The Paris Issue

Page 1

2013 Issue One

The Paris Issue


This first issue of Swede digital magazine is dedicated to my Mother, Cora E. Lawyer Stratton [1917-2005] I am following in her footsteps as a writer, though in a different format as we are in the digital age now. As I reflect back today, I realize that perserverance and dedication to a goal was learned from her as I watched her quickly jot down a thought, a word, a sentence, for her book on any scrap of paper she could find in the kitchen while cooking or doing the dishes. I can still see her making that quick capture in my mind’s eye. Mom wrote for a much different reason than I do here. She wanted her children to experience via her writings her life and its values as a child in Lemhi Valley, Idaho in the 1920’s. I publish to share everything that I find beautiful in the world so others can see them through my lens.

2013 Volume 1, Issue One Swede Collection, LLC Copyright 2013 Š All rights reserved. Contact: Creative Director & Editor: Colleen Stratton Martin Photography: Richard L. Martin, Jr., Colleen Martin, and others as noted

Seeking beauty in Paris

Dear Readers, Seeking and finding beauty in Paris is this issue’s main theme. I love to photo Dear all theReaders, architectural details. There is so much beauty Parisisitaniseasy impossible Finding beauty in in Paris quest. to capture it all even on multiple visits. The aging and decay is captured in the pages on “greige”. And what would be a visit to Paris without going to Versailles [I am fascinated with their doors], the Louvre and Notre Dame and walking along the Seine River. Then I take you to see the gardens and Spring flowers. Each quarterly issue will cover my love of white. There is a story on my collection of French fish plates. And I introduce you to J Black Design and Tone-on-Tone Antiques. Plus a book review on Paris Flea Market Style. I’ve picked out my favorite Swedish antiques currently for sale online. I’m headed back to Paris in May to bring you more captured beauty in the next issue. Thank you for being here on this journey with me. I hope you find joy and beauty on each page. --- Colleen Stratton Martin

Beige multifamily buildings with black iron railings, the common exterior choices in most Paris architecture show their differences with exterior ornament. On the left, columns and female statues set the style, where the building on the right is more understated. The second floor from the top is where most ornament is placed. When walking around Paris, you must always look up to capture the details.

Lion head corbels support the balconies on the second floor while prettier cartouches over the windows are placed above the French windows on the floor above. Commercial stores are on the first floor at street level with multi-family flats on the upper floors. One of the reasons Paris has so many lovely buildings in wonderful condition is that Paris was not bombed in world wars.


Master metalworker, Francois Brochois completed this staircase at Versailles’s Le Petit Trianon in 1774 for its primary resident, Marie Antoinette, and her children.

In This Issue

Paris P

Seeking Beauty in Paris Greige in Paris Finding Beauty in Paris Book Review: Paris Flea Market Style Gardens: Spring Opening of the Dogwood Flower Locking Up Love in Paris Paris Gardens Parisian White Versailles Versailles Chapel


Collecting Creamware Interview: J Black Design Swede Picks Collecting French Fish Plates

American Tourist in Paris

Greige in Paris

Finding grey-beige in Paris is one of my favorite things to do. My eyes continually search and scan as I walk and I am rewarded with each marble statue, plastered wall or stone building. I love the patina of old finishes and they are everywhere in Paris. Enjoy the ones I have found and captured throughout the city. Here along the Seine River the buildings have been gathering patina since the mid-1650’s.

Greige and black, a perfect combination. Beautiful ironwork is quickly noticed by a new visitor to Paris and a welcome sight to the returning traveler. The details register in your heart.

Beautiful beige buildings with black iron railings made of marble or plaster and sandstone, of course, with a statue here or there. So classic in designs that have withstood the test of time.

Every Old Building is Rich in Patina Not many structures in Paris can claim more patina and greige than Notre Dame Cathedral. So many intricate parts exposed to the elements for hundreds of years. It is impossible to capture all the details no matter how many times you visit.

View from an upper story window at the Louvre.

The Louvre art museum building, being a former seat of the Republic of France, is indeed a palace. The interior and exterior architecture is royal. My favorite views are from the windows of the upper floors. You see today what kings and queens saw at that time from these very windows. It easily can transport you back to that era. Don’t miss the interior ceilings.

Details on the top of one of the buildings in the Louvre complex. Lots of statues, fruit, flowers, angels, even the hull of a boat. Not much is left out in the heavy carvings.

Intricately detailed ceiling inside the Louvre museum shows “RF” for the Republic of France from the building’s former use. There are always lots of winged figures in French design. Below, don’t miss the rooster, the French symbol.

Greige with oculus windows. Does it get any better?

The Arc de Triomphe, probably Paris’s second most famous structure, commissioned by Napoleon. The carved details around the top symbolize scenes from the Napoleonic wars.

Carving on the Arc de Triomphe exterior wall.

Carved mask on a building’s overdoor.

The rear side of historic buildings is a great place to find greige and patina, some acquired over hundreds of years.

The rear of the chapel at Versailles viewed from an upper story window.

Greige at its finest at the royal site of Vincinnes. Grime, soot, weathered surfaces, decay --all these elements contribute to its beauty.

Tourist in Paris Finding Greige In the Steps of the Church from the movie Midnight in Paris

These steps of the Eglise Saint Etienne du Mont, Gothic church built 1492-1626 in the Latin Quarter [5th] is where Gil Pender [Owen Wilson] in Woody Allen’s movie, Midnight in Paris, waited for the 1920 Peugeot Type 176 vehicle at midnight. You can hear the church bells ring 12:00 midnight in the movie. Walk down Rue de la Montagne St. Genevieve. You can only see the steps and handrailing, not the door in the movie. Be sure to see the inside of the church.

These buildings are in the village of Versailles which surrounds the palace. This is greige at its most elegant state. It makes you wonder how many years of weathering this is.

When you first see this building, you want to purchase it and restore it. But on later thought, maybe it is best left as it is -- displaying all that French patina. The door to the walled garden [above] has the perfect shade of blue-grey deterioration. Don’t you wonder what is inside?

24 Rue Pave - constructed at the end of the 1500’s.

Rear roofline with oculus windows at Versailles.

Paris patina at its height of glory after 350 years. This hotel overdoor was done in 1657-60 by de Pierre Cottard.

When is decay considered patina or greige? This 17th century door has seen some rough times. Someone asked me if there are ugly parts to Paris. Yes, like any city. This decay is beautiful to someone.

Gargoyles and ugly faces to scare the evil spirits away. Lovely iron balcony railing.

Finding Bea

auty in Paris

Hundreds of years of weather, soot and dust create greige patina on the architectural details.

Exterior Details on Gare de Lyon, the train station.

Women Portrait Sitters in the Louvre One of my favorite things to do is take photos of paintings in the Louvre. I particularly enjoy capturing the beautiful women and children of so long ago. I wish they could tell me about their lives.

Woman With a Mirror, painted 1515 by Titian [Tiziano Vecellio] Louvre Museum, Paris. Italian.

Heavenly Charity, painted 1640, by Simon Vouet, French. Louvre Museum, Paris.

The majority of statues seem to be of angels or women and cherubs.

Sculpture on the wall at the Tomb of Napoleon at Les Invalides

Sculpture at the entrance gates to Versailles palace.

Book Review Swede Talks to Claudia Strasser About Her Newest Book Swede: What items first attracted your attention that started your love affair with Paris fleas? Claudia: I think I fell in love with the romance of the furniture. It was all so ridiculously feminine and outrageous with tiny 20’s slipper and vanity chairs (tufted in satin with a thousand buttons) mirrored vanities, chaise lounges and velvet beds. It reminded me of my dollhouse and now I play with it all as a grown up! Swede: Tell us about the first time you went to a Paris flea market. Claudia: When I was about 20 I stumbled into the antique market while visiting the trendier market. I was intrigued but left Paris soon after. It wasn’t till years later that I was able to get back and study it. And it’s been as thrilling every time as it was at first glimpse! All Photos: Claudia Strasser

buy with passion

I only buy what means something to me

The markets are a little slice of heaven. Everyone is there in a festive mood e They love to engage and the friendlier you are and the m

each weekend. The vendors travel all over the region to find and curate their booths. more you try to speak French the more fun you'll have!

Swede: How would you advise a first-time buyer to evaluate the vast amount of items for sale? To some, it must be overwhelming. Claudia: I think having a vision and direction or specific niche is key to shopping the markets. Focus is imperative. Otherwise, you can really get scattered. But if you do have the luxury to buy random stuff, then enjoy that freedom and buy with passion. Look for things you’d want to collect yourself. I look for one of a kinds in excellent condition. Above all else, I have to want to keep it! Swede: Tell us about some items that got away that you later regretted not purchasing. Those items seem to make a lasting impression on us – years later we still remember them and kick ourselves for not buying. Claudia: The most regrettable piece I didn’t get was a sweet French loveseat on the street. I guess I was too naive to realize it would be gone by the time we came out from dinner. Funny, it was decades ago, but I never forgot it. I only buy what means something to me so I rarely regret anything I buy. What I sometimes regret is not noticing a chip or scratch that may be hard to repair so really inspect everything before you buy it. If you’re shipping it home then make sure you take photos of it from all sides. Swede: Any other advise for our readers not covered in the book for new or advanced collectors to help them explore the Paris fleas? Claudia: Everyone is expecting you to negotiate so feel free to make a reasonable offer. Look for items that strike a cord in you from paintings to handwritten letters and journals, spools of ribbon, boudoir furniture or manly things like top hats and tails! There’s an infinite world at the French flea market. Dig deep and don’t skim the surface. Look under tables, in boxes, folders and very carefully on table tops and in jewelry cases. Shipping at the markets can be a bit harrowing. I’ve had both good and terrible experiences from some of the shippers at Clignancourt. My advice is to always get insurance as it is probably not included. One shipper drilled into the backs of my mirrors and cracked the glass! That was tragique. I recommend Hedley’s Humpers and Cadogan Tate.



Wisteria in a Paris Park



Spring Tulips

Love of White In The Garden

Opening of the Dogwood Flower

White Dogwood Cornus Florida



Rear view of a wing of Versailles palace and the gardens.

Left: Typical Paris park Right: Spring bulbs fade after blooming in the park behind the Trianon at Versailles

Locking Up Your Love in Paris

Lovers put their padlocks on this bridge crossing the Seine River near Notre Dame. Nearly every square in the chain link on both sides of the bridge is filled. Some locks are inscribed with initials, dates or names to lock down their love for eternity. Should you need a padlock, vendors sell them. In walking around Paris, I saw two bridges with locks as well as city parks where there was fencing to place them on. You can also see “lovers lock� bridges in other European cities.


Yoshino Cherry

Marble statue in the Tuileries park.

Foxglove in t

Par lov pla are in t

the Rear Garden of Notre Dame

ris gardeners ve Foxglove ants as they e everywhere the city.

Spring Flowers in the Tuileries Gardens

Phlox, Foxglove, Iris and Lilies planted by the hundreds in this multi-acre garden with white marble statues.





White statues, overdoor and planter captured at Versailles.





Versailles in all its magnificence is undergoing restoration work to improve visitor safety as well as exterior and interior architecture. In the upper left, you can see gold work being done on the roof. A multi-year project at an estimated $500 million.

The queen’s chamber in the grand apartment at Versailles created 1671-80. Several queens occupied this space, first Queen Marie-Thérèse then successively by two dauphines, Marie-Christine of Bavaria and Marie-Adélaïde of Savoy, then by the two queens Marie Leszinska, wife of Louis XV and Marie Antionette, wife of Louis XVI. Nineteen children were born in this room.

Family portraits on the wall at Versailles. The child in blue is a

boy. That’s how they dressed at that time.

Queen Marie Leczinska by Parc Van Loo, 1747.

Hall o

Hall of Mirrors ceiling at Versailles. The room is 250 feet long a signed ending World War I.

of Mirrors

and has 17 windows. In this room the Treaty of Versailles was

Door into the chapel at Versailles.

The Sun King, Louis XIV, on wall in lobby.

Versailles C

Chapel Entrances




d Ornament

Locks a

and Lights

Door Hardware Details Dreamy Ceilings





Gold and White The imperial combination for all detail work on walls, doors and ceilings.

More details from the interiors of Versailles. A fabulous chandelier, gold cherubs with lions on the detailed wall treatment near the ceiling, and a fabulous door handle.

Every at Ver glorio windo doors, ceiling floors, No ele plain a

ywhere you look rsailles you find ous details ows, walls, gates, , hardware, gs, overdoors, , light fixtures. ement was left and unadorned.

Versailles chapel was built 1699-1710 and designed by Jules Hardouin-Mansart and after his death finished by his brother-in-law, Robert de Cotte.

Versailles Chapel

Beautiful details inside the chapel at Versailles. Ornament is on nearly every su



Love of Creamware

Loi Thai is addicted to antique pottery from the 18th-19th century. From white ironstone to majolica to creamware, he buys and sells and stashes some away for himself. Shortly after discovering white ironstone he became interested in creamware, a form of opaque earthenware started in the 1750s. Perfected in England by companies like Wedgwood, Spode and Leeds, it was also copied throughout Europe. Sweden’s fine manor homes had Rorstrand, while Creil became the first factory to produce creamware in France. Creamware isn’t just white. It can be found in many colors, various glazes and transfer printed designs, but it is the monochromatic “off white” form that Loi prefers.

“I love how contemporary these unadorned, neutral pieces look.”

The soup tureen is by Wedgwood. “The large French platter has damage, which I don’t mind. It is part of the platter’s history and charm.”

A Visit to Antique Dealer Loi Thai Tone-On-Tone Antiques

In this French Directoire (Circa 1790) painted vitrine cabinet is a collection of early 20th century French creamware pieces, many of them made by French pottery firm Sarreguemines.

On Swedish Gustavian secretary, English oval chestnut baskets with their undertrays. Left: “woven� basket by Neale. Center: Wedgwood basket with uplift handles and arcaded rim. Right: Spode basket with scalloped rim, dolphin heads and fretwork.

Here is a French soup tureen in a very typical round form.

At home, Loi likes displaying creamware “en masse� for impact. The six bookcases in his library display creamware mixed with books on art, decorating and gardens.

Sugar shaker above with winghandled tureen. Tureens are so versitile to hold so many objects including floral arrangements. And their size looks marvelous with varied shapes of the bowl with plain or decorative knobs and handles. All photos: Loi Thai Tone-on-Tone Antiques

Talking Furniture Design with John Black It is a big mystery. Everyone has furniture in their homes, but rarely does anyone know who designed it. All those talented people seem to remain nameless and faceless. Here I tackle the mystery with American designer, John Black, who is a partner with his wife, Joyce, at their firm, J Black Design in North Carolina.

Swede: I am always curious about how people get started designing furniture. Where did your design career start? When did you know that furniture design was right for you? John: I grew up in Morganton, NC, a small town near the mountains, which was the home of Henredon Furniture, Drexel Heritage and others, leading manufacturers at the time. My father was in the business and for a long time I thought everyone was in the furniture business. A friend of our

family was Ken Volz, the head of design at Henredon, who put Henredon on the map. In the early 70’s, with some drawing skills and not having a clue how to put them to use, Ken suggested I try my hand at design, suggesting Kendall School of Design in Michigan.

Swede: How involved in the process are your clients? Do they have a pre-determined idea of what they want or what they think will sell?

John: It varies by client. Many have an idea what they want, but we have learned these ideas are often based on what is currently Swede: Do you design to your selling. We take this information personal aesthetic or the cli- as such; where we have been successful is studying a coment’s? pany’s product, then offering an John: It’s a delicate balance. idea, concept or design direction they haven’t conOur aesthetic As the creative sidered. That’s has found an designer of the why they hire us. audience, which furniture pieces, We’re a small translates to John is not an firm so we are insales, which in turn, gives us a interior designer, timately involved voice with our nor is he a furniture in every aspect of clients. While manufacturer, but everything we do. not everything the visionary behind is to our personthe designs. al taste, I have rarely designed pieces that we would not own. The end consumer wants designs that are timeless and timely. Value is key. There should be great designs at every price point. Great design is lasting not trendy. More consumer education needs to be done on value vs. price. We design from our point of view. We’ve been fortunate our aesthetic has found an audience.

Swede: How do you balance the teeter-totter of classic appreciation and modern living and do both justice? Is that the sweet spot of your talent? John: Balance comes by focusing on the design of a certain period, be it modern or traditional, opposed to the culture; classical things are classical because they still have a place in the today’s world. And outside of technology, we pretty much still live the same way we did hundreds of years ago. Swede: Everybody talks about green design. Where does that fit for you? John: It’s an honorable goal. What you hope to achieve are not only green products but green processes as well. Is a product really green when made with a managed material, then shipped across an ocean and trucked across a country? And it appears that the consumer has yet to fully embrace the added cost of green products, at least in furniture. I do applaud the return of furniture making shops popping up across the country, making well designed, high quality products from local materials. Very cool.

We love our work and our goal is to have every customer who invests in one of our pieces, find it pleasing to the eye and serves them well .

John Black On His Design Career Swede: Talk about your career at Baker where you were Vice President of Design for many years. How did you affect the style of the company’s products? John: I was part of a small team that re-invented, for lack of a better word, the aesthetic of the Milling Road brand. We rejected the Baker “lite” approach we inherited and made it our own, designing a line that reflected who we were and what we liked with the same design integrity as the main Baker line. The timing was right and we found an audience. Swede: It was about that time that Milling Road also did the West Indies style, the early 1990’s. Tell about that. John: We partnered with the Landmark Society in St. Croix Virgin Islands and the Whim Museum on adaptive designs of the planters who colonized the islands sugar plantations in the 1800’s. We wanted to do an island-type product in a significant way. Working with New York antique dealer Michael Conners, we studied the historical artifacts turnings and carvings for influence to create pieces true to their character but not copies. This was when we did the planter’s chair, a four-poster bed and metal chairs that were caned. We were looking for new ways to use mahogany. In 2002, Milling Road produced more island-inspired pieces, this time unique to the Caribbean islands which were influenced by decorative elements and motifs created by local artisans working in the islands at the time the planters settled there and built their plantations.

We were very lucky that the president of Baker, Rod Krietzer, gave us the freedom to fail . His advice has had a huge impact on my career, in so many ways.

Swede: From the excitement in your voice, I can tell those projects were a very fun part of your career. It was nice that Baker could give back to the Whim Museum. I understand the Milling Road pieces were sold in the museum store. Swede: After years of designing, where do you find inspiration for new pieces? John: I spend a good amount of time in my library. I love the history of design and it always amazes me that I can wander through the same book and see something new every time. Swede: What do you wish every homeowner knew about the pieces you designed that are in their homes? From a design standpoint, we strive to give each piece a timeless quality and the ability to live in many places in your home , serving many functions. Swede: How much of your job is technical problem solving? John: Rarely. Building furniture hasn’t changed radically. The problems we encounter are usually of a design nature, such as why a line is drawn a certain way. We try to solve those issues through design education and rely on our experience. Swede: Tell us about the early years before working for Baker. What was the furniture design business like in those years?

Great advice and a very fun interview with John Black on his design career. In this reveal of who designs the furniture in your house, I have highlighted the talent of this American designer.

John: More companies employed staff designers or a least a person with a creative background. Today, fewer companies have someone solely dedicated to creativity, so a significant portion of design is channeled through outside designers. Some of it is quite good but when a celebrity is used primarily for celebrity purposes, the product can suffer. Swede: What advice or suggested training would you give to new budding furniture designers whether they are college bound or not? What would you tell them about your profession that you wish you had been told? Learn the basics of doing business. Even if someone is dedicating a life to pursue furniture, or anything, as an art form, the business side will touch you. Photo Credits:

Kenton Robertson Ed Fernandez

Swede Picks

Our Favorite Swedish Antiques for Sale in the Marketplace Right Page: Orrefors ceiling light: Sideboard: Horse: Vase: signed Josef Ekberg 1937 Clock: signed Henrik Beurling c. 1790 This Page: Blue Cabinet:

In today’s marketplace , there are so many Swedish antiques available to add to your decor. It is surprising how well they mix with modern furniture styles. Swedish mid-century modern pieces are making a huge come back . A new appreciation for them has come into the light.

More Swede Picks Right Page: Chairs: Bench: Blue Table: Sconces: www.fernworksantiques. com Cabinet: Game Table: This Page: Cabinet:


So many beautiful pieces to add personality to your home . Each one is a treasure in itself to be cherished for the next hundred years. These pieces are classic and inheritable to be loved for generations.


Hand painted fish plates were made by all the major French porcelain manufacturers in the 1880-1890’s. Look on the backside for names like Haviland, Coronet, W. Alluado & Co., Guerin, Delinieres, LRL, A. Lanternier and any with the city mark of Limoges, France.

French Fish Plates

Fish services, like game services or dessert services, were made to be specialized sets, not matching the main china pattern. They usually consisted of 12 plates about nine inches in diameter, a large platter ranging from 23 inches to over 30 inches, and a sauce boat with a detached or attached plate. Some sets are a combination of decals surrounded by hand painting, or decals only, but the best are totally handpainted and signed by the artist. Some artists were factory employees who painted on that company’s china, while others were independent artists who chose their own china blanks from various manufacturers. As you shop as a collector, you will see the variety each painter uses of blanks with fish species they enjoy painting. Always look at the backside of the plate to see if each fish is identified by species. Plates other than Old Paris or those produced before 1890 will show the city, such as Limoges, and the word France. Fish services are best mixed with other china patterns for a very attactive and interesting tablescape.

Swede quietly bench makes limited-quantity Franco-Swedish furniture pieces in America by hand in Soft Grandeur style. We are small. Small is good. The very highest-skilled people lovingly make our furniture piece by piece. You just can’t get better craftsmen than we have working for us. For that we are the luckiest Quiet Little Furniture Company. Our mission is: • Lovingly construct beautiful items for your interior by the highest standards; • Make products that are inheritable for following generations; • Keep revenue in America by producing in the United States; and • Not only put employees back to work, but to keep them working. Built of American species hardwoods, our Euro Collection takes inspiration from special one of a kind Swedish, French, and Northern European antiques. Our mission is to bring back to life these classical and loved pieces. We may find a Swedish table from the 1790s and bring the original creator’s masterpiece back to life for the way we live today. We do resize or proportion antique styles to fit today’s home sizes. We take each special treasure made by hand in cabinet shops hundreds of years ago and recreate them so more people have access to acquire them. Creating enduring furniture that is elegant, inheritable, lasting and timeless is a life-long passion that became a reality via Swede.

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We are thrilled to announce that we were featured in the April issue of Styling by Coty Farquhar. Please see us there on pages 11, 12-13, and 96-100.

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Tone on Tone Antiques and Accessories 7920 Woodmont Avenue Bethesda, MD 20814