In this issue of our monthly newsletter takes in waterfront views of Manhattan's East River and from San Francisco's Telegraph Hill, and sails the cream-colored oceans of an 1890s Joslin table globe. We pause on the shoreline to admire a pair of ducks in hand-colored prints by the great 19th century bird artist Prideaux John Selby, and an early 20th-century cast iron dolphin-shaped fountain spout. This issue also remembers the events of the Jewish holy day of Tisha B'av as depicted in an etching by Piranesi, and offers three other bible-related items — two 10 Commandments plaques and a marble sculpture of a bible opened to a verse from Deuteronomy.
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Availability of items below subject to prior sale.
Sale prices in effect through September 20, 2019.
SUMMER IN THE PARK
A rare bird’s-eye view of San Francisco, issued in 1883, features the former Telegraph Hill Observatory overlooking San Francisco Bay. The castle-like building, with its crenelated towers and conical turrets, is depicted in detail with pedestrians and horse drawn carriages on the grounds. The building has been replaced by Coit Tower. Regularly $3,800, sale price $3,200. More information.
A heavenly view of Hell Gate in Summer by Woldemar Neufeld, the “artist laureate of the East River,” in the mid 20th century. This colorful block print shows a park in the Yorkville neighborhood of Manhattan’s Upper East Side, looking across the East River toward the Hell Gate Bridge and RFK Triborough Bridge. Regularly $1,350, now on sale for $1,200. More information.
Gilman Joslin's 12-Inch Terrestrial Table Globe, mounted within a calibrated brass half meridian, and raised on a turned walnut stand with central baluster standard and dish base. Made in the 1890s, North and South Dakota are shown as separate states and Oklahoma is shown as Indian Territory with names of various tribes. Geographical entities are shaded brightly in pink, green, blue, and yellow; waters are a cream color. Regularly $3,300, sale price $2,200. More information.
LIKE DUCKS TO WATER
Pair of natural history studies of ducks by the great bird artist Prideaux John Selby, one of a ruddy duck and one of a common sheldrake, also known as a shelduck. These hand-colored etchings were produced in 1824-34. They are mounted in handsome walnut burl frames. Regularly $3,300, the pair; sale price $2,700. More information.
This fountain spout in the form of a stylized dolphin was made in the early 20th century but follows the conventions of classical and Renaissance art, depicting the animal as having fins and scales and a fishlike face. The face has an open rectangular mouth for spouting water. This object has three holes for hanging as a plaque. Regularly $1,900, now on sale for $1,500. More information.
August 10th was the beginning of the Jewish holy day of Tisha B'Av, a solemn remembrance of the destruction and looting of the Second Temple in Jerusalem in 70 AD by the Roman army, led by Titus, a pivotal event that forever transformed Jewish ritual practice. This 18th-century etching by Piranesi depicts the Arch of Titus constructed in Rome around 81 AD, which portrays the event from the Roman point of view on its interior relief. The Arch is of interest to Jewish scholars today as one of the few existing depictions of Jewish ritual objects at the time of the Temple's destruction, including the menorah, which provided the model for the emblem of the State of Israel. Regularly $2,700, sale price $2,400. More information.
Each of these two wooden sets of Ten Commandments tablets takes the form of a pair of tablets with arched tops, joined at the center, and painted with the commandments in black calligraphic Hebrew lettering. One set is painted white with a gilt backside, and the other is painted with a bronzed gilded tone on the front and gilt on the back. Regularly $400 each, sale price $350. More information.
Greet visitors to your entrance hall with this marble book-form sculpture carved to look like a bible on a lectern, opened to two pages engraved with a line in Hebrew from Deuteronomy 28:6 along with an English translation: “Blessed shalt thou be at thy coming in; and blessed shalt thou be at thy going out.” This is an unusual judaica object, possibly originally created as a decoration for a foyer or entrance of a Jewish home or for an institutional setting such as a synagogue or school. Regularly $1,900, sale price $1,700. More information.