When Melinda Ritz saw the Italian leather sofa, she couldn’t help but share her thoughts.
Italy circa 1950 large sofa in buffalo leather (BB71a)
“When I saw this Italian Buffalo covered sofa it was love at first sight! I like my Italian sofas as much as I like my Italian men. They are both well built, handsome and stylish, and moreover, they grow more handsome over the years. This guy, I mean sofa, is getting up there at around 65 years old with the look and feel of a well worn suitcase that has travelled the world and seen it all. Yes, Italy wins the prize for the best in design as far as Im concerned. This fabulous and timeless looking leather sofa will mix well with a home filled with antiques from Europe as well as stand on its own in a very contemporary setting. You can throw this guy into any room and it will add warmth and personality to every setting. This Italian three seater speaks very little English, gets better with age and mixes well with old and new. Just the way I like my men…”
– Melinda Ritz
Amy Kehoe from design firm Nickey Kehoe tells us what her top picks from the showroom are.
Visit Nickey Kehoe to see their incredible work and shop
In honor of Bastille Day its only fitting to feature a beautifully orchestrated book highlighting the lifestyle of Paris in the 18th century. I would recommend picking up the book “Paris: Life & Luxury in the eighteenth century” to keep you entertained and informed on this celebratory day in France.
“This groundbreaking book seeks to reimagine objects from eighteenth-century Paris within their original context, showing how they were used in the daily routines of elite members of society. Against the background of the reign of Louis XV (r. 1723–1774), the chapters move chronologically from morning to night, covering such topics as temporal literacy and technological advances in timekeeping; innovations in domestic architecture and design for privacy; fashion and self-identity as expressed in the ritual of the morning toilette; reading and discussion of literary texts as influences on the collecting of art; and sociability and politesseduring nocturnal entertainments.”
– Charissa Bremer-David curator at the Getty Museum
This shipment contains items spanning three centuries. It represents the best examples from various periods covering 300 years. When I speak of periods, I am referring not only to style, but also the social, economical and political climates that shaped the styles from each period.
Consider the straight lines of a table or bookcase from the Georgian period as opposed to the heavy and carved furniture from the Queen Anne period. This was an era that political rule in England changed from the monarchy to a political party system of elected leaders. The weight and power of the monarchy was shed at the same time the heavy carvings were shed from dark furniture into more graceful and straighter lines with lighter woods of the Georgian period.
The Georgian era was prosperous and expansive. It is when the grand houses popped up in the English countryside with the tea sipping lifestyle we all picture from those Jane Austin novels. It was also an era of territorial expansion overseas. To put it in perspective, the tables and bookcases in our shipment were built… and the boxes we are unwrapping stored tea under lock and key at the same time our forefathers revolted and our country gained independence from England. How about that Boston tea party?
In sharp contrast, lets skip forward 100 years to the next century and another prosperous period known as the industrial revolution.
This is the time when Queen Victoria reigned in England and when we see the glorious linen factories pop up in Belgium and the north of France. It is the period from which all the chic metal industrial furniture we love today evolved.
Finally, amongst our treasures are the comfy leather sofas and chairs that were enjoyed 100 years later during another prosperous and rebellious period…. the 1950s and 1960s. Picture the Beatles lounging around on a casual leather sofa while JFK makes his famous speech asking what you can do for your country.
I hope you understand why I refer to our container as a time capsule. Antiques encompass a rich vein of social history and a direct reference to a way of living from the past. They add a sense of instant character, an element of rarity and a humble sophistication to any home. The pursuit of objects from the past excites our aesthetic and indulges our historical curiosities. The mysteries of their provenance are alluring. Furthermore, they are as visually satisfying today as they were decades or centuries ago.
A light and somber collection of water colors by artist J.A. Knip are currently on exhibition at Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum from June 5th – September 21st.
Words by Rijksmuseum
“Knip showed a fondness for the ruins of ancient Roman architecture, to which he responded in a very personal way, without idealization, but rather as a sober observer. Knip’s watercolours were collected by a select group of leading collectors in France and the Netherlands, against the prevailing taste of the time. ”
To learn more about the exhibit visit Rijksmuseum website.
Humbled to be featured on this week’s Wall Street Journal’s Homes and Estates supplement. Thank you Coldwell Banker.
Foley & Cox Top Picks
BA100 – these sophisticated Bergere’s would add a refined, gentlemanly touch to the corner of a living room or library. The combination of cane, leather, and mahogany make them a timeless classic that evokes an English sensibility that is both relaxed and elegant.
AR10 – this fantastic light would add just the right amount of industrial age and strength over a kitchen island. The scale and clean lines of the fixture make it a focal point and enables the piece to be the central “character” for a transitional room.
Foley & Cox is an international design firm with incredible taste. We loved hearing what their favorite pieces are. You can learn more about them on their website – Foleyandcox.com