CAROLYNE ROEHM'S NEW BOOK, A PASSION FOR BLUE & WHITE, EXPLORES THE TASTEMAKER'S EXPANSIVE COLLECTION THROUGH FIVE CATEGORIES. HERE CTC&G PROVIDES A SNEAK PEEK INTO THE CAPTIVATING CHAPTER ON HER ART OF COLLECTING.
"I began 'collecting' blue and white thirty-five years ago. I use the word collecting liberally as the only objects of any value at that time were two Blue Canton nineteenth-century plates. The rest of the objects decorating my blue-and-white apartment were found at Azuma, a shop in Chinatown, and in my travels. With my limited budget, my collecting was confined to reproductions that had a 'look' rather then a provenance. Luckily, many years later, my collection of blue and white has truly evolved.
As a collector, I'm fascinated how a particular plate reflects the life and times of the place where it was created. Many of the preeminent porcelain manufacturers throughout history were royal enterprises, and the enamel colors, rich border designs, and elaborate scenes and motifs on these plates often have a meaning beyond mere surface beauty.
Whether you set out to collect priceless antiques, reproductions, or a new design, it is such fun to build, edit, and upgrade a collection. A lot of the pleasure is in watching it grow and being able to relive when, where, and how you found the newest addition."
"Blue is a color long associated with wealth and prosperity, so it seems fitting cobalt blue glassware was popular during the Depression. During difficult times, people gravitate to what provides solace and beauty, and cobalt blue reflects a purity and serenity that's appealing. But cobalt blue glass has a long, beautiful history, one that goes back to the eighteenth century and continues today."
"My love of beautiful linens is deep seated and begins back in Missouri where my Grandmother Beatty would go to estate sales looking for antiques and would often return with lovely old table and bed linens made from heavy damask or Irish linen and often embroidered with beautiful designs.
Blue and white is never, ever fussy. That's probably one of the reasons it's universally appealing to men and women, making it a useful color combination when setting a beautiful table or preparing a guest room. It doesn't overwhelm the senses, offend no nonsense personalities, or act as a distraction with showier elements."
Fabrics & Trim
"While I love many, many colors and have stationery, papers, and ribbons in just about every color in the rainbow, the predominant theme of my paper stash is still blue and white. Pretty notepads, cards, and writing equipment in various shades of the combination are in the guest bedrooms and fill my desks in my homes.
Engraved invitations on beautiful card stock are a luxury for formal or special occasions, and I love choosing just the right typeface to reflect the theme. But there's something equally satisfying about how my favorite fonts are available on my computer, making it easy to prepare menu cards, gift tags, or placecards at a moment's notice.
Navy and white is probably my favorite pairing, thanks in part to Coco Chanel, who understood how sophisticated these two colors look together. For a bridal shower luncheon, I took a classic approach to the color scheme and tied disparate elements together in navy and white. The result? A pretty setting that feels formal, but not fussy."
Reprinted with permission from Broadway Books, a division of Random House, Inc.