Ann Getty and Associates redefine traditional Chinoiserie in their stunning vignette, ripe with visual poetry and symbolism, steeped in respect and elegance.
A table of rarities is presented with restraint in an almost ceremonial way, as Getty draws from her personal collection and her design team for a creation that is uniquely their own.
Nothing is left to chance in Getty’s vision, where each artifact represents Chinese values, history and heritage.
Stout, commanding Buddhist Lions from Getty’s own collection guard the table adding a pop of Chinese terra cotta and an element of whimsy and authenticity.
“They are from the nineteenth century, Chein Lung period,” stated Senior Designer Maria Quiros. “And they are actually incense burners. The lion is a potent symbol in Buddhism, associated with regality, strength and power.”
The color palette, a rich and eclectic mix of burnt sienna, moss green and cornflower blue, takes its cue from the Royal Crown Derby dinnerware supplied by Gump’s.
“The Hachi pattern was designed by Peter Ting, who took elements from three classic patterns and reinterpreted them into something a bit more playful and contemporary. The rest of the table took on a similar vision of taking traditional elements and reinterpreting them into something more modern,” Quiros explained.
Miniature blue and white porcelain salt and pepper cellars from the Ann Getty House porcelain accessory line add a hint of cobalt to the serene display.
Dried leaves from the prehistoric Asian gingko appear to be tucked into crisp white linen napkins on layers of impeccable fine china. But in fact, the delicate leaves, which look completely authentic, were cut from silk taffeta after the Getty team found that obtaining the leaves proved to be a challenge.
“The gingko tree is the national tree of China and represents longevity,” Quiros explained. “We wanted to use gingko leaves in our floral arrangements but could not find any available at the flower market. We do have them growing outside of our offices,” Quiros continued, “but did not think it would be appropriate to harvest the city trees.”
Not to be derailed by such a technicality, one of Getty’s talented staff members cut and fashioned the silk leaves by hand to be placed in the decoratively folded napkins.
Even the table’s flower arrangement has meaning in the Chinese culture, where orchids represent fertility, perfection and abundance. Pepperberries and cockscomb are incorporated to offer a variety of texture and playfully offset the delicate nature of the orchids.
A staff artist made the gold leaf verre eglosime placemats and the hand gold rubbed leather chair cushions which add a beautiful reflective element to the design.
Defining the table space is a lacquered pagoda lantern–a simple piece–supplied by Forgotten Shanghai and embellished with Jute tassels and antique beads which were handmade in their offices.
For a sentimental touch, “We added place cards to the table settings each with the name of a well-known Chinese individual from different areas of the artistic community,” Quiros said.
The final detail, a garnish of gold leaf fortune cookies which beg to be cracked open, are a fancy surprise that represent Western views of Chinese culture.