Design Portfolio: Earth Shaken

‘‘When I was a small boy, my grandmother challenged me to find a secret drawer in a bureau that she treasured,” says David Linley, the renowned British designer and a grandson of the Queen Mother. “I couldn’t understand how it was possible to conceal something so cleverly, so I resolved to find out how.” The […]

Robb Design Portfolio: Belle Curves

Marc Newson’s sinuously biomorphic style has made him a star of industrial design. One of his defining pieces—the Lockheed Lounge, a fiberglass-and-aluminum chaise longue shown in the Australian designer’s inaugural exhibition in 1986—sold in 2009 for more than $1.6 million at Phillips de Pury & Company in London, setting an auction record for a contemporary […]

21 Ultimate Gifts: Snake Charmer

The GIFT A one-of-a-kind circa-1900 gold-and-quartz Fabergé snakehead cane handle. $950,000 From 1885, when Tsar Alexander III appointed Peter Carl Fabergé the jeweler and goldsmith to the Russian Imperial Court, until 1918, when the Bolsheviks confiscated his company’s inventory, the House of Fabergé created as many as 250,000 pieces in gold, silver, malachite, jade, lapis […]

Ballyfin Demesne

Ballyfin Demesne, a 600-acre estate 90 minutes by car from Dublin, features a Regency-style main home designed by father-son architects Sir Richard Morrison and William Vitruvius Morrison in the 19th century. Operated for years as a school, the grand manse and its wooded surrounds are now taking reservations. The school announced its intention to close […]

Robb Design Portfolio: Sharp Shooter

Had James Bond been vanquishing villains in the 19th century, surely he would have found a use for this Russian strongbox. The circa-1815 safe, which is on offer for $815,000 from New York City antiques dealer Carlton Hobbs (, conceals within its neoclassical exterior a complex series of mechanisms that trigger a hidden pair of […]

Antiques: Brave New Art World

Among the treasures currently available at M.S. Rau Antiques, a fine- and decorative-arts emporium on Royal Street in New Orleans’ French Quarter, are an exquisite pair of early-19th-century English celestial and terrestrial globes by cartographers John Newton and Son, as well as what gallery owner Bill Rau calls “a phenomenal and incredibly rare silver coffee […]

Robb Design Portfolio: Drawing Room

The 20th-Century French architect and designer Paul Dupré-Lafon created this circa-1935 architect’s desk for himself. Like many of his contemporaries, including Jean-Michel Frank and Eugene Printz, Dupré-Lafon favored exclusive materials—fine wood, Hermès leather, precious marble—employed with meticulous craftsmanship. The desk, which appeared in March at the European Fine Art Fair as a focal piece in […]

Art: Topical Illusion

Throughout his career as an architect, designer, and artist, Ron Arad has done much to destroy the distinctions between the industrial, decorative, and fine arts, as well as those between art and architecture. “Do I necessarily see a distinction? No,” says this native of Israel who now lives in London. “Let us not be neurotic […]

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