Bertoia MANIA!


I am a bit of a Bertoia whore of late.  Buying all things Bertoia as fast as I can find them.

Odd, as it is all exceptionally difficult stuff to come across, but I have two or three really incredible contacts with super early and unusual pieces.  Very exciting stuff.

First up are two SUPERDUPER rare pieces of Harry Bertoia jewelry.

The wire form is a true masterpiece.  Twice the size of similar examples and has all of the bells and whistles that one would like to find in a Bertoia jewelry piece. Note that this was created in the early to mid 1940's!
Created mostly during his time at the Cranbrook School outside of Detroit.  A hotbed of iconic American modernists the likes of Charles Eames, Eero Saarinen, and Florence Knoll amongst many others.

A ridiculous treasure of modernist design, created by one of America's best artists.  On par with similar works by Calder.

The rods ending in hammered nibs, the wire in silver where they are usually in string or thread, the centre piece in ebony with melted in place silver blobs...   It is unbelievably rare and so incredible to handle such a thing.  Pretty much the Holy Grail of Bertoia jewelry save for a few crazy solid gold pieces.. (watch this blog for a bit of Bertoia gold in the future perhaps.... fingers crossed)

The second piece is an equally beautiful piece .  Incredible in it's simple form compared to the action that is happening with the wire piece.

The gong forms were never retailed and only made for friends or special clients in the late 60's early 70's.

A heavy and think slab of solid silver hammered by Bertoia until it was just right....
Even more incredible as this , when hung on a thin string, has sonic qualities much like the much larger and better known gongs he created in bronze.

To hold these pieces really is an unusual treat.  I admit I am a little jaded with most things and it takes a lot to impress me of late but these pieces really moved me.  Th amount and quality of work put into these really is breathtaking .  The talent to create these is so difficult to come across and is very exciting to actually possess such things.



                                                             MELT SCULPTURES

I also have a few unusual melt sculptures coming in right now.
Three really odd ones.

The first, a very plain looking piece but kind of interesting in it's simplicity.
Two small pieces of thick rod melted together into one "t" shaped piece.  This may have been a single piece that was melted in half with a torch and in turn fell onto itself.
The material is Beryllium Copper , which was a metal combination that a metallurgist created with the help of Harry in the 60's.  The above pieces were actually acquired from the founder of the metal company.  An interesting history to the pieces.

The second, a very interesting piece created from 4 or 5 similar rods but melted into a much more interesting shape.
This piece can be stood on any of the straight ends to create different forms .
A little more of an animated study.  Almost animal-like.

Lastly, but not least of course is a rather tall piece for these at around 8" high.
A little more of an organic piece.  Resembling a turning body or a moving tree.

Interesting twisted rods with an applied finish that is rough on the outside.
This one is perched on a pretty unusual block stand which adds to it's form I think.

This one is kind of special as it is pictured in the World of Bertoia book as seen in the below image.
I believe this was one of the series of melt forms that Harry produced that were influenced by African images .  This was exhibited with others at the Allentown Museum in 1975.

                                                                  LAUGHING MEN

I also have another unusual pair of sculptures incoming that are also rather rare.  Called the Laughing Men, these sculptures are incredibly simple in form but are very intriguing nonetheless.

Cut from a single thick piece of Beryllium and Stainless steel, these have a single bandsaw cut .
The top section of the cut is then lifted to imitate the head back form of a laughing man.

I have only seen these in pairs so am unsure if they were actually sold separately or together.

Not sure if these were ever actually sold through galleries. I was told they were only given to friends or associates as gifts from the artist.

A few tonal pieces I will save for later and perhaps two different sized willow sculptures in the works.
I will show them as they arrive .  


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