Coit Tower
Thursday, November 18, 2004
Amanda and Dessa done good.
I mentioned that we'd been to a nosh do at Bonhams and Butterfields last Friday.

Good nosh. Good wine. Dessa Goddard, Director, Asian Art, gave her talk walking through some of the more important pieces that were coming up for auction on Tuesday.

The nosh was a treat, the wine drinkable, and Dessa was obviously very much excited about some of the items coming up for auction.

Her pride and joy was an 18" diameter copper-red design Ming dynasty dish that Amanda Miller, specialist, Chinese and Japanese decorative arts, had come across when she'd gone off to a San Francisco home to do an appraisal.

Amanda had come back from the appraisal visit with multiple photos of the dish Is this what I think it is? Dessa said she was standing on the family's front doorstep bright and early the next morning because she could not believe ...

Some dish! An Important Dish! An Important Ming Dynasty Dish! "A rare and important underglaze copper red decorated dish, Hongwu Period."

We heard all about the dish. We were shown pictures and closeups from this angle and that. Top and bottom.

The dish was the belle of the Fall Asian Art auction. Dessa had been to Hong Kong and New York, showing it off. She'd been to London showing it off and getting some renowned someone to write the catalog copy.

Dessa showed it off on Friday evening, holding it while we all took turns getting a closeup look at a dish estimated to sell for $1-2m, yes, million. After we were through, Dessa carefully put the dish on its pedestal and set a plexiglass box on top of it.

A few minutes later, Dessa physically flinched when someone sat on a perch nearby. Too close. Too close. Far too close. A nudge to the pedestal might topple the dish. Dish smashed. B&B's commission down the tubes. ...

"Please," Dessa said. "Don't sit there."

The family to whom the dish belonged had kept it filled with fruit on a sideboard and brought it out to use when they were having a cracked crab feed. Elinor Majors Carlisle, who had bought the dish in China in the twenties, was an entrepreneur back when female entrepreneurs were almost unheard of, a well-known Berkeley suffragette whose father founded the Pony Express.

Best of all worlds there were three very interested bidders on Tuesday. When the hammer fell, Giuseppe Eskenazi, a London Asian Art dealer, had the winning bid: $5.7 million.


The Telegraph version of events and others from Google.

KFOG's Live from the Archives #11
Speaking of CDs worth buying (we were, weren't we?), the 11th annual KFOG Live From the Archives, a fundraiser for Bay Area food banks (this year a 2-CD set), is going on sale Saturday. KFOG is an amazing station with a huge heart. The 11th annual CDs are available for purchase online for those of youz who can't pick it up local-like.

As the title implies, the CDs are made up of cuts from live KFOG concerts that KFOG has convinced performers to donate for the cause. The CDs have been well-worth having since I started buying them years back and it's for a good cause, for peter's sake.


Clips available online.

Picked up Enjoy Every Sandwich this afternoon. Enjoy Every Sandwich is a collection of covers of Warren Zevon songs. Don Henley, Pete Yorn, Jackson Brown with Bonnie Raitt, Steve Earle and Reckless Kelly, David Lindley and Ry Cooder, Bob Dylan, & al. join in the homage.

Bruce Springsteen singing My Ride's Here. What could be finer? Billy Bob Thornton singing The Wind, maybe. Good tunes, worth a buy, worth a replay, should you be thinking you need something new to listen to.

WORDCOUNT / Tracking the Way We Use Language /
Another creation of Jonathan Harris.

WordCount™ is an artistic experiment in the way we use language. It presents the 86,800 most frequently used English words, ranked in order of commonality. Each word is scaled to reflect its frequency relative to the words that precede and follow it, giving a visual barometer of relevance. The larger the word, the more we use it. The smaller the word, the more uncommon it is.

WordCount data currently comes from the British National Corpus®, a 100 million word collection of samples of written and spoken language from a wide range of sources, designed to represent an accurate cross-section of current English usage. WordCount includes all words that occur at least twice in the BNC®. In the future, WordCount will be modified to track word usage within any desired text, website, and eventually the entire Internet.

If you think that's neat-o, check out Query Count to see what words people are searching Word Count for. One of Zen's favorite diss words is currently ranked #9.

10x10 / 100 Words and Pictures that Define the Time
Jonathan J. Harris has executed a nifty bit of software titled 10x10 / 100 Words and Pictures that Define the Time. He sez, 10x10™ ('ten by ten') is an interactive exploration of the words and pictures that define the time. The result is an often moving, sometimes shocking, occasionally frivolous, but always fitting snapshot of our world. Every hour, 10x10 collects the 100 words and pictures that matter most on a global scale, and presents them as a single image, taken to encapsulate that moment in time. Over the course of days, months, and years, 10x10 leaves a trail of these hourly statements which, stitched together side by side, form a continuous patchwork tapestry of human life.

One downside is that the data is currently gathered only from Reuters World News, BBC World edition and NYT International News feeds, which leaves the "news" with a certain bias, but the method and the layout certainly boots one out of the usual page by page news reading habit.

THE ZOOMQUILT | a collaborative art project
: views from the Hill

Subscribe with Bloglines
* atom.xml Site Feed *

powered by FreeFind

Site search Web search
recent posts