Thursday, October 8, 2015


This beautiful chunk of metal was hiding behind a mirror when I previewed "my" auction yesterday and I simply didn't see it. But today, something told me to look behind the mirror and there he was.

The deep natural patina on this table would be impossible to fake/replicate. I know there are many who would disparage the condition; for me, in today's design aesthetic, this unusual table is perfection. I believe that it is either a small pastry table (perhaps a butcher's display table?) that dates to the second half of the 19th c. I know that I've spoken previously about the differences in current forged iron and antique forged iron--antique iron was much more malleable and could be shaped in more intricate detail without cracking under the stress of forging. It also has a softer (more matte) surface adding depth and character to the piece. Of course, with a deep patina like this guy, you don't appreciate the intrinsic qualities of the iron used.
I debated whether to purchase the 17th c. Italian writing table. I sat beside him. I told him that I loved him and then had to apologize.......I decided not to buy the table. And I am really proud of myself for paying close attention and listening. The energy of this guy was not what I want to bring into the shop at this point in time. I want a certain lightness, so that a conversation can take place between disparate elements without one overwhelming another.  The Italian writing table didn't sell; so maybe next week I will feel differently......
I did kinda step a little outside my comfort zone today.......

I usually am not drawn to "frou-frou" highly decorated pieces (give me neoclassical), but this little 19th c. Venetian Secretaire had been flirting with me for two weeks. She is not a beauty. She's been greatly loved. Her form is just a bit off: who ever heard of putting "cubbies" where the middle drawer should be and those cubbies appear to be the original design. But there is just something about this little girl. Once again, it's the rich, original, untouched surface. The patina is deep. And, to my eyes, gorgeous. (Are you nodding your head Loi?)
Here are a couple of additional shots

Don't you adore those exaggerated Venetian feet? The strong Venetian turquoise? and it's tiny size? 
I'm not going to touch the surfaces of these unique pieces. Roberto will clean them lightly and maybe apply a bit of hard paste wax to the iron, but that's it.
Thanks for listening to me rant about my passions. Have a wonderful Fall week-end: It will be 101* in Pasadena this Saturday and I will be jealously thinking of you East Coasters.

Be well---

Mary & Jones & Cole


  1. Mary I am simply stunned by these oh so unique pieces. I can even feel their energy and life well lived!! Have a wonderful weekend and I hope you are healing!

    The Arts by Karena
    Artist Lee Bowers

    1. Hi Karena, I'm doing super welll---still a little back stuff, but its getting better. Made it through the entire auction yesterday!!!!! Enjoy your autumn weather and beauty of the season---I miss the changes here in LA, but not the snow and cold.
      xoxoxo Mary

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