Elsie de Wolfe (above) is considered the
first "interior decorator." A failed actress
who post retirement leveraged her good
taste and social standing to set the stage
at home. Soon everybody who wanted to
be somebody was hiring her to decorate
their homes. A survivor, Elsie conquered
any situation. Post the Nazi invasion of
France she escaped with the clothes on
her back and plenty of moxie. Quickly
she was ensconced in "the ugliest house
in Beverly Hills" which she transformed
on a shoe string. Naming it "After All".
Soon thereafter Elsie "discovered" a window
dresser at Bullock's department store. Quickly
she commissioned Tony Duquette to create a
"meuble" for her drawing room while paying
next to nothing for his effort. Tony delivered
a WOW that immediately gained the attention
of all who saw it. Said fantasy was in reality
a used piece of ordinary cabinetry repainted,
decoupaged, and embellished to the hilt. And
post Elsie's aggressive promotion - it soon set
a precedent that everybody who was anybody
(or wanted to be) copied. Each piece being
a statement of it's owner's savvy and station.
Given she bagged a king, the oft
maligned Duchess of Windsor
obviously knew how to make an
impression. At her country home
the "Mill" - Wallis used decor to
prove she knew chic from chick.
Staging a coup in the Duke's bath,
she had it's walls and a cabinet
painted a la trompe l'oeil. Proof
that when in the bath many of
us prefer fantasy to reality...  A
trend that is now quite popular
in Washington D.C.
When translated from the french,
trompe l'oeil means "fool the eye."
Said technique was revived in the
thirties by France's most premier
decorator - Stephan Boudin of la
Maison Jansen. The documented
example shown at left remains as
chic eighty years later. And still
in demand given it auctioned off
in 2013 for the price of $20,000
(plus commission). A value that
not only made a statement but
left many absolutely speechless.
This Italian secretary has been sitting in our shop
since February. Inspired by Maison Jansen every
surface is adorned with figments of mid-century
Italian craftsman's imagination. The result puts a
smile on everyone's face. So charming that quite
a few customers consider it their "favorite" and
thus come in to "visit" it often. And yet it hasn't
sold. And while we love having a dear old friend
on the premises, we've marked it down in order
for it to find a new home. And should the winner
be you, it will not only be a conversation piece -
everyone will be talking about the deal you got!

Originally $7500
NOW $2,250 

415 West Janeaux Street
Lewistown, Montana 59457

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