Friday, 25 October 2013

Fornasetti Teapot-Piece of the Week.

Piero Fornasetti was born in Milan on 10th December 1913.
 He began drawing from an early age.
His first project was a collection of silk scarves for the Milan Triennale of 1933. Printed in a Trompe L’oeil using newspaper print they were rejected by the committee.

He returned the next year with even more adventurous designs.

He caught the eye of the remarkable Gio Ponti in the late 1930’s.
Ponti was to be influential in his life.

He uses surreal images that seem to have a historical place in the mind of anyone who understands art. He is able to juxtapose ideas in the mind of the onlooker.

Today he has become big business a money-spinner.
A whole industry has set up around his work. There are fakes.

Prices can range from £50 to £50,000 or more. There are probably 13,000 creations of his. Items after Fornasetti’s death in 1988 are marked with a date. Generally a under glaze mark.

A cabinet recently valued by a nerd at Peter Wilson of Nantwich at £1000 to £2000 made £19,000 plus commission.

I always try to have a few bits it is always so interesting.

Here a teapot that is my piece of the week.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Grayson Perry-Is He Giving All Potters A Bad Name?

This week the big con continues when Grayson Perry has been given the option to do the Reith Lecture on the BBC.
Potter or Potherb it should be entitled, but no.
This lecture is called 'Playing to the gallery' and he does!
It seems that all you have to do to get noticed these days, is to be so different that you cause a stir. He talks about the Duchamp Urinal in the lecture.
Perry Grayson, is the modern day equivalent of Duchamps Urinal, and most of the stuff that comes out of her mouth should be squirted into said urinal because its….rubbish in my humble opinion.
Its painful it’s like listening to someone at the pub lashing his mouth off.

Though he does get it right when talking about the Hockney Exhibition at the National Gallery that was rubbish.

Even Hockney’s old art teacher said he was no more than a painter and decorator.

It’s like bringing the Wheeltappers and Shunters Social Club to an intellectual debate.
Tittering through the audience is all well and good but seems to me there is more to art than turning it into a Carry On film.
Oh Missus!!!

Its not that he wears a dress that makes me despise him, it’s that he wears a bad dress that makes him look a twat.

People tell me that he is not a twat and that they like what he has to say.

Well they are the people that he is aiming for the audience that thinks the same as him, or her.

Its like the silly little child in the playground that will do anything to get attention.

So they become a ‘Transister’ on purpose because it gets shock horror.

In the lecture he says that red paintings sell best. You have to admire his audacity to get up there and tell everyone what they already know only they have not had the time in their busy schedule to work out an opinion.

And he supplies opinions, all the time.
 He has got more opinions than skill.
 He does not have the skill of other potters. In fact he gets them a bad name.
He can’t have any time to throw pots, well he doesn’t throw them he coils them, or someone else does and he decorates them.

All those serious artists who regret not walking round with their wives frock on.

How many potters are sitting there sick that they never thought of it.

How many are listening to BBC4 thinking they could have been famous if they had thought of that.

Never mind spending twenty years at their craft, that means nothing.
 All you need is to become famous these days when Tracey Emmin and Damien Hurst are multi millionaires, is to become a big mouthed spout off, get a bowl-head haircut, go down the local charity shop pick a bad dress and a pair of acid green tights, model yourself on Andy Pansy’s girlfriend and you are there, everyone wants to know you.

One of his pots has sold for £100,000 he says he has never made pots for poor people.

If democracy is bad taste how do you account for your success one person asks him and he or she laughs.

It seems to me, that the height of bad taste, has now been accepted, by the very establishment

I bet Pete Burns is annoyed that he never went to pottery classes instead of being lost with no direction.

Next weeks Reith Lecture, by him, unfortunatly, is in Liverpool. And he asks what is art……….apparently.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Should UK Auctioneers be regulated?

I often deal with some of the most knowledgeable and professional auctioneers in the antique trade. I have ongoing relationships with auctioneers that spell out their terms and I feel I can rely on them.
I also have to deal with some of the biggest shysters who I wouldn’t trust as far as I could throw them.

It is often the porters, the people who usually run a saleroom, who go unmentioned. These are usually the people I rely on to get a feeling of a place.
Very often not the spiv in a suit who runs it.

The Internet has made it easy for commission merchants to fleece the public.
This combined with the BBC, advertising the salerooms, for cheap entertainment, giving them credibility, on a daily basis.
The public now seem to be of the mindset that an auction house is the source of the goods.
That may often be the case but I am often surprised how the public will often pay more from an auctioneer than the price you would sell it for in a shop….. Then give the commission men 20%.

Most people could not be aware that an auctioneer will get 40%, yes 40% of the hammer price.
That is 20% from the buyer and 20% from the vendor. Some charge more.

They then have the insult to not even wrapping the goods for you.
Most of them don’t even supply bubble wrap.

Many of them belong to trade associations that are no more than sewing circles. That collude to give an air of credibility.
If you look into many of them they are no more better than the fences that some of them represent.

The auctioneers can’t and won’t regulate themselves. It’s too good for them at the moment with the Internet connecting them worldwide.

Why would a saleroom wish to hide the fact that a work of art is damaged?
Yes I know we deal in a trade that has articles that have hundreds of years of wear and tear on them, but really why shouldn’t each lot have a condition report attached to it. Why do they hide behind a caveat emptor of buyer beware.
 This is slight of hand in my opinion. Any other trade would be outlawed by society if they were treated the way some auctioneers treat the public.

Back street garages get a bad name, but what about back street auctioneers.
 That said I have had particular problems with Bonham’s Chester, no wonder they are closing.

I have also been illegaly overcharged by Sotheby’s, a company most people foolishly believe are squeaky clean.
They colluded with other auction houses to price fix.
The head of major auction houses were even sentenced in the US. Jail was too good for them.

Now many of the Antique trade newspapers have set up sites that enable buyers to bid from the luxury of their own home, via computer.
They have one purpose in mind, to add further charges for themselves.
To add another layer of commission.
Do these web-based vehicles check the credibility of the company that they are representing on the web?
Do we now have middlemen representing middlemen?

Today I ask, “Should auctioneers be regulated”.

So the main person who would benefit would be the buyer.
A saleroom currently has no moral obligation to a buyer as they work for the vendor.

Good commerce achieves good results.
Surely the long-term style of a company keeps the public coming back.

I get contempt from auctioneers, threats of storage charges, hidden fees, terms and conditions hidden away with unworkable contracts that you would never expect in any industry.

Maybe its time to stop this.

In France commissaires priseurs are highly regarded, they have to take exams and be examined by the State for credentials.
Its about time this happened in the UK I think.

Should UK Auctioneers be regulated.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Red or Dead-I Turn Into An Anorak.

I don’t much care for the secondary market in memorabilia.

Autographs and all that sort of stuff don’t do anything for me.

It is sometimes easy to dismiss collectors and their habits. I want bronze.

What is it that we all collect stuff? What drives a stamp collector?

Is it more like a disorder than a vocation? Who am I to say?

Then the other day while on the Internet my finger hovered over the mouse in my right hand and I pressed the button, suddenly I owned an autographed picture of the Liverpool team, from when I do not know it just seemed cheap, so I bought it.

I then wondered whether it was damaged or whether there was something that I had not noticed about it, why did no one bid.

I picked it up and Wow it was the team of…well that’s easier than it looks.

David Fairclough, Ginger, was in there, and I say that with regret because as cruel teenagers that what we used to call him when he watched us playing football on the school playing field next to where he lived. We knew he had trials for Liverpool and how he got his own back on all us horrid little boys the night he scored the goal against St Etienne. It was explosive I had no nails left that night.

Shortly after he came and knocked the ball around on he field, did Davey or Mr Fairclough as we now called him.

He has been in the shop since and I did not own up to it.

Dagliesh or Dog leash as he was called on his testimonial, is there, bottom shelf.

Keegan had left for £550, 000 and they signed Dagleish for £440,000 what a bargain.

Makes the price that Suarez the cannibal is worth look a bit ridiculous. Tommy Smith is not there and he would have battered Suarez the way he has made a fool of the Football club.

I bet any player in the photo would have played for Liverpool for nothing…well except Yozzer Hughes look-alike Graham Souness who was always a bit greedy.

Bill Shankly would have sacked him on the spot.

It’s all about money now.

I claim I am the only one who ever bunked into the Boys Pen…yes into the pen.

It was the deciding match of the season, remember the one that Bill Shankly took off his jacket, and proclaimed, to all, with his red shirt. I am one of you. Leeds United was the big team and we had to break their stranglehold under Don Revie and we did that and took the title.

I had got my place in the Pen, as it was only 20 or 30p or some silly price leaving 10p of my milk round money for a packet of cigs.

I got caught smoking once when the Old Man, who was in the paddock, was watching me.

You would wait for one of the coppers on guard of the lovely little treasures in the Pen to turn the other way or stop someone getting over the 10ft high railings with spikes, and you were off, skimming up and through the gap in the barbed wire that seemed to be left there to entice you to have a go.

He got the end of my leg this time but I was too quick for him as he adjusted his helmet I give him a cheeky grin the other side of the fence.

The game started and it was bad, they used to say the ground held 65,000 but there must have been 80,000 in the ground that day.

I was continually picked up and swirled around as if on a tempestuous sea.

I would be moved yards in one direction, then the other, and the risk was always to ensure you did not get trapped and pushed on to a barrier. It was too much. I was going to chance it.

Off I went up the railings of the boy’s pen stockade and through the wire nicking my collar as I ducked my head through.

There was plod standing there waiting for me…. to throw me back into the Kop, the Spion Kop and all its dangers to a young whip of a kid.

‘What’s he doing’ I thought ‘That’s being a bit too conscientious’.

He seemed to stall, a look of ‘what’s he up to’ on his face.

“Let me in I am getting crushed and he let me in and helped me down. So there was Plod was standing there adjusting his helmet again bemused as nobody had ever thought to bunk into the Boys Pen before.

Jimmy Case is lower left it used to be so funny standing in the Kop and he would get the ball and the Kop would collectively gasp urging him to shoot because he had a shot like a rocket. Then you would see those around the goal start to realise that if he missed they were in the line of fire. You can see it on the old replays sometimes the terrified look on the faces of those behind the goal.

Steve Heighway is there. He and Brian Hall had degrees apparently

Heighway was the youth team coach that brought Steven Gerrard and others through from the Academy. Only to have his services dispensed with by a cocky manager who then buggered off for a bigger payday.

Phil Thompson came to our school once to give an inspiring talk. He tells a great tale of the day after winning The European cup. He had ‘borrowed’ the trophy, and took it to celebrate in the Peacock Pub in Kirkby where they had a lock in.

It took them half an hour to find the cup the next day when they all woke up safely under a table still full of champagne.

Just imagine that today ‘Tommo’ borrows the European Cup for the night.

Sammy Lee is there, he of sheer hard work and determination, he used to drink in Kirkland’s on Hardman Street Saturday nights after the match.

He sank his money into a bar called Rumours on Smithdown Road.

That’s what footballers did then in the days before they featured on the Sunday Times rich List.

Alan Kennedy had a rough ride he died young he was a nice man.

I saw some of his cups and trophies for sale once at Charnick Richard but did not buy them.

There are lots of others in the picture I had better stop now I will be here all day. I am turning into an anorak.

Can anyone date the picture I think the player far right on the top shelf may be a clue as he was only around for a season.

It looks like I have got caught up in this memorabilia myself, what’s happened to me? And with the new book out about Mr Shankly by David Peace, about the life of the inspirational man, entitled Red or Dead, which will be a Birthday present that I hope I get the chance to read.