Last night we were invited to a cocktail at the antique dealer Carlton Hobbs new location at the Virginia Fair Vanderbilt House on 93rd street. It was a beautiful evening with the elite in New Yorks antique world. I had the pleasure to speak to both Stephaine Rinza, the managing director and Mr Hobbs himself. Both lovely people and extremely knowledgable.
Virginia Graham Fair Vanderbilt purchased three houses on East 93rd Street in 1930 – Nos. 60 to 64 to build her a new home. The architect John Russell Pope designed a 50-room limestone palais in a Louis XV-style. The entrance was a lofty arched doorway, placed to the side above a small flight of steps. A steep slate mansard roof was protected by a stone balustrade and high, narrow stone chimneys thrust upward on one side. There was a 20-foot by 57-foot private garden in which to escape on warm afternoons or evenings. To keep Mrs Vanderbilt and her guests separate from the staff, Pope designed the house as two separate sections: the main house rose three stories with 15-foot ceilings in some areas. The ceilings in the servants’ areas were significantly lower, allowing for seven stories within the same height. Doors between the two sections were padded and there were separate elevators and staircases so servants and gentry had no reason to meet unnecessarily.
Four English and French 18th Century paneled rooms were installed, antique parquet flooring was imported for the third floor, and the gilt hardware for the doors was hand-made by Bricard in Paris. The limestone for the façade was imported from France from the same quarry used for the Loew house next door. The stones were shipped finished, to be assembled on site. Only the finest materials were used. The painted paneling in the reception hall, for instance, was of mahogany to withstand the torture of the New York climate in the days before temperature and humidity control.
Birdie Vanderbilt entertained from the East 93rd Street house; often combining her many philanthropists with her social obligations. In 1935 Virginia Fair Vanderbilt died in her home from pneumonia, leaving an estate of nearly $7 million. The house was bought by Bryan C. Foy and his wife, Thelma. Thelma who was the daughter of the carmaker Walter Chrysler filled the mansion with French furniture, bronzes and artwork. Her dining room table gleamed with an extensive set of antique Louis XV tableware. Mrs Foy died in 1957.
The house has since had a few different owners such as the Romanian Mission to the United Nations and the French school, Lycee Francaise de New York.
In 2002 Carlton Hobbs purchased the mansion and had it go through a long renovation. Stephanie Rinza tells that “nothing was lost”. Each wall and window frame was scraped down to discern the original colors. Approximately half of the Bricard door fixtures had to be replicated, and cracked limestone blocks in the facade were replicated with stone from the original French quarries. Sixty workers toiled on the project. The thorough restoration was at times like an archeological dig. On the back of the carved paneling in the staircase hall were French inscriptions from the manufacturer. Evidence of French doors that once looked out onto the side entrance hall were discovered, as was an unfinished door behind a wall in a French-paneled upstairs bath.
Having preserved the mansions interior with such finesse you can only imagine the glamourous atmosphere Carlton Hobbs has created. The beautiful rooms are delicately designed with high-end antiques from around the world. Only the best of the best is being presented.
Carlton Hobbs website: http://www.carltonhobbs.com/
Last week we hosted the book signing for Swedish Antiques in Modern Settings during New York Design Center’s annual event Whats New Whats Next. It was a lovely evening with many new faces and old friends in the interior design community. Karin Laserow signed books for a long line of clients who had been waiting patiently to get their copy of the limited pre-view edition signed.
This week the book will be presented at Antiques, Art & Design at the Armory Show by the prestigious book store: Potterton Books http://www.pottertonbooksusa.com/ny/index.php. Check in for more information!
Finally!! Swedish Antiques in Modern Settings has now arrived in English. The cover is slightly different but the inside is exactly the same – Equally beautiful that is!
Visit our showroom on Thursday the 13th to get your copy signed. Karin Laserow will be here between 3.30 pm and 5.30 pm. We look forward to seeing you.
To order a book or RSVP for Thursday email us at: Info@laserowantiques.com
Today I did something I have NEVER done before. My mother is a veteran…Giving a lecture in Swedish antiques. I was NERVOUS. I prepared and prepared. Rehearsed even on the subway, people must have thought I was crazy. So today I held the introduction, to a series of lectures that will cover Sweden’s furniture history from 1650 to 1850, for a pretty prestigious company within the antique world. It was so much fun!!! I actually cant wait to hold the next lecture that will focus on the Baroque Period.
The 13th of September the annual event Whats New Whats Next will be held at New York Design Center. All of the showrooms will show their lastest products, fabrics and furniture. The day starts at 3pm and ends at 9pm – 6 hours full of interesting lectures with guest speakers such as Michael Boodro, Editor in Chief of Elle Decor.
The MOST important venue to visit is of course Laserow Antiques in showroom 408!! We will finally have the English version (a limited supply only) of the book and Karin Laserow herself will be there to sign YOUR COPY.
If you have ever wondered how to distinguish newly produced products from antiques? Visit Laserow Antiques to meet founder Karin Laserow and preview her book of Swedish antiques placed in modern settings from 3:30-5:30pm in Suite 408.
RSVP with your name and number of guests to Info@laserowantiques.com