The Charles Martignette collection of American illustration art

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.


Charles Martignette

Charles Martignette

I’m preparing for our 5-week show circuit in Florida and North Carolina, so I don’t have the time to write a more thorough post. I think you’ll enjoy reading about the Charles Martignette collection of American illustration art. Charles put together the finest and most comprehensive collection ever assembled. Heritage Auction acquired the entire collection after his untimely death in February, 2008, and sold it over several years. Total sales for the 4,300 lots of art were $21.68 million. Click here for Heritage’s very interesting report.
Gil Elvgren was one collectors' favorite artists

Gil Elvgren was one collectors’ favorite artists


I’ve been quite busy buying and selling recently, partly because I’ve listed many new items on my website. I really need to buy more, so if you have something great, please offer it to me for sale. I am paying the highest prices of any dealer. My decisions are quick and my payments just as quick. Just snap a photo and email me a jpeg.

I will continue to list more as often as possible. Please click here to take a look.

We’re still very much in business between shows, especially since there are fewer shows nowadays. Please don’t hesitate to email or call. I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

A visit to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.


The entrance to the museum announces the Basquiat exhibition

The entrance to the museum announces the Basquiat exhibition

One of the perks of traveling to Paris on business is the opportunity to add a few days to our trip for pleasure. This time we decided to visit Biarritz, France and Bilbao, Spain, home of the Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim Museum. Ever since I saw photos of the building, opened in 1997, it’s been on my bucket list. I wasn’t disappointed, just surprised.

guggenheim-bilbao-5First I was surprised that the museum is right in the center of town. I had visions of it being on the outskirts, on its own campus. I also thought it was larger. Mind you, it wasn’t small, just smaller than I had imagined. Regardless, it is spectacular architecture.

A panorama of the interior

A panorama of the interior

Then I was surprised about the city of Bilbao. I imagined it was a little hole-in-the-wall community, but it’s not! It’s a fairly large city, clean, with impressive buildings, squares, restaurants, etc.

A Basquiat in the Guggenheim's exhibition

A Basquiat in the Guggenheim’s exhibition

The museum specializes in modern art and currently has an extensive Basquiat exhibition. Call me ignorant, but I don’t get it. Basquiat paintings are highly sought after and bring millions at auction, but I think if Monet were alive today, he wouldn’t get it either. When I look at art that I could have done myself, it’s not art. It seems Basquiat was blessed by the powers that be and then could do no wrong. If he had thrown dirt at a canvas and put a stripe on it, someone would have interpreted it as brilliant and revolutionary. Looks to me like an example of The Emperor’s New Clothes. Christie’s recently sold a Basquiat, Dustheads for $48,843,750. OK, I admit I couldn’t have painted that one.

Basquiat painting Dustheads, sold at Christie's May 15, 2013

Basquiat painting Dustheads , sold at Christie’s May 15, 2013

A Senegalese artist at work in the museum

A Senegalese artist at work in the museum

It was very interesting watching a Senegalese spray can artist decorating one of the main columns of the interior. He had hundreds of cans of spray paint available. I wonder if this will be a permanent exhibition.

A Jeff Koons sculpture in the outdoor exhibition area

A Jeff Koons sculpture in the outdoor exhibition area

We spent the day at the museum, but it would have been fun to stay longer in Bilbao and experience the city. Maybe another day.


winnetka-10-2015Our next show is coming up soon at the Winnetka Community House in Winnetka, IL, November 6-8, 2015. We used to exhibit at shows in the greater Chicago area 4-6 times yearly. Most of them have disappeared, so we now only exhibit in Chicago twice a year, once in the fall in Winnetka and once in the spring in Glencoe at the Chicago Botanic Gardens. Too bad, because we like Chicago and have lots of friends and clients. We’re really looking forward to seeing you at the show, so please put the dates in your calendar.

Click here to check my website for the latest items and to look around. I will update it as often as time permits. We’re still very much in business between shows, so please don’t hesitate to email or call. I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

Sleuth Work Leads to Discovery of Art Beloved by Hitler

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.


nazi-artwork-NYTimesWe’re on vacation this week, so I thought you might like this intriguing story from the New York Times of how lost Nazi-commissioned artwork was recovered. Click here.


Click here to check my website for the latest items and to look around. There’s lots more coming in in the next couple of weeks, including two important Daum Nancy Blackbird vases, two large Tiffany Favrile Jack-in-the-Pulpit vases, two Gallé Magnolia vases and lots more. Keep checking my site, as I will be updating it often. We’re still very much in business between shows, so please don’t hesitate to email or call. I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

Norway museum returns Nazi-stolen Matisse painting to heirs

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.

Matisse's Profil Bleu Devant la Cheminée

Matisse’s Profil Bleu Devant la Cheminée

Henri Matisse painted Profil Bleu Devant la Cheminée (Woman in Blue in Front of a Fireplace) in 1937, which was purchased by the French collector and gallery owner, Paul Rosenberg. In 1941, the year after Rosenberg and his family escaped to the US, the Nazis looted 162 of his paintings, including the Matisse. After several changes of hands, the painting found its way into the collection of the Henie Onstad Kunstsenter (Henie Onstad Art Center) in Norway in 1961, where it remained until recently. The museum was founded by the shipping magnate Niels Onstad and his Olympic figure-skating champion wife, Sonja Henie.

The Henie Onstad Kunstsenter near Oslo, Norway

The Henie Onstad Kunstsenter near Oslo, Norway

Rosenberg and his heirs made many attempts to recover the painting, but were unable to locate it. Ultimately, the painting was discovered in the collection of the museum. Christopher A. Marinello, an attorney, and chairman and founder of Art Recovery Group, led the successful negotiations for the return of the painting to Rosenberg’s heirs, which has an estimated value of $20 million. While it’s great to hear about the return of an important painting, it should be noted that this is only one of an estimated 650,000 artworks and religious items stolen from Jews and other victims by the Nazis.

Museum Chairman Halvor Stenstadvold (left) and  Christopher Marinello made the announcement in Norway

Museum Chairman Halvor Stenstadvold (left) and Christopher Marinello made the announcement in Norway

The principles that formed the basis for the return of much Nazi-confiscated art were promulgated at the Washington Conference on Holocaust-Era Assets, November 30 to December 3, 1998, when the Department of State and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum hosted more than 40 governments. For the complete details, click here.

The show will be held in the white building on the left, September 27-28, 2014

The show will be held in the white building on the left, September 27-28, 2014

We just decided to add a new show to our schedule, the NYC Big Flea Market. The new promoters, D’Amore Promotions, will be using the same Pier 94 that is used by USA Antique Shows for their November and March shows. This one will be substantially different, with an entirely new cast of dealers. Click here for more information. It should be good, so I’m really looking forward to it.

Click here to view our new website and look around. We always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on our website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps.

Sotheby’s amazing $1 billion November

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.

Sotheby’s worldwide auctions of art and jewelry totaled $1.02 billion in 10 days in November, 2013. Records were broken repeatedly, including for individual items and total sales. Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels sale realized $200 million, the highest total for any jewelry auction ever.

Giacometti bronze Grande Tête Mince (Grand Tête de Diego), Sotheby's lot #15

Giacometti bronze Grande Tête Mince (Grand Tête de Diego), Sotheby’s lot #15

Top lot of the Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sales on November 6th was #15, a bronze sculpture by Alberto Giacometti entitled Grande Tête Mince (Grand Tête de Diego). Estimated to sell for $30,000,000 – $50,000,000, it realized $50,005,000 — near the high estimate.

Andy Warhol Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster), Sotheby's lot #16

Andy Warhol Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster), Sotheby’s lot #16

Andy Warhol won the bidding wars at the Contemporary Art Evening Auction on November 13th. His Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster), lot #16, sold for $105,445,000, a world record for a Warhol. The estimate was secret, listed as “Estimate Upon Request”. Not sure why they do that, but basically it means “If you have to ask, you can’t afford it.”

Robert Mapplethorpe portrait of Andy Warhol

Robert Mapplethorpe portrait of Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol was a regular at the Triple Pier Show in NYC before his death in 1987 at age 58. I saw him many times, but never talking to anyone. He never came into my booth. I wish I had taken a photograph of him, but it didn’t even cross my mind at the time. I didn’t know he would become such a big deal.

We’ve been buying for the last several weeks, with great success. You won’t believe all the wonderful Tiffany Studios glass, lamps and candlesticks we’ve purchased from fantastic private collections. We’ll have it all on display at our four shows down south, starting with the Miami National Antiques Show on January 24, 2014, less than two weeks away. We’ll end with the wonderful Grove Park Inn Arts & Crafts Conference, February 21 – 23, 2014. We last exhibited there a few years ago and couldn’t exhibit again because of scheduling conflicts. This year there were no conflicts, so we’re happy to return. It will immediately follow the important Palm Beach Antiques Show.

Wonderful Tiffany Favrile vase with wheel-carved leaves, just in

Wonderful Tiffany Favrile vase with wheel-carved leaves, just in

Click here to view my new website and look around. We always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on our website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps

Some VERY interesting results for art glass at Christie’s Interiors sale, December 11, 2013

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.

Christie’s held an Interiors sale, yesterday, December 11, 2013, with first day sales totaling $1,796,875. Included in the sale were a few lots of art glass that were very interesting, for different reasons. Let me explain.

Gallé Magnolia table lamp, Christie's lot #252

Gallé Magnolia table lamp, Christie’s lot #252

Lot #252 was a monumental Gallé table lamp, 30″ tall. It was decorated with red magnolias on a yellow ground, using the windowpane technique to keep the flowers red. It was an important lamp that should have been in the main 20th Century sale coming up later this month. It carried a very low estimate of $7,000 – $9,000. I had hopes that it would sneak by so I could buy it for $20,000 or less. It didn’t take long to find out that was a pipe dream. It sold for $50,000, including buyer’s premium, even with a large chip on the fitter rim of the base. But, it was a beauty, and at least two people realized it.

Reproduction Gallé mold-blown lamp, Christie's lot #255

Reproduction Gallé mold-blown lamp, Christie’s lot #255

Now for the complete opposite. Lot #255 was listed as “A FRENCH CAMEO GLASS TABLE LAMP AND SHADE, THE SHADE AND BASE SIGNED IN CAMEO FOR ‘GALLE’, EARLY 20TH CENTURY”. Now this was a BIG boo-boo that shouldn’t have happened at a major auction house like Christie’s. This was a modern reproduction Romanian lamp, signed “Gallé” and also signed “TIP”, which is “type” in Romanian. If you’ve read my lessons on French Cameo Glass, all you had to do was read lesson #5. The lamp was estimated to sell for $4,000 – $6,000, and realized $3,125. If it were authentic, it would have sold in the $100,000 neighborhood. There is going to be one unhappy buyer when he/she finds out.

I’m saving two more goodies from this sale for Monday’s post. They are MOST interesting for very different reasons. Tune in on Monday and I’ll explain.

For the complete results of the sale, click here.

We’ll be busy buying for the next several weeks in anticipation of the important Florida shows, starting with the Miami National Antiques Show on January 24, 2014. We’ll end our winter schedule with the wonderful Grove Park Inn Arts & Crafts Conference, February 21 – 23, 2014. We last exhibited there a few years ago and couldn’t do it again because of scheduling conflicts. This year there were no conflicts, so we’re happy to return. It will immediately follow the important Palm Beach Antiques Show.

Fine Tiffany Favrile vase with applied handles, just in

Fine Tiffany Favrile vase with applied handles, just in

Click here to view my new website and look around. We always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on our website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps

Heritage held a very successful Illustration Art auction, October 26, 2013

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.

Norman Rockwell's The Song of Bernadette, Heritage lot #78138

Norman Rockwell’s The Song of Bernadette, Heritage lot #78138

Heritage Auctions held their Illustration Art auction on October 26, 2013, with some impressive results. Norman Rockwell’s The Song of Bernadette from 1944 was supposed to be the highlight of the sale and it was. It sold within its estimate of $400,000 – $600,000, to realize $605,000, including buyer’s premium.

Gil Elvgren, Lucky Dog (Dog Gone Robber), Heritage lot #78071

Gil Elvgren, Lucky Dog (Dog Gone Robber), Heritage lot #78071

Gil Elvgren is one artist who can be counted on to do well at an illustration art auction. His Lucky Dog (Dog Gone Robber), Heritage lot #78071, scored the biggest hit, selling for $173,000, against a pre-sale estimate of $50,000 – $75,000. This was the highest price ever paid for an Elvgren at a Heritage auction. Two other Elvgren paintings at this same auction sold for over $130,000.

Stevan Dohanos, The Future Fireman, Heritage lot #78014

Stevan Dohanos, The Future Fireman, Heritage lot #78014

Steven Dohanos is another fine artist whose works command premium prices. I was particularly enamored of lot #78014, The Future Fireman, the cover for the November 14, 1953 Saturday Evening Post. I wasn’t alone, as it soared past its pre-sale estimate of $30,000 – $50,000, to realize $106,250.

For the complete results of the sale, click here. You will have to sign in or register for free to see the prices realized.

Pier-10-2013

The NYC Pier Show will be held next weekend, November 23-24, 2013. The show is under new management, U.S. Antique Shows, which usually portends improvements. It will be our last show of the year, followed by the important Florida shows in January and February. We’re bringing some incredible new items, so don’t miss this show!

Fantastic Tiffany Favrile blue decorated vase, just in

Fantastic Tiffany Favrile blue decorated vase, just in

Click here to view my new website and look around. We always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on our website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps

Three Norman Rockwell masterpieces coming to auction at Sotheby’s New York on December 4, 2013

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.

Norman Rockwell painting, Saying Grace

Norman Rockwell painting, Saying Grace

Sotheby’s New York will hold their American Art auction on December 4, 2013, including seven works by famed American illustrator, Norman Rockwell. Saying Grace, his cover for the November 24, 1951 issue of Saturday Evening Post, is expected to be the star of the group, with a pre-sale estimate of $15 million – $20 million. It depicts a Mennonite family saying prayers in a restaurant. It was voted a fan favorite in a poll of Saturday Evening Post readers.

Norman Rockwell painting, Breaking Home Ties

Norman Rockwell painting, Breaking Home Ties

All of the works were the property of Kenneth J. Stuart Sr., who was the longtime art director of the Saturday Evening Post. Mr. Rockwell gifted him many paintings. For the last 20 years, they’ve been on loan to the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Unfortunately for the museum, the new owner’s gains will be the museum’s losses. Some famous and fabulously wealthy clients collect Norman Rockwell’s works, including George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Ross Perot and Alice Walton (of Walmart fame). They (and others) could easily break the Rockwell world record of $15.4 million, set at Sotheby’s in 2006, with the sale of Breaking Home Ties.

Norman Rockwell painting, The Gossips

Norman Rockwell painting, The Gossips

The Gossips is expected to realize the second best price of the group. It depicts 15 pairs of people animatedly talking to each other. The inspiration for the painting came from a rumor that was circulating in his hometown of Arlington, Vermont, about the artist himself. Notice the first lady (upper left) is the same as the last lady (lower right). That’s Rockwell himself (bottom row, in the grey hat) chewing her out. Each person appears twice — first hearing the rumor and then turning around and spreading it. The moral of the story is “Don’t piss off a famous artist”.

Norman Rockwell painting, Walking to Church

Norman Rockwell painting, Walking to Church

The third Rockwell masterpiece is Walking to Church. It will carry a pre-sale estimate of $3 million – $5 million.

If you follow my blog, you know that Lia and I will be leaving shortly for Italy to attend the antiques fair in Parma, courtesy of the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce Southeast and the Fiere di Parma. As a result, there won’t be a Thursday post this week. I’ll do my best to post from Italy next Monday, with a few local photos.

My new, totally redesigned website is almost ready for prime time. Click here to view it. Then look around, try the links and use the site as you normally would. I need your reactions, so don’t be bashful. Please write to me and let me know what you think! philchasen@gmail.com or use the CONTACT form on the site. I expect there are bugs, which I hope you’ll let me know about. We’ll fix all the problems and then roll out the new site. Thanks!!!

Wonderful 12" Daum rain scenic vase, just in

Wonderful 12″ Daum rain scenic vase, just in

Click here to view French cameo glass for sale. We always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on our website and at every show. Look around my website. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps.

Wow! If you love Gustav Klimt, you must visit the Belvedere Palace & Museum in Vienna, Austria

That's me and my lovely wife, Lia, blocking the view of the Belvedere Palace

That’s me and my lovely wife, Lia, blocking the view of the Belvedere Palace

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.

One of the magnificent rooms of the Belvedere

One of the magnificent rooms of the Belvedere

If you like great museums, Vienna is the place for you. We visited a few, but were really blown away by the Upper Belvedere, one of two summer palaces of General Prince Eugene of Savoy (1663-1736). The palace itself is a gorgeous Baroque building, designed by the architect Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt (1668-1745), and built between 1712 and 1715. Today it’s a wonderful museum, with a great collection of paintings.

Gustav Klimt painting, The Kiss

Gustav Klimt painting, The Kiss

Foremost is the museum’s wonderful collection of 22 Gustav Klimt works, including the truly fabulous painting, The Kiss. It’s really impressive in person and much larger than I imagined, almost 6′ square. According to the museum’s curator, Dr. Alfred Weidinger, the Belvedere purchased The Kiss for 25,000 crowns on the first day it was exhibited in 1908. That is today’s equivalent of approximately $250,000. Also according to Dr. Weidinger, no painting had been sold prior in Austria for more than 500 crowns. Klimt was certainly no starving artist.

Gustav Klimt painting, Portrait of Adele Block-Bauer

Gustav Klimt painting, Portrait of Adele Block-Bauer

In 2006, Ronald Lauder (of Estee Lauder fame and fortune), paid $135 million for a 1907 Klimt portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer, that was previously on display in the same room as The Kiss, at the Belvedere. Lauder purchased the painting from Mrs. Bloch-Bauer’s niece, Maria Altmann, who successfully sued the Austrian government to recover five Klimt paintings stolen by the Nazis from her aunt and uncle during WWII. The price Lauder paid suggests that The Kiss is one of the most valuable works of art on the planet. We’ll never know for sure as the Belvedere will never sell it.

That's a Renoir on the right and a Monet next to it

That’s a Renoir on the right and a Monet next to it

Other great artists are well-represented in the museum’s collection, including Claude Monet, Egon Schiele, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Oskar Kokoschka, to name a few. The museum is not too large and not too small, just like Goldilocks porridge, but the collection reveals the Midas touch.

One wall with three Klimt floral paintings

One wall with three Klimt floral paintings

No shows until late July, but we’re still very much in business. Please don’t hesitate to call or write. We’re always interested in buying, selling or trading.

Rare Argy-Rousseau elephant paperweight, just in

Rare Argy-Rousseau elephant paperweight, just in

Click here to view French cameo glass for sale. We always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on our website and at every show.

A rare blue Tiffany Favrile salt, just in

A rare blue Tiffany Favrile salt, just in

Look around my website. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps.

J.C. Leyendecker leads Heritage’s Illustration Art Auction, April 11-12, 2013

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.

Heritage Auction held an Illustration Art Auction on April 11-12, 2013, with some exceptional results. 859 lots were offered, with sales totaling $2,852,875.

J.C. Leyendecker painting Honeymoon, July 17, 1926, Heritage lot #78299

J.C. Leyendecker painting Honeymoon, July 17, 1926, Heritage lot #78299

Top lot of the auction was one of the two cover lots, #78299, Honeymoon, a Saturday Evening Post cover from July 17, 1926. It easily exceeded its high estimate of $120,000, to sell for $194,500, including buyer’s premium.

Patrick Nagel painting, Her Seductive Look, Heritage lot #78153

Patrick Nagel painting, Her Seductive Look, Heritage lot #78153

I understand why the Leyendecker was the top lot of the sale, but I don’t understand why a fairly modern, and not so special (in my opinion) painting by Patrick Nagel, should sell for $158,500. Entitled Her Seductive Look, the pre-sale estimate was $20,000 – $30,000. Personally I wouldn’t have paid $5,000, but my opinion didn’t matter. What mattered was that two wealthy, determined bidders butted heads and bid the price into the stratosphere. Congratulations to the lucky consignor.

Gil Elvgren painting A Near Miss (Right on Target), Heritage lot #78081

Gil Elvgren painting A Near Miss (Right on Target), Heritage lot #78081

Gil Elvgren paintings were well-represented in the sale, so it was no surprise that the third highest lot was his. Lot #78081 was entitled A Near Miss (Right On Target). The final price of $104,500 easily exceeded the high estimate of $75,000. Other Elvgren paintings did well too, with lot #78080, Let’s Go Around Together, selling for $101,500.

For the complete results of the sale, click here. You will have to sign in to see the prices.

No shows until late July, but we’re still very much in business. Please don’t hesitate to call or write. We’re always interested in buying, selling or trading.

Fine Argy-Rousseau pate-de-verre moth paperweight, for sale at the show

Fine Argy-Rousseau pate-de-verre moth paperweight, for sale at the show

Click here to view French cameo glass for sale. We always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on our website and at every show.

Wonderful Tiffany Favrile blue decorated mini vase, for sale at the show

Wonderful Tiffany Favrile blue decorated mini vase, for sale at the show

Look around my website. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. I regularly add Tiffany vases, lamps and desk accessories, as well as French cameo glass by Galle and Daum Nancy and etchings by Louis Icart. Here’s the link. Philip Chasen Antiques.