Life at № 42 by E.M. Coutinho
A more light-hearted post since whenever one turns on the television all we hear are terrible things – so I give you some beautiful things:
I found this great little console d’applique (that just means it’s a console that hangs from the wall) in iron for the landing upstairs. It’s from the 1940’s and goes beautifully with the staircase. We got it for a fantastic price on Selency which is sort of like eBay was in the old days, with mostly vintage and antique items for the home. Without the large Madonna that went to live in California the space felt empty, so I decided to move things around. A bronze bust that was in storage has come out to join us; it’s by a Latin American artist.
I also got some very fun, borderline kitsch, 1970’s crystal wine goblets. Every day I use a different colour. Mike was also using them but he lost his crystal-use privileges for behaving carelessly.
On the work side of things, it’s been an amusing time. An exceptional 19th century painting is here for a little while. It’s titled Time Defeated by Beauty, Love and Hope, follower of Simon Vouet. The original is in the Prado and was painted in 1627. Our version is magnificently painted but much later. I’ve nicknamed it Killing Time.
Also in work this month: a glorious hardstone miniature with ruby eyes, probably from Idar-Oberstein, in the manner of Fabergé. Those who know me know I have a weak spot for Fabergé animals. We’ve been lucky enough to handle (the purchase then sale of) three over the years. The fox was the rarest, also a chick and a cat. Unfortunately none of the really spectacular pieces (yet!) like this griffon or this kangaroo. If I were wealthy, I’d collect them.
And, of course, let’s not forget the religious pieces which are my specialty. This month I’ll be selling a piece coming from Southern Spain, having belonged to a fraternal order in Malaga. An Our Lady of Carmen (Mt. Carmel), with period velvet vestments embroidered in gold thread and sterling silver crown. Btw, I’ve done business recently with the Ares gallery in Madrid, if you happen to be interested in very high end religious art, they have a truly exceptional selection.
Finally, also in the good news area, our niece in Bristol (UK) is buying her first home. She’s saved for a good deposit, so we decided to give her a little financial push which she can either add to her deposit or use to furnish the place. Rent isn’t cheap in those parts, so putting money towards a mortgage is better for her in the long run.
Otherwise, all is well. We remain mostly confined, shopping once per week. Maya is making good progress, slow and steady. Her favourite part of the day is walk time by the river. At home her favourite spot is still next to Mike on the red sofa.