What do you do when a long-time friend tells you that the clock she recently inherited is going to be part of an exhibit opening in the American Wing at the Metropolitan Museum?
‘The Artistic Furniture of the Gilded Age’….the American period from the late 1870s until about 1900.
And, that she is inviting me to attend the gala preview party at the Museum?
Well, you hop on a plane and get to New York, that’s what!
How many opportunities in life will there be to sip a cocktail and nibble caviar hors d’oeuvres with 200 museum patrons in the gorgeous Charles Engelhard Court of the museum? And, then have a private after-hours tour of the exhibit?
Here are some highlights of that magical evening.
This is the model of a New York City townhouse of the Gilded Age period, just off Fifth Avenue. This beautiful manse was demolished in 1938. Sadly, other similarly situated houses as elaborate and historically important as this one also have been razed in the name of progress.
Richly carved, dark or inlaid wood, and heavy, elaborate fabrics ruled the interiors of the day. Here is the piano in the exhibit, which was rescued from a church basement. It still has the original strings!
Two stained glass window panels, representing Morning and Evening, are stunning.
My friend, a native Alabamian living in Houston for years, by nature is curious and detailed (she is also very smart, as her C.P.A. designation attests).
Once she began researching the very unusual wall clock, she felt like it had a measure of importance. Here is the clock, so special and integral to the exhibit, that the director of the American Wing flew to Houston the next day after my friend called to tell him what she thought might have.
Let me backtrack a moment, now that you have seen the clock. The clock was actually inherited by a friend of my friend, who did not have a place for it. It was given to my friend, knowing that she adored the father who owned the clock, and out of generosity.
Truly, the clock is so ornate, and of such scale, that it needs just the right place to hang. And, I must say, it was sincerely offered back to the original family once its true provenance was learned.
After the clock was in the hands of museum curators, careful examination with mirrors into the clock’s movement yielded proof that the clock was signed Tiffany. This was very exciting news for both the museum and my friend! Furthermore, a surviving Tiffany logbook from the period records the exact serial number (only nine are known to have been made, this was the ninth) and a price of $187.50!
For some reason, George A. Schastey, one of the most important interior designers of the day, is not now a household name. His chief rival, the Herter Brothers Company, is more widely recognized, and also represented in this fascinating, strictly American exhibit.
Mr. Schastey’s great-great granddaughter was an honored guest at the exhibit, attending with her husband of 58 years!
A night to remember!
Thank you, dear friend L.B.D. for including me.
‘Tis the season!
On a whirlwind trip to New York, I had to play tourist and snap a few window photos.
A few diamonds with your gingerbread?
So many beautiful windows to see!
This little guy has chosen his home right outside my kitchen window. Always tippy top of the squirrel’s tail, that is his favorite perch. He is there almost every day, many times a day. It is fun to have something to look at outside, a nice focal point. This is my own secret focal point, because you can’t even see this from the street. You would have to walk up the drive and look behind the hemlock tree. Mister has been enjoying the dozen or so shelled, raw peanuts I set out for him every few days. What should I name him?
Camellias, the state flower of Alabama.Here are my first “White by the Gate” of the season, stems trimmed short and then floated in a vintage Wedgwood jasperware gardenia bowl (very shallow), which I found on eBay for
a song. Doesn’t it go nicely with an old tea-set my husband inherited from his Gammy?
Wishing all my readers a Happy Thanksgiving!
I hope your day is filled with love and blessings.
My friend Spence makes the most gorgeous macarons.
They are as delicious as they are pretty.
She made these for my study club’s annual luncheon.
Which was at my house this year. What a friend!
The purple are made with a lavender filling; the pink are strawberry; the yellow are lemon basil; the white (my absolute fav) are clover honey.
Have you ever?
Oh, and catch a glimpse of her “perfect” cheese straws to the upper left.
Here is the long table (actually three six-foot tables pushed together,)
set with my grandmother’s china, Sunnyvale.
Purple hobnail glasses give a lady-like vintage touch.