Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Antiquing in France: Buying a Giant Monastery Table

Buying antiques in France is always an adventure. You’re never quite sure what you might find, or how much you’ll spend (prices and exchange rates fluctuate every season) or, in some instances, how you’re going to manage to get things home.  Occasionally, we stumble upon something really exceptional – so rare and extraordinary that you can hardly believe your luck. That is exactly what happened during our last buying trip. Jean-Marc and Jean-Noel came across an incredible GIANT monastery table (over 20 feet long!) and decided they just couldn’t do without this once-in-a-lifetime purchase. And so the buying process began…

Here’s a snippet from that serendipitous moment:

This beautiful Portuguese table did finally make to Austin, TX, into our gallery (as did it’s sister table  – the other long table you see in the clip above) and it stops people in their tracks. It’s spectacular and gorgeous and we’re pleased to share it with you. Enjoy!

Posted by Jean-Marc Fray French Antiques at 07:31:00 PM
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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A History of French Styles: Art Deco

Art Deco – 1920 to 1940

Stunning French Art Deco Center Table in Rosewood

The Art Deco style began in Paris in the 1920s and soon spread internationally, through architecture, interior design, fashion, film, and more. It is a simplification of the Art Nouveau style that came before it. Forms are sophisticated and feature strong geometric designs.

French Art Deco figured walnut buffet with French polish


Exotic woods such as rosewood, teak, and mahogany were used. Many materials were used for detail, such as veneers, lacquers and high French polish, plastic, Lucite and metal.

French Art Deco rosewood side table with clean lines and French polish

As a distinct break from the organic forms of Art Nouveau, the clean lines of Art Deco period furniture lends itself to integration with other, earlier styles – such as Louis Philippe or Louis XVI.

French Art Deco brass coffee table

Chairs of this period lean towards the Directoire or Restoration styles, with comfortable, deep seats, upholstered in fabrics or leather, sometimes entirely, as was often the case for the quintessential Art Deco piece – the Club Chair.

Superb French Art Deco leather club chairs

Tables are round, oval, or rectangular and many new table forms come into being such as the coffee table, tea table, and other small side tables.

French Art Deco coffee table

Click here to see examples of Art Deco style furniture in our inventory.

Posted by Jean-Marc Fray French Antiques at 08:39:00 PM
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Monday, June 06, 2011

Summer Design Trends: Retro Lounge Style

The third in our Summer Design Trends series is Retro Lounge Style. Spurred by the popular television show Mad Men, and coupled with the popularity of all things mid-century modern, the mid-century style lounge is IN this summer.

Mid-century modern furniture was made to be functional and easy to live with. Pieces of the 1950s and 1960s are comfortable, optimistic, and modern. They have clean lines and interesting angles. The comfort and fun in these vintage pieces make them the perfect pick for summer!

50s style Parisian apartment by designer Jean-Cristophe Aumas

Make the trend:

Get the look:

1 French vintage chrome & glass coffee table 2 Italian vintage Murano glass lamps 3 Spanish gold-leafed sunburst mirror 4 Italian vintage leather armchairs 5 French Modernist Vintage Desk 6 French Modernist ebonized oak gueridon 7 French Modernist gilt brass nesting tables 8 French vintage dining chairs (set of 6)

Keep your eyes open in the weeks to come – we’ll be bringing in more mid-century modern furniture in our newest shipment! So make sure to check out our New Arrivals for the latest in vintage and antiques!

Posted by Jean-Marc Fray French Antiques at 07:12:00 PM
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