Fanciful Wrought Iron 1940’s Apartment Gates

I’ve posted other wrought-iron pieces on the site before, but none as colorful as these.  While iron can often seem like a crude material, it only takes a master craftsman to show you how refined wrought iron can be.  In this case, that master is the famous 20th century French metal worker, Raymond Subes who was active in Paris from the 20s through the 60s and made his mark by supplying beautiful iron work to a number of famous ocean liners, hotels, and other historical buildings in the city of light and beyond.  This particular piece has fantastic patina, but still pops thanks to a splash of aged coral and gilt color that plays well off the chocolate tones of the iron.  What really sets this piece apart though are the gorgeous curves.  Swooping, interlocked loops of varied weight balance the overall look, and iconic period embellishments ooze a style that would be quite at home in a city penthouse in New York or Paris.

wrought iron gate

Available at Paul Stamati Gallery in New York, who incidentally has a magnificent selection of wrought iron work of a similar style.

Porcelain Arabesque Mirror by Meissen

I’ve been on a porcelain kick lately, thinking about interesting ways to integrate gilded, over the top works into my sadly less than rococo lifestyle.  And stunning applique mirrors seem like a good way to add glamour to a room without having the style overwhelm it.  This particular work was done circa 1890 by Meissen, who, along with Nymphemburg has a legendary reputation as one of the highest quality artisan porcelain workshops in Germany, if not the world.  Both have been around for hundreds of years and are still turning out absolutely spectacular work in sculpture and tableware just outside Munich.  Now all I have to do is start saving….

Available at MS Rau Antiques in New Orleans

Maurice de Vlaminck at Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Art Day Sale

Even though he doesn’t command the multi-million dollar estimates of some of the other more famous artists in Sotheby’s flagship art sales, Maurice de Vlaminck’s work has grown on me in the past few years.  The bold, fauvist style catches my eye from across the room and even though the overall tone of the work tends to seem melancholy, what can I say, I like it.  I think the way he paints the sky is particularly interesting.  In the Paysage work below, you can see the jittery waves that are frequently in the background. All three pieces are available in the upcoming Impressionist and Modern Art Day Sale at Sotheby’s, being held this Tuesday, November 3rd.


“Vase de Fleurs”

Maurice de Vlaminck Vase De Fleurs

“L’Orangerie de Versailles”

Maurice de Vlaminck L'Orangerie de Versailles

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.

Remembering Joan Sutherland

Via NYT – Joan Sutherland, one of the most acclaimed sopranos of the 20th century, a singer of such power and range that she was crowned “La Stupenda,” died on Sunday at her home in Switzerland, near Montreux. She was 83.

For opera lovers this is a sad day.  Ms. Sutherland was indisputably one of the great sopranos of the last century and millions have enjoyed her glorious recordings over the years.  Even though she hasn’t been on stage in years, her death feels like the end of an era, as though something magical has vanished forever.

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