Archive for March, 2010

Good Shabbos chair, kinda, sorta, week 6

Posted in 1851 Great Exhibition, 19th cent., chair, overfussy tastes on March 31, 2010 by babylonbaroque

As it has been a mad mad week, and ending early as I need to spend Easter with family, I am doing a lazy man post for my Shabbos post. My EARLY shabbos, pre Easter post.

Instead of pretentious musing, how about some pretty pictures of chairs.

Unidentified (save for the State Chair from the 1851 Exhibition) and beautiful.

I will be shopping for new seating shortly, unfortunately my depleted budget allows for IKEA, I don’t remember an assemble your own State chair.

Wishing all a Good Pasach, Good Shabbos, and a Happy Easter.

Good night.

Good Shabbos chair, week 5

Posted in Aesthetic Movement, chair, Chas. Tisch, furniture on March 26, 2010 by babylonbaroque

My thoughts this week have been of home, I am currently taking a U.S. History course, and my beloved Philadelphia continues to pop up.

When I think of Philly, Federal architecture of course comes to mind, but I also recall the wondrous beauties of the American Aesthetic/Queen Anne movement.If you wander along Pine or any little side street  behind Rittenhouse Square you will stumble upon jawdroppers. The Centennial influenced much of this nostalgic architecture, but I imagine fashion, fashion from our Mother country, Great Britain held greater influence.

With that said I present this broken pedimented beauty by Charles Tisch

Side Chair

Charles Tisch,  active 1870-90

Rosewood, misc. woods, brass, silk upholstery

Possible Place Made, NY, NY

ca. 1885

approx. 39x23x20

Brooklyn Museum

I love this period, it’s rigid interpretation of Queen Anne, the ebonized Aesthetic Movement influence. This is a very American spin on the Aesthetic Movement, it lacks the grace of Godwin, but what it lacks in poetry it compensates with comfortable proportions.

There is a vulgarity to the chair, but of course that is what draws me to it.

A really wonderful book exploring both English and American versions of the Queen Anne Movement is “Sweetness and Light, the Queen Anne Movement 1860-1890”, by Mark Girouard, published by Yale Press. It is a marvelous resource.

Well, I must return to my studies, curious as to how this Revolution thing turns out.

Good Shabbos

Good Shabbos chair, week 4

Posted in 19th cent., bergere, chair, Egyptian Revival, furniture, P.E. Guerin on March 19, 2010 by babylonbaroque

This frankly forlorn looking Egyptian Revival bergere may seem an unlikely candidate for a Shabbos chair, but I am a sucker for faded beauty.


Pottier & Stymus


mounts, Guerin, New York

Rosewood,burl walnut, gilt, and patinated metal mounts, original upholstery

ca. 1870

approximate dimensions:38x30x29

Brooklyn Museum

This chair, also manufactured by Pottier & Stymus(last weeks Neo-Grec by P&S) has mounts made by (P.E.)Guerin, and original uphostery. The Brooklyn Museum, seeing the value of the original covering is treating it as an upholstery document. It is worthy of such archival care. The unfigured green silk is to compensate for losses. The green silk damask is original (cleaned in place if you were concerned). The trim is modern but era appropriate.

I wish I had access to the mounts, P.E. Guerin and their wonderful workshop on Jane St. is a wonder. I am so happy there is still room for the quality and beauty they offer.

In keeping with the Egyptomania theme, I close with this sweet image of baby Moses and his adoptive parent.

Good Shabbos

Happy St.Patricks Day

Posted in St. Patrick on March 16, 2010 by babylonbaroque

Remember, wear a touch of green ( or orange if you are a grumpy Protestant).

Have a happy St. Patrick’s Day!

good night.

Recquiscat in Pace Julius Caeser

Posted in R.I.P. on March 14, 2010 by babylonbaroque

Beware the Ides of March!

R.I. P.

Julius Caeser

15 March 44 B.C.

Good Shabbos, chair 3

Posted in 19th cent., chair, furniture, Pottier & Stymus Mfg. on March 12, 2010 by babylonbaroque

In my continued effort to find the perfect chair for Shabbos I present this neo-Grec beauty.

Side Chair


attributed to Pottier& Stymus Mfg. Corp.


walnut, mahogany,

rosewood, cedar,

enameled porcelain medallion

approx. 37x18x18

Metropolitan Museum of Art

This is an old favorite of mine, I always look for it when visiting the Met.

I have long favored 19th century Neo-Classical designs for the very reasons  that they are disparaged. I love how the initial plan was for some Grecian purity, then the designer’s mind wandered over to the Egypto palm designs. Owen Jones made it way to easy to pop over from one century and country to another.

For that I am thankful.

I first came to love the prettiness of pale pinks and blues because of this lovely medallion.

I love the lotus patterns, picked out in gilt, the incised decoration lending a refinded barbarity to the chair.

Really, it’s just a fantastic chair.

Good Shabbos.

Alexander McQueen, how did we lose you?

Posted in Fashion-art, Mc Queen on March 11, 2010 by babylonbaroque

Alexander Mc Queen’s last work was revealed today, and it is of course stunning.

I welled up when I heard the descriptions of his work on NPR. How he referenced Old Master paintings. the lavish beautiful complicated construction.

Such a thoughtful , deep souled artist.   I will miss the beauty he didn’t have the chance to create.

stunning, fit for a czarina.

Love the Lions of Judah rampant.

Fit for an Empress.

Beauty beyond belief.

Not much more to say, just ponder the wonders left to us.

Good night.

Indiscriminate Object of Beauty

Posted in 19th cent., Aesthetic Movement, Dresser, Orientalist on March 10, 2010 by babylonbaroque

Given my ambivalence concerning Quimper pottery,I wanted to find something I love without question. Dresser to the rescue.

“alas poor Yorick!”


Designed by Christopher Dresser

English 1880

painted wood


What isn’t there to love, I’m crazy at how 60’s “retro” the owls are. Victorian Dresser aping the mod.

Sarkozy to the Rescue

Posted in 17th century, Faience, Quimper pottery on March 10, 2010 by babylonbaroque

While reading Monday’s New York Times I came across an article concerning Quimper faience.  H.B.- Henriot, founded in 1690 by Jean Baptiste Bousquet, has had difficulty competing with cheap Chinese knock offs. Mr. Sarkozy and the French government have stepped up to the plate ( no pun intended) defending French pride, and jobs. Apparently this is part of a nationwide rescue package. Although my conservative soul generally shudders at bailouts ( rescuing purveyor’s of ugly ill designed vehicles strikes me as bad taste) I was pleased to know that Quimper faience would continue to be produced.

I must confess, I really don’t like the stuff. It reminds me of upper class woman with ill-defined taste romanticizing country life.

The “petite brettone” is almost iconically familiar.My coming across the article and it’s accompanying photos of really ghastly crockery made me hope, that in the three centuries of production, something interesting was created. I usually have great fondness for faience, I love how it puts on airs, the over grand forms , contrasted with clumsy leaden form and  bright energetic decoration.

A little side note, faience gained popularity after dear Louis XVI confiscated silver and gold plate from the aristos, faience stood in the place of costly Chinese porcelain.

With this desire to secure something other then country kitsch,I selected some sprightly examples that I enjoyed.  I will continue the search.

As I never tire of dragons, and St. Patrick’s Day is ever so close. I thought this Celtic inspired piece appropriate. The Bretons are of Celtic descent, expressing this heritage has been a staple of their designs.

Again, I never tire of dragons, the chubby-ness of the beasties contrasting with the conventional decoration charms me. I’m assuming early 20th century.

This clock, c. 1925, is probably more horror then charm, but it is striking. I think I like it. Or not.

I am fond of this three compartmented serving dish,  c.1885. It does seem, the older the piece, the better the design and the craft of the artisan.

My feelings about Quimper faience is that it COULD be really lovely and charming, unfortunately most isn’t.

Hopefully with the rescue cash, HB-Henriot’s will poke about their extensive archives and revive some treasures.

I pray they stop producing horrors like this little lovely.

Good night

Fashion Monday

Posted in Uncategorized on March 8, 2010 by babylonbaroque

For no better reason then these dresses are magical.

I know nothing of the designer, apparently by the house of J.P. Worth, late 90’s, aughts? not sure, but they are lovely.

always wild for a bit of Egyptomania

Well this is clearly dated, crazy about her mannerism.

Finally, a little High Church glamour.

Good Night.