Thursday, November 13, 2014


A pair of Filipiniana paintings depicting Lapu-Lapu, the hero of Mactan and his wife, Bulakna--or so that's how the dealer described them to me. These mid-century 18 x 22" paintings, painted by artist Rodolfo Pasno, dates from 1957--and they were obtained online--in a facebook group, of all places. Pasno was a noted Mabini painter, active from the 50s thru the 70s, in a shop at the famed Pistang Pilipino.
They were sold in stretchers, with few chips and scratches. At some point, someone painted over the background, but that doesn't detract from the portraits that express so much of the character of the country's first hero and his voluptuous wife. I had them re-stretched, re-framed and cleaned, so now they're ready to hang happy I could sing! "In March 16, fifteen hundred and  hundred twenty one, when Philippines was discovered by Magellan..."

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

315. The Russian From U.N.C.L.E.: ILYA KURYAKIN SPY DOLL

One of my fave TV programs from the 60s boomer years was The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (United Network Command for Law and Enforcement) , broadcast on NBC from 1964-1968. It follows secret agents Napoleon Solo (Robert Vaughn)  and Russian Ilya Kuryakin) fighting its chief adversary, the agents of THRUSH  (Technological Hierarchy for the Removal of Undesirables and the Subjugation of Humanity). Solo and Kuryakin's popularity resulted in the creation of  11.5 in. vinyl "spy dolls" made in 1965 by Gilbert of Japan. In its perfect condition, Ilya would have come with a pistol, pocket insignia and a mechanical arm. Conceived originally conceived as a minor character, Kuryakin, became an indispensable part of the show, achieving co-star status with the show’s lead. McCallum’s blond good looks and the enigmatic persona he created for the character garnered him a huge following of female fans, leaving them weak-kneed and crying--Uncle!