18 February 2013

Sit, Sit

pull up a chair.

this one-suits-

that dress.

A book?
This one-

or this one?
Better, I think.

Malachite is a powerful design element at the moment. Just ask the Romanovs-Faberge was working it up for them into all sorts of baubles for years and years.
The Russians have been tinkering with malachite for centuries-

I've always loved malachite-a tiny little frame was given me by clients-some of my first and dearest-sadly at the moment it's in a drawer in oh-so many pieces-and needs repair.

This frame is actually inspired by one of Faberge's imperial designs- a recent find-(on etsy)- it only lacks the perfect picture.

The Malachite Room in the Winter Palace, designed by Alexander Briullov in the late 1830's.

The Malachite Room rendered by Ukhtomsky Konstantin Andreyevich

The great Russian Imperial Lapidary Workshops at Peterhof created this urn for George IV- a gift from Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna, consort of Nicholas I. It was dropped off via the Russian Ambassador Prince Lieven in 1827. Like anything new-George placed it in one of his newest rooms-to best advantage-in the central bay window of The Crimson Drawing Room at Windsor.

A book of fairy tales by Russian Pavel Bazhov, The Malachite Casket, written in 1939, is one of the best loved of all the Russian children's fairy tales. The tales are set around Ural mining stories.Sergei Prokofiev took the most beloved of Bazhov's tales and composed the ballet The Tale of the Stone Flower. In the story Bazhov's Mistress of Copper Mountain reigns over the precious stones of the Urals-and has little use for mortals unwilling to yield to her powers-but a young carver Danila has lessons to teach the great Mistress-

  Every day Danila went to the woods looking for inspiration and observing many flowers and plants. He worked for a long time and at last completed a vase like the one in the sketch. When he showed it to the other craftsmen, they liked it and praised it. But Danila said, "This vase is made precisely according to the sketch, but there is no living beauty in it. When you look at the simplest flower, joy fills your heart because of its beauty. Where is there such beauty in the stone?" . the story unfolds here

 Russian malachite boxes ( above & below) & from Yale Burge.

 I fantasize about a perfectly carved malachite box and that fairy story-with its happily ever after ending-but not without its perils. It's quite comforting to know the Mistress of Copper Mountain could not prevail over true Love-nor could she ever make me part with my most recent malachite find. You're sure to see masses of malachite now that we've open that box. Be careful about too much of it though-and get a good piece-we don't all have the windows of the Crimson Drawing Room at Windsor or a palace like The Hermitage.

 the chair is covered in a Tony Duquette for Jim Thompson fabric, the dress is Monique Lhuillier



  1. Replies
    1. the Tony Duquette fabrics from Jim Thompson are all equally great looking!

  2. Oh your posts!! Mon Dieu!! (is that right?)

    I went on a college tour of Europe at 18 (circa 1965!) We went to 18 countries and 32 cities in 3 months!! (It was led by a wonderful professor from UCLA! Dr. Kneller)

    What an enormous gift! Good thing I was so young! Sheesh!

    !n those days; I thought everyone had a "photographic memory"! (this is very common in young people!)

    I saw your pictures of the "Malachite" in "St Petersberg"; and I recognized them......exactly! And all the "lapis lazuli" and all the gilt on the walls; and all the impressionist paintings! (I wish I could "download; or upload or 'develop' those photographs!! in my brain!!!)

    It was called "Leningrad"; it was "behind the Iron Curtain"; and I could see the canvases of the oil masterpieces starting to "go"! The government did not think that "art" was worth preserving! Yikes!

    We were behind the "curtain" for over two weeks! (in different places).

    I never saw one single person smile. Not one.

    The beauty in the palace in "Leningrad" was completely seen and admired by my young mind and soul; and the sadness of the people I will never forget. It made me so, so sad!

    Thank you for the reminder!!! The beauty is still there!

    The stone has survived; what is the fate of the impressionist art?

    Thank God for Hutton!! He has preserved the "malachite" and made it available to all of us! We all can at least have a "Pillow"! Or chairs! It is so, so chic!

    Thank you for such a fabulous post!


    1. Penelope-thank you- that sounds like a trip of a life time, I've yet to get mine-so I am still ready and willing. what an amazing time to be there though- it may be that the atmospherics and your own mindset made it a more memorable and meaningful trip. The collection Hutton worked with the Jim Thompson company is fabulous-I've used a couple on projects. pgt

  3. I don't know if it is still possible (I don't know if it is still there) but it used to be possible to refresh one's eyes in malachite at A la vieille russie near grand army plaza on the way to the sherry netherland for a martini. A good thing about malachite is its ability to reawaken a taste for the brilliant amidst any amount of ordinary lushness.

    1. It is a beautiful stone-& it is funny how scenes return to us as we read each others words. pgt

  4. Absolutely spectacular post! I'm wishing for my tiny bit of malachite - a paper covered lampshade! And speaking of Russians, here at my house, we are still obsessed with that photo of the Grand Duchesses Olga & Tatiana that you posted not long ago.

    1. thanks so much tokyoJ. the lampshade would be pretty perfect a touch for adding it to a room. I am a bit obsessed with the Grand Duchesses in that photograph as well. pgt

  5. Malachite !!- I taught myself to do faux malachite in the '80s- it was so convincing people had to touch it- everything that stood still was malachite- picture frames , a million boxes,eggs, a nightstand table top that I still have( the only piece I still have)the list goes on- it was the 80's when faux was "la mode" haven't done in years - maybe I'll crack out the stuff and see if I still have the touch-

    1. there's nothing better than culling out a collection is there? Sounds like you may have kept your piece de resistance!I bet you do still have the touch as well. Do report back-if you would 286e6cd2-... !

  6. What an eye opening post. I never paid close attention to malachite, now I'll be on the lookout for it. Fabulous post - the chair, then the dress, and the book. Oh to have your eye!

    1. PBB- I think you might be seeing it like mad from now on. Get a little something in the stone-etsy is a treasure trove if not yale burge! pgt

  7. There's also an enormous malachite urn in Maximillian's palace in Mexico City that I know you'd love.

    1. TDC, I am checking it out-thanks for adding to our little augury collection. pgt



Related Posts with Thumbnails