During the late nineteenth century, industrial families amassing great fortunes began building expansive mansions on Fifth Avenue that they filled with sumptuous furnishings and accoutrements. The list of who’s who included the now-famous names of Astor, Vanderbilt, Carnegie and Morgan. The captains of industry who led these families into a new era of American power made their fortunes in commodities like steel, and the expansion of transportation through railroads and shipping. Can’t you just imagine the energy that would have been vibrating as molten steel was poured into molds for beams and pipes, and welding rods sparked on the hulls of new ships and the barrel-shaped bodies of locomotive engines?
A Currey & Company Salute to Industrial Chic
We can trace the industrial chic style that flourishes now back to these tycoons so we thought we’d give them a nod in this post that gives you a sneak peek at some of the new products we will debut during High Point Market in October. The association is so perfect because we’ve noticed quite a few offerings with that strapping charm we know any magnate would see as a celebration of his penchant for the rugged manufacturing model. But before we get to the handsome pieces we’ll unveil, we thought we’d remind you that Las Vegas Market is almost upon us and tell you about a fun giveaway.
Drinks Table Giveaway in Vegas
From July 29 through August 2, you’ll find us at Las Vegas Market in Building C, Suite 398; and on July 30 from 3 to 5 pm, we’ll be giving away the Warner drinks table, one of our new bestsellers made of concrete. The stippling on this little number peeks through a polished surface through which the pebbles are revealed. It’s the fluted edge of the top and the cut-outs in the elongated base that give this small piece a pop of the fanciful. The material from which it is made makes it a shoe-in for this industrial chic lineup. Be sure to come by and put your name in the hat to win this happy-hour hit!
New Industrial Chic Introductions
High Point will be upon us before you know it and we look forward to showing off our new products in the showroom in the IHFC building, Main, on the first floor from October 13 through 17. There will be plenty of hoopla to be enjoyed, of course, and these good-looking products with a hefty appeal will be luminous overhead:
Our new Kabuto pendant has a handsome wire cage that extends from a canopy in the same finish. What I believe makes this luminary so striking is the slight flair of the hat-like shape from which it suspends.
A shout-out to our designer Iian Thornton for envisioning this industrial chic powerhouse that we’ve named the Warehouse pendant. It will be holding its bulbs high during Market so come by and give it a glance!
We’re betting the Tigerton chandelier will whirl its way into the heart of any lover of rugged charm, and not just for its cagy character but for the patterns it will reflect on surrounding surfaces.
Our ever-popular Earthshine pendant, shown above, has birthed a few brawny brothers that will debut in October.
We’ve given the Earthshine pendant a new brazenness by treating it to a brilliant brass finish. You’ll see it glinting overhead during High Point Market.
The Earthshine Petit pedant in the same blackened steel as the original has just as much grit as its bigger brother, though it is very small by comparison.
Our new Weybright pendant references so many vintage industrial notes, it will have a nuts-and-bolts appeal to anyone who still dreams of the days of steamer ships, newspaper illustrators in visors and the local butcher who cleaved the freshest of meat to beams in his chill locker.
The Down-Home Dream Home
We just wrapped Atlanta Market where we assisted Aidan Gray in helping keep the hundreds of fans that queued up to have her sign their copy of her book The House That Pinterest Built happy. She says in the book, “I wanted a down-home dream home unencumbered with fancy.” She achieved this by choosing materials, furnishings and finishes that reflect an industrial chic point of view, one for which we salute the actress as we continue to introduce rugged designs that have a strong dose of charm.
Making a move that is quite near and dear to our hearts given we continue to put great energy into amassing a library that serves as inspiration for our design team, Keaton made her living room a library. It’s no wonder she would make photography books early acquisitions because she is an avid shutterbug herself. When she was dreaming the room, she thought, “I would feature monographs on the likes of Cindy Sherman, Richard Misrach, Robert Frank, Ruven Afanador, Keith Carter, Larry Sultan, Cecil Beaton and Weegee, to name a few. The more I pinned, the more I let myself fantasize.”
Known for his portraits of the rich and famous (and royal), Cecil Beaton is also legendary for his tell-all diaries in which he records gossip about the well-heeled and details about life in what we would call the fast-lane today, though the ships and trains he frequented were anything but speedy. He wrote a fabulously snarky entry in his diary during a visit to New York City in April of 1973 in which he lambasts one of the wives of the era’s magnates on Easter Sunday.
“Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt, in a Queen Mary flowered toque, used to be photographed at church parade. Now, after the Easter Sunday service, Fifth Avenue is blocked off to become a jostling mass of humanity garbed in the most incredible fancy dress,” he writes. “Another sign of the deterioration of taste and standards. The few respectable people look like dodos.” Now that’s what we call putting some muscle into your critique of the Industrial Age’s elite!
This post by Saxon Henry, a content strategist and The Modern Salonnière.