Sunday, September 16, 2012

Beverly's Collection of Everything, Part 1, Living Room & Dining Room

My husband says I am constantly attempting to achieve my friend Beverly's collection.  Some would say she had too much stuff.  Not me.  I thought her house was perfect.   She had quite an eye for antiques.  She had a shop for many years, kept it open into her 70's, just so we could have a clubhouse to visit her.  That's according to my husband.  She also said we wouldn't come see her every week if she closed shop.     I was very sad when she passed away.  She played the role of my daughter's "in town" grandmother, and spent many years trying to get me to collect the "right stuff".  She turned up her nose at my Limoges handpainted plate collection--wasn't old enough.  That was true for my american brilliant cut glass collection also.  If it wasn't "period" she didn't want it.

I thought I would share these old photos I took of her house at her estate sale.  I wish I had the opportunity to take pictures before it all got priced and rearranged.  I am sharing just so you can see what an extensive collection is.  She would tell me to collect "3 to 5 of the best in the field" and then move on to another collection.

I'm not sure what was her biggest collection.  In space, it probably was the 300+ staffordshire dogs.

The Entryway

The house was on a hillside, so you entered on the top floor.  The entry was a long hallway, with a railing on the left side for the stairwell going downstairs.  I think there was a tiny chest to the right with a painting over it, but I don't have a picture of it.

Directly opposite the front door was this view.  The stuff on the table has changed.  The silver spoon warmer was there, and I think that one of the blue and white platters was in the empty plate holder.
Beautiful portraits, with a pair of child's chairs upholstered in coral, her favorite color.
The staircase held a large painting, along with the samplers going down the stairs.  Corner wash stands on the landing held pieces from her chinese export famille rose collection.
As you come in the front door, you can look down the staircase and see her sampler collection.
Another view coming up the stairs
Some of the samplers below.  They give you an idea of what she liked to collect.  She had a wash stand with Chinese porcelain on it.  It went together beautifully.

I think the one below was my favorite.   Isn't it sweet!  I love all the different varieties of alphabet.   It has a real biedermeier look to it.

The Living Room

 The living room was straight ahead coming from the entry way. You could enter from the left or right doorway.

Above the fireplace was a wonderful Adam period mirror.  The reflection of items in the mirror was after the first sale, and the items she had in the room were gone--except that mirror on the right.

On the left side of the fireplace is the period camelback chippendale sofa.  There are chests on each side of the fireplace.

There is a house sampler to the right of the sofa. To the left of the sofa is another chest. I always liked the lamp on the left.  It is one of a pair, antique porcelain.

These were used as a pair of lamp bases.  Aren't they fun. 

On the other side of the fireplace (which has lost its original  Adam mirror), is a Georgian chest.
The Georgian chest to the right of the fireplace was one of my favorites.  This is the room staged for the sale.

I love the patina on this.  The hardware looks original.

Collection of miniature portraits to the left of the secretary, and a collection of chinese export porcelain in the secretary.
She used the area to the left of the secretary to display her collection of miniature portraits, which you can see to the left.  You can see a few more below.  All of the items have a georgian look to them.

Miniature portraits and silhouettes

Beverly didn't like the doorway going to the dining room.  It was an easy fix for her.  She put her secretary in front of the doorway, and put a curtain on the other side.
Emptied of its contents, you can see the beautiful inlay on the slant front.
The federal mirror below was shown in a previous picture to the right of the secretary.  Note the eagle on the mirror. It is a recurring theme in antiques, and not just american antiques.
The wings had been damaged, I think shortened a bit.

 The bellflower design is pretty nice too.

Beverly had a number of items with eagles.  The mirror that is above this table.

This was a terra cotta piece that was supposed to come home with me as high bidder, but went home with a friend of the person holding the sale.

The eagle here had come home in a box in pieces.  Beverly put it together.
It wound up at Bonhams, and then came home with me.

Needlepoint with a stumpwork style eagle.
Back to the living room.  The center of the room had two wingbacks and a Martha Washington style chair.

Chair from living room
I apologize in advance for the next blurry photo.  I will have better photos of most of the items.
The back wall between the two doors had an amazing amount of collections.
The wingbacks in the foreground are covered in matelasse spreads that Beverly dyed with Rit, and made the slipcovers herself.

The display cabinet on the back wall is pictured here.

The wonderful shield back mirror with chain is from the late 1700's.  It was hanging above the cabinet.

Beverly liked these Victorian taxidermy birds.  This isn't the first diorama she has owned, but it's the one she kept the longest.

To the left and right of the large cabinet are two painted french slipper chairs.  They are covered in silk that looks like linen.   

Above the chairs were 4 prints, hand colored civil war battle scenes.
4 prints of Civil War
If you look at the photo on the cabinet, you can see a huge amount of child's silver cups.

Notice the silver baby/child cups.
Below is one of my favorites, repousse silver.

In the foreground, you can see tulips.  They are glass tulips, and Beverly would buy them whenever she spotted them at an estate sale.

The Dining Room
Moving on to the dining room, it was to the right of the living room.  Remember the covered up doorway?
This is what it looked like from the dining room.
Aren't the shutters clever.  It looks like another window!

The dining room was loaded with furniture even though it was only about 12x17.   She kept an interesting highboy (?) in there.  More chinese export was on top of it.  I love the way she had so much furniture in there, yet it all seemed to belong.  She liked the little worktables to the left of the chest.  They can be tucked anywhere.
 A chandelier with crystals seemed to be the perfect complement to the formal setting of period furniture
Antique chandelier
 The Sheraton settee vignette included a beautiful oil portrait, a tiny firescreen, and a small table with a courting mirror.  I always liked the way she put the courting mirror down low, as though it was a part of the "tablescene" she did on the table.
Sheraton settee.  The mess on it is table linens stored in the dining room.  
The firescreen to the left of the settee is quite charming.  It is a jacobean style needlepoint.  Sorry about the blurry photo.  
Antique firescreens were designed to shied your face from the hot fire while sitting next to the fireplace.
 An unusual mirror to find is a courting mirror.  They are actually quite small--see the photograph above to get the scale.  This one is perhaps only 12-14" tall.  Charming!   Sorry, I didn't get this one.  (all items were silent bids)

I hope you have enjoyed what I have posted so far.  I will continue this in another post so you can see the anatomy of a collection, and how one person's interest could weave such a lovely home.

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