Tuesday, September 30, 2014


I'm not sure where my love of containers came from. Perhaps it's a spiritual thing. We all are vessels meant to contain life and love and memories and the breath of God. Meant to hold and share our creative spirits. Lately I've been buying a few buckets..... they are definitely not a Southern California "thing" but that hasn't held me back.
Here is my latest purchase--an English Regency Wine Cooler in mahogany with brass banding and lion's head handles. I took this photo at auction--it's now waiting for Roberto to work his magic. Note the beautiful reeding to the saber legs plus the brass lion's paw feet.

I've searched and searched the internet, but I haven't been able to find another example quite like this one--sitting on a (soon to be) beautiful Regency single pedestal. A cooler is a bucket? Yep.
Of course, all of my buckets are also example of antique copper or brass work, another passion. Nothing is more beautiful than the glow of polished antique brass or copper--the antique metals are much warmer than contemporary brass or copper--or even iron. Modern iron is much harder and does not acquire the beautiful soft patina of antique hand forged iron.
Roberto just finished spiffing up this Regency Oak and Brass wine bucket. It also features lion's head handles and brass lion's paw feet.

 I acquired this large 19th c. brass bucket a couple of months ago. I think it might be American, perhaps a a large English peat bucket. I love the size of this guy--would be a charming log holder. The photos don't really highlight the size....

I love the fine brass loop and rivets holding the forged iron handle.
And last up is an 18th c. (?) copper bucket or pot. This is one of my favorite metal pieces--it has been beautifully repaired where the copper wore thin from use. The copper is warm and the hand hammered surface invites fingers. 

I love the old rivets, the patina and the beautifully forged iron handle.

I have some more copper and brass pieces at home which I'll write about in another post......Jones is pacing about waiting for me to go to bed. My master calls (he was humping one of his friends at the park today; so we had to leave).

Be well.

Mary & Jones & Cole 

Sunday, September 28, 2014


The past few months have been adventurous. Many moments have been an unfurling of Lotus petals. Almost as if I were revisiting situations where I haven't quite "gotten it right" (or majorly gotten it wrong) and being given the opportunity to approach situations with a new, more accepting and open posture...not unlike this beautiful Lotus blossom coming into bloom.....moving from holding on waaaaaay toooooooo tight....... 

To this blossom......

There's a sense of completion--not that this has all been easy (actually it's been kind of yucky), but definitely a time of preparation. I'm not quite sure what doors are opening. But this time around, I'm pretty sure that I can embrace the unknown as an adventure. I'm getting a little excited to figure this all out.....we'll see.

I'm still quite able to obsess over life's details...still need to work on this. Lately I'm obsessing over whether I should repaint and upholster this set of late 19th/early 20th c. Louis XVI-style dining chairs. 

They are really very nice French chairs (great fluted legs and carved backs and solid ash frames) but some one did a number on their paint job-----and to repaint and reupholster will be a pretty penny......On the other hand, I'm seeing painted Louis XVI-style chairs every where I look and I already have the Suzanne Kasler natural linen.....Oh, I wish there were 8 of the chairs...But I love the 90's French Indienne-style upholstery (which is still in absolutely MINT condition)...Or I could just flip them super fast on OKL......  clarity please!!
-------I'm open to suggestions and cheerleading.

Fall is definitely here--but we are slipping back into scorching summer for a few days next week.....Please pray for relief from California's intense drought.

(In case you missed the news: George Clooney and Amal were married in Venice this week-end. OOOOOY!)

Have a wonderful week.

Mary & Jones & Cole

Sunday, September 21, 2014


We are finally getting a break from 100+ degree sizzlers--and I'm taking the day off to simply love the moment and relish having the day all to myself (and Jones).
When fall first approaches I get into a cooking mode. I have a new crock pot; so I thought that I would try pulled pork MY WAY.
I couldn't find any pork shoulder; so I used 3 lbs.pork butt (it was fine).

--Made a sauce of
----1/3 c. Balsamic vinegar
----1/3 c. water
----1/4 c/ sugar or honey
----1/4-1/2 t. Fennel seeds
----2 pinches of Rosemary
----4-5 cloves finey chopped garlic
----a little bit of salt
----freshly ground black pepper
----1/2 t red (hot) chile powder
--Layer of organic baby carrots in pot
--Layer of sliced sweet onion (1/2 large onion)
--layer of thick sliced pork (most fat removed)
sprinkle with sauce
--layer of pork slices
sprinkle with sauce
Finish layers with sauce
Turn crock pot to "low" and let it do its thing for about 6 hours or until meat is super tender.

I cut meat up and served it with the vegetables--not really pulled pork. But good. And the leftovers will definitely make a pulled pork sandwhich or two.

Improved photos of Regency-Style Lanterns

Isn't he cute....just look at that chinoiserie chimney.

Have a wonderful fall--the rain is coming.

Mary & Jones & Cole

Saturday, September 20, 2014


I just added this pair of "Striped Lambale" vintage Fortuny Pillows to my inventory. This Fortuny fabric dates to 1954, just a few years after the death of Mariano Fortuny. It is an uncommon pattern--I love the two shades of gray on the ivory white background. The squirrel makes me laugh. These are quite generous pillows--I hope some one needs Fortuny with a chuckle.

And this is a pair of "Farnese Frieze"--this particular Fortuny was dated 1961 on the selvage. The mottled turquoise on gold color way is always a quick seller. Pam always does a spectacular job and I'm so grateful to have found her. I'll share her: Pam at finedetailsinc.com for the best pillows and custom linen embroidery. Hint: Ralph Lauren refers her to many of its clients. She also has many top designer clients.

Here is a double surprise present:


I bought this pair of lanterns a couple of weeks ago. I was standing about 60 feet from the auction block when I glimpsed this pair of lanterns being held up--no glass, just some beaten up looking frames.  But a little bell went off in my head--I though they might be chinoiserie--so I bought them sight unseen. When I picked them up, I was startled. Why didn't anyone else bid? It was immediately obvious that they were pretty great, even if they did need a bit of TLC.
Today I picked them up from my glass place (have been using Bouret's Glass for many, many years) and I discovered that they put in seeded glass panels (seeded glass is very expensive) as they just happened to have some left over from another installation, at no extra charge!  DOUBLE PRESENTS. Of course, Chinoiserie anything is one of my passions; neoclassical design is what I gravitate to.
These lanterns are English Regency-style (note the Prince of Wales feathers) tole lanterns of chinoiserie form (c. 1890-1910). To have a matched pair is quite uncommon. One of the lanterns needs to go to Carlos for a bit more minor restoration, but that is to be expected of lanterns of this age and use. 
Thanks for listening to my ramblings.
The temps. have dropped by almost 20 points and I am basking in the coolness. It's going to heat up again, but not quite so much.
Well, I'm off to bed with Jones,
Blessing for a perfect start to FALL in all of its glory.

Mary & Jones & Cole

Monday, September 15, 2014


I love serendipitous occurrences--times in life when I am definitely in the flow, in the moment when connections happen and life is full of blessings.
Several weeks ago I encouraged a friend of mine to buy an amazing table at "My Weekly Thursday Addiction"--Oliver is a good "auction Thursday" friend who wanted my advice regarding purchasing the table for his home. He bought the table (very pricey), but it didn't work for the scale of his dining room. So......Roberto (& crew) brought the table to the shop on Saturday morning. Before positioning the table, I had Roberto turn it up-side-down and took photos. Both Oliver and I had thought that the table dated to perhaps the 1970's; the auction house had it identified as "composition/gold painted".  When Roberto and I saw the underside of the table, we knew that it was period Art Deco; it was carved wood; gessoed; and completely covered--every nook and cranny-- in gold leaf. In other words, a great table turned into a unique AMAZING table.
Here is a teaser--just one leg to give you an idea of what the surface is like. 

We haven't identified the artist who created this piece; so I won't show full frontal photos of the table until Oliver decides what he wants to do. Stealth in this trade is of the utmost importance. I have a feeling that the table will be going to a major East Coast auction house--we'll see.

Update: The lanterns are Copper!! Which makes me almost as happy as the discovery of the table. Being present helps.

Still in the 100's here; should cool down by the end of the week.....Rain in October?!

Have a great week. Jones and I are off THE PARK.

Mary & Jones & Cole

Friday, September 12, 2014


I am so humbled when I study this beautiful vessel that dates to early 20th century Japan. Yes, at first glance it appears to be a basket woven from humble reeds. On staying with the vessel a while its character begins to emerge. Yes, it is an Ikebana object, but the form has the ability to bring out a sense of awe and wonder. The basket is woven of thin bronze wire and wider strips of bronze; not a strand seems to have lost its place in the whole. The form is beautifully balanced; the patina applied with the lightest of touch. 

The tight weaving of the wider bronze bands at the center, echo's of a Mandala, perhaps one's personal center, always extending outward and connected to all others.

Have a joyous week-end.  It is super hot, hot, hot here. My favorite cousin is visiting from Denver and I can't wait to see her.

Mary & Jones & Cole

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


These were sleepers last week--I just can't pass up lanterns. These guys are in an 18th/early 19th c. form and were really dirty when I bid on them and I was pretty sure that they were made of lowly tin. Roberto cleaned them (once cleaned, we discovered faux hand-rolled glass--a very expensive detail) and hung them on Monday. Both Roberto and I know the difference between tin and copper (hint: look at the oxidation at the bottom of the right lantern), but I guess we just couldn't believe these guys were anything but tin.

Lately, I've been practicing staying in the moment and appreciating details; so when I was editing these photos, that verdi gris patina started talking to me. When I get to work, I'll really check out the lanterns, but I'm pretty sure that they are copper--sweet gift to me. And the wiring is Under Writer Laboratories' certified. So the sconces are set to go--I'll have Lupe come in to test the wiring, but I'm pretty sure it's all fine.
Once again, the generousity of life is providing the details. I bought another pair of lanterns....these are getting new glass panels and are with the glass installer. Light and bright into all corners.

IT RAINED FOR ABOUT 20 MINUTES ON MONDAY--A SUPER SOAKER. We need a lot more of that, but I'll take whatever is sent.

Have a great week.
Mary & Jones & Cole

Thursday, September 4, 2014


It's early and perfect. The birds are just beginning to rise and I'm waiting for our flock of very noisy green parrots to complete their morning fly-by. 
Out my office window, enthroned in my neighbor's side yard, is the most beautifully generous navel orange tree. It's fruit is slightly-sour sweet. 

This old tree--maybe 50 to 60 years old has seen and given much. This spring it bloomed gloriously and I envisioned the fruit that would ripen in the fall. Right now the tree is heavy with still-green oranges. It hasn't worried about the drought nor the fact that it is getting only minimal amounts of water...this amazing tree just keeps doing what it was intended to do since the day it was planted: bear fruit.
Note to me: just keep on doing what you were intended to do and the fruit will appear and ripen.
Happy Friday,

To the left side of orange tree is an over-grown (in some opinions) glorious (in other's perception) red-tinged pink bougainvillea that has probably been the orange tree's companion since they both were planted.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014


Well, here he is. I was in a state of shock when Miguel brought the desk out to the car: I had not thought that the desk was a three-part--being a double pedestal with a separate top greatly increases the value of a campaign desk and makes the desk much easier to move. When I got him in, I went over him very carefully. As you may have suspected (from the attached tag), I took him to the shop--business is business.......and I'll find another desk for me.


Overall, the desk is in very good condition. The leather top shows wear to the surface only and I have a fantastic leather restorer who will restore the surface to an almost mint condition. The mahogany exhibits the desirable slight sun bleaching (I love it when mahogany turns this honey shade) and the brass detailing is all present. The desk is a great small size, measuring 47"w x 29"h x 30"d--perfect for a small study and perfect for military use. An interesting and unusual detail is that all of the drawers have installed top quality 19th c. locks with London stamps, but there are no key hole openings. I wonder if this was a custom piece and the intended owners liked the look of the drawer fronts without escutcheons?
I think that the migraine from waiting for the desk to come to the block was definitely worth the irritation. Blessings do seem to come to those that wait.
Tomorrow is Addiction Day, AGAIN. I really do not have room for a single thing, but I'd better check it out, nevertheless.

Mia started pre-school yesterday. Just an average little girl--not even a hint of what she has been through over the past 18 months--miracles and gratitude. She loved school--now she's a big girl, just like her sisters.

Be well.
Mary & Jones & Cole

Monday, September 1, 2014


Being in the antiques and decorative arts business has its pluses and minuses: I'm always on the hunt for the shop and not for me....I have lived without a proper desk (I use a French farm table for working on) for at least 10 years. And my office is a mess!! Without a desk, I lack drawers in which to stash  and organize things. So everything seems to get placed in a pile and the piles keep getting taller and more disorganized until I just throw everything into a box. 
So......in honor of Labor Day, I decided to find a desk for me that will not go into inventory, it won't even go into a possible inventory list......maybe.
On Thursday (Addiction Day) there really wasn't very much to buy. But I did spy a sweet smaller English solid mahogany leather-top (the leather needs to be resurfaced) campaign desk that dates to the early 20th century. I should have taken photos, but it was blazing hot and I had to patiently wait for 3 additional hours while (it seemed) every other piece of "junk" was brought to the block. (I'm usually pretty patient when this happens and especially after my last post re staying in the flow. But last week I worked myself into a migraine waiting for my little desk to come to the block--I'll keep working on the flow part.)  
Here's a photo of a similar desk (mine is not 3-part) and it has small bracket feet instead of plinths, but you get the idea.

I'm getting very excited--I'll pick the desk up tomorrow; so I'm getting organized today: throwing everything on top of my desk into boxes and tossing a bunch of stuff along the way.

Have an amazing Labor Day--Fall is going to be fantastic: I can feel it in my bones--and rain for California!!

Mary & Jones & Cole