Cartier II – MARJORIE MERRIWEATHER POST

CARTIER: MARJORIE MERRIWEATHER POST’S DAZZLING GEMS, Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens, Washington DC, until December 31, 2014

Portrait of Marjorie Merriweather Post, 1946 Frank O. Salisbury England Post wears Cartier diamond and sapphire Art Deco necklace  Courtesy Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens

Portrait of Marjorie Merriweather Post, 1946
Frank O. Salisbury
England
Post wears Cartier diamond and sapphire Art Deco necklace
Courtesy Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens

Although there are two factors that suggest that I should not write about this – one the distance from London and two the fact that it is nearly over – I will still mention it in association with my Cartier book review.

Necklace, 1936/1937 Centerpiece by Cartier, New York Sapphires, diamonds, platinum Courtesy Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens

Necklace, 1936/1937
Centerpiece by Cartier, New York
Sapphires, diamonds, platinum
Courtesy Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens

While many of you will know of Mrs Post’s collections of French and Russian decorative arts (the latter is considered the best outside of Russia) she was also a serious collector of jewellery of the highest quality and ranks among the great American Cartier patrons. This exhibition which combines Hillwood’s own holdings of her jewellery and some of the jewellery she donated to the Smithsonian in 1964 reflects her taste and style. Among the loans is the Maximilian Emerald ring, named after the ill-fated Mexican Emperor, which she wore when presented at the English Royal court in 1929. She also had a French carpet that belonged to the Emperor in her Hillwood dining room.

Photograph of Marjorie Post taken at the time of her presentation of the Court of St. James’s in 1929. Courtesy Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens

Photograph of Marjorie Post taken at the time of her presentation of the Court of St. James’s in 1929.
Courtesy Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens

Nor were her Cartier purchases and commissions restricted to jewellery as she ordered frames in enamel, agate and onyx, sometimes adorned with semi-precious stones which were specially designed to complement the intended image they were to contain. Gem-set gold vanity cases and an extensive silver and enamel dressing table set were among her other purchases.

Compact and Lipstick Case, ca. 1920 Cartier, New York Gold, enamel, lapis lazuli, diamonds This Cartier piece serves both practical and decorative purposes. The lipstick case and compact are both enameled in black and white with lapis lazuli and diamond accents. Each component suspends from enameled chains that attach to a gold ring. The interior of the compact is fitted with a mirror and also has a small compartment for coins. The ring to which the compact and lipstick case are attached can be slipped onto a finger so that the items can also be worn as an accessory. Courtesy Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens

Compact and Lipstick Case, ca. 1920
Cartier, New York
Gold, enamel, lapis lazuli, diamonds
This Cartier piece serves both practical and decorative purposes. The lipstick case and compact are both enameled in black and white with lapis lazuli and diamond accents. Each component suspends from enameled chains that attach to a gold ring. The interior of the compact is fitted with a mirror and also has a small compartment for coins. The ring to which the compact and lipstick case are attached can be slipped onto a finger so that the items can also be worn as an accessory.
Courtesy Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens

Although the exhibition ends soon some of her jewellery is displayed in Hillwood; a house that perfectly reflects her interests and style and should be a must see place for any visitor to Washington DC.

Frames with Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna and Grand Duchess Tatiana Nikolaevna, ca. 1910 Cartier frame Gold, silver, enamel, ivory Courtesy Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens

Frames with Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna and Grand Duchess Tatiana Nikolaevna, ca. 1910
Cartier frame
Gold, silver, enamel, ivory
Courtesy Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens

http://www.HillwoodMuseum.org

Arbiters of Style, Christie’s New York, 8 October 2013

Arbiters of Style: The Collection of Anthony Hail & Charles Posey

Christie’s, New York, Rockefeller Plaza, 8 October 2013

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I first came across the noted interior designer Anthony Hail in the late 1960s in a magazine which showed his San Francisco apartment.  It fascinated me with its mixture of French and Baltic period furniture, the objects and chandeliers and the use of architectural prints on the walls.  To me, it had a combination of light and elegance, traditional yet modern in feel.

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Now, 40 plus years later, Christie’s is auctioning this timeless, eclectic collection from the home of Anthony Hail and his partner Charles Posey in New York on October 8th.  I have little doubt that this will be a very popular auction with many collectors and designers bidding for items such as the Russian chandelier, formerly owned by Marjorie Merriweather Post, Chinese porcelain, oil paintings or the 1st century Roman marble herm.

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Looking through the catalogue I still get the same sense of excitement I got when I first encountered the work of Anthony Hail, but I will be sensible and leave the last words to David Hicks, who like Capote and Andy Warhol, was entertained by him in his home.

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One of the most enchanting small apartments I know was created by Anthony Hail ten years ago in San Francisco.…What was so special about this room was the utter simplicity of no colour, the quality of the few pieces of furniture, and the total lack of pretentiousness. The rarity of the few decorative objects gave this an almost sanctuary-like atmosphere, particularly rare at that time. It was in strict contrast to all other decoration in America then.

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http://www.christies.com

Images courtesy of Christie’s