Friday, November 2, 2018

My French/English Old World Sitting Room

As promised, with this post I have shown several rooms from my home. We have both been overwhelmed at the response and number of visits. Nearly 4,000 of you have been kind enough to come each time a room is added to the tour.  Thank you for visiting!!!!!

Our sitting/family room is the last on the tour. No pictures allowed of Tim's two room man cave up stairs. I love it but am not successful at talking him into it. For this room we wanted an Old World French/English feel.......pretty but leaning towards the masculine. When Zach comes to visit I am a bit outnumbered. Actually it's my taste too. As I have said before, I like Versailles better when it was a hunting lodge and not so fru fru.

Anyway here it is, hope you enjoy. Again I apologize for my photography and lighting problems. You can get to all the other rooms through links at the bottom of this post if you wish to visit them.

Lisa Farmer-Eye For Design

This room that we use as a family area was originally the dining room of this old house. Since it is towards the back of the house, where there is more privacy, we use it as a sitting room and I moved the dining room to the front, across the hall from the living room. The wall color is a muddy aqua and is actually truer here, but without the flash the picture is too the walls look a bit greener in most of the pictures.

   Lisa Farmer-Eye For Design

A bit brighter! The room is perfect for a bit of TV, reading, or when Zach is here it gets turned into a game room. We are big boardgamers. Not the old Sorry or Monopoly games, but the newer Euro board games that have adventures and mysteries that can take three to four hours to solve.

Lisa Farmer-Eye For Design

The left side of the room is pretty much dominated by the antique oak Welsh cupboard and the tapestry (which for some reason looks brown in this picture but is actually green). The oak washstand is a family piece that I know has been painted and stripped two different times during my lifetime. Painting furniture is certainly not a new trend. Next to it is an old demi john in it's original wooden crate.

The Welsh cupboard sits on a base with a carved scalloped apron and cabriole legs. I love the Medieval feel of the cupboard with it's Gothic doors and great carving at the top. See how green the tapestry is......that is what it really looks like.

My Staffordshire collection. I just started collecting this summer and am falling in love with these wonderful pieces of English pottery. Will soon be publishing a blog post about them and their history. But here is a bit of info. While the men tended to the higher end pottery and porcelain, unskilled women and children painted the Staffordshire figurines. That is why they have that naive folk art charm to them.

Lisa Farmer-Eye For Design

Looking from the sitting room into the back hall.

You can see this on the cupboard above and I wish you could see in person. I love unique and interesting things and this is a large souvenir book from Fountinbleu circa 1900. It is sage green with gilt lettering that really doesn't show up well. I also have the smaller red one you see from Malmasion, and one in my office from Versailles and the Trianons.

It is 12 X 9 and has some beautiful drawings of the interior and exterior. There are twenty-five in all on hard postcard like stock. Very detailed and all written in French.

Lisa Farmer-Eye For Design

The beautiful candelabras with rose marble and onyx bases came to me from a friend in France.

Lisa Farmer-Eye For Design

This tapestry is all in needlepoint with the figures being done in petite point. For some reason their colorful costumes in muted pinks, blues, and yellows don't come through. I took the pictures in every light and on every mode I could but still no luck.

Lisa Farmer-Eye For Design

I love oil paintings of landscapes, especially ones involving castles. Also, the antique needlepoint tapestry over the mantle features a castle and came from an estate auction. You'll see close-ups later so you can see the colors better. This is the only room that didn't have a fireplace and yet is the coolest room in the house so I bought the faux one with space heater to warm things up a bit.


Lisa Farmer-Eye For Design

Just added this antique French needlepoint throne chair.

Lisa Farmer-Eye For Design

Works perfectly with the needlepoint tapestry over the mantle.

Some of the castle paintings.

My favorite is the one at night.

Lisa Farmer-Eye For Design

I found a set of these antique damask covered French chairs and planned to use them in here. It's a bit too crowded with two so the other sits in my bedroom. There is a bathroom through that door but is long and narrow and hard to photograph.

Lisa Farmer-Eye For Design

This was an antique wardrobe I found this summer on Craigslist. It was twice as deep and had mirrors in the front. I needed a bookcase (actually need two more) so I had this cut in two, shelves made from the excess, and we installed the glass. I am very pleased with the result.

Lisa Farmer-Eye For Design

This large hand embroidered piece on top of the bookcase is one of my favorite treasures. I collect antique heraldry and handmade textiles and was delighted when I found this at an auction.

Lisa Farmer - Eye For Design

You can see the stitches better in this image.

Lisa Farmer-Eye For Design

The bookcase is for storing my antique books. My other reading books are in drawers all over the house, that's why a need another case for them. I have collected books for years but not until this year have I started concentrating on French books. 

I had to share these and the three on the left below that I found at a Goodwill for $25.00......all from the 1800's and all in French. Needless to say I was thrilled!

Lisa Farmer-Eye For Design

 Lisa Farmer-Eye For Design

I also wanted you to see this little purple French prayer book with brass edging and plate with monogram.

Lisa Farmer-Eye For Design

This is an old desk I painted three years ago.

Lisa Farmer-Eye For Design

Next to it is an antique leather folding screen with oil paintings of flowers, swags, and architectural elements that I found at an estate auction.

Lisa Farmer-Eye For Design

You can see the painting better in this image. The old red painted chest was a yard sale find.

Lisa Farmer-Eye For Design

Lisa Farmer-Eye For Design

Lisa Farmer-Eye For Design

Close up of the French clock. It is pastoral in design with a young woman gathering wheat. Also the small picture beside it is needlepoint.

Lisa Farmer-Eye For Deign

Well, I guess you have to have something modern.......but if I must, it has to sit in front of an old French tapestry. All the BIG entertainment is upstairs in the Man Cave. Don't get me wrong, I like tech gadgets too and while I enjoy having Alexa playing music in every room.......I just don't want to look at her. I keep all gadgets well hidden.

Lisa Farmer-Eye For Design

A couple of views looking into the dining room

Lisa farmer-Eye For Design

Lisa Farmer-Eye For Design

There are two wonderful pictures on the bit of wall as you go into the back hall. So sorry for the bad lighting, I had to have it.

Lisa Farmer-Eye For Design

I love this antique oil painting of a boy and his mother. The damage to his face is hardly noticeable when there is no flash.

Lisa Farmer-Eye For Design

Also this old etching of a Renaissance interior is so lovely and detailed.

And of course it wouldn't be my house without a feline...... or four. When these two show up in the evening the tapestry pillow gets moved and they want their blanket. They both came to us as kittens....Chanel (on the right) first and then Buddy showed up a week later. We believe they are brother and sister. They adore each other.

Click here to see the previous post

This blog post was published by Lisa Farmer

Monday, October 8, 2018

The Exquisite French Furniture Of André Charles Boulle

Some of the most beautiful and sought after furniture in France from the reign of Louis XIV through the reign of Napoleon was the work of André Charles Boulle. Boulle (1642-1732) was the most famous furniture maker in French history. His mastery of the art of marquetry, also known as inlay, gave him the distinction of "the most skilled craftsman in his profession" and earned him the prestigious appointment to premier ébéniste du roi (principal cabinetmaker to the King) Louis XIV of France.The intricacy and opulence of his work made Boulle highly sought after during his lifetime and afterwards as his style continued with tremendous success in France during the 18th century and under Napoleon III.

Boulle perfected a type of exquisite marquetry involving veneering furniture with tortoiseshell and pewter that is inlaid with flourishes of brass. It is known as Boulle work, a technique that while named after him, he did not invent.

Sadly, most original Boulle furniture has not survived due to the fact that it's beautiful inlay materials were only held in place by glue. Today Boulle pieces are usually only found in private collections and museums. I hope you enjoy the images of this fabulous French furniture.

Unfortunately this tiny image is the only picture I could find of the man himself. It is sad that a man responsible for some of the most beautiful furniture in France during the reign of Louis XIV has no significant likeness to be remembered by.

Photography by Ricardo Tulio Gandelman

Pieces of Boulle furniture in Château de Versailles, salon de l'abondance. Furniture had to make a real statement in order to be seen in some of the opulent interiors of the day. To make sure his pieces would stand out in a room Boulle would often opt for a black and gold palette through the use of ebony and gilt bronze.

Photography by Pierre-Yves Beaudouin

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Marquetry is the art of creating extremely detailed pictures and elaborate designs on furniture. This is done through the process of cutting and fitting together very thin pieces of exotic materials such as ivory, horn, shell, metal, and wood and then gluing them on the furniture piece. In the 17th and 18th centuries of France, this advanced form of furniture decoration reached a new artistic level thanks to Boulle.

To fully appreciate of the time and craftsmanship it took to create these pieces, you might want to watch this video.

Photography by Jean-Pierre Dalbéra

This black and gold Boulle console with marble top is in Le Grand Trianon at Versailles.

Photograph by NonOmnisMoriar

A beautiful Boulle piece at Château de Chantilly.

Photograph by O.Taris

This fabulous piece of Boulle furniture, complete with gilded bronze (ormolu) caryatids, holds court at Chateau Vaux-le-Vicomte. 

Metropolitan Museum of Art

A Boulle clock that shows the pewter inlay on tortoise shell up close.
Boulle also made his own bronzes. In the guild system, only cabinetmakers could make make cabinets, only bronziers could cast bronze mounts, and gold leaf had to be applied by gilders. A perk of being premier ébéniste freed Boulle from the restrictions of the trade guilds and made it possible for him practice two trades at the same time.

Photography by Jean-Pol Grandmont

This amazing bureau plat is another piece of Boulle furniture from the Chateau Vaux-le-Vicomte collection.

Some of the most spectacular works by the French furniture maker André Charles Boulle are in The Wallace Collection, UK.

J. Paul Getty Museum

This cabinet on stand is attributed to André Charles Boulle. Boulle also perfected the art of wood marquetry and this piece features that kind of marquetry. It is oak veneered with pewter, brass, tortoiseshell, horn, ebony, ivory, and wood marquetry. The drawers are snakewood and the figures are painted and gilded oak.

Photograph by Gordibach

Armoire attributed to Boulle at the musée du Louvre 
For contrasting woods, he would also use ebony, rosewood, kingwood, and other dark-toned tropical species.

André Charles Boulle  Mazarin desk, c. 1690-1700, exhibited in the Carnegie Museum of Art

Boulle's marquetry style swept Europe and was heavily imitated during the 18th and 19th centuries. Here is a Louis XIV ormolu mounted, brass inlaid red tortoiseshell and Boulle marquetry commode attributed to Nicolas Sageot, circa 1700. Even though another cabinet maker would make a piece in the Boulle style it was referred to as "Boulle work".

Upon his retirement the studio was left to his sons who continued to make furniture in his signature style. Boulle style continued with tremendous success in France during the 18th century and under Napoleon III. This secretary abattant is a piece from the reign of Napoléon III. 

The most common materials used to create Boulle work are tortoiseshell and brass, which produces that beautiful, mottled red aesthetic as can be seen in this pair of Boulle work corner cabinets (encoignures) from the 19th century.

A Napoleon III gilt bronze mounted ebonized wood and Boulle work marquetry cabinet.

via Pinterest

A stunning French Napoleon III Boulle bookcase.

via Pinterest

And don't forget the clocks!!! 

Aside from furniture Boulle was also responsible for the design of clocks and chandeliers. This Boulle creation dated circa 1725 stands in the Château de Fontainebleau.

A French André Charles Boulle style mantel clock.

An elegant French Boulle marquetry clock featuring gilt bronze, tortoiseshell, brass, and wood.......circa 1870.

A tall pair of Boulle style gilt-bronze mounted ebony, engraved brass and tortoiseshell marquetry inlaid pedestals from France, mid-19th century.

Boulle work table by Charles Guillaume Diehl. The Boulle style remained popular and inspired numerous cabinetmakers.

via Pinterest

Chairs were also embellished with Boulle work.

A French Boulle tea caddy. Even the smallest pieces are exquisite.

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This blog post was published by Lisa Farmer

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