Historically, many forms of modern American artistry rely on strong lines – Frank Lloyd’s architecture, Cubist paintings, Brutalist chandeliers. Then, earlier aesthetic movements, primarily European, memorialized nature’s buoyant curves with rose-festooned porcelain, cattail-covered casseroles, and wood carved into unfurling acanthus leaves. GasLamp is replete with such foliate finds, a much-needed antidote to winter’s barren landscape.
A covered casserole dish is a must in any kitchen, and a vintage one is even more of a must-have. From French porcelain maker Apilco, this vintage covered-casserole dish features images of a well-groomed duck screened over an ivory body ($75; W-405). This natty duck preens his indigo-blue feathers that are trimmed in the same moss-green color seen on the cattail leaves on the lid. This find is equally suitable for cooking or as a serving dish (or perhaps a place to store your fresh eggs on the counter).
CHIC HOT CHOCOLATE
In the 1600s, Europe saw a fascinating cultural development around hot chocolate, as “chocolate houses” became the setting for cunning political aspirants and social climbers alike. These decadent beverages of heavy cream, chocolate and sugar were a screen – and a delicious one at that – for the social and political machinations of every stripe that transpired in the chocolate houses. Therefore, Charles II tried to ban chocolate houses in 1675. What ruler needs such tempting meeting spots where the opposition can fine-tune political plots against him?
This lidded porcelain chocolate pot pairs two matching cups and saucers ($99; B-234). This vessel, perfectly designed for hot chocolate, is trimmed in curvaceous pansies that remind one of spring. The pieces are marked “Nippon,” an English word used to designate Japanese export porcelain until 1921 when imported Japanese china was stamped “Japan.”
This antique Queen Anne chair, one of a pair, is distinguished by its cabriole front legs, vase-shaped splat, and tall back crowned with a yoke-shaped top ($549 for two; Booth T-270).
It features its original needlepoint fabric, a well-blended batch of flowers. It is clear these fiddle-back chairs have been lovingly cared for through the years, as they remain beautiful and sturdy.
This early ’80s octagon can hang in either direction, vertical or horizontal ($195; Booth T-951). The design is rarer than many others of this style. It features a geometric pattern of alternating pink and green glass against a frosted white backdrop, and the pink lilies add curvaceous elegance. Framed in wood, the mirror measures 32 inches by 21 inches.
BELLEEK BOWL & CREAMER
This creamer and open sugar bowl are made in the traditional Belleek weave with hand-painted green shamrocks ($68; B-234). They are cream in color, and the interior has a high-gloss glaze. Marked Irish, this set is circa 1926 to 1946 and was made in Belleek, Ireland.
In the past, artists and artisans learned precisely how to paint each petal and tendril to create stunning reminders of nature’s beauty. For those who love all manner of fauna and flora, the antiques and vintage items left behind by such artists are a practical way to celebrate the natural world/