08 April 2010

Auction Spotlight: Jayne Wrightsman's London Duplex

You can imagine my heart skipped a beat when I first heard about this upcoming sale. "Simmer down," my in-the-know friend told me. "It's not the Important Stuff." As I'm not in the market for a BVRB III lacquer commode or Marie Antoinette's letter opener, this information did nothing to dampen my anticipation.

Don't miss the 18th century dog bed in front of the fireplace

For as you all know, Jayne - whom most of us have already fetishized for her exquisite eye - worked with the illustrious decorating firm Jansen, who in its day was pretty much synonymous with "impeccable taste". The collaboration of these powerhouse aesthetes is unquestionably one that deserves to be studied and one that yields many lessons and ideas, from furniture plans to passementerie.
Like an ormolu-mounted Blue John urn brimming with peacock feathers, a look that could be replicated albeit with a more humble receptacle...

While the house itself has been emptied and the contents warehoused stateside, these lovely photographs by Fritz von der Schulenberg give us a peek into the Jayne-Jansen magic.

And for my china-smitten friends....

If we were invited over chez Jayne to fete some visiting dignitary, Meissen "Fliegender Hund", lot 195 $20-30,000, might enliven our place setting for dinner...
with less is so much more Sevres white and gilt porcelain for dessert, lot 199, $2 - 3,000

But for an intimate ladies lunch with just you, Jayne and Jackie,
your coq au vin might be served on these charming Dior plates, lot 202 $1,500-2000

Click here to browse Sotheby's e-catalogue or purchase the print version to see more delectable interior images.