From the Archives | By Archived articles

Reverie on a pair of Japanese screens

July 1, 2001  |  By Michael R. Cunningham; from the Magazine ANTIQUES, July 2001

The idea of landscape in the West has historically been aligned with geography. The appearance of a given earthbound place in a painting or photograph normally initiates for the Western viewer an immediate response of physical orientation. We wish to understand the particular environmental conditions and perhaps the terrain of the place. Using personal experience, we gauge what it might hold in store for the actual-or the imaginary-viewer: its air, light, dampness or dryness, the presence of other beings, and so forth. Customarily, we associate ourselves with being there, feet on the ground, prepared for the elements and the delight or challenge of the site. Even if other, more evanescent qualities-such as light-constitute the central feature of a landscape image, as in some seventeenth-century Dutch paintings, we still inevitably parse the landscape setting in order to orient ourselves topographically so as to…» More

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From the Archives | By Archived articles

Dated English delftware and slipware in the Longridge Collection

June 1, 1999  |  By Leslie B. Grigsby. Originally published in June 1999.

The Longridge Collection of ceramics is English pottery Valhalla. Nestled in a New England house with rare English and Continental treen, medieval ivory and metalwork, and early furniture and carvings, this extraordinary collection of ceramics can be divided into two main groups: about 440 pieces of tinglazed earthenware (delftware) and 100 pieces of lead-glazed earthenware with slip decoration (slipware). Many of the pieces are quite rare, and all reflect the owner's fascination with bold shapes, decorative motifs, and inscriptions. Conspicuous is almost unheard of number of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century dated pots and dishes: 132 of delftware and 55 of slipware.

Many of the dated pieces in the collection can be organized by decorative subject: Chinese and Japanese (kakiemon) motifs and European themes, including neoclassical and commemorative designs, company arms, landscapes, and religious and everyday subje…» More

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Beatrix Potter, scientific illustrator

June 1, 1996  |  By Robert McCracken Peck

Originally published in June 1996

At a time when many house museums have difficulty keeping their doors open, a small cottage in the English Lake District can barely manage to close its doors at all.  Hill top (Pl. VII), the two-hundred-acre farm where Beatrix Potter lived for the last thirty-eight years of her life, is so overwhelmed with visitors each summer that the National Trust, which has owned and operated the property since Potter's death in 1943, has imposed a limit of eight hundred visitors a day to avoid overcrowding.

Potter’s house Hill Top, near Sawrey, England. National Trust; photograph by the author.

To the eighty thousand visitors who traipse through the tiny cottage annually-some from as far away as Japan-Hill top represents a nostalgic return to the comforting childhood world of Jemima Puddle-Duck, Squirrel Nutkin, and the many other animals whose adventurous lives filled the pages of Potter's books.  Although it is Peter Rabbit w…» More

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From the Archives | By Archived articles

Parisian jewelry and American patrons, real and fictional

April 1, 1992  |  By SHIRLEY BURY; from The Magazine ANTIQUES, April 1992.

The formidable skill of Parisian jewelers in interpreting the work of innovative designers was the prime cause of their international popularity. Although craftsmen elsewhere practiced the late eighteenth-century technique of open-backed, or à jour, setting, which allowed light to refract and reflect through the stones, greatly enhancing their brilliance, the contrast between the delicate French mounts and the geometrical shapes of the stones was particularly striking (see Pl. III).

The replacement of the Bourbon monarchy by the imperial regime of Napoléon I (1769-1821) did nothing to dim the reputation of the jewelers of Paris, whom the women of the Bonaparte family patronized before and after the overthrow of Napoléon at Waterloo in 1815 (see Pls. I, III, and Fig. 3).[1] At a ball Napoléon III (1808-1873) gave in 1868, for example, his empress, Eugénie, a celebrated beauty, wore "green velvet, with a crown of emeralds…» More

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From the Archives | By Archived articles

From the archives: "New Mexican tinwork, 1840-1915"

October 1, 1991  |  By Lane Coulter; from The Magazine ANTIQUES, October 1991

The art of the tinsmith flourished in New Mexico from about 1840 to 1915. During this period Hispanic tinsmiths primarily made devotional objects that reflected the Roman Catholicism of the Spanish Southwest, but they also made a limited number of more secular objects. They used shapes derived from architecture as well as immensely fanciful designs of their own invention.

Above:  Frame made by Jose Maria Apodaca (1844 – 1924), c. 1910. H: 15 ½. Inches. Collection of Bob and Cindy Gallegos, and photographs are by Michael Monteaux. 

Tinwork developed in NewMexico as the materials-tin plate, glass, and printed religious images-became available to the craftsmen. Two events brought these materials to New Mexico. First, in the summer of 1846 the American Army of the West marched into Santa Fe and declared New Mexico a territory of the United States, and second, in 1851 the French-born prelate Jean Baptiste Lamy (1814 - 1888…» More

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NYG 2013

by Émile Jacques Ruhlmann (1879-1933), 1926. Macassar ebony, amaranth, and ivory. Metropolitan Museum of Art. By Cynthia Drayton

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