Since our founding in 1945, our team of designers has drawn inspiration from the world of fine art, fashion, and interior design for every Caspari collection. Like these inspiration-industries, the collections we produce each season reflect trending contemporary styles while maintaining an air of classicism and time-honored style. Interior design is one such house of inspiration that marries new trends with traditional design particularly well, and we love adapting home textiles, ceramics, and other interior attributes for the Caspari tabletop. From upholstery and wallpaper to vases and objet, tabletop inspiration is everywhere within showhouses and Pairs pied-à-terres.
(Inspiration Source: House Beautiful)
(Inspiration Source: Elle Decor)
(Inspiration Source: House Beautiful)
(Inspiration Source: House & Garden)
(Inspiration Source: de Gournay)
(Interior Inspiration: Pierre Frey)
Winter Sports, a new design debuting in our 2018 Christmas Collection, depicts a pattern of airborne skiers carving down tree scattered mountain slopes in flurries of snow. This playful and modern pattern, which trending this season on cozy, lodge-themed holiday tables, was first created in 1937.
Hand-painted or likely stenciled by an unknown artist, the repeating pattern of red, green, white and gold skiers and snow-laden pine trees was applied to a full-length black silk dress. A tape sewn inside the lower hem of the skirt gives the name of the dress as 'Indoor Sports.' It currently resides in the collection of the V&A.
The dress, slimline with a straight skirt, raglan cut bodice, short sleeves, and a high round neckline, features a collar and cuffs trimmed grey-gold fur, a short peplum at the waist, and a front center slip up to the mid-calf. Its button-front bodice fastens with miniature plastic ski buttons and the soft black suede belt is faced with leather and fastened with two white plastic skis threaded through metal hoops attached by a silver chain to the belt. The attention to detail and craftsmanship are stunning and the hand-painted pattern is quite impeccably applied.
The lucky wearer of this dress was a young woman named Leah Barnett Ross (1915-1969). She was painted wearing the dress in the same year it was made, 1937, by the society portrait painter James Penniston Barraclough (1891-1942). In this oil painting, she is seated on a fur rug against a black background, her engagement ring prominently displayed on her left hand, wearing her ski-patterned Indoor Sports dress.
The snowy pattern of trees and skis is making its next appearance now, 81 years later, in the Caspari 2018 Christmas Tabletop & Gift Collection. Charmed by the design we now call 'Winter Sports,' we adapted the pattern to create festive and cheerful tableware, napkins, gift wrap, and more. Available in three colorways, Winter Sports brings a fresh, chic, and slightly whimsical touch to holiday occasions and decor this season. Paired with our new Plaid Check design, Winter Sports becomes a modern take on a winter lodge look that cozies up tabletops and gift presentations with a perfect wintery theme.
"No one sets a table like Pippa", Caspari customers have commented since this PA-based former event planner, retired formally trained Chef, mother, and blogger featured a tablescape inspired by our new Fall 2018 collection on her blog. Inspired by Imperial Silk, Pippa set a stunning table for fall full of bold primary colors, mixed patterns, and elegant chinoiserie style. Giving the table her own unique twist, she handpainted pumpkins and wine glasses to coordinate with the Imperial Silk design and even decoupaged her own charger plates with the pattern! The result is a vibrant tabletop in what Pippa calls, "FULL TILT fall color."
DC blogger, entertainer, and hostess, Stephanie of Magnolia Stripes, knows how to set a tabletop for Fall. Using one of our new designs for Fall 2018, Chinese Ceramic, she's created a show-stopping table in a bold blue and orange palette. Throughout, she's included Caspari acrylic drinkware, ribbon accents, and paper tableware designs. Giving this look a modern twist, she's accented Chinese Ceramic in a fun favorite design, Spots, transforming the traditionally set table with a youthful touch. See more of this early autumn tabletop look at MagnoliaStripes.com and shop Caspari's newest collection to create your own inspiring tablescape for the season.
The Caspari Design Team sources inspiration and artwork from artists and museums around the world. Inspired by fine art, ceramics, textiles, fashion, and interior design, each season we search through collections of art, old and new, to find the best resources to create designs desired by today's hostess, entertainer, and decorator. The stories behind the designs are something you may never expect. Here are some of the most recognizable works of art that form our collection of museum-inspired designs.
This pattern was designed in 1930 for furnishing fabric. The pattern is based on Tenniel's illustrations for Lewis Carrol's 'Alice in Wonderland' and 'Alice Through the Looking Glass'. Artist, C. F. A. Voysey, created the print through hand-colored process engraving.
Designed by Morton Ribyat in graphite and watercolor, this bold pattern was originally created for use as a textile pattern. Our Le Modern designs give it an additional life as modern paper products.
18th-Century Chinese artist Qian Weicheng painted a 787.3 cm long collection of flowers, aptly called Profusion of Flowers. This is a segment of the full work from MFA Boston.
The Schooner Yacht “America”, painted in oil by artist James Bard in 1851, memorializes the victory of the boat when it became the winner of the first formal racing competition between British and American vessels around England’s Isle of Wight.
This pseudo-tobacco leaf design was taken from an 18th-century porcelain serving dish made in Jingdezhen, China for export. The floral pattern was likely inspired by the popularity of tobacco motifs in the colonial South, however, the foliage more accurately depicts plants native to South East Asia or the Pacific Islands.
Gustav Klimp’s well-known painting, Hope, II, was created in oil, gold, and platinum on canvas. Viennese Nouveau takes an up-close look at the exquisite Byzantine gold leaf and intricate detail of the piece.
Our Bejeweled design was taken from a pattern of inlaid jewels on a necklace pendant. The original piece was discovered in Jaipur, Rajasthan in Northern India and features beautiful gold, yellow sapphires, diamonds, emeralds, rubies, and diamonds.
While the maker of this hand-painted dress is unknown, its wearer was Leah Barnett Ross and she was painted while wearing the dress by artist Barraclough, James Penniston. Tape sewn inside the lower hem of the skirt gives the dress the name of 'Indoor Sports.'
While John James Audubon was not the first person to attempt to paint and describe all the birds of America but his seminal Birds of America, a collection of 435 life-size prints, is still a standard against which 20th and 21st-century bird artists are measured. His Flamingo and Heron are among his most popularly reprinted works today.
Charlottesville Wine & Country Living attended our annual Historic Garden Week kick-off event, a floral show where local florists create stunning displays inspired by Caspari style and fashion design. On their blog, they share their experience and highlight the many wonderful floral artists who participated this year. Sincerest thanks to Wine & Country Living and all who attended and participated in Charlottesville Historic Garden Week 2018.
This timeless color combination transcends all genres of style from Chinoiserie designs, to contemporary fashion, to traditional bohemian prints. While we may think of it today as having an almost psychedelic vibe (because it reminds us most recently of the 60s), we can trace this combo back much farther through indigenous South American arts. It’s a powerful pair that instantly conveys boldness and energy when brought together. We love orange and pink pairings for summer because these two “hot” colors perfectly convey the mood of the season—bright, warm, and vibrant. These elements translate effortlessly to a tabletop when it’s time to prepare for summer parties and gatherings!
Find inspiring examples of this power pair on our Pinterest, as well as beautiful boards dedicated to other favorite Caspari palettes.
Blue and white porcelain pottery is an art form that can be traced back through many dynasties of China. The oldest dated blue and white artifact in our possession is a set of two tall vases, known as the David Vases. We know their creation date and intended purpose because within the blue designs the artist placed an inscription. The vases were made in 1351 and were an offering to be placed in a Chinese temple. This date places their origin during the Yuan Dynasty, which was proclaimed by Mongol ruler Kublai Khan in 1271, an official conquest by 1279, and ended in 1368. However, the masterful craftsmanship and artistry exhibited in the vases indicate that the blue and white technique must have originated sometime before the David Vases, likely placing the onset of blue and white porcelain arts in the Song Dynasty (960-1279).
The David Vases
The Chinese possessed kilns that were far superior to most kilns of the day and this allowed them to fire a particularly pure clay, Kaolin, at very high temperatures. This clay and their advanced technology are what allowed them to create beautiful glossy white porcelain products. In 1004 Emperor Zhenzog selected Jingdezhen in Jiangxi Province to be the imperial porcelain production center. This center is a likely place where blue and white pottery got its start. Before we give all of the credit to Jingdezhen, however, it is important to note that while they had perfected pure white porcelain, the blue came from somewhere else. Cobalt pigment was sourced from what is modern-day Iran and is responsible for the rich blue that sits in such striking contrast against the porcelain white backdrop.
This quintessentially Chinese style prevailed through the dynasties as it gained popularity and remained an extremely lucrative export. Eventually, potters around the world began to replicate the Chinese style and by the 1700s, even Europeans learned how to recreate the pieces. The true Chinese pieces, however, remained the most affordable and were regarded as the most authentic.
Expanded trade with East Asia, especially China, during the 18th-century fed European's fascination with the exotic. This access to Asian design spurred the growth of the chinoiserie style in art, décor, and fashion, which kept blue and white porcelain pieces in Vogue. Sometime around the 1830s, due to disrupted trade, the ornate chinoiserie style fell from the height of popularity. Yet, we can still find this Asian-inspired style in show houses, design publications, and our own homes today. Ginger jars grace fireplace mantels, bamboo bar carts sit styled with modern spirit bottles and cocktail books, and blue and white china is placed on our tables for special occasions.
These traditional Chinese motifs prevail Caspari's blue & white paper collections, which honor the ancient Chinese arts and make the style accessible to any home. The soft colors are perfect for brunches and celebratory showers, and they pair perfectly with your genuine porcelain pieces for an elegant style with effortless cleanup.