“Do not use anything which you do not know to be a pleasure to yourself, and which you do not believe was a pleasure to the workman who made it.” Oscar Wilde, in his lecture The House Beautiful.
Suppose you agree with Oscar Wilde's dictum. Surely then, if you don't actually make things yourself, it would be worth dedicating your life to seeking out the things that give pleasure, and ensuring that they are available for people to buy, thereby also giving work to the designers and artists who make them.
The criteria upon which you would edit your collection of things that give pleasure may include the beautiful, the interesting, the fascinating, the challenging, the wondrous, the joyous.... And, if you have the courage, you would impose no boundaries -- of type of object, style, date, nationality, material....
You'd end up with a collection similar in breadth to that of Anthologie Quartett.
It includes the unusual, such as this extendible table and benches
or this coat and hat rack
Though many items are not as unusual -- rugs, cushions, coat hangers, brushes and jewellery (the Best Friends collection).
Some pieces are anonymous, such as these handpainted terra cotta and silk eighteenth century nativity figures from the court of the King of Naples
or these bell jars, made by a small glass works in the Czech Republic
or this traditional Florentine straw hat
But most are by an incredible roster of great designers -- outdoor furniture by Schinkel, Le Corbusier and Bohuslav Horak (part of a large collection of works by him in the Anthologie Quartett collection),
and a bird feeder by Jasper Morrison
As an illustration of the strength of their commitment to great design, and making it available to us all, they beavered away until they managed to find a way of constructing the coffee table that Mies van der Rohe designed to go with his ubiquitous chair for the German pavilion at the 1929 Barcelona World's Fair.
The originals wobbled so badly that they had to be positioned against walls. (This was because, under the chrome plating, the structure was made from several steel parts that had to be screwed together.)
In a post of this length, only the briefest hint can be given of the treasures to be found within the catalogues of Anthologie Quartett. To see the online catalogue of non-lighting items, click here.
This collection also includes the unusual, such as this pendant light, Illustri, by Hans Heisz:
Recent introductions have included the LED Alumega, that comes in many forms;
the Friday, which is bang on trend
and the wonderful Grande Enorme series by Reinhard Dienes
The most successful light in the collection (measured both by their sales and the number of low quality fakes everywhere), is Cellula by Nunzia Carbone and Tiziano Vudafieri -- the first linear chandelier:
It should be clear by now that such an exceptional collection must have someone extraordinary behind it. And there was: Rainer Krause, who has just died suddenly of a heart attack. He was very, very special: this collection will stand as his legacy, along with the joy given to people who are living with the pieces, and the careers of the designers and artists whose work he delighted in discovering (such as Reinhard Dienes) and putting onto the market.
Rainer even chose a magical location for Anthologie Quartett -- in the grounds of the moated Schloss Hünnefeld near Bad Essen...
...where there is also a wonderful bed and breakfast
He and his partner Michael designed just one light in the collection, but it is an absolute cracker! Rain (at the top of this post) is very simple, yet hugely effective, whether as a pendant (in many standard round or oval sizes -- or custom), a wall light or a ceiling light
or even, if your client can afford it, rock crystal
Rainer's death has hit all those who knew him very hard. We can channel the grief at his loss into making the most of what he left us -- the Anthologie Quartett collection.
Here he is, on the left, with Michael -- and Kollege: