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Lost & Found

September 7, 2010

Anyone who thought that the clean-up and streamlining of our interiors in the wave of spare contemporary interiors was a done deal, better think again.

Accessories - no, massive collections of them, are back - and with a vengeance. Tchotchkes have never been more plentiful - so much so that they require specially built walls called CABINETS DE CURIOSITY to organize and hold them.

And we are not talking about an accent here or there but about full-fledged assemblages of, for instance, all-natural objects, especially of the aquatic kind. What started with coral and shells now includes entire schools of fish, lobsters, crabs, sea urchins and sand dollars. Fossils are especially popular and crystal formations are enjoying a comeback Butterflies have returned, so have lady bugs and dragonflies.

The category also includes "found objects," which one exhibitor here describes as "Objets de Hazard," i.e., the equivalent of the "Accidental Traveller" turned "Accidental Accessory." These can include flea market finds as well as objects shaped by nature.

But that's not all. Games are used as accessories, especially if they are black and white, such as playing cards, dice, and board games. Tribal masks, tribal totems, voodoo symbols, fatimah hands, Byzantine crosses and other religious symbols, Madonnas with Child , cherubs - all refer to cultures known as both religious and "primitive," only to turn out not to be so primitive after all.

Asian influences are everywhere - none more obvious at ASIATIMES, a company which has long been a stand-out in the decorative accessory field and a major supplier to gift purveyor TOZAI in the U.S. Its newest offerings include Chinese primitive facial masks, a collection of African masks re-interpreted in white porcelain and a whole new range of hotly colored Chinese porcelain vases with electrically bold floral decoration combined with Victorian inspired high voltage decorative cushions.

And last but not least, the ever expanding world of ANIMALIA. From horse depictions, more and more frequently seen as part of the overall interest in EQUESTRIAN themes, there are still all manner of wildlife: the leopard, the zebra, elephants, the lethal cobra, monkeys, frogs, lizards, crocodiles and turtles, are all part of a Galapagos representation.

Also butterflies, ladybugs, dragonflies, pigeons, pheasants, owls and peacocks are all headed for any surface they can alight on in our homes.

Birds are not new but have spawned new varieties - for wall decor, decorative pillows, reproduced on and in porcelain as well as fully realized in taxidermy. One company, Ju Deco, featured full sized peacocks - both in teal plumage and in pure white as part of its exotic table settings.
Just imagine, having a bird as your dinner partner. That seems to go beyond accessorization.