Friday, October 18, 2013

More Great things at 214 Modern Vintage

214 Modern Vintage is the rocking new stop the must see at this fall's Furniture Mart in High Point.  I have been Blogging about Lewis Trimble and setting up our booth at 214, but now I want to show you some of the things that the other dealers have brought to the showroom.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Lewis at 214 Modern Vintage High Point Furniture Mart

Sofa Abstract oil painting  with green Murano glass Obelisks
After many problems Lewis finally made down to the show room at  214 Modern Vintage, High Point Fall Furniture Mart.

Lewis working on set up

After taking his first load down, he was way laid by a constant week of nothing but rain.  After waiting out the rain he was finally able to pack up carefully the second load going down to High Point.  Last night he worked late getting ready.  This was a new experience for us.  What to take how much can we get into a van and how much to fill our space.  So many things to consider.  The show opened today.  The whole group was ready and excited with the days prospects. 

Wonderful sculptured Andirons by Sculptor Curtis Norton

Fabulous Murano floor lamp

Here is an over view of part of our space with Orange Murano Chandelier

Abstract Beach Painting by Turner

Abstract Painting by Lewis Trimble

Fontana Arte Mirror and custom floor lamp with Murano shades by Curtis Norton

Another view of our space with corner of Probber sofa
I will continue to Blog about the show through out the week long show.....Check for more picture of the spaces at 214 Modern Vintage.  If you are in the area please stop by and visit all the great modern vintage dealers there.

Monday, September 23, 2013

214 MODERN VINTAGE - New at High Point Furniture Mart

We are so excited.  For the first time we are expanding into a new venue.  We have in the last 4 1/2 years managed to fill to the overflow point our 8,400 square foot shop here in the Northern Neck of Virginia.  It truly is amazing what you can do in a small town if you are on the internet.  No small thanks to the formidable website 1stdibs. This has allowed us to maintain our small town residency and to sell to clients all around the world.

Rare Gilt Occasional Table by Sirmos

Now that our space is totally full of 20th century design pieces, we are reaching out.  Several friends who have the same strange addiction to the hunt for the fine and unusual are getting together to show at the High Point Furniture Mart this October 17-23. 

In addition to the usual furniture show rooms there are several areas that show antiques.  214 MODERN VINTAGE is the newest area among these founded by Steph Schofield of Stephanie Schofield vintage home and Steve & Hilary Eklund of Tandem Antiques.  Check out this on face book.

Lewis Trimble and I are going though the shop gathering together a collection especially for this market.

Lewis Trimble promo for 214 Modern Vintage High point Show

Steph Schofield of Stephanie Schofield Vintage Home 
Gillia Bryce
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Hilary and Steve Eklund

Friday, July 19, 2013

Martin Visser 1922-2009, Dutch Designer of Furniture

Martin Visser 1922-2009

Martin Visser did not start out intending to design furniture.  He studied Civil Engineering at a Technical School.  He designed his first piece of furniture for a friend.  Things just developed from there.  He worked originally as an architectural draughtsman, after that he worked in the furniture department of a large Department Store in Amsterdam.  It was here that he became familiar with the fabric company  De Ploeg and the furniture company Spectrum.  He began working for Spectrum in 1954as a Designer and also headed up their Collection.
Lounge Chair designed for Spectrum

Visser manage to maintain his love and appreciation of craft made pieces even with the industrial style of his designs.  He stretched the limits of his designs using craftsmen to execute his designs by cutting and welding  pieces rather than bending the metal parts.  He loved to utilize as little material as possible in his simple and sparse designs.  You can tell that he was greatly influence by pre- war functioalism, by his simple construction, honest use of materials and lack of decorations.
Sleeping Sofa BR03 for Spectrum 1960

Later in life he became Head Curator of modern art at the Boymans-van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam.  Here he helped form their collection of modern pieces of the period.  He returned once more to design and Spectrum his inspirations came then from the art world and his designs were not as austere. He remained fascinated with the construction of the piece and experimented with various materials including cardboard and perforated  steel sheets.  Color also played a more important role in his work then.

He received many honors for his designs and is regarded as a treasure by the Dutch People.
Martin Visser teak and white credenza 1959 kw61

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Brimfield Now and Again

It is May just before Mother's Day.  Every year around this time antique dealers and collectors from all over the U.S.of A. and even people from other countries start getting ready to leave their area and head toward a small New England Town, Brimfield, Mass.  I have done these shows for many years both as an exhibitor and as a buyer.

My first Brimfield experience was less than what I had expected.  My oldest son, Chris, and I went up to set up on a whim with a fellow antique dealer and friend.  We were to share a tent with them for a week.  We got up early and traveled all day arriving at Brimfield in late afternoon.  It was May and it had been a rainy year much like this year and was still very cool out.  The field when we got there was water logged.  It was damp and very chilly.  The later in the day the colder it became, until I was chilled to the bone. At that point I swore that I would never ever do Brimfield again.  We worked unpacking and setting up until almost eleven o'clock.  The friends that we were setting up with had made reservations at a motel 45 minutes away>  It was too late to go there that night.  We found an all night diner and got a late snack and then found a place to rest until early the next morning.  Customers started coming in the wee hours armed with flash lights. We struggled to get ourselves together and then the sales began.  It was totally amazing the numbers of people out and the volume of sales.  By the end of the day although we were dead tired we had changed our minds about doing the show.

I ended up doing the Brimfield shows for around twelve years 3 times a year.  All sorts of things happened one year we had to pack up everything because of a September Hurricane. We stayed in a motel all packed until it by passed us and then set up all over again.  There was one May that the temperatures rose into the 90's and when we got to our tent it felt like a steam oven inside.  We got to know and grow fond of all our neighbors who set up around us.  Every year it was like old home week.  After a few shows we decided that it was not fair to leave our Golden Retriever, Samantha, behind.  The first show that we let her come to, she was so excited that she jumped up into our fully loaded van with the biggest smile on her face.  From then on she went with us to the shows.  She would sit under the table and watch the people go by.

We found that the shows worked for is in two ways, we could sell and we could buy as well.  Lewis who had been in College and then later working in New York City would come up to be with us.  It was here that Lewis discovered that he could find and sell antiques.  His first purchase was a piece of pottery by the first American abstract artist, George Ohr.  He thought the piece was nice and then found out who made it.  When he sold it, the piece ended up it a museum for Ohr.  The die was cast and he found himself drawn to the hunt for hidden treasures.  It really is no surprise as he is the third generation treasure hunter.  My father Don Lewis ran Auslew Gallery in Norfolk.  He had collected paintings in my grandmother's attic until he opened his art gallery in 1953. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

20th Century's "Bad Boy of Glass"

Erik Höglund (1932-98),started his career at the age of 21 straight out of school, working for Boda.  He did not follow the tradition path of glass making, in fact he managed to do most of the things that traditional glass makers tried to avoid.  He liked bubbles in glass.  He experimented with plunging hot glass in to water. He used potato peels in the fire and saw dust on his molten glass in order to get the desired effect.  He used bright colors, stamps, seals, and bubbles as his signature for his art.  He was a folk artist in glass. He exhibited both in Sweden and abroad.  He experimented continually with his glass work.

Chandelier by Erik Höglund
With the renewed interest in the early modernist movement, his work may even more popular than it was when he was producing these pieces.  This is due in part to his use of color and forms.  He masterfully meld together the vibrant glass jewels that he created with imaginative metal cases and structures. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Danish Modern Klint and Wanscher

Kaare Klint born 1888-1954 is considered to be the father of Danish Modern furniture Design.  He introduced designs that utilized clean lines, superb craftsmanship and the best materials available.  He founded the Furniture School at the Royal Academy in 1924 and was a professor at the Danish School of Art and Design.  He was a great influence on the younger Danish designers of the period.

Iconic tall chest designed by Kaare Klint in the 1940's, Gallipoli

Classic Ole Wanscher Desk, Wythe

Ole Wanscher 1903-1985 was one of these young designers who studied with Klint.  He worked with Klint after he completed of his studies for several years, before setting up an office of his own specializing in furniture design.  He worked with the master joiner A. J. Iversen from 1930through the 1940's.  The designs that they produced together are now viewed as classic modern pieces.  He left his private firm and became associated with P. Jeppesens Møbelfabrik.  His designs were called orderly, delicate,and elegant. His work is highly valued among collectors. 

Pair of OLe Wanscher Arm Chairs, Revive, Asheland

We can thank these giants of modern design for all their influence of the designers who followed.

Arm Chair, Ole Wanscher, Wythe

Friday, February 22, 2013

Designer of the Twentieth Century, Alexander Girard

Folk art Church from the Girard foundation, Santa Fe New Mexico

We like to high light the lives of famous designers of the twentieth century.  Alexander Girard, 1907 – 1993 is a American born, multicultural architect trained twentieth century designer of note.  His mother, an American married his father, a Frenchman, after his birth in New York City, they moved to Florence, Italy where he was educated.  He was trained as an Architect, but his design talents varied over a wide arrange of objects and materials.  He honed his skills both in Italy, where he was exposed to some of the greatest architect designers of the period and in New York.

Alexander Girard 1907-1993

He is particularly know for his Textile design work on the cutting edge of design though his work for Herman Miller Design 1952-1975.  He worked creating fabrics for furniture designer by George Nelson, and Charles and Ray Eames.  Together they formed a design team that has influenced the fundamentals of design not only in the United States but the entire rest of the world. His  designs were based on geometrical shapes and forms related to architectural forms.

Pair of Chairs by Girard Herman Miller

He designed for the Braniff Airlines in the 1960's.  This was an effort on the part of Braniff to end the rein of the plain plane.  He worked on everything from the fabrics, the color of the plane itself, the ticket counters even the sugar paper packets.  Braniff had also hired Emilio Pucci to design the flight attendants uniforms.  Girard's colors ranged from both light and dark shades of blue to turquoise, oranges, beige, and tonal yellow.  These colors were used on the planes themselves to make them identifiable with the Braniff brand.  He designed a line of furniture for their ticket offices and the customer lounges, this was produced by Herman Miller and was available to the public in 1967 for one year only.

Sofa designed for Braniff Airlines

He designed the interiors of several major restaurants all over the world.  He did table settings for George Jensen, 1956, that included  flat ware, china and mats.  Girard designed a Mural for the John Deere company.  It consisted of found three dimensional objects.  In 1956, along with Charles Eames, he produced the documentary film, " The Day of The Dead."  Girard brought Italian style to American design.  He was a Renaissance man.

Designs by Alexande Girard

Girard and his wife were collectors of folk art.  They accumulated a large collection from all over the world.  They founded The Girard Foundation, 1962, to house their huge collection of Folk Art.

Fabric Design by Girard

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Lady GaGa and Our Chandelier

We are seriously excited.  We were contacted last week by a designer to see if we would be willing to rent them a very large chandelier for a performance.  They inquired about several of the chandeliers that we had on our 1stdibs website.  They needed something white.  The Murano ones required too much work to break down and to put back together.  But one was just right.the very large globed chandelier attributed to Stilnovo.

 Massive Globed Chandelier Attributed to Stilnovo 
Not knowing where this was going or who was preforming we took down the chandelier and packed up the globes ready for pick up.  No sooner than we had gotten it down and packed up.  The delivery man was there to pick it up.  The label read The Washington Convention Center.  This got our curiosity up.  So we googled the event center to see if we could figure it out.  Maybe an Inaugural Ball?  It was exciting to think that maybe we had a little something to do with the inauguration.  It was not until today that we learned what had occurred.  The Chandelier was delivered to us safe and all together.  Today the designer who had rented it called to make sure that everything was intact.  She then proceeded to tell us where it had been and then sent us a photo of the piece in place during the preformance by Lady GaGa.  Who would have thought that a chandelier hanging in a shop in the tiny town of Kilmarnock Virginia would have a piece that was an important prop in a preformance by Lady GaGa and Tony Bennett for the President of the United States on his second Inauguration.  All I can say is WOW.  

Lady GaGa and Tony Bennett

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

André Bloc His Sculptures and Art

André Bloc,1896-1966, was born in Algeria and moved to France while still a child.  He studied engineering. 
Building Muedon House 2

He began working after his studies with motors and turbines.  He met Le Corbusier and was greatly influenced by him.  After this meeting, Bloc became interested in architecture.    In 1940 he decided to turn his efforts to sculpture.  You can definitely see the relationship of his sculptures to architecture.  They had an almost organic feel as if the were cells of a living organism.

Interior of Muedon House 2

He founded the group "Espace," their goal was to try to bring to the urban world the ideals of constructivism and neo-plasticism.  The members of this group were artist and urbanist.  They considered all forms of art, architecture, and painting as a social phenomenon.

Close up of Muedon 2

Some of the best blends of Architecture and sculpture by Bloc can be found at the site of his home in Meudon, France.  He built his 'Follies" on his own property the third and last completed the year that he died 1966. 

The last piece of the Puzzle the Tower House 3 completed in 1966

Besides his sculptures and his architecture he designed furniture appropriate for his architectural designs. 
Rare Table Designed by Andre Bloc

Chair designed by Bloc for Bellevue House at Muedon

 Being a design genius he also did paintings in the manner of his sculptures and the anamorphic architecture he produced.  His designs and colors of his paintings belie that fact that he originally went into engineering.  These and his sculptures and architecture come from the mind and heart of a true artist. 

Above two different paintings by Andre Bloc.


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