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Image features a conical pitcher, molded to resemble a tree trunk, the handle in the form of a gnarled branch. Body glazed with a light blue ground decorated with brown branches bearing white and yellow blossoms. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Spring Blossoms: Eastern Beauty Inspires Western Art
Searching through the collection, looking for something different to write about, I came across this lovely ceramic pitcher which features an exterior molded to resemble a tree trunk, branches with blossoms, and a gnarled branch handle. It captured my interest because its motif and colors are particularly evocative of Vincent Van Gogh’s painting, The Almond...
Desk Ware from a Simpler Time
In this age of electronic assistants, it is hard for many to fathom a time when telephone service was limited and mail, or what today is referred to as “snail mail”, was the order of the day. During the early decades of the twentieth century written letters were the most common form of communication, and...
Literary Colors
Author: Yoshiko Iwamoto Wada This is a page from the book The Japanese Art of “Kusaki-zome,” Nippon Colours: Dyeing in a Hundred Colours with Juices of Plants and Grasses, by Akira Yamazaki, grandfather of my colleague Kazuki Yamazaki, who is, along with his father, Seiju Yamazaki, among the foremost authorities in Japanese natural dyeing and...
Image of a mural design.
Welcome to the Jungle
This vibrant mural design by Charles Baskerville for A Jaguar Hunt in a Mexican Jungle presents an imagined vision of a lush, foreign environment. Part of a group of studies for the pool house (called the Mexican Pavilion) at the Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney Estate, the eight-hundred-square-foot mural transported Long Island residents and guests to a...
An Inspired Pot
This Jardinière was made of faïence, the French term for tin-glazed earthenware based on the name of a town in Italy-Faenza, with which its production is associated from the Middle ages and before. This example is from Moustiers, France, a town in the Alpine area in the southeast of France, where faïence has been made...
Oval tray with raised and everted rim. Decorated with outer border of interlaced triangular geometric motifs in lapis blue against brown background, surrounded by thin gold rims; then a border of tooled gilding with 16 roundels painted in polychrome of exotic birds, alternating with the smaller roundels with butterflies. Around central oval a wide band of trompe-l'oeil coffering. Center painted with arrangement of seashells, coral, and pearls against a faux marble background.
Like Father, Like Son
This oval tray represents the unique collaborative effort between Alexandre Brongniart, the director of Sèvres appointed in 1800, and his father, the designer Alexandre-Théodore Brongniart. The younger Brongniart’s passion for the natural world is reflected by the scientific precision of the biological species represented in finely painted enamel. Small roundels of exotic birds and butterflies...