Author: Sarah Gibbons

Print, From a Series of Naval Battles for Wedding Festivities of Cosimo Il deMedici, Ship of Heracles, 1608
What Would the Medici Do?
It is easy to think, in the age of Pinterest and the Knot, that weddings have never before been so extravagant.  Without knowing the history of weddings in the West, we all too often find ourselves rolling our eyes at 30,000 dollar weddings.  But, those tasty, miniature, artisanal canapés with pickle remoulade (at fifteen dollars...
Print, The Gentlemans and Cabinet-Makers Director, 1755
Ribbons and Bows
Even today, in the twenty-first century, when we think of ribbons and bows we tend to think of girls, not boys.  This design from 1755, has both ribbons and bows, but was designed by an Englishman: Thomas Chippendale.  What is more, it was published in a book meant exclusively for men: The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker’s...
Vertically oriented rectangular mirror framed with moldings intertwined with floral garlands at the top. The garlands and other floral motifs frame a sphere with Marie Antoinette's monogram. Top center of frame is decorated with two doves, a garland from which is suspended a wreath with two arrows and a tassel. Below, a six-armed chandelier. Frame is decorated with flower vases, candelabra, acanthus leaves and a basket of flowers at bottom center.
The Queen of Roses
Above all flowers, Queen Marie Antoinette prized roses. She was often painted with roses in hand or displayed in her hair. Certain portraits—as well as this mirror design from 1781–90—featured rose garlands as decorative motifs. Though roses were her favorite, all flowers were of great importance to the Queen, both wild and cultivated. She had...