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I feel that I might have exhausted every social media platform apart from this one crowing about our appearance in the FT How To Spend It magazine last weekend. So just in case there is some unknown corner of the internet that I haven’t yet reached . . . I give you . . .
I sat in an auction room last week waiting to bid on 2 lots that I wanted (a watch and an oak shop display unit) both of which I was successful in buying. The lot I really wanted though passed me by.
We’re normally quite good at researching lots that we want in auctions – looking at the catalogue online, going to the view, narrowing our bid lists and then sticking to the limits that we have set ourselves – but this auction was different, it was only only flicking through the local paper last week that I realised that the auction was a week earlier than I expected and that we had missed the day of viewing before hand. I should point out that this is no Bonhams or Sothebys; the local auction house holds monthly antiques auctions there stock in trade being livestock and agricultural sales – often illustrated by the preponderance of flies in the auction rooms. So with an hour before the auction started we viewed the lots.
The lot I wanted was a painting, by Georg Eduard Otto Saal; an Alpine scene, oil on board, nicely framed (and obviously at some cost), the actual piece not in great nick but well painted. I didn’t recognise the artist, had no need for it and . . . a limited budget. One of those instances where you have no idea of the worth (there are no estimates or guidelines at this auction) and have to therefore see how it unfolds. The bidding opened at £400. I was out already. The bids climbed and the hammer came down at £1400, the telephone bidder winning against someone in the room. It’s kind of reassuring when this happens; backing the idea that you can spot a well painted piece without knowing the artist. The (badly photographed) image of the work has now disappeared from the auction house website, but I’ve located what must have been a companion piece on the web.
The composition of the one that I saw last week was even nicer; the artist was at his easel painting the view and the bear was stood on a rock behind him, artist oblivious to his being overlooked.
Otto Saal (1818-1870); a fine painter.
I jest. The prospect of team Black Bough on the slopes is one that I can’t foresee becoming a reality. I quite fancy the idea of it – just not the prospect of learning how to do it. Neither do i fancy the technical ski-wear – a shirt, pair of trousers and jacket (as here) is more the look I see myself attempting.
Instead the Back Bough ski album is something that I’ve been sitting on for a number of years and have finally got round to documenting. Picked up in a Swiss flea market, the annotation inside front cover dates it to May 1945 although it was gifted to someone in May 1946. I love the look of German as a handwritten language it is however nigh impossible to decipher. They are alpine scenes but whether they are Swiss, German or Austrian I have no idea. It’s a small album and the images here, from top to bottom, are as they are in the album from front to back.
I’ve had to hold my proverbial breath over mentioning linotype here until a certain someone received her Christmas present. That having been achieved (she’s allowed because she is flying off to spend Christmas in far flung lands) I’m free to post.
Stan and Sophie of Urban Cottage Industries have built up the largest collection of linotype machines in the UK. The short film above shows these lovely machines in full operational mode. Moleskine Press is just another bow to their collection of lovely companies and ideas. I’ve mentioned fabric cable and historic lighting before but check out their lovely Kornflake project as well.