Monday, July 18, 2011

Have a Seat!

I've always liked interesting antique chairs.  They can be tucked anywhere and have more functions than just seating.  I have to say that--because most antique chairs are small, and may work better for stacking books than sitting.

The first chair that ever caught my eye was when I was a teenager.  (check back, I'll add the photo next week) It is a hall chair, and part of a set with a desk and a second chair.  My dad and I bought it at a Ventura County swap-meet, and my mom was MAD when we brought home that "junk".

The first chair that I purchased on my own at an estate sale was a corner chair.  Well, actually, it was round.  I liked it because it is hand-made.  I know it is probably edwardian, but the interesting part is that is was handmade probably at home by someone.  The reason I say that is that the design to the left and right of the center splat is not symmetrical.  What's not to love about a chair with a heart?
The next chair that made it home with me was one of those that makes my husband roll his eyes and say "what were you thinking?".  This one I liked because of the inlaid work.  When people ask me what I collect, I say I collect antique object that demonstrates craftmanship.

Hubby didn't like the chair--it's rickety, and has had the back broken off and reglued (poorly).  However, a doll usually sits on the chair, so it's not a problem.

Closeup of the marquetry
I then went a bit country.  The chair below is a ball and stick Victorian chair with a cane seat.
The next country chair was a pair of grain-painted chairs with the manufacturer printed on the back of the chair seat:  W.Corey, Portland, ME.  They were done in the 1850's, painted grain to look like rosewood.  It has a ribbon of gold painted on the chair.  

I had these recaned as they were broken. They were hand-caned, rather than the sheet caning.  I was told that the caning darkens with age, but I'm afraid I don't have enough years to wait.  The problem with staining is that as the chair sags, the unstained cane shows.  Why don't they stain the cane before they weave it?
The chair above is definitely my venture in the American furniture.  I love the eagle painted on the back.   It's pretty rickety, I should have it tightened.  
I keep finding chairs that have inlay.  The chair below is a wonderful sturdy chair with original horsehair stuffing.  I put a red silk on it, love it!
Note the mother-of-pearl center, and the flowers.  I loved the simple design of the back.

I saw this chair at an antique show.  It is probably 1900-1920. It is an Adam style shield-back chair.

I love the swags of handpainted flowers.

I have a pair of these chairs.   They have really tall backs.  The upholstery is needlepoint.  I'm a bit puzzled about the age of the chairs.  They are an old style that you see at auction, but the needlepoint is later.  However someone worked very hard to make the needlepoint for these chairs--the upholstery is well done.

In 2009, I picked up the cutest hall chair at Hillsborough, it has a squirrel on the back.

I apologize for the photos.  I don't seem to take good ones.  I'll try to upgrade these.  Back to the chair, isn't it whimsical with the squirrel!

So why did I write this article?  This weekend I picked up a dutch queen anne chair with marquetry that has a turtle in the back splat.

This little turtle had to come home with me.  After finding the rabbit chair, it seemed like a good excuse to get the turtle chair.  

Do you have a favorite antique chair?

Friday, July 8, 2011

Antiquing at Expo!

I'm delighted to have enough time for myself to do some antiquing - FINALLY!  Today was a fun day, and I purchased a few things.

First thing in the door, I found this punch bowl by Doulton.  It is early, and HUGE!  it is 18" across, very hard to find in this size.  Most of the punchbowls are 14".  I always try to find things that are exceptional in a collecting field, and I think this is one.  I don't collect Doulton, but thought it would set the right tone for a room with some hunt prints in it.  It is a more homey feel than the cut glass bowl in the background.  I've had 3 huge punchbowls in cut glass, and they definitely are a formal feel.

I'd like to point out that if you're purchasing something that you don't know anything about, it helps to purchase from a reputable dealer who stands behind their merchandise.

One dealer had a few great little boxes.   I collect boxes to display in a vitrine.  I know some people would put fancy porcelain boxes in it, but I like plain old paper boxes.  Match boxes, sewing needle boxes, litho boxes, etc.

Box has glass top, and matches stored in each corner.  Isn't it cool!
Tattered, but fun match box
Some miscellaneous items.  The metal tassels are curtain tiebacks!  Love it.  The little litho is french, and I like to find odd little framed items to tuck in bookcases.  There were some great Madeira napkins with grapes.  They took forever to find--there was a bargain box of linen I had to dig through to find all 8, took me half an hour.  I spent the time because it's hard to find GOOD Madeira embroidery.

The "D" monogrammed hanky is a man's hanky.  I have sold alot of men's hankies on Ebay for weddings.  It makes that rented tux look extra special....

The french litho photo was sort of fun, but I purchased it for the frame.  I have alot of embroidery and am always on the prowl for period frames to drop them into.  In fact, this show had another.
This is a birds-eye maple frame.  I've even had them cut down to fit my current project.    Both pictures are period prints, you can see the backs are undisturbed.  I just don't happen to plan on using either one.

There were a couple of items I contemplated but didn't purchase.   

Saturday's Finds:
My two favorite pieces for today are:

The top is a petit-point embroidery with a Gumps label on the back.  The bottom is a hanky holder monogrammed on fine french net lace.  My last name begins with H, so I don't know if this will ever wind up on the for sale pile.

I always hunt for hankies.  I used to sell quite alot on Ebay.  Monograms and lace hankies are my weakness.
 So I found quite a few.  Not exactly a ton of money to be made, but I mainly purchase items that I think are nice looking, high quality embroidery.

Some other items I found:  A transferware plate in Mulberry.  I have a wall of plates and thought that the pelican would be amusing to see.  There were some wonderful embroidered hankies, a fabulous lace wedding hanky, and a cute set of cocktail napkins with girls.  I'll eventually put them on my website for sale.

Things that got away:  A round tablecloth with gilt metallic embroidery.  I didn't know if I liked the colors, so I passed on it.   There was a wonderful chest on stand with inlay work that I hesitated on--thought it might be way over the top for me.   
Here's an boar's head dated 1931 Germany.   It struck me as daughter said she'd marry a pig farmer when she was 6.

Til next time:  Happy antiquing!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Expectations...and Reality

I blogged last month that I ordered a wonderful lamp on One Kings Lane.  It arrived and was not the same as the photo.
I was so excited about it, but here's what arrived:

The handles were white, and the rest of the alabaster was brown.  It made the lamp look really bad.  Plus there was a huge chocolate brown chunk on it.  So off it went back to OKL.  They were very gracious about it not being what was represented and took the return. 

Casita Progress:
We worked to finish up the tile job on the casita bathroom, and are almost done.  The shower has been completely tiled, only grout is missing.  We're saving that for the next trip.

The tile is marble Venato.  I really like it because it appears to me to be a cross between statuary, carrara, and calacutta.  While we hired out everything in the project, we decided to do the tiling ourselves, as we think we're so picky that we wouldn't be happy with anyone's work....  

We are so slow, we couldn't earn a living laying tile.   The bathroom floor is a 1x2" herringbone white marble (Venato) tile, and we used a 3/4" hex on the shower floor.  We ran a border of 3" x 12"  around the edge of the shower (and bath) floor, mostly for cleaning purposes.  I wanted to do a 3/8" border of grey marble between the field and border, but got vetoed as I always come up with really difficult things to do.  However, the most difficult thing we did was put in a floor heater.  The internet suggested we use floor leveler after puting down the floor heater.  It was AWFUL.   It made the floor really uneven.  We will never do that again.  I think chiselling into the concrete floor would be easier than the mes we now have.  So there's a few uneven floor tiles in the mosaic.  My husband says that was caused by me being too cheap and not ordering enough tile.  Oh yea, we did run out and he was manufacturing 1 x 2" tiles to put under the vanity..... I didn't mean to be so cheap, I miscalculated..and we made it work as the tile was from the east coast.

The floor is grouted, walls are not.
The vanity, wall sconces and mirror is from Restoration Hardware.  With the 10 foot ceilings, I like the vertical space the sconces take.  I won't ever feel really great about placing the vanity as the marble slipped out of my sweaty hands smashing my husband's....   So yea, the top is heavy and get 3 people to lift it in place.

So we left sunny California and 100 degree weather for Portland 64 degree weather.  The Molineaux roses around the fountain have a profusion of blooms, wish we could have stayed to enjoy it.

I'm planning on attending Expo this weekend and hope to tell you all about my great finds!  Have a great weekend.