11 April, 2012
Here we have an absolutely stunning dessert set in the English rococo style. This set, complete with eight plates and 4 platters or compotes, is not marked but believed to be the work of the famous 19th century English porcelain company Coalport. The gilding on these pieces is incredible for its age, almost entirely intact on every piece after 150 years. Each plate is decorated with different delicious looking fruits in rich and vibrant colors. The scalloped and pierced rim is finished with turquoise blue enamel and gilt beading detail. The stands, raised at two different heights, make a useful addition for a dessert display. The design of these pieces is so beautiful and true to the rococo style. Because of its pristine condition, it looks to me like someone purchased this set in 1840 and virtually never used it. The bright and almost fluorescent colors used in the fruits are what really caught my eye.
08 April, 2012
In honor of Easter, I thought I would make a post about a beautiful French opaline egg casket. I see these all the time on the internet, however this one caught my eye as something special. These items were quite popular during the 18th century and on into the 19th century and could be found in luxury boutique shops all throughout France. This example, in an almost luminescent blue, features the egg laying horizontally amongst a bed of ormolu vines and leaves. These charming little caskets would make a great centerpiece or addition to ones Easter or spring display.
05 April, 2012
I love still life paintings, and whether they were painted three hundred years ago or thirty minutes ago, there is always some sort of fascination. This still life painting by Georgius Jacobus Van Os from sometime during the 19th century is currently on display at the Minneapolis Institute of Art and is one of the pieces I always make sure to see on a visit. Born in The Hague to a family of artists, Van Os was a painter who specialized in in floral still life. Unlike many other Dutch floral painters of his time, Van on chose to paint flowers directly from nature in their appropriate season as opposed to image referral. The rich bold colors in this piece are so beautiful, it feels like this garden pot has just returned from being filled with flowers picked on a dewy morning in the 19th Century Dutch countryside.
Image from the Minneapolis Institute of Arts
03 April, 2012
I work for a retail store that sells garden pots and accessories. It seems like each week, there is something new that comes in for ones garden that I have never seen before. This week, the newly discovered item was a "toad house," a place for toads that share your property to go and create a habitat for themselves. This next piece tops the toad house in an immeasurable way. Created in the late 19th century, this German made Jardiniere and pedestal stand would make a showstopping piece for any garden. Carved with deep relief depicting leaves, figural heads, vines and shields, the sheer size of this piece really gives it an outstanding presence. The pedestal stand and top piece was crafted sometime between 1870-1880 by the German firm Merkelbach & Wick and is finished in a traditional blue and white salt glaze. Works in this style date back to the 15th century where garden architecture was just as popular as it is today, if not more. I can imagine this piece dripping with vines and flowers; what an amazing statement this piece would make.
01 April, 2012
Something about this candelabra pair caught my eye and left me not choice but to add it to The Informal Jaw. I would normally picture something like this hanging from the ceiling or mounted onto the wall, but not as table-top light fixture. Made in the early 20th century, this gorgeous pair of cut glass electric two light candelabras would make a wonderful addition to your buffet or side table. The quality of the cut glass crystals on these candelabras is superb. They almost look as though they are perfectly aligned droplets of water. Fresh and crisp would be two words I use to describe this pair, just imagine how the light would reflect around the room once they are illuminated.
This next item is a traditional teapot in shape, but far from traditional in terms of medium. Made from rock crystal and gold, this early 18th century work of art is truly something beautiful. The pot itself is Indian, and was produced by meticulously chiseling out its core. The precision involved in making this piece by hand is astonishing. The gold mounts depicting flying dragons are German made and make a perfect compliment in my opinion; silver mounts would not have had the same impact. I love traditional things made from not so traditional materials, and this piece is an outstanding example of this.
Image from the Metropolitan Museum of Art