Friday, November 27, 2015


Everyone has gone home after a sweet Thanksgiving Day surrounded by family. It was just about as good as it gets. I baked with different sets of children......the teenage boys were the most challenging. (I almost killed the 13 year old--but we both survived) Made pecan pies with the boys....pumpkin pies with Kaia and Mia (above) and chocolate cake with Lauren. The turkey was big and delicious and done just on time.
Since it is a day for giving thanks, I thought it was time for an update on Miracle Mia. As you can see from the photo, she is doing super well. She is loving kindergarten and even wants to go to school on holidays. We have come so far in the last two years: exactly two years ago she and Grace had just returned from six weeks of daily (except week-ends) Proton Radiation Therapy for the brain tumor and cyst that were sitting on her pituitary gland. She was a bit fuzzy and her reactions were slow and we had no idea what the results would be and how her brain would heal itself. And just look a healthy normal 5 year old!!! Yes, she will have to be on a highly regimented schedule of hormones for the rest of her life as her pituitary is not functioning--or the next miracle will happen and that little gland will restart itself. You just never know and prayer heals.

Of course, I can't resist an update on restorations that Roberto has been working on.
Here's the photo of the 16 lanterns before we did anything to them

They were very very very grundgy (sp?)......Roberto even found bird's nests and a couple of tiny eggs while he was cleaning them. (I felt bad asking Roberto to carry out such a menial task, but that seeded glass would be exceedingly $$$$$$$ to replace and I do not trust any other person to be as careful as Roberto)  And look at how they turned out

The lanterns are solid copper and super heavy. Still need to acquire the few parts that are missing, but tht shouldn't be a problem. So if anyone needs 16 vintage copper lanterns, you know where to go.

And finally, I'm so grateful for Mr. Jones surviving the massive ear infection that almost killed him last year...the infection took a tole, but he's back to his usual happy, naughty self. He is not a kisser, but he loves Lauren.

And, finally, thank you to all of you who read this blog. I am truly blessed.

Wishing you all the best of the coming week-end. Forget the shopping (except for antiques, art and decorative objects--bien sure). Hopefully we will all have time to enjoy the end of autumn weather.

Sending love for a wonderful start to this Christmas season.

Mary & Jones & Cole

Saturday, November 21, 2015

BUSY, BUSY, BUSY...............

My Mac Book went to the doctor last week for a check up/clean up. Well, I decided to go for the whole tamale: I got a new hard drive and new 4 gigs of ram plus a clean up. My boy is like new only better and all for a fraction of what a new laptop would have cost. The only drawback is that the computer issues kept me from posting and you know the rest....just couldn't get back into the swing of writing...... 
I have been so incredibly blessed--life is just humming along with business being good and my buying has been spot on. For me, acquiring an item is not just about the act of buying or bidding it is the serendipitous (yes, I spelled that right the first time) nature of The Hunt. When I buy "right" I feel that I have listened to a little voice and that God is dropping presents in my lap. So here are a few of the latest presents.

This is one of four engravings that called to me a couple of weeks ago at preview. I had never seen anything quite like these amazing hand-colored prints. I'm not a print expert, but the paper seemed "right" to me for 17th or 18th c. engravings; the coloration was sharp and obviously hand done (perhaps a little later than the date of the prints); the gold leaf framing was respectable, although I probably wouldn't have chosen a deep rose/almost burgundy for the mats, and the grouping of four framed engravings is highly decorative. 

I had to search the internet inside and out to find another similar celestial map, but I finally did find another example. My celestial maps are four of a set of six celestial maps by Ignace Gaston Pardies (1636-1693). These maps most probably date to 1693 when a revision was issued. What I've discovered is that the original maps are extremely rare (even a single folio) and I have 4. They are have been trimmed, but the margins are still wide. I've sent the images off to a well-respected map dealer/appraiser; so we'll see what comes of this adventure. Note: they were not inexpensive--I just acted on a hunch. Here is one of the four in its frame and rose mat (the photo is not great--my new Iphone Plus is taking better photos than my good Canon....)

Next up on the gift list is a pair of late 19th/early 20th c. Chinese pigskin trunks painted in court scenes. These trunks were made for domestic use and were very common. But to find a pair in this condition that retain their original stands is unusual. The painted figural detailing is still in near mint condition with just the right amount of patina. Roberto worked his magic on them with just a very minor amount of restoration and a good cleaning and waxing.

I also purchased a Chinese Export (for the European market) leather and brass studded trunk that dates to the English Regency period (early 19th c.), but this guy needs a bit more work......he will wait for another post.
And, of course, I had to buy some lamps and these are beauties: a pair of late 1950's Paul Laszlo apple green bases in a crackle finish. Finding (and selling) great mid-century lamps is not an easy task--I think that thee are pretty great. There is a tiny tiny flake to the glaze on one of the lamps which I will have restored.

(Best of all, I had the shades on hand as I had pulled them off another pair of lamps--these shades run over $110/each as they are made here in California to the highests standards)

Here is an update on the contemporary Japanese lithographs that I have had framed

And now I must admit to being very, very bad. Despite the fact that I do not seem to be able to sell any chairs, and despite the fact that I promised to shoot myself if I bought any more chairs, I couldn't resist this pair of c. 1940's walnut framed bergeres. They are big and roomy (not like the petit ones I'm usually attracted to (I'm not tall). But how could I resist? That curvy walnut frame is so unusual and sooooo sexy. I think I'm going to reupholster the pair in a dark gray 100% linen fabric--THOUGHTS???

Of course, I (Lalo) will retie the springs and replace all of the padding first. There is nothing worse than old musty insides.

Well, it's getting late. Please forgive my long absence.

My heart goes to France and Paris in particular. I feel that is is imperative that we each stand firm in our resolve to live our lives to the fullest. Denying entry to thousand of desperate Syrian refugees will not make us safer (but is will makes us meaner and more miserly); and besides, the enemy is already within. We must not allow the crazies to win on any front. And it is only by standing firm in our integrity that this will be achieved.

Jones & Cole & Mary

Monday, November 2, 2015


Tuesday, Roberto started the minor restorations to this adorable Venetian Secretaire. I had thought that the little section of painted molding above the "cubbies" was missing, but when My Secret Weapon opened the drawers, the little section of the original molding had been carefully placed in one of the drawers. You can see her bandaids, patiently waiting for Roberto to return to finish her up. After our good fortune in having an 18th c. key that fit the French Louis XVI Abattant perfectly, I checked my stash of keys for the Venetian Secretaire: on the third try I had a match. So now she comes complete with key and all original elements with the exception of one drop pull. When I was carefully inspecting the little desk today, I noted that she is constructed with hand-made dovetails and "square" hand-made nails which definitely dates the piece to the early 19th c. or perhaps earlier. (Look for square nails on the underside of drawers where the bottom would be attached to the sides and perhaps on the backs of the drawers. Many times, square nails show up on the backs of pieces.)
Here are just a couple updated photos

Bandaids are about to be applied

It's getting late and I've got to get up early tomorrow. AND IT IS SUPPOSED TO RAIN!!

Have a wonderful start to November 2015.

Mary, Jones & Cole