Cannibals & Couture

Some more interesting items today…and not only unrelated, but from opposite ends of the world!

Asmat StatueLook at this Handsome Fellow!

Borneo Man…a rustic primitive carving all the way from the isle of Borneo* awaiting a new “forever home”. Forget about kittens, puppies & fluffy bunnies, THIS fine fellow is a protection deity and will guard your home, work space or anywhere else you chose to place him, with the utmost ferocity. He sits almost 24 inches tall by 15 inches wide and is hand carved in about the 1970’s we suspect.

*(This is, in fact, an authentic Asmat figure, hand carved from Albizia Wood. The Asmat were known cannibals from a region in SW Papau, New Guinea. Unlike many of the tourist copies still available, this was not carved with any machines and is made from a single piece of wood with Coconut fibres for hair…he also has horns, marking him as quite different from all tourist pieces!)

A hand made set of clay Rune Stones – truly unique and well ‘grounded’ for your divination needs! Made from a red clay, with a subtle tint rubbed into the etched symbols, these one of a kind Rune Stones have a very traditional feel to them and feature the Elder Futhark runic symbols…and what might be interpreted as the Midgard Serpent on the obverse! They come in a small, hand tinted, wooden box.

Clay RunesClay Runes

On the other extreme…a set of 6 collector plates featuring the fabulous Art Deco fashions of M. Erté! This limited, hand numbered set was produced by the Franklin Mint in honour of the Art Deco fashions favoured by Erté. These plates are trimmed in platinum and gold and were limited to only 45 firing days c.1995. They are in excellent condition, in original packing shells and measure 10″ around. “House of Erté” is a Trademark of Sevenarts Ltd.

Erté 1Raised in the glittering cultural milieu of St. Petersburg, Russia, Romain de Tirtoff was enthralled by the fine and theatrical arts even as a young child. His elegantly dressed mother served as an inspiration to pursue a career in fashion. Choosing not to continue in the distinguished heritage of his family, Romain emigrated to Paris in 1912. The French pronunciation of “R” for Romain and “T” for Tirtoff combined to make Erté – a name that became prominent in the world of theatre and fashion in both the U.S. and Europe.

Erté 2Erté’s world of fantasy was formed in his childhood when he spent countless hours immersed in a book of Persian miniatures in his father’s library or transfixed by the delicate lines of the figures on Greek vases in the Heritage Museum. Fascinated by the ballet and opera in St. Petersburg, he was also strongly influenced by the Ballets Russes in Paris. Because the artist’s sense of design was so accomplished, singer and fashionable socialite Ganna Walska commissioned Erté – who she called “the most imaginative man in the world” – to create many of the opera costumes on display in this exhibition.

Erté 3Erté moved to France at the age of 18 to work in the world’s centre of art and fashion. Beginning his career under Paul Poiret, the most respected couturier in Paris at the time, Erté went on to work for Harper’s Bazaar for twenty-two years where he created more than 240 magazine covers. His reputation earned him the patronage of Mata Hari, Pavlova, and Mrs. William Randolph Hearst, as he became a major contributor to the fashions of the twentieth century.

Erté 4Erté has often been called the “Father of Art Deco,” the style that came into vogue internationally in the 1920’s. Erté defined it as a fusion of the curvilinear designs of Art Nouveau of the 19th Century with the Cubist, Constructivist, and geometrical designs of modernity. He was also influenced by Persian miniatures and would often use a brush with a single hair to complete his gouache paintings. His imagination was limitless, and Erté designed costumes, stage sets, jewellery, objet d’art, sculpture and ceramics. Unlike many artists who work freely before a canvas or sketchpad, Erté developed his own unique process: he would visualize the entire work of art in his mind until it was completed to every detail, and then create the work from his “mind’s eye.” At the time of his death at the age of 98, he was considered one of the most influential artists of the 20th Century. (from Eden Taylor & Park West Gallery)

Erté 6  Erté 5Erté back

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