Thursday, October 11, 2012


I went to see my former upholsterer on Monday. I still take him my most complicated/demanding projects. As I glanced in the window I noticed that Bob was looking older and my heart skipped a beat. I hadn't seen Bob in over a year and hadn't expected these changes in him.
(Side note: Bob was a respected attorney affiliated with the US Embassy in Vietnam and escaped to the US just as Saigon was falling. Of course, upon arrival Bob had to learn another avenue to support his growing family and he became a very well-respected upholsterer. Bob and his wife, Cam, had three children here. All three have become very successful--two are doctors and the third is the director of a British international bank located in Singapore. Bob and Cam supported all three of their children throughout  college and graduate school. Bob and Cam represent a true American success story and the value that many immigrants bring to our country.)
I brought Bob my Period Regency (c.1820)cock  fighting/library chair and the pair of Louis XV style Chauffeuses (fireside or boudoir chairs). 

When Roberto and I examined the chauffeuses up close, we noticed that one of the rear legs had been braced with a late 19th/early 20th c. hand forged iron brace and the screws used to fix the brace were old offset notched. I think that the chauffeuses are older than I had originally thought--at the very latest they are late 19th c. or very early 20th c. 
I bought an exquisite Beacon Hill woven peuter/green and gold silk for the chauffeuses and will use a 19th c. French army green & metallic trim as gimp (Bob is ordering new feather cushions). The cock fighting chair is being upholstered in a soft black Edelman leather and patinated nail head detailing. Bob is the absolute best for dealing with antique pieces that need an artist's hand.
But I'm saddened. These might be the last pieces that Bob does for me--he and Cam are retiring next month. Bob says that he will continue to take occasional pieces and work from home and I'm honored that he will keep me as a client. We have been friends for over 16 years (he has supported me through thick and thin) and I will miss him.
I'll post photos of Bob and Cam when I pick up the chairs in a couple of weeks.
Be well.
Mary and Jones (and Cole)

P.S. Jones and I are staying with Cole and Ethan (No.1 grandson) this week-end--it's my turn to pick the movie. Ethan chose "Transformers Whatever" last time and my ears still haven't recovered.



  1. Thank you, Mary, for sharing Bob's story. Sounds very similar to my family. (Don't know if I told you, but we all fled Vietnam after the war.)

    Over the years, I've been fortunate to work with many wonderful artisans and tradesmen...some no longer here. They have all taught me so much....especially when I first entered the antiques and design fields.

    Hope you are doing well, my friend! Enjoy your weekend. I also watched the Transformers movies....totally agree about the noise!! Also I became quite dizzy. Long story but I had to watch them.

    1. Hi Loi, Yes, we are so fortunate to develop wonderful relationships with the people that make our business possible. And I am grateful for them every day. Have a super week-end, too.