29 February, 2012
The title says it all, if you know what I mean. They are great for an entryway table, fireplace mantle, or really anywhere for that matter. This 19th century bust is made from terracotta in a white slip glaze depicting Alexander the Great. It has a rich and interesting history, with inspiration dating back to the 12th century, and is said to be modeled after the works of the great mezzo-majolica artist Luca Della Robbia. It stands impressively at two and a half feet tall making it a life-size replica of Alexander himself. What grabbed my attention was its massive size and the emotion captured in its face.
27 February, 2012
I love antique furniture with original needlepoint tapestry and seem to be coming across much of it lately on the internet. This piece, from the late 19th century, is in rather good condition considering its age. Over time, the fabric and intricate stitching on these pieces fades and deteriorates making them rare. The lower portion of this settee depicts some sort of animal having just conquered a meal and about to share with friends. What a lovely scene upon which to sit. I can picture a beautiful Parisian woman lounging on this settee in a grand chateau enjoying her day.
This show stopping bowl would make an amazing statement as a centerpiece on any table. Its beautifully cut crystal bowl is supported by a doré bronze frame and base in the Rococo style. No matter the setting, this piece demands attention.
25 February, 2012
This 18th century mechanical table has been attributed to the fine furniture maker Jean-Henri Riesener as commissioned by the Queen of France for her apartment in Versailles. Its top can be raised mechanically by means of a crank on its side which is extremely innovative for its age. It is said to have been requested by the Queen during times of confinement as she awaited the birth of her first child, Marie-Thérèse Charlotte. I can almost picture her sitting at this beautiful little table, ringing a tiny bell summoning someone to come and crank it up to a more pleasing height for her.
Images from The Metropolitan Museum of Art
23 February, 2012
I first saw this table some time ago and instantly thought it was one of the most alluring pieces of furniture I had ever seen. Something about it... its rich emerald color, its shape, its carvings, its bronze feet, it all really works for me. From the elegant Belle Epoque period, it glows a with rich patina that is appropriate for its age. I can only imagine the rooms it has been in during its life.
Images from Pia's Antique Gallery via Ruby Lane
Stumbling across some photos of furniture from the homes of the Queen of France, Marie Antoinette, I was reminded of how beautiful and lavishly opulent everything was for royalty in the 18th century.
|a table commissioned by the queen as a gift for a friend|
|a petite side chair reupholstered in a colorful floral|
|believed to be from a home of the queen, this chair was reupholstered in the style it would have been during the 18th century|
|wood carving and gilt could be found on almost anything from this era, it seems|
|a lavishly decorated fireplace mantle from the queens bedchamber at Versailles|
"One of at least three known self-portraits, Perry chose to portray herself in a formal black feather hat and red coat (as if preparing to go out on a Boston winter's day) set against a sullen background, serving to accentuate her right cheek. The overall melancholy tone of the portrait would seem to be a contradiction to most of her body of work, which mainly consists of brighter, more colorful scenes. A later self-portrait (1897) echoes the color, pose and mood of this painting."
"Considered ahead of her time in emulating the French Impressionist painters, Perry only started her formal art training in the late 1880's at age 36, enrolling at Cowles School in Boston and later at the Académie Julian and Académie Colarossi in Paris with Alfred Stevens. In 1889 she sought out Claude Monet, who became a friend and mentor. During the summers of ten years she was a neighbor to Monet in the Normandy village of Giverny, coming to know both him and Camille Pissarro well."
Image and description from Pia's Antique Gallery via Ruby Lane
This armchair is part of a set that consisted of a daybed, four armchairs, a bergère, a footstool, and a fire screen made for Marie Antoinette's cabinet de toilette (dressing room) at the Château of Saint Cloud in 1788. This set was originally upholstered with material that was embroidered by the queen herself. The frame of the bergère is finely carved with acanthus and ivy leaves, rosettes, and—on the arm supports—Egyptian term figures. The back rail is crowned by a cartouche with the initials of Marie Antoinette.
Images and description from The Metropolitan Museum of Art