A great annual event!

SUSAN CALLOWAY FINE ARTS 1643 Wisconsin Avenue NW – Washington, DC 20007 202-965-4601     gallery@callowayart.com     callowayart.com

A Charmed Life

Please join us for Annual Trunk Show featuring hand-crafted 22-kt gold jewelry with precious and semi-precious stones, designed by Jan Blakesberg of A Charmed Life, NYC.

Saturday, December 10, 12pm to 6 pm

Light refreshments will be served.

As part of the 12 days of Merriment in Georgetown Dec. 9 -20, the gallery will also be highlighting an array of beautiful small contemporary and antique art, perfect for holiday gift giving.

Jan Trunk Show  

To view more jewelry by Jan Blakesberg of A Charmed Life – New York City click here.

For more information, please contact

Susan Calloway Fine Arts

1643 Wisconsin Avenue NW – Washington, DC 20007

202-965-4601     gallery@callowayart.com     callowayart.com

Gallery Hours: Tuesday through Saturday 10-5, Sunday and Monday by appointment

Susan Calloway Fine Arts specializes in contemporary art by local, regional, and international artists, antique American and European oil paintings, and a carefully chosen selection of 17th-19th century prints. The gallery also specializes in conservation framing using archival-quality materials and techniques, and in traditional French mat decoration. The gallery provides extensive art consulting services for business and residential clients and collaborates with architecture and design trades.

French History through its Furniture

Medieval Years / 10th-15th Centuries Also known as the Romanesque and Gothic periods, this era was marked by political instability. Feudal lords reigned over the populous but they did little to affect the high crime rates. Life was pretty grim for most people. Homes were cold and damp and animals shared the living quarters with the family.

The furniture of the time reflected the needs of the people. To combat the cold, families hung heavy tapestries on their walls. Much of the furniture was large and simple, like benches, chests and stools. They were made of heavy French oak to discouraged thieves. Deep hand carving was also common, a reflection of the architecture seen in the cathedrals and churches.

Renaissance / 1515-1560

The Renaissance began when a treasure trove of Greek and Roman antiquities were unearthed, sparking an interest in the classicism of the past. In response, French craftsman created furniture with deeply carved ornate designs that reflected the Roman sensibility. The buffets and cabinets of the time actually resemble small buildings with their architectural columns, balustrades, windows and panels, reminiscent of the Roman and Greek temples and coliseums.

Louis XIII / 1560-1643

When Henry IV was assassinated in 1610, his successor, Louis XIII, was too young to rule. Marie de Medici and later, the Cardinals Richelieu and Mazarin ruled in his place as regents. During this period, the middle class became much wealthier. As a result the growing demand for furniture lured many Italian craftsman to France.

The emerging middle class also meant a new class of people who wanted beautiful furniture but who did not live in Paris. The French country furniture era began. These rustic pieces reflected the styles popular in the city but were made for a more relaxed country life. The trestle table, with its thick plateau tabletop and graceful trestle legs, is an example of this inviting style.

But perhaps the best known innovation from this period is the Os de Mouton chair. As the French name suggests, the shape of the chair legs is literally based on the legs of a lamb. The chair also marks the introduction of upholstered backs and seats with the popular flame stitch pattern and nail head trim.

Louis XIV / 1643-1715

Without question Louis XIV, also known as the sun king, is the most celebrated king of France. The chateau he built, the palace of Versailles, is a testament to his legacy as a lover of the arts. During his reign the government had departments for architecture, painting, the gardens and of course, cabinet making.

The Louis XIV style is the epitome of luxury and opulence. The furniture of this era is characterized by intricate marquetry, heavy carving and gold leaf decorations of scalloped shells, lions and of course, the sun and its rays.

Regence / 1715-1723

This period takes its name from another era of regency rule when Louis XV was too young to take the throne and Phillipe D’Orleans governed in his stead. During this short time, French craftsman loosened their strict adherence to the classical forms the tyrannical Louis XIV adored and look elsewhere for inspiration.

Regence style was inspired by mythological themes and by the Orient. Flowers, shells and dragons were predominant decorations. Shapes became more bowed and round like the distinctive “bombe” chest. Chairs were also narrower with deeper seats. Caning was also introduced and marble accents were used throughout. Pretty and romantic, this style of French furniture became enormously popular in Europe very quickly. Even today, the style endures. Regence furniture is a favorite of antique lovers and collectors.

Louis XV / 1723-1774

Louis XV may have been a reluctant king, but his reign marked a time of peace and prosperity. At the time, the Siecle des Lumieres (the Enlightenment) was in full swing with the king Louis XV as its greatest supporter. Women became much more powerful during this period with the dawn of their successful intellectual salons. As a result, their influence was felt in the court. Feminine forms became much more popular, like the roll-top desk which was found in Louis XV’s room at Versailles. Pieces with hidden compartments and secret drawers also became popular. And nature motifs were an important part of the decorations and carvings.

With Louis XV furniture, the asymmetry and heavy ornamentation of the Regence period was made even more lavish through the use of extravagant wood veneers and marquetry. All kinds of lacquers and hand painting were also important, especially Oriental lacquers and anything done by the innovators in the field, the Martin brothers.

Louis XVI / 1774-1792

In 1748, the discovery of the ancient city of Pompeii caused a resurgence of the popularity of Greco-Roman antiquities. At the same time, nature motifs were carried over from the Louis XV period. The resulting style is known as neo-classicism.

In the Louis XVI style, intricate marquetry and floral designs were banded by geometrical trims and circumscribed by oval or round medallions. Sculptures of animals such as the eagle, the dolphin or a ram’s head were also common. But the feminine proportions were still going strong, as evidence by the new dainty writing desks with ornately carved legs. This was also the first time when chairs were created for strictly ornamental reasons. The seats were trapezoidal and the backs were designed with lyre, vases and flowers.

Directoire / 1793-1804

In 1789, the Revolution ripped France apart. Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were imprisoned and killed. Napoleon eventually seized power but not before several governing groups fought for power. This era’s name, Directoire, refers to one of those elected groups.

Directoire style reflected the transition away from the flamboyant monarchy. Themes of antiquity and nature were still evident but much more subdued. Marquetry was abandoned in favor of more austere decorations. Geometric patterns were prevalent but less extravagant than before, often integrating a Grecian urn into the designs. The caryatid form was also used. And for the first time, Egyptian motifs emerged. Furniture sometimes included carvings of sphinxes in the bronze hardware detailing.

Empire / 1804-1814

In 1804 Napoleon I crowned himself Emperor of France, ending years of political instability and dawning the Empire period. During this time, the economy was booming and a new aristocracy was forming, with Napoleon’s court as its cornerstone.

Napoleon’s new haute bourgeois court was known for competing with other European courts, trying to out-do each other’s extravagance. This sense of competition is seen in the furniture of the time. Silhouettes became grander and more substantial with a more defined structure. Gone were the delicate carvings and round romantic shapes. Bold and formal, Empire style was defined by architectural elements like columns, pilasters and bronze work. The pieces were commonly made from heavy woods such as mahogany and ebony with dark finishes. Marble tops were popular as were Egyptian motifs. Continuing the tradition of Directoire style, artisans used sphinxes, griffins, urns and eagles to decorate their work. They also used Napoleonic symbols, the bee and a large “N.”

Restoration and Charles X / 1814 – 1830

Napoleon’s love of empire and conquest eventually led to his downfall. In 1814, the French, depressed over their military losses decided to restore the monarchy. The wealthy noble class, many of whom had left after the French Revolution, returned and reinstated King Charles X. They also tried to recapture the beauty and comforts of their former lives.

In terms of furniture and decoration, this meant the creation of a softer version of the Empire style. Craftsman continued to use the strong geometry of the period but they added a touch of whimsy and fantasy. Musical instruments were carved into the legs of small tables and desks. Woods were lighter in both color and density. And the art of marquetry returned with decorative flowers, garlands and rosettes, and detailing that highlighted the architecture and geometry of the pieces.

Louis Phillipe / 1830-1848

In 1830, the French people lost their patience with Charles X and over three days of horrible fighting, known as Trois Glorieuses, they overthrew his government. Louis-Phillipe, the Duke of Orleans became the new leader of France. He managed the royalists to his political right, and the radicals on the left but he sympathized with the bourgeois class, who favored him as well.

Up to this point, furniture was sold piece by piece. As craftsman began embracing the burgeoning industrial revolution, production increased and they began making furniture sets for the bedroom and dining rooms. The style combined the best of past designs from the Gothic, Renaissance, Louis XIII and Louis XV periods. Lines were simpler and more somber. Mahogany and rosewoods were most common and marble tops were also used. Overall the furniture was very functional, which made it popular with the bourgeois class.

Country French

“Country French” furniture doesn’t refer to a period in French history but to a way of life. Drawing from many periods in French furniture design, particularly Louis XV, Louis XVI, Regence, Directoire and Louis Phillipe, country French furniture exemplifies relaxed sophisticated living. These designs are found in the country homes of France in Normandy, Provence and Bordeaux. You’ll find large farm tables with ladderback chairs, carved oak hutches, sideboards, and armoires all in various finishes.

Most of all, country French is a feeling. There are no right or wrong rules, as long as the mood exudes comfort and warmth. Country French is so well loved, its never goes out of style. Its furnishings endure today and will continue to charm for years to come.

Coffre of Walnut, Circa 1546
Coffre of Walnut, Circa 1546
Typical Romanesque Interior
Typical Romanesque Interior
Cabinet, BuffetCabinet, Buffet
LouisXII Fauteuil Os de Mouton with Flame Stitch

Chateau de Pierre Tailade

Chaise de Parade His personal Night
Table, Trianon at
Versailles, France
Commode Frères
Martins, Chateau de
Régence Bérgère,
Chateau de
Secretaire of Madame
de Pompadour
Salon de Compagnie,
Chateau de Champs,
Marie Antoinette Example of a Vide
Poche Table
Table Chiffonniere,
Side Chair
Bed Salon de Musique,
Empress Josephine
Birdseye Maple
Psyche à Musique,
Felix Remond, 1824
Louis Philippe
Dining Room
Armoire Provencale,
Circa 1750
Louis XV Buffet
with Hutch
Farinaio, flour
box to store
dough while rising

Work of Art: Part Deux from Habitually Chic

Heather Clawson found more photos of Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn’s fabulous townhouse on Diana Viñoly‘s website. Now you can see the chic kitchen, children’s bedrooms, and master bedroom and bath. It’s also interesting to see how the living room looks with different artwork installed. Enjoy!

The Digest

There is lots of talk about the probable demise of this magazine- I say NO!  I got my start with this magazine when Thomas Pheasant decided to showcase the colored glass I had started to collect in the store.  He didn’t know if it was horrible or great but he knew it would be back in style.

The Designer Finds sections are crucial to the antique business- so lets save this Icon of design- re-up your subscription.

  • 1920 The Architectural Digest is founded as a Southern California annual.
  • 1970 Paige Rense and AD’s first art director are hired by owner Bud Knapp to join the magazine’s three-person editorial staff.
  • 1971 Editor Bradley Little dies in a robbery attempt; Paige Rense is subsequently named editorial director.
  • 1973 Architectural Digest publishes an Angelo Donghia-designed home and begins its tradition of being the first magazine to publish a particular home.
  • 1975 Paige Rense named editor-in-chief and sets out to remake the magazine in the tradition of European art books with a focus on decorating, decorators and their clients. Circulation: 50,000
  • 1976 Inception of Architectural Digest Visits, featuring stories on celebrities and their homes. The first of such articles includes Gore Vidal in Italy, Truman Capote in Bridgehampton, Julia Child in Cambridge, Joan Crawford in New York, Ingrid Bergman in France and Robert Redford in New York. Circulation: 200,000.
  • 1978 Architectural Digest: Celebrity Homes, the first anthology-style book related to the magazine, is published. To date, Paige Rense has edited 11 additional books related to the magazine.
  • 1981 Circulation: 500,000
  • Dec. 1981 An 18-page cover story on President and Mrs. Ronald Reagan at the White House is published.AD Italy, Architectural Digest’s first international issue, is published. Other foreign editions follow, including AD France, AD Germany, AD Russia, AD Japan and AD Mexico.
  • June 1985 The first themed issue, “The English Country House,” is published.
  • 1985 Inception of literary contributors writing for the magazine, including John Fowles, George Plimpton, William Styron, Kurt Vonnegut, Truman Capote and John Updike.
  • Late 1980s Inception of “AD Architecture” as an annual supplement.
  • 1988 “AD-at-Large” first introduced as a supplement. It later becomes a regular feature and is renamed “Discoveries by Designers.”
  • 1990 The AD 100, Architectural Digest’s international directory of top designers and architects, is published for the first time.
  • 1991 The AD 100: Architects, Architectural Digest’s international directory of top architects, is published for the first time. Circulation: 653,000.
  • 1993 Architectural Digest, along with Bon Appetit (of which Paige Rense was founding editor) bought by Condé Nast from Knapp Publishing.
  • 1990s Additional themed issues are introduced, including Country Houses, Exotic, Before & After, 100 Years of Design, Designers’ Own Homes and Hollywood at Home (née Academy Awards issue).
  • 2000 Circulation: 831,453
  • January 2005 “Deans of Design,” a special section celebrating legendary designers and architects, is published.
  • 2005 Architectural Digest: Hollywood At Home, a book edited by Paige Rense, is published.
  • January 2007 The latest AD 100 Issue is published.

Read More http://www.architecturaldigest.com/magazine/features/2007/05/history_052007#ixzz0qYSf3NB2

After hosting more than 25 design houses on its below-ground concourse level, The Washington Design Center has made a dramatic change. A recently completed space on the Center’s fifth floor not only introduces a new eight-room design house space but also another welcome element into the mix: natural light. Members of the press were invited to tour The Halls of Fame Design House on May 18th, showcasing rooms created by members of the Design Center’s Hall of Fame. These seasoned local designers were tapped to create luxurious yet livable rooms using the wide array of furnishings, fabrics, wall coverings and materials available in Design Center showrooms. The results, as you’ll see from the photos below, offer inspiration to anyone with a penchant for good design. For an even better perspective, visit the show house yourself. It’s open Friday, May 21st through December 4, 2010. For more information, visit http://www.dcdesigncenter.com. —Sharon Jaffe Dan, Home and Design Magazine

Walmart Wine

Walmart has recently announced that, sometime in 2010, it will begin offering customers a new discount item – Walmart’s very own brand of an unparalled wine. The world’s largest retail chain is teaming up with Ernest & Julio Gallo Winery of California to produce the spirits at an

affordable price, in the $2 – $6 range.

Wine connoisseurs may not be so inclined to put a bottle of the Walmart brand into their shopping carts, but “there is a market for inexpensive wine,” said Kathy Micken, professor of marketing at the University of Arkansas.

“But the right name is important.”

Customer surveys were conducted to determine the most attractive name for the Walmart wine brand.

The top surveyed names in order of popularity were:

10. Chateau Traileur Parc

9.  White Trashfindel

8.  Big Red Gulp

7.  World Championship Riesling

6.  NASCARbernet

5.  Chef Boyardeaux

4.  Peanut Noir

3.  I Can’t Believe It’s Not Vinegar

2.  Grape Expectations

1.  Nasti Spumante

The beauty of the Walmart wine is that it can be served with either white meat (Possum) or dark meat (Squirrel.)

P.S. Don’t bother writing back that this is a hoax.

I know possum is not a white meat.-Deb

We do have some cute labels in the stores for just the occassion.



one is $20 and reads “cheap wine”.

Thanks Bridgette- for the story.

Sandy Chilewich’s House in Manhattan

new york-based sandy chilewich applies her interest in color and experimentation with fibers to create her signature textile, woven vinyl. her innovative use of yarn fuses style and sophistication to create tablemats, bags, cube ottomans and plynyl flooring, available as floormats, w2w and tile. inspired by modern technologies and innovative applications of materials, her award winning products are made in the usa and sold around the world. plynyl, a commercial grade floor surface, was developed with her husband joe sultan, an architect and has created a completely new category in flooring.

What’s hot from Chilewich now…….

Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse Pop Up Shop
207 East 57th Street
(between Second and Third Avenues)
Opening Party
Wednesday, May 19th
Tickets $125 to $250
Call 718-893-8600 ext. 245
Free Shopping Days
Thursday, May 20 and Friday, May 21 from 12:00-8:00pm
Saturday, May 22 and Sunday May 23, 12:00-6:00pm

GoreDean With and To The Trade

We were so excited to get the photos last week of the  beautiful new St Regis Hotel in Mexico City where Yabu Pushelberg used our line of original furniture for the lobby.  Cesar Pelli designed the building and Yabu Pushelberg did the interiors. It is a fabulous hotel and we must all run down there immediately…and sit in the lobby.

It reminded of the day that the ultra decadent and chic chairs arrived that we did for Clyde’s Chinatown in alligators, crocodile, ostrich, python- you name it. They just arrived in time for the opening and RUSH…RUSH  off they sped to the restaurant.  It was too late when I realized that the goredean labels were not attached to the chairs. After all….. So off Spider and I went to the big party.  We had to make our way to every chair… find a way to sit in it and surreptitiously place a tag in the center under the seat.  It took hours and we must have looked very strange- feeling our way around the bottom of chairs…

It made  me think of some other adventures..still saved on the hard drive….

Jerry Harpole

Despite its traditional trappings, the study functions as a digital library.
An antique desk from Gore-Dean was re-designed to allow a computer
screen to be concealed by the top. A faux finished in red lacquer with
a black glaze by The Valley Craftsmen



In this month’s issue, Elle decor chose my own DC to profile for the design ‘insider’. Well I thought I’d add my 2 cents. While their choices are all fine and dandy, there were only a few that I totally agree with, such as Gore Dean. – Architect Design







Antique Bed





The Clydes Chair for Clydes Chinatown in alligators, crocodiles, ostrich, snake and python.

Clyde’s Willow Creek Farm

Mortar and Pestles, Weather Vanes, Pewter
Audubon Prints and Wedgewood Porcelain
The Jockey Club Chair done for Clydes in both red and black leather.


Dining Room by Camille Saum


Camille Saum From Floor to Ceiling,

Forget the cliched glossy red Georgetown dining room. Camille Saum’s radiant space (walls painted in Farrow & Ball’s Orangery) could start a run on tangerine-, pumpkin- and apricot-painted dining rooms. To set off the orange walls, the Bethesda designer commissioned a stenciled ceiling and a bold checkerboard-painted wood floor. The cove of the wide crown molding was painted aubergine (Farrow & Ball’s Cinder Rose). A master of color, Saum picked up the purple in the crystals of the antique Swedish chandelier, and the copper and lavender in the Missoni dinner plates, both from Gore Dean’s Baltimore shop. photo: Gordon Beall





Just the lamps- but always such a pleasure…




Terracotta Urns




Who knew a home store in an old industrial mill would work? The owner of Gore Dean did. With just the right mix of styles and eras, Gore Dean is one of our favorite stores in Baltimore.





The Marbury Chair
The CoCo Bench


The Casino Chair





Linens and antique china.







The Marbury Chair

The Marbury Sofa




antique chandelier and venetian mirrors



vintage coffee table and antique iron rabbits



flowers, gift bags, antiques and linens.






antique sconces and the small antique occasional chairs

Allergy Season is Almost Here

Allergy Season is almost here. Sensitive eyes and noses need all the help they can get- especially the kids. These sheets should help-100% cotton – organically grown cotton certified by Skal International 300 count percale. Crisp, natural, and comfortable. Grown without chemicals, the cotton is 100% eco-friendly. No chemicals are used in the finishing of the fabric, including softeners and fabric performance enhancers. Machine washable.

Check out care instructions on this blog…1/2 the detergent, 1/2 the drying time, no additives, no softeners or bluing agents. This will also help the eyes and noses that suffer in the Spring!

Purity organic Sheeting
Purity organic Sheeting