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The Balletomane in Paris

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When I lived in New York, many years ago, my daughter was very much into ballet. She had studied it for years and had wanted to make it her career. I discouraged it because glamourous it may seem but it takes complete devotion, usurps any other life you may want to have and then leaves you when you reach the prime of your life. Ballerinas are not able to continue when their bodies mature at around the age of 40. Once the body looses the delicacy necessary for that lithe, airy look they cannot continue dancing professionally. In any case, during her years of devotion to the ballet we were members of The Friends of the New York City Ballet and went very frequently to rehearsals and regular performances of the corps. The incomparable George Balenchine was then the director of the The New York City Ballet and it was a great privilege to be able to watch him at work. In those years he developed Edward Villella and Jacques D'Ambois into the great dancers they became.

A. L'Opera de Paris Garnier Box. The Opera House houses all major ballet in Paris and all of the Degas ballet paintings were first sketched here. Commissioned by Napoleon III and designed by Charles Garnier, L'Opera was completed in 1875. The Grand Staircase is white Carrara marble and if you have ever wanted to feel like Audrey Hepburn in all of her elegance, try sweeping down that staircase. I did and I felt just as wonderful as she looked, doing it. We watched them lower the great chandelier to clean it. It took many men, many hours and not a crystal was lost. Inside the box, a dimensional, removable mask. Shades of "Phantom of The Opera". Retail: Upwards of $301.00 Our price: $270.90.  

Sorry, the following item is by Special Order Only.
B. The Degas Ballerina Box. This lovely piece is modeled after a Degas ballerina. The position is one that he painted a number of times and the delicacy of the figure is his, as well. The porcelain sculptor caught the look of Degas perfectly and the painter of the box gave it a sensitive, delicate face, unusual in Limoges boxes. Inside the box, a pair of ballet slippers, dimensional and removable. The clasp, a crown. She must have been dancing Swan Lake, the prima ballerina in that ballet wears a crown. Retail: Upwards of $235.00. Our price: $212.90. No longer new but still one of the finest figural boxes ever.

C. Degas Ballerina on a Heart Box. A detail taken from one of the many paintings and sketches done by Edgar Degas of the ballet corps of L' Opera Garnier in rehearsal. Inside, la danseuse at the barre. The clasp is unimportant to the box. Painted by Cardinet. Retail: $235.00. Our price: $212.90.

D. Opera Glasses for The Ballet Box.
In pink, so they are very feminine, and decorated with a lovely floral but the interesting parts of the box are the lenses.  Both are painted with scenes of the Opera House: one lens with a view of the actual ballet that is being performed, you can even see the orchestra and the conductor, and the other with a view from the stage looking out over the Opera House filled with tier after tier of lovers of the ballet.  This piece is an “only” so if you are interested do not wait.  It will not be obtainable again.  Retail: $305.00.  Our price: $274.90.

E. The Prima Ballerina Box.  Actually the reproduction of a painting by Degas called Ballet ou L’ Etoile, painted in 1877.  Degas frequented the Opera Garnier and did all of the preface work to his paintings right in the Opera House while watching the members of the corps rehearse.  Notice the detail of the tutu the ballerina is wearing.  You can see each fold, each layer of it, almost see through it. Also very well done is her position, grace personified.  One of the better reproductions, the box stands on an easel and has a painters palette enclosed, dimensional and removable. Retail: About $345.00.  Our price: $310.90.

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