Monday, August 17, 2015

William A. Fisher 1791 Wellesley Drive Detroit, Michigan



September 21, 1886 – December 1969

     William Andrew Fisher was born in 1886 in Norwalk, Ohio. William was the last of the Fisher brothers to join Fisher Body, arriving in 1915. A year later, he built a house at 111 Edison Avenue in Detroit where he lived until the mid 1920's. Architect Richard H. Marr designed his new home at 1791 Wellesley Drive, in the Palmer Woods area of Detroit in 1925. Bryant Fleming was the landscape architect. 


111 Edison Avenue, Detroit, Michigan

CAPTION: The well known society florists, Dale Morgan and Norm Silk are selling their famous house and buying another well known home in Palmer Woods, the A. William Fisher house at 1791 Wellesley in Detroit. The neglected William Fisher mansion in Palmer Woods will draw a purchase offer from florists Norm Silk and Dale Morgan, who lived nearby. 1993 Press Photo 
    At the time it was built, it was the largest and most expensive home in Detroit. No expense was spared. It had 2 pipe organs including one that was a player. The detail was unbelievable. All kitchen sinks that appeared to be stainless were actually pewter.

    The exterior was red brick and slate with marble inlaid carvings around the windows. The house used many of the same artisans who worked on the Fisher Building. In its heyday, the house boasted Baccart crystal chandeliers and fireplaces with floor-to-ceiling marble, inset with original oil paintings. Even the basement, used as a ballroom, had a marble floor. The grand foyer looked much like the foyer of the Fisher Building, with all kinds of marble and onyx.

    Every window was loaded with leaded glass, and every bit of material used in construction was the finest available. Many of the features had been constructed by artisans brought from Europe, or imported intact from Europe. The mansion encompassed 35,000 square feet. The mansion was known as the Clipper House because of its sailing motif.
    
Historical Title Residences; William A. Fisher
WSU Virtual Motor City Collection
 Record ID 3265 
    
The Fisher Family Estate Photo Album
 Lot # : 72
The William Fisher Manor located in the Palmer Woods area of Detroit on 1791 Wellesley. 
   
LOGGIA
The William Fisher Manor located in the Palmer Woods area of Detroit on 1791 Wellesley.

LAURA FISHER
The William Fisher Manor located in the Palmer Woods area of Detroit on 1791 Wellesley.

FATHER & SON
The William Fisher Manor located in the Palmer Woods area of Detroit on 1791 Wellesley.

LIVING ROOM
The William Fisher Manor located in the Palmer Woods area of Detroit on 1791 Wellesley.

DINING ROOM
The William Fisher Manor located in the Palmer Woods area of Detroit on 1791 Wellesley.

LIBRARY/STUDY 
The William Fisher Manor located in the Palmer Woods area of Detroit on 1791 Wellesley.

SOLARIUM 
The William Fisher Manor located in the Palmer Woods area of Detroit on 1791 Wellesley.
    
1973 aerial showing William's house at the left and his brother Alfred's house center-right.
    The house’s architectural fraternal twin and former neighbor, the Alfred Fisher mansion, also by Marr, is back on the market for $1.57 million after plans to convert it into a dormitory for addiction treatment patients met pushback and zoning challenges. 

    The Alfred and William Fisher residential block  was bordered by Gloucester, Lucerne, Wellesley, Balmoral, and Lincolnshire. They had a nine-hole golf course in the rear along Lucerne where modern homes currently stand. 


FIRE RAVAGES WILLIAM FISHER MANSION
Firefighters battle the blaze at the historic William Fisher in Palmer Woods. The roof collapsed; the interior was a complete loss. 
January 4, 1994
     From 1971 to 1989 it belonged to Louis H. "King" Narcisse. A fire significantly damaged a portion of the 48-room mansion's roof and upper floors during restoration in 1994.


NEOCLASSICAL STYLE CARVED MARBLE COLUMNS, EARLY 20TH CENTURY, SET OF FOUR, H 94":Caramel to white in color, leafy capitals on fluted columns with pedestal bases. Provenance, William Fisher mansion, Palmer Woods, Detroit. Lot 32064

   The homeowner's association declared that vandals were gutting the fire-damaged home and wanted the owner to repair or demolish it. The association charged that marble and other fixtures were being stolen. Soon after the house was demolished. The lot remains vacant today.


Architectural rendering for Grayhaven, a proposed residential boating community on the Detroit River. Printed on drawing: "Grayhaven, Edward Gray, owner; foot of Continental Ave., Detroit; tel Hickory 4585; drawing by M.R. Williams." Resource ID: EB02g007
    Henry Ford had purchased swampland on the east side and planned on building another massive complex. Ford had the canals dredged for his new complex but it never came about.

    Edward Gray was Chief Engineer at Ford Motor Company and bought the land from Henry and developed it. Grayhaven was one of the most exclusive residential developments in the country at that time. Restrictions provide that every home have a drydock in which the owner can keep his yacht safe and clean winter and summer. The Depression ended full deployment.


William A. Fisher's Starboard Lagoon Boathouse under construction at Grayhaven
Record ID 9937 
    Somehow the Fishers got involved and bought the whole strip of land along Starboard Lagoon. Charles & William built on the far east, both of which are gone, and Lawrence on the west

The famous Garfield Wood mansion in the foreground, William's finished home and brother Charles are across the canal.

  Follow THIS LINK to view a post on the Grosse Ile summer home of William Andrew Fisher.


Bishop's Residence
 1880 Wellesley Drive
    The Fisher Brothers, in 1925, built the largest home in Detroit and gave it to Bishop Gallagher to serve as a residence of whoever governed diocese. The Boston church architects, Maginnis and Walsh, designed this Tudor Revival mansion at 1880 Wellesley, tactfully incorporating many religious symbols and much Pewabic Tile. This is a 40,000 square foot mansion, no longer owned by the Catholic diocese.

Few photos exist of all seven of the Fisher brothers together.  This one was taken on August 22, 1927 during a rainy groundbreaking ceremony for the Fisher Building in Detroit. From left are: Alfred, Lawrence, Charles, Fred, William, Howard and Edward Fisher.
  



SUMMER RESIDENCE OF MR. WILLIAM A. FISHER GROSSE ILE, MICHIGAN

SUMMER RESIDENCE OF MR. WILLIAM A. FISHER
RICHARD H. MARR - ARCHITECT 
THE WEST ENTRANCE FRONT OF THE HOUSE FROM THE DRIVEWAY

LOOKING EAST ACROSS THE FLOWER GARDEN PAST THE SOUTHERN END OF THE HOUSE

THE HOUSE FROM THE BOAT LANDING
    The mansion's dock is able to accommodate a 250-foot yacht, making it the largest dock in the entire state of Michigan. 


THE HALL

THE DINING ROOM

THE SWIMMING POOL BUILDING. AT THE FAR END OF IT IS THE GARAGE AND THE SERVICE COTTAGE GROUP

Additions to pool building were done in 1960.
THE SWIMMING POOL IS IN A SEPARATE BUILDING WITH DRESSING ROOMS AT THE NEAR END
Opening has been cut through the original closed wall and into the then Staff Quarters.
Pewabic tile ornamentation, newer mural.

Original Dressing Room portal, now used as a Dining Room.
Original Art Deco Dressing Room with atmospheric vaulted ceiling.
Now a dining room.

 Pool House Dining Room with vaulted ceiling and light fixture. 

Vaulted Lounge.
Pewabic tiled fireplace. 

    I don't know the circumstances to the final history of the house. Another Fisher mansion fire? The new house is attributed  to Architect Don Paul Young, built in 1960. I'll assume he did the additions to the Pool House.  Heinz Prechter, a German immigrant, owned the property for a number of years. Prechter was a major contributor to charities and Republican Party causes. He made his fortune by turning a few hundred dollars worth of tools and parts and an idea into American Sunroof Co. The company, later known as ASC Inc., made affordable sunroofs for U.S. cars. Eventually, Prechter owned manufacturing, real estate, investment and newspaper companies with interests in the United States, Canada, Germany and South Korea. 




    The Prechter estate was listed for $11.2 million in 2004.  Tom Gores, owner of the Detroit Pistons, purchased property for $5.4 million around 2011. Forbes has him ranked as the 190th wealthiest person in the country, worth around $3.2 billion.


1964 aerial 
    Although I can't confirm its plausible brother Charles had his Grosse Ile home next door. That house still stands. From wikipedia - Grosse Ile Township, Michigan"Charles and William Fisher, co-founders of the Fisher Body Company that later became a division of General Motors, built large summer homes at the north end of Parke Lane (one remains today)."


Charles Thomas Fisher residence???
18603 Parke Ln, Grosse Ile, MI

    Several of Detroit's automotive pioneers had summer homes on Grosse Ile in the early 20th century. 

“Elbamar”
Grosse Ile’s largest house
    R. E. Olds (Oldsmobile) built a magnificent summer estate on Elba Island in 1916. In the late 1940s and early ’50s, the mansion was converted into five apartments. Gen. William S. Knudsen (General Motors) spent summers at an old remodeled farm home near the county bridge. It later became the clubhouse for Water's Edge Country Club, owned and operated by the township. In the 1920s, Henry Ford and his wife bought a substantial piece of land between West River Road and the Thoroughfare Canal. Although they never built a home, they did sell pieces of their property to Ford employees.


HARRY BENNETT'S PAGODA HOUSE
    One unique structure on the water, known as the Pagoda House, was built in 1939 by Ford's personnel director Harry Bennett.


1960's LOGO



Sunday, July 26, 2015

"VELEZ BLANCO" 50 East 70th Street New York City


The castle of Don Pedro Fajardo y Chacôn (ca. 1478–1546) stands above the town of Vélez Blanco, near the southeastern coast of Spain. Fajardo, raised in the culture of humanism, was governor of Murcia during the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella and assisted in suppressing Moorish rebellions in their lands. By royal act, he was given the town Vélez Blanco, and between 1506 and 1515 he erected a castle with a central courtyard embellished with Italian Renaissance ornament in local Macael marble carved by craftsmen from Lombardy.

In imagining what Paradise for me would be like, I saw a chateau
perpetually in progress . . . salons where I could walk and reflect,
constantly being decorated by numerous workmen who never finished
— painters, artisans, sculptors working without cease at the new works
which I would inspire.

From the windows, I would see a vast park, a prolongment in nature
of the architecture of my habitation. Its lines would correspond to those
of the building and become its frame, thus giving it an aspect of solidity and logic. Columns, statues, monuments would be there on trial, to be adopted only if they realized perfect proportions, each object completing the ensemble.Paul Ernest Boniface de Castellane, the marquis de Castellane (February 14, 1867 – October 20, 1932) was a French nobleman known as a leading Belle Epoque tastemaker and the first husband of American railroad heiress Anna Gould. His reputation as an art and antique authority made it possible for him to guide rich Americans to dealers who paid him a commission on what they unloaded on his customers. "once the most notorious spendthrift of modern times"

Traits which in another might have been considered arrogant, in Castellane were tempered by a disarming smile and a charming manner which explained and excused them. It is not difficult to understand the influence he could exert on both men and women, for he had an incredible feeling for the magnificent. Those who aspired to live like kings could not ask a better teacher of the art than Boni de Castellane.

He admits freely in his memoirs his activities as advisor, and his judgments upon some of the American collectors he knew are interesting, for their insight as well as their bite. Pierpont Morgan, whom he called a sort of nabob, was "infinitely more of a real art lover than any of his compatriots and possessed a soul above dollars! He, nevertheless, grasped with the avidity of a furniture mover the beautiful things which were suggested to him—I sometimes thought him more of a passionate collector than a true artist. Daniel Guggenheim, Otto Kahn, Joseph Feder, and GEORGE BLUMENTHAL he names as superior to the generality of (American) connoisseurs.

George Blumenthal
Artist: Charles Hopkinson, Date: 1933
http://www.aaa.si.edu/



70th Street and Park Avenue. George Blumenthal residence, exterior. DATE: ca. 1917
http://collections.mcny.org/

    Note the shared open space with neighbor Arthur Curtis James.  46 East 70th Street, former home of Stephen C. Clark, grandson of the builder of the Dakota, stands today as the Explorers Club.

The mansion was demolished after World War II and on the site was erected a 20-story apartment building, completed in 1949. 
    Germain Seligman - George Blumenthal, the dynamic American partner of the French banking house of Lazard Freres, was an old school friend of my fathers'; they were born in Frankfort in the same year. He was still living then on West 53rd Street and there is little to say about his collection at that time, except that it contained excellent examples of Barbizon painting, his first collecting love, for he was only beginning the important role he was to play in American art circles.

    George Blumenthal became President of the Board of Trustees of the Metropolitan Museum in 1934, after having served as a member of that Board since 1909. This was a side of his life which might be considered an indulgence of personal taste, but he also served on the Board of Mount Sinai hospital for forty-six years, twenty-seven of them as its President. 

Giovanni Boldini, 1896
PORTRAIT OF MADAME G. BLUMENTHAL

A gift from George Blumenthal to France in 1936
http://www.aaa.si.edu/
    Of greater moment then were the activities of his attractive, elegant, and cultivated wife, Florence, who was not only endowed with a refined taste, but had a true student's approach to art. She had been much impressed with the house of Mrs. Jack Gardner in Boston and realized the possibilities such a program of construction offered if a greater orthodoxy were observed in the architecture itself and in the decoration of the individual rooms. She had therefore set about assembling the essential elements around which her house, and each of its rooms, would be built. It was a grandiose scheme, the like of which had never before been undertaken in such completeness.

    Every capital work of art was to be chosen before the actual building began, if it were to have a fundamental role in the architecture, so that it would fit ideally into the place planned for it both in physical proportion and in relation to the aesthetic scheme. The nucleus about which the house-to-be was planned, had just been purchased from my father — a galleried Spanish Renaissance patio, two stories in height and entirely of marble. It had been originally in the palace of Don Pedro Fajardo, the first Marquis of Velez, at "Velez Blanco", and dated between 1506 and 1515. Around it would be grouped the reception rooms of the ground and second floors. Naturally, much of the talk on this visit had to do with this absorbing subject.

    By 1920, the house on which Florence Blumenthal had been working for several years with such love and care was completed. The rather austere, almost forbidding, Italian Renaissance structure at the southwest corner of 70th Street and Park Avenue revealed little to the passerby. Once inside, the impression of austerity was replaced by a world of the imagination, far from the material bustle of New York. It was a dreamlike oasis of beauty, complete with melodious sound from the running water of the patio fountain, often the only sound of greeting. At dusk, the light from a table-lamp opposite the entrance gave to the high, wide court a quality at once eerie and intimate, as it reduced the proportions and picked up the warmth of blooming flowers, green plants, and colorful oriental rugs. It is difficult to explain how so sumptuous and impressive a house could be so intimate; this was but one of the achievements of an extraordinary woman.

    The first and second floors were devoted to formal reception rooms.

    From the patio, with its royal pair of Pannemaker tapestries, one passed into the ballroom, a later addition built only after a complete set of 18th century flower-strewn tapestries had been found to cover its long walls. The focal point of the long axis was a marble Orpheus by Francheville, since attributed to Cristofano da Bracciano and believed to be part of a group made for the Palazzo Corsi.

    On the floor above was the great Gothic hall, built specifically for three great works of art: the magnificently simple fireplace which determined the proportions of the whole; a gay and secular 15th century mille fleurs tapestry depicting a hawking party on the opposite wall; and a marble Virgin and Child by Pisano which occupied a special niche in the linen-fold paneling of the smaller wall. On the same floor was a larger Renaissance salon whose velvet-hung walls served as a background for most of the paintings of earlier date. Here, too, were the monumental Venetian bronze andirons from the Spitzer and Taylor Collections. The formal dining room, where the magnificent Charlemagne tapestry was the piece de resistance, was also on the second floor, with a smaller family dining room on the third floor. There, with the exception of George Blumenthal's den, the decoration was entirely of the 18th century, reminiscent, in its charm and intimacy, of the petits appartements of a French royal chateau.

    There was perfection in each detail of the house, a perfection which went beyond the works of art. Every bouquet of flowers or potted plant, appropriate in color, size, and kind, was chosen for its appointed place; service was at the elbow before a wish was expressed, but so unobtrusive as to be almost invisible. The food, the wines, the linens, the table service were flawless. It, of course, took an enormous amount of concentration and work to maintain such perfection, but this never intruded on the enjoyment of it.

    Florence Blumenthal moved about like a fairy-tale princess, small and dainty, with delicate hands and feet. In the evening, she often wore Renaissance velvet gowns, in dark jewel-like colors which not only enhanced her beauty but gave her an air of having been born to this superb environment where every work of art seemed tunelessly at home. She actually lived among the treasures, as it had been intended one should; while seated in one of the low, comfortable chairs, she could let a hand stroke the cool marble of a small sculptured head or the sharp edges of an ivory diptych on a nearby table. They were there to be touched, and if an occasional piece like the Hispano-Moresque plate, one of the earliest known, remained under glass, the rest were simply there, as by happy accident.

    This superb aesthetic efflorescence had had its birth in tragedy. Florence and George Blumenthal had lost their only child, George, when he was eleven. The shock of his death, added to the knowledge that she could never bear another child, left Mrs. Blumenthal in such despair that every means was employed to create new interests for her. Chief among them was travel, with long stays in Italy and France. Gradually her innate taste and love of beauty was reawakened. Guided by special tutors, she plunged into a serious study of the history of art. By the time she began to develop her ideas for the New York house, she had acquired real knowledge to complement a natural bent.

    Mrs. Blumenthal diffused about her a sense of refinement which made natural for her a setting which might have seemed theatrical for another. It inspired her visitors. Talk was never high-pitched, and the subject of conversation was apt to be in keeping with the atmosphere, serious and scholarly, or gay and witty. The company was always stimulating and never banal.

    Already in 1927, George Blumenthal had established a fund of a million dollars for the Metropolitan Museum, and in his will he left to that institution all the works of art in his collection which dated from before 1720. It had been his intention to bequeath his house, as it stood, to the museum, to be kept intact as an auxiliary branch. But his years of Trusteeship had given him a thorough understanding of the maintenance problems involved in the running of a modern museum, and he changed his mind. Instead, the house was ordered dismantled and sold for the benefit of the museum, with the patio, the boiseries, stained glass, and all such architectural features to be retained by the museum, and installed when and how it saw fit. Merchants of art: 1800-1960: eighty years of professional collecting

The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's
FIRST FLOOR(approximations)
SOURCE

The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's
SECOND FLOOR(approximations)
SOURCE

FOYER LOOKING INTO TWO-STORY SPANISH COURTYARD
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's

Inside a fruit wreath, is the coat of arms of Don Pedro Fajardo. This carving was originally on the wall of the castle's main tower.

Wall bracket
Date: 17th century (?), Culture: Italian or Spanish
FOYER, DOOR INTO MEN'S RECEPTION ROOM
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's

FOYER LOOKING INTO TWO-STORY SPANISH COURTYARD
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's
Pair of standing candelabra
Date: 16th century, Culture: Spanish

LOGGIA, FOYER ENTRANCE ON THE RIGHT
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's
Candelabra
Date: 15th century, Culture: European
Pair of standing candelabra
Date: 16th century, Culture: Spanish

LOGGIA, STAIRS TO UPPER GALLERY
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's
    A regrettable loss is that of a balustrade that ran along three sides of the patio above the heavy marble entablature.  The only elements of the balustrade known to have survived are four carved piers that were adapted into the Blumenthal house as pilasters for the staircase.


Bust of Roman Emperor
Date: ca. 1525–30 (?), Culture: French
VIEW INTO COURTYARD, BALLROOM ENTRANCE ON THE LEFT
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's

Patio from the Castle of Vélez Blanco
Date: 1506–15, Culture: Spanish, Almería, Medium: Marble of Macael

 The coats of arms of Don Pedro Fajar do y Chacon (left) and his wife Dona Mencia de la Cueva (right), carved on the first-floor spandrels


OPPOSITE VIEW, STAIRCASE, DOOR TO DINING ROOM, DOOR FROM MEN'S RECEPTION ROOM, FOYER 
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's
Virgin and Child
Date: first quarter 14th century, Geography: Made in Normandy, France 
 COURTYARD, STAIRCASE, DOOR TO DINING ROOM, DOOR FROM MEN'S RECEPTION ROOM, FOYER
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's
   
In 1945, after Blumenthal's death and the demolition of his residence, the approximately two thousand marble blocks were brought to the museum, where they were reassembled, as faithfully as possible, in 1964. The courtyard was closed for refurbishing in 1997 and reopened in 2000

    The patio from Vélez Blanco has been recognized by scholars around the world as one of the jewels of early Renaissance Spain — melding indigenous Gothic and Hispano-Moresque structural precedents contributed by its Spanish architect — such as segmental arches and flat timber ceilings with exposed beams — to the architectural canons and ornamental motifs of the Italian Renaissance. The graceful carvings that embellish many window and door frames of the 2,750-square-foot, two-story galleried structure — fantastic tiered candelabra and animal grotesques, foliate scrolls, birds, vases, and monsters — are believed to be the work of itinerant Lombardo-Venetian sculptors who brought their up-to-date carving skills and pattern books from northern Italy to the small mountain village on the southeastern coast of Spain.


    By the 19th century, after French invasion and decades of political and social upheaval had overtaken Spain, the castle of Vélez Blanco was abandoned.  In 1904 its magnificent ensemble of arcades, columns, and window and door enframements was removed by an interior decorator, ]. Goldberg of Paris, and transported to that city. Together with these elements went other large pieces of Renaissance carving from the castle, such as the wooden ceiling, or artesonado, of one of the salons and two doors.


    There was no better moment for the sale of this ensemble. In the United States the fashion for Renaissance architecture—promoted by such professionals as Stanford White and Charles R McKim—was at its peak. The marbles were offered first to Archer M. Huntington, whose interest in Spain led to the founding of the Hispanic Society of America. The patio from Velez Blanco was to be considered for use in the society's new building. 


    Negotiations fell through, however, and shortly before 1915, George Blumenthal purchased the marbles for the house  on Park Avenue. There they were combined with a number of additions to create a sumptuous inner hall, in which a second-floor gallery ran on three sides and a coffered ceiling was made from the arresonado. SOURCE

COURTYARD
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's
Mercury Changes Aglauros to Stone, from the Story of Mercury and Herse
Designer: Design attributed to Giovanni Battista Lodi da Cremona, from the set of the "Acts of the Apostles" Date: designed ca. 1540, woven ca. 1570
Culture: Flemish, Brussels
Cassone (one of a pair)
Date: second quarter 15th century, Culture: Italian, probably Florence
COURTYARD, STAIRCASE, DOOR TO DINING ROOM, DOOR FROM MEN'S RECEPTION ROOM, FOYER
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's
Fountain with Arms of Jacopo de' Pazzi
Giuliano da Maiano
Date: ca.1470, Culture: Italian, Florence

COURTYARD, STAIRCASE, DOOR TO DINING ROOM, DOOR FROM MEN'S RECEPTION ROOM, FOYER
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's


COURTYARD 
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's

    Opus 1348 - In 1916 a contract was signed with the Aeolian Company at a cost of $27,000.  House organ was hidden behind the tapestries. Console was in mezzanine gallery above. Blumenthal's regular organists included Archer Gibson and Harry Rowe Shelley.


Enthroned Virgin and Child
Date: ca. 1210–20, Geography: Made in Meuse Valley, France

COURTYARD
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's
Folding stool
 Date: 16th century, Culture: Italian
COURTYARD, SERVICE AREAS BEHIND TAPESTRY AND UPPER GALLERY
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's
Patio from the Castle of Vélez Blanco
Date: 1506–15, Culture: Spanish, Almería, Medium: Marble of Macael
    The patio — also known as the Blumenthal Patio — was the crowning jewel of the castle built between 1506 and 1515 by Don Pedro Fajardo y Chacón in Vélez Blanco — one of the towns he was given as reward for his assistance in suppressing Moorish rebellions in the lands of Andalusia. Don Pedro, first Marqués of Vélez and fifth Governor of the Kingdom of Murcia, was born probably in 1478, belonging to that generation of Castilian nobles that came of age during the reign of the Catholic Kings (as Ferdinand and Isabella are known in Spain). He was raised at the royal court and sponsored by the queen at an academy for young nobles; there he learned to read and write Latin under the guidance of the brilliant Italian scholar and historian, Pietro Martire d'Anghiera. This education reveals itself in the wealth of decorative images taken from ancient sources that embellish the patio's structure. 

A triumph of the designers skill is the treatment of the pilasters of the windows, with their narrow, difficult proportions, within which are arranged hanging designs or ascending garlands. Among the most attractive are the helmets, suits of armor, panoplies of shields, swords and daggers,trumpets, flutes, cymbals and drum.


COURTYARD, WINDOWS OVERLOOKED THE SHARED SPACE WITH ARTHUR CURTIS JAMES
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's
  
UPPER GALLERY, FAR RIGHT TOP DOOR FROM RENAISSANCE SALON
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's
Aglauros’s Vision of the Bridal Chamber of Herse, from the Story of Mercury and Herse
 Designer: Design attributed to Giovanni Battista Lodi da Cremona from the set of the "Acts of the Apostles" Date: designed ca. 1540, woven ca. 1570 Culture: Flemish, Brussels
    The two sixteenth-century Brussels pieces of Mercury and Herse are among the greatest treasures of the entire collection. 

Pulpit
Date: ca. 1500 Culture: Spanish
Bust of a gentleman in contemporary dress
Date: ca. 1525–30, Culture: French
COURTYARD, DOOR ON LEFT LEADS TO LADIES RECEPTION ROOM, BALLROOM
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's
God the Father
Ambrogio Bevilacqua
Madonna and Child with Angels
After a model by Antonio Rossellino 
Virgin and Child
Date: ca. 1350, Geography: Made in Champagne, France
VIEW INTO FOYER, ENTRANCE DOOR
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's


http://groteskology.blogspot.com/2010/05/castle-of-pedro-fajardo.html
ENTRANCE INTO FOYER FROM COURTYARD
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's

The Adoration of the Magi
Justus of Ghent (Joos van Wassenhove)
Date: ca. 1465
Marriage chest (cassone)
 Date: second half 16th century Culture: Italian, Rome
LADIES RECEPTION ROOM
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's

LADIES RECEPTION ROOM
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's

Sanctuary lamp
 Maker: Juan Antonio Dominguez
 Date: first half 18th century, Culture: Spanish (Toledo)

LADIES RECEPTION ROOM
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's

Virgin and Child
Date: 14th century,  Culture: French

MEN'S RECEPTION ROOM
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's

MEN'S RECEPTION ROOM
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's

BALLROOM
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's

BALLROOM
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's
Orpheus
Artist: Cristoforo Stati, Date: 1600–01, Culture: Italian, Florence

Settee
Date: third quarter 18th century, Culture: Italian
BALLROOM
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's
Louis XV, King of France
Artist: Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne the Younger, Patron: Probably commissioned by Mme de Pompadour, Date:1757
A Pair of Painted and Giltwood Side Chairs originally designed for the ballroom of the Blumenthal residence sold in 2005 for $33,600
DINING ROOM
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's

The Prodigal Receives His Share (one of eight scenes from the story of the Prodigal Son)
Date: 1532, possibly some 19th century, Culture: German

Bernard Palissy
Artist: Probably by Giuseppe Devers, Date: ca. 1866, Culture: French, Medium: Painted terracotta
     Blumenthal paid $70,000 for this painted terracotta bust in 1917. 

DINING ROOM
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's

The Prodigal as a Swineherd (one of eight scenes from the story of the Prodigal Son)
Date: 1532, Culture: German

DINING ROOM
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's

Scenes from The Story of Charlemagne (?) (from Christ the Judge on the Throne of Majesty and Other Subjects)
Date: ca. 1500–1510, Culture: South Netherlandish

DINING ROOM, MINSTREL GALLERY
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's

DINING ROOM, MINSTREL GALLERY
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's

The Trinity
Artist: Agnolo Gaddi, Date: ca. 1390–96

The Lamentation
Date: ca. 1490–1505, Culture: South Netherlandish

Chest
Date: second half 15th century, Culture: French

UPPER GALLERY, ORGAN CONSOLE, SERVICE AREA BEHIND WALL
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's

Armorial Tondo with the Arms of Squarci Lupi
Maker: School of Giovanni della Robbia, Date: 15th–16th century, Culture: Italian, Florence

Virgin and Child Enthroned with Scenes from the Life of the Virgin
Artist: Morata Master (Spanish, Aragonese, late 15th century)

Maker: School of Giovanni della Robbia, Date: 15th–16th century, Culture: Italian, Florence
UPPER GALLERY, SERVICE AREA BEHIND WALL
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's
Carpet with Coat of Arms
Date: 15th century, Culture: Spanish
UPPER GALLERY, GOTHIC HALL, DOOR TO ELEVATOR
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's

UPPER GALLERY, STAIRS TO THIRD FLOOR TO THE RIGHT
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's
Panel with St. John The Evangelist
Date: 15th century, Culture: French

Panel with St. Catherine of Alexandria
Date: 15th century, Culture: French

Stained glass functioned as an atmospheric light source on stairway landings or provided vistas down hall or balcony walkways The deep, rich colors of this double-light window, purchased by Mrs. Blumenthal in 1916, helped to further the "sumptuous" atmosphere of the new house she assiduously worked to create on East Seventieth Street - an ambiance in which living with the past was taken seriously. 

    Old stained glass was used throughout the house, including the dining room, library, and drawing room. The lion's share of stained glass acquired for his home was sixteenth and seventeenth century in date. 

The Latin inscription translates as: PEDRO FAJARDO, FIRST MARQUES OF VELEZ AND FIFTH GOVERNOR OF THE KINGDOM OF MURCIA OF HIS LINEAGE, ERECTED THIS CASTLE AS THE CASTLE OF HIS TITLE, THIS WORK WAS STARTED IN THE YEAR 1506 AFTER THE BIRTH OF CHRIST AND FINISHED IN THE YEAR 1515.
    The double gallery of five arches each on the east side of the patio. At the left is the doorway, and at the right a marble staircase leads to the second floor, where, if in the castle, the grand reception rooms were located. Beneath the cornice is part of the inscription citing the castle's builder, his titles, and the dates of construction.

    A team from the Spanish company Delta Cad was sent to New York by the Junta's ministry of culture to make a three dimensional digital scan of the patio using laser technology. The digital copy will be used to recreate the patio at castle Vélez Blanco. Some of the information will be used directly by marble milling machinery in Macael and the rest will be carved by hand by students of the Andalucian School of Marble in Fines. 

    The Forgotten Friezes from the Castle of Vélez Blanco

UPPER GALLERY, STAIRS TO THIRD FLOOR TO THE RIGHT
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's
Hunting for Wild Boar
 Date: ca. 1515–35, Culture: South Netherlandish

RENAISSANCE SALON, THE WINDOWS OVERLOOKED THE SHARED OPEN SPACE WITH ARTHUR CURTIS JAMES
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's
Terracotta Pilaster (one of four)
Artist: Graziani, Date: late 18th–early 19th century, Culture: Italian, Faenza

The Mocking of Christ
Maker: Jan RomboutsDate: 1529Culture: Flemish, Leuven
RENAISSANCE SALON
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's
Plaque with the Annunciation
Date: ca. 1200–1225Culture: Catalan or Central Italian
Madonn aand Child with Saints Francis and Jerome
Artist: Francesco Francia, Date:1500–10
Saint Reparata before the Emperor Decius
Artist: Bernardo Daddi, Date: ca. 1338–40

RENAISSANCE SALON
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's

RENAISSANCE SALON
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's
Mercury
Artist: Attributed to Alessandro Vittoria, Date: third quarter 16th century, Culture: Italian, Venice
    Blumenthal paid $48,000 for a pair of sixteenth century andirons, surmounted by figures of Apollo and Mercury, ascribed to Alessandro Vittoria.


Portrait of a Man
Artist: Jacopo TintorettoDate: ca. 1540

RENAISSANCE SALON
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's
Marriage chest (cassone) (one of a pair)
Date: third quarter 16th century, Culture: probably Italian, Rome
Preparation for the Crucifixion
Jan Rombouts

RENAISSANCE SALON, DOOR TO SECOND-STORY GALLERY
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's
Renaissance-style statuette of Virgin and Child
Date: 19th century

Enthroned Virgin and Child
Date: probably early 20th century (14th century style), Culture: Italian
The Nativity
Jacopo del Sellaio
RENAISSANCE SALON
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's
Mantel
Date: last quarter 15th century, Culture: Italian
Assumption of the Virgin
 Maker: Jan Rombouts, Date: ca. 1505–10, Culture: Flemish, Leuven

RENAISSANCE SALON
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's
Coffret
Date: early 1400's, Culture: Italian
Pilgrim bottle with cover
Date: late 15th or early 16th century, Culture: Italian, Venice
Tabernacle
Date: ca. 1200–1210, Geography: Made in Limoges, France
RENAISSANCE SALON
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's
Portrait of a Knight of Malta
Artist: Attributed to Mirabello Cavalori 
    "the great Gothic hall, built specifically for three great works of art: the magnificently simple fireplace which determined the proportions of the whole; a gay and secular 15th century mille fleurs tapestry depicting a hawking party on the opposite wall; and a marble Virgin and Child by Pisano which occupied a special niche in the linen-fold paneling of the smaller wall."


GOTHIC HALL/LIBRARY
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's
Pair of andirons
Date: 16th century, Culture: probably Italian, Venice

Holy Woman
Date: ca. 1480, Culture: South Netherlandish

Tomb Effigy Bust of Marie de France,daughter of Charles IV of France
Artist: Jean de Liège, Date: ca. 1381, Geography: Made in Île de France
Mourning Woman
Date: ca. 1480, Culture: South Netherlandish
GOTHIC HALL/LIBRARY
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's

Hawking Party
Date: ca. 1500–1530, Culture: South Netherlandish
GOTHIC HALL/LIBRARY
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's
Virgin and Child
Date: ca. 1500–1525, Culture: French
   
"The Sacrifice of Isaac" from Scenes from the Lives of Abraham and Isaac
Date: ca. 1600, Culture: Flemish

 
    View of the Scenes from the Lives of Abraham and Isaac tapestry-woven cushion covers being used as throw pillows in the Blumenthal household.
    
GOTHIC HALL/LIBRARY
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's
Bowl with a Horseman Spearing a Serpent
Date: late 1300's or early 1400's Geography: Made in probably Málaga, Spain

Chest
Date: early 16th century, Culture: Northern European
GOTHIC HALL/LIBRARY
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's
Virgin and Child
Date: 13th–14th century, Culture: French
THE MADONNA AND CHILD WITH SIX SAINTS
Artist; Matteo di Giovanni, PROPERTY OF THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART, SOLD FOR THE ACQUISITIONS FUND, SOLD. $86,500
GOTHIC HALL/LIBRARY
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's
MADONNA AND CHILD WITH SAINTS MICHAEL AND BERNARDINO OF SIENA
PROPERTY OF THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART, SOLD FOR THE ACQUISITIONS FUND
Artist: NEROCCIO DI BARTOLOMMEO DE' LANDI AND WORKSHOP, LOT SOLD. 50,000 USD
Madonna and Child with Angels
Artist: Sassetta, Date: ca. 1445–50
Chair
Date: 15th century, Culture: North Italian

GOTHIC HALL/LIBRARY
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's
Saint George and the Dragon
 Date: 15th century Culture: South German
GOTHIC HALL/LIBRARY
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's
Tri-Lobed Arch from a Reliquary Shrine
Artist: Nicholas of VerdunandCologne FollowersDate: ca. 1200Geography: Made in Cologne, Germany
Colonnette from a Reliquary Shrine
Date: ca. 1175–1200, Geography: Made in Cologne, Germany

Plaque of St. Simon
Date: 12th century, Culture: German

Florence Blumenthal in the library of her home at 50 East 70th Street, New York City, 1916?-?22. Behind her is the standing Virgin and Child.

Shepherd and Shepherdesses
Date: ca. 1500–1530, Culture: South Netherlandish
Chest with Relief Figures of Saints Sebastian and Blaise
Date: early 16th century, Culture: Italian
Standing Virgin and Child
Date: late 13th century, probably early 20th century, Culture: Italian

GOTHIC HALL/LIBRARY
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's
THE MADONNA AND CHILD WITH SIX SAINTS
PROPERTY OF THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART, SOLD FOR THE ACQUISITIONS FUND
Artist: Matteo di Giovanni, LOT SOLD. 86,500 USD
Hesse de Linange as donor (one of a set of four)
Date: 1529, Culture: French, Lorraine
Lectern, Folding
Date: 15th century, Culture: Spanish

Folding Table
Date: 1508, Culture: French

GOTHIC HALL/LIBRARY
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's
THE MADONNA AND CHILD WITH SAINTS MATTHEW AND FRANCIS
PROPERTY OF THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART, SOLD FOR THE ACQUISITIONS FUND
Artist: Bicci di Lorenzo, LOT SOLD. 158,500 USD
St. George standing behind kneeling donor, Jorig Baumgartner, and his family
Artist: Painted by Hans Wertinger, Date: 1528, Culture: German
GOTHIC HALL/LIBRARY, VIEW INTO SECOND-STORY GALLERY
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's
Saint John the Evangelist
Artist: Segna di Buonaventura, Date: ca. 1320
Saint Andrew
Artist: Simone Martini, Date: ca. 1326
Virgin and Child with the Pietà and Saints
Artist: Spanish Castilian), Painter (late 15th century)

STAIR LANDING TO THIRD FLOOR
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's

STAIRS TO THIRD FLOOR
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's

Bacchus
Domenico Poggini
 Date: 1554, Culture: Italian, Florence

THIRD FLOOR LANDING
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's

THIRD FLOOR LANDING
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's
THIRD FLOOR LANDING
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's

    The Louis XVl-style boiserie skylighted hallway led to Florence's suite, which consisted of a  bedroom, boudoir, and dressing room, each exquisitely paneled and furnished with fine French furniture.


Portrait of a Lady 
Giovanni Boldini, 1912

THIRD FLOOR LANDING, HALL TO BEDROOMS
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's
    
Pair of armchairs
Date: ca. 1730–50Medium: Carved walnut; Beauvais tapestry covers
THIRD FLOOR CORRIDOR
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's

George Blumenthal
Artist: Paul-Maximilien Landowski, Date: 1920, Culture:French

FAMILY DINING ROOM 
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's

The Harvest
 Maker: Weaver: Urbanus Leyniers, Maker: Weaver: Daniel Leyniers II
Date: 1712–28, Culture: Flemish, Brussels

George Blumenthal (1858 – June 26, 1941)

ITALIAN RENAISSANCE DEN
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's
The Prodigal is Banqueted 
Date: 1532, Culture: German

The Prodigal is Given the Best Coat (one of eight scenes from the story of the Prodigal Son)
Date: 1532, possibly some 19th century, Culture: German

ITALIAN RENAISSANCE DEN
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's

Six Courtiers
 Date: ca. 1465–80 Culture: South Netherlandish
Madonna and Child Enthroned
Artist: Master of the Magdalen (Italian, Florence, active 1265–95)
Chest
Date: late 15th century, Culture: French

ITALIAN RENAISSANCE DEN
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's
Saint Catherine of Alexandria
Date: ca. 1450–1500, Culture: North Spanish

ITALIAN RENAISSANCE DEN
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's


    The Crucifixion with Saints and Scenes from the Life of the VirginA triptych from the workshop Duccio,  Sienese.


MR. BLUMENTHAL'S STUDY
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's
The Crucifixion with Saints and a Donor
Joos van Cleve  


Maker: Workshop of Pompei, Date:ca. 1530, Culture: Italian, Castelli
MR. BLUMENTHAL'S STUDY
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's
Apollo
Artist: Adriaen de Vries, Date: ca. 1594–98, Culture: German, probably Augsburg

MR. BLUMENTHAL'S STUDY
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's
The Crucifixion
 Designer: Design attributed to Bernard van Orley 
Date: design ca. 1515, woven ca. 1525 Culture: Flemish, Brussels
Cassone
Date: second half 16th century, Culture: Italian, possibly Venice

The Adoration of the Shepherds
El Greco
MRS. BLUMENTHAL'S THIRD FLOOR SITTING ROOM
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's
     
Armchair
Maker: Jean-Baptiste-Claude Sené, Maker: painted and gilded by Louis-François Chatard, Date: ca. 1788, Culture: French, Paris
    Made for Marie-Antoinette’s dressing room at the château de Saint Cloud. The queen’s initials are carved on the top rail.

MRS. BLUMENTHAL'S THIRD FLOOR SITTING ROOM
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's
Madame du Barry
Factory: Sèvres Manufactory, Modeler: Augustin Pajou, Date: 1772, Culture: French, Sèvres

MRS. BLUMENTHAL'S THIRD FLOOR SITTING ROOM
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's
 Maker: Jean-Baptiste-Claude Sené (1748–1803), Maker: painted and gilded by Louis-François Chatard (ca. 1749–1819)Date: 1788, Culture: French, Paris
MRS. BLUMENTHAL'S THIRD FLOOR BEDROOM
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's
    It had a shoe closet rivaling that of Imelda Marcos.


MRS. BLUMENTHAL'S THIRD FLOOR BEDROOM
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's

MRS. BLUMENTHAL'S THIRD FLOOR BEDROOM
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's

MRS. BLUMENTHAL'S THIRD FLOOR BOUDOIR
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's
MRS. BLUMENTHAL'S THIRD FLOOR BOUDOIR
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's

Armchair
 Maker: Georges Jacob Date: ca. 1780–90
MRS. BLUMENTHAL'S THIRD FLOOR BOUDOIR
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's
Clock
Clockmaker: Charles Dutertre, Date: ca. 1775, Culture: French, Paris
MRS. BLUMENTHAL'S THIRD FLOOR BOUDOIR, CLOSET
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's

MRS. BLUMENTHAL'S BATHROOM
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's

MRS. BLUMENTHAL'S BATHROOM
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's

MRS. BLUMENTHAL'S BATHROOM
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's

MR. BLUMENTHAL'S BEDROOM
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's

MR. BLUMENTHAL'S BEDROOM
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's
Clock
Clockmaker: Drouot, Enameler: Dubuisson, Date: first quarter 19th century, Culture: French, Paris
Vase with cover (Vase en ivoire)
Date: ca. 1786, Culture: French, Paris
Fire screen
Factory: Tapestry woven at: Beauvais, Date: late 17th–early 18th century, Culture: French

    Swimming pool with wall murals by Paul Thevenaz, and patinated bronze armchairs by Armand Albert Rateau.


SWIMMING POOL
The home of George and Florence Blumenthal, Fifty East Seventieth Street, New York, 1920's

The bare walls surrounding the pool were transformed into a gorgeous, poetic sea garden. In this swimming pool Thevenaz revelled in the exotic, the foreign, the imaginative.
    
Against an aqua-marine background of undersea tone, float myriad-colored sea anemones, glittering shoals of deep-sea fish, tall iridescent water flowers, great jewelled shells and dreaming mermaids with long tresses of seaweed texture. Corals, greens, pinks and blues, and rhythm in every detail!

MURAL DECORATION FOR THE SWIMMING POOL OF MRS. GEORGE BLUMENTHAL
A great translucent octopus coils and uncoils below a little sea child clinging to an overhanging rock and gleefully deriding all danger.
MURAL DECORATION FOR THE SWIMMING POOL OF MRS. GEORGE BLUMENTHAL

DETAIL OF MURAL DECORATION FOR THE SWIMMING POOL OF MRS. GEORGE BLUMENTHAL
Bronze armchair, model no. 1793, the frame cast with details of scales and shells, the back and seat formed by linked medallions cast as fish and the arms formed of linked shells.
     Model no. 1793 - known as the Blumenthal armchair by Armand-Albert Rateau - sold in 2007 for $2,001,000. The table pictured below sold in 2009 for $1,455,422., part of the COLLECTION YVES SAINT LAURENT.

    In 1919, Rateau and the Blumenthals happened upon each other while aboard the ocean liner La Savoie traveling between the U.S. and France and it was from this meeting that the Blumenthals became Rateau's first clients. The three had worked together previously, before the war while Rateau held the position of creative director in the prestigious French decorating firm Alavoine & Cie. However, in 1919, when they became re-acquainted, Rateau had set out to work independently.

    Shortly after their transatlantic encounter the Blumenthals commissioned a suite of furniture for the patio surrounding the indoor pool at their sumptuous Manhattan townhouse. Taking his cue from the elaborate aquatic murals featuring mermaids swimming below the ocean amongst sea creatures and sea life, Rateau created his magical bronze suite (consisting of six armchairs, two tables and one lamp) with an intricate shell and marine life theme. SOURCE

With green marble circular top, decorated with seven green patinated bronze medallions with an incised pattern of snails and shells, supported by six tapering grooved and patinated bronze legs, the upper section with a pattern of shells and pearls, connected by a six-arm stretcher joined in the centre by a stylized pine cone; each arm decorated with four snails


Here a phantom ship appears wrecked upon rocky depths, in a vivid mass of star fish. 
    Blumenthal built several mansions in New York City, a townhouse in Paris, and a château in Grasse, near Cannes, France. He was one of the original members of the Knollwood Club on Lower Saranac Lake, occupying Cottage Two. Soon after his wife's death in 1930, Blumenthal closed the Paris house and auctioned its contents


23 WEST 53RD STREET
Rising four stories above its double-lot (50 feet) frontage on West 53rd Street. Three round-arched openings with keystones in the form of grotesque faces penetrate beveled rustication at the ground floor level. On the second story, rusticated piers frame three French windows placed between engaged Ionic columns, While pedimented dormers and a frieze with putti at either end surmount the crowning cornice. Another tier of dormers emerges from a steep mansard roof to culminate this richly sculptural facade. SOURCE
    In 1903 George Blumenthal built one of the best midblock mansions ever erected in New York, the scrumptiously sumptuous 23 West 53rd Street,designed by Hunt & Hunt.  The 1910 census found Blumenthal at home with his wife and 12 servants, including a valet, a butler and two footmen. SOURCE

    Blumenthal's house replaced the only apartment building to get onto the block -- in 1900 the neighbors had paid $19,000 to the apartment-house owner to restrict that site to single houses in the future. But desertions began in 1911, when Blumenthal himself began his house at Park Avenue and 70th. In 1922 the remaining householders fought off an attempt to convert his 53rd Street place into a club, but things were beginning to fall apart, and in 1924 it was the subject of an ad in The New  York Times: "The House — A Jewel; The Price — A Bargain."

    In 1932, the Blumenthal house, then operating as the Bath Club, was raided by Prohibition agents who, while securing the premises, had to turn away "scores of fashionably dressed customers," as The Times put it.  After serving as the headquarters of the Theatre Guild, the building was acquired in 1956 by the Museum of Modern Art, which used it for offices and a bookstore before  demolishing in 1976 for its Museum Tower project.

Blumenthals' Chateau de Malbosc near Grasse, France

 George Blumenthal was married twice: In 1898, he married Florence Meyer, whose brother Eugene Meyer, Jr. was the father of Katharine Meyer Graham, Editor of the Washington Post. Florence Meyer died in Paris in 1930. In December, 1935, he married Mrs. Mary (Marion) Clews, the former Miss Mary Ann Payne of New York, and widow of James Clews, banker. They were married at her home at 1 E. 62nd StreetGeorge Blumenthal died in 1941 in New York City.


PANEL PORTRAIT OF GEORGE BLUMENTHAL JR
Designer: Kathleen Hollister, Date: 1930's

From 1911 to 1938, the Blumenthals gave three million dollars to Mount Sinai Hospital, one of New York’s prominent German Jewish institutions, including a sum allotted for a wing in memory of their only child, George, Jr., who died as a young boy. The death of their only child in 1909 caused them to seek solace in collecting art and antiques.

A stamp printed in Spain shows Velez Blanco, Almeria, Spain, circa 1969.