Venice, and its Old-World Beauty

Venice is a city in many ways untouched by time. The stately buildings and jade-green canals stared passively as Charles Dickens planned a stop for his little Amy Dorrit, as Gaston Leroux gathered inspiration for his enigmatical Fantome, as Mark Twain took them in during his rollicking world tour, and as Mary, Eric, and Jonas Reyes strolled around, absolutely agog, just a week ago. This picture taken by Mary would have fitted in the albums of any one of her foregoers..

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How would it be if you could have a snippet of Venice in your own home, with more visual identity than a simple photograph? How would you like to have on your walls something so Venetian, people will think you chiseled it off a wall there?
You’d love it, of course.

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The John Richards company has just that – embodied in a pair of fascinatingly framed lithographic scenes of old Venice.

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Each scene is has been painstakingly hand-colored and surrounded generously by a gold beaded insert and a mat of cracked gesso (a plaster-of-Paris compound) to make the picture feel at home. The gesso, in turn, is glassed and framed by ornate black and gold. I can assure you that the frames are very well made, and the art object en masse is very heavy.

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The collection is named Barbarigo, after Signore Agostino Barbarigo, the late Doge of 15th century Venice.

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Make a connection with your inner gondolier and see the prices at Interior Images!

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Faraway Places with Strange Soundin’ Names…

Have they always been calling to you? Or perhaps you let the world come to your home instead of vice versa?
Either way, you would enjoy the charming tableaux on this impressive chinoiserie screen.

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On a richly painted black wooden screen are the characters and scenes of a royal house. As you run your fingertips along the raised relief, you will feel the smooth coolness of the washed, colored stone that comprises the bulk of the buildings and people, with the exception of their heads.

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The simplicity of the props make it look like a stage set, with the actors pantomiming their parts…

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And the beautiful decorative border and back of the screen enhance, but do not distract, from the scene

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I might add that there is a sturdy solidity to this piece that indicates a certain high quality of make, as do the impressive hinges that unite the panels.

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They call me a dreamer, well maybe I am,
But I know that I’m burnin’ to see
Those faraway places, with the Strange soundin’ names
Calling, calling me…

M’seur Poirot’s Curio

A rather fascinating item as recently crossed the threshold of Interior Images – a beautifully painted chinoiserie curio cabinet, with lights and mirrors.

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Almost as intriguing are the contents of this cabinet.
A painted spoon from Russia,

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An exquisitely turned glass perfume bottle from Egypt,

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A charming sugar and cream set of the still more charming Delft Blue, with the classic windmill motif,

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An intricate mesh handbag from America, with its long-forgotten birthplace engraved inside (Whiting and Davis)

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And so much more! All collected, one may imagine, by a traveller with an eye for the simple, unique, yet identifying if everyplace he has wandered. Agatha Christie’s characters, chiefly Poirot’s, we’re forever finding themselves in the marketplaces of metropolises just such as these, no doubt using time (in between crimes) to add to their world collection of curios.

Open the Shutters, Let the Light Out

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In the case of this bit of faux fenestration, this statement is true – opening these shutters lets the trapped light out.
Allow me to introduce another brainchild of the Bassett Mirror Company.

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It is a two-tiered, shuttered, arched floor mirror with metal fastenings. A charming and filling bit of glass work, ordered new, for sale at the interesting price of $619.

Heralding the Herend

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I never really thought of Hungary as a source of finely crafted china, or porcelain. But then I suppose there are people who don’t think of juniper berries as the source of gin. Here to set us all straight (about Hungary, not juniper berries) is this fascinating consigned collection of Herend hand painted handiwork.

It is a set applied with the appellation “Coronation.” It has finely formed candelabrum in two styles, with removable fixtures…..

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…. A few lidded Containers, of the egg-shaped and round variety, and also two with more artistic and delicate details, along with a charming bell…

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20130910-191004.jpg I don’t know what the official use of this piece is, do you?

Come see them for yourself, along with this Herend object of another denomination

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Coming soon is a new page about Interior Images’ fabric room – don’t miss it!

Les Bijoux

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This rather large objet d’art is entitle “Les Bijoux.” The exact translation varies, including such things as ‘jewel’ etc, but the connotative definition is ‘Precious Things.’
This lady, her bejeweled hand and neck, the music notes surrounding the soft figure, are obviously at least one person’s “few of my favorite things.”

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The matting and framing itself is quite regal, with a tooled look at one stage of the border, and the rich red, gold, and black.
The protecting glass made it difficult to take a proper photograph, but then it still would not do the same justice as seeing it in person.

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Market Finds

A few days ago, objects ordered during Market Week arrived! They are now unpacked and displayed.

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Each pottery piece had the tell-tale coating of dust that accompanies a birth place of clay and fire, water and glaze. It shows that it was not the work of your average machine, churning out vases like so much sausage. One can also see this evidence by the inside of the jars…

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Instead of a severely finished interior, one can see the undulating rhythm of the potter’s wheel.
They are just what is wanted for your chinoiserie corner. Showing here…

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A Visit from Paul Robinson, Inc.

We at Interior Images Ltd. recently had our semiannual visit from an ambassador of the Paul Robinson Inc. art company, along with his equipage – namely, the salesman J M Hartzel ( here pictured with the largest painting in the collection)

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Inside this trailer, paintings by the various artists affiliated with the company are sorted by size and roped in (so they can’t run around loose)

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And so, once inside, observing each artist’s particular style (from which they are kindly but firmly requested by Paul Robinson Inc to not stray) one can simply revel in oil paintings, traditional and contemporary.

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20130521-195202.jpg this artist seems to specialize in blue crabs. Yum

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A life on the road, as you may expect, can take a toll on these fancily framed paintings. Also, suppose you are delighted with a painting, but feel it should be surrounded by the simple, not the ornate (or vice versa)? Do not wring your hands with worry, for Mr. Hartzel has a special workshop of his own to care for those needs.

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Then, the art man is on his way to a new destination, and the paintings that remain behind are carefully unwrapped and tastefully placed about the store.

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Come see these and more ‘in the paint’ at Interior Images!

Additional Addendums

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I wanted to show you a few additional suggestions for displaying the Stevengraph silk pictures. I might also state that they are displayed on the double dining table I highlighted in an early post. This 1800’s work of useful art is simply fascinating and I feel it requires more attention. Look at it! It’s beautiful!

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The Badash Crystal in so many of these pictures is also of a finer calibre than many and should be admired for its ‘crystal clear’ beauty.

Award-winning Stevengraph

The Industrial Revolution had its pros and cons, but one quite interesting result was the factory in Coventry, England. There the inventor/artist Thomas Stevens had it in his power to produce ‘silk pictures’ on a large scale. They were a conventional size, quite pretty, and the choice of content appealed to the sporting blood of the English.

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The back of each little item is just as interesting as the front! One can see, for instance, that Thomas Stevens earned 10 prize medals and diplomas. There is a charming small lithograph of the famous Stevengraph Works factory in Coventry and a descriptive list of the different silk pictures in the collection. Also, a stamp here, a pencil mark there, hinting at the story of the various places these matted pictures have been.

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These silk pictures do show there age, but one may say – the show their history, too. As they have their original matting and backing, they can be displayed in a variety of ways. They could be placed in individual frames, set in one large multi-display frame, or artfully laid in a curio cabinet. Or maybe one of those double glass ‘diploma’ frames to display both front and back with ease.
Interested? Please get in touch with us.

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