L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e ~ D o s t o ï e v s k i

L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e  ~  D o s t o ï e v s k i

Friday, August 31, 2018

Drop-front desk (secrétaire à abattant, or secrétaire en cabinet) - attributed to Adam Weisweiler, circa 1787

Secrétaire à abattant, or secrétaire en cabinet: oak veneered with thuya burl, amaranth, mahogany, satinwood, holly, and ebonized holly; painted metal; one Sèvres plaque; fifteen Wedgwood medallions; bronze doré mounts; marble; leather (not original).

Loosely adapted from the essay on the Metropolitan Museum of Art's website:

The interlaced stretchers and bulbous, downward-tapering legs of this graceful secretary are characteristic of the work of Adam Weisweiler; moreover, the bronze doré female half-figures used as corner mounts appear on other pieces by this cabinetmaker. Edmé-François Bouillat the Elder, one of the most talented flower painters at Sèvres, was responsible for the ribbon-tied bouquet on the central plaque. (According to a label pasted on the back, the price was 336 livres, and we know that the marchand-mercier Daguerre purchased a plaque for that amount in 1782.) The pointillé (stippled) borders are attributed to Madame Vincent Tallandier who, with her husband, specialized in this kind of decoration. Framed in bronze doré garlands, fifteen Wedgwood jasperware cameos decorate the front and sides of the desk. Some show classical scenes based on antique gems, while others depict mothers and children engaged in domestic pursuits. They formed part of a so-called Domestic Employment series first advertised in a Wedgwood catalogue of 1787, which suggests a date for the secretary, as does the fact that in the same year Daguerre signed an agreement with Josiah Wedgwood to sell his wares in Paris.

Following the attack on the palace of Versailles on 5-6 October 1789, the French royal family was forced to remove themselves to the Château des Tuileries in Paris, where they spent the next three years under house arrest. A few days after their arrival, the queen consigned to the marchand-mercier Dominique Daguerre and his partner, Martin-Eloi Lignereux, a number of her most treasured possessions for safekeeping. Among those objects was a porcelain-mounted secretary, which may, in fact, have been this one and which was possibly the last piece of furniture Daguerre had delivered to Marie-Antoinette for her rooms at Versailles.

Even so, in 1794, after the executions of both the king and queen, when an inventory of the seized royal furniture warehoused at Versailles was drawn up by the new régime, among the pieces listed was a secretary, its drop front mounted with a large Sèvres plaque and ten medallions forming garlands—a description that appears to fit the present piece. During the early part of the nineteenth century it entered the collection of Charles Mills, a London banker and art collector with a taste for Sèvres porcelain and furniture mounted with Sèvres plaques. And it remained with his descendants until the 1930s, when it was sold to the well-known art dealer Joseph Duveen, and eventually made its way into the collection of the Metropolitan Museum.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Ein Berliner im Sand - Dietrich in publicity for "The Garden of Allah", 1936


With Charles Boyer, on set.


Sand, even in the photographer's studio...!


Friday, August 24, 2018

Dreaming and direct - seven paintings by David Jagger

Portrait of a Woman, 1945.
Jewish Refugee, Vienna, 1945.
The Young Golfer (Portrait of Joyce Rigby), 1939.
An Elegant Lady, or Lady in Green, circa 1918-20.
Kathleen (the artit's wife), circa 1919-21.
Mrs. Charles Sargeant Jagger (the artist's sister-in-law), 1917.
Olga, 1936.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

"Blue boy"... no, not that one....

Portrait of Jacques Bizet as a Child, by Jules-Élie Delaunay, 1878.
Louis-Antoine de Bourbon, duc d'Angoulême, by Joseph Boze, 1785.
Portrait of a Boy, by Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin, 1913.
Portrait of a Boy Wearing a Blue Bow Tie, American School, second half of the nineteenth century.
Young Peasant in Blue/Jockey, by Georges Seurat, 1882.
Grand Duke Alexander Pavlovich, later Tsar Alexander I, at the age of fifteen, by Jean-Louis Voille, 1792.
Die Baba (The Baby), by Marlene Dumas, 1985.
Boy in a Turban holding a Nosegay, by Michiel Sweerts, circa 1661.
The Boy in Blue, by Isaac Grünewald, 1919.
Portrait of a Young Boy Dressed in a Brown Coat with a Blue Waistcoat, by Nathaniel Hone, third quarter of the eighteenth century.
Portrait of an Indian boy, by Rudolf Swoboda, last quarter of the nineteenth century.
Almost........!    The Blue Page, by Thomas Gainsborough, circa 1770-72.
Boy in a Blue Shirt, by Joan Eardley, circa 1950s.
Cortlandt Field Bishop, by William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1873.
Boy in the Blue Jacket, by Amedeo Modigliani, 1918.
Boy in a Striped Sweater, by Amedeo Modigliani, 1918.
Jacques de Chapeaurouge, by Jean-Étienne Liotard, 1744 (? More likely circa 1746-49).
The Irish Boy in Blue Denim (Anthony Lavelle), by Robert Henri, 1927.
Charles-Philippe de France, comte d'Artois, later Charles X, by Jean-Martial Frédou, 1773. (Father of the duc d'Angoulême, above.)
Blue Boy with the Banana, by Diego Rivera, 1931.
Boy in Sailor Suit (John Goldsmith), Boris Grigoriev, circa 1923-24.
Pojke med Apelsin (Boy with Orange), by Axel Jungstedt, 1882.