"All Sails Up."
New York: Con-Ker Fine Art, 1985. One of 250 pieces. A stunning Art Deco-style hand mirror designed by Erté and cast using the lost wax technique at the Joel Meisner & Co. Foundry. Erté, whose fashion images adorned the pages of Harper's Bazaar from 1932 to 1937, was one of the most prominent French illustrators of the Art Deco period. Although he is best known for his fashion illustrations and magazine cover designs, Erté also enjoyed designing and sculpting three-dimensional objects from an early age. Erté explains in his artist's statement: "Since my boyhood in fashion, theater and the decorative arts, I have designed three-dimensional pieces. As a medium of expression, I have always enjoyed sculpting as one of my favorite means of expression." This mirror fits perfectly within his stylish aesthetic: the back of the piece is graced with a glamorous woman dressed in the fashion of the 1930s, wearing draping strands of golden beads. Long earrings and an elegant coif surmounted by a large golden comb complete her ensemble, as she gazes out at a vignette of a sailing ship on aqua-blue seas. Golden clouds frame the ship, almost like a theatrical curtain, and the scene is topped with the phrase "Toutes Voiles Dehors" ("All Sails Up"). The mirror's face is round with elegantly beveled glass. Including the slender, tapered handle, the piece measures approximately thirteen inches in length by seven inches in width. Housed in a stately wood case lined with green satin and velvet, this fine example of Erté's decorative work is in very fine condition. (Item ID: 22980)