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Rare Lighted Carlo of Hollywood Frames


As you can see these frames need some attention.


Hello all you Hepcats!

We are pleased to announce that we have acquired our first set of rare lighted Carlo frames. Since we have collected Carlo I think I have only seen three of these style frames. We stumbled across them while surfing the internet at Metro Modern. We reached out to them to see if they still had them, after a discussion we agreed on price and they sent them out. These frames were not in the best of shape and required the usual restoration and the lights needed to be replaced to prevent any damage to the art work. I have noticed that these lighted frames usually burn the art work because of the heat that the original lights generate. I replaced them with an under the counter light used in kitchens that did not generate heat from Lowes. Here is how they turned out:


I wired the lights in tandem that way I only have to use one cord to turn both on. I plan to install a switch later.

When these arrived they did not have glass in the frames. I am not sure but maybe the lighted frame Carlo’s didn’t come with glass. I shot of to Wholesale Art and Framing again to have Tim and staff help me get some glass cut.


As you can see the frames look cleaner. A good rule of thumb is that if you restore something and it is hard to tell a difference then you did it right.


Now for the moment we have all been waiting for, lets turn the lights on!


These look great a night. I  am happy with the finished product.


It looks great with our other Carlo’s!

Shirrell Graves

This was probably painted sometime in the 30's or 40's and the colors are still vibrant.

This was probably painted sometime in the 30’s or 40’s and the colors are still vibrant.

While we are on the subject of vintage airbrush art here is another piece Mel and I came across on this past Second Sunday. This is not a print but an original Shirrell Graves piece (a listed artist).

You can tell it is an original because the pencil signature reflects light.

You can tell it is an original because the pencil signature reflects light.

He was a painter of “commercial” pictures for hotels, restaurants etc. (I read somewhere that a few of his pieces were in the Brown Derby Restaurants) in a studio in San Francisco. Parmelee was his framer who had a studio close by. He worked primarily in air brush and each picture is an original. He died in San Francisco in 1954. The piece we just acquired had a broken piece of glass so we got it for a steal.


It has a plain white matte that has gold trim around the picture that I am not digging. I will be taking it to my guy Tim at Wholesale Art and Framing to replace the matte with something more appealing and to cut a new piece of glass. This is a large piece measuring 26 X 32 inches. Our friend Vic always says “where you going to put that”? She is right, we are running out of wall space but that just means it is time to get creative.  Here are some other really cool pieces he painted:

I am really lovin' this one!

I am really lovin’ this one!

Great colors on these two fellas.

Great colors on these two fellas.

Flamingos! Arrrrrggghhhhh!

Flamingos! Arrrrrggghhhhh!


I could imagine his works in fine hotels down in Southern California or someplace like Miami Florida. He used really nice colors and the images are not over complicated but they still are very nice.

He does really well capturing floral images.

He does really well capturing floral images.


While researching Mr.Graves I saw that this piece sold for over $1,200.

Really nice depiction of a woman amongst nature.

Really nice depiction of a woman among nature.

Another nice image.

Another nice image.

I love discovering artists that are new to me. It is amazing to learn about them and to see all the works they have produced. It is obvious to me now that airbrush art was a very hot style from the 30’s through 50’s. I hope you have enjoyed this sampling  of Shirrell Graves works. Keep your eyes peeled and pick one up next time you see one!

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