Sunday, April 27, 2014


 I Have been mulling over this topic for a post for the last 10 days or so--and then bingo! Jennifer of Peak of Chic beat me to it--and Jennifer stated and explained it so perfectly.                                       (Ref."")
Jennifer sees a return to classic late 70's design as exemplified by the great Billy Baldwin, Van Day Truex, Albert Hadley and Billy Hinson among other. Saturated deep colors (rich chocolate browns, deep grays, even yellows and gold, small prints, lots of brass, classic furniture and quality antique elements.
When I studied the various blog posts on the latest North Carolina Market (thank you Meg of Pigtown Design, Marisa Marcoantonio of Stye Beat and Stacy of Quintessence and, of course, Maison21) I realized that all of the great pieces being shown at Market were essentially updated/modernized renditions of c. 1960's-1980's classics.
Take a look.........

This gorgeous cabinet is from Aerin Lauder's line. It is already a classic, but it clearly derives from Paul Frankl, Renzo Rutilli and Heritage furniture designs.

The above console is from Jamie Drake's collection-stunning!! It references the best of Art Deco with a bit of Billy Hanes thrown in--another classic in the making. (Note the saturated and small print background??) Just look at that brass!

I love this bold coffee table from Alexa Hampton--the rich eggplant tone is snatched directly from the late 70's. Think of Billy Hanes huge coffee tables.

This cabinet from Larry Laslo directly references the French Empire period and French Modernism--it is fantastic, but not that different from the pair c 1950's Drexel Chests that I sold a few months ago...

Yes, my guys had a more asian aesthetic, but the overall impression is similar.  Note how the Laslo chest incorporates fine antique style detailing with the outset corners and gold leafing.

This pair of brass and glass campaign tables is a project that I have been working on for a month--the faux bamboo frames date to the late 70's or early 80's and are renditions of a Jacques Adnet table design that dates to the late 1950's (this pair of Jacques Adnet tables is pulled from 1stdibs).

I bought the frames at auction (and they were a bit pricey) and took them to three different workshops to have the necessary updating carried out. The leather strapping work was an adventure for me as well as the custom leather craftsmen who made the straps and mounted was only after the straps were cut and mounted that I thought to ask if they were able to stitch leather to wrap the faux bamboo top rails (just like Jacques Adnet!!!!) and yes they can.....I'm so excited. An entire creative option has just opened up. This pair of tables is finished, but I'm considering taking them back to have the rails wrapped in leather (I think that the strapping would just barely fit back over the leather??)............... Best part is that I have a second pair of frames.

Now------on to the new lighting designs being shown at Market

This gorgeous brass sconces by Aerin Lauder is a clear riff on French Art Deco and Modernism sconces, but with a slight twist. (A bit of Giacometti??)

French Modernism pops up again in this sconce by Ballario.

Compare the heft and mass of this new lamp by Arteriors with my vintage c. 1970-80's solid brass lamps (note the size/style of the white shades--echos of 70's and 80's shades).

Here is another pair of late 1970's brass lamps from my inventory--These are Frederick Cooper and are fantastic and huge--maybe I need to start looking at different shades for them??

Remember how many classical daybeds turned up during my search through the major shelter magazines last month and consider, also, the fanfare revolving around "One Man's Folly"......I can't wait for this certain richness to return to contemporary design and I will definitely be primed to sell to this aesthetic.

Wishing everyone a fantastic week.
Be well.

Mary & Jones (& Cole)

Thursday, April 17, 2014


I have been very fortunate--over the past 6 weeks I have sold 6 pairs of pillows; 4 pairs of vintage Fortuny and both the Le Tigre and Il Leopardo Scalamandre silk velvet pillows.........which meant that I needed to put my pillow creativity hat on. This is one of my most favorite chores--choosing the silk and velvet backings for the antique and vintage Fortuny textiles. I usually have a pretty good stash of silks on hand. I've found that my creative brain works best if I have fabrics that inspire me at hand. Sometimes what I have works; sometimes it helps me decided what doesn't work. For this new batch of pillows, I had everything that I needed.

This is the very desirable 15" wide border of untouched 1920's antique Fortuny fragment that I purchased in December. I acquired this from an American artist, who lives and works in Venice, who had acquired it many years ago from a close friend of Henriette, the wife of Mariano Fortuny. It is just enough to make two generous pillows. I'm backing these pillows in a very high-end brown/black silk faille. I love the scrolling vine and iconic "r" pattern border of this fragment. The mottled deep blue tinged with green has great depth and you can see where the various wood blocks were applied to the fabric with greater or lesser pressure. Unfortunately, these guys will be pretty pricey to cover the cost of the Fortuny fragment.
Next up, I ordered another pair of pillows like this pair

in "Farnese Frieze" that is dated 1961. I am so lucky to have been able to obtain this Fortuny textile in mint unused condition.
Next I ordered a pair of pillows from this c. 1930's antique Fortuny fragment.

This is an early example of the "Peruano" pattern. It bears the old Fortuny stamp and was created with fabric woven on a 28" loom, which also is an indication of the age of the Fortuny textile. Fortuny fabrics created during the lifetime of Mariano Fortuny (1871-1949) are more highly valued than identical fabrics created after his death, when Henriette managed the business. I am not generally a "green" lover--but I do like this green--and amazingly, I had just the right shade of green silk to back two of the three pillows that are to be made with this antique fragment. These will be rather long pillows measuring approximately 26" x 15" so as to not waste any of the textile--perfect for a bed or backing a sofa.
I next ordered a pair of pillows created with this example of c. 1960's "Campanelle". This fragment is also unused and in almost mint condition.

I had just the right tone of silvery-gold silk to back these pillows which will measure approx. 20" x 26". 
And finally I ordered a pair with this mint "Lamballe" pattern Fortuny that is dated 1958........this is a fun pattern and rather unique with the ticking-style stripe.


The repeat on this design is a full 45" in length--very large. I'll be breaking one repeat up into 3 sets of pillows--this first set will use the bottom third which features the squirrel in the pattern. The pillows will measure about 15" x 24". And I'm backing them in a striped charcoal cut velvet....different and a bit funky.
Now, I just have to patiently wait for Pam to create my pillows--and she's very busy, hope it won't be too long.

I can't believe that Easter Sunday is almost here......and it will be a gorgeous spring day.
Wishing you the best this Easter,
Mary & Jones & Cole

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


I'm still organizing, but Roberto set up the Period Empire Daybed on Saturday. The daybed had been in storage for at least 4 years; so when I saw it installed, my heart skipped a little beat. I love him. As with everything in life, it is the little details that make the difference. The beauty of the flamed mahogany panels and the (apparently) original gilding on the ormolu make this piece stand out. I've sold many daybeds/beds---this one has a unique mattress size: 44" x 71"--not even a 3/4 size or a large twin.

The bed needs a tiny bit of restoration, but not much and then he is set to go up on 1stdibs.

Flavio delivered the Biedermeier daybed on Saturday. It turned out very well; of course, it is not at the same level as the one above, but it can hold its own. Photos coming next post.
Flavio took a look at the credenza

Fortunately, the original 1950's lacquer can be restored. If the piece, which measures 103" long, needed to be completely relacquered, the cost would have almost tripled. The drawer fronts and cabinet doors will be ivory lacquered in such a way as to allow the graining of the wood to show through the finish. Andrew is working on polishing the vintage gorgeous brass hardware--it takes a perfect touch to give just enough shine without hurting the naturally occurring patina.

Here is a good example of getting polishing just right.
This is a Period English Regency (c.1820) solid copper with brass detailing hot water urn--some would call it a samovar, but really it is a hot water urn.  It was really, really dark when I brought it home last week; you could barely distinguish the lovely engine turned details. Andrew spent at least two hours very carefully bringing out the original surface and highlighting the brass. This urn has never been restored; so it still has the expected dings and the loss of the (probably) ebony finial to the brass spigot. Surprisingly, the urn has retained its original iron well for the hot coals and the cover for the well...many times these fittings were removed and subsequently lost. I love metal pieces like this urn--they offer a window into a world without electricity, with little technology and before the industrial revolution, meaning that hand crafted was virtually the only method of fabrication possible. Where letters, heart revealing letters, were the principal means of communication. The thought of 3-dimensional printers replacing work shops (true factories were in their infancy) and the concept of cryptic 2-line texts replacing many forms of communication would only have been envisioned as a lunatic's ravings. (Eclipse tonight)

I've been waiting for tonight's started a few minutes ago....I'll try to take some shots. The night is very clear and just barely crisp. I wish I had studied up on how to use my NEW camera, but I'll have to settle for the little trusty Canon point and shoot.

I feel very overwhelmed by nature's gorgeous night displayed and very underwhelmed by my photographic skills. I didn't think that the eclipse was discernably red?? Maybe in the desert? I'm reminded that I am simply a grain of sand.

Have a wonderful Easter Week.

Mary & Jones & Cole

Monday, April 7, 2014


I just watched the Katie Couric interview of Lynda and and Lucy Johnson in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. And I started weeping. I am a true product of the late 1960's, graduating from Duke in 1970, witnessing the revolutionary changes that occurred during this time period. I marched on Washington to end the Vietnam war, stood with my newly integrated fellow students at Duke to stand up against segregation and discrimination. And I weep because we have seemingly been halted.....our progress in the area of human rights is so pitiful. Our position vis-a-vis women's reproductive rights (and equal pay for equal work) has regressed to the point of oppression (I do not favor abortion as a preferred method of contraception)--why is the thought of denying birth control to any woman even a thought that is being discussed by our society?? Why is there a continued huge disparity between the budgets of intercity schools and white or Asian majority schools? Why are black teenagers been gunned down because of what they happen to be wearing on a chilly night? Why does the shooter go free? Stand your ground? Does not mean shoot on sight.
I'm still an activist....marching is out for the moment as I'm getting a new hip next month (dog park injury). But I march every day with my trusty lap top. I take my morning batch of petitions very seriously. I love the fact that we are so interconnected at this point in time. For the first time in history, my small voice and small single vote can be added to thousands of others (perhaps millions) and together we do make an impact.
I believe that my generation has betrayed the very principals on which the United States was founded...instead of being the instruments for change that we all promised ourselves we would be, we are the ones who control Wall Street and the crimes that have been wrought in that arena. We are the ones who, through greed, have decided that bottom line accounting should be bottom line decision making. We are the ones who sent our jobs overseas in order to make a penny or two. We are the ones who have been complicit in the destructive pollution of China and in the creation of intolerable sweat shops in that country, virtually enslaving millions of workers. (I know, China was not in great shape to begin with, nevertheless, we have been complicit). 
It is time to stand up and accept responsibility for the destruction that we have wrought. My prayer is that, as a nation, we look deep within ourselves to become the instruments of change that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 envisioned. IT IS TIME TO END THE BIGOTRY, FALSE JUDGEMENT, HATRED AND ARROGANCE THAT HAVE BECOME THE CORNERSTONE OF THE AMERICAN POLITICAL SCENE.
The Tao states that all must increase in order for there to be decrease. Well, I am more than ready, as are millions upon millions of other Americans, to witness the decrease.
Be well.


I've spent many hours attempting to get the scanner on my new HP printer to work--no go. But last night, I was determined to figure the darn thing out. Eureka--it works; so forgive me if I go a little crazy......

After buying my third daybed destined for storage (they don't seem to be selling very well at the moment...I love them as much as chairs.....) I started worrrying. It's not simply the cost of purchasing the piece, but you have to calculate the cost to restore these old pieces. So I thought I'd check the April shelters to see if daybeds are on their way back in......yep, they are--at least on the East Coast, which means that within about a year they'll hit here in LA.
There are at least three featured in Furlow Gatewood's new book "One Man's Folly (I haven't received my copy yet) plus many other gorgeous beds...

A few pages into Elle Decor, up popped this sweet late French Empire solid mahogany "Lit Bateau"--I've sold a couple of these in the past--they aren't true daybeds, but those on the "other side of the Atlantic" many times refer to this style as a daybed......and I just sold a 19th c. campaign trunk very similar to the one featured here....(my spirits were begining to lift).

I kept flipping pages until I came to this beauty in the home of Frederico de Vera (ED)

This beautiful emerald green daybed is one of my favorite styles--an understated Louis XVI, with simplified minimal carving and ormolu displayed only as rosettes at the scroll ends of the foot and head boards. This particular style is very hard to find and so elegant.

The little beauty shown above is also from the home of Federico de Vera. This Period French Empire (1810-15) bed/daybed appears to be child sized, but it is a true beauty featuring the characteristic flamed mahogany and ormolu mounted columns.
Furlow Gatewood also displays a Period Empire day in "One Man's Folly" 

This particular bed appears to be larger and not quite as old as the de Vera bed, notice that it lacks the fine ormolu detailing to the columns and the darkness of the mahogany leads me to believe that it dates to c.1820-30 (?)
And's my guy (in storage)

The figuring of the mahogany is top notch, as is the original ormolu. He is coming out of storage and into the shop this week. I usually have to invest major money and effort into restorations--but this one showed up in excellent restored (perhaps original condition).
You can just catch a glimpse of the gorgeous English Regency daybed in Furlow Gatewood's dining room (I've sold a couple of these examples)

Several years ago, I purchased a daybed very similar to this guy which is featured on the cover of Phoebe Howard's book--just look at the luscious upholstery and pillows on her bed.

I'm not sure if this particular bed is French or American--most probably American. My example, now also in storage and coming out this week, is a bit more elegant than this example, crafted in mahogany and with a glorious unique double finial at each corner. For at least a year (or more) I thought the daybed was American, until I discovered a French provincial example dating to c. 1840-50 that was almost identical to mine. I love this casual style of daybed--it can fit just about anywhere, depending upon the upholstery.
I wish that I had taken a photo or two of the little Biedermeier/French bois clair (early French Restoration) daybed that is my newest acquisition, but I did take a photo of the ormolu rosette at one corner

This guy should be back next week---unfortunately, the rosette on the opposite corner was lost somewhere in the daybed's travels; so I have been on an internet quest to find a matching pair of rosettes and also the simple period brass escutcheons for the abattant. And I found both items this morning--the escutcheons are on their way from England and the Rosettes are on their way from Paris. I LOVE THE INTERNET.
Moving on....... This modern daybed (AD) is from the San Francisco home of Ken Fulk--it is truly beautiful with simple modern lines that dovetail perfectly with the architecture.

And the chettah (??) fabric works fabulously.

And here is one last daybed/bench (AD)... a Swedish bed in the kitchen area--I love this!! Now I know someone will buy my daybeds, please.

I'm feeling much better...
I could go on and on about antique French beds/daybeds...I bought my first one many, many years ago when we lived in Bilbao, Spain and I was several months' pregnant scouring the seaside villages for a lit bateau for my oldest son's room. That was many adventures rolled into a bed.  It turned out that the bed was riddled with woodworm--and if he gets cancer now because of the chemicals that were infused into the wood to kill the bugs, don't blame me (I'm wiser now). I bought an early c. 1820 French iron bed in southern Spain for my daughter--this was my absolute favorite bed. The bed featured in Furlow Gatewood's book (below) somewhat reminds me of my daughter's bed.

And right now I sleep (and Jones & The Cats) on a c. 1860-70 French rosewood bed. Of course, when you buy an old French bed, there aren't any standard mattresses--everything is custom made.......Oh, well--I'm not giving up on my antique beds just yet.

Wishing ya'll a wonderful week--and glorious spring weather (it's going to be beastly hot here--and then it'll cool down).
Be well.
Mary & Jones & Cole