Jeweled Music Box Carousel Egg – the star attraction of the current Gemology Show at San Diego’s Natural History Museum
Phil Roberts along with creator partners Jim Grahl, Christian Eric recently gave a lecture & private showing to the Museum esteemed list of guests & partners to celebrate the star pieces of the show – The Balboa Park Carousel Egg. Phil is co-designer with jeweler Jim Grahl & world renown music box expert restorer Christian Eric. Phil’s work is featured in all the sculptural pieces on the Eggs as well as all of the miniature paintings on the carousel animals & interior painted panels.
The Carousel Egg is an exact reproduction of the actual Carousel in Balboa Park, one of the last remaining original American carousels still in operation. There are unconfirmed reports of the value of these Jeweled Eggs from Sotheby’s Fine Art Auctioneers of New York, but the Gemology Institute of American Museum had insured the Eggs in their show of last year for a mere 3.5 million dollars. There is current talk of the Natural History Museums interest in purchasing the eggs for their permanent collection. Of course these fine art pieces are priceless considering its main creators are only 3 artisans from Orange County California, with only 1 or 2 known art groups in the world making anything remotely similar.
A bit of visual irony, hanging on the outside wall of the Natural History Museum is a 30 ft banner of Phil’s movie poster for The Ultimate Wave Tahiti 3D movie featuring Kelly Slater during the current showing of the Eggs, thus giving Phil the largest piece of artwork as well as the smallest art masterpiece on display at the San Diego Museum.
Reminiscent of decorative eggs by Peter Carl Fabergé, but executed on a grander scale, the objet d’art weighs about 80 pounds and contains more than 6,000 parts consisting of detailed paintings, hand wax carved carousel animals, platinum, jewels and gold detailing. The egg itself is made of spun sterling silver and 22K gold that was engine-turned and then enameled using a proprietary process. Thousands of precious stones are set into the trappings of the carousel and animals. The 144 panels just under the canopy are hand oil-painted by Phil and each is about the size of a postage stamp.
The African Serengeti frieze, sculpted by Phil, above the canopy is a 22K gold lost-wax casting, and the band of stones just below it contains full-cut, pavé-set diamonds in platinum. Phil’s other carvings include the escutcheons covering the keyholes for winding the music box are lion’s-head badges with a row of diamonds circling the surrounding oval frame. It also features bird’s-eye maple, brass, bronze, carbon steel, diamond, lead crystal, platinum, stainless steel, sterling silver and various enamels.
Future plans for the Eggs are to continue on a world wide exhibition tour in top cities like Washington D.C., New York & Paris. These Eggs are a unique revival of a lost art & musical engineered craftsmanship.
Phil already has a book full of designs for similar musical Eggs to build before his eyes give out at some point.
Golden Surfboard Trophy for 2010 Billabong – Pipeline Masters Pro Surfing Event North Shore Oahu Hawaii Dec 8-20
Pipeline Masters is without a doubt the most prestigious Surfing Event in the world making the trophy the most coveted prize possession for every world professional surfer. For the last three years Phil has been producing these special one of a kind surfboards, along with bronze sculpture trophy, in collaboration with Surfer/Shaper Gerry Lopez and renown surf photographer Jeff Divine. Surfboards shaped by legendary Gerry Lopez are already expensive collectors items for the wealthiest of surf aficionado’s. The iconic photo image of Gerry’s epic style of surfing is from esteemed photographer Jeff Divine, photo editor of Surfers Journal. The photo image is recreated by World Famous Surf Artist Phil Roberts, renown for his painting series of the ’07-’08 Billabong Pro event posters as well as celebrity portraits & Hollywood movie posters. All three brilliant talents came together for one special art board, shown by the signatures on the deck.
Phil free-hand airbrushed on the foam deck the 70’s photo of Gerry at pipe, followed by detailing Gerry’s portrait in oil painting on a sanded hot coat. To finish, Phil hand laid wafer thin tiles of gold leaf foil over the entire bottom side and rails of the board making it the crown jewel of surfing.
Phil has recently received more museum status credentials for his jeweled egg creations featured in an exhibition at the prestigious GIA museum (alongside Tiffany & Cartier). These priceless jeweled masterpieces are now the featured attraction in a world gemstone show at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum of San Diego.
One can only begin to fathom what the one of a kind Pipeline Masters surfboard is valued at. To add to that, you would have to enter the surfing event as a wild card (if you are not a seated pro) surf 12-20ft pipeline and beat Kelly Slater to have that board in your trophy room. The board is simply priceless and may likely be the most valuable surfboard in modern times. It’ll take a legend to win a legend.