From French Interiors, the Art of Elegance
Christiane de Nicolay-Mazery
Absolutely beautiful book, chapters open separated by vellum title pages
like a special invitation to enter the world of both the private collector
and design celebrity: Givenchy, Yves Saint Laurent, Jacques
Crystal glasses and carafes decorated with enameled roses, flourishes and fleurs-de-lis…
made for the marriage of the private collector’s great-grandmother, Adélaïde, in 1880
The cutlery is silver gilt, with knife handles in
exquisitely detailed 18th century Saxony porcelain…
This is part of a Sèvres dinner service in shades of pink made for Louis-Philippe in 1836.
The decoration of foliage arabesques and animals is punctuated by the royal
In the world of private collectors Alix and Philippe…entered through the narrow,
old lamp lit street near La Butte-aux-Cailles in Paris…a vast collection of 19th century
bronzes, drawings, watercolors, etc, have been amassed over 30 years of marriage.
Alix started collecting when she was 20. While working for an important art dealer, she
decided to set aside a third of her salary to spend on drawings. After her marriage, she
and her husband would rummage through the Marché aux Puces, or visit antique dealer
friends…their collection of drawings and watercolors includes Cicéri, Boudin,
Constantin Guys, Gustave Doré, Raffet, Detaille, Isabey, and Gavarni.
Herend’s Rothschild bird porcelain at the ready on a side table… …
The large red salon… filled with bronzes, paintings, drawings, and watercolors…
The crowded hanging scheme and the profusion of objets d’art and porcelain…
create an atmosphere reminiscent of the private collections, or cabinets d’amateurs,
of the 19th century…
Among the gilt-framed paintings in the large salon, a young oriental woman by Roybert
plunges the viewer into the atmosphere of the 19th century painting salons and their
fascination with an idealized vision of the Orient.
An alabaster bust of Sappho stands on the mantlepiece…
French Interiors photography by Christina Vervitsioti-Missoffe