Sunday, August 4, 2013


I am not usually attracted to frou-frou (spelling please?) things--I love neoclassical design, Great 20th c. Design, Spanish, French and Italian Renaissance and early Baroque--Louis XIV and LV with their extreme ornamentation and fussiness (I'll make an exception regarding textiles from those periods) do not call to me. But Thursday I bought something that almost verges on fussy, but isn't.

This pair of slightly funky girondoles was calling to me.
They are quite large at 34" and very heavy--that is a solid brass urn that supports the wrought iron floral sprays and candle prickets.
Anyway, here go a few examples of girondoles that I downloaded from and I think you'll see what attracted me to this pair.
First up is a pair of circa 1920's French Louis XV-style petite girondoles--these used to sell like hotcakes; today, not so much. They are cute and decorative.

Next up is a 19th century pair of good French  Louis XV/Transitional-style Girondoles, similar in form to the first examples, but much much more imposing and desirable. Look at the height of the top obelisk-form cut crystal finial--amazing. I see these in a grand French country or Parisian home--or Texas.

Next is a pair of Charles X, French Restoration girondoles circa 1820. These are big gorgeous crystal examples and in beautiful condition. They are extremely elegant and chic--New York, London, Paris design. I do love them for their neoclassical form and minimalism--but they are a bit over-the-top for the type of room that makes me comfortable. Dore bronze with beautifully faceted hand cut crystal pendants (I think the cats would love them).
And a final outstanding example of a girondole is this gorgeous English Regency Girondole Mirror that dates to circa 1820. The eagle surmount frame with all original gilding, retaining its original elements (even the antique bullseye mirror) together with the scrolling candle arms definitely lights a fire.

I used to sell many Federal and Regency case pieces, and this mirror would have been the piece de resistance (please insert the accents where needed) over many of my past sideboards. It still makes me drool........

But back to my newest girondoles:

These guys are a marriage of two elements.... the girondole sections with the hand wrought iron flowers and prickets probably date to the early 19th c.   (perhaps earlier) provincial France. As the pricket/floral sections are quite tall, they were most probably fitted to painted/faux marble (?) wooden urns. Today they are fitted to solid brass neoclassical style snake handled urns that date to about the 1920's--surprisingly, the marriage works. I placed the girondoles on 19th c. Italian faux painted pedestals--another marriage that works. One of the reasons that I love these guys is the patinated iron work that integrates so well in Spanish, Italian or Provencal interiors--not too fancy---but lots of character and they are big (a total of 34" in height). Perfect for California decorating. Texans would really like them, too. 
Here are some detail shots of these country and not too perfect (one leans a bit) girondoles


Hope that the new weeks brings fantastic summer weather--not too hot--margaritas and bathing suits.

Be well.
Mary and Jones (& Cole)

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