Cassolette – definition

Cassolette

“Cassolette,” the diminutive form of the French word “cassole,” means small container. While the word has other meanings, in the world of decorative arts, it refers to a small covered vase meant to hold perfumed substances or incense. A cassolette normally has holes pierced in the shoulders and in the cover to allow the scent to drift out. Frequently, mounted vases that were not originally designed as cassolettes have had a pierced metal [...] Click here to continue reading.

Buffalo Bill Cody

William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody

The year 1883 neatly divides William Cody’s former life as a hunter, scout and guide from his later career as a showman. He was 37 in this year of transition.

The early life of William Frederick Cody (1846 to 1917) was colorful, adventurous and, thanks to Dime novels, exaggerated. He fought for the Union Army in the Civil War at 18. By 21, he earned his lifelong nickname [...] Click here to continue reading.

Marly Horse Sculpture

The Marly Horses

“Marly Horses,” paired sculptures also sometimes known as “horse tamers,” or just “horses restrained by grooms,” have their origins in France, probably by way of ancient Rome. Since the early days of Rome, a pair of sculptures, each of a man with a horse, have been on Quirinal Hill in the city. The spirited horses and the men seeking to control them are a discourse on power that has appealed to [...] Click here to continue reading.

Ormolu – non-furniture definition

Ormolu

Ormolu, an 18th-century English term, is from the French phrase or moulu, with “or” indicating gold and “moulu” being a form of an old French verb moudre, which means “to grind up.” (This French term for this technique is bronze dore.) This idea of “ground-up gold”refers to the production process of ormolu, where high-quality gold is finely powdered and added to a mercury mixture and applied to a bronze object. Modern usage often [...] Click here to continue reading.

Hoosier and the Hoosier Group

Hoosier and the Hoosier Group

The word “Hoosier” is one of those words whose origins are lost to time. Even The Oxford English Dictionary offers no real guidance about where the word came from. What we do know is that “Hoosier” was first documented in the mid-1820s, and within a decade, it had entered general usage. John Finley, a Hoosier himself from Richmond, write a poem titled, “The Hoosier’s Nest” that was published in [...] Click here to continue reading.

The Sarcophagus in Decorative Arts

The Sarcophagus in Decorative Arts

Derived from the Greek sarx, meaning flesh, and phagein, meaning eat, a sarcophagus is, essentially, a container for a body, much like a coffin or casket. Historically, sarcophagi were typically made of stone (though sometimes of other materials, such as wood or metal), with a relief-carved or pediment top, and designed to be above ground, and have been used by many cultures since ancient times.

An ancient [...] Click here to continue reading.

Marion and Donald Woelbing, Franklin Wisconsin – Provenance – Pook 4-2014

Marion and Donald Woelbing, Franklin Wisconsin.

Marion and Donald Woelbing were the solid citizen types that for generations have built American small businesses. They were a true partnership supporting each other in their diverse interests ranging from breeding and showing American Kennel Club grand champion prize winning dogs, to building with their own hands “Thorntree,” their home in suburban Milwaukee, to building an impressive collection of 17th and 18th century American antiques, to collecting [...] Click here to continue reading.

Collection of Thomas S. Holman – Skinner Prov 4-5-2014

Ex Collection of Thomas S. Holman: Souvenirs of The Grand Tour

In the 18th and early 19th century young Englishmen embarked on lengthy travels to the Continent, known as the Grand Tour. Ostensibly, the voyage was to round out one’s education, which still emphasized a strong knowledge of Classical arts and architecture, languages, history, literature, and philosophy. It also provided months, and sometimes even years, to collect art and artifacts. Later in the [...] Click here to continue reading.

Semans, Mary Duke Biddle Trent – Brunk Provenance Note 8-2013

Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans (1920 to 2012)

An American heiress and philanthropist, Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans was the great-granddaughter of tobacco industrialist and Duke University benefactor Washington Duke. She was born Mary Duke Biddle on February 21, 1920 to Mary Lillian Duke and Anthony J. Drexel Biddle Jr. Her father was the former U.S. Ambassador to Poland and Spain.

Semans was raised in Manhattan, where she attended the Hewitt School in New [...] Click here to continue reading.

Bent Family Collection – Provenance – Skinner July 2013

Bent Family Collection Provenance Note

Designed and furnished in the Mediterranean Revival Style, Quattro Venti is the last great private residence in Annisquam Village, a small fishing hamlet near Gloucester, Massachusetts. Quincy Bent, vice president in charge of production at Bethlehem Steel at the turn of the last century, built the summer retreat around 1912. His forebears purchased quarries in West Gloucester in 1820 and originally used the property, situated on the tip of [...] Click here to continue reading.

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