Thursday, May 17, 2012

There Is Another Chaise Longue--God Help Me!!!

A few posts ago I confessed to my addiction to chairs. I have another confession: I'm also addicted to DAYBEDS and CHAISES LONGUES.........I know, I know--but this is the DEALER DILLEMMA: you have to buy when the item is available, not when you need it....... At the moment, I have a gorgeous period French mahogany & gilt bronze Empire bed (some would call daybed, but it's a bed), two (2) true daybeds and a chaise longue. But hear me out, there is the most gorgeous Louis XVI style carved and gilt daybed coming to the block today.....and I am lusting. My passion for antique beds goes back to my childhood when I was given my great grandfather's childhood bed (which had been brought with him from Ireland) that had also been my father's childhood bed (and went on to be first my oldest son's bed and finally my daughter's bed-and then the poor thing let out a big sigh and fell apart) and then the daybed/bed passion came into true bloom when I lived in Spain (Bilbao and Madrid) and started studying and buying antique furnishings. One of my very first purchases was a Spanish walnut "lit d'alcove" or "lit bateau" that dated to the Louis Phillippe period (c.1835-40)--which could be called a daybed here in the US.

I learned so many important antiques-dealer lessons with that Louis Phillippe bed---even old wood warps; French/Spanish walnut is a wood worm's/termite's chief delight. Most things are fixable. Or they are not. It is best not to buy when very pregnant. ETA (Spanish Basque Separatist Movement) was not waiting for my bed to be fixed before kidnapping someone on our project (that is a book for another day). Sometimes it is infinitely better to replace a piece/part than to try to restore a badly damaged one.......These were just some of the many lessons derived from that one piece of furniture--restoring this bed was a long journey and I am so grateful for those lessons. I will never sell an antique in the condition that bed was in without detailing all of the faults. In the antiques business "buyer beware" is an awful motto--hopefully, all dealers restore, rewire, polish, debug, etc. (and disclose all work done to a piece) before allowing the item to be sold.
I'll finish this later tonight after the auction.........

(Thursday, p.m.) 
God did answer my prayers.......when I got to my auction, I checked the chaise longue out from top to bottom. I really didn't like it as much today as yesterday and I realized that I would have to reupholster the piece which would cut deeply into my profit margin.
I did buy some amazing pieces today--I'll take photos Saturday. Just a hint: a pair of original c. 1770 Piranesi engraving in very good condition--these will be going to my framer. A small, 18th c. English landscape with cows by a very well-listed artist. And a few other goodies.

Thanks for joining me on this never-ending joyful hunt--which seems as if God were dropping presents in my lap.

Mary and Jones (and Cole)

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