George Alan Swanson – a painter of famous ‘40s/’50s ballet dancers

George Alan Swanson This watercolor by George Alan Swanson (Am., 1908-1968), titled Spectre de la Rosem Igor Youskevitch (1941), should bring $3,000-$5,000. (photo courtesy Shannon’s Fine Art Auctioneers)

George Alan Swanson (1908-1968) was a New Jersey-born painter who achieved international success with his 1940s-era depictions of dancers of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, the Ballet Theatre and the Jooss Ballet. When he put all artistic endeavors on hold to join the war effort, 50 of his Ballet Russe paintings were loaned to the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. On Thursday, January 19th, Shannon’s Fine Art Auctioneers will offer 24 paintings from the estate of Mr. Swanson, in an internet-only auction that begins promptly at 2 pm Eastern time.

Included will be watercolors portraits of some of the most famous ballet stars of the 1940s and 1950s: Igor Youskevitch, Alicia Marakarova and Sergei Temoff. The dancers are depicted performing famous ballets, including Baisier de la Fee, Les Sylphides and Le Lac de Cygnes. Swanson was noted for his aptitude for watercolor, apparent in these paintings. The paintings are priced to sell and are expected to attract the interest of dance aficionados. Also in the sale are works from the estates of Will Hutchins, Alfred Bricher and Pat Jensen. Visit www.shannons.com.

 

 

Musgo Gasoline sign could bring $150,000 at Morphy’s

Musgo Gasoline sign Musgo Gasoline porcelains signs are so rare that this one carries a pre-sale estimate of $100,000-$150,000 at Morphy’s petroliana auction on Feb. 12th. (photo courtesy Morphy Auctions)

Morphy Auctions’ petroliana and automobilia auction slated for Feb. 12, online and at the firm’s gallery in Denver, Pal., will feature many fine examples of these burgeoning genres, with estimates ranging from $2,000-$30,000 for the usual lineup of rare and beautiful porcelain and tin signs, single globe lenses, glass globes and more. But one lot jumped out from the rest with its fantastic pre-sale estimate of $100,000-$150,000. It’s a Musgo Gasoline “Michigan’s Mile Maker” porcelain sign with Chief logo. But what would make it deserve such a high estimate?

According to Dan Matthews, Morphy’s resident petroliana expert, “When Musgo went out of business, a plumber purchased the warehouse and used most of the Musgo signs for septic tank lids. Septic tank fumes are one of a few things that can eat porcelain right off of metal. As such, Musgo signs in excellent condition are extremely rare. Around 1980, collectors started to research the location where the plumber had put in septic tanks and dug up several of the signs. This is one of those signs and it’s one of maybe seven in existence.” Visit MorphyAuctions.com.

 

 

Studio glass paperweights are a blend of beauty and function

Studio glass paperweights Have you ever seen a paperweight as beautiful as this example, created by studio glass master artist Gordon Smith? It will be auctioned Jan. 28th. (photo courtesy Jeffrey S. Evans & Assoc.)

Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates’ two-session sale planned for January 27th and 28th, online and  in Mount Crawford, Virginia, will be the firm’s annual Winter Glass & Lighting Auction, packed with an important and varied selection of 18th to 20th century American and European wares. The January 28th session will feature the Ellen O’Brien studio glass collection, with over 300 paperweights, as well as sculptures and other forms. Studio glass is the modern use of glass as an artistic medium to produce beautiful sculptures and three-dimensional artworks, such as paperweights.

The stunning object you see here is a paperweight creation from Gordon Smith, who has been a full-time studio glass artist in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey since 1982. He specializes in creating fine crystal lamp-worked paperweights and small sculptures, using realism to execute his choice of subject, which can range from a floral motif to a desert scene or aquatic environment. Today, Gordon is one of the few acknowledged masters in the art of paperweight making in the world. His work can be found in many public and private collections. Visit www.jeffreysevans.com.

 

 

Witness a tall case clock trifecta: Tiffany, Durfee and R. J. Horner

Witness a tall case clock This late 19th century tall case clock has a lot going for it – like the names Tiffany, R. J. Horner and Walter Durfee. It will be sold on January 21st. (photo courtesy Case Antiques Auctions)

This Tiffany & Company tall case clock with elaborate Renaissance Revival style carved oak case attributed to R.J. Horner and having Walter Durfee movement with Westminster tube chimes, will be a featured lot at Case Antiques Auctions & Appraisals’ January 21st Winter Art Antiques Auction, online and at the firm’s gallery in Knoxville, Tenn. Think about that for a moment. This clock’s got it all: Tiffany, Horner and Durfee, all in one magnificent, time-keeping colossus That’s what you might call a tall case trifecta. A four-fecta, if you include Westminster.

The late 19th century clock features a carved pediment crest with laurel, egg and dart, dentil and anthemion moldings over an arched moon dial and silvered face with gilt filigree overlay, with a face marked Tiffany & Co. (N.Y.); a glass waist door flanked by caryatids; a base carved in a cartouche design with applied high relief carved floral garland molding above canted serpentine carved corners; paw feet (front) and bun feet (rear). Care to guess the estimate on this 101-inch-tall baby? Actually, it’s a quite reasonable $14,000-$16,000. Visit www.caseantiques.com.

 

 

Live auctions are coming to television with Auction Action On BCTV, Jan. 30th

Live auctions are coming Many items in the auction will have ties to Berks County, like this 1925 landscape oil by Christopher Shearer (1846-1926) of Reading, Pa. (photo courtesy The Renaissance Auction Group)

Berks Community Television (BCTV), in Reading, Pennsylvania, will be bringing live auctions to television with the debut airing of a new show called Auction Action on BCTV on Monday, Jan. 30th, at 6 pm Eastern time. The program will be hosted by Bill Howze, owner of The Renaissance Auction Group in Reading, and host of the popular BCTV show All That Stuff. In the first hour of the show, Mr. Howze will explain how the auction works and preview featured lots. All bidding is online. People will be able to bid from anywhere in the world on their desktop or mobile device.

Berks County residents who have BCTV in their cable package will be able to view the show live. Bidding will be driven through The Renaissance Auction Group website www.auctionhowze.com. The show will be fast-paced, averaging one item closed per minute. Some lots will be specific to Berks County. And, even though many items will be rare, with a real or perceived value, the starting bid for each lot will be just $10. “That’s to get the ball rolling and the bidding started,” Mr. Howze said. The first item will come up for bid around 7 pm. Visit www.auctionhowze.com.

 

 

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