Sunday, 2 September 2012

The Sunday round-up on ebay

                                                                           

 
If you thought it was only other people who had a problem with German or Austrian handwriting, here is a dealer from Bavaria who failed on E Consentius. I had completely forgotten that Gerrie Caspers had posted on Elisabeth Consentius last June (I can't get the link to work) and had to deciper and search all over again. But Summer was worth it, the drawback being there is no PayPal only bank transfer. There is some bidding because people will know who it is but how far it will go is another matter. It will be interesting to see. (Bear in mind that all these prints are up for auction on ebay in either Austria or Germany).

                                                                                       

This Franz von Zulow is less straightforward. In many ways I prefer this print to his more elaborate work. He patented a form of stencil cut some time before LH Jungnickel began using a similar technique but here he comes up with a woodcut where the colour was almost certainly applied by hand, which to my mind makes it alot less interesting. The print is also in rather poor condition but this will keep the price down so if you fancy a von Zulow, this is an opportunity. Unfortunately, other bidders are thinking much the same thing.


The fact that this woodcut by the philosopher-printmaker Emma Bormann isn't signed at all will also help to keep the price down. It depicts a view across the Bosphorus, probably showing the Semsi Pasa mosque on the Asian shore with Galata or Karakoy in the foreground. The Istanbulus are as fond of views as Bormann was, hence the tea-garden and the houses and flats growing ever higher. Funnily enough, Bormann doesn't always fetch the prices you might think.  I suspect this will look pretty good to the person who opens the package. More importantly, though, we must wait and see whether Klaus has anything to say about Bormann's astonishing use of colour.


Keeping the most intriguing to the last, we come to Walther Klemm's Junge Hunde - intriguing because this isn't the print we tend to see. I believe the woodcut with fewer colours that comes up quite often was professionaly printed in a larger edition. If my memory serves me correctly, Klemm and Thiemann were both working with a print publisher in Vienna around 1906/1907 but what you see here may well be a proof pulled by Klemm himself. This is where a signature does count. I like this alot more than the brown version (below). The bright colours are true to Klemm's work at the time. They can look crude but striking when you see them. I unexpectedly came face to face with Turkeys a few weeks ago and I will tell you now, it looked sensational. So, if I were spending money, I think I would spend it on this.

                                                                           

19 comments:

  1. Charles,

    as far as I'm concerned there's nothing wrong with Bormann's colors, and I don't think Koson did a print of the Bosporus, either. The Consentius is quite lovely, indeed! But I have promises to keep...

    Klaus

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  2. Don't tell me the children need shoes for the winter, Klaus. They only had new ones this time last year.

    Bormann depicts the East in a rather analytical, Western way. Frankly, I prefer Urushibara's view from the cemeteries at Uskudar on the Asian shore. The delicate reference to the dead after the slaughter at Gallipoli is both sensitive and melancholy.

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  3. Thank you for continuing and reviving the late Clive's legendary "To have and to hang" series Charles. Your main reason is ofcourse the nobel informing and tipping off readers of nice and interesting prints, maybe thus encouraging and persuading them to buy quality prints. Prints that are sometimes unavailable for UK collectors because of a non-Paypal policy (they take a fee of 6%) by continental sellers. Payment from the UK through the banking "system" usually increases buying prices by 10% where inter bank payments in €€ are free of charge. That's sad, but thank God you don't share our common currency. Sometimes however disclosing not properly identified prints also noticed or recognized by third parties (me, and other collectors on a budget or with promises made, like Klaus) who can pay a sometimes lucky price in €€ might be less happy. For a moment. But it's a sport and all in the game. Noble intentions should and shall prevail ofcourse. So please continue this great service to your readers and I'm looking forward to the next.
    Gerrie

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  4. I agree with Gerry. I had spotted and identified the Consentius before you showed it in your post, for example. It will probably become more expensive now, but in general a posting like this also brings to your readers' attention prints that they hadn't been aware of. So for me it's a welcomed source of inspiration. As Gerry put it: Let noble intentions (not filthy greed) prevail!

    Klaus

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  5. I knew you would (agree) Klaus, we are after all gentlemen, thank you for the support.

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  6. It's quite simple, this post follows on from the last one. The gallery approach seemed to stimulate people. For me the real interest behind 'To have and to hang' was the opportunity to see a variety of prints I might not have seen otherwise and to learn what people had to say about them. Apart from that I'd be unlikely to post about Elisabeth Consentius or Franz von Zulow so it also gave me the chance to say something about them and their work. By and large, ebay is just a handy vehicle that all readers have access to.

    I've no idea how many of my readers actively buy or sell prints but I suspect there are not that many buyers amongst them. The chat about buying is just that.

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  7. You might be right with your last remark, Charles. Anyway, I'm one of the people who do buy and sell actively because that is the only way for me to afford to buy some of the works of art that I cherish.

    Klaus

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    1. Sorry, Gerrie. I don't know how that happened, honest.

      It went something like, 'I think so, too'.

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    2. It was a "hear hear" and "likewise" I think.

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  9. I've been through all this at my local auctions. The fact is there are more interesting British prints turning up in both the UK and in Germany than almost anything you see on ebay. I have one reader I know buys from German auction houses. But you have to pay.

    One answer to this dilemna is to be very selective or very assiduous or both. And that is not the Gerrie approach, now is it? The Gerrie approach is: buy lots of lovely prints.

    But there is another answer: buy monochrome. Is cheap, is good. We're talking here nice stuff: Oskar Laske and Emil Orlik, in my case.

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  10. I'm not quite sure what you mean by "buy monochrome", but Orlik's good works (my favourite:"Japanerin im Winterkleid (Seitenansicht)" aren't really cheap, are they?

    Klaus

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  11. I bought my Orlik etching for around £30 on ebay though not in perfect condition. The Laske etching was something similar but in very fine condition. I know it's not easy. All I'm really saying is you can still find good things fairly cheaply if you're prepared to diversify. But subject counts as well. Old blokes or biblical subjects come cheaper than beautiful women or famous people. Fortunately, my own tastes and interests are both orthodox and catholic.

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  12. What a fun posting Charles. I am glad you are sharing the catch from E-trawling. I think as you know Ebay is like a scrum, it's messy, dirty and you never quite know how things are going to end up. I personally love it, because I live in a part of the world where buying western art is virtually impossible and that happens to be my area of interest.

    I have bought some amazing art on Ebay, and I know for a fact dealers also buy from there. In fact I think we all know that items have been purchased on Ebay then flogged at dealers stores for a massive profit. It used to infuriate me but that is the nature of the beast I suppose...I accept it more now than perhaps I did in the past.

    I think the key about Ebay is you NEED to know what you are looking FOR and AT. I treat it more like a party of stress therapy...searching for me is quite relaxing. It leads me on different journeys also because I see things and become curious and do research.

    On a note specific to the posting, The Klemm "Hounds in Blue" is wonderful. I think it has a kind of life and bounce that the brown final print doesn't have. I am also inclined to agree with you Charles that the blue print was a very early edition or an edition pulled by Klemm himself. I like it enormously though. Regarding Bormann....what can I say, I love her works. Her monochromatic works manage to integrate a fun component, she does these cathedral studies with a sort halo effect emanating from behind the structure, that is very clever and very deliberate. She cannot be that ironic with her colour prints so she tends instead toward the glorious technicolour approach. I like both. The Istanbul scene is a little wonky and obviously (as you point out Charles) exaggerated. But I cannot help but like her work.

    Clive

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  13. You may not remember a discussion we once had about Wilfred Wood's linocut 'Cadaques, Spain' when it was up on ebay. I don't think either of us knew anything about him at the time and I forgot about it altogether. But now, every time I pass through Bloomsbury, I am irritated by the fact that this large and quite attractive print is on offer for £90 from dealers who virtually admit themselves they don't have much of an idea about prints. Even so, they bought it. And what is most annoying is this: they were right and I was wrong.

    My searches nowadays are superficial but I decided to lay out Helen Stevenson's 'The coal boat' recently. So it does happen, even for those who are nowehere as near as thorough as Gerrie and yourself. (Not HGS at her best but stand by for a post on her).

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  14. I am still envious.

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  15. Emma Bormann sometimes gave different titles to the same print. A copy of this print appeared for sale online about a year ago. The seller included a close-up of the signature and the reverse. Bormann titled it "On the Bosporus" and identified it as a linocut.
    The copies of this print I am familiar with are titled "Istanbul, Fündüklü" and "Fündüklü, Constantinople." It probably dates from late 1929-1930.

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    1. The linocut information is interesting, specially because the British Museum have a proof they say is a woodcut. But they make mistakes. It was acquired in 1931 and is called 'Istanbul, Funduklu'. They have quite a few Bormann prints but with no images online. Do you know who holds the copyright, Andreas?

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