Precious Metals
By Karen Parr-Moody

As we now shift away from the silvery tinsel of Christmas, a melange of precious metals come into focus, inspired by the sparkle of New Year's Eve. Think silver and gold decorations, metal mesh bags and the coppery tones of champagne. All of these tones brighten up a party, an outfit or a home.

These two gorgeous jewel boxes are perfect for housing any jewelry one might have scored at Christmastime (photo, right: rectangular box, $348; cylinder shaped box, $135; both at Booth B-234). Both are vintage Fred Zimbalist music boxes made in India. Fred Zimbalist's etched boxes music boxes are all individual and are sought after for the skill and craftsmanship that went into each one. The silver plate over brass is Indian metal art, which has a rich history; each of these is a gem of workmanship. The casting process is hand-done in sand molds that are turned on lathes. The engraving is then done by hand with chisel-like tools and wooden hammers. Inside both boxes is a Thorens Swiss musical instrument, which can be wound to play a lovely tune.

These handmade key pendants, left, are reminiscent of Tiffany & Company's popular series of key charm necklaces featuring pendants that looked like delicate skeleton keys. Of course, prices for Tiffany's keys start at $235 for a sterling silver version; at $12, the darling keys at Showcase S-544 are a bargain. They feature old keys trimmed with a smattering of charms. One such charm combo is a gold-plated "Field Guild" book paired with a gold-plated feather. Another is a tiny butterfly on a mother-of-pear-button. Yet another combination is a tiny cat's head paired with a charm that says "believe." The sky is the limit for the amount of style these tiny pendants can convey.

This metal birdcage chandelier is surely for the birds (photo, right; $175; Booth B-112). The antiqued, copper-toned aerie is made contemporary with its bold barrel shape. And of course, there are colorful birdies perched inside. This chandelier will easily add whimsical charm to any room; imagine how sweet it would be in a child's room or a baby's nursery. And what a way to enjoy the company of birds without the relentless chirping and constant cleanup.











More metal magic is found in this gorgeous metal mesh drum pendant (photo, left; $285; Booth B-112). The modified drum shade is made of mesh sequins that are finished in a metallic champagne tone and it includes a frosted diffuser. This lamp will illuminate any space with a glittering effect; it would be at home in any modern, or even transitional, space.

The name "silent butler" might sound like something from an Agatha Christie novel (photo, right; $32; Booth B-2012). But such an item is actually a funny little bit of history, a reminder of a bygone era when the mistress of a household had an implement for just about everything (strawberry fork, anyone?). It is simply a receptacle with a handle and hinged cover that was once used to collect ashes and crumbs from a table, similar to a crumb tray used by waiters at finer restaurants. This one is a Rogers silverplate version from the 1940s and reminds us of a time when utilitarian objects were raised above the everyday status (and in this case, added a silvery gleam to a dining room).  

This pastiche is just a tiny peek at the array of beautiful metallic objects available at GasLamp. Even if your pockets aren't lined with gold bullion, your home can still shine with a lovely shade of metal in every room.


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