Sunday, March 8, 2009

Six Beautiful Things

(Above) Paint Decorated Leather Parade Hat
Possibly Pennsylvania
Circa 1790
With scrolled brim, in black paint, the top bears initials M.A., the sides bear word “AMERICA” and initials “FA” with a fire hydrant.

(Above) Metal Globe
A large advertising hand painted metal globe wrapped in metal film.

(Above) Collection of 18th c. Sake Bottles
Edo period green, cream and orange glazed ceramic Sake bottles with beautiful craquelure throughout.

(Above) Santos
c. 1900s
Original one of a kind hand carved wood Santos head with beard. Mounted on a wood stand.

(Above) Collection of Seven 19th c. Wood Hand and Glove Models
United States
19th century
Unusual collection of seven 19th century hand and glove models, with articulated jointed fingers, several mounted on bases. Many can be shown vertically or horizontally. Excellent patina.

(Above) Roman Marble Stele, 2nd-3rd century A.D.
2nd - 3rd century A.D.
“Farewell Dommnina”

ISN’T IT GREAT TO KNOW THAT there are incredible and rare objects out there—just waiting to be acquired? Barring fire or disaster, great objects just move from hand-to-hand, collection to collection. Everything we own of rarity or value— we are simply caretakers for. Eventually, everything goes to someone else, or to a museum or back to an antique shop or auction house.

In some ways I admire those who can live their lives simply—without the need or desire for “things.” Alas, I am not one of those. Living with art—or things which attract my eye, give me spirit and soul. I live through the objects I find, rescue, or purchase. I feel their history. I sense the maker’s hands. I am curious as to their meaning. I am drawn to compelling and powerful objects like a moth to a flame. Many of you, I know, are the same way.

Does the need to collect objects fill a psychological need? Do I need “things” to feel good? I guess I’d have to say it does. So, then, my goal should be to sell or give away my last object on my deathbed— because as they say, we can’t take it with us.

So, if you are still collecting things—or even if you are not—enjoy these items that you can find on Oh, I forgot to tell you, the parade hat at the top of this post—it’s priced at $11,000.


Kim and David said...

Great stuff - love the hands - great design. The hat is amazing! Kim

Daniel Gross said...

That parade hat would have come from a volunteer fire department. It was in Philly that Ben Franklin help organize the first fire department in the states. The price is crazy but I can understand how rare it must be.

Thanks for the all the great post!!

Unknown said...

The initials "FA" on the back of the hat stand for the Fire Association of Philadelphia, a cooperative fire insurance company instituted by the city's volunteer firefighters. It began in 1817, making the date of the hat sometime after that year.

Often, such fire hats would feature even more elaborate paintings and decorations, yet 19th C. volunteer firemen in Philly, Baltimore and even Washington would wear them to fires as part of their overall "turnout gear".

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