February 12, 2012

Michael Devine Ltd. strives to create beautiful products that are unique and always handmade. Using the best artisans in both the USA and France, every yard of fabric or piece of china is carefully crafted and made to order.

A Royal Day

There is nothing like a visit to the Chateau de Versailles. I think I have been there about a hundred times and every time I go it is as amazing as my first visit. I am really lucky to have a good friend from school who is very connected to the chateau. He also happens to be an expert on 18th century decorative arts and architecture. Each visit to the chateau with him, he just says a few words to the guards and the doors open, no lines, no crowds, ever. So when he suggested a visit to the Kings private apartments a couple of weeks ago I jumped at the chance.  

The staircase, bathed in afternoon sunlight, to the private apartments of the king. One of the things that I really liked about the rooms, besides the decor, was the size.They are a much more intimate scale than the vast and impressive state rooms.
 The Kings Bedroom had just been restored in early January to the period of Louis XVI. 
  This is a shot of the new fabric used on the walls and curtains. 

 A detail of the under curtain trim.

 I have always loved this library designed by Gabriel.

 In particular the Sevres porcelain figures on the Riensener table. 

This desk designed for Louis XV has fascinated me for years. Its the first ever rolled top desk and looks nothing like the 19th century oak ones that one sees at flea markets. Amazing what some gilt bronze and marquetry can do for a piece. 

The Cabinet de la Pendule. The copper strip in the floor represents the Paris Meridian. In its day it was where the King would have gaming parties. 

This Sevres punchbowl has just been returned to the palace after being found in Texas. It is part of a much larger service designed for Madame de Pompadour in this glorious “bleu celeste” color.