(Click HERE for the main Paul J. Bosco numismatic website)
ART-DECO MEDALS: The Walter Glenn Collection
Walter Glenn (1937-2013) was an avid collector, and a particularly skilled one. He knew how to buy, which is not such a rare skill, but he also knew WHAT to buy.
It’s little wonder that Walter –sometimes called “Pete” – had a keen eye (and not just for medals). For 30 years he operated an art jewelry gallery, “Geode Ltd”, in Atlanta. Later, he sold on eBay with the seller ID “100mph”. A specialized website “Objexs” is still up & running: http://www.objexs.com/
Known widely in the South as an expert in American Art Deco, and especially Frankart, I would see Walter on his frequent trips to NYC. Often, he’d have some friends assemble at my store, buying a few medals until everyone had arrived. These became social occasions for me, too. Probably because of the breadth of his interests, and the love he had for each piece he collected, there was no customer who was more pure fun than Walter was -- without being Italian. (I guess he came from a fun family; he had sister named Doodle. Really!)
Many of my customers for medals buy most of their best pieces from me. There are not that many good sources; those dealers and auction houses that happen to offer the occasional piece are not known for their expertise and helpfulness. eBay? PLEASE!!
Now that I have Walter’s entire medals collection before me, it is evident that he could buy more widely than most collectors. Still, I have in front of me now many of the best Deco medals I ever had, pieces I started to miss the moment Walter bought them.
One Old Friend, the Sugar Refinery of Port Jerôme, a Top-Five candidate among all Art-Deco medals, I offered to Walter in the 1990s for $600. He passed. A week or so later he called and said, “You were right about that piece; will you hold it for me?” When you see the picture of this piece, you will realize that it is always best to listen to Bosco. Or perhaps better advice is: remember what you see, and where you saw it. Take notes, or pictures. When and if you realize you were crazy not to buy a piece, it would be good to be able to do something about it. And remember this: (Bosco’s Law of Dumb Thrift) You will regret something you DIDN’T BUY ten times as often as you’ll regret something you DID BUY.
Not every piece in the collection will make it to this webpage, but we will try, over several months, to present enough of the collection to show the current generation of medals enthusiasts some of the parameters and possibilities of collecting. There are non-commercial websites that show collections, and you should devour them, but it’s also nice, taking a tour through a collection, to be able to become the next owner of the jewels before your eyes. Also, as the medals below are priced, you can get a true sense of the marketplace for this specialized art form.
For more about Walter:
http://www.decollector.com/id27.html (This includes a good picture of Walter)
Let’s give Alice Glenn, Walter’s wife: the last word:
His interests ranged from Blues ephemera
to Mata Ortiz pottery, Folk Art to rare auto mascots. Much passion, many
genres. He thoroughly enjoyed all his collections; never one just to buy
and stash, he always made sure he artistically displayed in his home for his
and others enjoyment.
The 300+ medals may take us some time to catalog and upload. We will start with some of the many highlights, chosen somewhat quickly. In time we will have pages by category. And don’t forget to check out the main Paul J. Bosco website, which is heavy on medals but touches all facets of numismatics.
WE HAVE HUNDREDS OF ART DECO MEDALS that did not come from Walter, a few on the www.pauljbosco.com website and many in the store in trays and cabinets.
Each medal is in top condition unless the condition is described. Prices are firm, they are not starting points for negotiation, and they do not include shipping. However, on multi-piece orders we have been known to adjust the total. For the present (November 2014), that is less likely to happen on the Glenn medals than on other parts of the www.pauljbosco.com website.
USA Rockefeller Center, 1935, normally ascribed to Lee Lawrie, sculptor of the image of Wisdom depicted on the reverse. Bronze, 69 mm. Ex-Bosco. The “Weird Beard” is a huge relief above the “rear entrance” to Rock Center near the skating rink. I have had one other example over the years. I remember offering one to Katie Couric’s late husband –great guy-- proud of myself for helping him find the perfect gift, but he said she wasn’t sentimental about such things. Minor imperfections. $395
USA American Institute of Decorators, undated, by René Chambellan. Silvered bronze, uniface, 76 mm. First one I’ve seen. This artist has lately become esteemed like Bel Geddes and other prominent contemporaries. He did Society of Medalists #31 (Iwo Jima, 1945). $450
France D.A.M. Prix Concours d’Élégance, 1930 by Henri Demey, Silvered bronze, 94x44 mm. Very Fine or better. $295
Netherlands Royal Dutch Automobile Club, by Chris van der Hoef, 1932. Silvered bronze, 60 mm, engraved for 1953 award. At least Very Fine. Van der Hoef, designer and medalist, is the God of Dutch Art-Deco. In 35 years, I’ve not had a CvdH medal 10 times. Light wear; some bronze shows thru the silver plating; an attractive VF+. $349
USA General Motors, 25th Anniversary, by Norman Bel Geddes, 1933. Bronze, 76 mm. SOLD. We have a really nice example in the usual silvered bronze, $1200. I have had about a dozen of these, over 35 years, and have never been able to keep one in stock for more than a few months. Usually, the silver plating has worn or discolored slightly, so this is definitely a prime example of a very important medal.
Bel Geddes, the creative force behind the age-defining GM Exhibition at the 1939-40 NY World’s Fair, did only this one medal. 15+ years ago a gent came into my gallery. I don’t remember his name, but he lived at 4 Fifth Ave. I sold him Soc of Medalists #13 for $150 and the next day one brought $700+ on eBay. He told me everyone wanted the Bel Geddes medal because it was in his “Machine Age” exhibit at the Metropolitan Ave (also on 5th Ave). Walter also had an example of about 30mm that was given only to GM execs. We have not yet priced it.
BELGIUM Aviation competition at Middelkerke, Belgium, 1938, by Jacques Marin (?). Bronze, 62x64 mm. Fine scratches, upper left corner, on across the eagle’s neck. They are barely noticeable. A beautiful medal, but also rare. Aviation medals are a huge specialty of mine, and I have not had this before. $550
FRANCE Balloons and Dirigibles, Chalais-Meudon Establishment, by Auguste Patey, 1886. Bronze, 72 mm. Arguably the most beautiful medal for both Aviation and Mythology. $495
ITALY/USA Italian flight Rome-Chicago-New York-Rome, by Publico Morbiducci, 1933 (‘Mussolini Duce’). Silver, 60 mm. Probably a little polished, but it has served this medal well. It normally has a faintly speckled look. Quite a lovely example, and fairly rare in silver. (I may have bronze in stock at about $400) $900
NETHERLANDS Fifth International Congress of Air Navigation, by Chris van der Hoef, 1930. Bronze, 49 mm. $375
USA Conquest of the Poles by Admiral Richard E. Byrd, by Julio Kilenyi, 1929. Bronze, 82 mm. A nice example –many are seen a little mishandled. $375
USA The Olympiad of the Air, by Oscar J. W. Hansen, 1930. Bronze, 64 mm. $325
FRANCE Grand Canal of Alsace, 1932, Electrical Energy of the Rhineland, by Marcel Renard. Bronze, octagonal 71x70 mm. $395
FRANCE Cinema, 1928, by Maurice Delannoy. Bronze 67 mm. $425
FRANCE Theatre, 1930, by Maurice Delannoy. Bronze, 68 mm. $425
BELGIUM To the inventors of the Wireless, by EugŹne Jean de Bremecker, 1912, issued by the Société des Amis Hollandais-Belge de la Médaille d’Art. A rare contemporary medal citing the Titannic sinking. Bronze, 52x66 mm. $295 (I believe I have a silver example in stock.)
FRANCE Continental Edison Company, 1932, by Pierre Turin. Bronze, 72x52 mm. $425. Please note there is a Pierre Turin page on my primary website, with 30 or so listings –or more, after we add Walter’s pieces.
USA NBC tenth anniversary 1936, by Julio Kilenyi after a design by Richard Loederer. Silvered bronze, 75 mm. Stack’s-Bower Americana auction, Jan’y 2014, $499.38 despite some unattractive darkening. Ours, in Very Fine, is not a better example. $249
FRANCE Paris, Exposition Universelle Internationale, 1900, by Jules-Clément Chaplain. Bronze, named to J. Jacobescu, 63 mm. Often sold as an Olympics medal, which is not completely wrong. $149. I have other examples in the original case –which is unusual, and they cost rather more.
FRANCE Paris, Exposition Internationale, 1937, by Jean Vernon. Bronze, 80 mm. Perhaps my favorite medal in the entire collection. All other examples I have seen had the highly lacquered, orange-red color of somewhat later strikes. This is medium to deep brown –normal for Paris Mint medals in the 1930s. This piece is RESERVED for our next World Art Medals auction; please inquire if interested.
USA Saint Louis, Louisiana Purchase Exposition, 1904, by Adolph A. Weinman. Bronze, shield shaped, 70x71 mm. $175
USA New York World’s Fair, 1939, by Julio Kilenyi Bronze, 63 mm. $225
FRANCE (Hungarian artist) Port-Jérôme Refinery, Inauguration, by Gustave Miklos, 1934. Bronze, 63x106 mm, engraved to P. Fournier. Miklos was was a sculptor, painter, illustrator and designer of Hungarian origin. An influential sculptor involved with Cubism and subsequent developments in Art Deco, Miklos exhibited at the Salon d'Automne and the Salon des Indépendants during the 1910s and 1920s, and in 1925 showed at the International Exposition of Modern Industrial and Decorative Arts; the exhibition from which the term "Art Deco" was derived. An example of this plaquette in Christie’s sale 1065 (June 2011), lot 273, sold for Ř1,875. Some modest nicks, as the photo shows, else Extremely Fine. $1995
POLAND Eighth Conference of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, Warsaw, 1927, by Jan Raszka. Bronze, 59x90 mm. Certainly rare. VF-EF. $450.
USA Abbot Laboratories, by Raymond Loewy, 1938. Bronze with two-tone silver and bronze finish, 70 mm. Only Very Fine for this, the sole medal by this giant of American design. $325. (I once had one, in a special folder, given to the company president, struck on a planchet with silver and gold cladding –or was it solid silver, with gold cladding? I sold it to Dr. Stephen Martin, who sold his medals collection to partly fund his work related to Carl Jung. An exceptionally talented collector, he is also an expert on Archibald Knox, a designer known for his silver (and who, like Loewy, only did ONE medal). He sold his medals thru Dix Noonan Webb. I asked him, “Where’s the Loewy?” and he told me it was the one medal he couldn’t part with.
ARGENTINA Professor A. H. Roffo, Cancer Specialist, by Oliva Navarro, 1935. Silvered bronze, 61 mm. An exceptional medal, artistically, and especially for South America. Perfect condition, which really matters for most silver-plated medals. $250. Roffo was one of the first scientists to link tobacco tars to carcinogenesis, a rare example of a “Latino” with followers in the USA.
AUSTRALIA/Hungary. By Andor Meszaros, dated 1947 in the signature, from his series on the Stations of the Cross. Bronze, 64 mm. Seldom seen. $175
BELGIUM World War I, Andenne Monument, by E. Dubis, 1930. Bronze, octagonal, 56x55 mm. I’ve not seen another. $325
FRANCE World War I, Hommage to dead of Nice, by André Lavrillier and Alfred Janniot, 1928. Bronze, 72 mm. At least Very Fine. On this impressively warlike medal, the minor condition faults have almost no impact. $349
GERMANY World War I, by Arnold Zadikow, 1918. Cast bronze uniface, 75 mm. $350 but RESERVED
GERMANY (Weimar Republic) World War I, “To the living spirit of our dead, 1914-24” by Eberhard Encke, 1924. Cast bronze, 87 mm. On edge: AKT - GES : GLADENBECK. Rare. The central motif is still consistent with the styles and subjects of German Expressionist medals of WWI. The framing of this motif with a stark geometric design prefigures the French Art-Deco medals that were about to emerge. Encke was showing German medalists the way, but few if any followed. Walter bought this from me; Google Images shows some examples in collections, but I have never otherwise seen this remarkable bronze for sale. $495
USA Music and Dance, by Robert Cook, 1978, Society of Medalists, 97th issue. Bronze, 72 mm. $70
USA The Head of the Charles, by Joe Brown (MACo). Bronze, 64 mm. For racing on the Bostonian river. Simple, and perfect. A small rim bump on the blank reverse side; who cares? Perhaps from the 1960s. Can’t recall another for sale. A prize medal? If so, few awardees would put one on the market. $175
FRANCE Paris, Exposition Universelle Internationale, 1900, shooting competition, by Jean Vernon. Silvered bronze, 41x59mm. This plaquette usually comes nice, and this one is lovely. One in a recent Baldwin’s auction sold for about $800, comparable to recent auctions in France, where medals are no longer cheap. $695
FRANCE Fencing, Saint Michael, by Clemencin. Bronze, 67x43 mm. About EF. Interesting activity, for an angel! $275
HUNGARY Ganz Photo Club by Erdey Dezsö, 1938 (engraved date of awarding). Silvered bronze, 60x60 mm. The smokestacks in the distance recall the Port Jerome plaquette by Deszo’s countryman Miklos (see above). $265
Prisoner of Conscience, Issue 15 of the British Art Medal Society (edition of 85), 1989. Bronze, 114 mm. $450. A link to Ian’s own page on this medal: http://www.ianrank-broadley.co.uk/work/prisoner-conscience/
(The master of the 4-sided medal! Doubtless we have other Räsänen medals in stock. It appears that silver examples have become scarce. Sadly, this may be because of melting, ca.2011, when some had bullion value exceeding $500. This master’s oeuvre is extremely popular, as his artistry exceeds the considerable novelty of his productions. His influence on medallic art is enormous and international.)
Finnish Savings Bank, 1972. Bronze, partially gilt, 72 mm. In The Art of the Medal (Ill. 454), Mark Jones remarks that this medal “contains a witty reference to the hoarding instinct: the underside of the foot on which it rests and which is therefore never seem is shiny gold, while the visible surface is a dull bronze. $395
Helsinki Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, 1973. Silver, 2 parts, 70 mm. 950 grams!! $1000
Sweden, Gustav VI Adolphus, Swedish Archaeological Society, 1973. Bronze, 2 parts, 50 mm. $225
The Nobel Prize in Medicine: Palade, Claude, de Duve, 1974. 39x39 mm silver. $150
International Women’s Year, 1975. Bronze, 3 parts (including a removable fetus! –thus a SIX-Sided medal), 49 mm. $349
Finnish Medical Society, 1975. Bronze, partially gilt, 2 parts, 80 mm. $295
International Year of the Child, 1979. Bronze, 2 parts, 50 mm. $195
Click here for a complete listing of our medals by the leading modern artists.
Click here for a complete listing of our personal medals.
For information on these medals, or any others in our stock, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org .