I must have stared at this photo ten times yesterday. One obvious reason, of course, is that the setting is pretty (not a dirty word in my lexicon.) Any room dominated by books, books, and more books holds appeal. You have a table covered by a rug (at least it looks like one to me) over which a blue damask cloth has been placed. There are those gorgeous bronze dore sphinx lamps that look as though they were turned on while the photo was taken, something which adds to the tableau's warmth. But the thing that really captured my imagination is the fact that the table is set for tea. You have that knock-out silver samovar (actually, a Regency coffee urn) and the homeowner's lusterware tea cups and saucers, not to mention those cakes and molds. It's like a little oasis of civility. And you know what? That is the real reason I'm so taken with this photo. Isn't it nice to think about what life could be like if we weren't dealing with a barrage of tweets or reality shows (don't get me started on those Real Housewives). We could be taking tea in the confines of a lovely home while drinking from a proper cup and saucer. I don't know about you, but it sounds pretty tempting to me. Crumpets, anyone?
(Apartment of writer Joan Juliet Buck; House & Garden March 1990; Oberto Gili photographer)