Thursday, June 25, 2009

The modernity of the 18th century

The word "new" has such marketing value that it is used all too often. As a matter of fact what we think of as new has often very deep roots in history. The Chinese artist who carved the piece of jade pictured above created a sculpture with a very abstract and refined shape which an artist of the XX century could very well attribute to his own time. This stunning carving was made in China in the 18th century. The vase below was made in Murano, Italy toward the end of the XX century inspired by the beautifully embroidered lace handkerchiefs of the 18th and 19th centuries, it became known as a handkerchief vase. The artists in Murano did not lose sight that lace was first invented in Venice.

Venini Fazzoletto hankerchief vase, Murano, Italy

Lalique Hair Pin , France, early 20th century
The design of the flower is very stylized and abstract.Similar hair pins can be seen at Musée d'Orsay and at the Gulbekian Museum in Lisbon, Portugal. Calouste Sarkis Gulbekian was a loyal Lalique customer

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