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A Cabinet Fit for a King
The theme of this Royal Jewel Cabinet from France, dated 1824-26, is no doubt indulgence in all forms – especially love and extravagance. Its rich iconography displays symbols of love and jewels, where antiquity is mixed with early-nineteenth century depictions of flowers.[1] The cabinet is constructed of porcelain plaques in a gilt-bronze armature. A golden...
When a Tile is Not a Tile
This paper fascinates me, which explains why I acquired it for the museum collection. It is an inexpensive, Depression-era paper, but it packs a lot of punch. The design is reminiscent of ceramic tiles which makes it a less than formal pattern and gives it more of a functional aesthetic. While this certainly could be...
Design by Hand | Lesage’s Hubert Barrère
Lecture by Hubert Barrère, Art Director of Maison Lesage, the venerable French embroidery company. Discussion follows with Matilda McQuaid, Deputy Curatorial Director and Head of Textiles. For nearly a century, Maison Lesage has created extraordinary embroidered designs for Elsa Schiaparelli, Pierre Balmain, Christian Dior, and many other revered designers. In 2002, Chanel acquired Maison Lesage...
Basket of Blooms
Jean-Baptiste Monnoyer (French, 1626-1699 ), a painter, designer and engraver, created many prints like this work, Plate 10 from Set of Flowers in a Basket which is dated to 1680. Early flower prints were primarily used for botanical textbooks, but by the end of the seventeenth century, they were considered a higher artistic medium. Prints like...
Design Talks | Ymer&Malta: The New Savoir-Faire
Ymer&Malta Director Valérie Maltaverne presents on the philosophy and process of her company, and discusses three exceptional works from the studio’s marquetry collection designed by Benjamin Graindorge, Sylvain Rieu-Piquet, and Sebastian Bergne. About Ymer&Malta Revisiting the French traditions of “savoir-faire” marquetry, inlaying, and carving, French design studio Ymer&Malta creates limited edition contemporary furniture and design...
The Charming Bouquinistes of Paris
This lithograph, by artist Paul Jeffay (1898-1957) depicts the Left Bank of Paris, France, on what appears to be the Quai de la Tournelle. The main focus of the piece is on the bouquinistes, green boxes that line the Seine in the center of Paris, out of which booksellers sell used and antiquarian books. In...
Harmonious Modularity
During the second World War, the French city of Le Havre was severely bombed. August Perret, a pioneering French modernist architect, was tasked with rebuilding the city. Perret’s reconstruction is considered exceptional for its seamless integration of the city’s extant historic structures with modern concrete construction and design innovations. Perret’s new buildings for Le Havre...
Gold Swag
Designated as the “Royal Porcelain Manufactory” during the mid-eighteenth century under the reign of Louis XV, the Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory needs little introduction as one of Europe’s most innovative and influential porcelain manufacturers during the eighteenth century. Eight years before Sèvres manufactured this cup and saucer in 1780, Louis XVI had become king, and the...
A Triumph of Simplicity
This drawing is the creation of Jean-Jacques Lequeu, a French architect and draftsman of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. A faint inscription in the bottom right corner of the drawing announces that it is a project for a monument at the entrance to the navy arsenal in Toulon, a major port in the...