Friday, October 21, 2011

Antiques, Interiors & Social Networking


The posting today is slightly different to my usual trough of useful (and not so useful) information.
    Yesterday once again I had the opportunity to log on to an interior designers “Tweet Chat”.
Now for those of you that either don't have the faintest idea what I'm rambling on about or kinda know something about them here's how it goes;
We're talking about Twitter and a spin off which is basically an hour long online interactive chatroom about a subject that interests you and the majority of people you follow.
Obviously my interest being in all things antiques, interiors or furniture orientated.. There is an absolute wealth of knowledge shared on a trade orientated Tweet chat and also the rare opportunity to interact and gain advice along with the opinions of people at the very top of their chosen interest or profession, something you would have a tough time arranging in the real world...

I have logged in and interacted on a number of these now and learnt a great deal,  not so much about my own trade of antiques but far more importantly about the professions and highly talented people that surround it and without who my trade and livelihood would struggle greatly.
In the UK antiques trade that I've been involved in through thick and thin for the past couple of decades, we've sometimes sighed, tutted (like us Brits do) and not given the surrounding trades the respect they deserve. I'm learning fast that here it has to be different to succeed and the crossover between respective trades do seem far smoother than back home.
 Business relationships really do need to be built on mutual respect and social networking has the great ability to do this quickly.
 I was reminded of this at the end of the chat yesterday by leading Canadian interior designer Meredith Heron at  www.meredithheron.com , when after a tongue in cheek comment I made about interior designers driving a hard deal with dealers, she tweeted me back  “We all have to work together”.

So folk like it or not, social networking is the future of many businesses, without it the likelihood of me being able to reinvent myself 5000 miles from where I actually started my business would be pretty much impossible.. Some of the people I interact with daily or at the very least weekly in my Twitter world, I hope to at some stage be more than just contacts and online friends but real life clients.. 

If your not on Twitter yet give it a go and look out for the many trade Tweet chat "hash tags" 2 of my favourites are; #designtv  & #interiordesignchat.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Style of Chinoiserie

A Queen Anne Red Lacquered Chinoiserie Mirrored Cabinet on Chest circa 1710. Offered  By;
www.hydeparkantiques.com


The interior and furniture style known as “Chinoiserie” (French for “In the Chinese taste”) has always fascinated me, the delicate hand painted work involved in producing each piece of furniture was and is a sign of the craftsmanship around both then and today.

An English Chinoiserie Painted Chest circa 1900's. Offered By;
www.harborviewantiques.com
An Early George III Oak Lacquered Chest on Chest in the style of Thomas Chippendale. Offered By;
www.letrianonantiques.com


A Little History

The fine art of Chinoiserie dates to around the early 1700's when throughout Europe there was a huge interest in all things Asian & Oriental. The wealthier of European artists travelled to the Orient to paint watercolours and record the colours they'd seen. These were in turn brought back to Europe and allowed people to see the unknown scenes and structures along with a wide range of colours. It didn't take the Oriental people very long to realise there was money to be made in Europe and by around the 1730's finely hand painted wallpaper was being exported from China.
English "Chinoiserie" Lacquered & Parcel Gilt  Tall Case Clock. Offered  By;
www.goredean.com



Very quickly Chinese interiors became vogue and most important residences in Europe had them in at least one room to display the treasures they had gathered from decadent trips to the Far East.
Soon furniture was being finely decorated throughout Europe and some of the most prestigious furniture makers such as Thomas Chippendale were producing “Chinoiserie” style furniture for clients. Surprisingly the vast majority of Chinoiserie decoration was applied within Europe rather than in the Far East.

(Above & Below)  A Very Fine English Red Papier Mache Tray on Stand  circa 1840. Offered  By;
http://www.philipcolleck.com/



Today

After being slightly out of fashion for a few years at last Chinoiserie seems to be making some what of a comeback, and its great to see. It is also fantastic to see new styles of an old classic being tastefully designed .... 
A Pair of Red Tea Tin Lamps c1890. Offered By;
www.tomhayestobywestltd.1stdibs.com
Winged Chinoiserie Wallpaper, Available from;
www.anthropologie.com