Friday, April 25, 2014

"Change is a good thing!"

Chers Amis de L'Ecole du Bon Gout, Bonjour, Yes! Change helps us see with "new eyes" our everyday surroundings. Changes in the seasons gives us a heightened ability to appreciate the qualities of each new season! We have just arrived, after what was a cold winter, to be more appreciative of the glories of spring's weather, flowers, etc.!!

In eighteenth century interior décor, there also was a tradition of having major changes in sequence with the seasons. There is an 18th century gold snuff box, at the Metropolitan Museum in NYC, which has a very detailed painting on one side showing a lavish salon in summer "dress" and on the other side, the same room in winter "dress". Here one sees an extreme case where not only the seat upholstery, curtains and rugs were being changed out, but also there was a change of the parquet flooring to another different pattern of parquet flooring!! Now this is a true bon gout seasonal transformation for sure!

Regarding seat furniture, the "mechanism" which made their seasonal changes quite easy, involved detailing the chairs and sofas with easily removable back and seat cushions. Such furniture would be called "à châssis". Some of the finished fabric choices for these sets of interchangeable cushions could be tapestry, velour frappe, damask, leather, or for summer there could even have been a set of inserts of caning which would have been a comfortable choice for those warm summer nights!

At Au Vieux Paris Antiques , we are happy to offer for the very first time, a set of six Louis XV, walnut, "chaise à châssis" seen in the photos to follow. Their large size (H 39¼" W 20½" D 20") indicates they were probably part of a set of seat furniture for a salon, however they would also be great as chairs around the dining table. Plan a visit soon to see these rare models as well as the rest of the current stock of bon gout!

337 332 2852 or visit the web site at www.auvieuxparisantiques.com

Cordialement d'Uzes, 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, April 11, 2014

Topiaries from down to up???

Chers Amis de L'Ecole du Bon Gout!! Bonjour d'Uzes!! When I arrived here two weeks ago, I knew I wanted to get the courtyard replanted before the marathon of April through May shopping and restoration of the goods began!

Of all the plants I have tried in my court yard, "English Ivy" ( Hedera helix) seemed to prosper the best. It is a native to most all of Europe and western Asia, and here in France it is called "Lierre". You find ancient specimens growing in our local valley with trunks as big as six inches in diameter! But I wanted topiaries, svp!!!

Seeing some great looking ivy hanging baskets at a local florist, an idea was spawned ! Like the "wheel of fortune", what is down can soon be up! Next from a plant store in Nimes, called Truffaut , which has a truly staggering selection of plants ranging from enormous 500+ year old olive trees to miniature petunias, (both conveniently sold in pots, svp), I acquired some metal forms to which I added additional wire spirals. Next the hanging baskets were planted, and after separating them to their various single vines, it was very easy to entwine them up the cone starting with the longest first, which reached just short of the top. The individual leaves were a bit confused after their "down to up" transformation, but after only two days they were perfectly oriented to the sun and very happy! These topiaries were planted in 19th c vase Anduse which have the ability to make even the humblest species of plant like this "English Ivy", into a presentation of total "bon gout"!!

If you happen to need some vase Anduse for your topiary project, there is an assembled set of four 19th c vases, sold in pairs, available now at Au Vieux Paris Antiques ( 337 332 2852 or www.auvieuxparisantiques.com ). Just like the "wheel of fortune", if your spirits are a bit "down", you will certainly bring them "up" if you are inspired to do some topiaries of your very own creation !!!


Cordialement, 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