Wednesday, January 26, 2011

lovely things…spotted at winter antiques show 2011

A sunny, cold Sun­day seemed like a great time to visit the Win­ter Antiques Show in NYC, a ben­e­fit event for East Side House Set­tle­ment now in its 57th year. Upscale ven­dors from around the world dis­play pre­mium pieces from their col­lec­tions — and if you need to ask the price, you can't afford it! As I browsed and sur­rep­ti­tiously took pho­tos with my iphone, I pre­tended the prices were not in the stratos­phere and searched for liv­able pieces I would love to bring home for myself or a lucky client.

I can't decide if I love these heads, or if they would scare me if I walked down the stairs in the mid­dle of the night.

dealer: Robert Young

This turn­pike sign is incredible.

dealer: Robert Young

There appar­ently was a time when chil­dren stood still long enough to have por­traits painted:

dealer: Old Hope Antiques

Love the shape of this octag­o­nal table, which I'm sure has a fancier name than "table":

dealer: Alfred Bullard

When I am gone, please store my ashes in this 1st cen­tury AD Roman cinerary urn:

dealer: Rupert Wace Ancient Art

A nearly life-size, stone Khmer god­dess torso, for that empty cor­ner in your liv­ing room. So beautiful!

  • dealer: Carl­ton Rochell
  • For the first time at this show, a new fea­ture called "Design­ing with Antiques". Three design­ers pre­sented rooms incor­po­rat­ing antiques into "real life" rooms. Apolo­gies for the poor qual­ity of these pictures:

    A salon by Philip Gor­rivan, fea­tur­ing his new col­lec­tion of fab­rics for High­land Court:

    room by Philip Gorrivan

    A bed­room by Harry Heiss­mann:

    bed­room by Harry Heissmann

    A din­ing room by Eileen Kathryn Boyd; love the Elkins chairs:

    Design­ing with Antiques vignette by Eileen Kathryn Boyd

    Price aside, how do you feel about incor­po­rat­ing antiques into your home?

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    Thursday, September 30, 2010

    authenticity — "knock off" versus reproduction

    I am wrestling once again with the issue of authen­tic­ity, in par­tic­u­lar with regard to fur­nish­ings. I received the new Restora­tion Hard­ware cat­a­log last week, and flipped through it, even though I'm not a fan of their cur­rent look. I was shocked when I reached page 16 and saw this:

    photo from Restora­tion Hardware's web site

    To me, this is clearly a "knock off" of the Egg Chair, designed in 1958 by Arne Jacob­sen. No attri­bu­tion given in the cat­a­log to the designer, although per­haps alluded to with the name "1950s Linen Copen­hagen Chair"? There are plenty of copies of the Egg Chair being sold all over the inter­net, and I don't care for those either. Am I hold­ing RH to a higher stan­dard? Have they tweaked this chair in some way that makes it dif­fer­ent enough to not be a knock off? And how dif­fer­ent is "dif­fer­ent enough"?

    Fur­ther along in the cat­a­log on page 28, I see a mir­ror with this descrip­tor: "our hand­crafted mir­ror is an exact repro­duc­tion of an early 19th-century Ital­ian baroque antique". Pic­tured below:

    from Restora­tion Hardware's web site

    Now, this doesn't offend me at all. It's an exact copy of some­one else's design, and it's described as such. So the ques­tion remains: when is a copy a "knock off" ver­sus a repro­duc­tion? Is there a time limit, 50 years perhaps?

    Does it mat­ter that we don't know who orig­i­nally designed the mir­ror but we do know who designed the chair? The licensed, orig­i­nal Egg Chair design is still being man­u­fac­tured by Repub­lic of Fritz Hansen. Is it okay to copy it, given the copies sell for sub­stan­tially less and are thus avail­able to far more people?

    Thoughts, any­one?


    Sunday, August 15, 2010

    john derian for target

    Launch­ing Sep­tem­ber 5th, the newest col­lab­o­ra­tion between artist and designer John Der­ian and retail pow­er­house Tar­get.  Known for his vin­tage /modern dec­o­ra­tive table top items, Der­ian single-handedly brought "chic" and "découpage" together. Pieces from his shop, like these below, range well into the hun­dreds of dol­lars (images from

    The Tar­get col­lec­tion, by con­trast, will be priced under $25. Amaz­ing, right?  The nearly 100 items will include dec­o­ra­tive trays and coast­ers, as well as stationery, storage bins, and table­top. A few of the upcom­ing releases (images cour­tesy of Target):

    If you are a John Der­ian fan, be pre­pared for a frenzy on Sep­tem­ber 5th. But if you are a really BIG fan, here's a spe­cial treat from Tar­get and Gilt Groupe: a pre­view sale for 36 hours only, start­ing August 20th, before the col­lec­tion arrives in stores. Sign up here for access, and Gilt Groupe will throw in $10 to get you started!

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    Tuesday, August 3, 2010

    Chicago — merchandise mart heaven

    I'm still not sure how my travel radar never focused on Chicago before! It's a truly lovely city, with great archi­tec­ture and a thriv­ing design scene.  I grabbed a few hours to myself and wan­dered through the Mer­chan­dise Mart — a design lover's Mecca. The build­ing itself is an archi­tec­tural trea­sure deserv­ing of a visit, and even LEED cer­ti­fied. But I only had eyes for showrooms!

    A few things that caught my eye… Zebra was everywhere!

    I really, really want one of these!

    Yes, I clearly have a thing for chairs. Here's another one that I'd live hap­pily with, from Century's Oscar de la Renta collection.

    (eye) candy apple leather comfort!

    Oth­ers that intrigue with shape or scale or inter­est­ing uphol­stery, maybe all three…

    Thomas O'Brien stretches tra­di­tional seat­ing to new heights

    this chaise begs for a racy novel in one hand…

    while this requires a racy drink in the other!

     Some­times I took my eyes off the fur­ni­ture and focused on lighting…

    this won­der­ful chan­de­lier found a new home with an equally won­der­ful client!

    organic light­ing from Odegard

    another beauty

    LOVE the steam­punk look of this fixture!

    this long and lean sconce can fit almost anywhere

    After zip­ping through the fur­ni­ture and light­ing areas, I prac­ti­cally raced through a few of my favorite fab­ric show­rooms. Then it was off to meet the fam­ily for a lit­tle more of the Chicago tourist whirlwind.