Object of the Day

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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...
Shows a painter sitting and painting in a studio in a shape of a cartouche
Designing a Painter
The image of the painter in his studio is a popular and common visual theme from the early modern period to the present. This particular cartouche, designed by Jacques de Lajoüe, shows a painter with the tools of his trade arranged in the form of a cartouche (a type of an ornamental frame). With the...
tulip and rose
Tulip and Rose
Tulip and Rose, designed by William Morris (1834 – 1896) for Morris & Co., is exemplary of Morris’ goals for the Arts and Crafts movement. The floral design was created with five colors (navy blue, ice blue, red, white and yellow) in a tight pattern of stylized curving leaves and vines of white and light...
Miniature of a store made with solid back and two sidewalls, front panels showing two painted windows and central opening for doorway with "Grocery Stores" above it. Against the back wall, a cabinet with shelves and partitions and 16 drawers (-2b - -2l) each with a gold painted knob and handwritten paper label. One each for: almonds, annis seed, cacao, cinnamon, cloves, fenel, mace, millet, pepper, pimento, raisins, rice, saffron, sape, vermicelle (one drawer not labelled); two free-standing barrels (-2l and -2m), and two tables (-2n and -2o), each with a post (-2p and -2q) supporting one end of an arch (-2r) from which hangs a pair of scales (-2x - -2z). Pencil scribblings over outside of structure.Possibly English. In 1820's style, possibly early 19th century.
Big on Miniature
Seventeenth-century Dutch socialites Petronella de la Court and Petronella Oortman, the dauphin of France, Queen Victoria, and Queen Mary had them: dollhouses and miniature replicas of masterworks of furniture and decorative arts, through which they could recreate their larger-than-life existence.  The popularity of these Lilliputian marvels extended well into the twentieth century, when doll-sized houses,...
Mica
Random beauty
Mica was designed by Reiko Sudo, one of Japan’s most important contemporary textile designers. Educated at Musashino Art University, she and Junichi Arai were the co-founders in 1984 of the Japanese company and store, NUNO, which produces textiles of extraordinary ingenuity and beauty. Sudo and the other designers at NUNO combine tradition and advanced technologies...
Album Page
Poppies and Peacocks
Yet another fabulous and festive antique French wallpaper to highlight the missed opportunities inherent in the plain, white walls of our own time. Exuberant bouquets of stylized poppies and peacock feathers are held together by cornflower blue ribbons and festoons of coral colored blossoms. Dainty sparrows in rainbow plumage dart to and fro, adding a...
Poster
The Fairest of All the Dwellings
In recent decades, New Zealand and Middle-Earth have become almost inseparable in the popular imagination as Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movie trilogies, based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic novels, have put the isolated country on the world stage. But while the stories of Middle-Earth may be fantasy, the landscapes certainly...
a deep blue hardcover book with tattered edges, and title printed in gold relief.
The Chakras
Last year, our librarian Stephen Van Dyk picked up this slender blue hardcover at a rare book auction. He didn’t know exactly what a “chakra” was, but still he found the worn old book remarkable, if not a bit weird, for its striking illustrations of big painted circles. I was surprised to see this book...
Silver-plated bulbous body tapering into elongated spout on one side; opposite spout, long handle composed of two curved, deep purple anodized aluminum elements overlapping and extending outward, joined by two green onyx beads at point of contact with each other. Circular lid with small square knop topped with curved, deep purple anodized aluminum tab handle.
Going with the Flow
This teapot demonstrates a unique way of creating organic and curved lines, which can be seen in the handle. Chunghi Choo’s calligraphy brush strokes served as the inspiration for the handle and knob. According to Choo, the “sweeping movements of the brush…give it a flowing line of energy.”[1] Chunghi Choo studied oriental painting, including Chinese...