Saturday, July 12, 2008

Black Stuff

No, not that black stuff! Nor is this about race issues.

At home and away we enjoy stopping off at junk and antique stores, he to search for old photographs, me to nose around everything - I'm just naturally curious. It's amazing what can be found in these treasure troves. The merchandise is certainly different from what's on offer at the usual mall stores, which is exactly the same whatever the state or city. That's their main charm for me - something different to explore, and often little whiffs of nostalgia: "Ooooh! - My grandma had one just like that, back in Yorkshire!"

Recently I've felt drawn to black ceramics and sculptures, and have watched for these on our junk store visits. Maybe it's natal Pluto (dark things) in my astrological first house, and Sun in 8th : a housey mutual reception. 8th house belongs to Pluto, 1st house belongs to the Sun and self, and they are in each other's house or domain. Pluto and its zodiac sign, Scorpio (where my natal Mars resides) both connect to the colour black. Transiting Pluto just now is forming an almost 150 degree angle (quincunx) to Pluto in my natal chart - an itch that needs scratching.

A recent junk/antique store acquisition pictured below. I spotted her on a very high shelf, coated with grime, and bargained for her. My "Black Magic Woman". It's signed "Morfy" and marked on the back of the base "Austin Productions Inc. 1972 (c)"
It's very heavy.

And one I bought a while ago, no marks on this one - it's probably just a fairly run-of-the-mill factory produced large ceramic, but eye-catchingly unusual.

Morfy, Austin Productions inc,


SEE ALSO THIS POST (Oct. 2012) and comments there.


Wisewebwoman said...

I wonder was the first one for a film or TV drama, T?
it is lovely.
The second one, looking at it, I want to climb it and dive off the top in a graceful arc (ha!)
Good scores!
I, too, am a NUT for antique shops, yard sales, Goodwill, Sally Anne, etc.

R J Adams said...

You keep the ceramics; I'll settle for the Guinness. ;-)

Twilight said...

I don't know what its original purpose was. The store owner told me it used to belong to his wife, and she used to decorate it with a hat, and sunglasses and hang necklaces from its wrist.

He said "I always thought it looked silly" - I agreed and promised never to impose such an indignity on it again. :-)

Twilight said...

RJ :- Cheers!

I used to like an ice cold one myself. :-)

Michelle said...

pretty! :-)

I like glass myself - smooth, clear, frosted, bubbly, coloured or not.

Hey, that's great news about the citizenship!!! CONGRATULATIONS! :-)

Twilight said...

Thank you Michelle!

Blani G said...

I have the same statue "My Black Magic Women" do you know anything about the artist? It is my favorite piece!

Twilight said...

Blani G ~~~ Hello! No, I know nothing at all about the artist. His/her name is engraved on the side of the base (I'm away from home at present so can't tell you what it is!) I bought mine in an antique shop in Clinton, Oklahoma. The store owner said it had been his wife's. She used to put hats and necklaces on it!!! That's all I know. My husband's daughter lives in Austin TX and she thinks it might be by an Austin artist, as she has seen similar pieces there.
:-) I love it. In the store it was on a high shelf and covered with grime. It is well looked after now.

Thanks for your comment - it's nice to know someone else loves it too!

CharlieG said...

I have the SAME one armed lady with Austin Productions (spelled wrong) 1972 on back of base and Morphy signed on top of base!
Have you found out anything about it?
Please let me know if you do;
Thank you!
PS - NEVER thought I'd see another one!

Twilight said...

CharlieG ~~ Hi there!

Well I never!! Another one!

I haven't yet found anything more. I just now Googled the name and place but nothing of use emerges.

One of these days the artist might spot the photograph and contact us.
If so, or if I find anything more about it, I'll contact you.

I'd been wondering whether these might have been produced to sell to jewelry/fashion stores and boutiques as display items.


WLP_DOG_WLP said...

I also Have One of the Black Magic Woman as well and i have been looking on the net for hours on any info i can find out about it. But so far i have not come up with anything on her.

Twilight said...

WLP_DOG_WLP ~~ Hi there!

Thanks for letting me know there's yet another BMW out there. :-)

No further information has come to light so far - 4 years on.

Maybe I'll "bring it to the top of the pile" next week - do another post mentioning it - to see whether there might be a new (since 2008) reader with some info.

TED said...

I also have the one armed black lady with morfy on the top right side of the base. I was told it was made by a artist in Pittsburg pa. It was in the movie Madaline with Danny Diveto when he is saying I buy you all these beautiful things. the black lady is on a table in the back.

Twilight said...

TED ~~ Wow! Thanks so much for letting us know this. Interesting! Now I have to find a DVD or VHS tape of the movie :-)

Twilight said...

TED ~~ I've looked around Amazon's DVDs for Madeline, but Danny DeVito isn't in that one, he is in Matilda though - some DVDs have the 2 films packaged together.
I'll try a used copy of Matilda, will report back in due course. ;-)

Twilight said...

TED ~~~ I've now watched a DVD of Matilda and found and captured the one frame where the sculpture appears. It's not a close-up but still recognisable.

I'm going to prepare a post for this Friday (19 Oct) with an image of the screen capture and a re-airing of the photo of my sculpture and detail of your comment.

I'm wondering whether anyone who has commented here in the past and still watches this thread is active on Facebook (I'm not). If so an enquiry there might bring further information to light. Just a thought.

Thank you once again for pointing me in the direction of the movie. :-)

Shelly Houghtelling said...

I too have this wonderful sculpture. I have it on display in my Foyer she greets everyone as they enter my home. I use to have displayed in the center of my thong table at my lingerie store. Her finger at times would hold a sales sign ribbon draped over her finger. Halloween she wore nice hats and I still have her. I was fortunate enough to purchase her at a local estate aucton about 20 yrs ago. She and I have been though alot running a lingerie store and now back home and retired. Mine is signed Morey 1972 on the back

Twilight said...

Shelley Houghtelling~ Hi there!
Thanks for commenting - I'm always thrilled to hear of yet another "Black Magic Woman". :-)

I suspect that the sculptor might have had in mind for her the kind of use you describe - displaying items in a store window or inside the store. She, along with us, is now enjoying a happy retirement, she as home decor !

Bernadette Caullay said...

Hello there,
I came across your post while searching for this sculpture for my sister...she has been broken hearted since hers was knocked over and broke and I have been trying to find it for her ever since. Any chance you would be willing to sell her? Or anyone else out there that posted willing to sell? I can be reached at
I would be forever grateful...thank you

Twilight said...

Bernadette Caullay ~ Hi there!

Oh my! While I would not be averse to selling my sculpture, it would be very difficult, even impossible to send it without risk of it breaking. We're in Oklahoma. Maybe someone else on this thread will respond, and be living near to where you are - if they keep an eye on this page that is - it's an old thread as you'll no doubt have noticed, with comments popping up at intervals over the years.

Some time ago - maybe 18 months or so - I looked online to see whether there were any similar sculptures on sale, just out of interest. I found a couple of similar ones - E-bay had one and an auction room had one exactly the same.
(I Googled "Austin Productions 1972")

I've just looked at ebay website quickly , but nothing there at present.

Wherever you found one though, transportation would be the big problem, unless you could collect- even then it'd be risky - the extended arm of the sculpture and the rather odd uneven shape of it would need extremely careful packing and transportation.

Let's see whether anyone else responds.