Archive for the Regency Category

Sabbath Chair week 13/Thomas Hope

Posted in 19th cent., chair, Regency, Regency Revival, Thomas Hope on May 30, 2010 by babylonbaroque

My Sabbath chair this week will honor the Christian sabbath.

The following is after a design by the eccentric Classicist  Thomas Hope. Designed in 1802, the height of Neo-Classical fashion, this chair wasn’t made until ’92.

It was well worth the wait.


ca.1807 designed

ca. 1892 made

Thomas Hope


Mahogany with brass inlay

made by Edwards and Roberts, london

Victoria & Albert collection

Based upon a design found in Hope’s classic Household Furniture, 1807, it reflects his distinctive understanding of ancient furnishings. Household Furniture is a must for anyone serious about the decorative arts. It is a dream tour through Hope’s home, collections, tastes and thinking.It is so much more then a folio of pretty furniture, it is a moment  and place captured in elegant line drawings reminiscent of the fashionable Flaxman.

This week’s featured chair has an especially handsome star and palmette decorative scheme rendered in inlaid brass.

I love the foppish Hope, wealthy (Hope diamond a family jewel, dirty pun intended), brash, and with marvelous broad taste. I love how he expressed Egyptian taste, as well as other ancient styles.

I will close with two images of Hope as one just isn’t enough for a man of such grandeur.

oil on canvas 1798

William Beechey (1753-1839)

National Portrait Gallery, London

You have to love a man who dolls up in costume a la Turk to have his portrait painted.

Just one more as the coloring is so much more vulgar, making me happy.

Have a wonderful weekend , take a moment to remember fallen soldiers throughout history.

Pining for Prinny

Posted in Regency, Uncategorized on July 28, 2009 by babylonbaroque

Eleanor's dragon

When my friend Ian Noonan first contacted concerning a project he had for me, I was tickled, I love Ian, very clever and smart, plus he gets all my references. Since being in CA I have had difficulty finding folks, DESIGNERS!, who cared at all for our rich decorative past. Of course they LOVE “old things”, mid-century is the go to style choice. But the things I love, the vulgar, extreme, colorful, downright gaudy, they flinch. Chastity is the taste of the day, all that blazing CA sun has tempered their taste, God love the Anglo Saxons and their gloomy weather.

When Ian called and told me he had a client who loved Brighton I was pleased beyond measure. The client had a fancy for the Banqueting Room dragon, the Stupendous Dragon. I went mad. Alas, the space is a smallish dressing room, Ian had installed a fun Indo-Chinois fixture but the space was compromised by  a ridiculous vent. No room for the glorious banana leaves, the snarling beast clutching above mentioned fixture as in the original.dragon chandelier

I had to come up with a solution.

Finding multiple dragons from that wonderful house was easy, creating a hybrid beast, fun. Wrapping his snarling monster-ness around the fixture, a natural compromise.

Since more is better, I dripped a pearl rope with an Orientalist censor, a baroque pearl, and a lovely blue bell from a Brighton bed. I adore blue and red, a magical combination.

Once again, everything was painted with Farrow & Ball paint, they make my projects so much easier.censor

This detail of the censor is my first real attempt at blending the stylization found in Chinese/chinoiserie cloud decoration with my more conventional painting style illustrated in censor and dragon. I like the flatness with the more rounded quality. Burgess suggested that treatment in many of his glorious projects, I want to explore that some more.