Admit it, a half a day ago we were all kind of disillusioned because of the appearance of a certain photo that we perhaps had seen before, but were yeah–anyway. I’m going to pretend none of the negativity of the earlier part of the day ever happened, and that that certain picture is just something that happened months ago. Which brings us to only a matter of a couple of hours ago when this lovely photo finally became clear to our eyes, and we wept with joy, because– well, I don’t know why, but I’m sure some sleep deprived fool out there cried. If you cried, I assure you there’s no shame in that.
So, what are we looking at here? Well, obviously it’s a photo of President Snow and Plutarch Heavensbee having a little chat. However, what else is in the photo other than those two fine gentleman, okay only one of them is a gentleman, the other is just a Tyrant who dresses really well. All right, if you’re a regular listener of The HG Fireside Chat hosted by our dear friends Savanna and Adam, then you know that I’ve been on the show, and I’m the one who went into insane detail about the chairs that most of the characters in the Capitol Portraits sat in. See, I studied interior design, and had to take several courses on the history of furniture. I know, sounds boring, but it’s not– basically I was studying many of the things that people on the very popular PBS series Antiques Roadshow have the ability to point out and prove about certain pieces brought to their attention. Not very funny stuff, but it’s interesting to me, and frankly– I love it, I want to get an MA in this stuff. But what’s in the picture!? Well, I can tell you that, and not just say “a desk”, “a chair”, “a table.”, “an oil painting”, Because, dear readers, those aren’t just simple pieces of furniture, and that’s not just an oil painting.
- The Desk: It’s an 18th century Chippendale pedestal desk. How I know it’s Chippendale, the marquetry (marquetry is all the gold stuff), the wood that’s been used (mahogany), and the fact that an extremely similar version of it is staring back at me from one of my many reference books. Yep, I have a little library of antique furniture, and decor books.
- The Sideboard: It’s probably not Chippendale, but it’s roughly from around the same time– maybe twenty years on, but on the cusp of the same style era. It’s Regency, it’s likely English, and yes it’s also mahogany. I’d be able to tell you more if I could see all of it.
- The Chair: We’ve actually seen this chair before if you recall? It’s the same chair Cinna sat in in his Capitol Portrait. And what it is is a William and Mary wing chair. Why it’s called a wing chair? ‘Cause it’s got tiny wings on the shoulders. Genius, I know. What it’s made of? Probably walnut, not everything can be made of mahogany, sadly.
- The Drum Table: That would be the table behind Plutarch, and it’s called a drum table, because it’s shaped like a drum. This one’s likely Regency style as well, but I think it’s American, which makes it American Federal. These are styles and eras that overlap, and basically only have an ocean between them, literally. Oh, and it’s also likely made of mahogany.
- The Occasional Table: The little guy in the foreground with either the marble top, or the tortoise-shell top. It looks Regency, but it could be a revival piece from the early part of the 20th century, making it perhaps Edwardian. Again, if I could see all of it, i.e. its feet and legs, I’d have more information for you all.
- Now for the decor! The oil painting on the wall is screaming symbolism to me! Why? because I wholly believe it’s an oil painting circa 1776-1800 that’s depicting a maritime American Revolutionary War scene. Just think on that for a second.
- And then we have the framed print on the drum table, it looks strikingly like an Audubon-esque picture of a Mockingbird. Audubon if you don’t know was a world-famous artist best known for his accurate, artful, and impeccable paintings of birds. Ever heard of the Audubon Society? Yep, same guy. Anyway, it’s telling that they have a print that while I can’t tell if it is one of his, but it looks a lot like his style, of a Mockingbird in his collection. President Snow has a print of the fated mates of his Jaberjays, the mother of his Mockingjays in his tastefully appointed office, that cannot be an accident of simply style, and taste.
Everything in that office means something, or at least it does to me. The fact that majority of the furniture is Regency style says to me “this man is temporary,” because that’s what a Regent is, someone who sits on the throne until the rightful heir comes of age. The oil painting of probably an American Revolutionary War scene says to me “a revolution is literally staring at the back of your head every bloody day, you fool.” His chair is a William and Mary wing chair, says to me “he is a conqueror, who likes people to think he’s kind, and noble.” And the bird print, that’s a symbol of his triumphs and his failures, because while the Mockingbird is as innocent as they come, unbeknownst to him he was the creator of the symbol of a revolution by letting that ancient bird mate with his abominable creation.
The King is dead, long live the King.
Them There Eyes