Wednesday, February 6, 2013


One of the reasons that I love this crazy business so much is that every item that I buy provides an adventure in learning and, unfortunately, relearning those lessons that I should have remembered the first time.....
My erstwhile "George III" double pedestal desk is a good example. But this time around I'm learning something new and I have found an affordable leather restorer..... I probably would have passed on this desk if I had really studied the damage to the original leather top (it is all in the details).  But being fearless in the adventure category, once I owned the desk I have been determined to find an AFFORDABLE leather restorer who could rejuvenate the 150 year old surface and match the surface color to the spot where some neglectful person had placed their plant and allowed water to damage the leather.  AND I FOUND HIM. Darren will restore the leather and match the color where the plant had stood. With a desk as large as this one, replacing the leather top would involve not only replacing the actual leather, but also tooling the edges in gold leaf which is exceedingly expensive as is using a split hide. Best of all, the leather will retain its natural patina. And I will have Darren as a new partner in crime.



The top photo shows the image of the brass and glass tables that I grabbed from And voila, the bottom photo shows the new finial on my almost  identical brass and glass nesting tables. I know that the finials are different; but this one will "do" until I find  the perfect of all, I found it hiding on a mid-20th c. french porcelain lamp that sits beside my bed... I'm taking the table and finial to Carlos to make the appropriate fittings.

Over the past six weeks I have learned that I am highly allergic to the "night shade" vegetables and fruits. Of course, all of my favorite vegetables and fruits happen to fall into this category and I can no longer eat any more of my famous Christmas nut cookies (I think that is what really did the sinking); no more avocados or just about anything else that is fit to eat. Plus I'm gluten sensitive......  But I'm learning how to cook what I can eat and enjoying the process--who knew that lentil and carrot soup made with fennel and a touch of cloves and a little salt would be delicious?? I would love to add a tablespoon of sour cream, but since that is no longer an option--I'm good.
I am simply grateful to be back on my feet and able to do what I love to do. (Lost about 10 lbs.--I've decided to make lemonade)
I think that this six weeks' "break" has been good for my soul--I've started designing pillows again and went to visit Pam at Fine Details this morning. We have started the process of creating a pair of 17th c. Flemish tapestry with a fruit motif pillows. The antique tapestry fragments are quite large for each pillow--about 15 x 13--so these should be pretty impressive pillows. I'm not going the usual route, but using a gorgeous Venetian striped "cut" velvet with gold bands as backing and using an antique patinated 19th c. French metallic fringe. When I go back next week, Pam will have blocked the pillows out on a "dummy" striped fabric and we will determine the final sizing and order the 50-50 down fillers. It is definitely a creative process and I am so fortunate to have found Pam who loves working with fine textiles.
Tomorrow Jones and I are previewing my Thursday auction--hopefully, I will be more focused and paying closer attention to the details.

Be well.
Mary & Jones (and Cole)


  1. Mary-
    I do believe that my Father-in-law has the same desk in his office. I will have to ask my sister-in-law to take a photo of it. How sad that the leather top of the one you now own had such damage but how fortunate that you have found someone to restore it and bring it back to life.
    It shows how details in life do demand our attention and care.
    Hope you are feeling better. May your health be fully restored to carry on the task of bringing the details of design back to life.
    How creative you are!

    1. Hi Patricia, It really would be quite something if the desks were identical. I'll take new photos when the restorations are complete. Thanks for being a wonderful inspiration. xoxo