The Art of Talking About Boats (Part 2 of a 6 Part Series on Selecting Art For Your Yacht
June 21, 2012
“The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right place but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.”
I’m a writer and a speaker; if you cut me I bleed words. Starting a conversation is never a problem for me; stopping one? Well, yes that can be an issue. I had always put my “gift of the gab” down to being Irish, however there may be more to it than that. Part of my ease with words and story-telling comes from my ample use of conversation pieces, things in my home, or things I carry with me which serve to enkindle curiosity in those who might look upon them. Once the curiosity is sparked, conversation flows easily, and often toward subjects I am most fond of discussing. Choose the conversation piece well and you are half way there to enjoying an evening of inspiring communication. In a world of text messaging and e-mails, the art of conversation is prized now more than ever. If you are able to enjoy those fine words aboard your yacht in a place like Vancouver, well then the only thing left to do would be to count your blessings.
Given my propensity toward conversations and the pieces which inspire enjoyable ones, it is no wonder that a certain salt-cellar caught my eye while in for a visit with Jeanette Langmann at her gallery (Uno Langmann Limited). It may come as no surprise to you to learn that this “nef”, as it is more appropriately called, was in the shape of a ship. I love talking about boats and such a piece would no doubt direct one’s thoughts toward the finer points of that theme. Its beauty and intricacy coexist with its whimsy and utility. As with the best of yachts, the work that went into creating it is obvious the minute you see it.
Such works of craftsmanship often graced the tables of finer homes in France, Germany, Spain and Italy between the 13th and 16th centuries. This particular one originates from late 19th Germany, but would be perfectly placed as a centerpiece in present day Vancouver. It would be a welcomed addition to my home or to that of any yacht aficionado. In fact its size and shape would make it a well-chosen piece to have aboard your yacht. Yes, you could leave a salt shaker on the table, but such an act at best would inspire the question, “Would you please pass the salt?” Add a silver nef like this one to your table and don’t be surprised if the questions sound more like, “Goodness, is that the sun rising already? Why we haven’t even finished dessert! Could this evening have come to an end already?” If you think I exaggerate, check out the little silver nef and all of its details. See how many questions come to your mind in an instant; multiply that by the number of guests on board your yacht for an evening cruise and you will understand why they call it a conversation piece.
In choosing art for your yacht, considering the types of conversations you might want to enjoy can be a great selection criterion. If you want to talk about your family, portraits of loved ones will set the stage; business conversations can be sparked by objects which relate to your industry. If you would rather keep the focus on yachts, selecting ocean scenes or paintings of ships will certainly help you out, as would the silver nef mentioned above. In perusing Langmann’s vast collection, it strikes me that it contains conversation pieces for any need; the collection itself is worth talking about. Many locals already will be familiar with this well-established gallery, while visitors to Vancouver will surely want to add a trip to it on their shopping itinerary; located in the South Granville district it is easy to get to from any marina in the downtown core.
If you enjoy conversations about yachts and art perhaps we might consider gathering a few like-minded people together, either to discuss art aboard the yachts, or yachts amid the art; either setting would inspire exalted discourse. If you would be interested in being invited to such an event, drop me a quick e-mail (email@example.com) or add a comment to this post; if enough people are interested I’ll set the idea in motion and see where it ends up. I am sure the little nef will quickly find its way onto the table of some yacht or fine Vancouver home if it has not done so already. If that happens before you get the chance to see it fear not, Jeanette’s collection is filled with an endless banquet of conversation pieces to feed the mind and bring forth pleasant words. You will find the Uno Langmann Gallery located at the south side of the Granville bridge, where it has been inspiring art patrons, antique collectors and good conversations for many years.