‘The Lone Ranger’ Wheaties Poster, 1957


The Lone Ranger Wheaties Poster (General Mills, 1957).

Starring Clayton Moore. Featured in this lot is a nearly life-sized poster of the Lone Ranger, which was offered as a mail-in prize by General Mills to promote Wheaties Cereal.

‘The Ecstasy of St Catherine of Siena’, 1743


BATONI, Pompeo
The Ecstasy of St Catherine of Siena
Oil on canvas
Museo di Villa Guinigi, Lucca

MacDougall’s to Host the First Soviet and Post-Soviet Art Auction

Aleksandr Deineka’s oil “Behind the Curtain," 1933. Estimate: £2–3 million ($3.1–4.6 million million). (MacDougall's )

Liza Muhfeld writes: On October 12, MacDougall’s Fine Art Auctions will hold its sale of Soviet and Post-Soviet art, the first combined auction of Soviet and Post-Soviet art to hit the market. It will also be the house’s first auction in a series of mid-season sales dedicated to Russian art.

Roughly 177 lots will be offered—spanning paintings and porcelain by Russian artists from the late 1920s to the early 2000s—and the house expects to bring in a total of more than £3.5 million ($5.3 million). The majority of works come from several major Western collections of Russian and Soviet art, and estimates range from £1,500 ($2,300) to £2 million ($3.1 million), with most lots valued at £15,000 ($23,000).

The auction will offer works bridging nearly every major 20th century art movement in Russia and the Soviet Union. Work by artists from the Academy of Fine Arts of the USSR, including Arkady Plastov and Dmitri Nalbandian will be available, along with Soviet Nonconformist artists Vladimir Nemukhin, founder of the Lianozov group, and Vladimir and Georgii Stenberg. Work by members of the Society of Easel-Painters (OST) will also be represented, including by Aleksandr Deineka and Yuri Pimenov. Read the rest of this entry »

Juno Receiving the Head of Argos

Head of Argos

Juno Receiving the Head of Argos
Oil on canvas, 108 x 72 cm
Moor Park, Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire

llustration by Gino Boccasile

tHair care advertisement with llustration by Gino Boccasile

Hair care advertisement with llustration by Gino Boccasile


Ingrid Bergman & Claude Rains in ‘Notorious’



1952 Otis Elevator

1952 Otis Elevator

Pulp Fiction Book Cover: ‘Love is the Winner’ (Who Wins His Love) by Natalie Shipman



Would You Like a Condiment?


Alfred Hitchcock: ‘The Birds’, 1963

4696898154_8ee7dbd2aa_bALFRED HITCHCOCK (DIR) PORTRAIT O/S

editor-commen-deskA few nights ago, I watched Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds‘, for the first time in decades. I wonder why? I’ve seen restored versions of Psycho, Read Window, and Vertigo multiple times, but for some reason I’d missed re-watching this one. It was a pleasure to see again. And to see Tippi Hedren with fresh eyes.


I was surprised to discover a curious resemblance between actress Tippi Hedren, at age 33, and Paris Hilton, now 34. The resemblance is minor, but notable.


And I’m not the first to notice it. A brief Google search shows seekers asking if Tippi and Paris are related. (they are not) In the course of this, I also rediscovered that Tippi Hedren is the mother of actress Melanie Griffith. Born in 1957, Melanie Griffith recalls visiting the set during the filming of The Birds, in 1962, when she was a little girl.


I was also pleased to find that the earthy and vivacious brunette female co-star is Suzanne Pleshette, another detail I’d forgotten. She has features similar to Elizabeth Taylor, or a young Stockard Channing.

Notice, in the photo below, how the 33 year-old Hedren has similar features, or facial expression, to the 34-year old Paris Hilton. See a similarity? I think it’s there.


Since we all know the story, and suspense isn’t a factor, I was free to pay closer attention to Tippi Hedren‘s performance, and to the interpersonal drama between the main characters, played by Rod Taylor, Jessica Tandy, and Suzanne Pleshette.

What a strange, dark, pensive, Freudian, romantic-erotic narrative! Where much is left unsaid, but implied. Jealousy, loneliness, abandonment, flirtation, hostility, attraction, are all explored, but not resolved. I’ve always thought of Vertigo as being the most neurotic, sexually obsessed, repressed, fixated story in Hitchock’s canon, but I had underestimated the peculiar storyline of The Birds. Before the actual birds take over the story, there’s a lot of familial and romantic turbulence. And the cast is wonderful.


Tippi Hedren looks so elegant, mischievous, and glamorous, one can see why Hitchcock selected the untrained model, fixated on her, and elevated her to movie star. Much is written about Hitchock’s abusive, controlling personality, and troubles with female leads, no need to cover that here, Hedren was no exception. Leaving all that aside, it was a pleasure to simply marvel at how lovingly photographed the neophyte actress is, and how well-crafted the film is. The moody San Francisco and northern California seaside locations, the special effects, the sound design (no music, only bird sounds make up the film’s score) the cinematography…besides being one of the most famous horror movies of all time, it’s also a terrific early 1960s time-capsule. Next time you watch it? Forget about the birds, and follow the other elements of the story. Perhaps you’ll find it as rewarding as I did.

Las_5_mejores_pel_culas_de_Alfred_Hitchcock_V_rtigo_La_ventana_indiscreta_Los_p_jaros_Psicosis_Atrapa_un_ladr_n_1_birds04birds10 TheBirds1thelovebirds1pdvd_030 Read the rest of this entry »

CHESS WORLD ROCKED: 2200 Year-Old Walrus Bones Suggest Medieval Chess Set Might be Icelandic in Origin


Carbon dating of walrus bones found in Snæfellsnes peninsula indicates that the bones are at least 2000 years old. A large number of walrus skulls and walrus tusks have been found around Garðafjara beach on the south coast Snæfellsnes. The first skull was discovered 1884. All in all the bones of 50 walruses have been found, most in the past 50 years. Biologists argue this indicates Snæfellsnes was the home of a sizable walrus colony prior to the settlement of Iceland.

A previous theory, explaining the concentration of bone discoveries, speculated they came from the wreck of a ship which had been carrying walrus bones to Europe. However, the existence of a large walrus colony in Iceland would have meant the accumulation of walrus skeletons and skulls which would have been discovered by the Viking age settlers of Iceland…(read more)

Pulp Fiction: Cover illustration by H. L. Parkhurst for Spicy Mystery, June, 1935


Bartolomeo Ammanati: The Fountain of Neptune, 1565


Bartolomeo AmmanatiThe Fountain of Neptune (detail) 1565, Bronze, Piazza della Signoria, Florence

[PHOTOS] China: Super Moon Rises During Mid-Autumn Festival 

Poster for ‘Rashomon’ (羅生門) Directed by Akira Kurosawa, Starring Toshiro Mifune (三船 敏郎) and Machiko Kyo (京 マチ子) 1950


Poster for Rashomon (羅生門), 1950, directed by Akira Kurosawa (黒澤 明) and starring Toshiro Mifune (三船 敏郎) and Machiko Kyo (京 マチ子).

High Fidelity: Thilo Oerke, Rosita Commander Luxus 1973, Rosita Tonmöbel, Deutschland

[PHOTO] Quincy Jones


[PHOTO] Ron Carter



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