Friday, December 7, 2007

Dining tables

Mes Amis,

Bonjour and welcome to today's visit to l'Ecole du Bon Goût.  Today’s subject is dining tables.  With the holiday season in full tilt whirling all around us, it might be a relief to focus on a holiday tradition that really does go back farther than jingle bells do: Dining “à table” can be the true “bon goût” high point of the holiday season.

Finished dining tables are a fairly modern invention when it comes to looking at the big picture of the history of dining.  They are a late 18th century invention!  Previously, practically all dining tables were, even for the kings of France, simple “saw horse” like supports called “treteaux” which were  used to support a top or tops of unfinished planks of wood which were always covered with a generous (usually to the floor) white tablecloth.  One can see these illustrated, at least as far back as 11th century in depictions of the Last Supper.  There are even three or four early Louisiana treteaux tables known to me.

The invention, in the late 18th century, of a finished dining table with leaves was revolutionary and caught on very rapidly with nearly every household of sufficient means, having one, usually in walnut, mahogany or oak.  This is no surprise since they are so versatile, converting to many different sizes by means of adding or subtracting leaves.  They are on wheeled casters, so they are easy for one person to move them about; however, most importantly, they are just the most dramatic piece of furniture you could have in a dining room.

Here at Au Vieux Paris Antiques, we have in stock six late 18th century extension dining tables, ranging in length from 13 to 10 feet, one fixed round table, one folding square table, as well as a very ancient set of treteaux with a 19th century top.

Also Patrick Dunne of Lucullus Antiques in New Orleans and Breaux Bridge always has a tasty selection of dining tables available for purchase.

Find following a selection of tables in stock here followed by two photographs of completely outfitted dining rooms, one Louis XIII and one early 19th century.

Dine “à Table du bon Goût” this Holiday season.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions or requests you might have by telephone (337) 332-2852, e-mail robertesmith@centurytel.net, or visit our website at www.auvieuxparisantiques.com.

Mes Amities,
Robert E. Smith







Visit the Au Vieux Paris Antiques homepage (click here)
Browse a sampling of the merchandise available (click here)

Mes Amities,
Robert E. Smith   (337) 332-2852

http://www.auvieuxparisantiques.com


Friday, November 30, 2007

French domestic candlesticks

Mes Amis,

Bonjour and welcome to today's visit to l'Ecole du Bon Goût.  Today's visit addresses the subject of French domestic candlesticks.  This subject is well covered in an article in the current Nov-Dec issue of Southern Accents Magazine, which is illustrated with photographs taken here at Au Vieux Paris Antiques and for which I was a consultant.  Find below two photo montages of candlesticks for sale here as well as a copy of the Southern Accents article.

Here at Au Vieux Paris Antiques we have an encyclopedic selection of candlesticks in both pairs and single models, ranging from late 17th century Louis XIV models all the way through to Charles X, circa 1825. 

Light up your world and life with period candlesticks and enjoy le bon goût.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions or requests you might have by telephone (337) 332-2852, e-mail robertesmith@centurytel.net, or visit our website at www.auvieuxparisantiques.com.

Mes Amities,
Robert E. Smith






Visit the Au Vieux Paris Antiques homepage (click here)
Browse a sampling of the merchandise available (click here)

Mes Amities,
Robert E. Smith   (337) 332-2852

http://www.auvieuxparisantiques.com


Friday, October 19, 2007

Glassware

Bonjour and welcome to today's visit to l'Ecole du Bon Goût.  Today's subject is glassware.  The more we are bombarded with beverages and food served in plastic and styrofoam, throw away containers, the more we need to “imbibe” in the use of drinking vessels with visual, tactile, auditory and intellectual rewards.  In this fast paced, email laden, cell phone driven, traffic jam frustrated daily life, at the end of the day, we need some treats that are truly nourishing.  Whether it is a glass of Perrier or Dom Pérignon, it is definitely a more fulfilling experience if presented, and consumed in a hand blown, hand wheel faceted antique French glass.  Here at Au Vieux Paris Antiques, not to mention Patrick Dunne’s shop Lucullus Antiques in Breaux Bridge and New Orleans, one can find a huge selection of glassware in various styles, ages, levels of refinement, as well as sizes and shapes designed for partaking of different types of beverages. 

Below, see a photograph montage of 5 different styles of glassware ranging from the late 18th century to the 3rd quarter of the 19th century, followed by pictures of stemware seen in a residence surrounded by objects of the same periods as the glassware presented. 

See Southern Accents Magazine November-December 2004 for a substantive article on domestic, hand blown French glass which utilizes photographs taken here at Au Vieux Paris Antiques.

Raise your glass and celebrate le bon gout.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions or requests you might have by telephone (337) 332-2852, e-mail robertesmith@centurytel.net, or visit our website at www.auvieuxparisantiques.com.

Mes Amities,
Robert E. Smith





Visit the Au Vieux Paris Antiques homepage (click here)
Browse a sampling of the merchandise available (click here)

Mes Amities,
Robert E. Smith   (337) 332-2852

http://www.auvieuxparisantiques.com


Friday, October 12, 2007

The stylistic periods of Consulate (1799-1804), Empire (1804-1815), Resturation (1815-1824), Charles X (1824-1830), and Louis Philippe (1830-1848)

Bonjour and welcome to today's visit to l'Ecole du Bon Goût.  Today's subjects are the stylistic periods of Consulate (1799-1804), Empire (1804-1815), Resturation (1815-1824), Charles X (1824-1830),   and Louis Philippe (1830-1848).  This may seem at first to be too many stylistic periods to group together, but take note the span of time is only 49 years which is less than the time elapsed during the reigns of Louis XIV (72 years) or Louis XV (51 years).

From Consulate through Louis Philippe, there is a continued dominance of inspirations from “antique” sources.  With Napoleon’s Egyptian “campaign” (think conquer and loot), “new” antique source material was available, digested, and re-invented in various new designs in fine art, moveable decoration, as well as the fixed décor of the architecture itself.  Some artisans, intoxicated by this romantic taste for helicon “days of long ago,” also rediscovered gothic as a source book for their new creations.  Characteristics which could be used to describe these periods would be: rich materials, gravity, nobility and architectural structuring.

In regard to furniture, whether it was the brilliantly flame grained dark mahogany of Empire or the paler woods of the Charles X period,  the use of dramatically grained, extra fine quality woods were the norm, not the exception.  Much of the expanded colonization of Louisiana took place during the time span of these periods so naturally these styles turn out to have been popular here in the period and therefore automatically
appealing and appropriate in size, scale, and taste for restorations and reuses of 19th century Louisiana homes today.

Find below a nine picture montage of items available at Au Vieux Paris Antiques as well as photographs of installations in a residence finished in a mix of these styles, all sourced from Au Vieux Paris Antiques.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions or requests you might have by telephone (337) 332-2852, e-mail robertesmith@centurytel.net, or visit our website at www.auvieuxparisantiques.com.

Mes Amities,
Robert E. Smith






Visit the Au Vieux Paris Antiques homepage (click here)
Browse a sampling of the merchandise available (click here)

Mes Amities,
Robert E. Smith   (337) 332-2852

http://www.auvieuxparisantiques.com


Friday, October 5, 2007

The stylistic periods of Louis XVI (1774 - 1793) and Directiore (1795 - 1799)

Bonjour and welcome to today's visit to l'Ecole du Bon Goût.  Today's subjects are the stylistic periods of Louis XVI (1774 - 1793) and Directiore (1795 - 1799).  There is a period called "Revolutionaire" (1793 - 1795) which did have specific forms of expression in the arts; however, the pieces are quite rare and the political period was so bloody, cataclysmic, and destructive to the arts, architecture, and human refinements in general that we just will not go there now.

Both the Louis XVI and Directiore periods can be described as returns to symmetry, straight lines, and classically inspired forms derived from "antique" sources, ancient Greece and Rome for example.  The excavations at Pompeii and Herculaneum provided many "new" inspirations for designers at this time.  Scholarly research had surmised that Classical antiquity had a far broader repertoire of architectural and decorative precedents to offer than had previously been dreamed of.  In fixed decoration, as well as movable, the Louis XVI style was not less elegant or graceful than the Louis XV mode that preceded it.  The difference lay in a more restrained and ordered form of expression which was in no way diminished in terms of luxury and attention to comfort.  The entire second floor of Au Vieux Paris Antiques is devoted to these two periods.  The clean lines, classic proportions, and rich materials utilized for their execution remain appealing to collectors and decorators today. 

Below, today’s photos begin with a nine picture montage of some of the Louis XVI and Directiore items available for purchase presently at Au Vieux Paris Antiques, followed by three photographs of a residence furnished in a mélange of the same two styles.  Photos by Mme Tina Freeman and courtesy of Southern Accents Magazine.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions or requests you might have by telephone (337) 332-2852, e-mail robertesmith@centurytel.net, or visit our website at www.auvieuxparisantiques.com.

Mes Amities,
Robert E. Smith







Visit the Au Vieux Paris Antiques homepage (click here)
Browse a sampling of the merchandise available (click here)

Mes Amities,
Robert E. Smith   (337) 332-2852

http://www.auvieuxparisantiques.com

Friday, September 28, 2007

Stylistic Periods of Régence (1715 - 1723) and Louis XV (1723 - 1774)

Bonjour and welcome to today's visit to l'Ecole du Bon Goût.  Today's subjects are the stylistic periods of Régence (1715 - 1723) and Louis XV (1723 - 1774).  These periods, which transition seamlessly from one to the other, are characterized by their emphasis on curvaceous forms and movements as well as an appreciation for vegetable motifs.

The death of Louis XIV loosed the bonds of restraint that had wearied the whole nation.  With this new sense of freedom, people sought intimate personal comforts and informality in their physical surroundings.  This license so freely employed under the new regime gave rise to a feverish yearning for novelty.  Decors were created with Chinese subjects, apes and pastorals, not to mention erotic representations by Boucher, all to satisfy the hunger for innovation. Asymmetry in the arts reached a peak of expression never before seen and not to be revisited until over a hundred years later during the Art Nouveau period at the beginning of the twentieth century.  This age, with a new interest in comfort and functional convenience resonates with modern concerns today.  Chairs became larger and more comfortable and tables evolved multifunctional amenities and, in some cases, ease of portability.

For these reasons, as well as others, the Regence and Louis XV periods are by far the most popular among collectors today; therefore, it is no surprise that, here at Au Vieux Paris Antiques, the selection of items from these periods makes up the largest portion of our current stock.  Please feel free to contact us with any questions or requests you might have by telephone (337) 332-2852, e-mail robertesmith@centurytel.net, or visit our website at www.auvieuxparisantiques.com.

Mes Amities,
Robert E. Smith





Visit the Au Vieux Paris Antiques homepage (click here)
Browse a sampling of the merchandise available (click here)

Mes Amities,
Robert E. Smith   (337) 332-2852

http://www.auvieuxparisantiques.com



Friday, September 21, 2007

Stylistic Periods of Louis XIII (1610 - 1643) and His Son, Louis XIV (1643 - 1715)


Chers Amis,

Bonjour and welcome to today's visit to l'Ecole du Bon Goût.  Today's subjects are the stylistic periods of Louis XIII (1610 - 1643) and his son, Louis XIV (1643 - 1715), who was the hands down all time champion of material Bon Goût.  Both of these stylistic periods can be described similarly.  Their characteristics are unity, symmetry, and sober majesty with an emphasis on bold architectural moldings predominating.  Hard to imagine pomp, magnificence and polished elegance in all details of appointment were regarded by Louis XIV as indispensable adjuncts of his court and the fashion set by the king was followed as best they could afford by his court and lesser gentry.

The over the top sumptuous expressions of these periods, exemplified by the interiors of the Chateau de Versailles, may not fit your taste or possibly even not your pocketbook, however, the provincial interpretations of these styles do fit nicely into today's interiors and modern lifestyles.  Two characteristics found in pieces from these two styles are their substantial physical strength and durability.  Oak, imparting its own special quality of strength, not to mention a rich mellow patina, is by far the favored wood.  The doors to Louis XIV’s bedroom from his prized and glorious Chateau Marly, now exposed at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, are of carved oak.


Note also the astute shopper may find better buys in these periods than the Louis XV pieces currently sought after by the general antique collecting public.  Currently here at Au Vieux Paris Antiques, we have a broad range of Louis XIII and Louis XIV period pieces including armories, beds, tables, chairs, fireplace mantles, candlesticks, etc. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or requests you might have by telephone (337) 332-2852, e-mail robertesmith@centurytel.net, or visit our website at www.auvieuxparisantiques.com.

Mes Amities,
Robert E. Smith





Visit the Au Vieux Paris Antiques homepage (click here)
Browse a sampling of the merchandise available (click here)

Mes Amities,
Robert E. Smith   (337) 332-2852

http://www.auvieuxparisantiques.com

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

L'ecole du Bon Gout Lesson I: How to Plant a Vase Anduze

Bonjour and welcome to L'ecole du Bon Gout!

This week's email offers a lesson in the proper planting of a vase Anduze which has, through age, lost its' outer waterproof glaze. The method illustrated below ensures proper drainage and also includes the use of a heavy duty garbage bag to retain moisture that would otherwise be lost by expiration of moisture through the walls of the unglazed pot.  This method of potting would also be advantageous for use in other porous containers made of stone, wood or even new terra-cotta pots.
 
A beautiful plant is doubly enhanced by a beautiful container.  At Au Vieux Paris Antiques, we presently have in stock not only several vases d'Anduze but also containers of carved stone, cast iron and sheet copper.

Mes Amities,
Robert E. Smith





Visit the Au Vieux Paris Antiques homepage (click here)
Browse a sampling of the merchandise available (click here)

Mes Amities,
Robert E. Smith   (337) 332-2852

http://www.auvieuxparisantiques.com