This week, New York's tireless design editor, Wendy Goodman, headed uptown for some old-school finds: At antiques dealer Carlton Hobbs's, she found gilt-and-stone tables from the European Renaissance (plus one twentieth-century surprise). Then it was off to meet with the son of famed fabric designer D.D. Tillett, whose treasures are being unearthed and readied for their return to retail.
Carlton Hobbs's tabletop show
This week's hunt led to the amazing uptown mansion where the art-and-furniture dealer Carlton Hobbs shows his incredible collections. Right now, he and his partner, Stefanie Rinza, are having a show called "On Tops," featuring tabletops from European Renaissance workshops. Here's the gallery room upstairs; the room's beautiful proportions allow you to explore not just the furniture, but the space itself.
The show included this trompe l'oeil tabletop depicting book pages. It's Italian, from the second quarter of the nineteenth century.
The hunter's table
Another tabletop: This detail of a hunting scene hails from mid-seventeenth-century Munich.
I should note that the mansion was the Lycee Francais school before Hobbs purchased it and restored it to its original grandeur. This is what would've been the ballroom. It's a perfect setting for his high-end furniture! The table in the foreground is a giltwood neoclassical side table with inlaid volcanic stones (Italian, last quarter of the eighteenth century).
This table is giltwood and gilt composition with a painted-glass top. It's English, from 1850.
Henry Moore table
Designed by Henry Moore for his own house, it was such a surprise to see this twentieth-century piece -- made of travertine -- amid all the elaborate Renaissance work.
Seth Tillett's studio
Further uptown on Manhattan Avenue is a townhouse belonging to Seth Tillett, son of the late artist and fabric designer D.D. Tillett, whose clientele included the likes of Jackie O and Babe Paley. Seth is opening a showroom of Tillett fabrics where you can place orders. This original Tillett fabric with bees and hives demonstrates a very rarefied way of dealing with color and pattern. It's beautiful.
D.D. Tillett's photos
Seth had this great contact sheet of D.D.'s pictures from Mexico. It's a lovely archive of her life; the nature that surrounded her inspired her work.
D.D. Tillett's jewelry
I didn't know until my visit that D.D. made jewelry -- her creativity extended way beyond just fabric. She never sold these pieces and they were just discovered recently.
Colorful fish-print fabric
As you can see from this fish-print fabric, D.D.'s textiles were very special and unique, and a little offbeat.
Another fish print, this one for a square tablecloth.
An Irving Penn original
This original portrait of D.D. and her husband, Leslie, was taken by Irving Penn. It was damaged in a fire, but you can still see Penn's signature.
Tiny treasure box
D.D. designed and made this little box out of horn while in Mexico. Seth found it while cleaning out her townhouse after she passed away.
Strawberry voile dress
This original D.D. Tillett print was used in a dress that she designed and wore. It's very much like what you would've found in her old Upper East Side boutique.
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