Thursday, October 27, 2011

Here at Sybaritic there are people we like...

and people we LOVE.
 

Nicki Minaj as Jeanne B├ęcu, Comtesse du Barry

 

W Magazine, November 2011
Photographed by Francesco Vezzoli

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Seriously?

Zuber wallpaper columns... if only I wasn't moving I would have to buy these. The price really isn't even bad. How completely amazing... I would frame them as is and hang them on either side of my bed. 
Maybe one day...

via 1stDibs

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Opportunity of a lifetime

This historic George Robertson House in Charleston is for sale. Located at 1 Meeting Street, you can't get more South of Broad than this. This home was built in 1846 on the site of a previous home designed by James Hoban, architect of the White House. The piazza on the south side is masked by a brick wall with windows that allows the east elevation of the house to remain symmetrical. The front bay was recently removed due to structural issues and rebuilt.



This aerial view from the side exposes the piazza that looks out on to South Battery and White Point Gardens...

The George Robertson House as illustrated on a bird's eye view map of Charleston from 1872...

The Robertson family sold the house to the Ross family following the Civil War. Mary Jane Ross filled the home with art and decorative arts during the Victorian period and attempted to leave the house in a trust to be operated as a museum at her death in 1922. This never came to fruition and the contents of the house were sold in 1944.

The house today... 
A spectacular staircase... I would edit out the 50 rugs in the entrance all, eliminate that pathetic excuse for a chandelier, and remove the wallpaper...

I wish I could begin to understand the pattern of this wallpaper... you can hear this room screaming in agony from the rug, matching camel back sofas, and general color palate. At least it maintains the original mantle and woodwork... 

Through the pocket doors is the dining room... what is there to say? I'm not sure I could rationalize maintaining any piece of furniture in this room with the exception of the sideboard... think how amazing these two rooms could be... perhaps a charcoal gray wall color with soft white trim, and furniture and decorative objects in flame mahogany, vermilion, and gilt? I'd also have to get rid of those chandeliers... they somehow manage to make absolutely no decorative statement. I also wouldn't mind a taxidermy creature of some sort in one of the bay windows. 

I hate to say it... but I almost like this wallpaper. Without the bad furniture (I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and assume this is a real Charleston Rice bed and let that piece remain) and horrendous rug, I think I could work with it. I'd tear out the make shift closet and create something a little bit more intentional, a built in armoire of sorts, that followed the lines and proportions of the original door frame behind it.

I would assume this archway originally opened into the next room, but I like that it's closed off now. From what I can tell I love the side tables, but on further examination I'd ditch the bed and upholster the arched opening and create a bed that didn't distract from the period woodwork. We'd obviously have to say good bye to the chandelier.

What can I say? I'm horrified by everything in this room. I really can't believe that anyone living in this neighborhood is living in such an ungracious and common way. Two chests shoved up next to one another? No bed skirt? 
I'm not even going to acknowledge the trim color or wallpaper and matching drapes.
I think I love the light fixture though...

Not as awful as the previous room, but still almost unbelievable that a room like this even exists in a house such as this. The light fixtures are interesting... I think I really like them and could definitely rework them into my redecoration.

Photos of the kitchen and bathrooms are conspicuously absent... your guess is as good as mine but I would assume there are toilets in every range of pink and mauve you can imagine and faux brick linoleum in the kitchen.

and it can all be yours, horrible wallpaper and all, for a mere $7,495,000.



I would live here: 46 Wentworth

I would move in tomorrow.

This unusual structure was originally part of a larger triple tenement building built in Ansonborough following a fire that devastated the neighborhood in 1838. The other part of the building was demolished in the 1950s leaving this slender classical temple. 

Historical information from Jonathan Poston's The Buildings of Charleston, photograph from HABS.

My last day

With the impending move to New York (the adventure begins November 6th, stay tuned!) this will be final day working at the Julia Santen Vintage Poster Gallery on King Street here in Charleston. I've worked for Julia for about a year now and have seen some fantastic art pass through these doors. It's remarkable that these pieces have survived decades, and for some over a century, in the condition they are in.

Current vintage poster obsession:


 

I love the jewel tones of these vintage Bally posters which both date from 1964. The height of 1960s glamor... I mean a cheetah? Fabulous.


Monday, October 17, 2011

I would live here: LaGrange Terrace

While searching for the Merchant House Museum, I came across my new favorite building in Manhattan. I'm certain I'm destined to live here at some point in my life...


These townhouses known as LaGrange Terrace, of which only four of the original nine remain, were begun in 1831 and finished in 1833. Each house contained 26 rooms, marble mantles, indoor heating, and a bathing room. Such luxuries attracted the likes of the Astors and Vanderbilts.

LaGrange Terrace as it would have originally appeared in the 1830s...

and in the 1850s... 

and in the late 19th century...
note the penthouse addition to the far right unit

 
A neo-Venetian Gothic home that stood to the left of LaGrange Terrace...  collection of the New York Public Library

Five of these homes became The Colonnade Hotel in 1875. They survived until the turn of the century when the hotel was demolished...

A detail of the front door surround during the demolition process (note the the empty lot at left). These fantastic marble porches with cast iron street lights were removed during the early part of the century to enlarge the sidewalks. 

Another view during the demolition process. Note the original iron railings which have since been removed and replaced with a more generic version. 

 
A view of the surviving units while the Wanamaker's warehouse was being constructed at left... collection of the New York Public Library

 
Another view contemporary with the one above... collection of the New York Public Library
 
The columns from the demolished houses were purchased by Luther Kountze at the turn of the century and were moved to his estate in Morristown, New Jersey where they remain today.


 Elevation and architectural details completed by HABS...

Interior architectural details completed by HABS...
This post derives almost all of its historical information from a fantastic write up I found on the blog Daytonian in Manhattan that was published back in April of 2010. He delves into this topic much more deeply with all sorts of wonderful details. View this original post here.




Saturday, October 8, 2011

I'm seeing shells...

 A Fornasetti tray...
(via 1stDibs, please click images to be directed to their source)

A pair of Maison Jansen eglomise wall plaques...
(via 1stDibs)

A Pair of Italian 19th century grotto chairs...
(via 1stDibs)

Flight & Barr Worcester porcelain with shell decoration...
(via Christie's)

A Tony Duquette Splashing Water chandelier sold at Bonham's, LA

Friday, October 7, 2011

To Die For


 A Tula center table made of steel, silver, ormolu, wood, and mirror plate, circa 1780
Could this be more fabulous?
Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Seabury Tredwell House

While researching my bachelor's essay on the Aiken-Rhett House I discovered the Seabury Tredwell House, or the Merchant House Museum in New York City. While there I made it my mission to see this period 1830s Greek Revival townhouse.

The home in its original context during the 1930s...

Sadly both homes on either side have been demolished leaving a vacant lot to the right and a garage building to the left...

The impressive door surround which was my initial reason for researching this home...

A near identical example at the Aiken-Rhett House which was added in the 1830s, contemporaneous with the construction of the Merchant House...

Original cast and wrought iron gas street lamps reminded me of similar examples in Charleston as well...

A similar street lamp at the Primrose House, 332 East Bay Street, Charleston, South Carolina...

The ceiling of the entrance vestibule... love the marbleized wall finish

While I was there the staircase was covered for renovations, but after the docent described the newel post it reminded me of something...

The staircase from The Heiress, 1949, starring Olivia de Havilland... a must see film that documents 1830s New York society... there's no way the set for her home was not based on this building

An original gasolier, curtain rods, and furnishings occupy the dining room and parlor...

The parlor of the Seabury Tredwell House in the 1930s...

... and Olivia de Havilland in the parlor of the set of The Heiress... note the similar columns (pilasters were common features around pocket doors, but full dis-engaged columns were rare) and the similarly paneled pocket doors.

This house is a fascinating glimpse into 1830s New York... a must see while you're there; there's nothing else like it in the city.