Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Olexander Wlasenko; "Woman at Door"

"Woman at Door" is another work whose source is the 1964 French film entitled  "Le Peau Douce" (The Soft Skin) by Truffaut.  The film deals with infidelity, conflict and ultimately revenge. This pictures a passage- a passing from one room to another, from one state of mind to another...  36" l., 29" h. framed.  $1,750.00

Saturday, January 17, 2015

A Special Find

Often times while chatting with clients in the shop, they will say things like "this piece takes me back to such and such", "I remember my favorite aunt had a similar piece that sat in her living room", "I always wished I could have lived during this period", etc.  That is one of the great pleasures in doing what I do.  Sometimes pieces open up the mind, memory and imagination to wonderful personal life moments of the past, historical events, or even bring us closer to people we have admired and perhaps never met.  This weekend there was an auction in Palm Beach of some personal notes and letters written by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis to designer and friend Bill Hamilton and also to her interior decorator and friend Richard Langham.  In going through the catalogue, one set of notes struck a chord and really resonated.  The notes were both written to Richard Langham.  The first was a thank you note for a Moravian star which she thought was "graceful and beautiful" and "the most perfect Christmas present".  She goes on to wish him a Happy New Year and wish him "a zillion clients who are NOT doing their first apartment".  He helped decorate her first apartment in New York.  The note is written on her trademark blue Crane stationery from 1040 Fifth Avenue and dated January 9, 1989.  I have always admired her character, strength and of course her style.  Having grown up in Bethlehem, PA and worked at the Moravian Bookshop, moved to NYC in 1989, and attended a breakfast while working at Tiffany where she was a guest, I needed to give it a shot and bid on this wonderful piece of American, design and political history.  As luck would have it, the stars aligned and I am now in proud possession of one of the most special finds of my career.  Also with this note was another thank you note written to Richard by Mrs. Onassis' secretary thanking him for flowers sent after an operation in 1994.  I am very much looking forward to having these notes suitably framed and displaying them in a place of honor in the new shop.

Link to CBS Morning piece on the collection:

Monday, January 5, 2015


We decided not to go north and went east over the weekend.  Serendipity took us to Cazenovia, NY instead of Canada, and we ended up at The Brewster Inn.  Cazenovia is a really charming little lake town and The Brewster Inn is pleasingly quirky and very comfy.  Benjamin Brewster who built the place in 1890 made a killing with Standard Oil.  J.D. Rockefeller was a colleague, friend and even a pallbearer at his funeral.  After Brewster, it changed hands a few times over the years and has been an inn for the last sixty.  Our dinner overlooking the lake in one of the three dining rooms was exceptional.  The chef, who has been there for over twenty years, is still winning awards.  The staff were terrific and lots of them have been at the inn for 30+ years.  It felt a bit like we were in a Wes Anderson film.  In a world where it is faster, harder, bigger, better, it was so nice to find a place that is slower, softer, smaller and the best for a relaxing and unique stay.

Late 19th c. stock certificate issued to Benjamin Brewster with a value of $818,000.00.  Maturity value $1,335,355,525,000.00

"The principle of art is to pause, not bypass"  -Jerzy Kosinski

We always take some time to stop and smell the art when we travel.  If you take the time to pause, there are interesting surprises in unlikely places.  

 Fine nineteenth century oil portraits of early owners of The Aurora Inn in the front parlour and reception area of the inn.

We stopped for a drink at the Lincklaen House Hotel in Cazenovia.  There is a wonderful series of oil paintings in the tavern from the forties by Merrill Bailey (1909-1981), an accomplished local artist. The booths, tables and panelling have decades of carvings by tavern patrons.

Connie's Diner in Waterloo opened in 1963 and the ceramic mosaic landscapes are from the early sixties.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year from Upstate New York

Wishing everyone a year filled with love and laughs, good friends and good times, good health and gratitude.  Thank you for all of your support and friendship during 2014 and I look forward to a new year, new shop, seeing old and making new friends....... and some exciting new adventures.

Rich and I are taking a break from my break and enjoying our traditional Upstate NY new year's trip.  After 10 wonderful courses last night at a newly renovated and reopened Kreb's restaurant in Skaneateles, we are relaxing and recovering in Aurora NY at the Aurora Inn.  If you have a chance to make it to Skaneateles, you should definitely check out the new look and delicious menu at the 115 year old Krebs.  The historic Sherwood Inn is another great spot for lodging, libations and comforting old school food.  A walk or drive to check out some amazing residential architecture is an afternoon well spent in both towns.