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Faux Malachite Wingback Chairs

When you woke up this morning, you didn’t know what was missing from your life, but surely you know now; faux malachite wingback chairs.  In the world of faux stone, I can’t say that I really put fabric upholstery at the top of my list, but these are nothing short of hypnotic – or maybe I should say, psychedelic, even though malachite as a motif is quite ancient.

Of course, I’m not sure if it’s hypnotic in a good sense, or if it’s more like watching a train wreck that you can’t take your eyes away from.  I still haven’t made my mind up, but these were too striking not to post.  These feel like the kind of ‘experts only’ piece that you’d really have to know how to work with.  Perhaps they’d look great is a really minimalist and neutral space, where they could be the uncontested center of attention.  Or, I can also see them working in a completely over the top space jam packed with interesting things and misfits, where they would feel right at home.

Malachite, as many of you will already know, is a greenish mineral of copper that has a long history for its use in decorative objects.  The Egyptians carried malachite amulets, and even ground it into a powder they used for eye shadow.  It was also quite popular in Russia during the 18th century, when it was also used for jewelry until a large deposit was found in the Ural Mountains, and they started facing tables and columns with it.

Today, you typically see malachite as an accent to a larger piece like gilt clocks, mirror frames, the base to small statuary, obelisks, veneered boxes, and things of that nature, though even now and again you see some designer who really goes for it and makes something massive and in your face with the material.  For example, the famed interior designer Tony Duquette produced a rug that looked like a solid sheet of malachite back in the 70s that was perfect for his ‘More is More’ aesthete.

malachite chairs


malachite chair 2

Available at Modern Drama 20th Century Arts in Chicago.

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014


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Futuristic Art Deco Table Lamps

Mallet never fails to impress – these spectacular table lamps are absolute showstoppers.  These lamps are quite sleek with such a vertical profile and I especially like the angular, electricity iconography in the tube frame.  It’s almost like three bolts are leaping from the base to the lightening rod finial.  Unfortunately, like all wonderful things from this dealer, they require some deep pockets.  Prepare to commit.

Available at the incomparable Mallet in London.

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

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Emerald Faceted Sideboard by Marco Costa

I saw this arresting piece for the first time a few weeks ago and it’s stuck with me ever since.  The modern, abstract construction makes it look like a massive jewel, particularly given the gilded base and slightly iridescent covering.  It sounds flashy on paper, but because of the deep emerald color it’s not over the top in my opinion. Clearly a focus piece for any room, it would lend an amazing pop to a minimalist penthouse.


Available at Boca Do Lobo for a princely sum indeed –

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

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Pair of Victorian Slipper Chairs

Another gem from Britain, these slipper chairs stand out from the crowd thanks to some chunky, luxuriously apportioned carvings supporting the back.  The wood is clearly in excellent condition, the walnut has stayed bright so the piece has a high degree of contrast.  And even the black upholstery is lightened a bit from the waxed fabric, which picks up more of a reflective glow than you might expect.  Antony Todd is known for a distinctive and bold style and this piece seems classically him.

Available through Antony Todd in New York.

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

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William & Mary Burled Elm, Fruitwood and Walnut Chest

Marquetry is among the most advanced forms of carpentry art out there and this piece is an absolute masterpiece in burl.  Thought to be made by Gerrit Jensen, famed craftsmen to the British crown in the late 18th century, the decadence of this piece is just astounding.  It really is a shock and awe kind of piece for antique-hounds.  The inlay is so delicate and the details are so fine; this chest simply vibrates with the man hours spent creating it.  And may I say bravo to the gallery and former owners for keeping this treasure in such immaculate condition.

Available through the incomparable Kentshire Galleries in New York

Monday, October 11th, 2010

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