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Want to be a Modern Day J.P. Morgan?

James Andrew at the Carlton Hobbs Gallery - photo Justin Williams.

There are a few ways to begin creating a room. For instance, one could build slowly, deliberating each step of the way – or, at the complete opposite end of the spectrum, one could simply incorporate an already existing room into one’s construction, or renovation. In fact this approach is not without precedent. But we of course are not suggesting a mass produced prefab — wouldn’t you be appalled if we did? What we are suggesting is something equally doable but infinitely more spectacular.

Fireplace.

Enter our friends the super chic Carlton Hobbs Gallery and one of their most unique offerings: a perfectly and entirely intact French 18th century parcel gilt and white painted Library from the Hotel Gaulin, in Dijon!


A historically significant architectural masterpiece attributed to Jerome Marlet (1713-1810), this unaltered and perfectly proportioned volume boasts an outstanding provenance, having once belonged to JP Morgan, Jr., and subsequently the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

If you are looking to have the most supremely sublime office, private library — the bookcases have been likened to those of the Bibliotheque du Roi at Versailles — or you want to create a glorious retreat, one could positively not do better than to inquire at the Carlton Hobbs Gallery regarding this rarest of opportunities.

Library detail.

Reveling in the beauty and perfection of this room (top), I’m wearing an ivory wide wale cashmere corduroy jacket and cream cashmere turtleneck sweater both by Gucci, Alexander McQueen charcoal tweed herringbone cargo style pants, pocket square in gray silk with black polka dots by Turnbull and Asser, Lanvin gray patent and taupe suede sneakers and my fragrance is Creed Royal Water.

Ravello and Villa Cimbrone

James Andrew at the Villa Cimbrone.

James Andrew at the Villa Cimbrone.

The drive along the Amalfi Coast is as dizzyingly treacherous as it is beautiful – a pulse pounding conflation of awe and fear – and our driver, who felt compelled to navigated at Grand Prix speeds, did much to tip the scales toward the really scary side of things. Needless to say we were mightily relieved to come to a halt at the blissfully peaceful town of Ravello, which is practically devoid of motor vehicles of any sort! Following helpful little signs here and there, we wound our way upward by foot past ancient churches, shops, inns, and hotels, finally arriving at the world renowned Villa Cimbrone.

Views from the Villa Cimbrone.

Views from the Villa Cimbrone.

Situated approximately 1100ft above sea level, the Villa commands incomparable views of the Amalfi coast, and after a brief respite in our rather palatial room, and an energizing terrace lunch, we were eager to explore its elevated vistas and richly fragrant gardens.

View from the Villa CImbrone.

View from the Villa CImbrone.

The most beautiful sight that I have ever seen in the world is the panoramic view from Villa Cimbrone on a bright winter’s day, when the sky and the sea are so vividly blue that it is not possible to distinguish them from each other. – Gore Vidal

Ravello has been a haven for writers, artists, statesmen, royalty, and aesthetes since the 18th century, and the Cimbrone itself has been the romantic destination for such legendary figures as Greta Garbo and Leopold Stokowski. Other esteemed visitors include D.H Lawrence, Henry Moore, Winston Churchill and the Duke and Duchess of Kent.

Gardens at the Villa CImbrone.

Gardens at the Villa CImbrone.

More about Villa Cimbrone coming up!

Gardens at VIlla Cimbrone.

Gardens at VIlla Cimbrone.

I am pictured (top) discovering the wonders of this magical place, and I’m wearing a pink and white striped cotton shirt with pink gross grain ribbon trim by Alexander McQueen (RIP), shorts by Our Legacy 1980-81 in hemp, cotton and silk, python belt with silver buckle by Gucci, Tom Ford ivory suede loafers, KVA sunglasses, Cartier “Tank Divan” from Raj Tolaram, and my fragrance is Creed Bois de Cedrat.

Art at the Lever House

James Andrew at the Lever House

Lever House, the modern architectural master piece of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill’s Gordon Bunshaft, was one of the first International style glass curtain wall skyscrapers to be built on Park Avenue.

In the late nineties a massive renovation restored the Lever’s spectacular structure to its original sexy splendor, and since then the ground floor and courtyard has been the setting for some quite stunning art installations. I’m particularly fascinated with the current display by London based artist Richard Woods entitled “Port Sunlight” – nine decorative patterns recalling the nineteenth century with William Morris designs and mock Tudor architecture rendered in wood block style prints on a grid of wood and aluminum tiles. These high Victorian designs contrast quite strongly with the Lever as one might imagine, creating a really exciting juxtaposition of styles, while maintaining a perfect balance of core formal elements as seen, for instance, in the grid motif that ties the building and the artwork together. I suppose I was drawn to this work as I often seek a similar visual resonance between new and old in my own design endeavors.

Feeling energized by this beautiful exhibition, I’m sporting a charcoal wool and cashmere mohair coat and a black cotton wide wale corduroy jacket both by Gucci, Turnbull and Asser mini tartan cotton shirt with contrast white collar and French cuffs, Seaman Schepps black pearl cuff links , forest green cashmere tie by Borrelli, Alexander McQueen tweed cargo style pants, red alligator belt with sterling buckle by Ralph Laure, silver leather sneakers and glasses both by Dior, forest green leather gloves by Sermoneta and my fragrance is the super sophisticated Vintage Tabarome by Creed.