Friday, October 24, 2014

Decorate With A Display Of Antique Porcelain Perfume Bottles

The allure of applying scent has been capturing attention since the world’s earliest days. Ancient writings found in Persia, Iraq (Mesopotamia), Cyprus, Egypt, Israel and Rome, as well as the Far East and India, mention perfume industries that once thrived in these areas. Along with the perfumes came the need for scent containers. Egyptian tombs yield beautiful examples of these bottles for holding scent.

One of the nicest things about collecting antique perfume bottles is that the choices presented are nearly infinite. Perfume bottles can easily be found in cut glass, pressed glass, art glass, silver, metal, enamel, porcelain and believe it or not plastic. In collecting perfume bottles there is a price for everyone. They can range in price from a few dollars to thousands depending on their medium and condition. 

This blog post is about my favorite antique perfume bottles, the porcelain ones manufactured in the 18th century.The frivolity and luxury of scent were reflected in eighteenth-century charming "toys", made at the Chelsea factory. These popular perfume bottles were produced in the shapes of various figures, animals, fruits, and other objects. Its early soft-paste porcelain products were aimed at the aristocratic market. Just like trends today the craze for these charming items flourished. They did not come with perfume inside. Liquid fragrance was purchased separately and then decanted into one’s favorite bottles.

Even though these antique porcelain perfume bottles are pricey, other styles are more reasonable and still fun to collect. Despite the way the collector begins, people should never forget the main reason for collecting in the first place - The sheer enjoyment. If you are looking for something to collect these tiny treasures may just be the ticket.

Enjoy the 18th century!!

Perfume bottle and stopper from the Chelsea Porcelain factory.

The Chelsea porcelain manufacturer was the first important porcelain manufacturer in England. The factory produced decorative pieces for the luxury market,often copying designs from factories at Meissen in Germany or from Vincennes and Sèvres in France. These included miniature items, called 'toys' at the time, such as these perfume bottles, as well as seals, thimble cases, snuff boxes and other expensive trifles. Many have amorous or flirtatious inscriptions on them and were often bought as gifts.

Jacob Petit Porcelain figural perfume bottles.

Antique perfume bottles are often miniature works of art in themselves. Perfume bottles have captured the attention of the public every bit as much as the perfumes did due to their unusual beauty.

Beautiful porcelain perfume bottles were meant for display, and these bottles would have stood proudly on a lady’s dressing table.

The perfume bottles are made of soft-paste porcelain, painted in overglaze colours and gilt, with gold mounts.

Perfume bottle and stopper from the Charles Gouyns factory.1749-1754, London, England. The bottle and stopper of porcelain, painted with enamels, in the form of figure of a lady dancing, and mounted in gold.

Exquisite harp perfume bottle. Probably enamel instead of porcelain but I had to share it anyway!

Perfume Bottle circa 1760 English (South Staffordshire) Enamel on copper.

These small compact vessels are easy to love due to their size, and the multitude of interesting mediums and attractive shapes they display.

Perfume Bottle, 1800s - Chelsea Porcelain Factory, made of porcelain with gilt metal mounts.The Chelsea Porcelain factory put most of its energy into porcelain perfume bottles.

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Stunning circa 1860 French perfume bottle.

Porcelain perfume bottles ruled through the 18th Century. Their delicate refinement is hard to equal.

Perfume Bottle, late 1700s manufacturer Staffordshire Factory (British) enamel on copper with gilt metal mounts.

The aristocratic lady had a wide choice of scent bottles, including dual-purpose bottles which also held smelling salts.

Some porcelain perfume bottles possessed intriguing stoppers that were sculptures of a woman's head, a flower, or a bird; many were artist-designed and one-of-a-kind.

A collection of perfume bottles can be put to charming use on a contemporary dressing table or displayed in a group on a table in any room.

A Palais Royal Perfume Bottle.

Untill about 100 years ago decorative bottles were sold empty so the lady could 
bring her own perfume bottles to the apothecary to be filled.
with her favorite scent.

A 19th century French porcelain perfume bottle.

via Pinterest
Chelsea Porcelain Perfume bottle: The Three Graces

In the 18th century porcelain was used to make perfume bottles, but glass is used exclusively to make perfume bottles today.

Fountain Shaped Porcelain Scent Bottle, Chelsea Porcelain Factory English

The number of different kinds of antique perfume bottles available for collection is astounding. Beginners who wish to specialize can choose from a wide range of bottles.

Perfume Bottle by Jacob Petit France Circa 1835

Though perfume bottles have been around for centuries, most people just collect those from the last 200 years or so. They are more readily available, interesting and affordable. Remember not just one company produced these lovelies but multitudes produced them, so it makes for quite a number on the market.

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This blog post was published by Lisa Farmer

Monday, October 20, 2014

Decorating With Divans

I remember hearing about divans when I was young as they were in demand in the 50' and 60's and it was "cool" to have one. Divan lounging sofas have again become very popular. Divan is from the Persian word for “council of rulers” and was given as a name to an long, comfortable seat for more than one person that has no back or arms. They were found along the walls in Middle Eastern chambers of bureau’s called diwans.

 A divan has a tufted mattress-like seat, either directly on the ground or on a low wooden frame. Since they are backless they are usually pushed against a wall. A plethora of cushions to lean against are then piled up to create a daytime seat. The divan can be cleared off at night to become a bed if one chooses.

Even though this isn't 100% divan because it has some back support, it will still give you the look because of it height amd simple lines.

You can create the look of a divan with an armless sofa placed against the wall. Add several luxurious pillows for lounging against. The more luxe the pillows the better. Also other beautiful textiles draped across the seating adds to the authentic flavor or the Moorish divan.

Because of its exotic appearance, the divan is perfect for an eclectic, collected interior.

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This is a tufted daybed that I would love to use in the style of a divan. I like the fringe and the rolled arms which give it more of a sensual look. I can see lots of wonderful cushions to lean on against a wall covered in a wonderful tapestry or other sumptuous textile.

You can create the look of a divan with the right daybed . Make sure your choice in accessorizing is more on the colorful, eclectic side.

Here a  four postered twin bed has a divan like appearence. For best results use a bed that is low and closer to the floor. Plus the look will depend on the bed style and fabrics you choose.

Rich fabrics are a must if you are turning a daybed into a divan.

Loulou de la Falaise Paris' Montparnasse district, flat.

I adore this French daybed turned divan. Daybeds look beautiful when pulled out into the room. But if you want more of divan look, place it against the wall with something extraordinary as a this fabulous mirror.

Give your guests royal therapy with divan seating and be the envy of all your friends.

A neutral divan is another lovely option. Just remember neutral rooms must have texture and variation in your color.

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Colorful divan seating.

via pinterest

When you have limited space, you have to be on the lookout for fashionable double-duty pieces. A divan can be your solution.

Also the divan that can double for a bed is great for small decorating budgets. You can create a lovey area with colorful pillows, throws, and small accessories.

source unknown....if you know who to credit for this lovely space please comment.

A divan easily fits in tight spaces making it best for tiny properties.

To have a custom divan of your own, build a frame, cover and embellish, add fabulous tufted cushions to sit on and pillows galore!!!

Divans sit on wooden frames that can be covered or left natural. This one doesn't sport the multi- pillow look but is still comfortable and lounge worthy.

via pinterest

Traditionally backless, this DIY divan can be constructed from recycled lumber.Then add colorful fabric,seating, and exuberant use of cushions.


Many homeowners are using wooden pallets as the base of their divan sofas. You get added storage underneath!!

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Because of their simple lines and casual elegance divans look wonderful in more contemporary settings as well. 

Relaxing on the porch can be comfortable and stylish with he addition of a divan.

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This blog post was published by Lisa Farmer

Monday, October 13, 2014

Decorating With Silhouettes

Once called shades and shadow pictures, a silhouette is a picture of something showing it as a dark shape uniformly filled in with black,especially a black-paper,on a light background. These were usually a miniature cutout of the outlines of a family member or famous person's face.

The name "silhouette" derives from the surname of an eighteenth century miserly finance minister to Louis XV. Etienne de Silhouette's stringent monetary tactics proved overwhelmingly unpopular and as a result things that were considered miserly or simply cheap became labeled as à la Silhouette.

 Silhouette portraits in paper date back to the early 1600s in France when French royalty eiher hired artists to make free-hand cuttings of their profiles, including elaborate hairpieces and clothing or hired them for parties to entertain their guests.
The popularity of silhouettes spread to the rest of Europe in the 1700s These portraits became very popular and In America, silhouettes were highly popular from about 1790 and still remain so today.

Silhouette cutting began as an amusement for European royalty but in the U.S. became a popular way to capture portraits of both privileged and common people.

An example of a hollow cut silhouette. It has been cut from white paper and then placed over black paper.

Another way is more traditional. Cutting the silhouette out of black paper and pasting it on white.

Many silhouettes were simply painted. They're so simple, yet very detailed.

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Silhouettes are beautiful when used as part of a vignette, but again, be sure to incorporate the color black somewhere else in the vignette.

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In colonial times, it was not uncommon to see one or two silhouettes hung in  homes.

Beatrix Potter's home, via pinterest

If you have more than one silhouette, always group them together for greater impact.

Silhouettes ended up pinned into scrapbooks. Because of their inexpensive nature, relative ease of acquisition, and because a sitter often acquired more than one portrait at a time, silhouettes could be given to someone as a memento. For this purpose, silhouettes were kept loose and later housed by the recipient in some fashion. Often these loose silhouettes were slipped into the family Bible or a favorite book.

Auguste Amant Constant Fidèle Edouart popularized the name "silhouette" when he came to England in 1829 from France. He was best known for creating full-length likenesses. As Edouart advised, many silhouettes were framed and hung on the wall.

Hanging them on ribbons is just another way to display a silhouette collection.

Mario Buatta

Antique silhouettes hang in the stair hall, which is furnished with a borne settee and a 19th-century Gothic Revival lantern. It is important that the other pictures in your display also incorporate black as part of their coloring so that the silhouettes blend well with them.

So for a small cost in money and time (adept profilists could scissor a likeness in minutes), the sitter could immortalize his or her self for posterity. Or at least for the friend, sweetheart, or relative to whom silhouettes were often given as mementos.

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If you are looking for something to collect, silhouettes might be the thing for you. They can still be found and sometimes at reasonable prices if you are willing to take your time. If you don't want to wait on the antique ones, create some yourself and yours will be found in an antique shop someday.

This is a picture of a mantle in one of my bedrooms at Christmas featuring a pair of antique silhouettes that I bought at a shop 30 years ago. I have used them so many ways over the years.

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I think they are especially pretty mixed into Christmas decor.

via pinterest

It seems as though in bad economic times people tend to desire the look of a simpler time. Silhouettes are perfect for the return to classic clean designs. 

Red is a great color to use with the black and white silhouette.

With the wide variety of stencils today you can add style and distinction to an upholstered chair with a pretty silhouette.

The simplicity of silhouettes makes for compatibility and versatility in displays.

Again here you can see how well the silhouettes work with the classic design of this bed and the great modern lamp.

Of course the silhouette is right at home with country style decor.

Create your own silhouette pillows. These can be used several ways in locations throughout your home.

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I love the large solitary silhouette and the way it is hung over the books in this library. I have never seen one this big before.

They remind me of times of old when ladies wore cameos and beautiful tailor made gowns. 

Striped wallpaper with a cluster of portraits and silhouettes.

Silhouettes are often thought of as very Victorian or vintage, but I’m here to show you how they can work with any design style.

Silhouettes need not always be serious. This is a craft to have some fun with on occasion.

Be part of a trend to revive a classic art. Full size silhouettes are popular today.

Susie Cushner

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 We see them fading in and out over time but right now silhouettes are riding the wave of popularity again. 

Today the silhouette is not always about the human form. You see them popping up everywhere and featuring anything from animals to chandeliers to famous buildings like the Eiffel Tower.

Silhouettes continue to remain popular today. A search on the internet shows countless silhouette artists offering their skills for a fee. These artists can be found at craft fairs all over the country. Of course many antiques shops and auction houses carry old silhouettes, prices ranging from $200 to as high as $15,000.

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This blog post was published by Lisa Farmer

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