Art Pottery, Politics and Food
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Book Value

It has come to my recent attention that items other than art pottery are increasing in value among collectors.
If you had purchased the gorgeous but historically naughty book based on the Desire of Spring: Erotic Fantasies of the Edo Period exhibit at the Kunsthal Rotterdam when I recommended it on February 1, 2005 you would have paid 49.50 EUR or $65.07.
Amazingly, this book, titled Japanese Erotic Fantasies: Sexual Imagry of the Edo Period is now selling on for $101.25 new and $95.83 used.
Canny readers of this blog will have realized a $36.18 profit on their investment on a book that will likely continue increasing in value.

For some reason I also searched for a book on American Art Tiles and Pottery that was published in 1998 and has since seen a second edition printed. is selling one copy of American Art Pottery Identification and Values by Dick Sigafoos, a book I purchased from the author when his collection sold at the Cincinnati Art galleries for $24.95.
The giant on line seller is asking an astonishing $250 for their one first edition copy of the Sigafoos book.

He Was Not Amused

According to The Hill:

At a private reception held at the White House...Bush asked [VA Senator-elect Jim] Webb how his son, a Marine lance corporal serving in Iraq, was doing. Webb responded that he really wanted to see his son brought back home...“I didn’t ask you that, I asked how he’s doing,” Bush retorted.

The Washington Post adds a little juice with dialogue:

"How's your boy?" Bush asked, referring to Webb's son, a Marine serving in Iraq.
"I'd like to get them out of Iraq, Mr. President."

"That's not what I asked you," Bush said. "How's your boy?"
"That's between me and my boy, Mr. President," Webb said.

According to, our figurehead Queen was not properly gracious:

There are no obligatory codes of behaviour - simply courtesy...There are also no obligatory codes of behaviour when meeting The Queen...but many people wish to observe the traditional forms.

According to Emily Post at

One whose tactless remarks ride rough-shod over the feelings of others, is not welcomed by many...a bore might more accurately be described as one who is interested in what does not interest you.

Perhaps, it was the Senator-elect's non-compliance with the modern version of the throne approach as Mr. Webb "declined to stand in a presidential receiving line or to have his picture taken with the man he had often criticized".
Though many of the usual suspects will disagree, I think Mr. Webb's behavior and attitude used to be called honor.
At no time did he disrespect the office of the presidency or, when approached, the President.
Many, including I'm sure the original White House leakers, will criticise Webb by pretending Mr. Bush extended a hand of friendship.
Webb had already given Mr. Bush a polite out.
But, faux alpha males seemingly cannot take hints.
Mr. Bush, characteristically, chose to push himself onto Webb, a real alpha male, and used the demeaning and overly casual phrase "your boy" in referencing the Senator-elect's son.
I thought Webb maintained what had to be his exploding temper quite well and, I think, this exchange is merely the shrimp cocktail to what will prove to be a veritable banquet of testy exchanges between Mr. Bush, his administration and the brilliant and red-headed junior Virginia Senator-elect.

Modified Image: AFP, AP, Ebay,
Monday, November 27, 2006

I’m happy to announce the reunion of a long lost pair of male and female portrait tiles manufactured by the Hamilton Tile Works of Hamilton, Ohio sometime within the company’s various manifestations between 1883 and 1901.
What makes this reunion exciting is that it corrects the sexual identity of the only previously known tile.
The green glazed image on the left appears on page 87 of Norman Karlson’s excellent American Art Tile 1876-1941 in what appears to be a dark brown glaze.
The same image, this time with an orange-red glaze and identified as “Woman, modern, 6in.”, also appears on the upper right corner of page 81 in Volume 3 of Karlson’s superb Encyclopedia of American Art Tiles as image "058-018".
In the above image of the soon to be rejoined pair, one can clearly see the high-collared image is that of a male…A rather fancy and well-coifed male at that for 105 to 123 years ago but one beautifully paired with a seemingly very demure and lovely female.
This female image with its light brown glaze appears for the very first time on any media here on the right side of her green male companion.
Interestingly and contrarily, the male is averting his eyes downward and to the right while the female gazes straightforwardly to the left.
The background design and the low relief sculpture of the images add further confirming details to the two tiles rightful pairing.
Misidentification of sex in these ancient American tiles is quite common.
Our own modern misperceptions and preconceptions of people removed from us by nearly a century and a half can quite frequently mislead collectors and historical researchers.
Uncommon time may separate us but common human habits hold us tight and only recently have revealed ancients near and far to be far more complex than previously imagined by us media-dulled moderns.
According to Norman Karlson’s scholarship, Adolph Metzner, the likely maker or initial modeler of the molds which cast the above tiles, immigrated to the United States in the 1830’s, traveled westward over the next 25 years and joined the 32nd Indiana Volunteers serving as a Union officer at the bloody battles of Chickamauga, Shiloh and Missionary Ridge during the Civil War.
According to Karlson, Metzner, also, made over 100 drawings and watercolors of these battles.
This was a man, who had seen a fair chunk of the world and humanity at its extremes now, in the relative peace of his later years, indulging a dream and a technical marvel (dust-pressed ceramic tile) and utilizing his German and new American heritage along with mentoring the future promise of that heritage, his sons.
These two tiles, newly male, female and perhaps modern, may represent, as is often the case with artists and edge-pushing proto-technicians, anything from personal memory to a flight of post war fancy.
Study and further collecting can give us hints.
Close examination of the green tile and its back mark should prove interesting.

Image: Ebay, sean
Bargain Buddha?

It’s not easy being a god-emperor.
I mean divinity comes with divine expectations, right?
Sure trick photography halos, giant stage managed photo ops, a compliant media and sex-free ministers play their part and, really, the whole “god” thing would have gotten a boost if that bitch Terri Schiavo had taken the hint and blinked “thank-you” or something, but the real icing on the god cake, aside from grinding Jeb’s puny governorship into the dirt, comes from a dang ga-jillion dollar temple or pyramid…
The New York Daily News, this morning reports the worst President in US history now wants the most expensive presidential library ever built:

Eager to begin refurbishing his tattered legacy, the President hopes to raise $500 million to build his library and a think tank…loyalists have already identified wealthy heiresses, Arab nations and captains of industry as potential "mega" donors…Said another source briefed on the plans. "It's so much bigger than anything that's been tried before. But the more you have, the more influence [on history] you can exert”… The half-billion target…dwarfs the funding of other presidential libraries.

As we all now know, Mr. Bush, physically dwarfing only dwarves according to popular opinion, is going to need a lot of leverage with history…maybe, even more than could be exerted by his own Arab and heiress-funded Xanadu.
I'm thinking, as Mr. Bush frets over temple funding, our self-appointed god-president could try a little something that many of us ordinary mortal citizens have used to ease us through this second Bush flame-out…It’s called, prayer.

Modified Image: AFP,,
Sunday, November 26, 2006
I’m drawn to the keyboard, this Sunday morning, to bow and doff an imaginary cap westward from my ridge, across the vast plains and over the high Rockies to the neo-neo-Republican state of Cal-lee-for-nia, where the First Lady and her mother are likely responsible for, perhaps, the neatest political end run I’ve witnessed in my lifetime, the conversion of a failed heir to the 43rd into the possibly successful philosophical heir of the 35th President.
This morning’s first half hour of Meet the Press outs the Kennedyesque flavor of improved Arnold, newly baptized captain of the hippie/mogul/immigrant political mish-mash that has become an electoral battleship likely to break a few stubborn national party planks as it steams its way to a safe convention anchorage in 2008 no matter the captain’s original flag of origin.
In my somewhat flip ship metaphor imagine this new Eunice-inspired battleship, The Jugendsteel, as a potential iceberg to the titanic likes of a McCain and Gingrich and the not so titanic likes of Romney or Brownback.
Gone are the narrow shoals of gay marriage and the sandbars of hyper-patriotism in a calmer and cleaner sea of hybridized, cloth-coated middle-class in the many colors of spring in Camelot.
Could anyone imagine a worse nightmare for the far right wing?
Who would have thought it possible that the youthful, fauvist trills of Kennedy-style environmental and social concerns would find a modern voice in a liberalized 2nd take for Ronald Reagan’s favorite Austrian bodybuilder and action movie adventurer?
It seems so Vonnegut or Pynchon.
With merely a few years of wifely cajoling and the deft political skills of slumbering dynasty, Arnold Schwarzenegger has again become a moderate Republican national player and possible 2008 kingmaker.
A politician, finally, as big as that huge cabuchon sapphire the governor flashed about 12 or 13 minutes into this morning’s session with Tim.
Will Maria’s moderate Alpine tree-hugger become the Republican’s and the corporate establishment’s most effective challenge to the populism that will inflame the Democrats over the next two years?
I think so.

Image: Google,

Powered by Blogger