Sunday, July 23, 2017

JAPANESE BLACK AND GOLD



Just a quickie as Jones & Cole are bugging me about breakfast--CHILDREN!!
After spending 6 hours at auction on Thursday--these guys were the only objects to come home. They were lamps (they will be returned to lamps) at one point as their bottoms are drilled. I'm not sure of their age, but I'm guessing early 20th c. Late Meiji or Taisho?? When I bought them, I thought that I had paid way too much money, but now that I've inspected them and measured their height, I'm pretty sure I did just fine. They are gorgeous--with opposing gilt decoration and perfect condition porcelain.....and a good height of 17" which will bring the total height of the reconfigured lamp bases to about 20"-22" which is perfect when you add a shade of about 11"..........


Business has been great!!! Which means only one thing:  I GET TO GO SHOPPING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Have a wonderful Sunday--the boys are hungry and obnoxious.



Mary & Jones & Cole

Friday, July 21, 2017

LOVING BLUE


Yesterday, I ran through the Auction Preview and this gorgeous toile caught my eye. I call this Flag Blue, but don't think that there is such a color name--so cobalt works, too. The toile graced a pair of


Louis XV-Style sofas or settees. Not only is the toile quality superb, the quality of the upholstery is raised to an art. And the 20th c. sofa frames aren't bad, either.
I think that toile and French furniture is starting to make a come-back after years of being off the radar. I hope so--I've been buying French furniture lately............
Anyway, the sofas will come home next week. They would have come home this week, but......well it's complicated. Especially when an auction has dragged on FOREVER; it's over 90* w/o air conditioning and the auctioneer doesn't do what he usually does. But Don and I worked it out.
I think that the toile is a Pierre Deux --which make it a very pricey example of great upholstery--there is a ton of that gorgeous fabric on the sofas.
A couple other highlights from today--I didn't buy these bronzes, but loved them. The first one is a life-size greyhound which reminds me of Mr. Jones


This Chinese bronze of a puppy with a very tiny frog is exquisite. The detailing is so fine that I can almost see the puppy breathe.




Well, it's off to bed.......need to take fabrics to new pillow maker to start on some pillows from c.1920s Fortuny fabric.

Be well------
Mary & Jones & Cole


Saturday, July 15, 2017

HAPPY COLOR AND ELEPHANTS


I just read that turquoise or deep aqua is the world's most favorite color. It definitely makes me happy. Here's a photo of my new beasties before they were loaded into the trusty Explorer for their ride to Pasadena. These boys (don't think that they are girls) date to c.1960s and are in great condition. I love their mottled glazing----the newer elephant garden seats are busier and "cuter" (I'm not a fan of that description) and definitely not as hot as the older examples.


Well--it's off to work. This has already been a great month for sales and it's summer when things usually slow down??? I'll take it and I'm immensely grateful.
Have a fantastic summer day--happy hunting.

Mary & Jones & Cole

Monday, July 10, 2017

NOW FOR GOOD NEWS


I received an Alternet email today with good news. How often do we only get the bad news? the disturbing news? the TT news (times of trump)????
I feel that we need to hear lots of good, encouraging news about people, places and things that promote a sense of world community and oneness.
The above photo shows what is possible when the commitment to improving the world takes form.
On July 2, 66 MILLION trees were planted in India. 66 MILLION.
I can barely grasp the kind of organization, commitment, generosity of spirit and funds that was required to accomplish this feat. 
If this can be accomplished in India where resources and communications are much more limited than in Western nations, just imagine what could be done here. Trees can be an enormous help in reducing climate change. And we do not need governments to come together to accomplish a huge step forward in reducing green house gases. Just people and  a personal commitment to achieve good.

Next Up----- The ACLU is suing to fight the (most probably anti constitutional) request for all voter information data from the 50 states and territories. Yes, TT is having a hard time defending these voter restriction attempts.

As for me...........my creative juices are flowing. I've got a few new Fortuny pillows in the works.....




These are snippets of a gorgeous 1920's Fortuny fabric that I've been saving until I could feel design trends evolving to a more luxurious aesthetic. I've ordered the silk backing fabric and after many months of interviewing, I have found a new fabricator. The pattern below is a 1950's Fortuny that is an elusive cool yellow on the front and a warm buttery yellow on the reserve...




I've just found the perfect silvery gold silk for the backing.

Well, it's time for Jones and me to get to bed--busy day picking up stuff at auction house, etc.

Mary & Jones & Cole

Friday, July 7, 2017

ASSESSING





I have been uneasy with my purchases of the past few months--I just couldn't put my finger on what was troubling me; so I took a couple of days to assess what I've been buying recently and to bring to light exactly what I have been questioning. Most of what I have bought has been great--no problems in that area. The items are (for the most part) unique--which is what I strive for; nevertheless, I've been dissatisfied when I walk into the shop--it should be making be happy and satisfied. But it is not.
As I was sitting in the garden with my morning coffee (God made coffee just for me, I'm sure), up popped an explanation. At first I discounted the nudge of truth and then I really concentrated. I've been only buying with one-half of my personality--the multi-cultural, multi-national person who loves super collected, precise antiques that are at home on The East Coast, The South or Europe. But there is the other side of me who loves more rustic pieces with deep patinas, great woods that have their history breaking through their surfaces; marble with the stains of a life well-lived. I think that's also pretty true for what I've been revealing of myself. As usual, the nudging revelations weren't just about what I've been buying--but about pushing me to be more revealing of my true nature. This is going to be a hard one as I'm a very private person, true introvert--but if I need to unfold, I guess I'm going to have to work on it. With growth we do have choices: to stay stuck and unfulfilled (not a great option) or to pay attention and go where we supposed to go.
Now that I'm off my soap box and to tie this into my new buying credo: It was early Wednesday morning when I had this growth inspiration and when I previewed my Thursday auction a bit later...........yep, there were several pieces that dovetailed perfectly with the steps that I need to take.
The table above and below is a mid-19th century French pine folding farm table. The moment I saw it, I knew that it was coming home with me. It doesn't adhere to my usual refinement check list, but it has great classic bones and it's 100% original--super patina and soul and it's a great size--about 74"w x 30"d.


Then I spied this stunning pair of 18th century rococo Swedish side chairs and my soul jumped (I have a thing for chairs, especially 18th c. chairs) I wanted these chairs so badly that I could envision their going into the back of the Explorer......



Next to catch my eye was this sweet 18th c. rococo Swedish table




The paint is not original (it has some age), but its an appropriate color--I love the hand forged hinges and curvy sexy legs.
When I arrived this morning just after the start of the auction, another antique Swede was appearing from beneath a pile of stuff and it looked like it had good bones--now the problem is that I really don't have room for all of this new furniture, but you've got to buy when the piece shows up.
I don't have good photos of this third table--just a couple that I managed to take of the base



It has its original black paint on the trestle base with a scrubbed pine plank top (couldn't reach to take photo)--I love old black painted Swedish pieces. (The French or English would never paint a piece black)
So the Swedish trestle table came home (actually Roberto will be picking this stuff up); the folding French table came home; and the 18th c. Swedish table came home...........
.............The swoon-worthy, to die for Swedish chairs went too high for me to make a reasonable profit. And I'm still sad.
______
The G20 is in full session and I am so ashamed of "Not My President". How can we ever hold up our heads? I pray that no secrets will be revealed to Putin during their meeting tomorrow. But also secretly relish the thought of him making a fool of himself and speeding up the eviction notice.

I need to get to bed as Mr. Jones and Mr. Cole are waiting.

Blessings,
Mary & Jones & Cole




Thursday, June 29, 2017

SERENDIPITY................. (again)


I am constantly amazed at my (our) interconnectedness to all things. At the importance of being open and available to the circumstances that confront me (us), that challenge me to grow and to accept what is. Last week this gorgeous Sendai Tansu was up for auction.....I wanted to bid on it, but was so focused on the Louis XVI chest, that I forgot to focus on the moment and I put my hand up to late to bid on the Tansu. It sold for a ridiculously low price. I kicked myself and did enormous amounts of gilt and self-loathing because I lost the moment thinking of what might happen (or not) in the future.
Well, today, as I waited for nothing in particular to come to the block, up comes my "missed opportunity" Tansu....again. And she (maybe a "he") is gorgeous. The last Sendai Tansu that I purchased was older than this one, but not in the superb condition that this one is in. This piece is nearly pristine. It has beautifully cast and forged iron typical of the later Meiji period and it is a two part Tansu, rather than a single chest.



The drawers are all in excellent condition and the surface is also not blemished. It has lost two of its four side lifting handles (not a huge defect) and its keys are MIA. Other than that, it's to die for.
Needless to say, it came home with me today--and I hope that I have finally learned to stay in the present--where life and its blessing are.

Yes, the Healthcare bill has been dealt a serious blow, hopefully fatal. We still need to continue to raise our voices in protest.

Mary, Jones & Cole

Saturday, June 24, 2017

NET NEUTRALITY and other stuff

One of my passions is the joy in contemplating the freedoms that we all have in this amazing nation. One of the newest of these freedoms is access to the internet. At what other time in all of recorded history has connecting with others, access of information, ability to spread our personal beliefs, dreams and hopes with others been so effortless and so fast. Of course, there are negatives that arise with all freedoms; however, I choose to be free to make the decision whether to use the internet for good.
I received an email today regarding the Net Neutrality Day of Action. It was a request for bloggers to publicize July 12 as a day of protest and action against any efforts to restrict free access to the internet--below is the text of the email.

On July 12, 2017, websites, Internet users, and online communities will come together to sound the alarm about the FCC’s attack on net neutrality. Learn how you can join the protest and spread the word at https://www.battleforthenet.com/july12/.

Right now, new FCC Chairman and former Verizon lawyer Ajit Pai has a plan to destroy net neutrality and give big cable companies immense control over what we see and do online. If they get their way, the FCC will give companies like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T control over what we can see and do on the Internet, with the power to slow down or block websites and charge apps and sites extra fees to reach an audience.

If we lose net neutrality, we could soon face an Internet where some of your favorite websites are forced into a slow lane online, while deep-pocketed companies who can afford expensive new “prioritization” fees have special fast lane access to Internet users – tilting the playing field in their favor.

But on July 12th, the Internet will come together to stop them. Websites, Internet users, and online communities will stand tall, and sound the alarm about the FCC’s attack on net neutrality.

The Battle for the Net campaign will provide tools for everyone to make it super easy for your friends, family, followers to take action. From the SOPA blackout to the Internet Slowdown, we've shown time and time again that when the Internet comes together, we can stop censorship and corruption. Now, we have to do it again!
Learn more and join the action here: https://www.battleforthenet.com/july12

I hope that all of us who care about our freedoms (which we sometimes take for granted) will participate in this important movement. We can no longer be quiet.
Thank you for letting me blog about what is truly important and about what is relatively trivial as I get back to blogging about my life as an antiques dealer...

THIS WEEK'S HUNT


This was the first item I saw when I went to preview My Auction on Wednesday........gorgeous late Louis XVI (c.1790-1800) walnut chest of drawers in great condition with its beautiful original grey marble top. It was coming up at the end of the auction; so I knew it would be a long day :(, or maybe a :)...you just never know what the outcome will be.
But I also found this.........



I know it's hard to tell from these photos, but there were a pair of these gorgeous cast iron (or so I thought) 19th c. bistro table bases in a Louis XV style and just look as those dolphin-shaped feet!! (I'm a sucker for just about anything with dolphin feet). I was pretty sure that these guys and the Louis XVI chest were coming home with me the next day......
As usually happens when I really want something, it took forever for the Iron bistro tables to come to the block--it seemed as if everything was getting pushed in front of them. But, finally, up they came. And the auctioneer plus the floor manager (Miguel) insisted on singing their praises (so much for their being sleepers and going for very little). The bidding started at $50 and I waited til they were at $150 to bid and up and up they went..........and I finally got them for just about the max that I was willing to spend, as I still need to have new marble or granite tops cut for them plus inventing a way to secure the slabs to the bases. Well, when I picked up the bases today, I took a really good look at them--paying close attention to their patination and the patination is green. If the tables were iron, they would be a bit rusty in color--not green. The only thing that I know of that is cast metal and turns green is BRONZE. Miguel checked the tables with a magnet (that's easiest way to see if something is bronze) and they are not iron!! They are definitely bronze--boosting their desirability way up there. As always, I am so grateful.
I bought a couple of other things will waiting (and waiting usually gets me into trouble) for the chest of drawers, including this adorable little (about 18"w x 9"d x 12"h) camphor wood trunk to add to my collection of Chinese trunks that, by the way, are not selling. I know: not the smartest way to do business, but I couldn't help myself........


And then this table came to the block. I hadn't noticed it during preview or during the auction, but Dear Lord, it has elephant-head legs.........what was I to do??



This gorgeous Japanese lacquer table is in the Aesthetic Movement (c.1890) style, but most probably dating to the 1950s or 1960s. And no one was bidding on it. Yep, it came home with me for a ridiculous amount of money. I'll post more photos when I get it into shop. I did find a very similar table on 1stdibs (the lacquer top is not nearly as nice on that table) for $6500. My price point is going to be about a 1/3 of that.
And finally, after I asked the guys to bring it up, the Louis XVI Chest came to the block. The bidding starts at $250........and up and up and up it goes. I didn't even raise my hand as the bid zooooomed past my max. It ended up at $1500--way more than what I wanted to pay. You know, we are supposed to be making some profit in this crazy business.

I won't go into the health care debacle.......enough has been and will be said in the coming weeks. But I am so disappointed that those elected to serve The People are only serving the wealthy. We deserve much better governance.

Need to get up early tomorrow. Thankfully it has cooled down a bit, at least for a few days.

Be well and PLEASE STAY INVOLVED. "WE can't keep quiet, any more."

Mary & Jones & Cole