Since I've started the Blog, I remembered a box of books, magazines and loose papers that I've been saving for writing articles - might as well get started. It seems that Portrait Medallion collectors don't have as much print material to refer to on their subject as collectors of other categories. Marvin D. Schwartz was the long time Curator of Decorative Arts at the Brooklyn Museum and as such in custody of the Emily Winthrop Miles Collection, given to the Museum in 1953. There are a number of publications about this collection, i.e., Exhibition Catalog from the Museum and auction catalogs as well as a book or two about the collection itself. The February 1968 issue of The Magazine Antiques contains a well-written article by Mr. Schwartz. The Miles Collection contained both "ordinary" and very rare examples, a good cross-section of what was listed in Wedgwood's 18th Century "The heads of Illustrious Moderns from Chaucer to the Present Time". The article points out the amount of detail found in the medallions and discusses the fact that the time was one of interest in people. The medallions illustrated in this article represent the more unusual examples. There are 12 black & white photos of larger medallions, one in basalt, the others in jasper. There is another photo of 9 medallions in a grouping, smaller photo but the figures are recognizable such as Gortius, George III, Shakespeare, Louis XVI and others, among the more "regular" figures. Each subject is discussed and the date and marking plus modeller's name are included in the discussion.
For antique creamware collectors, this issue also has a small ad for a blue feather edge covered tureen with undertray and ladle. The dealer had a set of 64 pieces and wouldn't it be interesting to know where it is now! You can't miss this cover, green with pink romantic Staffordshire figurines - very much a Valentine look for the February issue. These old issues are fun to look for in antiques shops and malls. Take your list with you when you shop!
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
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