dismissed for its rustic and low quality until the early 20th century, handmade hooked rugs are now prized for their delightful folk art quality. Today, a thriving rug making industry had grown around it to meet the demands of a growing number of collectors. Rug hooking is a rug making technique that involves pulling loops or strips of fabric through a stiff woven base to make a rug...


Vintage Scandinavian Rug by Nazmiyal

Bauhaus and its Influence on Mid 20th Century Scandinavian Design

Posted: June 03, 2015 12:53 Last Updated: | Omri Schwartz

Bauhaus and its Influence on Scandinavian Design -- What comes to your mind when you think ofScandinavian design? If you know anything about it, you would immediately think of furniture, carpets, appliances and home accessories with pure forms and simple, clean lines. Scandinavian design is known for its elegance, minimalism, respect for natural materials, and superb craftsmanship. The key to its global popularity is the fine combination of aesthetics and utility. Modern Scandinavian design has its roots in traditional crafts, but it owes much to the functionali...


Oysterwood veneers, parquetry and bun feet distinguish this rare and exquisite William and Mary period chest.

Continental Inspirations: The Furniture of William and Mary

Posted: May 19, 2015 16:32 Last Updated: | Bill Rau

When the Dutch William III and his wife Mary II overthrew King James II in the 1688 Glorious Revolution, their victory signaled not only the end to the tensions that existed between the British Crown and Parliament, but also the beginning of a new era of decorative arts. William’s Protestant beliefs opened the door for Dutch, Flemish and French craftsmen to settle in England. These gifted artisans began to work with local cabinetmakers to incorporate their techniques and decorative forms to create a distinctive style of furniture known as William and Mary.   Though the reign of ...


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