Mary Jane Denzer with Bodhi, her six-year-old papillon, who accompanies her everywhere
These figurines, one man and one woman, were given to Denzer by a French designer who owns a shop in Aix en Provence. Before arriving in France, they traveled from Jawa to Bali, Indonesia. “Traditionally, they presided over weddings to make sure everyone had good luck. I love them dearly.”
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|Let There Be Light
Created especially for the apartment, this chandelier is hand-painted on pure silk and hangs from silk cords. “It’s as light as a feather.”
Denzer and her late husband, Alan, bought this box, inlaid with ivory and silver and lined in leather, at a souk in Morocco, where they stopped in 1998 on their way to Paris. “We loved it when we saw it,” she says. “We had to bargain like crazy to get it, but, fortunately, my husband was pretty good at that.”
|Beyond the Gate
This original Edouard Vuillard oil painting, titled Gate of Stephane Mallarme’s House, was created in 1892 and was acquired from a Paris art gallery owned by Denzer’s husband’s stepfather. “It’s a rare and wonderful piece, and every time I look at it I wonder what’s behind the gate,” Denzer says. “The gate is closed, and the mystery is always there.”
“An antiques dealer searched for ten years to find this,” Denzer says of the George III grandfather clock that graces her entryway, chimes every hour, and must be wound by hand every week. The piece, unusual because of the floral pattern on its face, is special to everyone in Denzer’s family. “It’s like my grandpa,” she says.
This bronze ax head originated in a mountain region of Iran between 1500 and 700 BC and belonged to Denzer’s mother-in-law. “It was thought to avert the approach of evil demons,” says Denzer, who especially likes the doglike creature on the top.
|More Than Just a Desk
“What a beautiful piece of furniture this is,” says Denzer of the antique English secretary inlaid with burled wood and elmwood that is a showpiece in her living room. “It’s an amazing work of art.”
Photography by John O’Donnell