Sunday, November 24, 2019


"Auction Sleepers" can be defined as those items that come to the block that are very good, but just don't garner much attention on that particular auction day. And that is precisely why I love auctions and why I will faithfully sit through boring hours waiting for those one or two items that I think I can buy at an affordable/great price. Most of the items that I highlight in this blog are "sleepers." I guess my love of "sleepers" stems from my conviction that with each "sleeper" that I acquire, I know that God is directly blessing me. All I am responsible for is being prepared and present.
Case in point is this very unusual early 18th century George I/II chest. When I previewed the chest on Wednesday, I had a hunch that it would go low. To begin with, the chest was identified on the ticket as American--it's most definitely English burl walnut.

The conformation of the chest was strange/unusual with the off-center two side drawers countered with the the larger and deep drawer. The more I studied the piece, I came to realize that it is a normal George I/II Bachelors Chest with a superimposed secretary structure.

The larger drawer revealed a sweet drop front little secretary with a beautiful serpentine (baroque influenced) cubby-hole section. Looks like it's the original leather writing surface, too.

The back look as good as the front with just a little restoration to the support of the original bracket foot. That tape is newer, but doesn't detract from value as age cracks are to be expected.

Roberto can restore the small sections of missing banding on the front, clean the surface and apply a couple of coats of hard paste wax and the chest is set to go! I'm not sure of the value of this little beauty, but it is definitely a gift.
More gifts on Thursday:
I have absolutely no extra room to squeeze in any more furniture (or so I thought)..........but how could I resist this 20th century Japanned/Chinoiserie games table?

Which was hammered down and goes into shop on Monday.
Now--I'm really pushing it: This Portuguese early 20th century mahogany 2-drawer side table came to the block--this is a super Belgium/Dutch design element piece and these tables do not show up very often.....besides, I'd been patient waiting for the bachelors chest and wasn't sure that I would get it and needed to pay for my two days of auction time.......I got it! It didn't go super high, and  was definitely within my range. More, importantly, the table is very saleable and multipurpose and doesn't need any work except Robert's magic touch.

I lusted after this large English Regency-style partners writing desk.

Gerry and I had discussed it, but decided not to bid as it is really big and we have no room--besides, the monthly cost to cover sq. footage in shop would be about $200/month (a lot). When the table came to the block my heart was beating in anticipation.......the bidding started at $300 and slowed down and then stopped at $1000---up came my hand (all by itself)---at $1000, the table would be the buy of the century. It was not to be: I stayed in until $1700. But the table eventually sold for about $2500 + fees and I was saving my budget for the unusual campaign chest.

New Clarence House Belgium Linen Zebra--it turned out just as I had imagined--Love it. The nail heads were being applied when Lalo sent me the photos.

Before: pretty, but very pink and a bit "Grandma"

I also had this pair of early 20th century chauffeuse upholstered in the Clarence House Zebra...

And before--very boring and unsaleable 1990s upholstery (which was still perfect)

Thanksgiving is nearly here and I am counting my many blessings--my wonderful family and Roberto come first and of course, my friends and business cohorts that add so much flavor to my life......the stuff that I sell, is truly only stuff. My joy comes from having a thankful heart, my relationships with my clients and... the HUNT=following inspiration.
Wishing everyone a blessed and thankful Thanksgiving.

Mary & Cole

I've been poodle-shopping. But not quite ready, yet.

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