& Company Said
INSPIRATION | August 9, 2022 | By Saxon Henry
Shell Furnishings as an Artform
A perusal of some of the oldest products in our offerings illustrates how long we’ve been, in a word, obsessed with shells of all stripes. Among the shell furnishings that date back quite a few years are the beautiful Buttermere Chandelier, the Marchmont Sideboard, the Abalone Mirror, the Boardwalk Shell Jewelry Box, the Margate Mirror—each of which are shown below; and the Oyster Chandelier, seen in the lead image above (photo credit Adam Kuehl).
A Passion for Shell Furnishings
This image of the Tartufo Capiz Chandelier shows the translucence of the shells as the bulbs on the interior turn them into vibrant discs.
Proving we are keeping our fixation on bivalves and mollusks front-and-center, our new offerings include a fixture made of Capiz shells that we introduced in the Spring—the Tartufo Capiz Chandelier, shown above. The particular shells from which its shade is made were originally the colorful outer armors for windowpane oysters. They transcended that role thousands of years ago when the material was chosen as a substitute for stained glass due to its durability and translucence.
Our multi-drop pendants with the rose-colored shells debuted in the Fall of 2020, the nods to biophilic design brilliant in any interior when light wafts through the shells, which have bloomed into flowers. These ornament the Catrice Multi-Drop Pendants, the warmth of the rose-colored petals contrasting the metal in a mix of painted silver and contemporary silver leaf finishes. This collection of cluster lights includes an array of configurations, from 1-light up to a 36-light grouping, the latter shown above.
Among our ever-popular offerings that have stood the test of time, a number of them remain on our bestseller’s list years after they were introduced. This includes the Boardwalk Shell Jewelry Box, the Margate Mirror, and the Abalone Mirror. The exquisite artistry of the Boardwalk Shell Jewelry Box has its origins in Victorian Shell Work. The handmade decorative accent is regally balanced on conical shell legs to enhance the delicate beauty of this decorative box. Though it is artful, it will also be a handy storage helpmate.
The Margate Mirror has a hand-applied oyster-shell panel on the interior of its scalloped frame, the shells carefully placed there by artisans. These are surrounded on both sides by wrought iron trim in a contemporary gold leaf finish. The shell mirror can be hung horizontally or vertically.
The sheen of the shell after which the Abalone Mirror is named brings this decorative mirror a soft glow. Artisans place the whole shells and pieces of shell on the surface of the frame to create the intricate nautical mirror. These handcrafted attributes make each mirror differ slightly. The arched top is a distinctive design detail of note.
Our Oyster Chandelier with its ring of natural oyster shells bursting with seaside tones and textures has a robust charm. The simplicity and rusticity of the wrought iron frame in a textured bronze finish make this shell chandelier a bold centerpiece. We also have a semi-flush in this family of fixtures.
Brimming with crystals sprinkled among seashells, the Buttermere Chandelier is a stunning design. Carefully selected shells are placed on swags that loop along the wrought iron arms in a white coral/natural sand finish. This makes the shell chandelier appear to be encrusted with billowing sand.
The exotic shell-encrusted Marchmont Sideboard is an incredible orchestration of delicate natural shells and faux coral, which have been artfully applied to wood. The intricate design makes the shell sideboard one of our artisanal nautical offerings. We also offer the Marchmont in a chest, which is equally popular in our lineup of shell furnishings.
The beautiful Cecilia Mirror grandly ornaments a space with its hand-applied mix of shells affixed artfully to its frame. These form flourishes to make the decorative shell mirror seem as if its sprouting oceanic movement. The Cecilia comes with a cleat for hanging vertically.
The Batad Shell Round Mirror is covered in tiny shells that have been painstakingly applied. The conical shape of this particular shell adds textural interest to the thick frame of the decorative mirror, while the pearlized shell exteriors create a subtle interplay of light and dark.
This image of the Oyster Shell Large Bird Bath illustrates the artful profile the shells create.
Rounding out our bestselling shell furnishings is our Oyster Shell Large Bird Bath, which we have had in our lineup for years. The lovely creation combines uncommon materials and a whimsical design to transform the humble oyster shell and unrefined concrete into a functioning outdoor art piece. We have since introduced the bird baths in medium and small versions, which are also very popular.
Goodbye Beach, Hello Classroom!
In a number of states across the country, the schoolyear began last week, which means summer’s beach trips are now a memory. It’s time to put those shell collections gathered during windswept beachcombing excursions on the shelf and look toward all of the extracurricular activities to come. We at Currey & Company hope your sunny adventures were wonderful ones!