For collectors of all persuasions, it is generally recognized that a key part of the equation of collecting is knowing how best to display cherished pieces. For Alex, years of experience in both antiques and design has given him a strong sense of how balance, scale and texture can be used to elevate objects from simply 'mounted' to being seen in a completely new light.
In fact the skill of the mounting designer and mount maker is the art of simplicity. One is trying to make the object itself appear better than ever and thereby the mount can become almost invisible to the eye. With the purpose of fully protecting and supporting the objects without detracting from them, it’s a challenge that combines the skill of a jeweler with that of a welder and blacksmith. “I love designing display stands,” says Alex; “I see it as the final part in the design process - trying to make the object float."
Display stands at Alexander Lamont usually are made from either metal (steel or patinated brass) or acrylic armature - although Lamont has also used marble, ebony and shagreen as bases for objects. Clear acrylic stands are made with a good thickness to give a sense of glassy luxe to a piece while metal stands give a more classical status - a deeper tone. With careful thought and attention placed on exactly where and how the object will be supported the final effect raises and completes an objet d’art into a new level of appreciation. Alex adds that some items are only truly beautiful when on a stand. For example, the antique rice cutters from Cambodia that are dull and flat without a stand: by combining them in a group and elevating them high on brass stands, their grace and form is revealed and they appear to fly, infused with a delightfully light elegance and poise.
Heating brass rods to bend them and follow the lines of the rice-cutter.
Welding the small brass arms that will hold the wooden handle and steel blade.
Each stand is individually made to precisely fit each of the rice cutter's curves and lines.
A flock of rice cutters on bronze stands makes a visual impact when varying heights are grouped together.
On a trip to Paris, Alex visited the Musée Guimet, which houses one of the largest Asian art collections outside of Asia. Mesmerized by the stunning collection and the exquisite variety of elevated objects of all sizes and periods, Alex cites it as a superlative example in how the art of display can complete an object and give it a whole new life.
Musée Guimet in Paris excels in the display of their exquisite collection of Asian art.
Musée Guimet, Paris.