Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Venetian Handpainted Secretary

This beautiful secretary is just passing through.  Sometimes I find things for clients, but they wind up landing in my living room for a while.

I filled it with goodies to get an idea of how it will look.  I do like the colors in my living room.

So give me some input.  Do you ever put things on an angle in a corner?  I didn't like it against the wall to the right, you really couldn't see much of the secretary. If it were to stay, I would put another chair to the right of the secretary, to make it more useful.

The inside back is painted.  Doesn't this look like a bit of an 80's design to you?   There are elements of the secretary that are definitely 19th century, but there are a few repairs, like the bottoms of the drawers have been replaced.  However it is a great look and was priced well.  Below is a secretary that sold on Liveauctioneers in 2006 for $28,000.  It is quite lovely, the perfect patina.  Wouldn't we all love to own this one!

As I was hunting around, I found a very simliar secretary to mine.   What are the odds?  It says it is a 19th century piece, with similar painting, some variation. It was sold at a Freeman's auction through Liveauctioneers in 2005.

So, more than one 19th century secretary like this exists.   Being the skeptic forever, I think it could be as late as the 20's.   It is still lovely and I will enjoy it as long as it sits in my house!    I think this piece would fall under the category of "antique" - style! 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Antique Easels

I never was on the lookout for them, but  antique easels can solve decorating problems.   Last week I found a large Victorian brass aesthetic movement easel.   It is adjustable, so you can mess with how high you want to display the painting, or in my case, a needlework.

Victorian Floor Easel for Display

The great part about a large easel like this is that you can use the easel in areas where you want some height, but can't.  In my case, I hate the half walls that are around the living room.  This gives me the opportunity to display something, the back is pretty as you walk down the hallway.

The easel also works well when you have a wall of windows--this can be tucked in front of drapes between the windows.  I try to be careful not to get too fussy in selecting items for the home, but the neoclassic lines of this easel did work for me.

There are many options in hunting for a large easel.   Ebay had these, another aethetic movement easel.

The one below is a ball and stick Victorian easel.

I love this one from Liveauctioneers--French art nouveau:

I love this Black Forest easel, but anything Black Forest is ok with me!

There are many plain easels also. This has an arts and crafts look to it.

I also love these below at Istdibs.com.  The one below is painted to look like bamboo.

 The one below is almost over the top, but I thought it could be interesting with the rack below.

Last week I blogged about my chest under the TV.  I used a smaller Italian tole easel to display a painting.  

I liked using antique easels at my daughter's wedding, and am now recycling them.   I have made some great signs using Adobe Illustrator, and printing out poster size at Walmart.  They worked really well.

You can find antique easels on Ebay, but if you're really bargain-hunting, check out Home Goods, they've got lots of little ones perfect for the tabletop.   I do love the little ones, they work well to display a book instead of a painting if you have a wonderful antique cover.

The next time you're out and about and see an easel, take a look at it.   I really didn't see this one until someone pointed it out to me.  It especially works for my needlework without a frame!

I hope I have inspired you to add something antique to your personal style.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

French Antique Louis XV Bench

My bedroom is in need of a bench.  I've wanted a Louis XV bench for years because I love the stretcher bars "x'd" look.

I found this bench at an estate sale last spring.  It was a disaster, but I saw that the frame was good and sturdy. My husband thought I was crazy, it was raining and the things was a complete mess.  I don't have a "before" shot for you because we went directly to the upholsterer from the sale.

Louis XV Bench
The grey linen fabric was a remnant, already backed for upholstery.  I almost put a white linen on it, but thought the grey would work better in the room.

It works perfectly in the room.   The bare room, because I "uncluttered" it.

Stretcher bars add strength, and more surface to dust.
The whole project cost me $350.   Given the cost of antiques, I'm sure it would have been more expensive than that in a shop!

I have another bench that isn't in the best spot at the foot of this bed, however I like having it at the foot of this bed to catch the blanket.  It is the only other bench I have with the stretcher bars, but it is far more ornate.  The problem is I think a bench at the foot of a bed should be rectangular, this one is a rectangle, but it is not long enough to me.


See what I mean?    I will eventually find the perfect spot for it, probably in front of a fireplace.  Til next time, stay cool!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Summer Antiquing - Antique French Bombe Chest

It's hot out.  It's hard to garden in the heat.  About 2PM is a good time to go antiquing.  I enjoyed this pleasant diversion to my favorite shop.

We found a lovely chest.  I knew instantly that it was going home.  It wasn't perfect, but still very elegant, yet the plain marquetry seems perfect for my country house.  It is a lovely light colored wood with ormolu mounts on it.  It looks like pine to me, but it is probably something else.  Is it Kingwood?  Most French chests tend to be around 1900, but this one really does look earlier.   I am wondering if the hardware has been replaced?  The marquetry needs some work, it is what you might say "a bit chippy".
 I like the simple marquetry.  Sometimes they can be over the top.

The beauty above would still work for me, over the top and all, but I will have to settle for mine....as the one above sold at Christies for $55,000.

I wanted to put it in another room that has light colored wood, but frankly I went for temporary functional--underneath the tv.  I'm working on my bedroom, one little bit at a time.

I thought it would be nice to put a painting on a little tole stand.  I don't know how to hide that cable TV box.

  If I ever find the appropriate sized transferware plates on Ebay, I'll show you my completed plate wall.  It looks really bad, I'm missing two sizes on the other side.  Oh, the weather cooled down.  Back to outside.

Here's to finishing projects, I just made a little step towards that.  Other things going on:  I found a bear topiary half price at the nursery.  I thought he was cute.  I think this may wind up being topiary row.

Everyone needs a little whimsy to lighten up the seriousness of life!   Yes, and everyone needs a tractor to dig a hole in clay for a 15 gallon plant.