Saturday, August 24, 2013


Oooooooops--didn't intend for Jones to get in the middle of this shot. 
Here are a couple of photos of the Black Lacquer chests that I bought last week--now that they have been delivered and are viewable, I think that they are even better than what I had originally guessed

These photos were taken with my iphone; so there is a bit of distortion. In actuality, the cases are in perfect shape, but appear a bit warped in the photos. I love the minimalist perfect proportions and that the brass hardware is the only break in the high glass lacquer

I took these photos of the Russian/Baltic side chairs today after Roberto and I were organizing.

These neoclassical guys are another variation on the "Klismos" chair which is, of course, my favorite chair form.
I'm not sure exactly what the wood is, I think it's mainly mahogany.... will have to do a little research.
Note how tall the slip seats are; the back legs have a very stylized back sweep; the front legs are carved with acanthus leaf (?) detailing and a plain and a fluted ring at the bottom of the chair legs. The gilding on the acanthus leaf carving is not original--but does add a bit of interest. My favorite detail is the charming carving of the back splat--unique to Russian chairs. There are remnants of the ebaniste's label, but so far I haven't able to make sense of it. Serendipitously (word ?), I have just enough of a Scalamandre striped cut velvet to reupholster the chairs!! They have to have a stripe. The chairs are a bit later than I had originally guessed, probably 1830's.
These guys are a little too dressy and stiff for mainstream Southern California decorating, but will be more appealing to an international client.

Hope your last days of summer (before school starts) are glorious--it has cooled down a bit here and I'm loving it.
Have a super Sunday.

Mary and Jones (& Cole)


  1. Dear Mary, Those lacquer chests are stunning!. It has given me an idea for an antique Chinese chest I have that has been painted over "badly" so must be stripped fist. Recommendations for a good and effective stripper? The chairs are also intriguing on so many levels!

    Feature: Artist Anne Harwell

    1. Hi Karena, Gosh!! It's been a long time since I did any stripping. I'm pretty careful with the fumes issues and worry about the people who do it for me and always remind them to wear masks and gloves...that said, I do know that there is a water-based stripper that doesn't open the grain of the wood if you are very careful. It is really important not to open the grain as then the wood will have to be very carefully sanded and sealed before applying a surface finish. Does this help??

  2. Love that pair of chests! So chic and stylish, Mary!! Wonderful to have a pair, which is always hard to find.
    xo Loi