By Karen Parr-Moody
Any fan of Amazon’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel streaming series knows that Miriam “Midge” Maisel truly is marvelous. Those clothes! That jewelry! The hats! That wit! But can we talk about the lavish décor of her “classic six” apartment for a minute?
This Amazon period piece reveals the luxurious world of an upscale family in 1958 New York, complete with the requisite antiques and a maid who doubles as a cook. The show’s production designer, Bill Groom, furnished the six-room, 3,500-square-foot apartment after studying Doris Day movies and sourcing pieces from antiques dealers. But the look isn’t entirely thematic to the 1950s. Due to a trust fund via Midge’s mother, the décor is layered with pricey antiques that fans of such will spot. (Funny aside: I spied a vintage raffia souvenir bag in the room of Midge’s musician friend, Carole Keen. Embroidered with pink flowers, the bag was familiar because I own one made in Acapulco circa 1960 — and bought at GasLamp, naturally).
Rattan suitcase in the room of musician Carole Keen (photo courtesy of Amazon Studios); my suitcase from GasLamp.
A careful examination of the original GasLamp One or GasLamp Too reveals many items that have a twin – or at least a cousin – in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. I’ve taken screen shots of the show (please forgive their blurriness), along with photos of GasLamp items so that you can see the similarities. For example, in one scene, Midge stands in front of bookcases that feature a pair of brass girandole candelabras, one on either side of her shoulders.
There is a similar pair of gilt girandoles at GasLamp Too from the mid-Victorian period. Each features a “sultana” figure from whose turban-wrapped head springs elaborately foliated candle arms ($195; Booth T-101). These rare figural giradoles feature marble bases and 10 lead crystal prisms on each arm. They are most likely from the esteemed Philadelphia manufacturer Cornelius & Co., although such candelabras are seldom marked. (I adore the sultana’s charming Turkish shoes that curl upward at the toes.)
I have spied many neoclassical items in the apartment on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. In one scene, Midge’s parents chitchat beside a neoclassical table topped by a matching lamp (photo courtesy of Amazon Studios).
At GasLamp Too, Booth T-101 currently has two neoclassical bookends in the same style, as well as a matching lamp.
In Season 3, Midge’s father returns to his youthful liberalism and begins inviting hippies with a communist world view to his family’s swanky digs. In one scene, he chats about the Village Voice, that left-wing beacon, while an elaborate clock sits behind him on a mantle (oh, the irony!).
At GasLamp Too booth T-101, there is a similar clock, an Ingram Mantel model that ticks soothingly when wound as its pendulum gently swings ($125).
Midge’s room is a glamorous as she is, with a vanity table covered in an array of 1950s perfume bottles with atomizers, crystal stoppers and gold trims (as seen in this screenshot).
At booth T-944 at GasLamp Too, there is an abundance of such vintage perfume bottles, many from Czechoslovakia, to grace a modern glamour girl’s boudoir. In this vignette, the two bottles on the left are Czech, while the third bottle is a charming hobnail style ($100, $80 and $50).
While it’s easy to be impressed by Midge’s necklaces, hats, brooches and scarves that fashionably coordinate with her ensembles, it’s also a fun parlor game to play “scavenger hunt” with the set pieces that define the era and the social class to which the Maisels belong. Try it yourself. I’m sure you’ll find some treasures that match those in your own home — or that you’ll want to bring home!