From the Archives | By Archived articles

The jewelry of René Lalique

June 1, 1987  |  By GEOFFREY C. MUNN; from The Magazine ANTIQUES, June 1987.

Even if the word genius was used as sparingly as it should be, the late nineteenth- and early twentieth century jeweler René Lalique would always be so described. Rather than a craftsman with a leaning toward the artistic, he was an accomplished artist who chose to express himself primarily in jewelry.

The son of a merchant who dealt in pretty luxury goods called "articles de Paris," Lalique spent an uneventful childhood between school in Paris and holidays in the French countryside. It was undoubtedly there that he learned to see nature as a primary source of inspiration; and recording what he saw in the fields and streams was an easy task for a boy who, by the age of fifteen, was earning a steady income as a portrait miniaturist. His interests coincided perfectly with the revolution in the decorative arts known as art nouveau, which rejected eclecticism for a direct interpretation of the natural world. Europeans wo…» More

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From the Archives | By Archived articles

Stephen and Maxfield Parrish in New Hamsphire

June 1, 1979  |  Originally publsihed in June 1979

By Virginia Reed Colby

Stephen Parrish, a well-known painter and etcher, and his son Maxfield,1 one of the most popular artists of the early twentieth century, both moved to New Hampshire in the 1890s. Stephen came to Cornish in 1893, following the sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens and other artists, writers, and musicians who made up what came to be known as the Cornish colony.2 The members of the colony found rural Cornish a delightful place to work, yet they had easy access to New York City by train from Windsor, Vermont, across the Connecticut River.3

Stephen Parrish's house Northcote4 was designed by Wilson Eyre 91858- 1944), a noted architect from Philadelphia, where Parrish had also lived before coming to Cornish. From 1893 to 1902 Parrish spent his time building the house, a shop, a greenhouse, a stable for his horse Betty, a studio, and the extensive gardens. To take advantage of the view Parrish lined up the main garden path with th…» More

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From the Archives | By Archived articles

Two hoof spoons

September 1, 1978  |  By ALBERT SCHER; from The Magazine ANTIQUES, September 1978.

 When Helen Burr Smith wrote about silver spoons with hoof-shape terminals in ANTIQUES in 1944 there were only four of these interesting survivals from seventeenth-century Dutch New York households known in America. Now two more hoof spoons have come to light.

 

Fig. 1-Silver hoof spoon, probably New York, seventeenth century. Length 6 9/16 inches. Inscribed F-A on the flat of the hoof. It is nearly identical to the spoon shown in Figs. 2, 2a. Private collection; photograph by Meyers Studio.

 

 

 

One bears the initials of the unidentified first owner F-A, in seventeenth-century lettering on the flat of the hoof, but is otherwise unmarked (Figs. 1, 1a). It appears to be identical to a spoon made by Ahasuerus Hendricks (Figs. 2, 2a) that was discussed and illustrated in Miss Smith's article, except that the bowl of the spoon in Figure 1 is slightly larger than that of the Hendricks example. In both cases, the …» More

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From the Archives | By Archived articles

Skippets

July 1, 1978  |  By J. S. BROWN; From The Magazine ANTIQUES, July 1978.

Skippets are small boxes made to hold and protect pendent wax seals attached to important documents. Silver, silver-gilt, and gold examples were used by the United States government between 1815 and 1871, primarily on treaties with other countries that had been ratified by Congress. The skippet was suspended from the treaty by woven strands of gold or silver, often entwined with strands of silk, which had been threaded through the box before the hot wax was poured in. The wax was impressed with the great seal of the United States, and the cover of the box was hand chased with a design based on the seal.

The first skippet made for the United States government was for the Treaty of Ghent, which settled the War of 1812 with England. Now in the Hall of Records in London, it is marked by the Georgetown silversmith Charles A. Burnett. His shop on Bridge Street was not far from the bookshop and bindery of Joseph Milligan, to who…» More

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From the Archives | By Archived articles

A desk associated with George Washington

May 1, 1978  |  By JOAN SAYERS BROW; from The Magazine ANTIQUES May 1978.

The  handsome slant-front desk illustrated here was originally owned by Colonel George William Fairfax (1724-1787), whose estate, Bevoir, was near Mount Vernon on the Potomac River in Virginia. In April 1773 Fairfax took his wife, sally Cary, to England, after asking his neighbor George Washington to watch over Belvoir while they were away. Washington wrote to Fairfax from Mount Vernon on January 19,1773, "As you only require that I should have an eye to the conduct of your Steward or manager, and to remit his Collections, I can do it with very little difficulty." According to Fairfax family tradition, the desk was moved from Belvoir to Mount Vernon at this time to hold the plantation's papers.

 Slant-front desk, American, 1769-1772. Mahogany, with pine and poplar the secondary woods; height 48, width 36, depth 34 inches. The brasses are old replacements. The slides tha tpull out to support the top are long narrow draw…» More

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NYG 2013

[Compiled by Bill Stern, Executive Director at the Museum of California Design, Los Angeles. Originally published in "Curator's Eye" in Modern Magazi

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