01 September 2010

Marella Agnelli's New York


 the Warhol portrait

Marella Agnelli's New York residence-designed by architect PETER MARINO
a Sotheby's auction of the contents took place in 2004.
The rooms are photographed by ERIC BOMAN.

Here-Some of the most heavenly rooms with furniture from the Golden Age of Russian furniture (1780-1840)
A. Cheneviere notes in RUSSIAN FURNITURE THE GOLDEN AGE- the wildly popular "seat furniture" and cabinetry of mahogany was produced throughout Russia -not just in St Petersburg and Moscow. Not only that, the style referred to as Jacob (no connection with the French Jacob style) was coveted by the bourgeois and Imperial Russia-namely at Pavlosk and Tsarskoe Selo.

at Capote's Black and White Ball
Marella Agnelli wearing Mila Schon


looking into the DRAWING ROOM

How the Drawing Room manages to be "warm" and opulent can only be contributed to the talents of Marino. Using provincial patterns on Louis XV period "chaises & fauteuils a la reine" along with Aubusson tapestry, Victorian style tufted settees and sofas in carmine velvet or ruby velvet gauffrage in all melds. The tenor of the room evokes Russian winters wrapped in midnight lapis velvet walls, layers of antique carpets, mahogany and lacquered furniture.

a matched pair of Louis XVI Ormolu-ebony & Japanese & European
cabinets on stands- circa 1785, stamped C.C Saunier,JME (from Sotheby's catalog)

Fine examples of the Russian Jacob revolution are in the Agnelli Dining Room. No to mention sets upon sets of Russian Imperial porcelains dating from the period of Catherine II. The table and serving cupboard are German-of the same period.

 a fine set of Russian Neoclassical chairs circa 1790.

a set of ten Russian brass mounted mahogany Dining chairs circa 1790. A pair of identical armchairs is in the Library of the Empress at Pavlovsk Palace.

(enlarge the photographs to read the Sotheby's text)


A rare Russian Neoclassical ormolu mounted and brass inlaid mahogany and part-ebonized desk circa 1805, attributed to Heinrich Gambs.(Sotheby's catalog)

photograph of Marella Agnelli on the desk
by Richard Avedon, wearing Balenciaga

portrait of Olga de Meyer
Donna Olga Caracciolo Dei Duchi Di Castelluccio

There are countless pieces not touched upon here in the Sotheby's 2004 catalog- anyone interested in decorating, Russian Neoclassic furniture, Peter Marino's work, or Marella Agnelli should track down and own a copy at once.

see some recent RUSSIAN JACOB Acquisitions of THERIEN & CO. here.


all photographs from SOTHEBY'S New York October 23, 2004 Catalog




  1. I can feel a little winter in the air with this post. Stay safe & dry during Earl.

  2. One of the greatest of the swans, if not THE greatest. I was not aware of this apartment or its contents. Thank you. Peter Marino is truly a genius. But WHAT is with the fetishistic biker, super-gay leather daddy look he is sporting (and has sported for some time) these days? That, and weirdly dyed brown hair and pumped up with steroids? Check out his photos on NY Social Diary. He has gone very far down that particular rabbit hole . . .

  3. I feel the need to grab the red paint pot.........very inspiring

  4. Not a lady unwilling to accept the red and blue stimulants in the same vessel. When one is compelled to live opulently, their combination can be so conducive to contentment. :)

  5. One of my favourite women ever! She was all that savoir faire is about. Love the furniture

  6. that is probably the most stylish apartment I have ever seen -EVER. How truly wonderful! I must get a copy of that catalog!
    I especially love that blue room with the rust colored paisley chairs - OMG. perfection!

  7. Breathtaking! both she and the apartment. I would have killed for her neck!

  8. As always, such a luscious post -
    about one of my favorite women.
    Her garden in Marrakech is my ideal
    secluded spot to reflect and quietly
    grow old.


  9. Being Italian I can say that the Agnelli are in a way our Royalty, too bad that after the death of the Avvocato a feud between mother and daughter ensued. Marella Caracciolo Agnelli represents still style and elegance to the maximum and this apartment shows it so well.
    I arrived to your post through a reader of my blog, where I have a Quiz on a famous lady portrayed by a famous photographer. She guessed Marella Agnelli after reading your post. Fun! Wrong answer though!

  10. Reggie, yes it seems He is having that Nicky Haslam moment with leather and chains, hopefully He moves on to another style moment. This suite of rooms is extraordinary, I think I could work with him if her were wearing little or nothing!

  11. Barbara- yes, Fall is coming-very slow South of you however!

    Young-red is always inspiring.

  12. David, Linda, Judith, She is one on the List of Devastating beauties and it is easy to see why. I think the way her life has remained relatively private is even more intriguing, but the neck, the houses, the style, the pedigree- and All adds to the cachet.

  13. Stefan, I know I am in good company, if you are enraptured! I love this place too and the catalog will send you into more rapture-there is a great deal left for your surprise and delight.

  14. Laurent,living opulently and in a divinely restrained way such as MA must be the best revenge. pgt

  15. Brilliant! love that you were sent over and I think you will find many MA devotees, true elegance. I have log in on a guess over there . pgt

  16. Am I allowed to demur and say I like very little of the furnishings in this apartment. Wrestling with those folksy dacha curtains in such a grand context. Loathe the plates on the dining room wall. Some great furniture though.

  17. Rosie, yes for you the space is always available, especially when you say "demur" pgt

  18. What a delight to look through you post (and thank you for the links!)
    Marino get it so right by combining these pieces of Russian Jacob with details that are light, charming...Provincial as you point on in some fabrics on fauteuils. Those curtains...that is so Baltic (in that it is also rather Swedish) to take thing down a notch with those delightful sheer curtains in the drawing room with their plaid and flounce.
    Also in the dining room, Marino understands the reflective quality of the chairs in the Pavlovsk model... imagine this room by candlelight!
    Also some details like the sofa called here in the catalog as Victorian, but very much in the Parisian taste with its form and passementerie.
    Loved how you you combined the portrait photographs to bring it all to life!
    Enjoyed your post!

  19. Philip, Please keep us informed about your fabulous Jacob pieces. Yes- the curtains are a surprise and make it work to my mind in a wonderful way. Eugene Onegin? Anna Karenina another period but I see it. pgt

  20. The wood the use of the colour red is wonderful. I love the Avedon picture... xx



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