The Mother of All Secretaries
Ever since Katie DID suggested using an antique secretary in a bedroom, I've noticed them everywhere. This opulent piece belongs to Ann Getty and it makes Ivanka's look minimal.
Getty's Pacific Heights home is overflowing with serious antiques that formerly resided in venerable English houses like Badminton and Ditchley. Her baroque lacquered secretary was made for a Medici pope, according to Diane Dorrans Saeks in San Francisco Style. (Chronicle Books, 2004.)
To be honest, even using a magnifying glass, it's hard to tell from the book's image if the painted scenes on the cabinet depict Western or Far Eastern themes. But 17th and 18th century chinoiserie furnishings were often decorated with a poetic mish-mash of elements from both sides of the globe. If it is an Italian-made piece, that makes sense because Italian interpretations of chinoiserie were among the most flamboyant. (Lately scholars have become more interested in the actual narratives on lacquered furniture, so that adds another interesting dimension here too.)
For me the appeal of this image is the juxtaposition of the rich warm red against the cool green-blue of the Chinese wallpaper -- and the pattern on pattern. One red piece in a room really is a time-tested look. (I just can't remember which famous decorator first said that!)
Photo copyright, David Duncan Livingston