Of Meissen men…and women at the Frick

Editorial Staff Art, Exhibitions

Vitreous, white, and often delicately translucent, porcelain was invented in China as early as the seventh century, but Western attempts to reproduce the Chinese miracle failed until the dawn of the eighteenth century, when the Saxon ruler Augustus the Strong pressed into his service the young Berlin alchemist Johann Friedrich Böttger and commanded him to enrich the Saxon coffers by …

Spanish American Riches in Brooklyn

Editorial Staff Exhibitions

Folding screen with the Siege of Belgrade (front), Mexican, c. 1697–1701. Oil on wood, inlaid with mother-of-pearl. Brooklyn Museum, gift of Lilla Brown in memory of her husband, John W. Brown, by exchange. Objects in gold and silver, inlaid and gilded furniture, sumptuous fabrics, Asian porcelains, dazzling por­traits-the Spanish colonial elite had it all, and flaunted it proudly within the …

Catherine the Great in Georgia

Editorial Staff Exhibitions

Censer, Russian, late seventeenth century. Silver and parcel gilt. Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens, Washington, D. C. Crowned empress of Russia in 1762, Catherine II was determined to change the perception through­out Europe that Russia was a cultural backwater. Having lived at court since 1744, when she became engaged to the future Peter III, Catherine had immersed herself in Russian …

Sir Geoffrey de Bellaigue (1931-2013)

Editorial Staff Books

© Lucy Dickens / National Portrait Gallery, London The noted authority on eighteenth-century French furniture and Sèvres porcelain, Sir Geoffrey de Bellaigue, Surveyor Emeritus of the Queen’s Works of Art died on January 4, 2013. The pinnacle of Sir Geoffrey’s research and study was the three-volume catalogue, French Porcelain in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen, published in 2009. …

Stampede

Editorial Staff Art

Texas is full of cattlemen, but few with the style and panache of Derrill Osborn, whose “herd” was offered at the Dallas Auction Gallery in October. Best known for shaping decades of men’s fashion—he headed that division at Neiman Marcus for more than twenty years—Osborn has been a “cattleman” ever since his great-grandfather whittled him a little wooden cow when …

Vintage finds for the Thanksgiving table

Editorial Staff Furniture & Decorative Arts

It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is already upon us. While certain side dishes go in and out of fashion, the turkey and its gravy remain a constant; and with that, its vessel, the gravy boat, is a mainstay of any traditional table setting. The term “gravy” appears in several medieval French cookbooks referring to the natural cooking juices, or …

Eye candy

Editorial Staff Exhibitions

Having immersed himself in bygone foodways and culinary techniques for decades, author, food historian, and master of antiquated cookery Ivan Day is the man to call when England’s great historic house museums look to re-create the grand feasts of earlier centuries. He has whipped up historically accurate food and settings at Chatsworth, Waddesdon Manor, Hardwick Hall, and many others. While …

This Week’s Top Lots: September 7 – 11

Editorial Staff Art

*  The top lot of the September 9 sale of British pottery and porcelain at Bonhams New Bond Street was an 18th-century Worcester “Grubb” plate that sold for £20,400 (estimate £4,000-5,000). Other top lots were a signed 1821 creamware stallion that sold for £18,000 (estimate £8,000-12,000), and a mid-18th century Bow duck tureen (estimate £8,000-10,000) and a Worcester teapot (estimate …

Elinor Gordon, 1918-2009

Editorial Staff

Elinor Gordon of Villanova, Pennsylvania, the premier antiques dealer in Chinese export porcelain, died on Wednesday July 22, at her vacation home in Osterville on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. She was ninety-one years old and had been in the business for more than half a century, helping to build some of the best public and private collections of China trade porcelain …