Thursday, June 30, 2016

TELESCOPE UPDATE and a bit more.......... details, details, details

Well, you would think I had never bought any antique pieces; you would think I don't know enough so as to examine all the details. Well, apparently not.
I sold the telescope immediately. It was going to New York after being polished (by me). It was going (was being the operant word) to New York. When I realized that I needed to check out the optics, I was in for a big surprise: the optics are completely blocked, ie. you can't see through the telescope. Oh well--live an learn. I think the scope came from a prop warehouse (there are lots of them here in LA) and props only need to look good........
Sales have been good; so maybe some one will pop in wanting a gorgeous telescope that you can't see through--not likely, but you just never know.

Wishing everyone a great 4th of July week-end. We have been incredibly blessed to live in this great nation. It is also our responsibility to ensure the unalienable rights of all who live here. The unalienable rights have never included assault weapons. The unalienable rights were never intended to include bigotry and hate mongering. It is our responsibility to work to replace hate, fear, alienation, bigotry, racial prejudice with acceptance, honoring creation.

Mary, Jones & Cole
(Jones and Cole are terrified of fireworks--and our neighbors started lighting them last week--poor guys)

Monday, June 27, 2016



Isn't he gorgeous? I think this telescope dates to the early 19th c.--late Georgian--he is in fairly good shape. Roberto will polish the mahogany tripod and I'll polish the brass scope which has some dings, but still handsome.
I previewed a lot of items on Wednesday--but didn't buy what I thought I would--just went by the seat of my pants (sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn't).
Here's what I didn't buy:

I arrived too late for this wonderful beast's head

Wasn't in love with these tables the second time around--but probably should have bought them anyway.

 She seemed was too grandmotherly at the block.

These guys were great, but not that old and I have a lot of trunks--probably should have bought them anyway.

I'd already spent my wad when this super early 19th c. papier mache tray table came up.

Now, I did not go home empty handed. I just had to have this bunch of stuff (and it's all just stuff):

I love the deep emerald tone of these vessels--and a pair! 

Japanese stacking tables in this condition are not that common--wish there had been more of the stack. (Some adults still haven't learned to be responsible for their trash!!)

I love abstract sculptures--this one was calling to me, and he is big and HEAVY.

African stools are great Boho Chic decorating elements

This Venetian Style settee had kept it's original dated label--January 1931. It's had to believe that the upholstery still looked this good 85 years later.
Lalo has already picked her up to be upholstered in a dark gray 100% Lee Jofa linen.

I can never resist unique children's chairs--these actually French chauffeuses that date to the mid-19th c.--they'll get cushion of midnight blue silk velvet.

I didn't bid on the great Regency Tray Table, but I did manage to bring this one home. It has a wrought iron base and a bit of flaking to the rolled edge of the tray--but won't it make a super Boho Chic decorating element? I think it's about 30"+ in width--coffee table perfect.

These guys are mid-century French moderne. I can't decided if they are great or just a bit ugly. The high backs are beautifully carved walnut and (I think) the vintage upholstery is Scalamandre (?) cut velvet--I'll keep it. Another Boho Chic element?

It has been scorching here: 100* in Pasadena; 80* here at the beach. I'm sure that you have guessed where I have decided to lay low.
Hopefully, these temps do not signal a chart topping summer swelter. Global warming is definitely real. And for the Presumptive Nominee of the Republican Pary (what a mouthful): CALIFORNIA IS IN THE MIDDLE OF A SEVERE DROUGHT--STILL!
I think we still have a couple of really hot days left--hopefully we will return to clear, cooler California days--it's not supposed to warm up until August.

Blessing for the week!
Mary & Jones & Cole

Friday, June 17, 2016


Cole is now ten and hobbled with arthritis (poor boy), but he has his faithful partner in crime, Jones. Last week I bought the above pictured "Graduation Raccoon" for Blake (also some $$$). The minute I walked in the door from the store, Cole had his nose in the bag with the raccoon. He wanted that toy soooooooo badly. I carefully put the bag with the raccoon where I assumed Mr. Cole would not find it. Unfortunately, Cole only plays dumb: not 5 minutes had passed when I came back to the family room to find Cole with the raccoon in his mouth. I rescued it and put it where there would be no possible way for Cole to reach it and walked out. I came back a bit later to, once again, find the raccoon in Cole's mouth and this time that poor raccoon was completely lathered up. I knew that Jones (naughty boy) must have joined the quest to get Cole the raccoon. And he somehow stretched high enough to captured the prey. 
I put the raccoon on a high shelf in a closet, scolding both boys as I walked out the door to purchase the sole remaining raccoon. 
Today (more than a week later), somebody left the closet door open. And there was Cole prancing around with Mr. Raccoon. Jones, once again, must have been the facilitator--it would have been impossible for Cole to grab the beast off the shelf. Jones, on the other hand, had no trouble balancing on a bucket to reach the coveted raccoon and handing it over to his buddy.

Why can't Congress work together like Jones & Cole to accomplish long term strategic goals? I can only imagine how great our country would be.

Blessings on Father's Day! We are going to have the first scorcher of the season (yuck)--expected to be over 100* on Sunday and Monday.

Mary & (naughty) Jones & Cole

Monday, June 13, 2016


Yesterday, after work, I stopped at a gas station near my house (I just barely made it home). As I was filling that greedy tank, a tiny, old Filipino man with a cane came up to me and asked for a dollar "for the bus". I looked at him and saw that he was very neatly, cleanly and carefully, but shabbily, dressed. One sock was not completely pulled over the heel of his foot; perhaps a bad back or hip prevents him from pulling his sock up to the height of the other. I asked him if he could wait a moment; he did. I gave him $5. I wished I could have given him more: perhaps paid for a home and food and new clothes--made him safe.
But $5 was the best that I could do and he was thankful and I felt blessed to be connected.
As I buckled my seat belt, he came back with an orange in his hand to give me. I could see that he had freshly picked the orange from a tree (the blessings of Southern California's overhanging fruit). I accepted his orange and his humanity gratefully.
He wanted to give me his second orange, but I explained that one was plenty for me.
He went on his way and I went on mine--immensely richer--knowing that I had connected to so much more.
The old Mary would have thought that my gift-giver needed the orange more than I did--and would have rejected the gift. My newer eyes could see that my openness to receive confirmed his dignity (and mine) and our self-respect. 
I am grateful for my newer, more open, connected heart.


Mary & Jones & Cole 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016


Yesterday I picked up two pairs of pillows from Pam, my beloved fabricator. The pair above was created from an early 20th c. Japanese Obi or kimono sash. And the second pair, below, of the famed Scalamandre "Le Tigre" silk velvet.

Look at the beautifully detailed very fine welting on the obi pillows which only Pam has been able to create for me

Not only has Pam created perfection in stitching in these pillows, she has chosen just the right section of the beautiful brocade to use on the pillows which are double sided and feature my standard custom 30% goose down/70% goose feather inserts and hand stitched closure.
But I'm also saddened by the fact that Pam will be retiring from her custom linen business this August. We have formed such a wonderful working bond over the last few years that it is hard for me to let go. Pam has promised to make one more pair of pillows for me and then she'll close her doors. Pam wants to paint and travel with her husband--I wish her well on this new adventure. I will miss her.
(I'm posting additional photos and descriptions of these pillows to my website

HILLARY WON..............
I love Bernie and feel that he would, also, have made a good candidate. However, I think that HIllary will do a superb job of putting Trump where he needs to go (I will not detail my sentiments re. Mr. Trump because they are neither nice nor are they pretty). I love what Bernie (and Elizabeth Warren) are doing for our political process and I hope that the Democratic Party involves him in every step of the "platform" process. He has brought so many important topics to the forefront, topics that need to be addressed today.

Thursday is coming up and I will not be denied those ivory cerused chests of drawers.


Mary & Jones & Cole

Monday, June 6, 2016


Chests of drawers are a hot ticket right now. I've sold 3 chests of drawers this month and could have sold this one

three times in two days. So I'm on the hunt for chests. And I'm fussy. They have to have just the right look--perhaps a little edgy, James Bond(y) and neoclassical. Two weeks ago I bought the Robsjohn-Gibbings chest--which will be great when it gets its very pricey spa treatment (read: profit margin will suffer a lot). What I need is a chest or two that will average out the profit issues.
I previewed Thursday's auction today as Wednesday is jammed full and look at what is coming up

This is one of a pair of Henredon chests that dates to the 1960's--within my time frame; the size is great for bedside cabinets and the quality and condition is also top notch. Usually I would jump like crazy over a pair of chests like this, but there is one detail holding me back: they are a cerused off-white. I'm not an off-white, south Florida style buyer. But I do love the cerused finish, if only they were cerused black.... 
Well, Mary, get over it. Time to leave the comfort zone in the dust. I almost bought the tackiest pair of white lacquered and gold detailed wing chairs with their original 60's black velvet upholstery that still retained their tacked-in-place plastic protectors.
Those chests are mine!

Wish me luck.

Mary & Jones & Cole

Thursday, June 2, 2016


My acquiring a Robsjohn-Gibbings chest like the one shown above--but not in that gorgeous condition--has spurred me to search for a new refinisher/restorer. This is not an easy quest because most "professional" refinishers do not have a clue as to what it really takes to bring a piece of furniture to that level of restoration. I have had my quota of restorers who swore they could "French Polish", lacquer, reveneer, restore an existing finish without stripping, etc. and then what they delivered was a piece of furniture that might as well be sent to a second tier flea market (six unhappy faces) lost money and time and aggravation. I even had one guys (who came well-recommended) steal my piece...
My neighbor, Kevin (Arroyo Antiques) deals in great mid-century and Danish furnishings. Kevin's pieces are always restored to the nth degree....and Kevin shared his restorer/refinisher with me. Danish and mid-century furniture does not need to be lacquered; so I was taking a leap of faith in trying out Aaron Moore.
When I brought the chest to Aaron today, I was astounded--his shop was immaculate, everything was in order; the pieces waiting his touch were all tagged and positioned; his materials and supplies were neatly ordered on shelves. In other words, this guy is a professional!! But most of all Aaron said all of the right words--restoration is an art; the trade has a specialized vocabulary and methodology. When Aaron described the various steps he would take with my chest, I knew I had found my guy. Aaron is even going to use "Piano Lacquer" (the creme de la creme) on my chest. Very, very few restorers even know the difference between piano lacquer and just regular/plain lacquer.
Aaron is super busy; so I won't get my chest back for a while, but that's OK because I'm sure that it will be done just right.
I'm going to take Aaron a Tommi Parzinger coffee table that Roberto hasn't been able to fix properly tomorrow, it doesn't involve a lot of work; so maybe Aaron can squeeze it in next week.
BEST OF ALL--Aaron is located just a hop from my house!!
I'm grateful!! An open heart is just what was needed.

Mary & Jones & Cole