Sunday, May 29, 2016


The end of 2014 and all of 2015 were the roughest of years for me--prior to these months, I was a bit arrogant in thinking that since I had already triumphed/overcome so much--life would be smooth sailing. That since I'd already hit the wall innumerable times, it simply couldn't happen again. BOY!!! WAS I MISTAKEN (a thousand exclamation points). I won't go into any gory details as that's pretty boring at this point, but everything and anything that could possibly have happened, was completely upside-down. For months I questioned what the point was. Where in the world was the benefit hiding, as I'm firmly convinced there are blessings in every situation. But, surely, not seeing them last year.
Today, looking at those HUGE, very phallic lamps, that I bought last week (I didn't even preview them--a big no-no), I realized what the gifts of the last year were: I grew; my awareness of life expanded; a sense of freedom (and a bit of WTF) surrounds me; serendipity is much more in play and I'm content...simply putting one foot in front of the other. My boundaries are sooo much stronger; keeping silence easier; knowing that I am connected to all. I never in a million years would have purchased lamps like these guys: they are not antique; they need a bit of work; they are different colors; they are so MACHO; who will ever buy them; not my style; rather "fugly" ("f______" ugly); not the usual Mary Perfection; I need another pair of lamps like a new hole in my head; didn't know who made them.....etc., etc., etc. But I guess the hidden (forbidden) side of me is coming out. Perhaps my internal, mean self-critic is finally silenced? That mean self-critic has definitely kept me separate from connections, from joy, from creativity. And guess what? EVERYONE who "gets" great current design loves those lamps. Let's not forget they are enormous, a full 45" to the tops of the finials (almost as tall as me).
I even felt empowered to buy a Robsjohn-Gibbings chest of drawers (I've always wanted one of these guys--look at that amazing hardware) that needs a huge amount of work--total refinishing because some dummy painted it black instead of lacquering it black (big difference). When the chest is brought up to snuff it will look like this guy that I pulled off 1stdibs

This guy is my usual style--understated but sexy. They "new me" decision maker didn't care that I'd have to spend about $600-$700 to relacquer the piece or about my usual high profit margin. I just did it. Hmmmm, I guess the Nike slogan has been right all along.

Mary, Jones (new haircut today) and Cole

Monday, May 23, 2016


The recamier was delivered Friday---looks even better in the shop (the back reminds me of a great abstract). I paired him with these two mid-century Italian iron tables with torch-cut steel figures, which are in the style of Pucci di Rossi,

for that jolt of the unexpected. And then I paired one of the tables with this Fontana Arte opaline glass lamp, also mid-century

Not too shabby.

I'm grateful.

Have a super week.
Mary & Jones & Cole

Thursday, May 19, 2016

I'M PROCRASTINATING (So what's new?)

I've been busy....maybe hustling is a better choice of words. This is a tough business, so when it flows (as it should) you'd better take advantage of every minute.
Yesterday I previewed my auction and didn't see even one piece that snagged my attention.......but being faithful to my metier, I went today bright and early hoping that something would simply appear. And it did........

I'm not sure, but I think this is a period Regency recamier (at least it's 19th c.) in black lacquer--and we know how much I love black lacquer. Although the lacquer finish is great, the best feature is the fabulous leather upholstery detailed in brass nail heads. If you look carefully, the saber legs have lost their brass toe caps; I've already ordered replacements. Perhaps the recamier had casters at one point, but since it's a good height, I've decided not to replace the casters. What I really love about this piece is its clean, simple sculptural super masculine, but very sinuous and sexy lines (this is not a piece with a high antique value; the value is in the life and energy it will bring to its new home). I can imagine it free-standing in an English or New York library--the back of the recamier is even better than the front. Roberto will polish the lacquer, install the new toe caps and clean and wax the leather and he will be set to go.
Last week I didn't preview (bad girl) and just as I walked into the auction, this adorable mid 18th c. American Queen Anne gateleg table came to the block......

So I bought her. Look at those sexy Queen Anne legs (I think Massachusetts) and beautiful skirt with the scolloped (that's not the right word) ends. I don't think that she has kept her original finish, but the surface has at least 50 to 100 years of patination. This little girl is also sculptural and would make a great sofa table at 47" wide.
This week I also bought a 60's little faux bamboo chinoiserie chandelier like this one that I grabbed from 1stdibs

and two pairs of 18th c. George III side chairs that were almost given away. Although I need more chairs like three new holes in my head, how could I resist??? $80.00 for two pairs of period Georgian side chairs?
It feels good to be in the flow, just resting and knowing that life has a way of working may not be always pretty, but God is definitely in the midst of it all.

We've had a wonderful cool and cloudy Spring and I love it. Tomorrow it will hit a high only in the low 60's; so I get to wear cashmere--my security blanket. 

Blessings and keep shopping!!

Mary, Jones & Cole

Friday, May 6, 2016


I love writing this blog. The act of writing forces me to organize my thoughts; challenges me to research items a bit more intensely; allows me to connect with the world; helps me see myself more clearly; and when I reread an older posts, shows me trends and where I'm going in my life and business. Thank you all for allowing me all of these pleasures.
A few months ago I discovered that I was acquiring items when I heard a voice in my ear that said "BUY" and I learned that I shouldn't buy when I do not hear that voice (I have gone off the wagon a bit in that area and am suffering the consequences of some "bad" impulsive buys--oh well, mistakes makes me sharper)
Anyway.....last Wednesday, at Preview, I found this Japanese screen and bells started going off in my head.

I think that this particular screen depicts one of The Tales of Genji--a 14th c. (?)  Japanese ruler (a very famous and good theme).
In the past, I have acquired several Japanese paper screens and one Chinese paper scholar screen (my personal all time favorite) dating to the early 18th c. (and several coromandel screens). I bought this small Japanese table screen last year (just for me as the condition is pretty degraded). While researching the large screen from this week, I discovered that this little beauty dates to the 17th c. early Tokugawa or Edo period. I love her despite her well-lived condition. The floral scene is painted on fine gold leafed paper affixed to calligraphic paper.

But I digress....... Anyway, I bought the big screen and with that screen came a second, bigger screen, that I hadn't even looked at because it had a puncture in the gold leafed paper. More restorations and $$$$. This second larger, more minimal screen was created using only beautiful gold leafed paper with faint outlines of mountains (and clouds, think). As I went through my photos, I realized that I had already purchased similar items (Huuummm...trends?). This Renzo Rutili cabinet has door fronts that are very similar to that second screen--lots of gold with mountains. Of course the screen is much bigger measuring about 6' x 8'--but still.

I had already acquired this 8.6 foot Chinese altar table which would work well contrasting the refined gold leaf of the screen with the rough aesthetic of the table...... 

And let's not forget the Daqi lacquer altar table.

Of course, the Chinese Black and "gold" mid-century chest needs a focal point pickup. 

And last, but not least, these great Marbro lamps with Japanese mirror black porcelain bases would look amazing in front of the gold leaf screen or the Tales of Genji screen.....

As I sit here writing, what comes to mind is that I've drifted a bit away from my usual daily practice of reading The Tao. The simplicity, but perfection, of all of these items reminds me to refocus my internal eye to what really matters to me--my connections. I'm still that little Catholic convent-raised girl, but with eyes more open and embracing. When I read The Tao, I center more easily and my ears hear what they need to hear and my faith is strengthened knowing that there is order in the universe, that we are as intended.
I hope all of this makes sense---thanks for sticking with me.

Mary & Jones & Cole

Thursday, May 5, 2016


I thought we all could celebrate---this week marks the third anniversary of Mia being diagnosed with a brain tumor at just 2 1/2. Our hearts were so broken, resting only on prayer. The gates of Heaven did open--two major surgeries, becoming a patient of St. Jude's Children's Hospital, 2 months of proton radiation therapy (plus many other adventures) ........ and just look at the result. Mia is a perfectly normal 5 1/2 years old. She will remain on several medications for the rest of her life as her pituitary does not function, but otherwise, she's good to go. Here she is performing (by herself) at her elementary school's talent show. Such a ham--she stole the show. We are so grateful for her life.


I bought this Mid-Century Hong Kong-made chest of drawers with the intent of putting it on my Chairish page, but after Roberto's miraculous touch, it went up on 1stdibs.... Most things that I buy start out rough, and this was up there on the roughness scale--there were two large areas on the top that had suffered water damage and I prayed that the entire chest wouldn't have to be refinished.
But Roberto, once again, saved my skin..............

You can't even see where the damaged spots were

This chest of drawers is of very high quality: the piece is solid mahogany (yes, it's super heavy) and the brass hardware and side lift handles are top notch. It's a great size, too, as it would work well in many spots.

Here's Kingston who rules the house and terrorizes Jones

I know, he looks so sweet (and he is to other cats and people), but his greatest joy in life is to hide in wait for Jones and then to jump out hissing and scratching at him, sending my boy running for me. So sad--Jones is really not that brave.


Mary, Jones & Cole