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The Find

April Showers Bring May Flowers to GasLamp

by Karen Parr-Moody 10 May 2024

The rains of April quenched the thirst of the plants that are now parading their exquisite flowers. Tulips initially burst onto the scene, followed by peonies and roses. Similar blooms are seen throughout the antiques and décor items at GasLamp Antiques.

This pair of “Chelsea birds” plaques are a riot of feathers against a lacquered black background encircled with fluffy roses ($400/pair; Booth T-401). Each plaque depicts an exotic parrot – one red, one blue – in the style of James Giles, a renowned ceramic decorator in the 1700s.

Giles worked for the best English porcelain makers, including the Chelsea Porcelain Manufactory, and his painted birds were famously described as “distinctly disheveled.” Giles’ birds were so distinctive that “Chelsea birds” came to stand for all such artistry from the 1700s to the 1900s, regardless of the painter.

During the 1950s, Chinese artisans produced pitcher and glass sets in dogwood flower patterns – most notably, the hand-painted Joni China-Dixie sets. This set of a pitcher with 7 cups follows that trend’s footsteps ($65; Booth T-393). Made of glass frosted in a milky-lime tone, the pitcher features white dogwood flowers hand-painted with glossy green leaves. This charming set from the 1980s would be a beautiful addition to someone’s vintage, 20th-century glassware collection.

This 21-piece tea set of floral chintz is bound to deliver a welcome bouquet to whoever scoops it up ($180; Booth T-132). Made in England, this Edwardian set features pink roses against a yellow background and gilded finials shaped like roses. The colors yellow and pink create a striking color scheme, and this tea set celebrates the pairing.  

This amethyst ring – perfect for anyone born in February, the month’s birthstone – dates to the 1890s and is a prime example of Victorian design ($2,500; Showcase S-520). The ring, made of 14-karat yellow gold, features pearls that encapsulate an oval amethyst, a carved gold flower and a rose-cut diamond. This ring is perfect for the lady unafraid to wear yesteryear’s styles in the modern world.

This vintage Turkish rug, a work of art, will bring together a room around its pattern of pastel daisies ($925; Booth T-365). The 4-by-10-foot carpet, dating to the 1960s or 1970s, was hand-woven and knotted from pure wool. It looks like others woven by the Turkish artist Zeki Müren, whose rugs are memorable. (The pastel daisies also remind one of Finnish artist Maija Isola’s poppy designs for Marimekko during the same period.)

Creative eyes will spot floral patterns throughout GasLamp’s wares this spring. Some patterns are playful and modern, and others are traditional and demure. All are worthy of discerning home décor projects.

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