Monday, August 31, 2009

Chinoiserie Meissen

This antique Meissen Chinoiserie Porcelain Female Pagoda Nodder pictured above is a fascinating piece currently being auctioned on eBay. On this piece, the head, tongue, and two hands move. Meissen was the first European hard-paste porcelain developed in 1708 by Ehrenfried Walther von Tschirnhaus. After his death that year, it was continued and brought to market in 1710 by Johann Friedrich Bottger at Meissen, near Dresden. Before then, porcelain, a highly valuable export, had been perfected only by the Chinese. These Nodding Pagodas date from the 1720s and 1730s. They are extremely rare and valuable because they were produced for a short time when Meissen was slavishly copying models from east Asia before they developed their own unmistakable style. Nodders were used to let people know if an earthquake was starting, because even a slight tremor caused the moving parts to react. You must check out the video of this "first bobblehead."

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams Chinoiserie

If you are looking for an entryway piece that is grand in design, but small in scale for a not so grand foyer, this may be it. This Ming Console by Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams sports a slightly distressed red lacquer finish, with satin brass drawer pulls and legs. At only 30" wide, 32 " high, and 10" deep, it is perfectly proportioned for the smaller space. It is priced at $870. In addition, they are having a 20% off sale on upholstery, tables, and storage now through October 12th. This piece would add such Chinoiserie flair to a foyer or any room for that matter.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Pottery Barn Chinoiserie

I admit to not liking Pottery Barn. But if I decide to do brown and ugly, I'll know right where to go. So I was delighted to see these stylish red media cabinets, consoles, and armoires in the new Pottery Barn offerings. All come in this Desa Ming red lacquered finish.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Baker Studio

If you love the quality and elegance of Baker Furniture but not the price, their new Baker Studio line is deserving of your attention. This well edited collection has pieces that are modern, stylish, and sophisticated, many with a Chinoiserie appeal. I have shown you a few of my favorites here. Most are available in several finishes which include black lacquer, red lacquer, ivory lacquer, glazes, and many of the storage pieces have coral lacquer interiors. These pieces are well priced to begin with, and Baker's fall sale is on now through October 19th.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Clare Fraser and Chinoiserie

I think many people assume that because I have a passion for Chinoiserie my philosophy as to decorating with Chinoiserie is more is more. Nothing could be further from the truth. I have many rooms with no Chinoiserie whatsoever, while others have well edited pieces. You don't want your home to look like a Chinese restaurant or a store like Pearl River, as much as I love them! An interior designer who uses Chinoiserie with an expert hand is Clare Fraser. These photos from her home, from New York Social Diary, show wonderful examples of combining Chinoiserie with French furniture, beautiful wallpaper and fabrics, antiques, and a classic feminine approach in her sumptuous home. If you are a fan of interior designers like Joe Nye and Charlotte Moss, I think you are about to become a follower of Clare Fraser.