Wednesday, 18 May 2016

The Wallace Collection London: Everything Else

I'll say it for you: finally the last instalment! Between working full-time which mentally leaves me out of tune, reading a book that's beyond my comfort zone that's turning out to be like a short course as it's a subject I'm clueless about, and trying to have a life, I finally found the time again to put together the remaining photos from my visit to the Hertford House which was almost a month ago. 

The grand staircase balustrade is made of wrought iron and gilt brass. Originally installed between 1719 and 1720 on the front straircase of the Banque Royale Paris which eventually became Bibliotheque Nationale, it was removed between 1868 and 1874 and installed in Hertford House in 1874 by the Parisian firm Geslin.

A chest of drawers attributed to Andre-Charles Boulle, c. 1710. The fanciest toilet mirror is also attributed to Boulle's marquetry. Part of a toilet service for the duchesse de Berry, daughter of Philippe d'Orleans (later Regent of France), c. 1713.

Copy of the writing-table made for the Elector of Bavaria, c. 1854 to  1857

I've not been a big fan of marble surfaces since moving to the UK as I find that they look out of place in small flats with wooden floors that creak and shake when lorries delivering pallets drive past. And yes, marbles remind me of mausoleums (and Catholic churches). Which reminds me of pretentious and forced restraint. And coldness. And death. Apologies for the reference if you love marble worktops and tables.

The one in the photos though is more like a painting laid out on a console table. The outer border is made of Portoro or Marble of Portovenere which is mainly found in the province of La Spezia in the Liguria region of Northern Italy. I find that black marble exudes elegance more than its cream or white counterpart.

I particularly loved the sculptured detail of this table leg. I'm quite surprised that it's the one feature I don't have any information on. The delicate intricacy is stunning, and while I'm not partial to anthropomorphic figures in furniture and home decor, these works of art are an occasional testament to those times when minimalist was unheard of. I favour the latter style, but would love to stay in accommodations where I'm surrounded by such luxury and opulence. That's why I call it a holiday: I pay a visit to aspirational surroundings that sensually stimulate my penchant for beautiful things that don't have a room in my daily life.

If you missed the rest of this series of posts, please click HERE for a view of some of the galleries and rooms, HERE for the rest of the exhibition galleries at Hertford House, HERE for porcelain and crystal pieces inside the mansion, and HERE for some paintings, sculpture, and other objects of curiosity from The Wallace Collection.

Thank you for looking!


  1. Thanks for sharing. No worries, I wasn't offended, haha. I actually like marble, not for everything, but it certainly has it's place in design and decor. The intricacies of the table leg is a marvel, very striking. :) I hope you're doing well, Marj. Wishing you a lovely week. x/M

  2. The Wallace collection surely deserves a visit! I must remember to go there next time I will be in London...
    Your beautiful photos show stunning details!
    I am not a fan of marble at home either, but those pieces are great!


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