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Tag Archives: Carlo painting

Autumn’s Under the Sea Nursery

 

Ever since Mel and I found out we’re having a baby girl, we have worked hard at getting the nursery in order. We decided to name her Autumn, but we didn’t want to use a predictable Autumn theme such as owls, leaves, foxes, etc.  We had an excess of Mel’s fifties ceramic wall fish and mermaids, and we couldn’t find a place for our mid-century Reglor fish lamps, so we decided to do an under the sea theme. This was not easy to carry out considering most sea themed nursery items are geared towards boys.

What would our baby nursery be if we didn’t add a Carlo of Hollywood watercolor trio? This trio offered a unique challenge because the two smaller Carlo paintings have chartreuse colored frames. This required me to introduce that color throughout the room to tie it all together.

We were more comfortable with using modern MCM style pieces in her room rather than vintage children’s furniture because we had concerns about safety and lead paint. We chose the Babyletto Bingo 3-in-1 convertible crib and storage combo. What drew us to this crib is the mid-century style and splash of sea-foam green accent. For seating, we needed something comfortable for the long nights ahead and we knew a wooden rocking chair wouldn’t cut it. Searching online, we came across this blush colored swivel rocking chair by Delta Children. We vintaged up the rocking chair by adding an original atomic barkcloth throw pillow that pulls colors from the room.

Believe it or not, the dressers are from Ikea. They are the Busunge style and come in either pink or white. When you purchase them, each dresser comes in two boxes. One box has the frame, and the other has the drawers. So, we got creative and mixed pink drawers with a white frame. We think it compliments the room nicely.

On top of the dressers we have our 1951 Reglor fish lamps. I restored them about five years ago and we absolutely love them. Vintage fish lamps are very hard to find. Continental Art Company made a fish lamp that we’re still looking for. I’ve linked it here.

Because we wanted to make the room as atomic as possible, we pulled in some vintage shadowboxes. The first shadowbox on the left has a similar shape to a Carlo of Hollywood frame. It’s a reversed forced perspective style. Inside the shadowbox are vintage ceramic mermaids and fish by Lefton, Bradley, Gilner & Relco. The bowtie shadowboxes have vintage fish and mermaids by Lefton, Josef Originals and Nameth Enterprises. The amoeba shaped shadowboxes contain vintage mermaids by Bradley. We filled in the open spaces above the figurines in each shadowbox with vintage ceramic bubbles. We used museum max to secure them in place so we didn’t have to nail into the shadowboxes.

Instead of just hanging Autumn’s vintage ceramic fish on a blank canvas, I decided to paint under the sea murals with mountain silhouettes as the backdrop. The first photo showcases vintage fish and mermaids by Deforest, Norecrest, and Freeman McFarlin. The vintage wall fish in the center photo are all by Freeman McFarlin. The vintage shell in the center photo is just marked Japan. The last photo has vintage fish by Deforest, Ceramicraft and a vintage shell marked Japan.

The vintage mermaids on the left are by Freeman McFarlin. The center school of fish are by Lefton. The last photo of the vintage seahorses are by Nameth.

All the above vintage ceramic fish are by Deforest.

The upper left photo showcases our favorite pink vintage wall fish made by Freeman McFarlin. The blue swordfish is also by Freeman McFarlin, and the two small green fish are by Ceramicraft. The vintage angel fish on the upper right are by Deforest. The last photo is a really large mural made up of many vintage ceramic fish by Freeman McFarlin, Deforest and Ceramicraft.

We’re really happy with how the room came together. Unfortunately, we don’t think that the photos do the murals justice. Here are some additional photos of the finished room.

This vintage pendant light was designed by Heiftez Rotaflex.

Milo and Kozmo have taken to Autumn’s new room. We find them sleeping on her bean bag all the time.

 

Sunday’s Best

Mel and I came across an ad on Craigslist that stated a gentelman had some items he wanted to sell. We drove up through the beautiful El Dorado Hills until we arrived at his homestead. We had the pleasure of meeting a man by the name of Tom. As we spoke he began to tell us that his wife had been an antique dealer for years. They had been into antiques since the 70’s. His wife passed away recently due to cancer and Mel and I could tell it was hard for him to go through their collection and sell it. It makes you realize that when you go to these estate sales that these were someones prized possessions. These are the things they cherished. I guess all I am saying is that as a dealer/collector sometimes we forget what this stuff meant to those who owned it before us and those left behind.

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These are the items we were fortunate enough to find at Tom’s place.

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As I am sure a lot of dealers out there know, stuff is getting harder and harder to find so it makes your day when you stumble across a collection of cool items.

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Most of these items will make it into the our shop, while others will be staying with us.

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Here are a couple of large Carlo of Hollywood watercolors we purchased. These will end up in our shop.

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Mel and I have been looking for one of these for a long time. This is a collapsable record/magazine holder. We wanted to start selling records and this will work great to display them.

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Here are a couple of cool looking danish lamps that are heading to the shop.

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We have a 1958 Wurlitzer 2200 jukebox and these speakers will be great companions for it.

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This John Hauser style hoop chair will make someone very happy. It’s going into the shop!

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I wish we had room in our home for this pink dream chair with frieze fabric. This chair is clean and will also be going into the shop.

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For me, this was the find of the day. We have a vintage bathroom that is the same color and this vintage dentist’s cabinet will be a great addition.

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Here are a pair of breathtaking Art Deco horse head lamps. They need to be cleaned up and I need to find some shades for them. These will be going in the shop.

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This was not a part of Tom’s items but we picked this up a few days ago from San Jose. This is the highly sought after Heywood Wakefield record cabinet (model: m395).

Well now comes the hard work of restoring these items as needed, but I wouldn’t have it another way!

Jungle Cat Carlo of Hollywood Pair They’re Grrrrreat!

Jungle Cat Carlo Paintings

Mel and I were contacted by Bobbie at At Home Modern regarding these fantastic Carlo of Hollywood watercolors she purchased from auction house in New Jersey. I had seen pictures of these online before but had never seen them in person. They are soo cool with the black background.

Jungle Cat Carlo

Unfortunately, these had some mild condition issues. It appears dust and some light mildew had accumulated on the surface of the art. This happens when the back dust cover is torn or missing or when the paintings are stored in a humid area. If you recall, we had a set of bullfighters that had mold that penetrated the paintings.  I had to do an extensive restoration of that pair. Luckily, the mold & dust on this set did not penetrate the art.

Jungle Cat Carlo

Jungle Cat Carlo

We were able to carefully remove the surface debris and they cleaned up great!

Jungle Cat Carlo

Jungle Cat Carlo

I refinished the frames of course.

Jungle Cat Carlo Paintings

These will look fantastic in our Tiki room.

Hepcat Tiki Room

Here is a sample of the Tiki Room so far. There is still a lot I want to do. So far so good.

Hepcat Tiki Room

Rare Underwater Carlo Of Hollywood

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Mel and I have been so busy as of late.  We had our store launch on Saturday and we shot down to Alameda on Sunday for a full day of shopping.  Once we arrived home I decided to hop on Craigslist to see what was on there and I came across this Carlo.

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We hopped back in the car and drove back to the Bay the same day.  We have been hunting for an underwater Carlo for the longest time.

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It appears to be a Hawaiian piece.  I believe the large black fish is a shark.

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We have a line on a set of smaller fish Carlo’s that we plan to get to flank this large one.  We are soo excited!

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Awesome Econolite Bunnell Silk Screen Score

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Mel and I picked this up recently from a gentleman who is trying to settle his mother’s estate.

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This appears to be the original frame!

This piece is a large size and is in great shape for its age.  It has some character to it, but nothing major.

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I have always been a fan of Bunnell and we have many of his works.  There is something about his work that always pleases me when I see it.

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I have only ever seen Carlo of Hollywood have an image like this.  Maybe Bunnell liked Carlo’s painting so much that he decided to make his own rendition.  I love both of their examples.

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Here is the elusive Carlo of Hollywood Jungle Cats fight scene.

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This is the makers sticker on the back of the Bunnell.  This piece needs new backing on it, but I can knock that out later.  This piece will be added to our other loved Bunnell’s.

A Closer Look

Hello all,

Now that we have our new Carlos home we are able to take better pictures of them. We are very happy with these and look forward to trying to find a place to put them all.

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This is the largest Carlo panther I have ever seen at 52 inches wide and 33.5 inches tall.

Mark and Ann purchased these from a Carlo collector in Fresno that was liquidating his collection. They really scored finding a collector who was willing to sell his whole collection. We are soo grateful they thought of us when they got these and gave us first shot at them! As Mark always says, “these are investment pieces”. At this point, I think it is more of an addiction!!! This puts us up to 92 Carlos! Mel and I are going to have to throw a party when we hit 100!

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This is another monster about the same size as the one above. The colors of this one are breathtaking and there is a lot of detail. I like the dragon detail on the big flower vase. Mel likes the little dog.

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The background makes this piece really stand out.

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Bengal Tiger……what else can I really add?

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The black background makes these just POP!!

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These seem to be flawless.

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These are going to flank the large panther and will look killer with the red frame against these acid green frames.

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So simple but soo cool.

Mel and I spent all last weekend getting all our art in place in the Tiki room. With these new additions it seems we have to start all over again. With wall real estate at a premium, it is getting more and more difficult to find a new home for the Carlos we come across. Now off to the Carlo gallery to update it with these.

Another Carlo Stash Raided

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This is an original tag that would have been on a Carlo of Hollywood piece. This is the rarest of the rare. Most of these tags were discarded. Mark is going to include this in our purchase.

Mark and Ann, the owners of Midway Antique Mall, called us today to tell us they got in 21 new Carlos!!! WHAT, 21!!! We almost swallowed our tongues. We immediately shot over to survey the collection. Mel and I picked out what we wanted but there are still pieces available for any of you collectors out there. Here are the ones we picked out (excuse the reflections).

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Don’t know what this picture reflects but it seems like something that relates to breaking the chains of bondage.

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This is an Asian man meditating while his tea steeps.

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Mel and I have some Thai dancers that will look fantastic with these. (Thai 1 & Thai 2)

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We have never seen these before. They seem to be Thai as well.

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These are small Carlos but are very cool. The frames are to die for. (sorry about the glare)

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This is a large Asian. The colors are FANTASTIC!!!

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Ok, Mel and I have seen a lot of cats by Carlo, but NEVER a Bengal tiger. This is super rare!

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This is a HUGE panther Carlo. The colors are fantastic and it is soo cool.

Count Carlo

cc

I was recently contacted by one of our readers named Robert. I was so excited about the information the email revealed about Carlo. I have asked him to please send me copies of the correspondence between both of them and any pictures he has of Carlo.

cn

Hi there,  

It’s with great interest that I read your newsletters and admire all your wonderful Carlo’s.  I started collecting Carlo in the mid 80’s and at the time had one great source from a woman living in Southern Cal. I live in Boston. Carlo’s can appear unexpectedly anywhere but there seems to more on the west coast. Somehow Carlo heard from another collector that I was collecting his work and he WROTE to me! You can just imagine when I opened the mailbox and saw his name on the return address. So over a short period of time he wrote me four times. At the time he was living in Manila, the Philippines and working as an artist along with some other creative adventures such as film making. He sent me an article written about him from July 8, 1987 titled  “Predictions by Count Carlo”   The guy was a character.  He claims that at the age of 28 he had a vision of his obituary published in a newspaper. I assume he passed away sometime in the 90’s but I can’t verify that.  The great thing about this article is that there are three photographs of him…an amiable looking balding man with a full grey beard.  One photograph has him sitting in front of one of his recent paintings – a 15 foot tall abstract painting.

He went by the name Count Carlo and I have three of his calling cards that he sent me. He didn’t consider any works signed “Carlo” to be his serious work except those painted for JC Penny. I think it’s difficult to figure what exactly was done by him since after moving to Italy and “proceeding to mass produce ‘original’ Carlos with the aid of over a dozens artists and semi-artists….hence their must be hundreds and thousands of paintings with my original signature.”  Another quote “My serious work I sign Count Alberto Carlo or just Albert Carlo but never Carlo, except of course what I painted for JC Penny”  

At the time I sent him photos of all the Carlo’s I had and he returned them with a sentence or two description written on the back of each. Back then he was looking for paintings that he did on velvet and was willing to pay for them. I had none and rarely see any. There was a pair recently on eBay of harlequins that sold for something ridiculous like 9.99.  I don’t know about you but most of the stuff listed on eBay these days by Carlo I personally do not care for. And the prices are terribly inflated. 

He sent me a painting unexpectedly titled “Hong Kong Beauty” which he requested $300 for but I sent it back. I didn’t like it at all!  I wanted to say to him…no offense but I prefer your stuff that was mass produced. I guess he might have been offended because I never heard from him again.

I’ll go through my letters again and see what other info I can send you. Although my collecting has gone in a different direction I still have a few on the walls. I absolutely love Carlos in the forced perspective frames and there’s nothing like them….whoever painted them!

Hope this bit of info helps a bit…..

Regards,
Robert

cb

If Robert can manage to find the original correspondence and photos I will post them on the site. I am soo excited at the possibility of adding a face to the name. This is like solving a mystery 60 something years in the making. It is soo important that we share this info so it isn’t lost to time. I will make sure to keep all you Carlo art lovers updated as soon as I hear anything.

Carlopalooza! (Major Carlo of Hollywood Score)

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We have not found a large stash like this for a long time! I couldn’t stop smiling for like 8 hours!

Mel and I went to Midway Antique Mall a week ago to initially stock our new booth and when we came through the doors we noticed a set of Carlo of Hollywood paintings that were new to the store. Mel and I were soo excited when we saw this set that we scanned the rest of the store and we found eight more Carlo’s that we did not have in our collection! We told Mark and Ann, the owners of Midway, that we wanted them. We picked them up today. Happy Day!!!

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It is hard to find a complete trio. This is our sixth set of trios!

This trio is very cool. The colors are still so vibrant and the imagery is timeless as usual. I love the Polynesian guy in the canoe! It always amazes me how Carlo did so much with his art when it is so simple. These will look great in the……….TIKI ROOM!

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I just love her outfit! The pink edges of the art make it pop!

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Not sure where these will go. They might look good in the Tiki room as well.

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Of course these will be in our Tiki room.

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I have wanted this set for a long time.

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What amazes me about all these Carlo’s is how vibrant the colors still are.

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Panthers are always cool! This one needs a little touch up on the black but it looks really cool as it is.This one does not have the forced perspective frame that all the others have.

Mel and I were just saying the other day that there has been a drought when it comes to new Carlo’s to buy. I guess this was like a torrential down pour of good luck! The good thing is that we might have a line on six more Carlo’s. Now the hard work begins, where can we fit 10 more into our 80+ Carlo collection. We are almost at a 100 Carlo’s!

Carlo of Hollywood Desert Trio

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Hello all!

Just a quick post showing the trio hung together. The glass in the large desert Carlo arrived broken so I replaced it with plexiglass. On a piece this large the weight of the frame & glass need to be a consideration. Plexiglass also offers 87% UV protection unlike regular glass which offers only 40% UV protection.

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This is our fourth Carlo trio set.

We have had these two for a while. Mel and I love the color of these frames!

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This is now hanging in our bedroom over our fireplace. We are soo happy with the way it turned out.

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