It's always a nice surprise to find a note or an article tucked into the pages of an old book. I've come across photos, business cards, even Don't Forget notepaper in my vintage books. I recently bought some old issues of the French publication Connaissance des Arts, and the previous owner, a doctor in Beverly Hills, had made notations throughout the pages. (At least, I'm assuming the notes are his.) These were no ordinary notations either, having been typed on note cards and placed within the corresponding article. It makes my method of folding over the top corner of a magazine page seem downright primitive.
In the Christmas 1954 issue, a lavish article on Charles de Beistegui's Palazzo Labia appeared. The Venetian palace is noted for its elaborate baroque design, its frescoes by Tiepolo, and its impressive renovation in the late 1940s and early 1950s by the wealthy de Beistegui. But, not everybody seemed to have been impressed by Beistegui's handiwork. The Beverly Hills doctor included this observation about Palazzo Labia:
Le Palais Labia a Venise, one of the main residences of M. Charles de Beistegui. This little renovation reputedly set him back a c-o-o-l $10,000,000.00. He was really having one of his 'off' moments, and can do MUCH better.
Well, it's nice to see that someone wasn't afraid to express his opinion.
Le Salon des Indes at Palazzo Labia
The Tiepolo frescoes
The bedroom of de Beistegui
Palazzo Labia images from Connaissance des Arts, December 1954