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    Description

    Robert Watts (1923-1988)
    Stamp Machine and Stamps, from The American Supermarket, 1964
    Re-purposed US Postage Stamp machine with Safe Post, K.u.K. Feldpost and Jockpost stamps
    16 x 7-3/8 x 5 inches (40.6 x 18.7 x 12.7 cm)
    Ed. 1/3
    Signed, numbered, and titled in ink to the underside

    PROVENANCE:
    Private collection, North Carolina.

    NOTE:
    On October 6th, 1964, The American Supermarket opened at New York's Bianchini Gallery. It was a groundbreaking show featuring works by the Fluxus artist Bob Watts and many Pop artists including Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg and Tom Wesselman. Bob Watts was without a doubt one of the first artists to create fine art in the form of a postage stamp bridging the Fluxus and Pop Art movements.

    Michael Crane, the author of Correspondence Art: Source Book for the Network Of International Postal Art Activity, writes in an essay, Fluxpostings: Fluxus and the Mail Art Phenomenon, that, "The impact of Fluxus on Mail Art was not entirely coincidental. Fluxus members were spread around the earth. The mails became an important means to meet organizational needs. Most of the Fluxus artists initiated or carried on an activity paralleling Mail Art among themselves, friends and collaborators. The mails allowed these artists to exchange scores, notes, instructions, as well as graphic works and 'unobjects' for exhibitions, reproductions (e.g. multiples) or publications."

    The stamps contained in the machine are all in their original delivery sleeves. Stamps include K.U.K. Feldpost which John Held, Jr describes so eloquently as "The border of K.U.K Feldpost is based on an Austrian stamp design. The center of the stamp features the torso of a woman from just below the neck to her upper thighs. The border contains the numeral 4 in the bottom corners" and Yamflug/5 Post 5 stamps as well as Safe Post and Jockpost stamps.

    An identical stamp machine is housed in the MOMA collection, part of Gilbert and Lila Silverman Fluxus Collection Gift.


    Condition Report*: Heavy surface soil; mild scattered dents; moderate corrosion to the base; mild scuffs.
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2019
    20th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 504

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