Friday, August 5, 2016


One of the dangers--well, not really dangers, but definitely temptations, is that when we sell, there is money to spend.......
Wednesday, I previewed my Thursday haunt. There were quite a few pieces that caught my attention--but really didn't think that they would hammer at my price points........quick look:

Gorgeous George II/III cross-banded walnut slant front desk with original hardware (even the insides were great) one problem: I think that the bracket feet might have been replacements. I used to buy these guys, but haven't had too much luck with English pieces lately--so this guy was a "no".

This George II/III small chest of drawers was just as beautiful as the slant front desk and in really great condition--but can you spot the problem? Yep, once again, it is the bracket feet. They have been reduced in height and that really lowers the value of the chest. You could restore the feet, but with English pieces not selling that well, not a good idea.
Next I spied this phenomenal pair of bronze (or brass) candlesticks.

For years I collected 17th and 18th c. brass candlesticks--primarily while living in Spain and then here, upon our return. But I sold the collection several years ago, keeping only the miniatures. However, I have always wanted a pair (or even a single) of this type. The pair that showed up at auction are 17th c. Dutch with a large mid-drip pan; iron prickets were added to the nozzle (I think that's what the candle holding section is called). I didn't take photos of the underside (most important for dating purposes) but these guys were "right": exactly what I have coveted for more than 20 years. But did I really need them? Is there a big market for them right now? Or am I simply feeling my addiction start to raise its unwanted head?............. To be safe, I decided to not go to the auction until I was reasonably sure that these amazing pieces had already gone to the block. I don't know what they sold for, but I was on to other quests.

I brought home this set of 6!!! mid-century forged iron and woven leather folding stools--aren't those great balls!! I scored with these guys......... Just look at the great patina to both the iron and the leather and all were in superb condition.
Next, I spotted this French early 18th c. trestle table and I wanted her--the detail, the authentic wear and patina, the color are all the best.

Placed around the trestle table was a set of 6 Directoire (c. 1790-1800) walnut dining chairs all in perfect condition

Being a chair addict, I wanted them soooo badly. But I refrained, even when they sold at a very low price. You see, I was saving my pennies for these beauties.

On Wednesday, when I previewed, I knew that I wanted both the trestle table and these consoles.....I really didn't think I had a chance for either one of them. Trestle tables like the French table usually sell for about $2500-$3000. And a PAIR of 18th c. Italian Baroque Consoles usually sell for about $4000-$5000 at high end auctions (and some of the heavy-hitters were in the room). But with the knowledge of: "nothing ventured, nothing gained", I was determined to make an attempt.
The Italian (actually, I think Tuscan is the appropriate term--"Italy" did not exist until the 19th c.) Consoles were the first to come to the block. I really don't know who messed up or why, but the auctioneers didn't pull the consoles up to the block, they didn't even comment on how great they were or that they were 18th c., etc. The auctioneer simply left them against the wall behind and partially hidden by a huge Renaissance Revival dining table and chairs. (That was my first indication that I might have a chance) The bidding started at $100--(I thought that Don had lost his marbles: why so low?) I came in at $600 and won the bid at $1000 even (plus 18% buyer's fee). I couldn't believe it. These are the times I am very much aware of the Heavens convening to grant me my wishes. This is when my awareness of connections and blessings overflows. (You can go to 1stdibs to see comps on consoles similar to these guys)
The French Trestle table came up very soon after the consoles. Sure enough, the table was taken to the block and really talked up (praised) and she sold for about $3000.
I was so glad that I had followed that whispered advice to buy the consoles as I would never have bought the table (at that price) in a million years. Tables like the French one are being shown in many of the current shelter magazines; so that probably accounts for its price point.
I bought a few more items--they'll wait for another post.

Just a quick note on the campaigning ventures: GO HILLARY!! 

Jones badly needs a haircut, but I spent his spa money on the Tuscan consoles...I think he'll get over it (but only if I keep the air conditioning on as he gets very hot with all of the hair).

Have a great summer week-end. We are celebrating my daughter and very talented grandson's birthdays with a big family celebration--can't wait to see everyone.
How is it possible that it's August already?Hopefully, our weather will stay on the cool side as Pasadena can be hot-hot-hot.

Mary & Jones & Cole

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