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.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Murano Real or Fake

Green Murano Obelisk
When we first started collecting Murano Glass pieces it was a real learning curve.  We made some mistakes.  Some mistakes can be expensive.  Fortunately we wised up pretty fast.  There are some glaring differences between real Murano and fake Murano.  The best way to know the difference is to get books on Murano and study.  We have a library full of all sorts of reference books on everything that we are interested in collecting.

The first thing to realize is that not everyone is as honest as you would like them to be.  There are people out there who make it their business to deceive.  There are also people who resell glass who have been deceived themselves and pass on the pieces as real because they do not know better.  If you want to collect Murano glass arm yourself with knowledge.

The most glaring difference between real Murano and the fake Chinese Murano glass is the colors.  Murano glass colors are more subtle not as bright as the Chinese stuff.  Look for honest wear on the base.  The pieces should not be overly heavy, unless they are larger heavier pieces to begin with.  Not everything that has a sticker that says made in Murano was actually made there.  The stickers on the older pieces should look old they are paper backed foil stickers.  For the most part the fakes have a lot of clear glass near the bottom.  Sometimes the fancier the item the more likely that they are fakes.  They are even copying Dino Martinuzzi.   You are best off buying from reputable dealers.  Just because you have seen an item in a book does not guarantee that it is legit. If you are tempted inspect the piece for age related wear.  If it seems too good to be true beware. See  if you can get a return guarantee that will bide you time to check it out.  Think carefully before you buy.

Here is the first paragraph of an article about fakes in Venice.....

ROME — Italy's financial police seized on Friday more than 11 million glass objects that were being sold in stores in Venice as artisanally-blown Murano glass, even though most of them were made in China.

There is also a book called Murano Magic that list all the signatures and the companies that the artist worked for.

Be careful of people writing about how to avoid fakes.  Unless you know the vender and have faith in them beware.

Here at Lewis Trimble we like to help educate the buying public....Buy with great care.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Milo Baughman 20th century Designer

Milo Baughman Sofa
Lewis  found a pair of Milo Baughman Chairs.  He went yesterday to pick up the chairs that he had found.  While he was in the area he decided to do a little exploring.  He went to a stop where he had luck finding things in the past and walked up to a Milo Baughman sofa of a different style but of the same period.  It has been months if not a year or so since he had found any good Baughman pieces.  Finding a pair of chairs and a great sofa at the same time within  miles of each other was unbelievable.  He was so excited.  Both are going to need to be reupholstered, but oh so worth it.  Swing on by to Lewis Trimble Decorative Arts and Antiques to check them out.
A Pair of Chairs by Milo Baughman

So here is an up date on Milo Baughman, 1923-2003. He helped to define and shape the positive benefits of good design on the lives of human beings.  He started designing in the mid 1940's with a number of furniture companies.  In 1953 he started designing for the Thayer Coggin Inc., of High Point, NC, he continued to design for them until his death in 2003.
Credenza by Milo Baughman

Born in Kansas he moved with his family to California while he was still a baby.  When he was thirteen, his family decided to build their home and the young Milo Baughman did the designing of both the exterior and interior of their new home.  After serving during World War II in the military where he help design officers clubs, he began his studies at what would become know as the California Institute of the Arts.

Semi Circul,ar Sofa by Baughman

 His designs were unpretentious and affordable as well as forward-thinking.  Even today his designs continue to be copied and reinvented by various furniture companies.  He believed in the positive benefits of good design on human lives.  In 1947 he established Milo Baughman Design Inc.  From that point he began designing modernist furniture for several companies.  His relationship began with a hand shake with the newly organized Thayer Coggin Company.  By the time the 1960's and 1970's came around their designs were anticpated at every High Point Market.  Some of his most iconic designs were produced by the Thayer Coggin Company.  He also designed for Drexel, and  Henredon among others.

 He became a Mormon in 1965.  He was enthusiastic about his new found Christain faith, and was invited to establish a Department of Environmental Design at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.  He acted as chairman and adjunct professor for six years while continuing with his design business.  After that he moved to Virginia for Twelve years.  Back to Utah for another nine years of teaching at B.Y. University. He lectured widely on design in various institutions of learning. and continued operating his design studio until his death.


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