Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Porcelain Kick #1

I almost started this post by writing, "Please forgive me, for I am on a porcelain kick this week." And then I realized that it was a stupid comment, because why does anyone need forgiveness for going on a porcelain jag?  I mean, what's so bad about it?

Two people whose porcelain kick resulted in something quite spectacular were Patrick and Josephine Frémontier, who owned both the Paris home featured here (originally featured in House & Garden, October 1999) as well as an antiques shop in the same building.  When I look at these photos, I can't stop marveling over the sheer volume of blue and white porcelain in the couple's salon.  The Chinese vases and medallions, which practically envelop the room's lacquered-panel walls, were salvaged from a 17th-century shipwreck and then sent off to auction, where M. Frémontier "bought a substantial amount." According to the homeowner, the porcelain had been ordered for the Dutch market, which explains the Dutch-style motifs that adorn the porcelain.  With their cache of Chinese porcelain in hand, the Frémontiers set about displaying the pieces in carved wall panels, a decorative arrangement that had originally developed in seventeenth-century Holland.  The decorative scheme is certainly cohesive-looking, and if you study the photo below, you'll notice that even the undersides of the wall brackets are embellished with what appear to be porcelain lids.

There is more porcelain to come in Friday's blog post, but in the meantime, savor what House & Garden referred to as a "rare blend."

All photos from House & Garden, October 1999; Pascal Chevallier photographer


  1. Please no apologies. Every post is a delight!

  2. Oh Me, Oh My. Heaven.
    Thank you!

  3. Jennifer how inventive that they used the porcelain lids as bases/ brackets. It is an astonishing collection!

    The Arts by Karena

  4. Apropos this porcelain fixation and FYI -

    I just recently discovered mid-century German all-white porcelain vases. Saw them in an antiques mall and, with all the varied shapes, sizes and textures, both glazed and bisque and displayed in a mass, they were quite impressive. I checked them out on E-Bay and Etsy, and some are very elegant indeed, and are extremely well-priced to boot... Input "op art vase" and "German mid-century white vase" in your search to get a whole raft of choices. One can also input factory names along with the mid-century tag, like Meissen, Kaiser, Scherzer, etc. The peak era for these vases seems to have been the 70's, though many date earlier and some models may still be in production. Quality seems very high, which is understandable as the German porcelain factories had finally gotten back on their feet after the vicissitudes of WWII, with new designs married to ancient craftsmanship.

  5. Jennifer,
    I wonder if Mrs. Getty bought those panels- they are also shown in her book Ann Getty Interior Style?

  6. Anonymous7:36 PM

    A wonderful porcelain room here in America is located in the Seattle Art Museum. Do plan a visit to see it. The collection started in the 1930s, but the room is located in the newer downtown museum. It is truly stunning. Thank you for the interesting posts. I, too, wish more people appreciated porcelain.

  7. Melissa F.4:06 PM

    I've been surprisingly impressed by the versatility and quality of porcelain items. Porcelain artists seem to have a passion for turning their ideas into intricate pieces of work, whether through painting Chinese pottery or crafting innovative sculptures. There's a Seattle-based home decor company called Pure Home that offers a lot of interesting porcelain home decor (Their site is My favorite is from their imm Living selection. They've got some pretty amazing accents for the room that are both contemporary and eclectic. As someone who has been searching for modern home decor, I think that porcelain decor can be a really exciting addition!