Monday, August 31, 2009

The End of the Chapter

It is with bittersweet memories that we will have our closing on our house today. We purchased 409 Marmore Avenue in 2006, with one baby in tow, lots of dreams and excitement. This is what it looked like when we bought it:

Not exactly a looker--but we loved it! There were so many possibilities! After about nine months of hard work, it looked like this:

And given a few more months to grow, the landscaping then looked like this:

By then, were also expecting our second child.

Our backyard, also went from this:

to this:
Our children went from this:

To this:

And now we move on a new tomorrow, new dreams, and new aspirations.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

It's Container Week Again!

The container filled with all the goodies we purchased on our June trip to Paris has finally arrived! Unfortunately some of our purchases didn't fit in this shipment and will have to wait until the next one but here are some of the treats we have just unloaded. More to come in the next few days. Just leave me a comment if you are interested in anything or keep checking for the new additions.

Monday, August 3, 2009

The New Antiquarians, Part II

I hope you all got a chance to read the NYTimes article about the "new vintage style" and interesting people like Hollister Hovey and Megan Wilson. What was really exciting to me or should I say redeeming, is that for a few years I have been buying some taxidermy and Victorian globes that my husband rolls his eyes at every time they arrive.
The first photo above is of one of a collection of 19th century Swiss antler trophies and the second is a taxidermy specimen of a French piglet known as a marcassin.
None of my clients have really understood the fascination with decorating with "dead things" (though I did sell some taxidermy ducks recently) and I can't really explain what is my attraction to them. I just get a sense of history from them which is alluring.
Some thing else that many find a bit macabre but is typical of the Victorian era, though in this case in France are these globes. You can find all sorts of things under the curved glass domes, from more animals to family albums and dioramas. The first two photographed are more on the religious side. There are wax images of babies (debatable as to whether or not they depict the infant Jesus). They were often made by the Carmelite nuns and their dresses were made from satin taken from a bride's gown. Both of these also have the wax-flower tiaras that the brides wore on their wedding day. After the pieces were finished they were given to the couple as a "cadeau de mariage" or wedding gift, often upon the birth of their first child. Or if not as a sort of prayer for the fertility of the couple. This first one is holding a scroll which reads "Je viens vous Benir" which means "I come to Bless you" and is adorned with a sacred heart (a heart with the crown of thorns around it.) The second one has the child laying under a tree (of life), a consistent symbol of fertility in art, and this tree is filled with fruit and birds, further emphasizing life.

The next two globes are less religious and more in the souvenirs category. While in English the word souvenir has a bit of a kitchy connotation, in French souvenir literally means "to remember", so these are more of remembrance mementos. The first below contains another bridal tiara, as well as the tulle from her veil. There is a lock of hair and two figurines, one from a baptism and one from a first Communion. The family added several pictures from important holidays or soldiers going off to war, presumably the two great wars of the twentieth century. Don't miss the old picture of Mont Saint Michel in the bottom right corner!

This last one is quite beautiful from an aesthetic point of view due to the stunning blue butterfly in the center. It has a bridal tiara and what looks to me as some preserved palms from a Palm Sunday celebration. The gilt brass centerpiece is an nice example of repousse work which includes a dove with a wreath, flowers, and sprays of wheat (more symbols of mariage and fertility.)

"The New Antiquarians"

I had to quickly send out this fantastic article about a generation I like to think I am a part of:
The New Antiquarians. Read the article and we'll talk about it tomorrow!
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