Saturday, October 16, 2010
RANDOM 341 OBJECT
ANTIQUE Hand Color ENGRAVING Boston PUBLIC GARDEN 1869-$56
If you love old framed prints with lots of detail worthy of close-up study, you’ll love this one showing the Public Garden of Boston as seen from the corner of Charles and Beacon Streets. People are going about their everyday lives; chatting, strolling, gawking and rushing. Downtown Boston is in the background.
Because it remains under glass, I’m forced to try and sneak up on it to get a picture without glare taking over. Don’t fret. We’ll look at close-ups.
The long, spread out caption/legend along the bottom says:
“Charles Street - Greenhouse - New Bridge - Dr. Gannett’s Church - Commonwealth Ave. - Beacon Street
THE PUBLIC GARDEN, BOSTON, MASS. – VIEW FROM THE CORNER OF CHARLES AND BEACON STREETS. Looking south. - 1869
The frame is in excellent condition overall with only minor veneer losses at each of the corners. They are certainly nothing heartbreaking – easily overlooked.
When looking at the goings on, it’s important to remember we’re looking at public life as it was just after the devastating American Civil War. Personally, however, I’m always distracted from the broader picture by something my father told me way, way, way back when. Maybe it was during the Cuban missile crisis. He said that his greatest worry during his teenage years was that the earth would eventually be covered in horse dung. So I can’t look at a print depicting the good old days without looking for horse poop. (Dang! It’s like one of those tunes that gets trapped in your brain, and it won’t go away.)
As you’d expect, there is some foxing and discoloration, but it remains a delightful old print. I wouldn’t do a thing to it other than have it backed with something acid free. I’d also consider new matting – also acid free.
RANDOM 341 OBJECTS
2 Antique SECESSATIONIST MOVEMENT Enameled BEER GLASSES-$10
Czechoslovakian glass makers provided “blanks” for decorators such as Moser, et al because the glass they produced was considered some of the finest of the period. However, this pair of beer glasses with the highly stylized Vienna Secessionist Movement hand painted designs flanking oval scenes was no doubt decorated right there “in country.”
Each is 4 ¼” tall, and both have remained in beautiful condition. Even the gold rims and borders show very little wear. I doubt they were ever actually used except as “showoff” pieces in someone’s china cabinet.
The thick enamel decoration on either side of the ovals is done in white, red, blue, green and gold. I suppose it is merely a design, but it certainly reminds me of an owl - a dripping owl.
OK . . . Maybe it’s a “dripping owl with a golden smile.” We’re going to have to face it: I really have no idea
Both glasses are marked on the bottom with “Made in Czechoslovakia” beneath a wreath, or maybe just leafy sprigs. That, and the fact that the text beneath each scene is written in Czech, is what made me conclude that this pair was decorated “in country.”
The old codger seems to be talking about a paper he has signed or “wants signed.” It has something to do with three hundred dollars, but aside from that, I haven’t a clue. In my own tiny little reptile brain, I like to think he is making an indecent proposal, but that’s probably only because that’s the way I roll.
What the %#@*?! The direct translation seems to be: “One of us girl.”
If that means what I think it means, we have a winner here. (I think I’ll stick with that until someone tells me what it really means. I may even stick with it if proven totally wrong. There are times when the facts get in the way of a good story.)