Saturday, 24 October 2009


At Longleat, in this very room:

A little girl pleadingly to her mother, Mummy why don't we have things like these?

The mother scornfully to her daughter, Because this is not our taste.


Now playing: Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Teach Your Children
via FoxyTunes

Now playing: Katey Sagal - Daddy's Girl
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Monday, 19 October 2009

The curious made extraordinary

All Visual Arts presents The Age of the Marvellous

Inspired by the Wunderkammer, or Cabinet of Curiosities, popular in the late Renaissance through the Baroque period (ca. 1550–ca. 1700). An era characterized by a revival of learning, the sum of all of man’s knowledge could be represented in rooms filled with natural wonders, artificial exotica and relics or art works concerned with the supernatural.

The Wunderkammer‘s particular ability to evoke the marvellous, to incite the emotions of awe, wonder, surprise and astonishment leading to curiosity and then learning was based on its ability to draw parallels and unify seemingly unrelated fields of human knowledge like Science and Art. The brilliant evolutionary biologist E.O. Wilson considered the unification of knowledge – or what he labeled ‘Consilience’ in his eponymous book published in 1998 - nothing short of imperative for the survival of the human species

Adam Fuss’s photograms
Alastair Mackie's Metamorphoses

Polly Morgan's At the Beginning, inspired by a Victorian proposal for a flying machine.

Kate MccGwire's sculptural works made from crow and jackdaw feathers.

Now playing: Depeche Mode - World in my Eyes
via FoxyTunes

Looking forward to...



and reading,

Mia Mask's Divas on Screen - Black Women in American Film

Now playing: Mary J. Blige - No more drama
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Fash. Ed. Supreme.

That was how Joanna Lumley's fashion editor character, Patsy Stone, in Absolutely Fabulous described her idol Grace Coddington.

Vogue's Grace Coddington
More from

With the release of The September Issue Coddington finds a new audience and confirms what those of a certain age already knew - she is genius.

Her 2002 opus Grace: Thirty Years of Fashion at Vogue

Now playing: Aretha Franklin - Amazing Grace
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Random bits of fabulous

Taken from the November issue of The World of Interiors.

The courtyard of Cranbrook's Saarinen House photographed by Richard Powers.

A covered patio in Tangier photographed by Roland Beaufre.

Recently, I read somewhere (and it wasn't over the rainbow) that there are people who actually believe that designers create a WOI look just to be published in those hallowed pages.

Mind boggling.

Now playing: Toni Childs - Blind
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Larger than life

The maquette for the eventual bronze statue to honour the legend that was Nina Simone. It only seems fitting that it be, like the lady herself, larger than life. The Eunice Waymon-Nina Simone Memorial Project has commissioned the Philadelphia based sculptor Zenos Frudakis to execute the work.

Participation in The Eunice Waymon—Nina Simone Memorial Project supports the recognition of an international musical legend and an icon of human potential realized.

Now playing: Nina Simone - Little Girl Blue
via FoxyTunes

Monday, 12 October 2009

Tryon, North Carolina

If known for nothing else, it should be known for being the birthplace of one Eunice Kathleen Waymon (February 21, 1933 – April 21, 2003). Who was better known as Nina Simone.

Screen shots from the documentary Nina Simone: The Legend; the last being of the house she grew up in.

Nina Simone performing Four Women at the Antibes Jazz Festival, 1965.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

I don't get it

Is the financial gain so significant it justifies the bastardisation of the esoteric?

Four from Oly:

swan oil painting

sunda ornament
cast resin ornament w/ metal base (sold individually)

saw bills
cast resin with black wood base

albert and fiona busts
resin busts with hand-appled green verdi-gris finish
albert (right), fiona (left)

Four from life:

Trumpeter Swan, plate 406 from Birds of America, 1827-1835
by John James Audubon

Early 19th Century whale's vertebra

Collection of mounted 19th Century sawfish blades

Bust of Dame Edith Sitwell
by Maurice Lambert

You decide.

Now playing: Arctic Monkeys - Fake Tales of San Francisco (radio edit)
via FoxyTunes

Friday, 9 October 2009

Come and gone

The last vestiges of summer.

Now playing: Frank Sinatra - Summer Wind
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Le Dix

CIRCA 1825

With two columns of seven gilt-tooled red leather boxes numbered 1-14, with side locking flaps, on bun feet, with paper label inscribed '1101', inscribed to the back

CIRCA 1825-35

Line-inlaid, with gilt-tooled red leather writing surface, the shaped kneehole with drawer flanked by two drawers to left and a deep drawer simulated as two drawers to right with coffre-fort, with a slide to each end, on scroll legs joined by stretchers

CIRCA 1825-30

With scrolled back and large scroll arms on lotus-leaf headed scroll legs, upholstered in black patterned horsehair, with pencil inscription; together with a side chair with ladder back and green cotton upholstered drop-in seat, with pencil inscription 'Martin' and branded '8'

Christie's Sale 7746

Le autre Le Dix

Now playing: The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - Boléro
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, 7 October 2009


A 19th-century depiction of Charon ferrying newly departed souls across the River Styx.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Easily said...

Beauty is how you feel inside, and it reflects in your eyes. It is not something physical. - Sophia Loren

White lie:
A white lie would cause only relatively minor discord if it were uncovered, and typically offers some benefit to the hearer. White lies are often used to avoid offense, such as complimenting something one finds unattractive. In this case, the lie is told to avoid the harmful realistic implications of the truth.

Now playing: Grace Jones - Hollywood Liar
via FoxyTunes

Monday, 5 October 2009

The clouds are so low

Jean Dupas (1882-1964)
The History of Navigation Mural, 1934
Made for the SS Normandie
Verre eglomise panels manufactured by Charles Champigneulle

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Jean Dupas (1882-1964) and Jean Dunand (1877-1942)
Chariot of Aurora, 1935
Gold leaf and lacquer on plaster

Carnegie Museum

Jean Théodore Dupas (1882-1964)

Now playing: Rod McKuen - Jean
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, 4 October 2009

So beautiful

Yet so impossibly out of sync with current fashion.


Rare Pair of German Mannerist Revival Sterling Silver and Shell Cameo Table Lamps, first quarter 20th century, by Ludwig Neresheimer & Co., Hanau, with London import marks of 1911-1912, sponsored by Neresheimer's British agent, Berthold Mueller, each with a lobed base and silver figural standard, one depicting "Diana and Her Hounds", the other "Neptune in His Hippocampi-Drawn Chariot", each fitted with a full conch shell, illuminated from the rear and cameo-cut with a scene from Ovid's Metamorphoses, respectively, "Diana Releasing the Calydonian Boar" and "The Seduction of Europa", h. 16", dia. 6-1/2".


Fine, Large and Rare Louis XIV Verdure Tapestry, fourth quarter 17th century, depicting "The Awakening of Eros", the borders of flowers, foliage and ripe pomegranates, with a peacock at the upper left corner and a dove at the right, the basal corners each with a seated attentive puppy, the palette in cobalt blue, ecru, ivory and green, the reverse properly backed with a later linen support, h. 105", w. 98".

New Orleans Auction Galleries, Inc.
October 10-11, 2009

Now playing: Beck - The Golden Age
via FoxyTunes

Friday, 2 October 2009

Crisp autumn mornings

Naturally lead to thoughts of spring. For once I intend to get a head start, at least in the garden.

Daffodil Ice Follies
Daffodil Pheasant's Eye
Snowdrop S. Arnott
Musk hyacinth Muscari muscarimi

Camellia japonica Lavinia Maggi
Camellia hybrid Cornish Snow
Camellia japonica Charlotte de Rothschild
Camellia hiemalis Bonanza

And, a little wisdom from Dame Marjorie Maude Chardin -

Now playing: Cat Stevens - Wild World
via FoxyTunes