Accessories

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

lovely things: antique ceramics at mfa boston

Con­fes­sion time: I adore pot­tery. There is some­thing about hand­made ceram­ics that just thrills me. Per­haps it's the idea of some­thing as ugly as raw clay becom­ing func­tional and beau­ti­ful. Sec­ond and third con­fes­sions: I adore pat­tern; and color; and antiques (oh wait, that was four.) Bring together all these ele­ments, and I'm in Utopia aka the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

I mar­veled at this selec­tion of amaz­ing Per­sian ceramic pieces, mostly dat­ing from the 12th and 13th cen­turies. All these pieces are from Kashan, now Iran. This ewer required extreme skill. First a bot­tle was encased in an open­work pat­tern of hex tiles. Then the spout and han­dle were applied before the piece was painted and glazed. How does it hold water?

13th century ewer from iran - MFA Boston

13th cen­tury ewer from Iran — MFA Boston

Kashan pot­ters invented under­glaze paint­ing. The pig­ments they used in this bowl did not run when glaze was applied. The design and col­ors here would not be out of place in a con­tem­po­rary home.

early 13th century bowl from iran (kashan) - MFA Boston

early 13th cen­tury bowl from Iran (kashan) — MFA Boston

The turquoise glaze on this piece is au courant!

late 12th century bowl from Iran - MFA Boston

late 12th cen­tury bowl from Iran — MFA Boston

These pieces reflect a com­mon motif found in Kashan enam­eled ceram­ics. The fig­ures are often grouped in themes show­ing hunt­ing or other activities.

late 12th century bowl from Iran - MFA Boston

late 12th cen­tury bowl from Iran — MFA Boston

late 12th century bowl from Iran - MFA Boston

late 12th cen­tury bowl from Iran — MFA Boston

late 12th century cup from Iran - MFA Boston

late 12th cen­tury cup from Iran — MFA Boston

Fast-forward to the 17th cen­tury — this dish from North­west Iran shows gar­den foliage. The inten­sity of the col­ors and pat­tern in striking.

17th century dish from Iran - MFA Boston

17th cen­tury dish from Iran — MFA Boston

I hope you enjoyed this lit­tle bit of ceramic his­tory. The MFA has so much more to see, please visit!

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

lovely things — jewels, gems and treasures at mfa boston

One of the cur­rent exhibits run­ning at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston is "Jew­els, Gems and Trea­sures — Ancient to Mod­ern". It exam­ines the notion that what we now con­sider gems, such as dia­monds and rubies, is much too lim­ited when look­ing at a broader world view. Many other items, whether seen as hav­ing pro­tec­tive value or sim­ply as being rare, have been trea­sured across the cen­turies. Fre­quently, tra­di­tional gems were mixed in with less pre­cious items, with the result­ing fab­ri­ca­tion an object of incred­i­ble beauty. Here are some of the amaz­ing pieces I saw this week:

Apolo­gies for this blurry pic­ture, but this suite of hum­ming­bird jew­els was made of, yes, real hum­ming­birds. Vic­to­rian excess at its most sublime.

jewels, gems and treasures at MFA Boston03

real hum­ming­birds as jewelry

Ancient pieces included rock crys­tal and enamel work along­side gems.

jewels, gems and treasures at MFA Boston

jew­els, gems and trea­sures at MFA Boston

jewels, gems and treasures at MFA Boston

jew­els, gems and trea­sures at MFA Boston

This beau­ti­ful 19th cen­tury Chi­nese head­dress incor­po­rated gilt metal, king­fisher feath­ers, silk, glass and bone along with a host of semi-precious stones.

jewels, gems and treasures at MFA Boston

19th cen­tury head­dress at MFA Boston

This 17th cen­tury Ger­man rosary fea­tured amber, believed at the time to have mag­i­cal prop­er­ties. Inter­est­ing choice for a Catholic I should think.

jewels, gems and treasures at MFA Boston

17th cen­tury rosary at MFA Boston

Beau­ti­ful jew­elry in every color of the rainbow:

jewels, gems and treasures at MFA Boston

amethyst neck­lace at MFA Boston

jewels, gems and treasures at MFA Boston

a selec­tion of brooches at MFA Boston

A Faberge bull­dog, made of agate and semi-precious stones, in mem­ory of a beloved pet. Wow.

jewels, gems and treasures at MFA Boston

faberge bull­dog

Enamel in com­bi­na­tion with moon­stones and pearls, sim­ply remarkable.

jewels, gems and treasures at MFA Boston

jew­els, gems and trea­sures at MFA Boston

A plat­inum, dia­mond and carved emer­ald brooch from 1928, owned and worn by Mar­jorie Meri­weather Post at her pre­sen­ta­tion to the Court of St. James. The cen­tral stone, carved in India, dates from the 17th cen­tury. 'Exquis­ite' barely cov­ers this piece.

jewels, gems and treasures at MFA Boston

emer­ald brooch at MFA Boston

Finally, a brooch and cuff bracelet with less refine­ment of the stones, but cer­tainly plenty of char­ac­ter in the fin­ished pieces.

jewels, gems and treasures at MFA Boston

jew­els, gems and trea­sures at MFA Boston

There are many more won­der­ous exam­ples to see in this exhibit. I encour­age you to attend if you can; the show runs through Novem­ber 25.

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

happy chic — chicago's jonathan adler store

While in Chicago, I had a chance to wan­der hap­pily through the Jonathan Adler store. So much fun packed into one small space! Even my 7 year old enjoyed it — he wanted their Union Jack rug for his bed­room, but left smil­ing with a groovy deck of play­ing cards! Enjoy the stroll… Jonathan Adler Chicago

 

YUM! at Jonathan Adler Chicago
Jonathan Adler Chicago
orange crush at Jonathan Adler Chicago
Jonathan Adler Chicago
Jonathan Adler Chicago
Jonathan Adler Chicago
lush lac­quer at Jonathan Adler Chicago
Jonathan Adler Chicago
LOVE this lamp at Jonathan Adler Chicago
Jonathan Adler Chicago
a menagerie at Jonathan Adler Chicago
Jonathan Adler Chicago
ele­gance at Jonathan Adler Chicago
Jonathan Adler Chicago
hot dogs at Jonathan Adler Chicago
Jonathan Adler Chicago
Jonathan Adler Chicago
Jonathan Adler Chicago
great advice at Jonathan Adler Chicago

I hoped you enjoyed this vir­tual browse! For the full selec­tion, visit Jonathan Adler online!

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Monday, June 27, 2011

light up my life…from Maitland-Smith

Oh, I need a beach house just so I can have this sconce! It's funky, orig­i­nal and slightly off­beat — don't you agree? In antique brass, from Maitland-Smith

octopus wall lamp with nautilus shells from maitland smith

octo­pus wall lamp with nau­tilus shells from mait­land smith

I adore func­tional ele­ments in a home that elicit a smile as you walk by!

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