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Category: Home, Architecture, and Design (page 3 of 4)

The Ralph Lauren Sotheby’s Auction, 1995

In 1995, Sotheby’s hosted an auction for a large collection of antiques and fine art that was used by Ralph Lauren to showcase his clothing lines throughout his stores, showrooms, and advertisements. If you’ve ever visited the Ralph Lauren mansion in NYC, or the store on Michigan Ave in Chicago, you definitely can get a feel for how he sells everything by also selling the perception of a having a certain lifestyle. From the introduction to the book that accompanied the auction:

This remarkable group of antiques and furnishings , which were bought in both the United States and Europe, embrace a diversity of styles and cultures through grand and casual, rugged yet sophisticated. In addition to such high-style furniture as the Louis XV ormolu-mounted tulipwood and kindwood parquetry bureau plat from the mid-18th century signed by Pierre Garneir, the collection also includes a large number of whimsical and traditional decorative pieces, such as the 19th century English carved rocking horse, the pair of 19th century Codestone garden urns, needlework pillows, tea caddies and andirons.

My favorite piece shown in the book is a chair and ottoman set made from tusks and alligator leather, and only because it’s so tacky and politically incorrect by today’s standards.

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Vintage Porsche Design

Since the early 1970’s, the Porsche Design Studio has produced a wide assortment of contemporary accessories, tools, and home goods (the group was founded by F.A. Porsche, and is a part of Porsche SE). Some were quite groundbreaking for their time and continue to influence designers today.

After all these years they’re still going strong, and my favorite pieces recently created by them that I use regularly are a santoku chef’s knife and a mechanical pencil (both are very comfortable to use for long periods of time). The lighters are quite cool as well.

Here are a few ads showing some of their creations from the 80’s and early 90’s. The older sunglasses in particular have a bit of a cult following and can fetch high prices through vintage dealers and ebay.

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Eero Saarinen in the WSJ

His Buildings Defined a Decade

Half a century is forever and no time at all – a blink of the eye in history that can change the world. The decades fly by, and it is hard to remember the heady optimism of the 1950s. We were a superpower on a fast track to the future. Time magazine had already proclaimed it the American Century in 1941. Doubt and irony were not in style.

With hindsight and revisionist scholarship, we can see a more complex picture; the ’50s were also a time of quiet subversion, when certainties were being shattered and the groundwork laid for the unrest of the ’60s and ’70s, for a societal and cultural revolution fed by the disillusionment of Vietnam and the rejection of established norms and ideals. We are just beginning to understand the full significance of what was happening and where it led.

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Early American Goods on 1stDibs

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The Study

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A Vintage Harley… on Gilt?

I was surprised when I opened today’s email from Gilt – for a limited time they’re selling a vintage Harley Davidson 1972 shovelhead motorcycle from NYC Motorcycle Federation. It was used in the movie Hell Ride.

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Steve McQueen’s XKSS

From wikipedia:

The Jaguar XKSS was a road-going version of the Jaguar D-Type racing car.

After Jaguar withdrew from racing the company offered the remaining, unfinished chassis as the roadgoing Jaguar XKSS, by making changes to the racers: adding an extra seat, another door, a full-width windshield and folding top, as concessions to practicality. However, on the evening of 12 February 1957, a fire broke out at the Browns Lane plant destroying nine of the twenty-five cars that had already been completed or were semi-completed. Production is thought to have included 53 customer D-types, 18 factory team cars, and 16 XKSS versions.

My New Chair

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Throws for the Home

Paul Smith Blankets
Blankets from Paul Smith.

Drake's of London Throws
Throws from Drake’s of London.

Wings + Horns Tiger Fleece Blankets
Tiger fleece blankets from Wings + Horns. When is CYC going to get into doing bedding? I’d do my entire place in their fabrics if I could.

Filson and Pendleton also make great blankets, but they’re more heavy duty than they are soft.

Ad Hoc at Home

Thomas Keller’s latest cookbook, Ad Hoc at Home, is his most approachable one yet. It’s very true to its subtitle of “family-style recipes” and all of them are easy to do (I’ve successfully tried about a dozen of them so far). Best yet is that no fancy equipment is needed and just about all of the ingredients that he calls for can be found in most grocery stores. Keller does provide some interesting insights of his throughout the book as well, such as why he prefers canola oil or why you should use palette knives instead of tongs.

Ad Hoc at Home
True foodies might be disappointed by this book as it’s not exactly groundbreaking stuff like Under Pressure or French Laundry, but for everyone else it’s an excellent resource of information and would be a good second or third cookbook to have (after classics like Joy of Cooking, and Mastering the Art of French Cooking).

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