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Moss Within Reach
Well, it was pretty hilarious when Rick and I decided to go Christmas shopping.
I called him after buying decorations for the studio’s Christmas party and suggested meeting in front of our building, so I would not have to climb the six flights to our penthouse/walk-up/luxury loft (the building we live in was constructed in the 1890’s without elevator and not yet been retrofitted.) Directly across the street from our building is Moss, which according to the New York Times and a myriad of other authoritative sources is the world’s best design store. It is described fully on their website:
“Today, Moss offers one of the worlds’ most sophisticated selections of porcelain tableware, crystal and cutlery, contextualized in presentation by association with furniture and lighting by some of the greatest designers of the 20th century…
At Moss, context is fundamental, and value should be inferred from inaccessibility. The shop intentionally looks and feels like a museum, with everything locked behind glass or raised onto platforms. It’s cold. It’s white. The music is tense. The selling staff wears dark monotone clothing. And Asian, black or white, male or female, they register as one - young, good looking, courteous, helpful, and informed. Above all, informed…”
I agree with their point that the store is a meticulously curated collection of beautifully designed goods. However, Rick and I still occasionally slip and refer to it as “the gift shop.” Then we try to correct ourselves and say it’s not a gift shop when it really is, after which we drop our voices and fully admit to ourselves that Moss has great objects.
However, because all these stellar objects are massed together, somehow one discounts the other, and the concentration and availability makes each of them less attractive. I think the same thing happens at Design Within Reach. There is no relief from greatness.
Now the truth is, and I remind myself of this faithfully, that any well-designed piece of decorative or industrial art has merit and can be key to a beautiful room. I suppose that is why I am sitting on a Prouvé chair identical to ones they sell across the street or why we have a Nymphenberg Skull from their shelves in our cabinet of curiosities.
Therefore, Rick and I have decided to register at Moss. We cannot have a legal wedding, unless we get married on my family’s farm in Iowa. However, it is still legal to register for presents. In an exercise of corporate decision making, these are the great objects that we would be happy to receive:
- San Lorenzo Cob Spiral Bowl by Franco Albini and Franca Halg $3,550.00
- Baccarat Glasses in the Harcourt Pattern, circa 1840, The old fashion shape. $220.00 each
- Cast Bronze Japanese beetle sculpture $135.00
- Branch Vases by Ted Muehling $890.00
- Otto Felt Caps by KIKA $150 to $300
- Fornace Venini Ritagli Vase (in the black glass) $5,360.00
- Fish Bowl Vase by Studio Lobmeyr (11.75”) $385.00
- Bol Sein de la Laiterie de Rambouillet $3,700.00
Now I have heard of a bride who really wanted Moss’ most expensive dishes, but was afraid to ask because they were too costly to tactfully request on their registry. So instead she selected lots of relatively inexpensive items, received them electronically, returned them electronically, and then used her credits for the tableware of her dreams. Be assured, we are not planning to make this switch, as much as I admire the price upon request cabinet by Studio Job exhibited on the shop’s back wall.
Top image by Rick Ellis.