09 May 2012

the evolution of Collecting

 “Collecting objects over and over again is not as important as bringing things into the house that you love and can’t live without.” pgt

When asked to share a quote for my One Kings Lane Sale, I thought about the pieces I had chosen for the Sale-along with my numerous Collections. I have quite a few-there have been times I wondered why?
-and No, I've never counted the Collections, large or small.
I am a historian, Not in any formal sense, carrying letters behind my name, but in
the Way One Wonders-
I have a collection of letter openers. Why?
I've always loved letters.
Save many-and so very glad I did.
I imagine the importance of correspondence in days when that was all there was-Letters of Life & Death-Letters of Love & Passion.
Ladies with a slender volume on her lap cutting the pages of that book.

Joseph-Siffred Duplessis, Madame Lenoir, 1785-1800

 Madame Lenoir, or Sevigne in a dress of Lyon silk?

from the Sale: 18th Century Silk Lampas from France. This is a brilliant blue silk is actually three sewn widths of an original "Dress" fabric sewn from panels, typical of remaining Lampas from this earlier century. The pattern is a meandering fur with floral sprays. Provenance, the Casper Collection. The introduction of "fur meanders" is credited to Philippe Lasalle of Lyon France in the late 1750's. The colours on this blue ground are as fresh as the day they were woven-greys,salmon, buttercup, white & black fur.

another textile in the Sale is an Exquisite Brunschwig & Fils LAMPAS Fabric. This Silk Lampas is on a champagne ground with cherry reds, sapphire blues & stem green florals & scrolling vines.(not shown)

Great Collectors-to mind- the extraordinary, Duchess of Portland was noted to have amassed over 4000 pieces in her collections. Her curiosity, vibrancy, voracity & lust for antiquities & objects from her own century defy the most seasoned collectors.(read more about the Duchess of Portland on my other blog OTTOLINE DIVINE here)

from the Sale: There are 4 Engraved Dutch Silver Trophy Cups for Automobile Racing. Each of the Cups is being sold separately. 

Along with these pieces there are 2 very tall plated Silver Goblets- that once held flowers and perched atop a pair of Blackamoors. Also in the Sale: an Aesthetic Era Silver plated Teapot with  an Ivory Top & engraving of birds & foliage motifs on both sides. A really quite beautiful Bohemian Silver plated Creamer with pierced design that has a blue Opaline Liner.

more special pieces in the Sale: Porcelain Tea Sets, Serving Trays, Decanters, Chargers, Special Lamps, a number of My Design Books-one-an original of Cecil Beaton's Glass of Fashion, the 1st American edition.

Another great collector from the 18th century is Horace Walpole. Walpole was the 8th Earl of Oxford-art historian, man of letters, politician- and most notably, creator of the Gothic masterpiece Strawberryhill. It was Walpole who-as if on topic said:

"The whole secret of life is to be interested in one thing profoundly and in a thousand things well."

Strawberryhill by Johann Heinrich Müntz, alongside Walpole painted by Reynolds

 from the Sale:A series of 18th Century engravings from Horace Walpole’s Strawberryhill,, including a Engraving of The Shell Bench in the Garden at Strawberry Hill. A featured attraction of Walpole's gardens was this bench of a large Rococo style sea shell. "This shell was one of Mr. Walpole's favourite inventions – for Strawberry Hill was crammed with inventions and contrivances. It was a seat in the form of a huge bivalve of a species not easily recognized, which generally elicited a vast amount of wonder and admiration from his visitors". Only two depictions the original bench survive. Additionally, the Original Engraving East View from the Great Bedchamber at Strawberryhill, Volume II plate 494, East View of the Cottage –garden at Strawberryhill, Volume II plate 509 & The Garden Gate, the View from Strawberryhill, Volume II plate 507. All these works are on paper and need special attention to perfect framing. Along with these works on paper- there are a number of Print Fashion Illustrations from the 1930's, 18th C.Naturalist Color Plates & many framed pieces from My Collections including a Collection of Original English Architectural Drawings.

Forever intrigued by Russia, admittedly-as a child-it was in film-War & Peace, Dr. Zhivago and later the same in novels along with Ana Karenina.The great Catherine in 18th century Russia was another consumate collector. A decade ago the Hermitage presented The Treasures of Catherine the Great to the world. Her extensive collections ranged from prints and drawings, antique sculpture, engraved gems, coins and medals. She also purchased the richest libraries of Diderot and Voltaire and the cabinet of minerals. Her numerous commissions for articles of daily use from porcelain, precious metals and stones became the basis for the decorative arts collection.

  Empress Catherine the Great by Fyodor Rokotov

Equally fascinated by religious iconography, I have an extensive collection of crosses-rosaries,pendants,brooches, sculpture-so I couldn't resist this Russian Icon-it's in the Sale.

 Framed Russian Icon, Madonna & Child, artist Unknown, 18th Century. Oil & Gilt on panel .

Because I believe we are drawn to objects-linked in ways we don't understand-or even realize.
I can't resist. 
I hope you find something you love from the Sale. 
Join Us tomorrow morning at 11 A.M EST, at ONE KINGS LANE- here.

"You clap your hands and the objects fly away like doves and find other places where they will be protected, loved." Pierre Berge 



  1. Such a beautiful collection of rare and interesting pieces. I am sure you have great memories tied up in these treasures and I wish you success and that the perfect collectors come along.

  2. I am in awe of your collections. Thank you. Mary

  3. Do you know any details of Madame Lenoir? She is so beautiful. Mary

  4. "fur meander"....I learned something this morning...thank you...k

  5. Gayle, The Luxembourg Gardens engraving is on it's way to me. I'm thrilled. We just returned from a week in Paris and I've spent many of my happiest moments in the Jardins du Luxembourg. How lovely to have this little memory of one of my favorite places in my home. Thank you! Jeanne

  6. I know your sale will be successful. You have exquisite taste!

  7. What exciting news Patricia. I must say I'm not surprised. You are truly an original. Shiree

  8. Agreeing with the rest, post is absolutely wonderful and blissfully exquisitely-tasted!



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