Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Carolyne Roehm Design and Style - Theta Charity Antiques Show 2018 - Essay

"...posh hotels and restaurants in the area inflated costs, us geezers recall when that part of downtown was an armpit..."

Theta Charity Antiques Show 2018 - Carolyne Roehm Design and Style - Essay

Last Saturday morning I went to the Theta Charity Antiques show at the George R. Brown Convention Center in downtown Houston.  The cost of going was notably higher than it used to be when I attended that show in the 1980s and 1990s, which made me wonder if all the posh hotels and restaurants in the area inflated costs, us geezers recall when that part of downtown was an armpit.

I coughed up $25 for general admission and $50 for the lecture I attended, and would have paid more had I parked a car, or wanted booze.  However framed against the woman whose wallet was stolen during the $200 per head “preview” party, my visit was comparatively cheap.  One imagines the ill-bred wallet thief added substantially to that poor woman’s costs.

But I was happy to spend the money to hear Carolyne Roehm discuss her design work and her newest book “Design and Style: A Constant Thread,” which I own.  For a few seconds I hesitated to haul my book to the show, it weighs a ton, and never before had I bothered to obtain an autograph from anyone, but I got over that, and happily lugged my book, shook Carolyne’s hand, and thanked her for her work.  It was the second time I heard her speak.

If I sound gushy, it’s because I’m grateful.  Carolyne has been a source of inspiration ever since the late-1980s when I knew her fashion designs in magazines.  Her work with interiors, which I follow on her website and in her books, has been extremely influential.  It’s hardly overblown to say Carolyne’s exquisite taste and discerning attention to detail helped to discipline and embolden me.  Close scrutiny of a pair of eighteenth century hand-carved gilt candelabra mirrors she placed in a bedroom gave me the courage to persuade an antique dealer to accept my cash offer for the nineteenth century hand-carved Louis XV-style gilt candelabra mirror that classes up my living room.  Drinks on me, honey child, for that treasure.

Donnie of course called my antique mirror “girlie,” but I could see he was moved by its elegant fluidity and asymmetrical form.

In the same vein she inspired me to obtain at auction my marble portrait bust.  I had wanted a hand-carved marble sculpture ever since the 1980s when I saw a gazillion of them in Italy, and rather impulsively purchased the pedestal to hold it.  Instead of marble, porcelain jars and cast figures sat on that pedestal.  Until recently, when filled with resolve over Carolyne’s collection, her marble Madame de Pompadour is particularly memorable, I spotted a marble bust in an auction catalog and hauled my behind to the auction.  A nervous mess, I was afraid to bid, but overcame it and lassoed my marble sculpture.  I can’t remember if they slammed a gavel, but I do recall being sufficiently unsettled to break my favorite booze rule.  Because it makes me too sleepy to accomplish anything, I rarely drink during the day, but after successfully bidding, I downed a big Chardonnay at the auction.

Naturally the solid marble was too heavy to lift, and required the auction guys to place it in my Jeep, where it remained for two days until Don returned home with his friend.  “What’s that?”  My new sculpture for the pedestal.  Carolyne has some.

So after Carolyne autographed my book, I wandered through the antique show, intent on justifying the general admission part of my cost, and took a few pictures of items I thought were special.  My pictures turned out to be sorry, so I pulled a few “good” images from dealers’ websites.

Olivier Fleury, Inc. French and Continental Antiques
18th Century French Louis XVI Commode inlaid with veneer of walnut and mahogany. Circa 1760-1780

Olivier Fleury, Inc. French and Continental Antiques
19th Century Blue and White Delft Faience Ginger Jar with Lid. Circa 1870-1890

Olivier Fleury, Inc. French and Continental Antiques
Early 20th c. French still life painting, Alexandre Montaulon, "Le Melon" Signed lower right. Oil on canvas, in gold frame. Circa 1900.

Jayne Thompson Antiques
Large 19th Century English Giltwood Convex Mirror with Eagle and Acanthus scrolls on Crest and Side Candle Arms. Circa 1820. Detail of Eagle, florettes and scrolls

Roger D. Winter Antiques Cell 267-614-0056
18th Century English George II Burled Walnut Secretary Desk. 1730-1740

Edwin C. Skinner Antiques
Point Clear Alabama
Early 18th Century English George II Period Walnut Slant Desk. Circa 1730

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