Thursday, September 24, 2020


 This has been a very tough month so far. The trials of the last four years which seem to worsen every day, COVID, the deaths of so many black citizens, the riots the Western fires (The Bobcat fire is really close), and now the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg have all impacted me directly. Much has been said about Justice Ginsburg over the last few days--so I will not add my two cents--but if I were ever to get a tattoo (and I am opposed to body art), a little tiny RBG on my left wrist would be appropriate for me and a reminder to always keep on fighting for equal justice for all human beings. Of course, I'm very concerned that Herr Trump and his accomplices will ram through another despicable Supreme Court appointment. I am very concerned for our WE MUST VOTE.

Roberto and I have been very busy reorganizing (I had to find a couple inches for all of our new inventory).... Those beds are very special--a Pair of French faux bamboo beds are almost impossible to find and these guys were in great shape. And next to the beds is a Deco Bamboo writing table and then there is the Gustavian stool and the period Louis XVI stools... and let's not forgot the Billy Haines Opaline glass lamps!! A lot goin' on!

And I thought I'd add a little bit of "tacky/cool" to the 

newest space

Gerry and I are getting ready for winter nights when you want to be surrounded by the glow of a fire--so we've been busy acquiring log bins.....
First up: A 19th c. English copper coal skuttle (large enough for logs, too) which has a wonderful deep patina, hairy paw feet and lion's head handles.

This bin is typically Victorian in form but showing Regency influences. 
Next Up: A large French late 18th/early 19th c. Armorial brass log bin detailed with ferocious lion head handles, raised fleur-de-lys and, of course, the raised armorial crest.

We bought this amazing "perdonium" (fancy word for coal skuttle) about 6 weeks is gorgeous. It shows a bit of age (patina) and has a couple of dents to the top--but it is definitely late 18th or early 19th century English--look at that solid cast finial, hairy paw feet and lion's head handles--very chic.

And then, the piece de resistance is my large English Peat Bucket from last year... what more could we want?

Well, it's late.

And I'm missing Ruth Bader Ginsburg's presence.
I know that we will have another warrior for justice arise, but right now, existence is a little more tenuous without her.

Blessings for the week. Stay safe and healthy.


Sunday, September 13, 2020


I just don't know what to say. I know that if I were Pamela Terry (House of Edward Blog), I could be eloquent. But I'm not eloquent today. 

I am devastated by the admitted intentional misleading of us regarding the lethality and spread of COVID-19, which has led to what I consider to be Trump's Genocide.

I am devastated by our fires--my shop is not far from the fire lines. I have friends who have been evacuated. And, although I live 40 miles away at the beach, the cars are covered with ash; the skies are hazy and smokey; the sky is threatening. 

I am devastated to see trump (small t is intentional) be so disrespectful during the 9/11 ceremonies. My sadness increased remembering all those that were lost, children loosing parents; wives becoming widows; husbands loosing their best friends and knowing that COVID takes that many almost daily.

And yet, I have so much to be thankful for..... everyone is healthy and being very careful. We celebrated Mia's (miracle child) 10th birthday and Sam's 18th. These two have survived significant health challenges and are now super healthy.

My business is going great; buying amazing items!

BUT THERE IS ONLY ONE THING THAT Michele Obama clarifies:                        PLAN YOUR VOTE  & VOTE

Sending love and prayers,



Monday, September 7, 2020


I can't believe that it has been a month since I lasted posted. No excuses....just super busy and challenged by my meager photography skills--and not enough space to take photos.
But.........I have to brag.....In March, just before everything shut down, I bought this pair of A. Rudin (one of the best American upholstered furniture manufacturers) at my auction for a fraction of their original cost.

As we all experienced, everything shut down and the chairs hid in my garage for months. I knew that I wanted to take the frame away from boring traditional. I kept eyeing my daughter's African mud cloth textiles that she had scattered around the house. And then Dao (daughter) led me to African Ndop ceremonial textiles and I was hooked. Needless to say, Ndops are quite pricey, whereas mud cloth pieces are quite within my budget. Dao went to the Long Beach Veteran's Swap meet 3 weeks ago and via photo I purchased 4 vintage mud cloths and 1 vintage Ndop textile. (The merchant fell in love with Dao--she's gorgeous--and reduced the price by 50% just for her) The Ndop is on the backs........Lalo brought the chairs back yesterday and I have been on a high ever since. Lalo did the most amazing job of following my instructions to the most minute detail--everything is centered, lined up matching, etc., etc., etc. There are four separate textiles in each of these chairs--amazing.

I feel incredibly blessed to be able to work with the talented and faithful people that enable me to do whatever it is that I do without having to worry about level of workmanship and dedication to quality. I also value their input on my creative ventures.

It has been incredibly hot here in Los Angeles. Yesterday, it was 114 in the shade in Pasadena. Cooler at the beach, but still hot. Our fires are still burning with people being evacuated. Please send a few prayers our way--we desperately need a few good soaking rains--but no downpours--to put the fires out.

Less than two months 'til November 2. Please consider volunteering and donating and encouraging everyone you know to vote. This is the most important election of our Democracy. I pray for truth and no outside (or inside) interference in our election. God help us.

Must get off to bed--blessings for the week.


Thursday, August 20, 2020


I am so excited that the Democratic nominees are now firmly confirmed and that campaigning can now begin in ernest. I think that Biden chose well in choosing Kamala Harris as his running mate. She will strengthen him in so many ways. She is smart, younger and sassy. And will take "mr. small t" down in a heart beat.
But we all need to vote. We cannot allow any circumstance to keep us from having our voices heard at the polls.
It will be a long road back to restore our institutions and normal expectations of what our government is supposed  to do. But it is possible.

Blessings for the week!

Friday, August 7, 2020

YES!!!....... WE WON

I've commented on the fact that it has been very hard to acquire new merchandise. Almost impossible, without spending a lot more than we usually do....this week was a winner!
I spotted this sofa during preview and fell in love. The form, the carving, the size, the condition and the gorgeous cut (or voided) rust colored silk velvet. The velvet is most probably Italian in origin and of the highest quality--I would never have been able to afford this fabric if the sofa had been in need of reupholstery. There is a tiny bit of wear to the velvet, but it's just enough to make the fabric more interesting. The cushion is down-wrapped and super comfortable.
Here are a couple more shots--I grabbed the photos from the auction listing; so they are not the best quality.

The auction had advertised the sofa as French, but I believe that it is more probably Gustavian (Swedish, but I could be wrong). She was pricey, but not nearly as much as I was willing to pay... Roberto will pick her up on Tuesday and then the real work will start: how to rearrange everything to make her fit.
Here's my quick shot from preview--the color is some place between the two.

Next up: a pair of black lacquered Directoire-style bergeres in very hot pink corduroy dresses. These chairs bring visions of Miles Redd or Alessandra Branca to mind. They are super decorative and in near perfect condition.

Of course, there is something that we just can't pass on, even when the budget groans.........

This is a pair of Chinese copper rice barrels--they were marked garden seats--but their tops lift off; so although of garden seat form, they can actually serve a double purpose. There is a chop mark, which I cannot read. We aren't sure of their age; it's the patina that sucked us in.
Of course, there are always things we want, but didn't or couldn't step up to the plate. These amazing Seguso urns were a good example: I think that they are Karl Springer for Seguso, and there is a signature. But I can't read the signature and wasn't willing to pay over $1700 for the pair w/o knowing who designed them.

And last, but not least: update on new pups. The girls were not cat adapted; so it's been a two-month battle with gates up to separate the three cats from the two other beasties. The gates came down yesterday and everything is progressing--Bailey has only had one scratch to her nose and Roxie could care less. This shot is of Bailey completely fixated on the unseen Maggie.

Thanks for coming along with me---sending blessings.


How many more days til November 2?? About 90 and I'm ramping up my donation and petition-signing efforts. I truly believe that this is the most important election of our treasured Democracy. Please vote. Please motivate others to vote. Please give what you can--money or time--to return our nation to the rule of law.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020


Lalo brought back the Gustavian stool usual, this little piece has a back story. I bought the stool at auction several years ago. When I won the bid, the owner of the auction house yelled out "good luck with that one, Mary".......I immediately thought that I had bought a cheap replica (I had not previewed and simply bid it). I paid for the stool, picked it up and put it in storage thinking that I had made a mistake. Truth be told the stool looked pretty bad as some one had painted over the original paint with thick house paint. Well, my musician grandson pulled it out and was using it as a keyboard stand for his "gigs" I decided to take a good look at the stool and upon close inspection realized that it was actually a period piece. So last month I gave it to Roberto to see if he could sand down the house paint and get to the original chalky white surface. Eureka! He was able to do an amazing job.....most of the original paint and gilt work was still there. And last week I gave it to Lalo to upholster in my favorite Clarence House Cerulean blue velvet and nail heads. It's perfect. And I'm also over-the-moon with the serendipitous photo--I didn't stage it; I was simply too tired to position it properly so I shot it while sitting at my desk. I love the richness and layers that showed up in the shot......In my next life I'll learn how to stage photos.......

Lalo also brought back this adorable 18th c. Italian slipper chair that we upholstered in a fine Italian silk velvet......pretty cute.

And last, but not least Roberto picked up the Secretaire Chest and we made a vignette with the Danish klismos chair and the pair of Louis XVI chairs that Gerry and I bought a couple of weeks ago. I had a pair of Fortuny pillows, fabric dates to c. 1950-60, that synced with the rust tone of the silk upholstery found on the chairs (Lalo has the chair slip seat--going to be upholstered in the same fabric as the stool). That's a set of four 18th c. Botanicals to the right that were just waiting for the right place in which to hang. Ooooooops: I forgot to give a shout out to the lamps. They are 20th century majolica renditions of the Piazza della Minerva in Rome. The elephants supporting the obelisks are to die for--the lamps finally found their perfect spot.
I just love it when a plan comes together: I love working with Roberto as our minds feed off of each other; we work in sync, sometimes without even talking.

On to my other passion--exposing and defeating small "t". I could kiss Pramila Jayapal (except we are in "Times of Covid")--she took Barr down (big time) during his testimony today. Another strong woman standing up to the powers that be. Thank you, Rep. Jayapal for making all women proud to be your sisters.

Well, I'm having trouble keeping my eyes it's off to bed.

Thank you for reading my ramblings.


Monday, July 27, 2020


Darren took me to an estate sales yesterday........I went to look at some French 18th century engravings of monkeys......but look what I brought home. (Sorry about quality of the photo--it was taken at the sale and I had to erase some one's Ipad from seat and water bottle from floor) The minute I saw the chair, I knew that it was a great one--the highly carved splat, great klismos form, flamed mahogany and carved legs were making it sing. But I wasn't quite sure of its origin. After I got home, I started researching the chair----it's Danish and of an exceptional form. All it needs is for Lalo to reupholster the slip seat--and I think I will have just enough Clarence House Blue velvet left for the seat. Here's another shot of the chair that shows the elegant klismos back sweep. It's pretty handsome.

I scored on the chair...but I think I over paid for this gorgeous American Butler's or Secretaire chest.

I think that I was swept away by the beauty of this chest.....and it is gorgeous. Plus I am a bit rusty regarding the important details of American furniture. I will be replacing the inappropriate hardware and the leather writing surface on the fall front. Additionally, the chest has been refinished--which would not be such a negative for an English piece--on American furniture the original patinated surface is what collectors look for. But its beautiful flamed mahogany veneer and inlay detailing, combined with the simplicity of the interior fittings, bring its status way up. The French feet and scrolled front also bring it up a notch. 
I think I'm just about done buying secretaire chests: I have the Gustavian chest c.1790-1800....

And the George I/II secretaire chest c.1725-30...

Of course, if a great French Abattant or Italian..maybe a mid-19th century faux bamboo drop front like this one that sold a while ago

Or maybe a French late Louis XVI Abattant like this guy that I sold a few years ago........

Anyway, I'm happy with what God has given me.

Sending blessings for the week...99 days and counting...............