Thursday, 30 April 2009

Boog-ie woogie, then and now

The then residence of Thomas Boog, photographed by Nicolas Matheus, as it appeared in Elle Decoration, September 2001 (France).

The Boog residence now, photographed again by Nicolas Matheus, as it appeared in Elle Decoration, February/March 2009 (France).

Now playing: Earth, Wind & Fire - Boogie Wonderland
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

More ways to waste time

Apartment Zero (1988), starring Hart Bochner and Colin Firth, with Dora Bryan, Liz Smith, and Fabrizio Bentivoglio.

Stylish thriller, set in modern day Buenos Aires, that centres around the relationship between Adrian LeDuc (Firth) and his lodger Jack Carney (Bochner). Adrian, a repressed and unbalanced loner, becomes emotionally dependent on the beguiling Jack, who in turn is a (hot, which is key) mercenary sociopath.

Jack, there is only one rule here and that is avoid the neighbours... They have been trying to find a way into me like dirty little worms...Not because they care, not because they like me, it's just to satisfy their morbid pointless curiosity...

Now playing: Wham! - Bad Boys
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, 28 April 2009


Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall with Pope Benedict XVI

Prince Charles and Princess Diana with Pope John Paul II

The Duchess of Cornwall is not, as one tabloid suggested, emulating the late Diana, Princess of Wales. It is protocol for women to wear black and to cover their heads when meeting the Pope. The only exception being the privilège du blanc. A privilege afforded to female Catholic Monarchs, and to female Catholic Consorts of Monarchs, wherein they are allowed to wear white when in an audience with the Pope.

Now playing: The Smiths - Vicar in a Tutu
via FoxyTunes

Lot 233

So smart and modern. Frank Lloyd Wright two piece sectional sofa, manufactured by Heritage Henredon, with a Taliesin design base.

This would be my choice as a foil to French salon furniture.

Treadway Toomey Galleries

Now playing: Howard Johnson - So Fine
via FoxyTunes

Monday, 27 April 2009

What would Sister say?

By Rock & Royal

Are the crystals cut or uncut?


Now playing: The Smiths - There Is a Light That Never Goes Out
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, 26 April 2009

The final curtain

Bea Arthur (1922-2009) in a scene from an episode of Maude. Quite possibly one of the most memorable moments in television history.

Now playing on iTunes: Peggy Lee - Is That All There Is
via FoxyTunes

Friday, 24 April 2009

More ways to waste time

Housewife, 49 (2006)
Written by and starring Victoria Wood with David Threlfall, Stephanie Cole, Christopher Harper, Ben Crompton, and Lorraine Ashbourne.

Based on the wartime diaries of Nella Last. The diary, originally part of the Mass-Observation project to document the lives of ordinary people (in this case, a housewife aged 49), was first published in 1981.

This is not the war of the newsreels - it's about tiny domestic difficulties, chilly church halls, lumpy custards. And Nella is fighting her own war, one that she hopes will end in liberation. - Victoria Wood

Available in 9 parts on youtube, here.

Nella Last's War: The Second World War Diaries of Housewife, 49

Nella Last's Peace: The Post-War Diaries Of Housewife, 49

Now playing on iTunes: Linda Ronstadt - What'll I Do?
via FoxyTunes

Far from the madding crowd

Clouds Hill

The music room

The book room

The back of the cottage

Nothing in Clouds Hill is to be a care upon the world. While I have it there shall be nothing exquisite or unique in it. Nothing to anchor me. - T. E. Lawrence

T.E. Lawrence, using the name Shaw to avoid publicity, rented Clouds Hill in 1923 as a retreat from nearby Bovington Camp when he rejoined the Air Force. In 1925 Lawrence bought the cottage and it became his earthly paradise. He did not sleep at the cottage but spent evenings there reading, writing and listening to Beethoven and Mozart.

The tiny rooms* of Clouds Hill are as Lawrence left them with simple and austere furnishings, some of which he made himself. The cottage reflects his complex personality and monastic way of life. The crowded book room is lined with shelves from floor to ceiling. It is here that Lawrence found the peace and quiet he needed to work on his Seven Pillars of Wisdom, which was published in 1926.

In 1935 Lawrence was discharged at the age of 46 from the Air Force and returned to Clouds Hill to live out his days. Five days later he was killed in a motorcycle crash when returning to Clouds Hill from Bovington Camp.

Clouds Hill, the rural retreat of T. E. Lawrence, is now a part of Britain's National Trust.

Of further possible interest -

Lawrence of Dorset: From Arabia to Clouds Hill by Rodney Legg

Journal of the T. E. Lawrence Society

*It was one of these tiny rooms, specifically the cork lined bathroom, that inspired the kitchen in W1.

Now playing on iTunes: Sting - Desert Rose
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Oh, the irony

Lot 187: Antique Chinese blue-and-white 3-part begging bowl
Qing Dynasty, bears 4-character underglaze blue marks, the globular pot decorated with insects, prunus and foliage on separate spreading base and cover with interior band and auspicious symbol, 9.5"h x 9"dia. (total) - Condition: overall good, no damage or restorations observed, glaze flakes to rim of base - Provenance: the Doris Duke Foundation. Estimate: 300-500

Doris Duke's personal effects are hitting the auction block next month... - An Aesthete's Lament, Duke It Out

Now playing on iTunes: Simply Red - Money's Too Tight (To Mention)
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

More W1

The street, photographed by Alvin Langdon Coburn, as it was at the end of the 19th century. The architecture is predominantly Regency and Vogue Regency (the style prevalent with the smart set of the 1920s).

While one needs to respect the client's wishes one should not disregard the architectural integrity of the space. Above all the client wanted the apartment to be masculine. Unfortunately, this desire often manifests itself with boxy pieces of leather furniture. Here, however, the client was steered towards a restricted palette (Indian jade, black, burnt orange, and a dirty greyish white) and more organically shaped pieces to achieve the desired effect.

The living room is sill awaiting its rug, which needed to be re-coloured. Elephants gestate faster.

The Jansen mirrors were a great find (that is code for the client did not collapse when told the price), as was the bar. The fireplace still awaits its fire bowl.

And this (in terracotta) is sill the perfect piece to help finish the room.

The accent colour changes from burnt orange to yellow as one moves into the private space of the apartment.

Originally the kitchen was a testament to the 80s - white and grey marble tiles and pale blue-grey cabinetry.
The cabinetry now painted black (with whiskey coloured interiors), the marble replaced with cork and oak, and the hardware bronzed. Hopefully more an homage to T. E. Lawrence than a testament to the 2000s.

Now playing on iTunes: Simply Red - If You Don't Know Me by Now
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Almost there, W1

Soon, very soon.

Now playing: Alison Limerick - Gettin' It Right
via FoxyTunes

Monday, 20 April 2009

There will be...

More News From Nowhere - Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds


Thursday, 16 April 2009

More ways to waste time

Arabesque (1966) - Trailer

Arabesque (1966), the stylish romantic thriller starring Gregory Peck and Sophia Loren.

An American hieroglyphics expert, Professor David Pollock (Peck), is hired by a mysterious oil magnate by the name of Beshraavi (played by Alan Badel) to decipher a secret message. When the hidden meaning is revealed, the chase is on as he and the oil magnate's exotic yet unpredictable companion, Yasmin Azir (Loren), find themselves caught in the middle of a plot to assassinate the Prime Minister.

Scene with Sophia Loren and Alan Badel

Now playing on iTunes: The Ones - Flawless
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, 15 April 2009


Following the right hand of Sophia Loren in "Too Bad She's Bad"

For his ongoing series, Following the right hand, Pierre Bismuth does just that. He projects a feature film onto a sheet of Plexiglas and painstakingly follows the movements of the lead actress’ right hand with a black marker. The resultant abstract drawings are then enframed over a 30 by 40 inch photographic print of a still image from the film. The image selected by the artist represents the moment that he disengages from the actress, sometimes near the beginning of the film, creating a simple drawing; but just as often near the end of the film, creating an aggressive thicket of marks that almost obliterate the filmic image. In this way, the motion picture is occluded by a chance pattern that constitutes a kind of messy signature made by the actress. There is an undeniably fetishistic aspect of this work, as a portion of its appeal is linked to the actress’s name and aura; at the same time, the focus on the squiggly marks paradoxically negates the film, along with its star, by obscuring them with black ink, frustrating our desire to connect with the screened image. - team ( gallery, inc.)

Following the right hand of Marilyn Monroe in "How to Marry a Millionaire"

Found via the comment left by Paul Pincus on An Aesthete's Lament.


Now playing on iTunes: Duran Duran - Girls on Film
via FoxyTunes

The man who brought downtown uptown

The Stephen Sprouse Book

Uber antimodel Tony Ward, wearing Stephen Sprouse, photographed by Paul Gobel for Blitz, April 1988.

Now playing on iTunes: Inner City - Big Fun
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Round and round we go

Circleback Chair by Edwin Lutyens

This chair was designed in 1930 for two of the smaller bedrooms in the north west wing of Government House in New Delhi. Authoritative sources indicate that the original pieces do still survive and that they are now in the President of India's private apartment.

It is a good example of the paradoxical nature of much of Lutyens's work. While, on the face of it, we have a fairly conventional chair, there are certain aspects of the design that are surprising. The extravagant sweep of the semicircular arm is a case in point, as is the narrow void at the front of the seat. The degree to which the geometrical relationship between the circles of the back is precisely worked out is also of some interest. The reducing size of the voids is predetermined by a mathematical formula, as is the thickness of the rings which lessens as the circles become smaller.
- Candia Lutyens

Now playing on iTunes: The Cure - Round & Round & Round...
via FoxyTunes

Before the fall

Where, oh where Imelda, did it all go so terribly, terribly wrong?

Now playing on iTunes: Mark Knopfler - Imelda
via FoxyTunes

Monday, 13 April 2009

In the round

A large Regency giltwood convex mirror with an ebonised reeded border surrounded by moulded sides studded with gilt balls. The winged eagle surmount holding a double tassel chain in its beak and standing upon a fluted pedestal.

Victorian carved ebonised salon chair with turned and fluted supports - the raised upholstered seat and back re-covered in Lee Jofa's Althea glazed cotton.

Now playing on iTunes: New Order - Round & Round ('94)
via FoxyTunes

Terribly grand

A pair of impressive 19th Century Portuguese mahogany console tables with serpentine shaped and figured marble tops, circa 1840. The ebonised mahogany triform bases, carved with boldly scrolling knops flanking bulbous sides carved with floral crested centres, terminating on twin voluted scrolls.

Now playing on iTunes: The Hollies - He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother
via FoxyTunes


She was loved, or he was guilty. More than likely a combination of the two.

A Victorian sapphire and diamond brooch. The principle oval shaped sapphire is set within a surround of cushion shaped diamonds in silver and gold. With a diamond and sapphire set foliate scroll mount and suspending five graduated sapphire and diamond clusters.

Now playing on iTunes: David McAlmont - Diamonds Are Forever
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Egg hunt

Fabergé Nephrite Easter Egg
Two hollow egg halves in Siberian green jade about 14cm long with four feet in red gold in the shape of apple tree branches. The petals of the white apple flowers are in enamel with their center formed by diamonds on a pink background. (Collection A.P.Goop, Lichtenstein)

Now playing on iTunes: Patti Smith - Easter
via FoxyTunes