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rus in urbe

June 13th, 2007

Daniel Pontius

This shop has long fascinated me but I’ve never be in to look around. A Saturday or two ago I was out strolling and a bit of shimmer caught my eye. I almost didn’t take a picture of it, but I like everyone should learn to not fear being perceived as gauche so I went back to take the picture through the window and here it is as a nod to my childhood.

This little bird reminded me of my Grandmother who had a small bevy of glass birds. When I was a little boy, her birds were my first contact with the idea of owning a simple object for the pure sense of amusement and delight. This little bird delights as it sits on a stack of plates; the gilt framing its translucent color and slightly abstracted form. I have two similar to it: one turquoise and one in a bright red.
In the past, not a big fan of glass, I decided to learn more so I went into Gem Antiques for a quick look-see yesterday and after a bit of chit chat the shopkeeper rather deadpan told me that the antique paperweights started at 500 and go up very quickly from there. The one I liked was 6500.
I bought my turquoise and red glass birds upstate at a garage sale for a couple dollars. I think my birds or a little gorgeous paperweight–Clichy faceted double overlay with a close pack mushroom having 4 white and 2 pink Clichy roses, all on a clear strawberry cut base c 1850’s– would amuse me just the same, although I wouldn’t mind finding out for sure.
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