A conversation about connoisseurship, quality and sustainability of furniture, art
and objects from the modern era

Recent Posts

Rowland's Ft Greene Community

Vintage Wallpaper Art

Susan Rowland by Appointment

Isamu Noguchi at BBG

Kamilla Talbot: New Works

Chinoiserie Mid-Century Style

Milo Baughman Before + After

Meet Mr. Wormley

townhouse.bz Presents Faux Real

Kipfmueller in Elle Decor

Nelson Sculptures & Prints

Kamilla Talbot: Getting Outside

Joan of Art

To the Pinkneys: A Big Thank You!

Black Tie Halloween?

Problem Solving with Townhouse

Neutra Speaks, Nelson Replies

Falling in Love with Faux Bois

Rowland: Uncontained Forces

Sneak Peek: Rowland Show

Vintage Woodson Wallpapers

Kipfmueller: Process Revealed

Hefty 2-Ply Travels

Oscar Niemeyer, Curvy Modernist

Portrait of Wonder Bread

Peter Shelton, RIP

Take Note: Wondrous Florals

Jud Nelson: Marble Hyperrealism

Faux Forever

After 9/11

Before 9/11

Kool Stools

Salve! Aliquisne domum est?

When is an original not?

Framing Bambi

Welcome to the Knolls

Karl Kipfmueller: Art

Susan Rowland: Art

Kamilla Talbot: Art

Reasons to Love Horsehair

Separated @ birth?

Q&A:I love the bronze table...

A Tonic for the Election

townhouse.bz in the NY Times!

Those legs, I know those legs!

What is Parchment?

Long look Marion, loonger...

What is Shagreen?



Blog Resources

All the Best

An Aesthete's Lament

Architect Design

Habitually Chic

Hollister Hovey

Scala Regalia

House of Beauty and Culture

The Peak of Chic

Archive for the 'Chinoiserie' Category


Edward Wormley, second from left pictured with George Nelson, Eero Saarinen, Harry Bertoia, Charles Eames, Jens Risom; Playboy magazine, July 1961.

Traveling by Amtrak from Boston to New York one snowy evening in 1995, I came upon an article about the auction of Edward Wormley’s estate. It was a pivotal moment for me. Returning from an auction where I had been seriously outbid on a Herter Brothers chest (now residing in the Metropolitan Museum), it occurred to me that it was time to set my sights on other furniture periods and designers.


The surreal Wormley shell console, above, circa 1950. Hand carved, it is often featured in contemporary interiors.

Edward Wormley, 1907 – 1994, was an American mid-century modern furniture designer who understood the essential elements of modernism, but did not limit himself to one ideology. His furniture represented a convergence of historical design and 20th century innovation. He took the best from Danish, Asian, and classical elements and designed sophisticated, well-crafted furniture prized by collectors and designers.

Wormley’s inclusion in the Good Design Shows at the Museum of Modern Art in 1951 and 1952 positioned him alongside designers Harry Bertoia, George Nelson and Charles and Ray Eames.

The Wormley for Dunbar chest above and the Wormley coffee table below use the same minimalist vocabulary with subtle Asian influences.

A favorite in the townhouse.bz collection is the Wormley chair, below. It is beautifully designed, and the execution features brass crossbars and peg joints.


Below, the interplay of the negative space with the refined silhouette of these black lacquered dining chairs is a wonderful example of Wormley’s skill at furniture design and construction.


through the holidays
@ Guild Greene Gallery
281 Greene Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11238
718 398 6792

Holiday Hours: 12/22, 23 & 24 noon to 6pm; or by appointment.

Barware, jewelry, objects, handmade toys and ornaments, newly restored mid-century modern furniture.


Featuring a pair of Verner Panton cone chairs with orange mohair seats.


A Corbu chaise with a chrome tri-leg glass top coffee table, Alvar Aalto dishes, a Bruce Fox tri-leg aluminum bowl, a Kay Bogeson Penguin.


A Milo Baughman swivel chair, a modern French daybed, a Bernhard Rohm acid etched coffee table.

A Salon Exhibition Art, Objects and Furniture Exploring the Realm of Mid-Century Modernism

Featuring the townhouse.bz collection including Jud Nelson, Kamilla Talbot Piaget Studios, Kathy Urbina, Le Corbusier, Knoll, Milo Baughman, Pierre Jeanneret, Charles and Ray Eames, George Nelson, Aldo Tura, Fornascetti, Edward Wormley.

Opening Saturday, July 26th, 2014
From 6 to 9pm
Showing through September 6th, 2014
Thu & Sun 12 to 6pm
Fri & Sat 12 to 7:30pm
or by appointment

@ Guild Greene Gallery
281 Greene Avenue
Clinton Hill, Brooklyn 11238
718 398 6792

Visit Faux Real and explore historic Clinton Hill. Guild Greene’s building is the original 1890s headquarters and laboratory for Bristol Myers. Fine dining nearby includes Speedy Romeo, Marietta, Locando Vini & Olli and Aita.

Shown above: Holos/Series 23, No.1 (Wood Match) Roman Travertine & Red Slate; Jud Nelson, 1994

Contact Us for more information.

Recently, I purchased a faux bamboo coffee table and all these heavy memories flooded back in my mind. As a young child in eastern Europe I was invited to play with a foreign minister’s abusive son. I had little interest to play with the sadist but was eager to be escorted by the ministers egotistical wife who wanted to showcase all the treasures they had accumulated from years of theft. What captured my impressionable eyes was the exotic Chinoiserie – ivory, gold, bronze and lacquered objects, but specifically the faux bamboo furniture. I had never seen pieces made from brass to imitate bamboo and was fascinated by the whole idea.

My faux bamboo table reminds me of the all the amazing creators from the 1930s through the 1970s like Maison Jansen, Jacques Adnet, Maison Bagues and Hermes whose work with brass and leather created modern interpretations of bamboo. In the US, these masters were joined by the notorious bad boy James Mont who incorporated bamboo themes into his case goods and transformed the banal into the unusual. His gold, silver leafed and painted designs created a multi-layered effect over ebonized surfaces. Altogether lovely and memorable.


Posted by Kevork Babian November 3, 2011 / No Comments Filed Under Chinoiserie, Classical Modernism, Modernism

Townhouse is designed, written and produced by Dekker Babian. Townhouse is located in Brooklyn, NY. Telephone: 718 398 6792. All text and photos © 2009 – 2016.