Georges Bastard Limoges Decanters, ca. 1930
They were in the family long before I was in the family. The movie actor James Gleason, character actor, but he also wrote the screenplay for The Broadway Melody, the second Academy Award, and played polo with Will Rogers, partied with the Hearsts. My parents were friends of his servants. But he liked my parents, more or less adopted them and my sisters, older sisters, and just gave us stuff. He gave my dad a Woodie car, and my sisters a horse. Just wonderful things. I came along much later in life, he died when I was seven, and I got these just down from the family.
They are objects of their time. About 1930, perhaps a little bit earlier. They were made right in the heart of the Art Deco era in Paris. And they are very Art Deco in their own way. The term Art Deco is a fairly modern term, first coined in 1966. And it's kind of an umbrella term to describe all of the decorative arts that were shown in Paris at an exhibition in 1925. These are porcelain flasks for holding liquor. They were designed in Paris in Limoges by Margerie, who signed them here. There was a gentleman called Georges Bastard, who was something of a celebrated decorative artist in Paris. He was born in the early 1880s, died in 1939. He was very much at the forefront of the Art Nouveau movement, and made a transition into the Art Deco movement, by which time he was working in Limoges, and he commissioned this fellow Margerie to design a range of these porcelain flasks, this one representing a tennis player and here a boxer. There was a number of them representing figures in sports. And I love the vitality of these two characters. The boxer, by the way, was made in a pair. There was an opponent to him also. Any work by Georges Bastard is rare, and much admired. The provenance from James Gleason doesn't hurt the value, but it doesn't help it dramatically.
The tennis player I believe is the most valuable one. He's certainly the most elegant, the most striking. And I believe if he came up in a good auction, you would expect an estimate of at least $700, and perhaps $900. Great. The boxer I think somewhere between $400 and $600.
Great. That's certainly more than I thought they were worth.
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