Did you Know

Italian Micromosaic Table

The Mosaics of St. Peter's Basilica

”…the result is worth all the trouble because, while the picture may deteriorate, the mosaic lasts throughout the ages with its beauty unimpaired." Did you know the imposing church located in the heart of Rome, the building synonymous with the Vatican, is not the original… Read More »

St. Patrick: Iconic Cleric and Driver of Snakes?

It’s a common misconception that St. Patrick drove all snakes from Ireland. In fact, it would have been impossible for the iconic cleric to banish snakes from Ireland since there are no species of snakes native to the Emerald Isle. Due to its unfavorable climate and isolation from other… Read More »
This captivating brooch combines revered jade and precious gemstones to form a juicy peach

Bats and Peaches in Chinese Symbolism

In China, both bats and peaches are considered fortunate, and are often seen in artwork, furniture, clothing, jewelry and housewares. Bats are seen as benevolent because “fu,” the character for “bat,” is also the character for “good luck.” What’s… Read More »
Japanese Lacquer Document Box and Cover

The Art of Lacquering

The art of lacquering is one of the most labor intensive art forms in the world. Raw lacquer must be applied slowly and with great care, and each coat must be fully dry before the next one can be applied. Read More »
Girl in a Green Coat by Berthe Morisot

First Female Impressionist?

Berthe Morisot was the grand-niece of the renowned Rococo painter Jean-Honore Fragonard. She was also the only woman to exhibit with the French Impressionists at their first show in 1874 at the gallery of the photographer Felix Nadar. Edouard Manet painted more portraits of Morisot than… Read More »
Egyptian Masks

Egyptian Masks

Beginning in the 4th Dynasty, attempts were made to stiffen and mold the outer layer of linen mummification bandages to cover the faces of the deceased, and to empathize prominent facial features in paint. This fragile material was especially favored for creating masks and other… Read More »


Named from the Old French word "estuier," meaning "to keep or hold," an étui is a very versatile item. These ornamental cases could be made of any material, from precious metals like gold or silver, to exotic materials such as tortoiseshell or shargreen, or shark's skin. Though many were… Read More »


Enamel is not paint. It is actually a thin coat of glass applied to a metal which melts and becomes fused to the metal when heated. Careful consideration to melting point must be made when pairing enamels to metals, which traditionally were gold, silver and copper. The piece must be fired… Read More »
Oyster Veneer

Oyster Veneer

The sophisticated use of oyster veneer was a striking innovation that William III brought to English furniture from Holland at the end of the 17th century. In this process, paper-thin cross sections cut from the roots and small branches of trees, their concentric rings resembling oyster… Read More »
Davenport Desk

Davenport Desks

Originating in the 1790s, Davenport desks were first made by the renowned Gillows of Lancaster and London cabinetmakers at the request of a Captain Davenport. They were produced in all stylistic varieties of the period, but Regency versions are some of the most sought-after by collectors.… Read More »