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carrying cloth
A Complete Concept
This simple, small rectangular cloth is an example of four-selvedged weaving—the process of weaving cloths of specific sizes and shapes without cutting any edges. The tradition was practiced for millennia in the Andes, and is rarely found elsewhere in the world (in most cultures, woven textiles were cut from the loom). Inherent in the four-selvedged...
Narrow, rectilinear stapler with curved hand grips; sides decorated with overall geometric black and white enameled pattern.
Juwel for a Tool
The design for this stapler was patented in the United States in 1934 by Fridolin Polzer who was at the time working for E.H. Hotchkiss Company, a leading manufacturer of stapling machines, based in Norwalk, Connecticut. In Japanese, the word for “stapler” is “hotchikisu” after the E.H. Hotchkiss Company, which first shipped staplers to Japan...
geringsing
Pure Balinese
This textile is created in double ikat technique, in which both the warp and weft threads are tie-dyed before weaving in order to create a pattern. The complex and time-consuming process is primarily practiced in India, Japan, and Indonesia. Within Indonesia, this technique is known as geringsing, meaning ‘without sickness’ or ‘without evil’ and is...
Figure of small long-haired dog, sitting, head slightly turned; glazed in white with brown patches.
A Royal Menagerie … and Then Some
When the Meissen porcelain manufactury began its operations in 1710, its focus was on producing fine dinner services and traditional functional decorative objects, such as vases. Meissen’s reputation and passion for the modeling of elaborate porcelain figures did not arise until two decades or so later, thanks to King Augustus of Saxony who, enthralled by...
Shows a ballet in the Versailles gardens. Three of the actors are on fake whales in the canal.
A Whale of a Tale: Damsels in Distress at Versailles
In 1664, Versailles was briefly transformed into a mythical and enchanted fairytale land. From May 7th to 13th, the court of Louis XIV arranged a festival of Les Plaisirs de l’Ile Enchantée (Pleasures of an Enchanted Island) in honor of Anne of Austria, the mother of Louis XIV and the queen Maria Theresa, although the...
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An Arabesque by the Best
There is ALOT going on in this arabesque panel attributed to eighteenth-century wallpaper powerhouse, Jean Baptiste Réveillon. The pattern was executed in shades of pink, green, orange and brown on a light-colored ground. As was standard for the time, the design is block printed, and the panel is composed of several smaller sheets of handmade...
Die harmonie der Farben by Guichard #4 small
Rarity of Color Harmony
A significant acquisition to the Cooper Hewitt Library’s special collections in 2014 was Édouard Guichard’s Die Harmonie der Farben (The Harmony of Colors). A rare and important work heavily influenced by the 1839 De la loi du contraste simulanté des Couleurs by M.E. Chevreul, this edition was published in Frankfurt Germany in 1882. Profusely illustrated...
Gold brooch with oval carved sapphire cameo of Cybelle or Isis (or the Personification of Italy) seated on a throne; framed by sapphires, diamonds, and pendant with sapphire drop in gold; mounting with ruby and emerald chips.
Patriotism through Historicism
The Castellani jewelry firm (1814 – 1927) became known for its “Italian Archaeological jewelry,”[1] which consisted of copies and imitations of Roman, Greek, and Etruscan jewelry. The firm’s works in this style became especially popular starting in the 1850s due to a rise in nationalism as a result of efforts to unify Italy, though they...
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Jupiter from Top to Bottom
This classically inspired wallpaper panel was block printed on handmade paper c.1785-90 in France. Jupiter, king of the Gods of Rome, is rendered in tones of ochre and brown against an aqua background. He sits atop a garlanded pedestal with fists full of thunderbolts, his right arm raised and ready to dispense lightening in the...