Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Last Laugh

If I'd been told a decade ago that I'd be back in school, enjoying an extended post-secondary education, I never would've believed it. But, as it stands, I somehow muddled through unscathed and, as proof, my MLIS diploma arrived yesterday. At least this one's succeeded in landing me a great job, unlike my BA ...but I digress. In honor of this momentous occasion, a deluge of gifts started pouring in almost immediately.

My buddy Mike knows I love smut books, and I especially love 'em when they're wrapped in covers illustrated by Gene Bilbrew. Here are two minty favorites. Thanks again, Mike! Valery delivered the Napoleon (as a pre-graduation gift) and I gifted the psychedelic terrorist to myself as a reward for a job well done! 

Mike also came through with this recent Lee Hazlewood collection and, again, I am extremely grateful—for both an awesome record, and the fact that I didn't have to endure something as embarrassing as Record Store Day. Australia's adoptive son, Damo, also supplied some tunes via an original copy of the Easybeats' classic Volume 3 LP. Thanks, Damian!

Damian further commemorated my passing into adulthood by providing me with an original Laffun Head novelty giftthe same monstrosity responsible for Daniel Clowes' legendary Laffin' Spittin' Man. I'd stumbled across several of these nasty buggers over the years, but there was always something off about 'em—like they were either clowns or resembled Slavic old ladies. However, this'un's the real deal, sprung straight off of the page and manifested in a green corduroy cap (of course!).
The resemblance is chilling!

No less chilling: the thought of this object warranting a televised commercial!

Lastly, vikings are typically Valery's collecting area, but Jacob Jensen's Vikings of Denmark became a painful, recurring reminder after I stupidly let a cheap set slip through my fingers a few years ago. Consequently, it meant a great deal when Valery surprised me with this magnificent trio—which are in perfect shape, right down to their original box! Thank you so much, you truly are the best!

It's so nice to finally be able to breathe a sigh of relief while being reminded of those who weathered the storm alongside me: my friends, family and, most of all, my incredible wife.

Friday, June 15, 2012

San Francisco's Doomed

Our apologies for the silence, folks, but we spent last week getting re-acclimated to life in Atlanta after an all-too-brief stay in the bay area the preceding week. We'd been wanting to visit San Francisco for the past few years, and we finally found the time to harass our best friend Damo, hit the Alameda Flea Market, shop at Kayo Books and explore the Eichler homes in Sequoyah Hills. Our trip also coincidentally lined up with the Daniel Clowes exhibit that's currently underway at the Oakland Museum of California. As has become the custom here at GG&S, please enjoy the snapshots from our trek, followed by a more detailed investigation of the junk we brought back home. Enjoy!

Despite the ample sightseeing, we also found time to drum up some relatively insane scores while we were out and about in San Francisco, Alameda, Berkeley and Oakland.

We were anticipating some outrageously high prices at vintage shops in the city, but we were pleasantly surprised to find this enormous inflatable pillow at Modern Past for cheap, while we were headed over to meet our friends Sam and Helene for dinner. We also stopped in to see the shop's enormous Terradome (featured above) in person!

Our visit to Japantown the following day introduced us to the ceramic planters of local artist Thomas Arakawa (and the incredible Utsuwa Floral Design shop). Valery snipped some succulents while wandering the streets of San Francisco and smuggled them aboard our flight back (so she could use her new planter ASAP). Unfortunately, her new plants don't seem to be adapting to their new climate very well! We couldn't believe our eyes when we found this brass snail ashtray by Maurice Ascalon staring at us from inside a shop's curio cabinetit's a rare piece, and the asking price was a fraction of what they typically sell for, so we didn't hesitate to pick it up! 

Kayo Books did not fail to disappoint, and I succeeded in scratching more than a few Eric Stanton illustrated books off my wantlist. When in San Francisco, make sure to visit Kayo—and thanks again for the hospitality, Ron! The next day, we headed out to the Alameda Flea Market and an unassuming USPS container yielded 50+ more books at $2 a pop. Many thanks to Damian for spotting the binit was shoved beneath a table and I would've undoubtedly ended up ignoring it otherwise. A hirsute female beatnik by Kreiss (also picked up at the swap) and a few other recent book scores round out this photo!

We found this 18 inch mid-century modernist metal/string sculpture early on in our eight hour long Alameda excursion, but the initial asking price was more than we wanted to spend. Fortunately, Damian came to the rescue (again) and wore the seller down to a much more reasonable figure. We have no information as to who produced it, but Peter Pepper and Howard Miller are two possibilities—and we know two other collectors with examples of this piece in slightly different configurations. We would really love to know more, so please share if you have any additional info! 

Another 60s Danish spice rack from Digsmed, this is the jumbo example, and further thanks to Damian for picking this up for us while we were occupied elsewhere. The egg cups produced by Laurids Lonborg were another welcome teak surprise!

Further scores include an enameled lighter/ashtray set, a vintage Glasbake baking dish, a teak bird clip, a Del Rey platter by Poppytrail, a Contempri Eclipse bowl designed by Paul McCob and a Hornsea jar. 

A Panton Geometri inspired rug for $30? Yes, please!

More Mod hangers for Valery's ever-expanding collection. These are the Girlies from 1967.

A 13 inch glass tray by Fred Press. Yoink!

We're cheating a littleDamian scored the nesting cannisters, Ramones 8track and Japanese bank for us the last time he went to the flea market. However, we did find the Panasonic clock and the space age desk organizer this time out.

Lastly, Damian picked this up from an eBay seller we purchased it from a year or so ago, and has been storing it for us until we could ship it to ourselves (and avoid the ridiculous charge we were quoted). Mission accomplished! We can't wait to get this vintage Peter Pepper Product set up in the office! Damo rules!

Many thanks to Damian, Sam, Helene, MG, Graham and Heidi for making our trip so memorable. Whew!