Battleship Maine – Spanish American War

The Battleship Maine

Construction of the U.S.S. Maine was authorized in August of 1886, and she was launched in 1889 and commissioned in 1895. After several years spent patrolling the East Coast and Caribbean, orders sent the Maine and her crew to Cuba in response to continued civil unrest on the island.

The photograph above is a 1896 image of the ship framed in a sheet iron frame made from remnants of [...] Click here to continue reading.


Vermeil – definition

Vermeil

“Vermeil” is a French word co-opted by the English in the 19th century for a silver gilt process. Vermeil is a combination of silver and gold, although other precious metals are also occasionally added, that is then gilded onto a sterling silver object. The reddish (vermilion) hue of the addition of the gold gives the product its name. Vermeil is commonly found in jewelry, and a standard of quality (10 karat gold) and [...] Click here to continue reading.


Gemel Pottery Jug or Bottle

Gemels

The pottery form known as a gemel, also gemel jug or gemel bottle, is one of the rarest forms in American stoneware. The word is derived from the Latin word “geminus,” meaning twin, double, paired, or half-and-half. The plural of this same word, “gemini,” is used to refer to the constellation composed of twin brothers, Castor and Pollux, of Greek mythology. The words “twin” or “double” definitely come to mind when one thinks [...] Click here to continue reading.


Murano Glass

Murano Italy Glass Collectibles 1940-1960

Colorful Examples of Italian Glassblowers Art

Venetian glass makers and their Murano studios and factories achieved worldwide fame for the quality of their artistic glass creations. Italian glass has been famous for quality and innovation since the 14th century, and Murano continues that long standing tradition. Collectors have rediscovered the beauty of color and form of post-WWII pieces from the 1940s-1960s.

Murano Glass from Venice, Italy The small [...] Click here to continue reading.


Carnival Glass

Carnival Glass

Once considered “Poor Man’s Tiffany”, carnival glass has its own enthusiastic following, and the glass, especially in red and blue remains popular. By 1905, glass manufacturers were cranking out inexpensive versions of the iridescent glass that had been made wildly popular by Tiffany Studios, but the name carnival glass wasn’t used until 45 or so years later. The popular glass made in the U.S. Australia, Europe, and Argentina, was sold cheaply, and [...] Click here to continue reading.


Blenko Glass

Blenko Glass

Art Glass of the Atomic Age 1950-1960

William Blenko had success as a manufacturer of stained glass. While that business dried up with the arrival of the Depression, by 1932 his tableware was on display at Macy’s. Today, collectors look for Blenko’s signature pieces in exaggerated sizes, bold shapes, and brilliant colors.

Brief History of Blenko Glass Born in 1853, William J. Blenko began learning his trade at the age of 13 [...] Click here to continue reading.


Ormolu – non-furniture definition

Ormolu

Ormolu, an 18th-century English term, is from the French phrase or moulu, with “or” indicating gold and “moulu” being a form of an old French verb moudre, which means “to grind up.” (This French term for this technique is bronze dore.) This idea of “ground-up gold”refers to the production process of ormolu, where high-quality gold is finely powdered and added to a mercury mixture and applied to a bronze object. Modern usage often [...] Click here to continue reading.


Tiffany Lamps

Tiffany Lamps with Stained Leaded Glass Shades

Tiffany Studios Charles Tiffany had a thriving luxury goods business which he expected his son to take over, but Louis aspired to a career in art. Although he trained as a painter, Louis Comfort Tiffany was inspired by the glasswork in the Byzantine churches he visited as a youth. He was particularly taken with colored glass, and the effects of daylight upon it. Having studied with a [...] Click here to continue reading.


George Rodrigue – American Artist

George Rodrigue (American, Louisiana, 1944 to 2013)

IN MEMORIAM:

A native of New Iberia, Louisiana, George Rodrigue was not only an accomplished artist, he was also a savvy businessman and philanthropist. A student of the University of Louisiana and the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles, Rodrigue began his career in illustration, before turning to painting full time.

His earliest works, steeped in the Acadian lore and Cajun history of his ancestors [...] Click here to continue reading.


Semans, Mary Duke Biddle Trent – Brunk Provenance Note 8-2013

Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans (1920 to 2012)

An American heiress and philanthropist, Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans was the great-granddaughter of tobacco industrialist and Duke University benefactor Washington Duke. She was born Mary Duke Biddle on February 21, 1920 to Mary Lillian Duke and Anthony J. Drexel Biddle Jr. Her father was the former U.S. Ambassador to Poland and Spain.

Semans was raised in Manhattan, where she attended the Hewitt School in New [...] Click here to continue reading.


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