Monday, May 27, 2019


Well........I started writing this post almost three months ago, the day I lost my best boy. And I couldn't continue. My heart still hurts, but I do need to get back to joyful things like blogging.
Jones' breeder has puppies coming whose father is Jones' half-brother, but don't think I'm ready just yet. And Cole is very old and would not do well with a puppy. But if anyone hears of an adult standard w/o problems, I would love to adopt.
Here are some of Jones' character-filled moments

                                       BEST BOY


Although I've been missing Jones, I haven't been abstaining from buying--of course, I know that this business is addictive, but you just have to buy (or else, you can't sell).
I used to sell mainly period 18th and early 19th century European and American antique furniture-- and then I slipped into mid-century and 20th century. Lately, I'm discovering more of my first loves. Of course, I always have my eye out for "sleepers" and I've been finding a few........
Two weeks ago I spotted about 1/3 of the back of what I thought might be a period tilt-top tea table. It was in the middle of the "junk pile" at my auction--so there wasn't any way for me to get to it to really check it out. So I was up bright and early as I knew the table would go to the block at the beginning of the auction.  When I arrived, I couldn't find the table--and I thought that i had lost it......But 20 minutes later, the table magically appeared. My heart started beating a bit faster. Yep, the front looked good and the pedestal feet were Claw & Ball. (I didn't want to draw attention to the table; so I didn't run up to closely check it out).
My little table goes to the block.....there was only 1 other bidder who (lost his nerve) and dropped out. The table was mine for a steal. (A post on tilt-top tea tables is in the works.) But for now: the table appears to date to around 1760; it's solid mahogany; 37.25" two board flamed mahogany top; turned pedestal ending in three beautifully carved Ball & Claw feet and floral carved knees. I think that it is most probably from Salem. We'll see when I get the appraiser in

The last thing I need is another period mahogany table, but this one just found me and it was free (how could I resist)---c.1820 Regency drop leaf table with amazing sexy ringed legs. The table's only problem (and it's a big one) is that it's been refinished with an open-grain surface. But it's still a true find.

Next up: 

This little sleeper is a late 17th c. Oak and Elm single drop side/gate leg provincial breakfast table (the side that was pushed against the wall does not have a drop leaf; the side facing outward has a single gate leg drop which was brought up for breakfasts or meals. Gerry was not impressed until I showed him this little table

This is a much higher level of table, but of the same period, woods and overall style. My little guy is exactly what I love to always have--great rustic appeal that can be incorporated into many settings. I don't think that much has been done to this table over it's 300+ years of life and it just might last another 300 with TLC.
And finally (for now). This pair of mid-century opaline lamps. I know that they look a little boring on those bases and with those awful shades.....but just a minute. Those old-school bases are exactly the type that William (Billy) Haines (decorator to many major movies icons of that era) commissioned for his iconic lamps of the 1940s, 50s and 60s. Billy Haines also painted the electrical fittings (like these) to match the tone of the lacquered bases; he would also choose top notch (and unusual) elements for his bases.

(Just look at the pretty graining on top of my 17th c. table) I'm sure that the lamps were made by Billy Haines--they'll need to be rewired and the paint touched up a bit on the electrical fittings--but they are good.
Ooooooops. I forgot, just one more thing. This bucket was not a sleeper, and I paid $$$ for it. But it's big and beefy and in good shape (not refinished) and has a liner (not the original one). It's almost 20" high.

OK--So I've showed you my winners. Now (for balance and truth) I'll show you some also needs clouds and gray days......

(By the way--it snowed in the mountains on Friday and Saturday--yes skiing and snowboarding in May and June in Southern California. And the high in Pasadena yesterday was a chilly 53*)

I was jumping up and down when I won the bid for this huge (7.5 ft x 5 ft) 19th c. carved and gold leafed mirror at $200.00.

But when I received my bill from the auction, the mirror was not included. I questioned the mistake.
It took a couple of days for the office to get back to me (always a bad sign). The mirror had been sold the week before and wasn't marked as sold; so my purchase was cancelled (very sad face inserted)😣😬.
I very badly wanted this PAIR of gorgeous large Japanese Meiji Period Screens--but the bidding zoomed past my limit in seconds.......

And then there is the question of my lamp fabricator not following instructions.... When I gave the jars to Ken I was very explicit that the bases be crafted of very thick lucite/acrylic (this would be pricey, but aesthetically correct) and that the tops be carved wood. Well, as you can see the bases are very pedestrian wood and the tops although they look like wood, I think are actually composite.

Fortunately, I have an ace up my sleeve: I know a great gold leaf artisan. So the bases are out being gold leafed (leaving a raised band of black at the top) and applying a fine line of antiqued gold leaf to the edges of the caps. This additional fix-it is going to be pricey, but it's so important to get the details just right.
And here's what the front of shop is looking like right now....

 Yep, The Italian c.1920s marble top console is new--that Deco black marble is to die for. I do not think that I could replace it today.
Thank you for staying with me while I grieved my boy. I'm back to my old self--maybe better.

Blessing for the coming summer.

Mary & Cole

Friday, January 25, 2019


Those of you who have followed this blog journey for a while know that my youngest grand daughter, Mia (center), was diagnosed with a brain tumor when she was 2 1/2. And you followed along the scary journey of her healing. Last night she spoke at the Opening Ceremony of the LA Art Show which was a benefit for St. Jude's Children's Hospital, Tennessee. Mia, as you can see, is doing amazingly well: she's smart and happy, loved by everyone, an up-and-coming basketball player and adorable hula dancer--miracles every where you look. We are all so grateful to St. Jude's for the miracles that are wrought by their care.

And my favorite client, Robert Vargas (a world renown muralist), was also at the show demonstrating his amazing talents and donating all proceeds from the sale of his works to St. Jude's. 

Next Up------
I try to keep current with design trends and I religiously read AD Online as it's a great source of information regarding what is happening now in design, as opposed to 18 months after photo shoots happen-- the time lapse for most print magazines. Tonight I opened the AD email and saw the name of new clients who had purchased a chair from me just a few weeks ago.

Of course, I wondered if our chair would show up in the photos of the house. And guess what....

there it is--the purple glove makes the room perfect--nothing boring here. Although credit wasn't given for the chair's source, it's a super pick-me-up just to spot it sitting pretty.

Last, but not least.............

We scored today. The French iron butcher's table was not a sleeper, but it's coming home anyway.
The Swan Console was a sleeper

 and it's coming home, too.
The little steel table and the large abstract enamel were both amazing sleepers

And they're coming home.
And last, but not least the large steel garden sculptures 

are making the truck. I know these guys are pretty funky, but I love them.

All-in-all, it's been an amazing day!! And I think I feel like this

Well, I'm off to bed......need to make it to my auction  early tomorrow to pay for everything and make sure that Roberto loads up w/o issues.

Sending blessings for the week-end.
Prayers that the "shut down" ends tomorrow and prayers for the restoration of our nation.

Mary & Jones & Cole

Thursday, January 24, 2019


Well, besides the iron table base (coming up later), there was this very large--perhaps 48"h x 18"w copper enamel art work. I love this piece and I think we'll buy it. There's a bit of damage, but I think that our restorer, Debra, can fix it. It reminds me of the works of Antoni Clave, my favorite 20th c. Spanish artist who was a cohort of Picasso and Miro.

Next up for possible snag:

G adores this table/console. It probably dates to the 1980s and is beautifully created. The cast brass swans are weighty and finely detailed. The element that is truly catching my eye is the brass bevel that is set into the thick glass top-and let's not forget that gorgeous black lacquered plinth. Very Palm Springs. This will not be a sleeper.
And now for my sleeper of the the front of the "pile" is this French wrought iron table. I think that it might be a late 19th c. butcher's table used for displaying choices pieces of meat. (But I'm not really sure)--at one point it probably had a marble top which I'll replace with smoked glass. The shelf at the bottom was used for additional cuts of meat or sausage (I think).

I love the deep natural patina and the unusual bombe form--look at the curl of the feet. I know that the iron is pretty rough, but it has so much character. With Roberto's sure hands giving the table a little love, it will be perfect.
Next possibility--probably a yes--is this little steel table. We both love it--it has perfect form and proportions and it's simplicity makes it super appealing.

There is this amazing Bustamante coffee table which we will not be bidding on. At first glance it looks fantastic and a true winner, but studied in detail--not so much. Check out the damage to the brass paneling--tons of dents--it looks like some one got angry and instead of kicking a wall, kicked the table.

Of course there is one lot that is pulling at my heart strings

This gentleman is beautifully painted. The photo does not do the paintings justice......maybe he will be a sleeper, too.
Oooooooops, almost forgot, we love this trio of iron brutalist abstract sculptures. They are great and huge!!

Ok, maybe one more lot

I love this set of four scolloped English mid-19th c. plates and they are all in great condition. Who can pass up English Imari?

Well, it's off to bed........need to get up super early and get out the door--something I seem to have trouble doing lately.

Blessings for the day......
Mary & Jones & Cole