Friday, March 25, 2011

Chateau de Blois...

There are two magazines I cannot do without...World of Interiors and Antiquariato.

Antiquariato is an Italian publication I discovered over a decade ago. The February issue has a wonderful article on "Il Castello di Blois" or, the Chateau de Blois .

Andrea Lapi photo

Home to several kings, the chateau is a series of buildings constructed from the 13th to the 17th c.

It has 100 bedrooms ( this one being the King's with Henry IV's "H" in the floor tiles)

V come Viaggiare photo

Wikipedia states it" has 564 rooms and 75 staircases although only 23 were used frequently".

7 kings and 10 queens resided in the chateau.

Joan of Arc came here to have her banner blessed.

The salamander, a symbol of Francois l, is predominant in the chateau.


The chateau was reduced to being barracks during the French Revolution but in 1840 it was classified a national historical monument and is now a museum.  If you want to see more detailed photos of the grounds and interiors of the chateau, click here and here.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Bling...Ponte Vecchio style

Micro mosaic jewelry is a weakness of mine...when in Florence last week, I found some lovely examples on the Ponte Vecchio.

The shop of Bernardo Antichita stands out as one of the best sources for estate and antique jewelry on the bridge.

Don't get me wrong, there is a lot of fabulous jewelry in other areas as well!

But, the Ponte Vecchio offers door to door rare pieces just tempting you through those glass walls...

Price points are usually well out of my range, but one can usually find a unique piece to call your own.

Bernardo Antichita captures my heart completely with his window displays.

Those lovely green moire displays offsetting some of the best antique jewelry I have ever seen.

I love the sprinkling of coral counterbalancing that incredible cuff.

...a carved coconut flask., some early roman glass....all perfect additions to a curiosity cabinet!

He does have a wonderful website where all of these items may be purchased...just browsing on line is a treat in itself! ...he accepts paypal..!!!

Monday, March 14, 2011


Carnevale... confetti.....costumes....vintage must be Venice!

I was fortunate enough to be there last week on the last day of Carnavale.  I rode the vaporetto to S. Angelo to visit the showrooms of Rubelli.

Rubelli is located in the 15thc Palazzo Corner Spinelli and houses some of the most historically important textiles from the 15thc forward.

Over 100 years old, Rubelli draws its inspiration from things around them...lace from Burano, frescoed walls and ornamental ceilings.

Tea Time

Rubelli works with silks, cottons, linens and wools to produce fresh interpretations of old themes along with faithful reproductions of  jacquards and damasks associated with Venice.


Handed down for five generations, ancient techniques are still used to produce the detailed designs that continue to be referenced by other major textile companies.


Striving for authentic textiles , in 2004  Rubelli reassembled hand looms from the 18th and 19th centuries to produce sopraizzi,-the labor intensive hand made velvet. In 1928, they provided the sporaizzi woven with pure gold for the carriages of the royal train.


In 2003, Rubelli was instrumental in the restoration of La Fenice after the 1996 fire. Their fabrics have also been used in La Scala in Milan and the Doges Palace in Venice.

Their historic archives house over 6000 textile records. Select pieces are rotated for viewing by their clients.

The archives are housed in a lavish 15th c room facing the grand canal where the gilded doors and ceiling catch the reflections of the water in the canal.

Isabella Campagnol , curator of the museum, was gracious enough to show me many pieces of the collection including  some of the liturgical work. The museum is an unmatched source for reconstruction of ancient textiles worldwide.

Rubelli is synonymous with the beauty of Venice. They have remained dedicated to continuing a tradition that can only be described as a pure art form. I will never forget my visit and the hospitality of the staff.

Special thanks to Albarosa Simonetti who first introduced me to Rubelli . link here.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Look Up...

I am in Italy this week so posting my blog a little late......

There is so much to see at ground level.....

and so much more if you look up!

There is beauty in the smallest details.....

I promise to post more photos from "looking up" when I return!

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