24 November 2014
20 November 2014
A Louis XVI gold and enamel snuff box, Charles-Alexandre Bouillerot, retailed by Charles-Raymond Granchez "Au Petit Dunkerque", Paris, 1778fully marked, the rim engraved "Au Petit Dunkerque". LOT 218
image from Richard Jean-Jacques, Bijoux Et Pierres Precieuses here
César-François Cassini de Thury, astronomer, member of the French Academy of Sciences -"taking snuff"
miniature watercolor on ivory by Nattier, c. 1750
being auctioned at Sotheby's November 20th Jewels & Objects of Vertu, the Property of Mrs. Paul Mellon
18 November 2014
The unprecedented ease of Bunny Mellon's style.Over a Regency red and yellow japanned faux bamboo bookcase, c.1805, hangs a Braque painting, Les Deux Oiseaux and housed in the bookcase-a collection of birds.
In a world of rooms touted by magazine editors full of beige this and that-to my eye most mudane, Mrs. Mellon's genius style lies in her having kept her eye honed for what she loved, and artists she revered. She surrounded herself with nature inside her houses when she could not be in her gardens. No doubt with the wealth she had before marrying Paul Mellon, it could have been easy for some to lapse into rooms of souless, staid grandeur.
Not so, Mrs. Mellon gives us a glimpse of beauty in rooms, in its highest form.
Pure, personal, and what appears uncalculated, precisely edited.
There pipes the woodlark, and the song-thrush there
Scatters his loose notes in the waste of air.
-Couplet about Birds, Thomas Gray, 18th c. poet
1 of a Pair of Italian Scagliola Panels, 18th c., Lot 307
“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all-
-314, Emily Dickinson, American poet, 19th c.
A Dutch delft six-tile pictorial panel second half 18th c., Lot 923
A Robin Red breast in a Cage Puts all Heaven in a Rage A dove house filld with doves & Pigeons Shudders Hell thro all its regions
-Auguries of Innocence, William Blake, c. 1803
Le Balcon Et La Cage D'Oiseau, Tsuguharu Foujita, 1917. Lot 408
Friends shall I have at dawn, blackbird and thrush To rouse me, and a hundred Warblers more; And if those Eagles to their ancient Hold Return, Helvellyn's Eagles! with the Pair From my own door I shall be free to claim Acquaintance as they sweep from cloud to cloud. The Owl that gives the name to Owlet-Crag Have I heard whooping, and he soon will be A chosen one of my regards. . .
-Home At Grassmere, Wordsworth, c.1806.
An Aviary, Madeline Hewes. Lot 1491
Hail to thee blithe Spirit! Bird thou never wert,
That from Heaven, or near it,
Pourest thy full heart In profuse strains of unpremeditated art.
-To A Skylark, Percy Bysshe Shelley, 19th century Romantic poet
Young Girl Holding A Bird, Jean Braun, 1749.
The lark that shuns on lofty boughs to build Her humble nest,
lies silent in the field.
lies silent in the field.
-Of The Queen,Edmund Waller,17th c.
Bunny Mellon teaches us the art of living at home, rather than so today-those who are ever seeming to perfect that art, yet never staying home to inhabit it.