Monday, May 7, 2018

A TRUE DISCOVERY (GIFT)

I know that I have explained my relationship to this crazy business numerous times, but here I go again: Everything that I find and/or buy is a gift and an adventure. Yes, I know a lot about many different kinds of "stuff", i.e., I'm prepared, I also know that everything is a gift.
This desk is one of those gifts and, if I'm correct, a big one.

FRONT


BACK


SIDES




I have a lot of research to do on this guy. I believe that it dates to around 1835-40. It's English in form, but the secondary wood is pine which would indicate that the desk is American. The drawer bottoms are chamfered, which would also indicate an American origin. However, the Japanning (chinoiserie decoration) appears to be English. Whatever its origins, the desk is very rare. The condition of the Japanned surface is exceptional--the gold leaf is newer--most of the painting is intact and very interesting with numerous animal and plant depictions. The sides feature a shi-shi or foo dog on one side and a dog with tree and chinoiserie fence on the other.
The top surface retains its original leather writing surface surrounded by a detailed chinoiserie border.


I be posting more about the desk in the coming weeks as I unravel more of its secrets....I do know that several individuals loved this desk as its condition is exceptional.

Blessings for the week!!!

Mary & Jones & Cole




Thursday, April 26, 2018

NOT MUCH TO REPORT

There are Thursdays when "My" auction really doesn't have too much for me. Tomorrow is shaping up to be just such a day.
There is just one painting that G and I both loved



This is a post-impressionist painting by Gabriel Dauchot that dates to the early 20th c. I came home and researched Dauchot--he doesn't have any high listings. And without a respectable profit margin, this sweet little painting is off my list.


The pair of hands on the far left of the photo are pretty great, but they take up A LOT of space and I think they might be restrikes--not a great place to start.

But there is something on the  horizon...........



I'm taking my amazing daughter and Angie is taking her amazing daughter for a "Mommy&ME" date--lunch and The Broad's spectacular Jasper John's exhibition. I can't wait.....I've wanted to attend this exhibition since it opened. Any LA readers: The Jasper Johns exhibit will close on May 13th; so there is still time to go--reserve tickets are a must.

Gerry bought this pair of lamps at an on-line auction a few weeks ago and they arrived last week.



These guys are spectacular: Italian, 50s or 60s and in almost mint condition....they've already been rewired and they came with black shades!!!! I think I will most probably switch-out the shades and buy a pair of off white shades. Comedia dell'arte has me humming.
I'll give a recap tomorrow, but now it's off to bed.

Blessings for the week.

Mary & Jones  Cole.






Saturday, April 21, 2018

HIDDEN TREASURES



Gerry and I previewed "My" auction on Wednesday and really didn't see anything that he or I wanted. But I decided to go on Thursday anyway........(be prepared for the serendipitous is my motto).
And just look at what appeared--I hadn't spotted the above chair until just before it (and its partner) came to the block...and I was pretty sure of what they were...... I won the bid for a ridiculously low amount. (Forgive the quality of the photo) Yes, that is a c. 1750  Swedish Baroque Side Chair. And we do know that Swedish chairs are super desirable. I wasn't quite sure that they were Swedish because the chairs has been completely stripped of their original off white paint. When I turned the chair over this morning--there were the traces of the original paint. I can't believe that I was the only one at the auction that recognized the chairs for what they were.......the auction was packed with people (and the top LA dealers, too) as numerous items from the Estate of Joan Rivers were being sold, bringing in a large crowd.
I love the crisp and unusual carved splat of these chairs


Note the "spurs" off the top of the crest rails and the "spurs" on the center splat. The center "waist" also makes these chairs quite elegant. I don't believe that the caned seat is original (although it may be). The outline of the chairs is crisp and appealing--great design attributes. And to top this find off, the chairs do not need any restoration work. I suppose that I could find some one to restore the paint, but I like them just the way they are.
Surprisingly (or perhaps not) Gerry brought in this exceptional pair of slightly later 18th c. Swedish side chairs in their amazing original paint.



 This particular shade of blue/gray is moodier than the usual "Swedish Blue" and I love it!!!  Of course, 250 years of patina adds enormous depth to the color. Here's a photo of just the front feet of the chair.

                                                                              You can also see the original (I think?) horse hair and straw upholstery structure (never throw it out if it is still good). 
And just for good measure, here is a pair of English baroque chairs of similar form.


                                                                  
I need to find a pair of chairs just like these. when I do, I just I''ll take a break!!!!!!!!!!

Best Wishes for the coming week--

Mary ‡ Jones & Cole                                                                                                                                                       




Saturday, April 14, 2018

EVOLVING (REVOLVING) DESIGN AESTHETICS


I really, really, really relished the thought of acquiring this chunky early Georgian burled walnut chest last Thursday. I was pretty sure that I would be able to buy as the price point at auction for this type of chest has been quite low. But he was not destined to come home with me as the chest sold for 3 times what I had anticipated......
Three years ago I felt inspired to return to my first love: period 18th and early 19th c. furniture and so I started acquiring period pieces at very good price points. They have not been quick sellers, but in the last year or so I have sold most of the period pieces that I had been acquiring: Five 18th/19th c. French Secretaire a Abattant (and that is a lot for me)! Five 18th/19th c. Chinese Altar Tables. Many period trunks and small chests and several sets of period chairs, etc. Most of the period pieces either stay here in Los Angeles (mainly Pasadena designers) or they are shipped to the East Coast (mainly New York). I am so excited to witness this return to a richer aesthetic where furniture is allowed to act as pieces of sculpture.
Of course, there is always that yin/yang interplay: I think I'm going to have to work a little harder at acquiring new pieces. I love everything that the little chest above represents: tremendous character and strength; beautiful detail==the burled veneer, inlay and original hardware; and the wonderful rich patina, not to mention its versatile size and form that could be incorporated into almost any style of design. The drawer sides and bottoms on this little chest had extensive reworking and the hammer price, surprisingly, did not reflect this potentially big negative.
I did buy three pieces of Steuben mid-century art glass--but Steuben is still a hard sell (I just love its purity of form and clarity of glass)



These three pieces came from the Keck family estate and have retained their original cotton carrying bags. No smudges or finger prints for these guys. 
I love California winters--not too cold and I can wear cashmere all the time w/o a coat--however, I think this coming week will bring an end to cashmere weather for this year.
April is usually one of my worst months, but this year business has been great and I'm so grateful!!
Must get off to bed--Jones says "Hi"......

Blessings for the week,
Mary & Jones & Cole                                                                                                    

Thursday, April 12, 2018

PUPPIES AND PREVIEW


My friend and fellow dealer, Pamm, brought her new Sheltie puppy to work yesterday (babies can't stay by themselves)--and I wanted one just like him. Peanut is just turning three months old and already almost house broken and showing signs of being a great herder. (I think that Jones and Cole would sink into major depression if I were to bring home a puppy). 




I love Peanut's markings--how could you resist that face?
                      - - - - - - - - - -  - - -  -

Not too much at Preview today......which is fine, as I also like having $$$ in the bank. But I don't think that G and I will be able to resist this school bus yellow "Cork" chair..........and it is incredibly comfortable.


Can you imagine the amount of work that went into this club chair? Just painting it would be a chore!!!
I found some china for mr. small t:


It's really stunning Limoges, but verging on tacky. This gold pattern is very refined, but not sure if I would take it home. Reminds me of Versace, but much more elegant and older.
This small Georgian chest is coming up. I love the chunkiness of it and the burl wood veneer is to die for. The chunkiness of the chest does detract from its antique valuation, but (I think) that quality adds to its decorative appeal--would make a super bedside chest and country pieces seem to be making a come back.


Now compare the chunky piece above with the very refined chest below


The elegant form, the original fold-over top, the unequaled veneering of the drawers are the elements that make this piece a stand out........but it is so structured...........I think this guy will go for a lot of money--so I'm sticking with my chunky guy. I've sold a lot of period pieces of furniture lately===we'll see what happens tomorrow.

Sending blessing for the week--wish me luck.

Mary & Jones & Cole


Sunday, April 8, 2018

LESSONS--Check the bottom


I won the bid on this pair of Lemon Garnitures on Thursday. I loved them--they were in fairly good condition and were (G & I thought) Italian from c. 1960s...... They are definitely great decorative pieces, but they are not Italian. Gerry is a porcelain expert, and they fooled him--although neither of us turned over the garnitures to check the bottoms. I guess that I need to learn this lesson over and over--the Garnitures are Chinese and they do have some age, maybe 20 or so years. But I was definitely expecting mid-century Italian....


Lesson: Always preview very carefully and always, always, always check the bottom.
Even though the garnitures are not Italian, I still think that they are great. I'm in a bit of a Palm Beach Period (remember those Italian elephants from a couple of weeks ago?) and the garnitures definitely fit that aesthetic.
I also bought a pair of French marble and iron gueridons and that's it.

Sending blessings for the week.

Mary & Jones & Cole

Sunday, April 1, 2018

LIGHTENING UP---A Little More



HAPPY EASTER


I have been joining the many Oprah/Deepak Chopra 21-Day Series "mini-retreats" ever since their inception about 4 years ago. My journey has become so much lighter over the past 4 years and I know that is partly due to the many Oprah/Deepak "mini-retreats" and to a commitment to my wholeness (and Boy! has it been a journey). The current 21-day Meditation is appropriately about "Lightening Up" (living in the moment and healing)....even though the first week completes today, I recommend checking it out. (You can catch up on 5 days which is almost from the beginning)

Auction Preview (down to business)




When I walked into the Auction House on Wednesday (you can see the entrance in top photo), the first item that I saw (and I was blinded to anything else) was this stupendous mid-19th century style Louis XVI-style dining table. (The form is like my own dining table that I had purchased when we lived in Spain.) This one was perfect for me as it collapses into a 48" round drop-leaf table (shop is space challenged)--BUT when fully open, reaches 96 inches. (An additional 24" leaf could be added for a total of 120 inches.) 
My Japanese Sendai Tansu left for Connecticut on Wednesday and I left the space open for my (hopefully) new table--energetic pull.


So, remembering my commitment of the last post: "to fearlessly step up my game" I decided that come-what-may, I was going to get that table.
The next morning I was at the auction bright and early to bid on a couple of items that went too high. I knew it would be a very long day (my first week back after almost six weeks out with that damn pneumonia) and I needed to be careful. The auction dragged on-and-on-and-on.......still the table was a long way off. I had also been waiting to bid on a lot of four Staffordshire 19th c. lions--they sat on a cart waiting to go to the block for over an hour (which meant that I had to stay focused or there was a very good chance that the lions would slip past if I lost my concentration). I finally bought the lions......


Three PM came and went and still THE TABLE had not come to the block...I didn't want to request that the table be brought up because the "Heavy Hitters with tons of $$$ were all there and I didn't want to draw  attention to the table. About 3:15 I asked the auction house owner about the table (I knew that Don was probably pretty tired) and he said that he wanted to "do" it next week.........that was fine because in this game of poker, the chances were good that it would go for less $$$ and the Heavy Hitters would be on to something else.  I went home and started thinking about my intention to "fearlessly step up my game" and decided to call Don in the morning and make him a good respectable offer on the table.
I spoke with Don on Friday morning and made him a good offer, which Don said was very fair. He first needed to check with person who obtained the consignment before giving me the OK. Don came back on the line and said that they were giving me the table for $300 LESS than my offer........I was speechless. And then I asked: is this gift because I got better and am back? (I've been a faithful client for 25 years) and Don replied "Yep- Welcome Back." I've been on a high for the past 3 days. Grateful to have such good friends and grateful to have honored my commitment to myself to be more fearless. And here is My Table in shop and looking very pretty (perfect fit).





Here are photos of a very comparable table on 1stdibs which is priced at $12500




Not too shabby. My table will not have that price point, but my profit margin will be just about where I want it to be. 
I did buy a couple of other items-- A signed & numbered Vasarely Lithograph (photo taken lying down on cart on way to Explorer)


And a pair of Hollywood Regency benches (1950s? or earlier) Roberto will spiff them up and shine the lacquer to a gloss--I love the vintage silk strie velvet upholstery that is in superb condition.


Well, I think it's time to climb back into bed. 
Have a wonderful day with family and friends celebrating the blessings of Spring, Easter and the freshness of life.

Mary & Jones & Cole