May 1, 1966 | By Geoffrey de Bellaigue, Deputy surveyor of the Queen's Works of Art
Originally published by The Magazine ANTIQUES in May 1966.
From the day that George IV, as Prince of Wales, first took up residence at Carlton House when he came of age in 1782, to his death in 1830, he collected French works of art on a scale previously unknown to English monarchs. Though his interest never wavered, his taste in art, and in the arts of France in particular, did undergo some change as he grew older.
Two commentaries on the furnishings at Carlton House serve to illustrate this shift in emphasis. In 1785 Horace Walpole wrote: "There is an august simplicity that astonished me. You cannot call it magnificent; it is the taste and propriety that strike. Every ornament is at a proper distance, and not one too large, but all delicate and new..." Twenty-seven years later Lady Beaumont, as reported by Joseph Farington, was equally enthusiastic but for a different reason: "... the splendour of the fu…» More
September 1, 1964 | By ROBERT C. SMITH; from The Magazine ANTIQUES, September 1964.
French architects, painters, and craftsmen in the decorative arts played an important role in the development of the classical style in America during the second and third decodes of the nineteenth century. This is particularly true of a group of cabinetmakers who settled in New York and Philadelphia and included, among others, Michel Bouvier, Joseph Brauwers, Charles Honore Lanuier and his successor John Gruez, and Antoine Gabriel Quervelle. The last of these men has been mentioned on a number of occasions in ANTIQUES and elsewhere but no attempt has been made to reconstruct his career in this country or to assemble a representative group of his furniture. This can now be done, at least in part, thanks to recently found documents and to several hitherto unknown pieces bearing his label, on the basis of which other furniture can be attributed.
Fig 1 Labeled mahogany pier table with white marble top. Typical of…» More
October 1, 1954 | By THOMAS J. WERTENBAKER; from The Magazine ANTIQUES, October 1954.
The woods near Williamsburg are glorious in April and May with the crimson magenta flowers of the Judas tree, and the white and pink of the dogwood. The sweet smelling honeysuckle covers fences, embankments, and stumps. And everywhere in the town itself one can note along streets and lanes, or peeping from behind fences, the lovely pink and crape myrtle, the white or crimson pink flowers of the rose Sharon, the white viburnum clusters, the white mock orange, the brilliant scarlet of the double flowering pomegranate, and, among many others, the little New Jersey tea.
Fig. 1 "Pleasure garden" of the Bryan house. Four rectangular beds balance a central square whose corners indent four enclosing beds, all edged with box. Beds surrounding central square have ground covering of hardy periwinkle and bushes are clipped in formal designs; outer beds have dwarf apple trees in corners. Peach trees line walks east and …» More
July 1, 1951 | By LOUIS C. JONES; from The Magazine ANTIQUES, July 1951.
For miles through the silent mountains the trickle flows-a vagrant brook playing at the feet of mountains-from the beginnings to the sea, guarded and shadowed by mountains.
Cabins and shabby forms lie beside it-housing men to whom guns and a rod are dearer by far than the ho and the plow. There are singers among them and fiddlers and builders of tall and magnificent lies. And there are old chests in the darkened corners and rockers so long in the family they're known by the name of some ancestor, for all else forgotten. And beside them, all higgledy-piggledy, the newest devices from Montgomery Ward.
It widens and deepens-a brooklet grows into a river. Thus it was flowing when Burgoyne and his regulars met the long rifles at Old Saratoga and a tide that was drowning and stumbling rebellion was halted. Jan McCrea knew the river-and thought of her red-coated lover, never suspecting her scalp lock would cry out to Yanke…» More
May 1, 1951 | By FLORENCE PETO; from The Magazine ANTIQUES, May 1951.
Eighteenth-century crewelwork, especially favored for bedspreads and bed furnishings, is one of the most delightful types of early American embroidery. Though it has become very scarce, resolute seekers may still occasionally acquire a piece.
Tree of Life Design, crewelwork fragment with leaves, fruit, birds, insects, and caterpillar. New York Historical Society.
The "crewel" in which the designs were worked was a loosely twisted wool yarn. That which was made commercially came in three grades, a heavy one for tapestry, a medium one for general use, and a two-ply zephyr for the finest embroideries. Very often, however, the yarn was spun at home. In fact, all the steps of the processes might be carried out on the needle-woman's own property, from the raising of the sheep to the carding, spinning, and dyeing of the wool. The quality of the yarn was affected by the quality of the sheep, the manner in whic…» More
by Émile Jacques Ruhlmann (1879-1933), 1926. Macassar ebony, amaranth, and ivory. Metropolitan Museum of Art. By Cynthia Drayton» View All