James Mont, a notorious, possibly even murderous mid-century decorator, among his clients were gangsters (Lucky Luciano, Frank Costello) and movie stars (Bob Hope was the best man at his wedding). He also did some time in prison after assaulting a female colleague who ended up killing herself (as did his wife, mysteriously, after a mere 29 days of marriage). “He was mercurial, and he was hot-tempered, and he could be violent, according to Todd Merrill, who still featured Mont in his fabulous book ”Modern Americana”!
I have always been enamored with James Mont's willingness to push the envelope with furniture and his infusion of Asian lines into American pieces. Although I have yet to own an actual James Mont piece I have searched for pieces in the “James Mont style” that myself and clients could still afford and when found, I grab them! I feel they mix well even into the most traditional of settings. I use to peruse Ebay for hours for that one piece that someone may not realize is the real thing! However, people have become more educated as to what they have due to the internet and the fun finds of yesterday are few and far between! Cest Le Vie, I still can dream!
A telling quote of James Mont: I am oriental! Mont noted that he was born in Constantinople in 1904, and that the delicate touch of Oriental Spice is just as necessary in furniture design as it is to proper cooking!
Have a wonderful weekend all! Check out a do it yourself project at the end of post!
|Modern Americana by Todd Merrill|
|Todd Merrill's Apartment filled with James Mont pieces he acquired from a penthouse in FLA. that Mont designed.|
|James Mont throughout!|
|Bold and Beautiful.|
EBAY Finds: James Mont
1stDibs Finds Below:
Make Your Own Mont!
Using this below as your prototype-below.
|Original Mont found on 1stDibs!|
|Cerused Oak piece from IKEA, and since Mr. Mont was famous for Liquor cabinets.. lets make one!|
|Rough sketch of end project. You can add more detail if you wish, I kind of like it as the prototype!|
|Add this Overlay across the top of the doors, make sure that you have followed instructions and have used the Gold Rustoleum paint to gild greek key prior to adhering to piece!|
Greek Key available at MyOverlay.com
|Lets gold leaf the wooden stand upon which the cabinet rests.|
Available at Michaels.
|Use what ever brand is suggested by My Overlays to paint greek key trim.|
|Use these 3x5 pulls from 360 Yard Ware after you have painted them gold with Martha Stewart's Gilding kit.|
Have fun with this weekend project!
Credits- The Magazine Antiques, My Overlays, The Paris Apartment