Tag Archives: design


Ornate Smith and Wesson New Model No. 3 revolver crafted by Tiffany and Co., late 19th century.

Currently on display in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


Wine jar with turquoise glaze and gilt copper-bound mouth rim (1600-1700 AD), Jingdezhen, Jiangxi Province, China [OS] [750x919] (x-post from /r/MostBeautiful)

Source: http://www.britishmuseum.org/collectionimages/AN00371/AN00371039_001_l.jpg


Leica revisited by Jony Ive and Marc Newson


Turban Helmet
Date: late 15th century Culture: Iranian Medium: Steel, engraved and damascened with gold and silver


Kabuto samurai Helmet in dragonfly shape. 17th century, Japan. Iron, lacquer, wood, leather, gilt, pigments, silk, papier-mâché.
28 x 24 x 13 3/4 in. (71.12 x 60.96 x 34.93 cm) (approx.)
The James Ford Bell Foundation Endowment for Art Acquisition and gift of funds from Siri and Bob Marshall 2012.31.1a-c   .  IMA

During the 15th and 16th centuries, Japan’s feudal families vied for supremacy, amassing vast armies to ensure their dominion and to conquer weaker neighbors. High-ranking lords began to embellish their helmets with sculptural forms so that they could be visually located on the battlefield. Exotic helmets (kawari kabuto) also allowed leaders to choose symbolic motifs for their helmets that reflected some aspect of their personality or that of their collective battalions. This helmet is shaped like a giant dragonfly. In Japan, the dragonfly is symbolic of focused endeavor and vigilance because of its manner of moving up, down and sideways while continuing to face forward. In addition, in ancient texts Japan was often referred to as Akitsushima (Land of the Dragonflies), because of their abundance. They were also thought to be the spirits of rice, since they are often to be found hovering above the flooded rice fields.

1937 BMW 328 Mille Miglia


A four-case lacquer inro and box netsuke en suite 
Meiji period (late 19th century), Japan, signed Zeshin (Shibata Zeshin; 1807-1891)
Decorated in polychrome takamaki-e with scenes of implements for the first tea event of the New Year (hatsugama), including the basket with charcoal, tongs and feather on one side and fresh-water container, tea bowl and whisk on the other side, and with plum branches in bloom, all against a brown-lacquer ground; with box (hako) netsuke decorated in matching colored lacquer with spindles and twine and with bead ojime
3¼in. (8.2cm.) long .  Christies


In honor of The Great Gatsby’s movie release, here is a cool art deco cover designed by Aled Lewis (which is also available as a print on his website).

He cites Erté (known as “The Father of Art Deco”) as his inspiration.


The Alhambra Vase
Late 14th – Early 15th century
Nasrid period
Earthenware painted over glaze
H: 77.2 W: 68.2 cm
“Mariano Fortuny, the famed textile and costume designer, bought the Freer Vase from a tavern in Granada. The bronze stand, inspired by the Fountain of the Lions at the Alhambra, was designed by Fortuny. The vase is missing its collar, neck, winglike handles, and lustered surface, but is a close cousin to other surviving Alhambra vases, including the vase known as the Alhambra Vase, now in the Museo de la Alhambra in Granada. Its present state only hints at its former appearance, as it must have been among the most magnificent of all of the late Alhambra vases. Its pleasing proportions are accentuated by the placement of an inscription band at its widest point; the contents of the inscription are unique among these vases. This inscription is autonomous, in that, it makes the vase speak in the first person. Like the inscription on the pyxis and other inscriptions that survive in stucco at the Alhambra palace, this one asks the viewer to contemplate the beauty of the object and its setting.

Inscriptions: Deer: Good health; Roundels: Good health. Central band: O thou onlooker who art adorned with the splendor of the dwelling / Look at my shape today and contemplate: thou wilt see my excellence / For I appear to be made of silver and my clothing from blossoms / My happiness lies in the hands of he who is my owner, underneath the canopy.”

- Smithsonian’s Museums of Asian Art




Myochin, Helmet with phoenix and battle-axe ornaments, 1825-75 (source).



Night to Day to Night by Catherine Nash

Coptic bound artist book of handmade sheets of abaca, torch ginger grass and black cotton rag paper, gradated in the vat by slowly changing fibers.

3.5”h X 2.25”w X 7.5”d slipcase
7” radius open


Truly, the greatest hood ornament of all time.


Alien Hood Ornament via William Forsche


Sculpture by Italian Master Claudio Bottero