25 September 2015

Schlumming it, the pure style of Jean Schlumberger.

HIRO, 1962

Nothing brings me more pleasure than an old Vogue magazine. I've added copies to my library over the years-but since I've been writing a book-there has been an onslaught of them in the mailbox. As soon as one arrives-I immediately look for the Horst/ Lawford stories that spanned the sixties and the seventies. I've no doubt at some point there will be a definitive book with all their stories-Oh to compile that book!

Jean Schlumberger's house on Guadeloupe featured in 1971, is as one would expect- perfect in its timelessness. Next month's LSD feature-Lauren Santo Domingo's stories for Vogue, could feature the Schlumberger plantation and Vogue readers would go nuts-"swooning, dying, gobsmacked, being just all round smitten, etc etc.

Furnished simply, the property was a series of pavilions-galleries where Schlumberger lived mostly en plein air. For his studio-bedroom, he used blue batiks from Java, a navy linen from Hong Kong, locally made furniture-armoires, commodes, and painted pieces. 

In shades of pale blue or grey or blue-green, Schlumberger was inspired by the colors of the houses on Iles des Saintes and painted many of the pieces of furniture in the house himself.

An armoire painted by Schlumberger inspired by the fishermen's houses on the nearby Iles des Saintes.

Master Jeweler Jean Schlumberger at Bisdary

"toutes les emotions nourrisssent un esprit creatif." *

Uncluttered, letting the plants indigenous to Guadeloupe decorate another pavilion on the property.

Schlumberger mounted hibiscus flower heads daily on tall sticks (leaf stalks from a palm) and displayed them on a table in the same blue and white porcelain vessel surrounded by Chinese musicians' instruments.

The potting shed at Bisdary

Two months out of every year Schlumberger retreated to Guadeloupe to work on his jewelry designs. Guests were invited to Bisdary, but never disturbed Schlumberger's daily rituals of creativity.

So obvious, this retreat by the sea was a constant inspiration for the artist.

* all emotions nourish a creative spirit- Jean Schlumberger


  1. SO chic!! And clever title - as always! Hope all is well!

  2. Love those jewels...I see elements of The Mellon's Antigua home within the decorated rooms and patio. Imagine the hibiscus, picked, cleaned off of leaves, placed on stems, and arranged Lotus like...shrivel by the end of each day...a small miracle of nature he harnessed to
    Inspire his Soul...not too mention Hibiscus Tea...cool and refreshing! Bunny must've helped with decor or at the very least, inspired him.

    1. Yes, I see Mrs Mellon there too. In researching her I found a great photo (not used) of the design her created for her on the top of her potting shed! Aren't the hibiscus wonderful-I can imagine the anticipation he had for doing that each day. pgt

  3. Replies
    1. Wonderful yes! I am hoping to get back to blogging this fall...

  4. Timeless style and timeless island design!! A brilliant man!

    The Arts by Karena

  5. Those interior photographs from decades past are so fascinating. The challenges of lighting, composition, and exposure, all dealt with inside the viewfinder using the naked eye and a light meter. Awe-inspiring!

    1. Such a great point. I am truly enamored with Horst's interior shots. I cut my teeth on them and still find them to be the most compelling. pgt

  6. As always, authentic! Congrats on your book. I am also writing but it's a long process. Best from Italy!

    1. M. it is indeed a long road, and at times so tedious-and then the waiting, my book has been pushed to Spring 2017!!!

  7. Adore his work! Thanks for the insight into his fascinating life and discipline!



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