Friday Finds: A Look Back at the Archives

Caramoor AD 1

A few weeks ago we started a new series called Friday Finds where we take a look back at the archives to learn more about the pieces in our collection.  It is a great way to put a piece in context by showing how it has been represented historically in other print sources.

The Lazcano Palace Scarlet Japanned Armchairs by Giles Grendey Mackinnon Fine Furniture Collection

The Lazcano Palace Scarlet Japanned Armchairs by Giles Grendey
Mackinnon Fine Furniture Collection

Today we are focusing on the Lazcano Palace suite of red japanned furniture by Giles Grendey.  We have looked at this suite before in a post here.

Lazcano Palace

Lazcano Palace showing the suite of scarlet japanned furniture

The pair of armchairs and side chairs in our collection were part of a suite of at least seventy seven pieces from Lazcano Palace in Spain.  In 1930, the German dealer Adolph Loewi (1888-1977) visited Lazcano Palace and acquired a great deal of the japanned suite, including fifty side chairs, twelve armchairs, two daybeds, two pairs of mirrors, a pair of candlestands, a card table, and a tripod tea table.  His ‘traveling stock-book’ records, ‘8152—24 chairs; 8153—6 arm-chairs; 8154—2 chaise-longues; 8155—1 mirror, 8156—1 small mirror; 8157—2 gueridons; 8158—1 game-table; 8159—1 tray [table].’

The Lazcano Palace Scarlet Japanned Armchairs by Giles Grendey Mackinnon Fine Furniture Collection

The Lazcano Palace Scarlet Japanned Armchairs by Giles Grendey
Mackinnon Fine Furniture Collection

From his shops in Venice at the Palazzo Nani-Mocenigo and later in New York City, Loewi sold the collection to distinguished clients internationally.  One of his greatest patrons was Walter Tower Rosen (1875-1951), an avid art collector.  Rosen and his wife, Lucie, travelled each September to Venice and during one of their trips they met Loewi and acquired twenty-four side chairs, four armchairs, and two mirrors for their Caramoor estate in Katonah, New York.  William Rieder, former curator of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, once commented, ‘Caramoor’s Rosen House is really the most wonderful place…I was amazed by what is there, and what is unknown to the art world.’

The pieces from the Rosen collection have since been dispersed beginning in the early 1980s.  When the Rosens sold eight side chairs at Christie’s in 1980, The International Art Market published a piece entitled ‘Thoughts on the Art Market: The $290,000 Scarlet Lacquer Chairs.’  In total, the chairs achieved a price of $319,000 including premium and sold to George Levy of the Harold Blairman Gallery.

The Lazcano Palace Scarlet Japanned Armchairs by Giles Grendey Mackinnon Fine Furniture Collection

The Lazcano Palace Scarlet Japanned Armchairs by Giles Grendey
Mackinnon Fine Furniture Collection

The present pair of armchairs is one of the two pairs from the Rosen collection that is illustrated in situ in their dining room at Caramoor.

Today we are sharing images of the chairs as they appeared in an Architectural Digest article on Caramoor and the Rosen art collection entitled ‘Historic Houses: Treasures of Caramoor.’  The dining room and the suite of chairs from the Lazcano Palace suite are shown on p. 60.

Caramoor AD 2

Caramoor AD 3

Caramoor AD 4

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