I'd like to get a little rant out of the way. I'm fed up, and have to put my two cent out there.
I'm guessing this view won't be popular (nor will the silly things I fawn over in this post), but nothing is worse than exotic animal print. Cheetah, tiger and leopard. Nothing worse. Sorry, Elsie de Wolfe, but the age of leopard upholstered footstools has passed. I just wish I could get everyone else to agree with me. Could anything be more repellent? And frankly kinda matronly, at this point ... no offense to the matrons.
I'm a big fan of real materials.
That bit of pontificating out of the way, can I blame this passion for all things furry and tack-studded on my family history, and exposure to cowhide upholstered facades at an early age (alla Wort Hotel)? Whatever the cause, I love incongruously furry objects. I lust for a German tornister ...
And would gladly join Oppenheim for tea in porcelain glazed with Chinese gazelle:
So imagine my delight when Steven and I found this at the Scituate Art Fair:
Wait, what's that? Is that an ... NH?!? As in, Nick Heywood?
But why, oh why, did the condition have to be soooo appalling? I almost broke down and got it anyway, but it looked like something wicked had been chewing on it, and the whole thing was kind of mangy. But oh, I'll never forget what might have been. I think it was probably from the first or second quarter of the 19th century, and I would guess that it's covered in pony skin, but really don't know.
Reminds me of one of my favorite passages in Diana Vreeland's incomparable memoir, DV, where she talks about how she used to strap a chest covered in reindeer hide to the back of her Bugatti (before the days of the integrated trunk) for picnics. The past really was better. Or look at this fantastic seating around the perimeter of an auditorium at the University of Aarhus, in Denmark (my apologies for the reflection):
Or altar stool in one of architect Gunnar Asplund's chapels at the Woodland Cemetery in Stockholm, covered in sealskin:
I feel the need to clarify here. All of these animals have been dead in excess of 50 years, and I see no point in burying their skins to make a point ... and I think they're pretty. I feel I should also say that I only care for skins used in an extremely tailored way: not at all into the millions of cowhides with irregular edges thrown all over the floor of wannabe modernists, with some Charlotte Perriand (oh, sorry, LeCorbusier) chaise -- faux-edgy is a sad thing, especially when the idea is 60 years old.
Geez Louise, I'm bitchy today. Sorry guys.
Though I must admit I'm into this staircase, and I can't for the life of me figure out why, except that it's in fawnskin, which I haven't seen before. I kinda love it:
Ugh, maybe I hate it. I'm torn.