Friday, April 2, 2010

The Mayor's house

I said yesterday how it could be interesting to compare work done by Geoffrey Bennison for the Rothschild family during the 1980s, with the creations of Denning and Fourcade who worked in a so-called Style Rothschild. So, today I show work Bennison did at Chateau de Reux for the Mayor of Pont l'Evêque and his wife. Perhaps an unfair comparison given that this country interior has Bennison toning down the grandeur, and there is much of that in these photos, of 18th century embossed leather walls, Queen Anne red lacquer, the most beautiful 17th century mirror, Baroque painted chairs, Chinese ceramics, scagliola table tops, et al, with rush matting that needs frequent watering, faux bois painted paneling, 18th century crewel-work curtains, printed linen for upholstery, walls and curtains, and none-too-formal gardens designed by the Mayor's wife's aunt, Arabella Lennox Boyd.

So, today no invidious comparisons, just photos of beautiful rooms in Normandy where the Mayor and his lady could spend weekends and in August, entertain family and friends to meals, created by the family chef, up from Paris for a month, using vegetables grown in the grounds and fish and meat from the local markets.

Photos by James Mortimer from an article written by Patricia Hipwoood from The World of Interiors, April 1983.


  1. Would someone please explain to me why there is not some two-inch thick, picture-filled book on Geoffrey Bennison?

    (Entries suggesting that publishers lack either taste or judgment will be disallowed.)

    P.S. Bonus points for a full, coherent explanation of why his successor firm is kinda/sorta ... well ... helpless.

  2. Ancient, I have wondered exactly the same think myself. I have at least one more post about him, possibly two, which I think makes my tally six. He died nearly thirty years ago and despite his name, like that of Michael Taylor's, surviving in both a firm and fabrics, who really knows of him anymore? You and I, a few like us, perhaps. I would like to see a book about him.

    I don't think publishers lack taste or business acumen but there is a flowering, if that is the word, of vanity publishing about and by many a modern decorator.

  3. Hello Barry! I think it is amazing how design-current these gorgeous photographs are. I was shocked to see they were from 1983! They could be in any current issue of a magazine. Now, that's genius! Would love to see more of his work.

  4. Hello, Joan. I too find these rooms for the Rothschilds very up to date. I've looked at them over the years and my liking of them has never diminished. There are a few posts about Bennison going back, I think, to the end of last year and there will be a couple more. Good to hear from you and to see your place is doing well!