Sunday, December 17, 2017

INSPIRATION THIS and THAT

Last week, while watching the BBC, I discovered Grayson Perry. Perry is on England's list of 100 most influential people--(not surprisingly)  I had never heard of him or seen anything equal to his stunning pottery. I became mesmerized by the level of craft, artistry and uniqueness expressed in his work. (I pulled all images from Google)



Perry's art is, to large part, autobiographical. He combines ancient pot forms with current self expression. He labels himself a transvestite (whose alter ego is Claire) and has been married since 1990 to his wife Philippa. Words are insufficient to describe this creative, I'll refer you to Google....





I took away a huge inspiration from the BBC interview (I'm paraphrasing) Perry spoke of integrating all facets of himself or oneself to be present as a whole to everyone at all times. 2018 will be my attempt to be more in the now, to be increasingly authentically present. Quite a chore for a true introvert.

Serendipity and  Gut Buying
While I was researching a French wall paper screen that I bought on Thursday--I was pretty sure that is was antique Zuber--I discovered these French grisaille early 19th c. wall paper screens and panels.


About 12-13 years ago I bought a 6 panel folded early 19th c. screen. I only caught a glimpse of what the front side of the screen looked like, but wanted the 6 antique frames for a project that I was planning. When I got the screen home, I inspected the front decorated panels--they are another of **Dufour's Views of French Ports series. Plus my four Dufour panels are framed by hand printed Japanese paper panels which might be used on Japanese screens of the same time frame. I loved the screen and decided not to sell it and it hung in my living room until it went into storage with my last move. I made no effort to research the panels. My screen is not in great condition, but it definitely compares well to this one. This screen is pricey--so I might just restore my screen this year.
The morale: "Train your mind and follow your gut"

**Dufour was a very prominent French manufacturer of hand painted wall papers of the early 19th c. He  wood block printed the outlines, hand painting the grisaille tones.

And finally,
A friend and I went to the LACMA on Friday to see the 18th c. Mexican paintings exposition. It was phenomenal. Having been raised in Mexico and then living in Spain for 7 years, my heart was humming. Miguel Cabrera was the most famous artist of the 18th c. and there were several of his paintings in the show. A few years ago I purchased an 18th c. Mexican painting--I just had to have it.
    

I did manage to have the painting authenticated by the Denver Museum of Art as most probably painted by Miguel Cabrera or at the very least, his studio. I love this painting--it makes me happy. 

I can't believe its just a week before Christmas and I really haven't done much shopping.....oh well, it always does come together. We are having the usual 16 for Christmas Eve.

Wishing the Spirit of The Christ Child embrace us all.

Mary & Jones & Cole




Wednesday, December 13, 2017





DOUG JONES WON

AND

mr. small t
bannon
pence
republicans who lost their consciences
ARE GOING DOWN

Thank you to all who prayed
Thank you to all who called
Thank you to all who canvassed
Thank you to all who donated
Thank you to all who hoped
Thank you to all who took a stand against hate
Thank you to all who saw behind the mask
Thank you to all who voted their consciences
Thank you to all who were brave to speak out
Our Nation thanks you!!

And now back to the business of citizenship.

Mary & Jones & Cole

Friday, December 8, 2017

DOWN TO THE LAST FEW WEEKS OF 2017

Last year at this time I was in deep mourning over the election of "mr. small t". I though this grief would pass--it hasn't. Now I've settled into a deep melancholy.
This is a man who has filled our nation with destruction. 
Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel.
This is a man who is about to be banned from entering The United Kingdom. Yet the Republicans have not cried out in anger at his reprehensible behavior.
This is a man who wants to sell our National Parks and Monuments to the highest bidder.
This is a man who colluded with our enemy and bows down to Putin.
This is a man who is deeply involved in money laundering.
This is a man who has assaulted numerous women and who defends a pedophile.
And on and on and on--one lie after another.
This a man who deserves to be brought before the American People to be impeached. And then tried as a traitor.

We will not go silently into this dark night. 

Thursday, December 7, 2017

NOTABLE MENTION, etc.



See those gorgeous Alabaster Pyramid Lamps on the Italian Console?? I sold them to Nate and Jeremiah about 6 months ago and certainly didn't expect to see them published....but there they are. Nate and Jeremiah are two of my favorite designers--always considerate and positive. Best of all, they sometimes bring Poppy with them as the next generation of designer in training.

Auction Update
I arrived super early before the auction started to make sure not to miss "Minerva"


And she did come home with me--this Wedgwood Basalt bust is in nearly mint condition. I bought her for a friend, but could easily be enticed to keep her. She was pricey, but still a very good buy.
I also brought home a box lot of Minton bouillon cups and saucers with heavy gilt decoration


I didn't count the cups, but there are a lot of them.
Also in the box lot was a set of French, Paris Porcelain (?)  small plates


with gold decoration, didn't count these either, but I think there must be quite a few. (I probably paid too much for the porcelain, but just couldn't let it go.
And finally, I bought the most adorable and old--at least early 19th c. Regency (?) Library Steps.


The two bottom steps fold up, turning the steps into a small console. This was a give-away, as it didn't get any bids; so it was mine for a song.
I got a couple of other minor things, but really don't have an inch to spare in the shop......need to move some furniture out!! (If you spot any furniture on my site mjhdesignarts.com and love it, it is now almost at a bargain basement price point)

Well, it's getting late and Jones is giving me sad eyes--he's the one that really wants to go to bed.
The fires seem a little calmer, but we desperately need rain and calm winds. Please keep praying.

Now for the Grand Finale

   
The boys really love each other.

Blessing for the day,
Mary & Jones & Cole

FINALLY DONE--WHAT A JOURNEY

It has been a long and arduous journey........finally the set of 4 Regency Open Arm Chairs are ready. (Drum roll, please)










Sometimes you buy an item that you think is beyond doubt super rare (which doesn't equate to easy-to-sell) and a great buy....only to discover that there is a tortuous path of restoration to bring it to the point of sale. This set of 4 period Regency open arm chairs took the prize for being a huge pain in the butt. I'm a purest and I hate restorations that are simply not right! 
Here's what the chairs looked like when we bought them....not too bad, right?? I thought it was just a matter of reupholstery.........and a bit of tightening.




Here's what they looked like at Camilo's without the upholstery...again, not too bad





What I thought would be a simple tightening job, turned into replacing several seat rails; totally replacing the natural rush seats; reattaching all arms that were removed in order to redo rush seats; taking chairs back to Camilo because he did a messy job putting the arms back on; worrying and fretting about who would be able to match the paint without damaging the original painted details. At least 5 or 6 trips back and forth to Camilo and rush seat person (both in Los Angeles proper).....and on and on and on for 7 long months (thank goodness, I'm a patient person). And guess who did the final touches on the paint matching, etc.? Yep, my faithful Roberto finished the touch ups last week and the chairs hit the floor. In case you are wondering, the chairs are a very dark green.........
I really wouldn't have bothered with these chairs except that a set of 4 period Regency painted arm chairs is quite rare and these chairs had great bones and the painted surface was wonderful. The chairs date to c. 1810-1820, are comfortable and sturdy and now are ready for another 100 years of use. And there is still a good profit margin--I'm supposed to be making money here!!

It's getting late and I need to get up bright and early tomorrow...this 'Wedgwood 19th c. Basalt figure is coming up early on at auction


It's "Minerva" and she dates to c. 1870-80. Wish me luck.

Please pray for the fire situation here in Southern California. We need the killer winds to subside and we need a lot of rain.

Blessings,
Mary & Jones & Cole


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

0NE HUNDRED THOUSAND AND COUNTING...............


I realize that is not a very pretty photo...but it is significant. I just pass the 100,000 mark for visitors to my blog. I am honored that even one person has cared to read my ramblings. Thank you so much for visiting. And here's to the next 100,000 visits.

Yes, tomorrow is auction day. Last week was Thanksgiving; so no auction--and today the floor was jammed with items. Not all that much that is calling to me, but there is always something that I missed.
Since I have no extra room at shop, I think that I can only buy things to hang on the ceiling or on the walls (it's pretty tight there, too).
And wouldn't you know, I spied a chandelier that just might be for me



My friend Coleen (Coleen & Co. creates the stunning pagoda style lanterns and other chic light fixtures that are seen in all of the shelter magazines) knew who made the chandelier (which is still in production)--it just so happens to be bronze (and why would they powder coat it?) and super heavy. I love the coral form! I wonder how much it would cost to strip off the white, leaving it bronze?.....hmmm??
I spied an early 19th c. (perhaps late 18th c.?) landscape painting--just the type that would group well with other genre landscapes. The frame is original gold leafed with just the right amount of patina.......






This painting is a good possibility--at least I like it.....


I have always wanted an antique horse--but not so much today (probably have finally outgrown that desire) and this poor guy doesn't look very healthy.


I have never wanted a crocodile.............this guy is to die for: African, very long, folk art, tons of character and fun




I'm not even going to considering the croc, but I do love him. He's at least 5 feet long and I do not have a spare inch.







Last up are these three birds prints--they are quite large and super decorative. The gold leaf frames are great and the matting is amazing. There is only one problem--I think they are 20th c. renditions of the late 18th c. bird engravings by Catesby/Edwards. I have sold several of the real Catesby/Edwards and they are infinitely small. These guys show pixels; so they are simply good prints married to an exceptional frame. 

Well, it's time Jones & Cole to get to bed--we will be getting super early tomorrow and need to be on our toes.

Blessings for the week--thanks for all of the visits.

Mary & Jones & Cole 












Saturday, November 25, 2017

NEW STUFF--I think I'm on a Neoclassical Roll.........

It's been super hot here in Southern California--record-breaking hot and I'm tried of it!! On Wednesday and Thanksgiving Day it was in the higher 90s in Pasadena and today it was down to 88* and a wonderfully cool 68* down here at the beach. That's our crazy micro-climates in full force. Monday we're scheduled for rain and coolness. (Thank you)
Lalo brought back the English Regency Dining Chairs today--the upholstery is gorgeous but see if you can spot his error. I'm not sure exactly how we miscommunicated so perfectly. Oh well, they can be redone. Not sure if I have enough of the silk faille??





These beauties are rosewood and faux rosewood and beautifully detailed in marquetry--the klismos  form is one of my favorite chair forms, dating back thousands of years to the Egyptians and Romans and still referenced in modern design. For example, this set of "Anziano" chairs designed by the famous American designer, John Hutton, for Donghia in the 1980s.


**The Regency chairs were a reward/gift for my showing up and paying attention. I am grateful.
I'm not sure if you can see well enough, but the chairs are sitting on a mid-19th c. mahogany campaign desk that Roberto and I are just starting to restore--this is a big desk with faux partners drawers on the opposing side.
Next up: Last week Lalo brought back the newly upholstered 19th c. Louis XV fauteuils. Although this form isn't truly neoclassical, it is transitional from Rococo to Neoclassical. It's always an adventure when I pick out fabrics: I need to appeal to a broad spectrum of tastes--but my choice can't be too frou-frou, too boring, too common, etc. The fabric that I had chosen arrived and it was not what I wanted; so with Lalo standing there and waiting for me to give him the fabric, I pulled out a French blue-gray linen from my stash and said go for it. And here is the result--





It's perfect: traditional but unexpected and not boring. Lalo did a fantastic job--just look at the care with which he applied the single welt. (A single welt is much more difficult, time-consuming and more costly to apply than a double welt) (note: the tone is more similar to the upper photo--a lot more blue) 
Some people will probably think that I am crazy, but here goes......I bought this pair of Period Deco console bases for a song......and they do need a heap of work. My creative juices were flowing and I couldn't resist. The consoles were super dusty; so I couldn't determine their wood. With "nothing ventured:nothing gained" running through my head and betting the the wood was macassar ebony, I brought them home. And guess what? They are macassar and definitely worth the new tops and restoration needed. I think the new tops will have inset black glass or black marble inserted in macassar-veneered framing tops. Sound good?
 



Of course, we know that I'm a chair addict; and I've succumbed once again. I just couldn't pass on this sweet Anglo-Indian Raj period side chair. It is beautifully carved in a foliate design and I suspect that it's rosewood as it is really heavy.




I had Lalo upholster the chair in a pale gold Italian silk velvet. The carving is gorgeous, but it is the carved toe and intricate skirt that draws my attention. I think think that this petite chair could easily take the place of a sculpture in just about any setting--as a counterpoint to minimalism it would shimmer.
And finally, "Siddhartha Departing" is almost fully restored. It's been a bit of a journey for this guy. I had all of the original pieces, but positioning them just right was not easy--Roberto still has a couple of hours of work remaining to complete him. The figure is extremely heavy; if it were a softer wood, it would have dried out over the years. Not this guy--I cannot lift it at all; so I think that it is most probably rosewood, making the piece more valuable. I think that it most probably dates to the 18th century, although I have it tagged as 19th. The figure is tall, measuring about 43" high... he's a happy guy (but I do believe that he left his beautiful wife and child(?) to seek enlightenment.........MEN!




He's definitely on the  move--look at the horse's raised right foot denoting forward movement.
---I can't pass up posting this 19th c. Sheffield Gallery Tray--it just got spiffed up




The tray is in overall very good condition with the exception of the silver plate having been polished off on the tray section. The quality is first rate and I love the hand chasing pattern. And it's big--about 29" long.