The god Terminus, the protector of boundary markers in ancient Rome, is the origin of these figures, male and female, that stood sentry, between walls of trompe l'oeil sienna marble, at the doors of Robert Metzger's glamorously riche New York offices.
Not very well-known today, Robert Metzger, was one of the most published decorators of the 1970s and 1980s and, I think, one of the most representative of the era - that of Tom Wolfe's Bonfire of the Vanities, Bernhard Goetz, the murder of John Lennon, beginning of the Human Genome Project, the return of Halley's Comet, and Wall Street excesses culminating in Black Monday.
It was the excesses of Wall Street that enabled Robert Metzger to flourish and create some of the most lushly flamboyant interiors of the period. He wasn't alone in creating densely layered accretions of complicated deliciousness - Geoffrey Bennison, Denning and Fourcade (more well-known today than Metzger but surely on the point of slipping from memory) spring to mind, but even at its most extravagantly glamourous there was a light-heartedness in Metzger's work that set him apart. His rooms, though dense, were not boorish. There was none, one suspects, of that suffocating ancestral grime allowed to seep into his decorative schemes.
His office desk, in a room described by Robert Metzger as "... like sitting in someone's library or living room," is wonderfully of its time: the baroque base of an American pool table surmounted by an Italian intarsia top. Drawing up to this desk, surrounded as one was by one's future and suitably histrionic extravagances: gaufraged velvet, burly damask, bewitching brocades, plump brocatelles, waxen marbles, bright-cut crystal, chased bronze, ormulu, auroral needlework, Mr Metzger beaming at the far side, to discuss plans and budgets, aided perhaps by a flute or two of bubbly, cannot have been an irksome task,
Robert Metzger died of pneumonia at the age of 55 in 1994.
Photos by Jaime Ardiles-Arce and Dennis Krukowski from Best From the Interior Design Magazine Hall of Fame, Vitae, 1992.