Archive for PROPS

treasured family heirlooms

photos: m&j

The combined blue flow and Staffordshire pottery collections of Mary Alberta Lockwood Ott (1882) and Edna Edwin Lockwood (1884) – we so lucky to still have so many of these charming pieces at our disposal, not to mention, still intact!

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a study in Victorian cookery

photos: m&j

When we purchased this 19th century antique recipe book from a dealer in the UK, we had no idea what an absolute treasure we were acquiring. We like to imagine this well-used guide to the cookery of the day as something often referred to and notated by the likes of Mrs. Patmore from the fictional Downton Abbey. And though its story may be somewhat less dramatic (though we did recently hear back from the antiques seller that it was a part of the estate of an artist who had belonged to The Bloomsbury Set), it’s impossible to imagine there isn’t a story – and, likely, quite a good one. From the study of highbrow to lowbrow penmanship in the plethora of entries to the almost perfect browning and spotting on the pages to the fanciful recipes (blancmange, anyone?) themselves, time has most certainly turned this once utilitarian handbook into a gastronomic work of art!

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French chicken paintings

images: m&j

We just couldn’t resist these antique chicken paintings from a dealer we love in France. We are currently mooning over this chicken coop that we have no back yard for. So, for the time being, this little farm-inspired antiques indulgence will just have to suffice …

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the artistry of Caroline Swift

photos: m&j

Not only have we been waiting two months for this package to arrive from Spain (sadly, another mishap with our beloved USPS), but when it finally arrived, it contained the most phenomenally gorgeously wrapped little parcels inside that we had to do a photo shoot before we even opened the packages. Caroline Swift, an amazing artist in Spain who works with porcelain makes every detail so incredibly special – even her embossed wrapping paper, stiff white twine and hand made porcelain hang tags are a delight to behold in person. And the super delicate, ghostly, white-on-white items within – all we can say is “wow.” We are huge fans and so lucky to be able to own and now shoot with some of her work. Many thanks for the inspiration, Caroline – you have definitely made it into our inner sanctum!

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Cooking in the kitchen with Wallis

photos: m&j

When we came across this vintage cookbook at an antiques shop, we just had to have it – Some Favorite Southern Recipes of The Duchess of Windsor is a collection of down home Southern American fare, culled by this now infamous non-Brit for her friends and others in the United Kingdom. As we scan the pages, we wonder how home cooks and entertainers in England were really enjoying her Smothered Chicken, Waffles & Syrup, Picked Watermelon Rind or Crab & Okra Gumbo. But it does, however, seem quite possible that her Frozen Tomato Salad and Tipsy Charlotte were quite popular in 1958 when it was first published. This one’s a real gem, not to mention what a fabulous hostess gift it will make if one is ever invited to the home of Madonna!

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High Tea fit for a Chelsea Queen

photos: m&j

When Betsy saw fit to give the most gorgeous, modern, subtle and tasteful set of hand-thrown pottery in the form of teacups, cream & sugar and teeny tiny spoons from abc carpet & home for m’s most recent birthday, there was only one thing to do: serve tea!  But not just any tea for these beauties would do. We brewed a fabulous pot of what we think is the ultimate – Bellocq  No 42 “Little Dickens” – laced with goodies like vanilla beans, calendula flowers, rose petals and raw cacao nibs available from our dear friends at Haven’s Kitchen, along with HK’s own freshly baked petite almond meringues, slices of girly, pink strawberry cake from Books of Wonder Cafe on 18th and fragrantly blushing white pineberries via Belgium from Eataly. After all, when you decide to do justice to high tea, one really must pull out all the stops – thanks for the inspiration, B!

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sweet, old gal takes a big, long trip!

photos: m&j

This amazingly textured (and tattered) fabric sampler, dating back to the year 1748 just came to us via a dealer in the UK and somehow got “miss sent” to India on the way to New York City! We were so happy that the piece finally arrived intact, considering the extended journey (not to mention the single sheet of tissue it was wrapped in within the envelope). And we are pleased to report it is no worse for the wear, whatsoever, and has found a permanent place in our props collection. How amazing that a 7-year-old did this precise and lovely handiwork? Just mind boggling.

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caramelized cocoa nibs & grinder

photos: m&j

Leave it to the most inventive gift giver we know to do the traditional wooden anniversary gift and make it this foodie-friendly – a Pure Dark Caramelized Cocoa nib grinder in gorgeous, natural wood! Pure Dark roasts the hearts of their cocoa beans, leaving them nutty, caramelized and crunchy (and slightly sweet and, more importantly not bitter!) for grinding. There is nothing better on ice cream of any flavor to add just the right amount of that much-coveted crunch factor – Happy 6th and thank you, D!!

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vintage doll’s flatware

photos: m&j

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Why are we so obsessed with the utensils Victorian children used to feed imaginary tea cakes and such to their porcelain-faced bff’s? Because, they are adorable, of course. This latest acquisition from a favorite dealer in PA, marked “Solingen” (for the German “city of blades” famous for making world class cutlery for centuries) will make some lovely gift necklaces or flourishes on special package wrapping or even inventive décor on a pretty dinner table – whichever – they just makes us happy to admire in all their diminutive glory!

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Haven’s Kitchen shopping spree!

photos: m&j

Thanks to the lovely new downstairs shop that recently opened in the Haven’s Kitchen cooking school around the corner from our studio on 17th street, we’ve been doing quite a bit of prop and gift shopping. With such lovely and inspiring offerings, we can hardly control our purchasing impulses and ALWAYS come out with a beautifully designed bag full of stunningly art directed (and delicious – aka our new favorite blueberry cinnamon & raspberry cardamom muffins!) items – these porcelain, linen, cotton and wooden beauties are just a smattering of the vast collection for table, home and larder that are now available in this gorgeous space. We’re also super excited to be attending Haven’s Kitchen’s first Supper Club ever – wherein the two chefs of the Little Wisco team – Eric Milley of Jeffrey’s Grocery and James McDuffee of Joseph Leonard – will be collaborating on a menu for a lucky 40 of us, together. Dinner will be served in the upstairs space on March 27th – and we cannot wait … keep you posted!!

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