Friday, November 30, 2018

A Little Shopping Fall 2018

Gentle Friends, I thought today's post should show the few things I did buy while on vacation.  I'm really not a shopper, and unless it's an antique shop, thrift shop or estate sale I really can't do the "browsing" thing.  Clothes, shoes and stuff like that I have been buying online for years...so when I travel I usually don't buy much...but I did pick up a few things this trip...

 ... one thing was this sweet little Oil/Board painting at a Brocante (outside flea/antique market) that we visited in Droue (Pronounced Druay).  I passed it a couple of times but kept being drawn back to it.  The third time passing I just stopped...and the dealer cut me a good price...so I wrapped it up and hauled this sucker on the train to Paris then on the plane back to SF!!

Here are the few things I did buy or saw and then bought.... let's start with the book.  I saw this book in the bookshop at Versailles and fell in love with the photography, such intimate images from the chateau of things that were picked to be included... but when I picked it up and hefted its weight I had to stand and there debating whether I wanted to carry around a 10-pound book - or not... I decided to take a picture of the cover.  When I got back to SF I bought it on Amazon and let the USPS tote it to me!!  When I stopped buy Sajou I picked up my scissors, another thread winder and a great little chart from the Bayeux tapestry  "The Battle of Hastings"...  the little bronze double frame I picked up at the Brocante in Chinon... it's a super little frame and came with those photos. The jacquard ribbon I bought at the oldest haberdashery in Paris.  It'll be in the next post... I bought it to replace some old and torn ribbon on a luggage rack that came from my grandmother's house.


... I almost forgot to add this book, which I picked up in Paris, at Shakespeare & Company, a great bookshop on the left bank... 
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Over the weekend I picked up some really super candlesticks... they're old silverplate probably dating to the first quarter of the 19th century and are in really great condition for being almost 200 years old...the original removable sockets are still intact...this is what they looked like when I bought them, pretty grungy...

 ... and after a little elbow grease and silver polish...
...sparkling... they are really heavy and impressive, a super find if there ever was one!
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There you go sports fans, thanks again for stopping by do stop again!!

Take care,
edgar

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Paris has some of the Most Beautiful Places!! Fall 2018

Gentle Friends, my title today is a bit grandiose, but this particular Post is about a place I've visited every time I come to Paris... and a new place to me, a lovely smallish Mansion/House Museum full of sumptuousness!! The first place is a gem of medieval and spiritual art on a scale that's hard to imagine from my snaps, but I'll try...
it's called the Sainte-Chapelle...

... once the chapel of Palais de la Cite, home of the French monarchs from the 6th to the 14th century, the Sainte Chapel and the Conciergerie are the only vestiges of this Palace left on the Ile de la Cite... the rest of the buildings surrounding the chapel are from the 19th century and house the French Palais de Justice and are closed to the public... but, we can visit the Chapel and the Concerergire... I've been to the Conciergerie before, and there's no need to go back, but for the Chapel, it's a space I love and would visit anytime and make time for every time...

Construction on the chapel began around 1238 and was consecrated on April 26, 1248.  It is considered among the highest achievements of the "rayonnant" period of Gothic architecture.  Commisioned by King Louis IX to house his collection of "Passion Relics" including, Christ's Crown of Thorns.  The Crown of Thorns was one of the most important relics of medieval Christendom now housed in Notre Dame Cathedral. 


Tres Riches Heures de Duc de Berry "June"

Although there are only two medieval buildings left from the City Palace, you can get an idea of what the complex looked like from an image in the Tres Riches Heures de Duc de Berry... it's from the page for June and you can see the Chapel on the far right of the picture...

... this snaperoo shows the narrow buttresses and the wonderful windows to come... it's these windows that one comes to see as this collection is the most extensive and cohesive collection of 13th century stained glass in the world.  There are 15 huge windows filling the nave and apse, while a large rose window with flamboyant tracery (added to the upper chapel c.1490) dominates the western wall.

... it was a bright sunny day, perfect for visiting the Chapel, but bad for getting good shots...


... the windows display a clear iconographical programme.  In the eastern apse, the windows illustrated the New Testament and the windows in the nave illustrate scenes from the Old Testament...




... this is the restored area that once held the "Grand Chasse" or silver chest that held the Relics...  the chest was melted down in the revolution and the relics dispersed...


... under the western Rose Window and along all the walls are frescoed with images of Kings and Queens from the Bible...

... and the ceiling is a dark blue with golden stars... emulating the sky...

... after I left and was walking across Pont Notre-Dame I took this snap of the Concerigerie...
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The next place on my list was a museum... so I headed over to the Musee Nissim de Camondo... located at the edge of the Parc Monceau at 63 rue de Monceau...

... you walk in through this gateway from the street into the courtyard...

... and this is the front of the mansion...  built in 1911 by the Comte Moise de Camondo, a very wealthy banker, to set off his extensive collection of 18th-century French furniture and art objects.  The house was patterned after the Petit Trianon at Versailles, though with modern conveniences.  Both the house and collections were bequeathed to Les Arts Decoratives in honor of his son, Nissim de Camondo, who had been killed in WWI.  It opened as a museum in 1936.   In 1943, during the occupation of Paris by the German Army in WWII, Moise' only surviving child a daughter named Fanny, who had converted to Catholicism, her ex-husband Leon Reinach, and their children Fanny and Bertrand, were arrested n Paris, with the full cooperation of the Vichy government, working in step with the Nazis.  The family was detained and sent to Auschwitz to perish in the death camp, thus ending the Moise Camondo family lineage.
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The Mansion is maintained as if it were still a private home preserved in its original condition.  Three floors are open to visitors... and so worth a visit.  You walk through the rooms at your own pace and can read the didactic information given.  I found the place lovely and quiet, with very few other visitors...  there is a restaurant on the grounds and that was packed with locals, but the house was quiet and I had really wonderful visit!!

... the Grand Bureau on the ground floor...

... this lovely painting by Elisabeth Vigee -Lebrun in the Grand Bureau... 
is of Genevieve-Sophie le Coulteux du Molay, 1788.  It was painted at Chateaux Malmaison, the Coulteux family owned the Chateau prior to the Revolution and sold the house to Josephine Bonaparte in 1799.

... the living room...

... on the floor is this super rug, notice the center circle repairs where there was three Royal Fleur de Lis... they were removed during the revolution...

... the dining room... just off this room is a small breakfast room that has walls full of the most beautiful china...



... a coffee/tea service...



... part of a dessert service...

... the library...

... an alcove bed in one of the bedchambers...

... this is the back stair that leads up to the bedroom level...I would highly recommend visiting this museum.  It's a super house and just chock a bloc full of the most spectacular 18th-century decorative arts!!!
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After the museum, I headed across town to make a visit to a small shop called Sajou...


... I actually had a mission as I wanted a pair of scissors to match my thread winders...I spent some time there talking to the shop owner, so nice, and just shopping around this fun, packed shop...

... I also picked up a chart...

... one of the many completed pieces that are all over the shop, I thought it was really pretty!!

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There you go sports fans, thanks for stopping by do stop again!!

Take care,
edgar

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

The Four Phases of Thanksgiving...

Gentle Friends, I thought I would share some of our Thanksgiving and broke it down into 4 snaperoos...

 ... so I set the table this year with "Historic America" china ... my mom's wedding silver, my granny's crystal, some other bits and pieces of silver from various ancestors on the old family tree...the linen is from my great -grandmother...so once again I enjoyed remembering past Thanksgivings and family... Rico created the arrangement...

 ... we were a small group this year and our Thanksgiving consisted of..turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, roasted brussel sprouts, white mashed potato, sweet potato casserole, crescent rolls, along with red and white wines...

 ... the aftermath of the meal and cleaning up...

and then Saturday night we hauled out the leftovers for sandwiches!!
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It was a lovely day now it's on to Christmas!!

Take Care,
edgar

Monday, November 26, 2018

A Little Stitchin'

Gentle Friends, not too much progress on SCS only completing the top band... here's a snap...


...we stayed pretty busy over the weekend..I felt that I didn't accomplish much but I did finish up the top band, a goal I set Thursday evening... now it's on to the snowflakes and trees!
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There you go sports fans, thanks for stopping by do stop again!

Take care,
edgar

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Versailles Fall 2018

Gentle Friends, I planned my Paris part of the trip with a visit to Versailles.  I've been here a couple of times before, but it has been years, so I wanted to go back.  Before leaving SF I bought tickets online from the Versailles site, for a specific time a day.  I would highly recommend doing this as the crowds at the ticket office were immense!!  I took the train from Paris and arrived in Versailles and a quick walk over to the Palace with my tickets in hand.  I got through the security set up at the front gate and walked past the gigantic ticket line to the Defour Pavilion and into a much shorter but still pretty big line.

On my last visit, I don't remember the crowds being so huge, I guess either my memory is playing tricks or just more people want to see the Palace.  As you can see the Chapel was enrobed with a cloth as there was restoration going on, it was nice that there was a picture of the interior printed on this canvass...

...once inside the Palace you could look inside but it was roped off.  I got this snap of the nave...
this is the lower level...

... it was hard to get shots that were "People free" but here is a hall with statues of past kings of France...

... after walking through a few rooms that set the stage and history of the Palace you ascend this staircase... you can get a feel of the crowds from this snap...

... the walls are covered in great portraits like this one of Anne-Marie-Louise d'Orleans (1627-93) Duchesse de Montpensier, called la Grande Mademoiselle.  She never married and her one love interest was...Antoine de Caumont, Duc de Lauzan.  Remember him from the Chateau in Saumur??  It's the same guy.  La grand Madamioiseel and the Duc de Lauzan were together until it was broken up and he married someone else.   LGM is best remembered for her part in the Frond, a civil war in France.



... another portrait I was excited to see is this one... it's Marie-Adelaide de Savoie, (1685-1712)  She was the eldest daughter of Duke Amadeus II and Anne-Marie d'Orleans.  Her betrothal to the Duke of Burgandy in June 1696 which was part of the treaty of Turin.  She was the mother of the future King Louis XV.  Styled Duchess of Burgandy after her marriage, she became Dauphine of France upon the death of her Father in law, Le Grand Dauphin, in 1711.  She died of measles in 1712, followed by her husband a week later.  There is a great biography about I read from 1992 you can about that HERE.   This portrait was used on the cover and it was nice to see it in person.

... every inch of the Palace is gilt and shiny and just way over the top!!

... this is the crowd upstairs looking into the Chapel... I had to wait...

... quite a few minutes to get this shot from the Royal tribune area looking down into the golden nave...  the chapel was completed in 1710 and was the third incarnation of a chapel at Versailles... moving along on the tour you enter...

The Hercules Room... this was the last room to be built by Louis XIV at the very end of his reign.  It had been a palace chapel which was replaced with the current chapel.  It had covered two floors and served until 1710... when a new floor was laid down to create the room, but the decoration was not finished until the reign of Louis XV.  The ceiling is covered in a painting depicting the "Apotheosis of Hercules" and it took almost 4 years to complete...

... this enormous painting, by Veronese, is called "The Meal in the House of Simon," is hung at the opposite end of the room from the fireplace... Louis XV had it brought to the Palace in 1730 from the Gobelins Factory where it had been stored since it's arrival in France as a gift from the Republic of Venice to Louis XIV in 1664.

next up on the tour...The Hall of Plenty used for gatherings and refreshment which included coffee, wine, and liqueurs and served on a sideboard. 

... The Venus Room Ceiling...

.. a really famous bust of Louis XIV by Bernini 1665

... this room was originally the royal bedchamber in the State Apartments and was referred to as the "bedroom."  During the winter was used as a games room.  One of the rare moments that it actually served as a bedchamber was when the Duke of Anjou, the grandson of Louis XIV, was proclaimed the King of Spain and slept here three weeks before traveling to his Kingdom.  It was also in this room that the coffin containing the body of Louis XIV was displayed from the 2nd to the 10th of September 1715.

... this super portrait of Marie Leczinska, Queen Consort to Loius XV, is by Charles van Loo.  She was the daughter of the King of Poland.  She served as Queen for 42 years from 1725 until her death in 1768, the longest service of any queen of France.  She was a very popular Queen due to her generosity and piety.  She was the grandmother of Louis XVI, Louis XVIII and Charles X of France.

...The Mercury Room has this bed that was brought to Versailles by Louis-Philippe while the Palace was being made over into a museum.  On either side are two paintings the Louis XIV was particularly fond of, and which he hung in his bedroom.  They are "David Playing the Harp" by Domenico Zampieri, and "Saint John on Patmos" attributed at the time to Raphael.

... also in the room is this portrait of Louis XV...

... the ceiling has this center medallion is of Mercury...

The Appolo room contains what is probably the most famous portrait of Louis XIV by Hyacinthe Rigaud.  The painter made the original portrait in 1701 at the request of the King, who wanted to give it to he grandson the King of Spain.  Exceedingly pleased with the result, Louis XIV decided to keep the original for himself and commissioned a copy from the artist.  The copy at Versailles was made in 1702.  The original painting now hangs in the Musee du Louvre.

... and this portriat of Louis XVI by Antoine-Francois Callet, he was the official portraitist of the Court of Louis XVI
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... The War Room... on either end of the Hall of Mirrors are rooms called the War Room and The Peace Room... after leaving the Kings Apartments you enter the War Room which Hardouin Mansart started to build in 1678.  The decoration was completed by le Brun in 1686 and pays tribute to the military victories of the French army.  the walls are covered with marble panels decorated with trophies and weapons in gilded bronze.  The large stucco bas-relief depicts Louis XIV on horseback trampling his enemies.  The fireplace below is fake.

... looking at the bas-relief you turn to the right and are assaulted by the magnificence that is the Hall of Mirrors...

The Hall of Mirrors, probably the most famous room in the palace, was built to replace a large terrace designed originally by le Vau, which opened onto the garden.  The terrace stood between the Kings Apartments on the north and the Queens Apartments on the South.  It was Mansart who replaced the open terrace with this large gallery, work started in 1678 and was completed by 1684... It was packed as you can see.  When I was there the Queens Apartment were under restoration so they were all closed off, but I had seen them before so I was not too disappointed...

... these super torchieres line the walls...

... at the far end where you would go into the Peace Room, and on to the Queen's apartments was this stunning coffee pot on display... it's sterling silver with chased gold decoration made in China 1680-85, and was a gift from the Ambassadors from Siam to Louis XIV on September 1, 1686.
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... so instead of going on to the Queens room we were herded back down the Hall into the Council Chamber, which is adjacent to the Kings Bedchamber.  It took it's current form in 1755, during the reign of Louis XV when he had two rooms combined to make one big room.  The chamber is decorated with fine woodwork crafted by  Ange-Jacques Gabriel.  the elaborate motifs illustrate subjects addressed by the King during Council meetings, such as war, peace, and justice. The room was also used for official presentations, which were a necessary rite for admission to the court.  Madame du Barry, among others, was thus presented to the King on April 22, 1769.

... the Kings Bedchamber... in 1701 Louis XIV moved into this large room which is situated in the center of the eastern facade of the Palace. The Kings Bedchamber is the most important and symbolic room in the Royal Apartments and was used at several times of the day: during the kings "getting up" and "going to bed" ceremonies, when he dined in private, and when he received certain courtiers or ambassadors.  Luis XIV died in this room on September 1, 1715, after a reign of 72 years.  The fine brocade decor of gold and silver on a crimson background is complemented by the paintings chosen by Louis XIV himself.


... the second antechamber in the Royal apartments, the Bull's Eye Antechamber, is named after the circular window which brings light into the room on the southern side.  The room was originally partitioned into two spaces.  The wall was knocked down in 1701 to combine the rooms into one big space.


... at one end of the Bulls Eye room was this needlework screen and tapestry...

... moving along you enter the Antechamber of the Grand Couvert... which derives its name from the court ceremony of the Grand Couvert in which the King and Queen would dine in public: everyone decently dressed could watch their sovereigns eat.

The room itself was designed for Queen Marie-Therese, Queen to Louis XIV.  The lower panels are made of marble.  The furniture is now as it would have been just before the royal family was forced to leave the Palace.

... leaving the Royal apartments you head to The Queens Staircase or as it is also known as the Marble Staircase.  The staircase derives its name from the incredible amounts of marble that went into the building of the staircase.  When Versailles was stormed in 1789 the infuriated peasants ran up the Queen's Marble Staircase and gained access to the Queen's apartments.....
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... exiting the Royal spaces I headed across the Court of Honor to see some rooms I'd never been in...

...  this marble hall is just under the Hall of Mirrors and runs the length of the garden terraces... then it was on to the Apartments of Madames, the Aunts of Louis XVI,  they were the daughters of Louis VV... first up was the Apartment of Madame Victoire...

... a lovley protrait of Princess Victoire (1733-1799)...

.. also in her apartment is this portrait of her sister the Princess Marie-Adelaide (1732-1800)

... although these are not harpsicords either sister played they were both excellent musicians and are here in their honor and for recitals ...

Madame Victoire's Bedchamber...  that rug was so bright it looked almost new and not c. 1770... 

... this lovely little cozy room is her library...

... and her sitting room or "Cabinet Interieur" just loaded up with chairs...
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Connected to but separate from Victoire's apartments is the Apartment of Princess Marie-Adelaide's, this is her bedchamber...

... a portrait of Madame

... her music room...

... another portrait of Marie-Adelaide at her harp in later life...

... the Madames's apartments are on a lower level that abruptly ends where Louis XIV had his bathing rooms... they still retain the black and white marble floor and "water" inspired decoration...

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Then it was out into the gardens... it was a really bright sunny day so I took some snaps...


... I love this cupid on a sphinx!!

... the Hall of Mirrors from the outside... after taking some pictures I headed back for the train and Paris... I was really worn out...
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There you go sports fans a trip to Versailles.... thanks for hanging in there do stop back for a couple of more trip posts...

Take care,
edgar

Flashback Friday

 Gentle Friends, I've always loved stitching Quaker pieces, but none more than this piece... 1798 Quaker Sampler by Goode Huswife 40ct B...