The Christie's catalogue for the Geoffrey Bennison sale.
Bennison's Malabar, and its companion Malabar Stripe, used fearlessly and lavishly just as Geoffrey Bennison had intended.
There, under low ceilings, he created rooms that felt more like an Irish-Georgian country house than Mayfair. Pictures were massed between groaning, untidy bookshelves. His own deliciously faded-looking fabrics and old crewelwork draperies were mixed with Moroccan textiles, and all these elements were held together by his favorite Red Riding Hood red, a beautifully subtle scarlet described by Bennison’s friend and fellow antiquarian Christopher Gibbs as the color that lines the insides of old Moroccan chests.
This interior, with its Caravaggesque light, its perfectly judged drama and easy comfort, was in many ways the culmination of the designer’s ideas concerning decoration. His sense of color was unfailingly sure: He would sit for hours in a room just watching the play of light, and he mixed his paints himself. “Never,” he said, “trust a painter or a color chart.” When it came to objects, his philosophy could be summed up in another of his memorable phrases: Always put “something mad on top of something very good, or something very good on top of something mad.” On Geoffrey Bennison’s death, as all dealers perhaps ultimately wish, his things—the very good and the very mad—were dispersed in a great sale
Geoffrey Bennison: Extravagant Patterns and Remarkable Objects Define Exotic English Rooms
Architectural Digest, January 2000