March 19, 2012

Last Chance Thrift Find

I must have gone past the marquee announcing the church rummage sale for Friday, March 16 and Saturday, March 17, a hundred times and every time I went past the sign I would read it and count the days until the sale. Of course, I planned to attend early on Friday and grab the goodies. Church rummage sales are my favorite kind of thrift sales.

Well, Friday came and went and so did half of Saturday before I remembered the sale. Off I went, with no expectations of finding anything that I would be interested in.

My heart sank as I entered the hall, long banquet tables were heaped with tangled clothing items that no one wanted, shoes out of style were strewn about with the matching shoe nowhere to be found. For one quick second, I thought about turning around and leaving without looking.

As I strolled past the banquet tables piled high with the unwanted out of date clothing, and mismatched shoes I came upon a card table that held a few books, and that's where I saw this large coffee table book with the most unusual title and tatter dust jacket.

The graphic and the raised sliver font ERTE piqued my curiosity, so I decided to take a closer look. I have the unusual habit, of starting from the back of books and magazines when I glance at pages, my eyes could not believe the beautiful images as I flipped through this book. 

I paid 25¢ for this coffee table book, the inside flap of the dust jacket has the price listed as $75.00, was printed 1991 in Italy.  This book contains 176 full color illustrations by Erte.

The second thing I did after sitting down for 20 minutes looking at all of the magnificent illustrations was to google Erte. 

Erte was a talented 20th century artist and designer who excelled in many different fields, fashion, jewelry, graphics arts, costume and set design for opera, theater and films.

Born in 1892 to a wealthy family in St. Petersburg, Russia was Romain de Tirtoff, who at the age of 18 changed his name to Erte. Erte created over 200 Harper Bazaar covers featuring his Art Deco style. This exceptionally talented artist/designer died in 1990 at the age of 97.

I look forward to reading and learning more about this talented man, Erte.

Here, are a few photos from the book 
"ERTE the Last Works  Graphics Sculpture."

The Balcony

Cosmetic Palette

Paris Boutique 
Rose Gown

notice how they are tethered to the mother's waist ribbon 

Onyx Sleeve

Ribbon Dress

I would love to have a shorter version of the bracelet titled Onyx sleeve, I'll have to check Etsy.

I am linking up:
Apron Thrift Girl, Thrift Share Monday
Me and My Shadow, Magpie Monday


  1. How beautiful & they are framable too!!What a lucky find!!
    Have a Great Day!!

  2. Oh wow! What an amazing find! Those illustrations are just incredible.
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  3. Wow! I love it... Sometimes it seems things seek out their owners eh.

  4. Wow, what a find - a gold mine of beautiful graphics. So good when you find a little treasure amongst piles of rubbish!

  5. What an amazing find!!! You're so lucky.

    I love Erte's work, I have a few prints up around the house. x

  6. One of my favorite things about finding art books in the wild is taking the time to learn about a new artist after. I wasn't familiar with Erte, but looks like he was an amazing artist. What a lucky find!
    Cheers ~ Lara

  7. I actually am lucky enough to own a signed Erte limited edition piece of art called "Moon Garden" that I purchased prior to his death. It is one of my very favorite pieces and although my style may change or my house, it always hangs on the wall. It is a treasure. And so is that book you found! Good for you for not leaving the church rummage sale!

  8. Thanks for sharing some of the Erte pages. Loved seeing them. Great find.

  9. Oooh, I LOVE Erte! I'm kind of an Art Deco fanatic. I can't believe you found this book for 25 cents! Great great score.

  10. What a wonderful book full of great artwork. Fabulous find!


  11. What a wonderful find. We have a charity book shop in our town that sells most of the books for 80p. I have found many beautiful books in there.

  12. what a score! i LOVE that first image. amazing.

  13. what a bargain! a very beautiful book :)

  14. You were well rewarded for your virtue of checking out the dregs of the sale. Very sweet find!

  15. What beautifully elegant pictures.I love the mother and children one.They definetly need to be framed and displayed.

  16. What a fantastic find! Came by way of Apron Thrift Girl so am new to your blog, but will be sure to come back!