Cajun and Creole, the rough and the fine

Furniture & Decorative Arts, Living with Antiques

Over the past ten years Wade Lege has rescued some of the disappearing landmarks of his native Louisiana, beginning with a group of Acadian cottages and culminating in the ongoing restoration of a Greek revival house originally from Kismet plantation. Wade Lege sold an early nineteenth-century armoire to pay for his architectural Moby Dick. With the proceeds, he got forty-five …

Getting the blues: Transfer ware translated by three contemporary artists

Furniture & Decorative Arts

You can only imagine what the china connoisseur in Edward Lamson Henry’s 1889 A Lover of Old China might think upon encountering a plate made by one of the three contemporary artists shown here. A Lover of Old China by Edward Lamson Henry (1841-1919), 1889.  Oil on academy board, 14 by 12 inches. Shelburne Museum, Vermont. We, on the other …

Iron in the Gilded Age: Samuel Yellin at Stan Hywet Hall

aroseshapiro Furniture & Decorative Arts

Samuel Yellin received what would prove perhaps his single most important early commission in 1914, for the Frank Augustus Seiberling estate in Akron, Ohio. The creative challenges and sheer magnitude of this effort set a new standard for Yellin and showed his singular ability to design and create a fully integrated approach to hardware for a devoted architect and client. …

The Seductions of Budapest

Editorial Staff Furniture & Decorative Arts

It is easy to succumb to the beauty of Budapest, Hungary’s capital city, which straddles the legendary Danube River flowing down from Germany out to the Black Sea. High on a hill on the Buda side stands the Buda Castle, erected on the ruins of former royal palaces going back to the thirteenth century. It is answered across the river …

Speaking Through Wood

sdalati Furniture & Decorative Arts

The Civil War has left its mark on two important pieces of vernacular furniture acquired by the Wadsworth Atheneum Fig. 1. Secretary-bookcase attributed to members of Connecticut’s 16th Infantry, made to honor brothers Wells (1845–1904) and John Bingham (1844 –1862), 1876. Walnut, oak, ebony, poplar, pine, maple, metal, glass, muslin, silk, bone, horn, abalone, and Seth Thomas movement; height 95 1⁄2, …

New light: More squares from Mrs. Miner’s carpet

Editorial Staff Furniture & Decorative Arts, Magazine

Discoveries come in such unexpected ways. You can search for years for a missing piece of your puzzle without success. And then, sometimes, it falls in your lap! That is what happened last year when my friend Tom Jewett, of Jewett-Berdan Antiques, posted pictures of his Christmas decorations on Facebook. Deer panel from carpet worked by Eliza Campbell Miner, 1836–1844. …

George Washington’s brush with immortality: The hair relics of a sainted hero

Editorial Staff Furniture & Decorative Arts

The eighteenth century had no pollsters to assess what voters really thought about their politicians, but even without such data, the eulogistic editorials that announced George Washington’s death in December 1799 make clear that the country’s first president had assumed a status as close to sainthood as anyone has ever done in the United States. John James Barralet’s print The …

Gray matters

Editorial Staff Exhibitions, Furniture & Decorative Arts

Recent films, exhibitions, and books re-establish Eileen Gray’s reputation and start to set the record straight   History was made at the Grand Palais in Paris on February 24, 2009, when lot 276 in Christie’s sale of the collection of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé was hammered down. In the midst of an economic recession, Eileen Gray’s Dragons armchair …

A charmed life

Editorial Staff Furniture & Decorative Arts, Living with Antiques

English inspiration, American creativity, and a bit of historical luck are joined in the author’s house and gardens   Fig. 1. The neoclassical façade of the Gordon-Banks house in Newnan, Georgia. Several years ago English friends came for lunch at my house, now called the Gordon-Banks house, in Newnan, Georgia, some forty miles southwest of Atlanta. They walked down a …

Figures in a landscape: sculpture in the British garden

aroseshapiro Furniture & Decorative Arts, Magazine

This article was originally published in the 1987 October issue of ANTIQUES. Pl. XIII. At the end of the beech allée at Chatsworth in Derbyshire is a colossal marble bust of William George Spencer Cavendish (1790 – 1858), sixth duke of Devonshire, on a marble column from the Temple of Minerva Sunias in Greece. No English country-house garden would be …