Friday, November 30, 2012

MOVING--NOT JUST MOVERS & Chair Addiction Issues

I love rainy days and we have had two wonderful showery days that remind me so much of my years living in Bilbao, Spain where it averaged 55 inches of rain per year. Amazingly, although The Basque Country is just south of England, Bilbao rarely reaches the freezing point because of the ocean currents. Everyone has the most gorgeous complexions because of the humidity and minimum sunlight. (It goes without saying that wine and brandy consumption is quite high in this beautiful part  of Spain) I would imagine Seattle to be somewhat similar, but a bit colder.


I've been busy planning my move. It might seem pretty strait forward: just get a mover and load and unload. But I have about 50 feet of antique French boiserie or paneling to install before the move. First I have to remove this paneling from my current location. And to do that I need to move everything in front of or attached to the paneling.
Because there is currently no way to simply attach the panels with l-brackets, as at my current location, Dennis is building a frame on which to attach the panels....I am truly grateful to know so many trades people that are go to guys and easy to work with. 
Hopefully the the frame will be completed this week and the panels will go up Monday or Tuesday....and then move the balance of the STUFF. 
In honor of my new aesthetic adventure, I'm going to paint the fielded panels a mauvy purple with a definite pop.  I've been scouring magazines studying the various purple tones (and they are innumerable) together with the setting in which the color is placed. I think it's because I have never been attracted to purple that I didn't realize that it works with just about any other color or tone and is therefore, 
A TRUE NEUTRAL. Other great designers have said this before, but I thought they had lost their minds--now I finally grasp this beautiful, adaptable color. (But it is quite a fugitive color, so sunlight is its enemy.)

I have had a relapse into my chair addiction: I really couldn't help it. These c. 1940's French Moderne high backed chairs had my name on them and they just kept calling.


I usually don't go for this type of chair or this time frame, but these guys are so unique that I couldn't resist. On close inspection you can see that they are gold and silver gilt and the cain backs are in perfect condition. For the time-being, I think that I will simply clean them up and put on a tag. I believe that  the current fabric dates to around 1960--so a reupholstery is in order--I can see them in a fun purple embossed velvet--great boudoir or accent chairs that will lighten up any space. Art Moderne chairs are fairly uncommon and I have been working on lightening up.
Jones is a little antsy as he injured his leg and hasn't been able to get out--he's better, but he just has to moderate those 10 foot leaps when he sees his family.  So I'm taking my guy out.
Have a wonderful week-end.

Mary & Jones (& Cole)

Monday, November 26, 2012


I hope to have completed the move to my new location (just up the street) by December 5--so that leaves a little more than a week to sell as much as I can so that I don't have to move it all.
That said, here are some of the highlights of what's up for 25% to 50% off. If you see anything that appeals, hop over to my website and contact me directly from the item page (link at lower left) for pricing.
Here are some examples of what's up for grabs:

Pair of Billy Baldwin benches reupholstered in a heavy silk faille.

Pair of Ralph Lauren linen and Vintage Fortuny pillows.

Japanese Kano-Style Screen c. 1950. Painted on gold leaf, about 40"h x 60"w.

Pair of my custom rock crystal and antique faux marble boudoir lamps--with the option of either silk or Fortuny custom shades.

 Pair Paul Frankl deco arm chairs in an Italian velvet.

Pair of my custom designed Chinoiserie sconces of Pagoda form and rock crystal pendants. These are big! These sconces were featured in Michelle Nussbaumer's room in the Greystone Manor Design House a couple of years ago.

Vintage c. 1960's Ashanti pattern Fortuny Pillows.

Framed Giovanni Batista Piranessi (2) Engravings: Roman Fountains.

Antique Chaise Longue upholstered in gorgeous platinum leather.


Blessing for a glorious week.
Mary & Jones (&Cole)

Sunday, November 25, 2012



I think that these photos just about say it all. I am so thankful for my family, these gorgeous little girls--the boys were away (and Jones wasn't invited).
We had the the most glorious Thanksgiving at James and Grace's new home. Even today, I'm still in a bubble of joy.


I am moving the shop--just going up the street; but two blocks is the same as moving across town. So--since I would rather sell than move items....every inventory item is reduced up to 50%. Just go to my website and you can contact  me directly from the individual listing pages... Or you can call me (better to email from website) at 
Jones is happy that we are moving as we will be next to his best friend Schatzie (sp?)--but moving and change is always bitter sweet. 
I have never been one to turn down an adventure (some times I wish that I had been a little more cautious) and I am fully convinced that our goal in life is growth and expansion. To stay stuck and complacent is one sure way to avoid spiritual growth and we know what happens when we don't grow.

Have a super Sunday evening.
Mary & Jones (& Cole)

Sunday, November 18, 2012


Here are three pillows created with the antique Fortuny panel that I bought a couple of months ago. These sections of the panel were taken from areas that were not exposed to sunlight; so the color is more or less true to the original. This Fortuny is about 100 years old; so even these colors have muted somewhat. I detailed the pillows with antique 19th c. French metallic caterpillar (early 19th c.) fringe,  19th c. French silver fringe, and 19th c. metallic braid. Pam did an excellent job. Two pillows measure about 12" x 22" and one measures 9"/10" by 22". The smaller pillows is trimmed with antique braid only. Pretty decadent....


These are two individual pillows fabricated with a c. 1960-70 Fortuny "Moresco" pattern fragment. These guys are backed with a very high-end heavy silk and a tiny welt. The deep gold tone of the silk perfectly matches the gold of the Fortuny. The fabric is so beautifully stamped that not much is needed to make them perfect. The larger pillow measures about 18 x 22 and the smaller pillow is about 12 x 22 (I'll have to check the measurements when I get back to the shop. 

This is a cute pair of ethnic-inspired, "Moresco" pattern c. 1960-70 vintage Fortuny pillows. These guys would be perfect for a mid-century inspired room. They are backed with a top quality linen and tiny tiny welt. I think that they measure 20" x 22" (I needed to check).


Another pair of Scalamandre Silk Velvet "Le Tigre" pillows. I love Scalamandre--"Le Tigre" and "Il Leopardo" are woven in Venice and have the most amazing "hand"; the velvet seems to shimmer. These "Le Tigre" pillows are backed in a luxurious high-end gold with black shot silk faille (my photo doesn't show the detail accurately). An even larger pair of "Il Leopardo" pillows  is in the works. This "Le Tigre" pair measures approximately 18" x 22" and the "Il Leopardo" pair will measure a huge 24" x 24" and are backed in a gorgeous gold Venetian silk velvet. Unfortunately, my cost for the Scalamandre silk velvet has increased; so I have had to increase the cost (slightly) of the pillows. I can't wait to see the "Il Leopardo" pillows. There is another pair of vintage Fortuny coming--these are in tones of rusty red and renaissance gold.

And now for Thanksgiving cooking and baking.....
We are celebrating twice because my daughter and her family are going up north for Thanksgiving Day. Today I'm baking at her house where all of us will meet up for family time. Of course, I'm baking pumpkin and pecan pies and my cranberry chutney which works for turkey, ham, lamb or whatever--even over cream cheese for appetizers.

1 large package fresh cranberries
1 can jellied cranberry sauce
2 cups Granny Smith Apples peeled & diced
1/2 cup raisins
2 tangy navel oranges peeled and chopped
zest of 1/2 orange
1/4 cup vinegar
1.5 T. very finely julienned fresh ginger (or more)
1/2 t. powdered ginger
5 whole cloves
1/4 t. powdered cloves
1 T cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar (or to taste)

Put everything in large sauce pan and simmer until the apple are soft and the cranberries have popped.
Store in glass container(s) in frige or freeze.
This is best made a couple of days ahead so that the spices can blend and mature in flavor.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving surrounded by love and gratitude.

Jones stole David's chocolate donut yesterday and he still looks guilty whenever I mention the donut, but grateful. What a dog.

Be well.
Mary & Jones (& Cole)


Sunday, November 11, 2012


I purchased this great lamp created with a Famille Verte Chinese vase from another dealer here at the Pasadena Antique Center. It was a little forlorn--needed a good cleaning and the electrical fittings were dangling. So I sent her off ASAP to Lupe (great lamp/electrical guy who even picks up and delivers) and Lupe returned the lamp on Tuesday. With all of the work done. 
On Wednesday, while I was talking with Steve (also a dealer at The Center who specializes in Asian Antiques), I noticed that the lamp was crooked. I couldn't believe it---Lupe had just returned her!!! (My language was a bit stronger)  I walked over to the lamp and picked her up and then I became really incensed: some one--we have many spotters from China who only buy Chinese porcelain--had taken the entire lamp apart; separated it from the carved rosewood stand; unscrewed the wiring and lost the nut that holds the lamp and electrical fittings together....I was pretty PI____D.  But all at once, both Steve and I looked at each other and said in one breath: it's older!!! I had thought that the lamp was c. 1940-1960, but since we could now see the bottom, we knew that vase dated to c. 1880-1890. That is a huge difference in value. Yes, the vase is drilled, but antique Chinese porcelain vases of this size (about 18 inches) are getting much more difficult to find; the drill hole has become less significant in determining value.
The coloration of this particular vase is spectacular--it is a pure apple green background with a translucent glaze. The detailed Famille Rose painting is a bit rough, which is typical of Chinese porcelains of this time period. If the vase were older, the painting would be more refined.

I removed the electrical fittings (they will work for another lamp); cleaned off the putty that had been used to cement the vase to the rosewood base; and raised the price a few hundred.

You just never know the amazing gifts that will tumble into your lap. And I'm grateful. I love Chinese (all Asian) porcelains. Perhaps I will keep this vase.......I love the color and the Chinese symbols depicted on the body.

Have a super Sunday. Jones had his hair done yesterday and he is so handsome!!!  
Everyone is coming for dinner today to celebrate Lauren's sixth birthday---first time viewing the two-seater. So will have 11 for dinner and I need to get to the shop for a while. I'm almost ready.
Be well.

Mary and Jones (& Cole)

Friday, November 9, 2012


I have already admitted to my chair addiction--but I have kept silent about my addiction to children's chairs of the 18th and very early 19th c. The center two-seater is new to my little family of children's chairs.

This addiction started innocently enough. I inherited the Shaker child's chair (c. 1860-80) (above) when I was about 5. The chair had belonged to my great aunt and then my mother and then me. Naturally, the chair was put to good use by my three children and now my three little girls love it. Of course, once there were 2 girls, that single chair was not sufficient. So I acquired a couple more, and then a couple after that and finally, I found the two-seater last month.

The chair on the left is British Colonial Raj Period (India) and I believe it dates to the mid to late 19th c., but is in an early English Regency style (early 19th c.).
The little chair to the right of the British Colonial example is American and dates to the late 18th c. This adorable chair appears to be all original, has kept it's little finials and rush seat--look at the knobs at the ends of the arms. But it has lost a bit of height.

I just acquired the two-seater last month. Two-seaters are very unusual. The chair also dates to the mid/late 19th c. British Colonial Raj Period. The cane has bee replaced, but the little bench is in great condition.

The last little chair, the only one without arms, is  early 19th c. American (I believe that it is Southern) and is all original, but it has also been reduced in height. Look at those gorgeous acorn finials.
Now, for one more chair---and this one just fell into my lap....

This baby is very early 19th c. French Provencal and was crafted in walnut. The chair is all original and retains its original seat--I love the swoop of the front legs and the out swept arms. The tips of the arms have been restored as over the years, the chairs must have been pushed into the table hundreds of times.

The girls haven't seen the new addition yet.  And when they do there will be quite a squabble over who claims it. But the beauty is that the person who gets the two-seater only gets 1 chair and the others get 2 chairs each. The French high chair is staying at the shop.

I hope that everyone has a beautifully quiet week-end. I am so glad that this election cycle is over.  Now let's get down to business!!!

Mary and Jones (& Cole)

Thursday, November 1, 2012


On Tuesday Roberto and I got cracking....

We (Roberto) polished the Milo Baughman Table until it glistened like new. This table is awesome.

We (Roberto) finished the final waxing of the Dutch Baroque Mirror. (This is an old photo)

We (Roberto) rearranged the main room. Highlighting red for Christmas. I love the vintage Scalamandre silk chinoiserie fabric--the little guy is swinging away so happily.

I brought in the lacquered Paul Frankl Arm Chairs.


We (I helped) rearranged the second room. And made the 18th c. period gilt bronze chenet lamps (fitted on my custom designed lucite plinths) the center of attention. She is so sweet. You can see additional photos on  I love those Jesse Arms Botke Hyacinth McCaw oil sketches--and they are signed.

I think that I'm finally getting into the Holiday Spirit...this election cycle has been so bitter; Hurricane Sandy, equally devastating to millions. I pray that we set aside our differences to work for the healing of our nation. I pray that we focus on the positive and what is life giving. I pray that we honor truth and are open to the oneness of all.

Jones say "hi"-- he likes the new arrangement--a little more room for his bed.

Mary and Jones (& Cole)