Thursday, May 22, 2008


1st dibs has a nice little feature on Chinoiseries, the stunning book by Bernd Dams and Andrew Zega.
It reminded me of the story I pulled from a vintage House & Garden, December 1988 on Frederick the Great's country retreat.  Not having the budget of Louis XIV, Sanssouci is on a much smaller scale and is modeled on Grand Trianon and not Versailles.

These images are of the tea house.  Life sized gilded figures surround the palm tree columns.  I'm completely enchanted by the tassels hanging from the roof line.

A hearty figure crowns the building, carefully shielded from the elements by his smart parasol.

The library in the main house is a circular, domed room outfitted with built-in bookcases.

The bas-relief monkey adorns the walls of "Voltaire's room" where the philosopher lived for three years.  Martin Filler, the article's author, notes that Voltaire might have been, "the king's most important French acquisition."  His quarters certainly capture the spirit of his homestead's name, which translates as "without care."  The entire room was decorated with carved and painted flora and fauna.  Too bad writers are no longer considered collectable.  This wouldn't be a bad spot to be a resident blogger. 

Photographs, Erich Lessing.


pve design said...


Mrs. Blandings said...

Patricia - I know.

Be the change..... said...

I visited Sanssouci and LOVED it back as a high school student. I've had a mild obsession with it since (even collecting the china named for it!). I blogged about the palace awhile back and if you're interested you can check it out at

Mrs. Blandings said...

Pretty sophisticated taste for a high schooler - I'm impressed. I'm clicking over right now. Thanks for the link.

Anonymous said...

what cool stuff! i just found another article about Mr. Zega and Mr. Dam if anybody is curious about them:

Style Court said...

Great connection Patricia!

I think the library is so amazing. You should check out the new exhibition "Chinese Whispers" on the Brighton Pavilion website :)

Topsy Turvy said...

Wow ... gorgeous!