Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Mira Music Box

19c mira music box
This Mira music box of early 1900s is good example of simplicity combined with elegance. You replace the punched steel disk and swim in seas of memories. Roll a cigarette and dream of cabarets, jazz, big bands, dancing men and women with fancy dresses of the era.

At least, that's what I do whenever I look at it.

Estimated value: $ 1,500

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Chess Players

chess players watercolor on paper
Here is an anonymous (signature illegible) painting dubbed "Chess Players", watercolor on paper. It shows above all how time was perceived then. Look at the relaxed attitude of the players, enjoying their game without clocking it, their coffee and tea aside, comfortably seated on cushions.

Dimensions: 18.5x27.5 cm
Estimated value: $ 2,000

Ottoman Naval Society Matchbox

19c ottoman naval society matchbox
People have always wanted to be a part of something, be it a club, a society, a community or something similar. It seems we do not want to dispute the man who said "Man is a social animal."

So societies were created and in turn they used a myriad of items to strengthen the feeling of "being part of".

To your left is a matchbox distributed by the Ottoman Naval Society, late 19th century, to make their members feel special.

Dimensions: 5.5x3.5 cm
Estimated value: $ 200

Monday, March 9, 2009

Gold Enameled Watch

19c ottoman gold enameled watch
Historians and economists included, many tried to explain what triggered industrialization and why it failed to emerge in various regions of the world. Let me throw in my explanation:

The concept of time.

How we perceived time, or passing of it, was a crucial factor for mass production and specialization. Societies that had a relaxed understanding of time failed (now, this failure is subjective) to evolve from agricultural to industrial countries.

A souvenir from 19th century, a gold enameled watch: the ultimate instrument of precision timing and coordination.

Radius: 5.5 cm
Estimated value: $ 10,000

Friday, March 6, 2009

J. Wardale Compass

20c j wardale compass
There was a time when sailors were sailors; no GPS, no machinery. You relied on friendly winds to move you, stars to guide you during the night and a compass like this J. Wardale to find North in the day. Scary, eh?

Dated: 1918

Dimensions: 7.5x7.5 cm.
Estimated value: $ 300

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Devil's Creek by Mubin Orhon

devils creek by mubin orhon 20c 
Dated 1965, "The Devil's Creek" is the most famous painting of Mubin Orhon. It is a triple oil on canvas. 
I like abstract paintings and this one is no exception with its vivid colors and choice of red as primary color. It is refreshing to see that experts agree with me this time :-)
Dimensions: 70x150 cm.
Estimated value: $ 150,000

Monday, March 2, 2009

Cloisonne Vases

19c cloisonne vases
Ottomans were fond of China, all varieties and origins. Not only there was a lively local productions but a considerable amount of china were also imported like these Cloisonne vases of 19th century.

Sometimes I can not help but desire to touch these items, if only I had them, of course. Only zeros and ones.

Dimensions: 90x22.5 cm.
Estimated value: $ 8,000