Art Deco

Set of four, cube-shaped chrome-plated shakers with white plastic bases; the tops of two with engraved and pierced with a comet among stars, the comet's "tail" formed by three curved lines of holes; the other two shakers with engraved stars and holes forming the planet Saturn surrounded by a ring. Please scroll down to read the blog post about these objects.
Please Pass the Planet
The clean-lined geometric forms of these salt and pepper shakers show American modernism’s affinity for simplicity. During the 1930s the emergence of chromed metal, steel, and aluminum tableware coincided with the rise of modernist designs for everyday objects. These simple metal cubes were created with cost-effective manufacturing techniques, stamping and piercing, to create utilitarian and...
Image features a double-sided wastebasket in the shape of an inverted triangle with two triangular feet and a red interior. One side shows a black background with silver-toned rays emanating from top right corner and a 'cityscape' of colorful overlapping rectangles at the base. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Trashy Modernism
Tucked underneath a desk or in a corner of a room a wastebasket sits waiting to collect trash. While an often overlooked item of everyday life, it received the full attention of Donald Deskey. The designer, who established his career in New York in the 1920s, dedicated himself to reimagining the look of the American...
Image features a circular dish, the surface with airbrushed geometric decoration of pale peach, grey and yellow triangles and small circles on a cream-colored ground. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
A compressor rumbling. A nozzle hissing. The colorful geometric shapes decorating this otherwise straightforward dish were not painted by hand. Rather they were applied by a device novel to the world of ceramics: the airbrush. The important and prolific German designer, Martha Katzer (1897–1947), created this dish for the Karlsruhe Majolika Manufaktur (KMM) in Baden,...
Image features an art deco-style wallpaper with pink birds against a background of gray foliage. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Pretty in Pink
Here is a charming wallpaper in the art deco style. The motifs are highly stylized with bright pink and fuchsia-colored birds nestled among dense gray foliage. The design is rendered in a minimal fashion, with the leaves consisting of little more than a metallic gold outline around ovals in two shades of gray, with larger...
Image shows striped wallpaper design with attached lithograph of room interior. Please scroll down to read the blog post this object.
Sample Books Offer Clues to Decor Trends
Wallpaper sample books are one of the lesser known areas of the Wallcoverings department. While sample books can vary greatly in quality and size, each has a story to tell, offering insights into period color trends and wall treatments. The earliest surviving American sample book was produced by the Janes & Bolles Company, in business...
Image features a commode with slightly serpentine rectangular top above two long drawers, the fronts inlaid with ivory lozenge stringing, on four tapered legs, the two front legs with canted outer edge inlaid with an ivory fillet with scrolling volute at top and ivory feet. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Art Deco Masterpiece
Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann, the designer of this commode, produced a number of luxury furniture pieces throughout the 1920s and early 1930s that represent the pinnacle of French Art Deco design. His work often imbued historical cabinetmaking techniques and forms with a vibrant and modern spirit. Though he achieved notoriety for his furniture, his firm also produced...
Image features vessel with longated conical shaped bowl; bowl has engraved decoration of female figure sitting on ruffled banner, scalloped ornamental bands at top and bottom and stars spaced throughout. Tall, thin six-sided stem with small notches on corners. Flat circular foot with ornamental bands that match bowl. Lid tapers to tall six-sided notched finial with knop. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Swedish Grace in Glass
This tall glass covered vessel was designed in 1923, by Edward Hald, artistic director of the Orrefors glassworks in Sweden. It features engraved decoration of a female figure seated on a fluttering banner, amid a field of stars bordered by scalloped bands. The delicate star and band motifs are carried through in the vessel’s tapered cover...
Image features a floral wallpaper with dense pattern of delphiniums against a black background. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Delphiniums to Inspire
I wanted to share this beautiful wallpaper with you. Columns of delphinium flowers captured at their peak, printed in intense shades of blue and white, are interspersed with a mix of smaller red flowers, all printed against a black background which makes the colors pop. It is a rather dense design but I think the...
Image features Illustrated map of Paris on the book jacket for "A shopping guide to Paris". Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Thérèse Bonney: How to shop with Finesse
“There is much more to shopping in the French capital than merely walking in in American fashion and making a purchase. Shopping in Paris is an art and must be approached with a certain finesse.”