Wednesday, March 23, 2016


This is why I love what I do--something new to learn every day. 
I spotted this set of 10 rattan and cane dining chairs at Preview last week. (There was also a table which was in wobbly condition--so it went into dumpster) I thought that these guys were copies of 60s-70s McGuire dining chairs and knew that I wanted them. So on Thursday I gaged when I should arrive at auction; got there on time; waited 3 hours for them to come to the block............that's the way it goes. Anyway, when the chairs came to the block, Don wanted to start the bid at $500. He waited and announced......I wanted to start the bid at $400. With much expressed pain Don accepted my bid and then called the raise. Waited. Called the raise again. Waited. I had those chairs at $400!!! I was so excited. But some one slipped in $450 just before the hammer went down; so I had to go to $500 (Just like what Don had originally wanted).....too much of a coincidence: I think Don faked a bid just so that he could get the chairs up to $500. But I'm happy. They were still a fantastic buy even with the lot fee of 18% added to the bid amount.
It is so unusual to find sets of 10 chairs--especially when they are in this great condition (I'll need to get the cane on one seat replaced) and with top quality custom-made down/feather seat cushions which will need to be upholstered by end use buyer. And they are this amazing form--Chinoiserie, but subtle.
I'm off to Preview in a couple of minutes.....wish me luck.
Mary & Jones & Cole

Friday, March 18, 2016


I was incredibly blessed last week. I didn't see this amazing large Japanese Sumida vase at Preview; so when it came to the block, I was truly bidding blind. The auctioneer announced the item, I took the plunge and bought it.....remember, we are not talking about a $20.00 bid.
When I picked it up on Monday, I was stunned--it's perfect, no cracks, no chips, signed and most of all: it's a dragon vase with a poem on the reverse.
Sumida ware, also known as poo ware or Sumida Gawa is a heavily potted ceramic genre that was created in the Sumida Gawa (river) region, the pottery is easily identified by its heavy clay body, high relief decoration, rough flambe glaze with a smoother flowing glaze dripping down from the rim, raised signature or a signature tile. The high relief decorations most commonly feature monkeys and humans, but dragons and other elements can also be featured. I believe that the poem in high relief characters is unusual and I haven't found any other examples (yet). 
I'm going to stick to photos of my vase, but you can Google "Sumida" for other examples.
My vase stands an impressive 17.5 inches and is approximately 9-10 inches in diameter. The relief is of a pair of dragons with a "flaming pearl". In Japanese culture the dragon is associated with water and symbolizes wealth and power and is the guardian of the East (the phoenix is the guardian of the South). The pearl or flaming pearl symbolizes wisdom and the gods. The vase also includes symbolic decorations of clouds (the heavens), wind and waves (the water realm). I believe that this example dates to c. 1880-1890, but I can't be positive until I consult an expert.
Following are detail photos of my Sumida treasure--actually I seem to love everything that is passing my way. I guess that it is really the hunt and the unexpected gifts that I love.

This is a heavy guy--not likely to tip in an earthquake.

Jones had his hair done again and is looking super handsome. We have been having an early Spring and I want it to go back to winter.

I cannot believe that it is already Palm Sunday!! So blessings for the coming Easter week.

Mary & Jones & Cole

Sunday, March 6, 2016


I love animals. However, on Thursday I went a little overboard and now have a zoo at the shop. I intended to only bid on the crab, but the auctioneer put all of these bronzed garden beasties into one lot; soooooo---I just couldn't resist. Here are the newest additions to my already  existing menagerie of objects (lions, camels, dogs, birds, horses, people, 1 huge grasshopper and cats) that form lighting elements, bookends, tables or whatever. 
The crab is the most desirable

Everyone has loved the cobra (my least favorite as I do not love snakes)

I guess I won't have to worry too much about the cobra getting crazy as I also adopted a hawk

And to round out the zoo acquisitions is the 25 inch alligator

And let's not forget Mr. Snail (top photo)--he's pretty cute, almost cuddly.  These are all very sizable--the crab measures about 14" x 13"; they are perhaps French or English in origin and date to c. 1950-60??
Although, these guys are big, they are still the perfect size for bookcase accents. Some one once told me that my eye goes to life or living things and I think that's true--static, frou-frou objects such as elaborate porcelains or bronzes hold little appeal. Now I just have to get the rest (maybe 30%) of the buying world to agree with me.

I hit a milestone yesterday. About 11 or 12 years ago I decided that I needed Nate Berkus and Oprah to come into shop and absolutely love what I did. The scenario came to life almost as I envisioned with a few minor changes. It was three locations later; Nate and Jere brought in their client, who just happens to be the President of OWN.....good enough for me. Setting intentions does bring results; sometimes, you have to be patient enough to see the outcomes. (I think you must also let go of the outcome.....hard one) So I took the day off today: have to set some new intentions.

Mary & Jones & Cole

Tuesday, March 1, 2016


Isn't she lovely........ I went to Newport Beach to buy lampshades--yes, they were expensive, but I buy USA-made products whenever possible and you simply CANNOT put crappy (excuse my French) lampshades with amazing lamps. Next door to my lampshade guy is a super consignment shop; so I just had to pop in. The shop was filled to the gills and it was hard to spot the great stuff as there was so much good stuff. But there she stood, all surrounded and covered up with things. I have never previously bought (or been attracted to) antique wicker; so I was a bit hesitant. My instincts were telling me "buy"; so I bought. It turns out that this little table is a turn-of-the-century Heywood-Wakefield table. Look at the fantastic beaded detail

the curls, the woven "balls" and curvy, sexy legs

But the piece-de-resistance is the woven-lace design caned top (my photos were taken of the table turned upside down in the car):

She is now sitting pretty in the shop and tomorrow I'll photograph her for submission to 1stdibs. The only similar tables on 1stdibs were from Newel, a top-level New York dealer.  Oh, yes, I forgot to mention that this little gem is in near mint condition and tight as a drum.
This has been a very good month for little me; so now I really need to acquire inventory and step-up my shopping quotient. There could be worse situations to find oneself in... tomorrow is auction preview and I'm expecting to uncover a few sleepers.

Jones looks super handsome with his new haircut and he has been super naughty.

Blessings for the new month.

Mary & Jones & Cole