Wednesday, December 16, 2015

"On the cutting edge!"

Chers Amis,  Bonjour!  This summer I seemed to be attracting table knives like never before and this was a good thing!

This all started with the acquisition of an extraordinary set of 24 dinner and 12 fruit and cheese knives in their original presentation coffre.  The knives are an unusual find on several counts, the large size of the set in its coffre only being a starting point. The former ownership is known and attested to by a tag on the coffre probably from the mid 20th century giving the name of the Arrivabine family. This family was “Second only to the Medicis in Italy” says a knowledgeable Italian friend of mine! The handles, engraved with an “A” with the Count’s nine point crown above further corroborates this elevated ownership.  The Italian made handles are not the normal silver plate but are of full silver while the oversized steel blades are marked “Wm Jackson & Sons Sheffield”. Evidently at the time, fine Sheffield made steel blades would have been imported from England for use in a commission of knives of this level of quality. See below two of Count Arrivabine’s family houses these knives could have been used in.

Following finding this splendid set, I acquired another set of 11 knives with full silver handles as apposed to silver plated handles!  Full silver handles are a very rare occurrence seldom seen in the market place. Following these two sets I managed to acquire a few more sets of both dinner and fruit and cheese knives with silver plated handles in several different patterns as well as the ever popular fiddle thread and uniplat patterns.

With the holiday season approaching it is a good time to have at the ready the proper cutlery for all those special holiday meals. The following photos gives you an idea of some of the ample stock available here at Au Vieux Paris Antiques, so please plan a visit to see these knives as well as the extensive selection of fine antiques available.  

Mes amitiés,
Robert E. Smith








The following knives have silverplated handles:











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

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

http://www.auvieuxparisantiques.com



Monday, November 2, 2015

Salon du Château d'Abondant

Chers Amis de L’Ecole du Bon Goût,

Last month when I was “studying” at the Musée Louvre for two full days, I took numerous photos of a circa 1740 salon that has been of particular interest to me since it was acquired in 1989. This room is unique in the Louvre’s collection of period rooms in that it was acquired quite intact architecturally speaking as well as with much of its original furnishings. The original furniture includes: four marble top console tables, two canapés, two bergères, and the chandelier.

In addition to this remarkable physical survival, the names of the craftsmen involved are known! François-Simon Houlié supplied the boiserie paneling and the console tables, all painted in the same two shades of muted green by the painter Jean-François Chevalier. Louis-François Trouard who was marbrier du roi sculpted the fireplace chimney and the console tops from the same marbre de Sarrancolin and Michel Cresson created the seat furniture, again painted to match the boiserie and consoles. The over door paintings are by Jacques de Sève and the chandelier is métal argenté and cristal de Bohême. The fabric of the curtains is a reproduction of the original fabric used for both the curtains and the seat furniture.

Today many aficionados of décor are paranoid about having their interiors called too “matchy matchy” !! I myself like a very coordinated décor and this salon gives us a glimpse of a very successful original décor where everything was truly “matched”! Because of the limited and muted color pallet utilized throughout and the total absence of gold leaf, the room has something of the feeling of contemporary rooms popular today done in muted color schemes.

If these photos inspire you to “womp up” a serine but luxurious Louis XV décor for your very own, see following some antiques available now at Au Vieux Paris, to help you in your creation.

Mes Amitiés,
Robert E. Smith
















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Following, antiques available now at Au Vieux Paris.


















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

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

http://www.auvieuxparisantiques.com



Friday, September 11, 2015

The surface you live on!

Chers Amis de L’Ecole du Bon Goût, I have always counseled my clients to choose carefully their flooring material because not only do you look at it, like you do the walls and the ceiling, but it is also the only surface of any room that you are in constant physical contact with!!

Here in Provence there is seemingly never a boring floor to walk on indoors or out! Even public streets and sidewalks are often of very interesting materials and sometimes of centuries old installation. Natural materials like stone, marble, “terre cuite”, and various hardwoods have been the preferred choice for flooring since man moved out from his cave dwelling. In their presentation these natural materials can run the gamut from quite rustic to the "plus ultimate" in refinement depending on their format and final finish achieved by the craftsmen involved in their creation.

I have “almost always” used recycled antique flooring in my personal projects. I say “almost” because in the last project I did here in France for myself, I used a newly quarried but then hand “aged” stone flooring which I find successfully reproduces the look of antique stone flooring without the difficultly of installation and expense the truly old stone flooring demands.

See following photographs of some finished flooring installations, followed by samples of similar flooring materials available for purchase today on order from Au Vieux Paris Antiques.

Tres Cordialement, Robert




















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

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

http://www.auvieuxparisantiques.com