June 1, 2004 | By Karina H. Corrigan; from The Magazine ANTIQUES, June 2004.
A single stem of chrysanthemum explodes off the page shown in Plate I. This exquisite Chinese export painting was executed abut 1823, two years after this variety of chrysanthemum, the so-called quilled orange, had been introduced into English gardens.1 Chinese plants were first brought to Europe in the late seventeenth century, but ready access to new varieties of Asian species was not widely feasible until the last years of the eighteenth century. Although he never visited China, Georg Joseph Camel 91661 - 1706), a Moravian Jesuit missionary stationed in the Philippines, collected plants from the Chinese community in Manila to dry and send back to Europe. In honor of Camel's early efforts on behalf of Asian botanical studies, the Swedish naturalist Carolus Linnaeus 9(1707 - 1778) named the Camellia after him. James Cunningham 9d. 1709?), a Scottish East India Company surgeon stationed in Amoy in 1698, became the …» More
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
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
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
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). 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
[Compiled by Bill Stern, Executive Director at the Museum of California Design, Los Angeles. Originally published in "Curator's Eye" in Modern Magazi» View All