Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Sunday, February 21, 2010
He had several shops where he made his wonderous masterpieces many were tromp l'oeils. Fornasetti's work was enhanced by his working relationship with Gio Ponti. He made wall paper, china, furniture, obelisk, mirrors etc.. His subjects included celestial beings, buildings and meaningful objects such as keys, watches, clocks. His furniture was often hidden behind a city scape or faux malachite. Some pieces looked like bookcases loaded with faux books and shelves. He let his imagination go wild and created some of the most magical pieces imaginable. To learn more about Fornasetti I can recommend the book, "Fornasetti, Conversation with Philippe Stark", by Brigitte Fitoussi.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Then we found a Virginia Metal Crafter's key nut bowl that we had never seen before, great style similar to something Fornasetti would have made.
One our most unusual finds was a silver plated Italian wine bottle opener shaped like a man, not the modern ones produced today.
It was marked sommelier and engraved made in italy on the interior.
Lewis found a wonderful etruscian style coffee table custom made by Minton Spidell. Minton Spidell is known for their high quality pieces and their custom finishes. This table however was used outdoors and gained a super great crackled almost rusty eggshell finish. Nature does the nicest aging something man can not come even close to accomplishing
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Paul Frankl was one of the several Europeans who came to America and helped us forge a new purely American style. When he came to the States he landed in New York City in the early teens. He was surprised to find that there was no trace of the modern trends that were forming all over Europe. He set about to form a truly American modern style. He was pleased to see the skyscrapers that were being built in the twenties and some of his first furniture designs were designed after these. He designed skyscraper bookcases, chairs, vanities, and even a sky scrapper daybed. He also designed chairs he called speed.
He moved across the U.S. to California and developed a beautiful line of modern Rattan pieces that have become iconic. He truly was one of the forerunners of the new American Modern design.The more I read the more fascinating the journey of modern design becomes.
Monday, February 15, 2010
Recently we have acquired right many of Dorothy Draper designed pieces. When I looked at her pieces and where she worked who knew that a lady of my grandmother's generation could accomplish so much in a time when ladies stayed home and kept house. Sure ladies in the twenties and thirties worked, but usually they had to work. They were our maiden aunts or they had the misfortune of losing their husbands. Most women of that period did not work. Dorothy Draper not only worked , she flourished. She was married to a doctor in fact he was President Roosevelt's personal doctor after he contracted polio. Coming from a wealthy family she grew up with Eleanor Roosevelt. It was perhaps because of her social connections that she began to achieve something that many other women of her era were unable to do. One connection led to another. The Homestead Hotel in West Virginia is perhaps one of the most noted places she decorated. We have a lot of pieces from the Homestead Hotel. We have been partially "Draperized" the term that other decorators of the era used when discussing her design work. Her work is also referred to as Modern-Baroque. The book "In The Pink" about Dorothy Draper by Carlton Varney reintroduced Draper to decorating and her work has influenced modern designers such as Kelley Wearstler.
Friday, February 12, 2010
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Monday, February 8, 2010
One of my favorite periods is Art Deco.
Art Deco was a period of art, architecture, design, furniture and other art forms created from about 1925 through the 1940's. The furniture of this period was influenced greatly by the Biedermeier furniture of the mid 19th century which originated in Germany. Biedermeier furniture was based on utilitarian principles producing truth through design.Local woods were used making simple but elegant pieces. Furniture of the deco period also represented truth through clean, simple, and refined designs. Art deco was a fusion of Biedermeier, Futurism, Cubism,and Constructivism. It had no philosophical roots, art deco was pure decorative and utilitarian.
Art Deco furniture's classic clean design makes it easy to use with other classic design periods.
Sunday, February 7, 2010
Saturday, February 6, 2010
When most people think kitsch they think of cheaply made items in bad taste, but there's a thin line that seperates the good from the bad. This line is dictated by the quality of construction, the ideas behind the design and sometimes a nod to pieces that evoke memories from childhood, or flights of fancy. I personally love walking this line. There must be a big demand for such items as the prices can be driven astronomical proportions. Take for instance Jeff Koons Puppy vase. When they first came out I almost bought one instead of buying a vespa(which i never used). Oh the mistakes I've made. I think the vase was around 1500 bucks, and I was debating buying it. In 2008 Gagosian Gallery reissued(3,000 more introduced to the market) of the vase for 7,500 dollars. The Blogger Katiedid has a super blog posting on the Jeff Koons Puppy vase and she has the same regret for not getting one when they were cheaper.
Nymphenburg Porcelain showing up in magazines and on blogs everywhere. I especially like the trophy mounts, rhinos, and the skull. However as always I wonder about justifying the cost to myself, maybe I'll be able to pick a few up on the secondary market.
The vintage Arthur Court pieces have seemed to gain recent appeal also, the larger scaled pieces and champagne coolers in the shapes of different animals seem to be always hip. I tend to like the standing rabbit one the best as it's reminescent of Jeff Koon's balloon rabbit sculpture. We have the following one in our shop, and we usually have other Arthur Court pieces available.
Friday, February 5, 2010
In 1920's Stephane Boudin joined the firm. He acted as the designer for Maison Jansen to the Kennedy White House. He redid the Blue Room and the Red Room in traditional American style. Jansen's style was usually French influenced. They were known for their reproductions of classical french pieces. Maison Jansen started out selling antiques and then started producing their own designs based on the classics. Hey, that's what Robsjohn Gibbings did too! We have a beautiful daybed by Maison Jansen which is pictured below. The daybed is made of nickle plated steel and bronze, which was contracted out to an Italian craftsman to produce from Jansen's designs.We sold a great piece from the 1940's by Jansen. This had a piano black lacquer finish and the interior of the very large cabinet was salmon lacquer the real give away confirming it to truly be Maison Jansen was the huge brass lion head pulls, and concentric circle pulls used repeatedly in their designs.
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings was trained as an architect. He designed interiors of Ocean liners. He acted as a salesman at one time for an Antique dealer, who sold Jacobean and Elizabethian furniture. No wonder he liked cleaner lines. In the 30's and 40's he was the most important decorator in America. He wrote books most notibly "Goodbye Mr. Chippendale", a spoof on modern decorating. He designed 200 pieces of furniture for the famous Casa Encantata, these tend to be the majority of his most expensive pieces. In some of his pieces he used restrained use of greco-roman influence along with his clean modern lines.
We have a preproduction lamp listed on our 1stDibs web page. lewistrimble.1stDibs.com. Did you know that Robsjohn Gibbings designed furniture for Widdicomb and some John Stuart Furniture. Also check out other pieces of his furniture with us and other 1stdibs dealers. Now you will have a good working knowledge of what his furniture looks like.
I've always loved mixing it up. We have 18th century pieces mixed with Deco and Robsjohn-Gibbings. Throw in a pair of good murano lamps and some extra large natural shells, that's what style is all about. What really bothers me is a room that is matchy matchy. It takes guts, but mix it up a bit, and wow what a difference a little imagination makes. When you walk into our shop you will find a wide range of wonderful things. I am lucky to be surrounded by so much great stuff. Who will I look up next? Maison Jansen! We have a few of his pieces. I heard that he designed for the Kennedy White House. What else will I find out?
Leigh Lewis Trimble:I'm the Mom and I'm in business with my son. Living in Virginia, I thought antiques were the pieces that you found in Williamsburg. We started out hunting 18th century pieces. I need to be in business with one of my sons, because I had polio as a child. I'm currently confined to a wheel chair and could not manage this alone. We travel up and down the east coast and across the states in search for hidden treasure. We hope to share our passion for design.
My youngest son was very resistant as a teen and college student to antique shopping with his older brother Chris and his Mom. It wasn't until he went to one of the Brimfield antique shows and purchased a piece of pottery. My son was a great fan of Jasper Johns who included outlines of George Ohr's pottery in some of his paintings. After some research he realized that the piece he purchased was a George Ohr. This marked a new found interest in the hunt for wonderful things.
When I thought about modern furniture. I thought danish modern, kidney shaped tables and plastic. I was completely unaware of what really high end design from the 40's, 50's, and 60's was all about. Remember I'm from Virginia. We were steeped in traditional furniture etc. It took Lewis introducing me to some of the classics of 20th Century designs. The quality of design, the purity of the line and form, the imagination in the use of the materials was enough to convince me that these pieces equaled if not surpassed some of the revered 18th century pieces. I have found that good modern design draws it's influence from the class pieces. These pieces stand well on their own and mix well with older pieces. A whole new world of design opened up before me. I was hooked.