As you can see, Roberto had a few free hours (he never has free hours) on Friday (Miracle No. 1). But before he arrived, I went into a minor panic because Dennis (super mover) had not delivered my items from the Auction house....what would Roberto do without the shipment?? After a quick call to Dennis, who promised to bring the items before 3pm (Roberto had to leave by 4); Roberto and I set about destroying and rearranging the shop...I usually give Roberto the basic structure of what needs to be done and he figures out the rest without my having to micro-manage. The above photos show the first stages of getting ready for the new items--hard to believe that anything else could possibly fit into this space!! (No, I'm not sharing Roberto or giving out his number.)
Here's Roberto measuring and leveling the gilt console for installation. (Isn't he cute--and a life saver.)
Here is the console just installed and with a couple of decorative items. Those are the figural lamps that I bought at auction. They are huge and I should have suspected that they were "Marbro" at the Auction... When they are arrived in the shop yesterday, look at what I found on the sockets.........
Yep, there is that "Marbro" sticker. (Miracle No. 2/Serendipitous Gift) One way of dating objects is by whether the state abbreviation used on the label is a two-letter or the older multi-letter abbreviation. The two-letter form came into use in 1963. Although the sticker uses the older multi-letter "Calif." abbreviation which would indicate that the lamps were created prior to 1963, I suspect that this use of the multi-letter "Calif." was a hold-over. I'm guessing that these lamps date to the late 1960's, but I can't be certain.
Roberto (I helped a little-mainly directlng traffic) really shifted gears and after Dennis left and the console was up (about 3:25) he started on the the chaos shown above and just look at what we/Roberto accomplished by 3:55 (that is only 1/2 an hour of hustle (Miracle No.3).
This is what the final arrangement of the console looks like (Sergei took the chinese guys) --not bad--I like the alabaster duck detail.
Miracle No. 4--Sergei arrived with the "Marbro" Alabaster lamps (boy, had I been worried!) which are now perfectly patinated. And he took the new Chinese figural lamps for minor restoration--after more or less 50 years, there were a couple of tiny chips to the flowers. Sergei PROMISED that he would bring these lamps back next week....we'll see.
Now I have to choose the right lamp shades for the alabaster lamps.
Neither of these shades is quite right. The white shade needs to be taller. I like the black shade, but it is a bit too tall and the yellow reflexion of the gold foil gives it an "old world"/English library air; whereas the white shade puts it squarely in the mid-20th c. I think that I'm going to go for the taller white shades which will allow the lamps to be appropriate for various settings and will be much less formal.
Now, a quick update for the leather chaise longue that (like the Chinese figural lamps) was a sleeper at the auction (a term that here means no one paid attention to the lot). The chaise had been beautifully upholstered and maintained by its original owner and it shows the care which it was given. Pretty Chic.
I still have a way to go before everything finds its right place in the puzzle of putting the shop back together--but it is almost done.
Hope that ya'll (yes, I did live in the South for a few years) are having a wonderful Spring Sunday--it is gorgeous here: about 80 and clear. Jones looks gorgeous after his bath and haircut (I even got my hair cut) and we'll be off to work in a few minutes.
Thanks for joining us on this adventure.
Mary and Jones (and Cole)