Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Bad Ceramics Preservation Center 7/31/09

Heritage Hills – Decatur "Estate Sale"

Before I critique the sale of one woman’s seeming obsession with small ceramics I should take inventory of what ceramics are in my own home. I am not a young man but while my lifestyle may be considered youthful by some, but the calendar of my existence says that I should have far more ceramic figurines in my home. What do I have? Taking inventory by walking from room to room I see first a small retro gift vase with a dancing teenage girl on it, a brightly painted six inch Infant of Prague, 10 eight inch saints including Lucia and both Teresas, three Hummel figures and a one-foot tall hula dancer. In actuality the saints and the hula dancer are panted plaster so they are technically not ceramics. The fertility-inducing infant of Prague dates to my parent’s home (it was never effective here). The Hummel my father acquired on the black market in postwar Germany by trading a pound coffee or a carton of cigarettes for them. The dancing girl, which I now use as a penholder, was something I picked up while in my 20’s when I bought far too much stuff at thrift stores.
So every ceramic tells a story. When I come across a sale like this one just outside Decatur I wondered what the stories are and this lady had plenty. When grown children take stock of a parents home they marvel at and fear the quantity of the runaway nick knacks, as many younger people believe having too many of this stuff is an indication that one is getting way up there in years.
So what did I find? Well the quantity trumped the quality. Aside from one big faded clown head with a sign indicating it was a McCoy, with fading paint there were no Llardo or other overpriced designer named items. A large seated Raggedy Ann or Raggedy Ann knockoff was one of the bigger works. On the floor I encountered a life like dachshund that could have been used as a decoy to attract long little dogs. Two very ugly and disturbing cats were on a table nearly covered in ceramics one with an insidious smile the other with a bow tie was equally disturbing. See the photos for the full effect. Other artifacts there included a trio of squirrels, a head with blank eyes and a set of mugs shaped like elephants. There was a wide range of styles from your traditional Blue Boy and Pinky to a pair of intertwined heads reminiscent of Modigliani. In one room was a bin of assorted tiny ceramics cats and dogs There were also two bags of broken ceramic figures that tempted me to become a ceramic assemblage artist.
There were other objects of note in the house a jig saw puzzle of a squirrel shaped like a squirrel, a copy of Walking Tall Part 2, five feathered pens in holders (you can never have too many of those) and a large painting of a woman lying in bed in a unintended erotic pose.
I bought nothing.

One of many feline figures found in Heritage Hills.






















Human head with empty eyes.
























Bin of small cats.



























Ceramic rendering of Rag Doll.





















Trio of squirrels.




















Squirrel shaped puzzle.






















A lifetime supply of feathery pens.






















Pacyhdermic mugs.




















Reclining figure under the sheets.

7 comments:

Rita said...

Tasteless, but fun :) I like the way you write. If you don't mind, I think I'll link your blog to my post today.

schmemily said...

I'm glad I wasn't at the same sale, because I can't quite decide if that reclining lady is completely awful or awfully fabulous. (But then I'm a sucker for odd portraits.)

Weemus Studio said...

Just gets better and better. I love ceramic squirrels. Visit The Destitute Church of Weemus to read Ralph's short story. Needs editing because it was written for my therapists. I save all my favorite photos from Yard Sale and these cats fit the bill. Keep up the good work!

Crap Sells said...

That's a Shawnee Puss N Boots cookie jar with gold trim in your first photo. I would have snatched it up in a heartbeat.

One just sold on eBay for $240 and I've seen them sell for as much as $400.

The cat with a bow tie is vintage Italian pottery and can also sell for big bucks, depending on the floral decoration.

my3andme said...

I just googled "squirrel shaped puzzle" and it lead me to your blog. I see a photo of the exact puzzle I am looking for, although it is in an entry from last year. Any chance you still might have it?? (wishful thinking:)(Couldn't locate an e-mail address or I would have e-mailed directly.)

my3andme said...

I just googled "squirrel shaped puzzle" and it lead me to your blog. I see a photo of the exact puzzle I am looking for, although it is in an entry from last year. Any chance you still might have it?? (wishful thinking:)(Couldn't locate an e-mail address or I would have e-mailed directly.)

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