Blog Posts tagged with european antiques

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Henry Dasson based this commode upon the famous pair Boulle created for Louis XIV.

Royal Ambitions: The Henry Dasson Boulle Commode

Posted: November 16, 2011 08:16 Last Updated: | Bill Rau

One of the missions of M.S. Rau Antiques is to seek out and provide our clients with the absolute finest antiques, works of art and jewelry...something we like to call The Best of The Best. To come across pieces that embody the key elements of beauty, rarity and history is what really excites us. This opulent Royal Commode by Henry Dasson is just such an antique. In terms of rarity and history, it is distinguished by not just one, but two of the most important craftsmen, or ébénistes, to have ever lived. The great Henry Dasson based its design on a pair of commodes André Charles Bou...


These massive Sèvres Palace urns stand over five feet tall and are extremely rare due to their size and expense to produce

The Royal Roots of Sèvres Porcelain

Posted: October 12, 2011 16:09 Last Updated: | Bill Rau

When King Louis XV took an interest in porcelain and became a primary shareholder of what would become the Sèvres factory in 1752, he intended to catapult the international status of French porcelain to the finest in the world. It's believed that his motivation came from his famed mistress, Madame de Pompadour, who possessed a penchant for the factory's creations. Regardless of the reason, it is the royal roots of Sèvres that provided the foundation for some of the most coveted porcelain ever made. After the King purchased the factory in 1759, he had the operations moved from Chateau de...


Antique telescopes such as this monumental example by Robert-Aglae Cauchoix are perfect for viewing the night sky

Out of This World: Antique Telescopes

Posted: July 19, 2011 10:30 Last Updated: | Bill Rau

When was the last time you went outside on a clear night for the sole purpose of looking at the night sky?  I sometimes wonder about the level of amazement that must have gone through the minds of early man, observing comets, eclipses and moon phases with a surreal combination of awe and trepidation. These first “astronomers” used what they observed with the naked eye to explain everything from the changing seasons to their religious beliefs. But it wasn’t until the invention of the telescope that these observations made the giant leap from mere assumption to revolutionary truth. ...


Yellow, green and rose golds create a subtle yet stunning effect in this Swiss snuffbox

The Right Snuff: Antique Snuffboxes

Posted: June 30, 2011 14:56 Last Updated: | Bill Rau

The "taking of snuff" was a very social activity among Europe's upper class, beginning in the early 16th century. It's hard to believe a habit that caused frequent, and at times messy, sneezing fits would become so en vogue, but it did. And, with such widespread usage by seemingly every person of importance in the 16th century, the demand for a fashionable yet functional way to carry one's snuff inspired the greatest jewelers, enamellers, goldsmiths and silversmiths of the time to create what we know today as the snuffbox. It is said that Queens Anne and Charlotte enjoyed snuff so much,...


The Queen Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots triptychs illustrate how the medium was perfect for telling a story

An Image is Worth 1000 Words: The Triptych

Posted: April 19, 2011 12:57 Last Updated: | Bill Rau

Whether it's meant to tell you what to wear, what to eat or what to admire, images surround us in our media-rich society. But not that long ago, images served a much higher purpose. Images were a visual representation of the world and its principles of both order and morality. Various forms of ecclesiastical art immerged primarily to convey these principles to the masses, and the triptych was one of the first of these stunning art forms. Often referred to as the "traveling icon," the triptych, whether painted or carved, was a portable, convenient, and often times breathtaking work of ar...


This amazing dressoir, or sideboard, was created over 425 years ago

The Thrill of The Hunt: The Francis I Renaissance Sideboard

Posted: February 22, 2011 11:33 Last Updated: | Bill Rau

As both an antiques dealer and a collector, I'm always actively searching for items that embody the greatest qualities of their type. Now, it may sound odd to say that a piece of furniture is exciting, but this 16th-century sideboard is certainly one piece that would top off a museum curator's wish list. Created during the French Renaissance, this Francis I-period sideboard, or dressoir, is over 425 years old, and represents an inconceivably small number of furnishings from this era to exist-anywhere. Just look at the condition of this sideboard and you can understand why "exciting" really...


Each serving piece had a specific purpose at the well-appointed dining table.  These pieces are from the Chrysanthemum Flatware Service by Tiffany & Co.

So Many Choices…The Golden Age of Flatware

Posted: January 10, 2011 10:03 Last Updated: | Bill Rau

Dining in the Victorian-era was truly an art form. The economic prosperity of the late 19th and early 20th centuries catapulted many into the middle and upper classes, and the desire to display just how wealthy you were was of the utmost importance to maintain, if not raise, your standing in high society. These displays took many forms, but it was the dinner party that proved to be an affair that could make or break a socialite. Even the extravagance of the utensils you provided for guests was considered proportionate to one's wealth. The affluent demanded dining services that could mee...


Stunning George II Silver Epergne by Ann Craig and John Neville.  Theirs was one of only a handful of female/male silversmithing partnerships to ever exist

A Woman’s Touch: The Masterpieces of Female Silversmiths

Posted: December 11, 2010 09:31 Last Updated: | Bill Rau

The contributions of women are one, if not the most, overlooked aspect in the history of silver craftsmanship. The natural elegance and refinement exhibited in the works created by the hand of female silversmiths set them apart from all others, and, in many cases, are considered the finest masterworks ever made. It is imperative to remind ourselves that, until fairly recently, women had very little rights under the law in the industrialized world, and were at the mercy of the men in their lives in every respect, including profession (if one were even allowed a career). Most women who di...


The stunning King Farouk Bedroom Suite

Prime Provenance: The King Farouk Bedroom Suite

Posted: October 27, 2010 14:03 Last Updated: | Bill Rau

Few things excite me more than discovering rare treasures that are distinguished by an incredible provenance. It's the provenance that turns a great piece into a phenomenal piece, and literally brings the events normally only read in history books to life. In the case of this amazing seven-piece Empire Bedroom Suite, made by Parisian ébéniste Antoine Krieger and owned by Egypt's last ruling king, Farouk I...can it get any better? The rule of the king can be described as tumultuous at best, but there is no denying Farouk's insatiable appetite for the best money could buy. Although he al...


This monumental chandelier is saturated with oversized, luminous prisms and beads of fine Baccarat crystal

Baccarat…Crystal Fit for a King

Posted: October 13, 2010 07:58 Last Updated: | Bill Rau

In response to a wealthy landowner's request to make the best use of the natural resources of the infertile Baccarat region of France, King Louis XV created “Compagnie des Cristalleries de Baccarat” in 1765 by royal degree.  The company was the first French glassworks firm established to directly compete with imported Bohemian counterparts. For the next 245 years, the House of Baccarat would continue to garner the attention of kings, sultans and maharajas throughout the world. By the mid-19th century Baccarat was internationally recognized for their magnificent chandeliers, tabl...


"Portrait of Lydia Kuznetsova" by Ilya Efimovitch Repin, 1901.  Oil on canvas.

ALVR'S PARIS YEARS: INSIDE A DEALER'S LITTLE GOLD BOOK

Posted: September 13, 2010 15:03 Last Updated: | Laura Beach

PARIS, FRANCE  –  A La Vieille Russie is lifting the cover on a dealer’s most closely-guarded secret: its guest book, or livre d’or, containing the names of dozens of its best clients, colleagues and sources in the 1920s and 1930s.   The revelations are part of a selling exhibition that the Manhattan dealers in Russian art and antiques are mounting at Didier Aaron & Cie in Paris. Loosely timed to coincide with the Biennale des Antiquaires, the display opens September 16 at Aaron’s galleries at 118 Faubourg Saint-Honoré, minutes away from A La Vieille Russie’s forme...


Palazzo Strozzi's exhibition 'Art and Illusion' featured Pere Borrell Del Caso's (1835-1910) Escaping Criticism, 1874.  Oil on canvas, 76 x 63 cm.  Collection of the Bank of Spain.

Most popular Fall 2009 press releases on ARTFIXdaily

Posted: December 31, 2009 12:19 Last Updated: | Julie Carlson Wildfeuer

The three most-read press releases on ARTFIXdaily, published in the ArtWire section between September 1 and December 31, 2009, highlighted museum exhibitions: 1. Art and Illusions, Masterpieces of Trompe-l'loeil from Antiquity to the Present. On view through January 24, 2010, this major exhibition at Palazzo Strozzi in Florence, Italy, explores the art of optical illusion with 140 artworks. From Roman antiquity to Old Masters to present-day painters, artists whose work masterfully "fools the eye" seems to perenially delight viewers. 2. Paintings by Jay Connaway on view at Portland Muse...


Chelsea Antiques Fair ranked as the number 1 viewed event on ARTFIXdaily's fall 2009 calendar.

Most popular fall art events on ARTFIXdaily

Posted: December 30, 2009 20:59 Last Updated: | ArtfixDaily Staff

The top three fall art events, garnering the greatest number of views by ARTFIXdaily readers, were listed in the Calendar section from September 1 to December 31, 2009: 1. Chelsea Antiques Fair. Held twice annually, this five-year-old London antiques show takes place in the 17th-century style Old Town Hall on King's Road. About 35 exhibitors, including many BADA and LAPADA members, are focused on educating the collector; there is an extra emphasis on encouraging new collectors at this relaxed venue. The 2010 dates are: March 17-21, Sept. 22-26. 2. Identity Theft: How a Cropsey became a...


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