Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Lost Portrait by John Everett Millais of Effie Gray discovered in Dusty Attic . . .

A dust-covered painting found behind an old mattress in an attic has turned out to be the work of a famous artist estimated to be worth £50,000.

November 23, 2008 -- Somerset, England -- An unnamed 45 year old woman had been given the art work for her ninth birthday in 1972 but stored it in her loft for years and forgot about it until she put her house up for sale. An eagle-eyed auctioneer who was valuing her belongings spotted the oil painting and was stunned when he realized it was by 19th century artist John Everett Millais.

As well as being worth thousands, the dusty painting has also shed light on a 150-year-old scandal of a love triangle involving Pre-Raphaelite artist Millais. The portrait is of a woman called
Effie Gray who was married to Millais's mentor and art critic John Ruskin at the time.

Millais, whose work includes the famous Ophelia painting, met and fell in love with Gray in 1853 while he used her for another painting, the Order of Release. Gray was in a loveless marriage with Ruskin and left him to marry Millais three years later. They went on to have eight children together.

The painting, which has Millais's signature on the back, shows Ellie Gray in a "passionate" and thoughtful pose while she was aged in her mid 20s.

The 14” x 11” painting was auctioned at Christie's in 1961 and bought by a Bond Street dealer who later sold it. It was eventually bought by the consignor's mother at an art gallery in 1972.

The painting was scheduled to be auctioned at Chilcotts of Tiverton on December 9, 2008. I have looked and looked and can't find the selling price. The website for the auction house will not open. I will update this post when I learn the hammer price.

UPDATE: I contacted the auction gallery and learned that this painting was withdrawn at the last minute.

Take care of your antiques and they will take care of you.

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Monday, December 29, 2008

Marilyn Monroe photos by Bert Stern sell for $146,500

Associated Press – In this Sept. 9, 1954 file photo, Marilyn Monroe poses over the updraft of a New York subway grate.

December 17, 2008 -- NEW YORK CITY
A collection of photographs of Marilyn Monroe taken for Vogue magazine the year she died has been auctioned in New York for nearly $150,000.

A spokeswoman for Christie's auction house says the 36 photos taken by Bert Stern sold for $146,500 on Tuesday. The pre-sale estimate was $100,000 to $150,000.

Christie's says the photos from a 1962 shoot were the last professional images taken of Monroe before she died that year of a drug overdose. They ran in Vogue instead as a memorial. The buyers were anonymous.

View 12-photo slideshow here.

Bert Stern's best known work is arguably The Last Sitting, a collection of 2,500 photographs taken of Marilyn Monroe over a three day period, six weeks before her death, shot for Vogue. Stern published Marilyn Monroe: The Complete Last Sitting in 1992. In it, he recounted being enchanted by her until a near-intimate encounter after the second day of shooting; he then realized that she was deeply troubled.

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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Mid-Century Modern Pug . . .

This cracks me up. I couldn't resist reblogging this adorable pug puppy in his mini Eames Lounge. I know it has been Photoshopped to death and you have probably already seen it; but for those of you who haven't, here it is in all of its adorable glory. HaHaHa.

Source: A Merry Mishap

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Cutest dogs ever! . . .

Don't you just love these five little dachshunds wearing colorful crocheted scarves on their heads?

Reblogged from here.

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Friday, December 26, 2008

Handmade Fabric Gift Bags I whipped up . . .

I just wanted you to see my last minute Christmas wrapping inspiration. I actually made these gift bags on Christmas Day. I had some awkward presents to wrap and deliver and did not have any boxes. I had some fabric still on the bolt and I quickly whipped up some cloth bags. It couldn't have been easier. I did not iron the seams or anything. Just quickly measured around the item, cut the rectangle, folded it over and sewed down the side and bottom, trimmed the corners, turned inside out, and then did a quick hem at the top. I didn't put a drawstring...not enough time and too much trouble. I just bunched the top and tied with a nice ribbon.

Aren't they beautiful? The recipients might be able to use the bags for something else too! I was so pleased with myself. Sometimes it pays to procrastinate; you have to improvise and great ideas come out of thin air.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

My tree is finally up | Merry Christmas . . .

I picked up a really pathetic looking artificial tree at a garage sale last week for $5.00. Now that all the branches have been re-bent and the ornaments are in place I find it to be quite pleasing. I have always had a real evergreen; remember my post about the 600 trees I planted? I just can't bring myself to buy anything but a Charlie Brown tree and the lot nearby that sold them for a reasonable price closed down last year. Now I am set forever.

I decided not to use any lights, just shiny Christmas balls. They reflect the glow from the lamps in the room very nicely. I have other ornaments that I didn't use. The tree looks very old fashioned so I am declaring it finished. Less is more, right?

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Christmas gift suggestions . . .

via kari-shma

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Merry Christmas to all travelers . . .

If you find youself away from home December 25th, try to capture the spirit of Christmas wherever you can find it.

It's out there in some of the most unexpected places!

Enjoy more vintage travel trailer art here.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Today is FESTIVUS | Send your cards . . .

Today is FESTIVUS. The made-up holiday created by George Costanza on Seinfeld as an antidote for the commercialization of Christmas.

Read about the Festivus Display at the Illinois Capitol.

Don't forget to send your cards!

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Monday, December 22, 2008

M is for Manicure | Great Logo . . .

I think this letter M is such a clever design for a manicure cutlery company.

I got a vintage pair of pet nail clippers for Webster at at estate sale last week. The company is still in business using this logo. I wonder if MILLERS FORGE products are guaranteed perfect today?

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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Korean Jar sells for almost $4.2 Million at Auction . . .

WOW! No recession here!

San Francisco, California:
International interest pushed the price for a circa 1800 Korean jar to nearly $4.2 million at Bonhams & Butterfields on December 9, 2008 setting a new auction world record.

The rare Joseon dynasty Korean blue and white porcelain jar was sold over the telephone, to an unidentified Asian buyer after a hotly contested bidding war among more than 12 clients, bidding from the salesroom floor and via telephones.

The mid-Joseon dynasty jar was discovered by Asian art department director Dessa Goddard in a monthly appraisal event held at the company's Sunset Boulevard gallery in Los Angeles. The jar was formerly in the collection of Mrs. Fiske Warren of Boston, part of the Mount Vernon Street Warren family. It has been in a family member's Southern California home for decades.

The jar was part of a worldwide tour prior to the auction. Its pre-auction estimate was $200/300,000, and the final selling price, including buyer's premium, was $4,184,000.

"We recognized that the subject matter of the Warren jar is unique," said Goddard. "One other jar in the Osaka Museum has a depiction of San Shin [mountain spirit] and his tiger; the Warren jar shows a bearded San Shin in the act of pulling the tiger's tail while basking under a pine tree, sun and clouds. The subject of the vase, together with its masterfully executed brush work, makes the jar of great importance to collectors of Korean art."

"Take care of your antiques and they will take care of you."

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This Christmas Tree is To The Point . . .

There are so many clever people out there creating wonderful Christmas images from ordinary objects.

via poppypetunia (2nd photo)

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Friday, December 19, 2008

Charles Dickens Christmas Card | FREE DOWNLOAD . . .

A Merry Dickensian Christmas to You!

This Oliver Twist parody says it all, doesn't it?

Print as many cards as you need.


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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Does Santa do on-site carpentry? . . .

I wonder if Santa can find room for this in his sack? Will it fit down the chimney? Will it have to be built in place? Only Santa knows!

via flickr

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Grown-Up Christmas List by Michael Bublé (video) . . .

Grown-Up Christmas List by Michael Bublé

This is so moving. Please watch. You will be happy you did. Michael Bublé has the most beautiful voice I have ever heard.

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