Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Tim Walker Pictures: The Book

British fashion photographer, Tim Walker's recently released book, Tim Walker: Pictures, is available online. It is jam-packed with photos of his stunning photography. He is best known for his contributions to just about every country's Vogue magazine. In addition, he explored and helped collate Vogue's extensive holdings of Cecil Beaton's negatives.

"His images capture a sublime moment in time, evoking a sense of epic drama and beauty. Stunning sets and lavish locations juxtapose the everyday with the absurd and the fabulous, to create captivating, original photographs." -London Architecture Diary

This famous photo (above) of supermodel Lily Cole posed on a decaying ornate spiral staircase in an abandoned palace in India is featured in the book. Gorgeous.

These photos are so whimsical and have a very vintage feel to them."Dreamlike", don't you think?

You can order the book here at TeNeues books for $125. The book is quite heavy at 10.5 pounds! There is also a 2009 photo calendar available. I think I'm going to have to spring for a book! Perhaps a calendar too?

You can also see more of his work here at Thomas Treuhaft.

All photos, Tim Walker

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Gentlemen's Club Redux

One hundred years after it's opening, the historic Arctic Club of Seattle recently reopened as a high-end hotel with a newly renovated look.

The Arctic Club was an exclusive gentlemen's club formed in 1908 and filled with members who had made their wealth in Alaska with Klondike gold. This building at 700 Third Avenue became the club's headquarters, complete with ivory walrus tusks on its interior and its famous gilt-ceiling "Dome Room." The building ranks #1 spot on the National Register of Historic Places.

Interior designer, Candra Scott of Candra Scott & Anderson, designed the newly renovated hotel. Candra's selections for the Arctic Club are vintage pieces or historically inspired replicas, such as an antique vanity table in the women's restroom in the lobby and specialty lamps constructed from old maps and boat bumpers.

Candra Scott's work is amazing. She specializes in thematically inspired landmark hotels, many of which are on the National Registry of Historic Places. "Our goal is to create an authentic atmosphere, not a museum but a vital environment that is both timeless and cutting edge, with a thread of the eccentric."-Candra Scott

Candra has designed hotels including the Hotel Majestic & Hotel Rex in San Francisco, The Ashland Springs Hotel & The Governor Hotel (both in Oregon), to name a few. I haven't checked out the S.F. hotels yet, but walked through the lobby of the Ashland Springs Hotel. I was in awe. I love how Candra retained the historical elements of the hotel, but gave it a new and innovative twist with elements of curiosity. I'm glad someone is restoring the grandeur of these great old hotels, as opposed to so many that are being completely gutted and modernized. I look forward to seeing the Arctic Club Hotel!
Photos courtesy of the Arctic Club Hotel & The Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Monday, July 28, 2008

FrenchBlue & Co.

With a love for all things vintage and nature-
inspired, Janet Solomon of FrenchBlue & Co. makes every day a treasure hunt of sorts. She has a keen eye for the unique and whimsical and, lucky for me, is my closest friend.

I met Janet about 10 years ago via eBay. We met in person to deliver a beaded sconce and became fast friends!

glass & shell crab from Frenchblue @ Co.

Janet lives in the coastal village of San Clemente in Southern California with her husband Larry. She is a mother of three. She has a love for natural objects such as seashells & coral, architectural elements and weathered sea glass, to name a few. Her decorating palette is cool colors that remind her of the ocean, from pale blues and soft greens, to creamy shades of white.

Janet's living room is a study in naturals. Oceanic relics and natural elements form an organic environment

Janet's dining room is graced by an amazing old chandelier

Janet's bedroom has subtle, natural colors

Janet and I have had so much fun over the years. Our annual “girls” trips from Palm Springs to New York are always an adventure. We discover styles together that excite and inspire us such as our first look at Kelly Wearstler’s Viceroy Hotel after it opened. We spend hours on the phone daily to share flea market finds or our latest acquisitions. A lot of our conversations are about silly things like our favorite new candy or childhood birthday parties.

An antique etched dome covers a stack of Laduree candy boxes

Laduree, Paris

It’s not out of sorts for Janet to scour a deserted mansion in hopes for a fabulous treasure! I remember our little adventure in Palm Springs when Janet spotted a plaster whippet on someone’s porch. No, we didn’t try to steal it. Let’s just say after tough negotiations, we didn’t get the whippet. But the hunt goes on…

French silver spoon bracelets from Frenchblue & Co.

French hotel spoon rings from Frenchblue @ Co.

Janet started collecting as a young girl, her personal style developing over the years. She started selling her wares on eBay in the 90’s, and got recognition when her home was featured in Romantic Homes Magazine, where she continues to contribute. She has sold to stores such as Bergdorf Goodman for their prop displays.

Paris windows

Janet's daughter, Jeanna, exploring the beautiful shops in Paris

When Janet went to Paris for the first time, she was smitten by the ethereal beauty of the Parisian shop windows to the magnificent old architecture of France. Since then, she and Larry make it a point to visit there once a year.

Paris has inspired Janet to dabble in photography and eventually launch her beautiful website, FrenchBlue & Co. where she sells her unique vintage finds. You can check it out here!

Photos courtesy of Janet Solomon and Romantic Homes Magazine

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

PHB Summer Giveaway!

I love contests so I thought it would be fun to have my first blog giveaway! This is a small way to give big thanks for the support of you wonderful bloggers, and to the years of loyal customers at Paris Hotel Boutique.

Here is how the giveaway works. Starting today, you simply enter by leaving a comment on this post. Limited to one entry per person. Help me spread the news about the giveaway by mentioning it on your own blog and you'll get a second chance to enter. Simply enter a second comment alerting me of the mention.

The entries can be made until Thursday, July 31st at 9:00 pm PST. The winners will be picked via on Friday, August 1st and announced on this blog. I will contact the winners for your addresses.

Let's get to the fun stuff:


Vintage Clift Hotel, San Francisco, Silverplate Bon Bon Dish
Pair of Vintage Linen San Francisco Hotel Postcards


4 Yards of Vintage French Apparel Ribbon
1 Wooden Spool of Antique French Metallic Thread
3 Vintage Hand-tinted French Postcards

{If your name doesn't link to an e-mail address or blog, please e-mail me with that info so I can contact you if you win. Thanks and Good Luck!}

Flashback! Childhood Collections

I used to collect all colors & sizes of happy face buttons

Chances are that if you're reading this blog, you probably collect something, or started collecting at a young age as I did.

The other day I happened to stumble upon a new book about Wacky Packages. Those were the collectible stickers featuring parodies of consumer products and well-known brands, first produced by the Topps company in 1967, then revived in 1973. Well, I LOVED these stickers and remember spending hours sorting them and trying to complete the series.

I thought it would be fun to take a trip down memory lane and highlight a few of my favorite collections from the late 60's, early 70's. Then I want to hear about yours!

Did you ever own a bitten Oreo or apple core necklace? I loved mine! I was a bit of a geek, though.

Then there were beads and Puka shell necklaces. I used to sort my beads in egg cartons and ice cube holders. Come in, this was the 60's. We didn't have fancy storage boxes!

I guess you could say that I've always liked sweets. I had a collection of "food" candles like these ice cream sundaes.

There were the Little Kiddle dolls that came in lockets and plastic perfume bottles. Loved those.

I had a rather large collection of glass blown figurines/animals. Kind of scary. Did you ever have a piano like this above? I did.

...or animals like these?

We certainly didn't have many choices of items to collect back in the 60's and 70's. I would go crazy as a kid today. Even Pottery Barn Kids & PB Teen have great stuff. So jealous.

I'm very curious, what were some of your childhood collections? What do you collect today?

Photos: happy face buttons;, Wacky Packages book;, glass piano;, ice cream sundae candles;, puka shell necklace;, Little Kiddle;, glass animals, slubird at

Friday, July 18, 2008

Mystery Solved!

The Apartments of Camille Mailhebuau, 1897

The most interesting part of the antique business is researching an acquisition and actually finding its origin. Be it a hallmark, manufacturer's name, date or provenance, it's always a challenge to research. And, if you get a story behind the item, that's even better!

Lamolle House China

I recently acquired a collection of interesting dinnerware that I was told was from the estate of the owner of the old Poodle Dog Restaurant in San Francisco. Hmm...why was there china from the Lamolle House Restaurant, as well as dinnerware with the monogram, "CM" or "MC?" Didn't know, but I put it up for sale on my website, still with a curiosity.

Mystery monogrammed china

I was able to research the Lamolle House which was located in San Jose, California at the corner of San Pedro and Santa Clara Streets. Opened in 1872, by proprietors Madame Veuve Lamolle and Emile J. Lamolle, the house originally had 27 sleeping rooms.

The restaurant served gourmet French cuisine touted as “second to none in the state or the Pacific Coast" and was managed by Chef de Cuisine Alexis Gaston – formerly of Delmonico’s in New York. Okay, so that was good, but what about the monogrammed dinnerware? And why did the Poodle Dog owner have the Lamolle House china?

Last weekend I purchased a photo of a man in office filled with antiques. It was printed, "Apartments of Camille Mailhebuau 1897." Not only was this an interesting photo, but the person I purchased it from said that Mailhebuau was the former owner of the Old Poodle Dog in San Francisco. Of course, I became more curious since I had recently purchased the dinnerware that was from perhaps from the same person?

I did some research on Camille Mailhebuau and found out that he was in fact, the proprietor of the Old Poodle Dog in the years following the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. He was also a proprietor of the Lamolle House Restaurant with partner's Jules Vigouroux and Louis Coutard in 1906, as he moved to San Jose after losing his home in the earthquake. This was over thirty years after the original owners of the Lamolle House. Now it's starting to make sense...

"Faithfully I stand with ready cheer"- The Poodle Dog. Illustration from The Tale of a Poodle. Photo courtesy of the
California State Library Foundation.

"A Modern Cook, " one of the many skilled culinary artists employed by the Old Poodle Dog. Photo courtesy of the California State Library

Okay, so now I've figured out why the Lamolle House china was from the estate of Camille Mailhebuau. But, what about the "CM" "MC" dinnerware? Aren't those Camille's initials? BINGO! The dishes date to 1913, so one would only assume that this was Camille's personal dinnerware. I love when this happens! Another possibility. Restaurant china collector, Rebecca Leontiv, informed me that these pieces were possibly used at Camille's namesake restaurant, which was in operation from 1901 to 1940, located at 441 Pine Street in San Francisco, and closed by the Mailhebuau family in January 1940. In any event, this mystery is solved and the dishes were in fact owned by Camille Mailhebuau. A picture is worth a thousand words.

Dinnerware from the estate of Camille Mailhebuau

Menu from Camille's Restaurant. Photo courtesy of The Alice Statler Menu Collection

There is much more info about Camille Mailhebuau and the Old Poodle Dog Restaurant. The Old Poodle Dog had moved locations several times, changed names, etc. The California State Library recently acquired a manuscript collection from the Old Poodle Dog. It contains many materials that tell the personal story of Mailhebuau and includes photographs of him in his cluttered offices (I own one!) as well as, photographs of his family. By the way, Mailhebuau was French and there's more about his French history in the manuscript collection. You can read it all at the California State Library Foundation here.

The Poodle Dog when it was at the corner of Eddy and Mason Streets, San Francisco in 1903 Photo courtesy of the California State Library Foundation.

Special thanks to Rebecca Leontiv at Restaurant Collector's Network (RWCN) for helping me with my research!

Photos courtesy of the California State Library Foundation