Saturday, November 12, 2011

Holiday Shopping Guide--For the Boudoir

"Because every woman treasures the hours she spends at her dressing table...

Because every woman wants her dressing table to be smartly luxurious...But practical, too...

Because Du Pont asked noted artists to design correct accessories for every style of boudoir...

And because they are priced so reasonably despite their perfect craftsmanship and authentic style...

Make someone (how about yourself) very happy with one of these modern ensembles."

From 1930 Good Housekeeping:

Monticello [top] in Continental Blue, Buff and Gold, or Colonial Rose and Silver effects. $15 to $30 (depending on articles selected). [Today's prices: $180-$360!!!]

Trianon--In Spring time Green or in Peach Antoinette. $16.00 to $33.50 (depending on number of articles selected). [$192-$402!!!]

Sonya--Pearl-on-Amber Pyralin in Jade, Rose, Maize or White. $12.50 to $25.00 (depending on number of articles selected). [$150-$300!!!]

Madelon--Obtainable inJade, Rose, Maize or White. Pearl on Amber Pyralin. $10.00 to $20.00 (depending on number of items selected). [$120-$240!!!]

Wow! Were these really affordable by too many people in 1930? No wonder my 83-year-old mother always thought "a nice brush set" made a good gift. These are so cheap and taken for granted today, we don't realize that once upon a time, these were true luxury items. Also, of course, you still see these around (again, check Ebay and Etsy!). They've lasted for a very long time, and most of them are stunningly beautiful.

These sets include nail buffers and files, combs, brushes, mirrors, boxes, scissors, and button hooks. Rarely today can you find matched sets of "boudoir" items, and I don't know why we stopped doing that. When you have a set of something, it all seems far less disposible, doesn't it? And you also feel less inclined to hide it all away...there is an aesthetic value to it. I can't really say that about my modern brushes and nail clippers!

And here's page 2:

To help in shopping, there is a guide to taste:

"...for her whose boudoir suggests the Early American  period. Monticello, named after Jefferson's home in Virginia, is the ideal pattern."

" admirer of the Louis Quatorze period will prize the Trianon ensemble, with its delicate scroll of bell flowers, so beloved by Marie Antoinette."

"...the woman whose boudoir is furnished in the contemporary manner will perhaps prefer Sonya, so modern in shape adn so classically chaste in design."

"...the girl who wishes to add a touch of brilliance to her room will appreciate Madelon in flashing pearl-on-amber, with four beautiful pastel shades from which to choose."

Sigh... it all sounds so romantic, doesn't it?

The ad gives some "famous artist" names as designers of these lovely sets. A little research turns up some really interesting information.

Verna Cook Salomonsky, according to this site was a well-respected architect. She wsa born Verna Cook Shipway October 19, 1890, in Spokane, Washington. She attended the Ecole Speciale d'Architecture in Paris and the School of Architecture at Columbia University, where she met and married Edgar Salomonsky, also a student of architecture. Together they opened an architectural firm in 1920. When Edgar died in 1929, Verna continued to run the business on her own, specializing in Georgian, colonial and English style homes. She published a study of American furniture entitled Masterpieces of Furniture Design (1931).

Shipway designed homes built in numerous New York suburbs including Berkley and Scarsdale. In 1936, she was selected to design the first "Ideal House" for HOUSE AND GARDEN. In 1939, Shipway designed a model home for the New York World's Fair that was practical and affordable for the American family in the suburbs. Her home designs featured abundant closet space, natural light, circular staircases, bay windows, large hallways, and light-colored walls to make rooms appear larger.

In the 1940s, Verna Salomonsky married Warren Butler Shipway, an architectural engineer, and moved to California in 1947.

During a tour to Mexico, the Shipways met a builder who encouraged them to write a book on Mexican architecture. Warren documented the construction of homes and took photographs, while Verna noted the planning and design and drew sketches. Together they published five books on Mexican architecture and design. After the death of her husband in 1972, Shipway moved to La Jolla, California, where she died in 1978.

Ethel Parsons (later Paullin) was known for designed church windows. This article from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune in the 1950s talks about her designs for playing cards (even though she didn't play cards!). She was commissioned, at the beginning of World War II, to design a series of triptychs for service chapels and ships by the Citizens Committee for the Army and Navy. She is quoted as saying she didn't so much care about subject matter as color and design (even designing a stock certificate!), so I guess that made her a perfect fit for designing a boudoir set!

Robert Leonard is a mystery. I could find nothing on him, so I can't imagine him designing boudoir sets! Anyone know anything about this artist?

No comments:

Post a Comment