Sunday, September 30, 2012

Beverly's Collection of Everything, Part II

The last post was about my friend Beverly's collection.  She passed away, and sadly all her wonderful collection was sold and dispersed to other collectors.  I thought it would be interesting to show how many different collections she had, and in part, how she displayed them.   My photographs were taken during her estate sale, so they are not the best, and don't always show how a room was decorated, but it is still interesting as it was not completely dismantled for the sales.

Previously covered were the entryway, living and dining rooms.    I'll go down the hallway to the left of the entryway which leads to two sitting rooms and her bedroom.

Sitting Room #1 
This room held a french sofa, a couple of chests, a center table, and a screen.  The two sitting rooms were "blue rooms".

Sitting room #1 had a wonderful carved french sofa, and a collection of blue transferware.
I never understood the wallpaper in the background.  She covered it up with this blue screen.
The needlepoint on the demilune table caught my eye.  It's quite lovely.

Wonderful piece of needlework.   I don't think I've ever seen a nicer patriotic needlepoint.
English game table was used as a center table.   I love the piece of old toile underneath the table.
Some of the items on the center table were loners in her collection.  I don't think I saw another piece of wedgwood-- see the lovely cheese dome.

This room held a few interesting mirrors, and my favorite chest.  You can see papier mache trays tucked here and there also.

William & Mary chest with bun feet

Intriguing mirror.  I love the bellflower drops on the sides.
Venetian chair had its original upholstery.  Bev used tacks to cover the tattered upholstery.
 I thought it was interesting that Bev didn't recover her venetian chair.  She used glass tacks to "recover" it, while leaving the original intact.
Beautiful french sofa had an ornate wood carved frame
Most of the blue and white transfeware was displayed in this room.  Some of the pieces are featured below.

Davenport Transferware
Blue transferware with wonderful hunt scene border

Blue transferware with a pastoral scene.  Who can resist anything with cows on it!
blue transferware with deer.  I love the prancing deer!
Transferware and a jasperware cachepot with horses on it.

You see some of her Bennington (Rockingham) brown pottery mixed in with the blue and white.

Sitting Room #2
This room was right next to her bedroom, and was entered through the previous sitting room.  She had a courtyard in the center of her house, and the two sitting rooms along with her bedroom flanked it.  This was the second blue sitting room.  It had more of an american flavor to me with the bird fabric, where the previous room felt more english (and french)  to me.

Across from the door that you entered, you had the view of this wonderful cabinet. I'm not sure of the history, it had so many little drawers in it that I thought it might be some kind of a cabinet made for a shop.

To the left of the cabinet, you can see a display shelf holding blue and white export china.  The doorway you see goes to her bedroom, a tiny room built off the original bedroom.  I think she did this when she was caring for her invalid husband.

The photo below shows the cabinet loaded with more blue and white export china.

Lovely quilt complements the blue and white export china.
Beverly collected portraits.  I love this picture of a chubby chinned royal.   I'd like to have her visit my house.    There is a papier mache tilt-top table set up for viewing.  Lovely!  In the photograph above, there is a mirror resting against the cabinet.  It is wonderful!

Fabulous 18th century antique mirror
To the right of the table is an old cheval mirror with a paw-foot stool in front of it.

Cheval mirror with attached candleholders.
The placement of the mirror was nice.  It was to the left of a sliding door, opposite from the entry door into the room. While it was a small room, it felt more expansive.  A good note here is that you don't have to decorate a bedroom as such, you can use it any way you want.
Paw-foot stool
Sorry about the blurry pictures.  I thought you'd still enjoy seeing all the wonderful things.

To the right of the door, you see this vignette.

Blue and white room with collections of chinese export porcelain and staffordshire dogs.

At one point, there were so many dogs underneath the table, you had to giggle.   They were darling.  Only a few remain here.   I love the bird cage on the table to your right.  That chair was comfortable to sit in and read.  I think the drawers on the table are from a desk.


This was a tiny little room, almost felt like a sleeping porch.  There was a single bed here.  Missing is a beautiful embroidered wall hanging.   Wish you could have seen it.  I only show you this because it is possible to take a narrow room and make it cute.   The embroidered tapestry had dominated this part of the room.

Quilt collection on the bed --along with a toile throw I made for her. 
I really like her blue and white quilt collection.  The one in the previous room, circle around a star, is my favorite.

Love the star in the center of a circle quilt.  I don't know what it is called, but I like it!

Looking past the foot of the bed, you had this lovely view. You could see her courtyard beyond.  Hanging in the window are wooden cherubs.  The wall cabinet houses santos figurines and retablo religous paintings.

Now, this always struck me as odd, as Beverly would tell you she wasn't religious.   Maybe she just liked the artwork.  In front of the window is a papier mache sewing cabinet, with a Baccarat bottle set on top.  I love the sewing table, adds a black item to the room.  That's something that helps give a room depth.

Santos, retablos, cherubs, candles, baccarat, and sewing table in the bedroom.

Close-ups of some of the collection items:

Darling mirror with 3 Baccarat dresser bottles
Papier Mache Sewing Table is to the right of the Venetian Chair
There were many retablo items.  Beverly said she got alot of them in Mexico early in her marriage.  Retablo refers to a latin america devotional painting on board.  It is often on tin.   They are themed catholic art, most likely.

retablo Mother Mary & Baby Jesus
retablo from mexico

There are a few santos sprinkled in too.

Grouped together, it made a lovely display.   I don't have any photos of the cherubs, but they looked great in front of the window of her bedroom.

I will continue with some more specific collections in a future post.  I hope you enjoyed this post.  I wish my friend were still here, consider this a tribute to her, as her collection meant everything to her.   She was very depressed one weekend posted cancer-surgery.  She was supposed to be in bed.  I called her up, and took her out on a Sunday to an estate sale.  She had so much fun and was so excited because she purchased a period table for $45 that everyone else missed.   I am so happy that I stopped by that day.

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.