"In the hands of the master jewelers René Lalique and Louis Comfort Tiffany, opal enjoyed a reputation as a mystical, moody stone in line with the era’s longing for nature, fluidity and movement."
The Hôtel Lambert, in a corner of the Île Saint-Louis overlooking the Seine, was once one of Paris’s best-kept secrets...
"while there are dazzling examples of gowns by such renowned names as Paul Poiret, Charles Frederick Worth and Madeleine Vionnet -- European designers who ruled the fashion universe -- there are also those that do not come with a famous label..."
"Like plants, Gothic buildings grow out of the earth and are developed upwards, drawing material from below but reaching for the light. They represent a recognition of the order of nature and an identification with it; acknowledging and seeking to imitate divine design."
"There are many messages contained in jewelry beyond the simple desire for self-ornamentation. One of the most common is to communicate wealth and social position. A necklace can do this through precious materials, elaborate design, or..."
For years, Shanghai has happily smothered its past in skyscrapers, each one taller, flashier and more futuristic than the last. But now it is looking backward. The city that ran an 11-lane highway down the middle of the Bund, riverside heart of colonial Shanghai, is rebuilding the art deco Peace Hotel, its famous landmark...
"Built in 1231, Alarahan possesses one of the most complex and original plans of any caravanserai ever built..."
"In an era when we expect and accept that mass-produced products will fill our homes, a niche exists for those who craft and want pieces made with a skilled, slow hand."
"Love was not necessarily part of the tale in 15th-century Italian Renaissance marriages, however. If love developed after marriage..."
"Quartz is the most abundant material in the Earth's continental crust, made up of a lattice of silica tetrahedra. In ideal conditions it forms a perfectly clear..."
"The design of the ancient bead had powerful representational implications at a time when it was essential to communicate..."
In the sixteenth-century Netherlands, the translation of biblical texts into biblical images went hand-in-hand...
"Towards the middle of the 17th century the alchemist Johann Rudolf Glauber (1604–1670) discovered that a solution of gold turned bright red when some tin was added (later this was called “purple of Cassius”). He also realized that this solution can be used as a ruby-red colorant for glass."
"But Eiffel, a brilliant engineer and a self-made millionaire famous for constructing soaring railroad bridges all over Europe, met every challenge, starting with a design that had to be accurate to within a tenth of a millimeter..."
The great mosques of the Islamic world were a result of royal patronage. Mosques in the west are built by community subscription. They begin as an architecture of homesickness...
"...for wealthy clients, mostly in Southern California. Their style blended influences as varied as Colonial Revival and California Mission architecture, Asian art, and the Arts and Crafts movement’s delight in natural materials and the handmade."
"Contemporary Budapest is still finding its feet since the fall of Communism. All of the trappings of globalisation are conspicuous across the city, yet alongside the modern infrastructure and ever-present multi-national brands, some Budapest districts look frozen in time."
"Slowly the big brutal blocks of concrete and fake Le Corbusier flats began to dwarf St Paul’s and the Royal Mint, and the familiar trails disappeared, along with the alleys and yards, the little coffee shops and printers."
"Stonehenge is the creation of remote and elusive people of the late stone age and the bronze age. They left no literary records, so everything that is known…"
From the beginning, symbolic design was the art of seeing beauty in nature. This first and truest art personified the spirit of nature, which had no beginning, or end. Symbolic design was a canvas of the mind...
"Not since René Lalique, the master glass-maker in fin de siècle Paris who revolutionised the world of jewellery with his Art Nouveau sets of jewels worn by Sarah Bernhardt, has glass been so a la mode."