Thursday, March 23, 2017


I'm not a chandelier person---definitely a lamp lover, but chandeliers are just not my thing. This week my budget for the auction was very meager: while out in the garden this morning, I set my goal to spend $100 and make $2000 with that little bit of investment. I know that it sounds a little bizarre, but it is possible to do that---God must be in the mix to make it happen.
I arrived a little late--I'd run out of coffee; so I was really lagging with just the hint of the beginning of a caffeine withdrawal headache (not very auspicious for bidding); fortunately, the auction has pretty good coffee.
I watch and amble around and watch and wait patiently---and then, all of a sudden, after almost 2 hours of faithfully paying attention I spot a Venetian chandelier that tickles my fancy. It was on a rack with another two chandeliers (good ones)--when it was the Venetian's turn at the auction block, the auctioneer announced that "it had parts in a box"---I guess most bidders thought that Sean (auctioneer) had meant that it was broken. So at under $100, I had to take the risk that the chandelier was complete. Big Murano/Venetian chandeliers usually go for quite a bit of money.....take a look: the chandelier measures 48"high x 30"wide. You can see the parts in the box below--those are the parts of almost all of a second identical chandelier that my lighting person can assemble with a few added parts. I think this chandelier dates to the 1950's.

I pulled this photo from 1stdibs for comparison--this guy dates to the 1940's so it is more frou-frou, but it is very similar and about the same size.

The 1stdibs chandelier is priced at over $6500; mine will be a whole lot less--I love passing on the blessing to my wonderful clients.

   The key to buying (or any adventure) is to keep an open mind.

Jones' eye appears to improve every day and it seems as if his sight is returning. And I'm grateful, I thought he would probably loose his sight completely.

Well, it's off to bed.


Mary & Jones & Cole  

Wednesday, March 22, 2017


Roberto got to work on this little guy early yesterday morning. Some one had slathered a lot of gunk on the top of him. So, with a lot of sanding and then finely and carefully scraping the surface Roberto managed to get the top down to its original surface--the beautiful feather banding became clear and with a couple of coats of hard paste wax to the entire piece, he started to shine. I believe that the desk in most probably American (not a common form) as it has chamfered drawer bottoms and pine as its secondary wood. 
The wood appears to be American walnut

Look at that cute little cubby, it has kept its original shelf, too.

The bracket feet are in good shape and have little spurs. I love the graining of the wood contrasting with the banding.

What I am most astounded by is the fact that this little guy has retained all of its original mid-18th c. brass hardware. A couple of the nuts have been replaced, but the most important elements are all present.

I am not an expert in American Furniture. I'm looking for some one to help me research this piece. I've emailed a couple of auction houses--but that involves a lot of politics.....(and I'm at present overwhelmed by the state of American politics)
So maybe the best course is to simply wait a bit and see what evolves. Besides, I don't mind having him around for a while.

Off to auction tomorrow--didn't preview; so we'll see what turns up.

Mary & Jones & Cole

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Treasures.................just stuff

I love antique textiles.....I would love to travel the world searching out gorgeous handmade textiles that express the histories and cultures of the peoples that made them.

The above aged (c.1680-1710) gold embroidered and appliqued silk velvet is a piece that adheres to that adventure. The baroque Italian (Tuscan?) walnut arm chair is in great condition for its age and use. The most wonderful detail is that it retains its original beautifully embroidered and appliqued silk velvet chair back. The gold thread used for the adornment is most probably 24 kt.; the silk velvet is hand woven and the iron decorations are hand forged. I love the fact that the velvet, having lost its luxurious pile, is still beautiful and rich. The baroque period in Italy (not truly a country at that point) is one of the most artistically rich (apart from the Renaissance). This beautiful textile expresses the soul of Italy at that point in time. (Although I love this chair, I did not bring it home--it needed to go with a true collector of this type of furniture).
On the other end of the auction spectrum this week were enormous rams--they are taller than I am!!! I was a bit tempted to add them to my zoo, but just the thought of trying to move them was exhausting--I think that they were bronze!

But I did bid on these amazing lamps---I think that they are Christopher Spitzmiller. But there were no identifying marks; so I ended up being the underbidder. If I had sold any lamps recently, I probably would have stayed in the bidding, but prudence won out.

Isn't the shape amazing? So sexy...and a crackle glaze.

I didn't leave the auction empty-handed: I brought home this superb pair of Directoire or Consulate period (at the very end of 18th c.--post Revolution France) small mirrors with attached candle holders--bras de lumieres. The mirrors have "Eastern/Egyptian" symbolism; so they are most probably Late Directoire when Napoleon was busy waging war in Egypt. I bought them on instinct and was happy to discover that they are pretty uncommon (I seem to gravitate towards the unusual)--hope just the right client comes in (selling all of this stuff also matters). The mirrors are in remarkably great original condition, including their original mirrors and gilt details.

Jones went to the Ophthalmologist yesterday. Fortunately, he does not have glaucoma, but he does have age related eye problems--poor boy, he's been bumping into a few things on his right side. The vet thinks that she can bring back some vision in his right eye and the left one is fine!! Other than his right eye, he looks like a 5 year old.

I keep thinking that I'll wake up and TT (Times of Trump) will be over and sanity will return. The proposed budget (which won't pass-but is a huge earthquake) cuts funding for the arts, PBS, after school programs and summer programs. To me this sounds like the perfect prescription for creating bored and unsupervised children (and possibly hungry children) which leads to delinquency and gang affiliations. We need more investment in our children; we need to focus on their spiritual and physical development--teaching them how to nurture their own souls through creativity not senseless stimulation.

Blessings for the week!!

Mary & Jones & Cole

Monday, March 13, 2017


There is a tragedy unfolding in Africa. The magnitude of the approaching famine currently threatening major areas of Africa has not previously been seen in the 65 year history of the United Nations.
There are two tragedies unfolding concurrently: (1) is the immense suffering occurring to more than 20 million people on the brink of starvation in Africa with an anticipated 1.5 million to die of hunger this year. (2) With the world focused on TT (Times of Trump) and this President's incompetence, personality disorders and madness, we have given virtually ZERO coverage to the unfolding scenarios around the world.

TT has given rise to a societal blindness to the suffering of our brothers.

Will we become a world where we are so immersed in the behavior of an egocentric narcissist that we fail to take note of the broader societal concerns. (I don't care about Ivanka's clothing brand)


Over the past year I have concentrated my giving efforts on election goals---------I'm switching to a broader perspective (I, too, have become hypnotized by TT).
There are so many vetted organizations that are doing wonderful work in feeding the hungry. To name just a few:
                   Mercy Corps
                   Doctors Without Borders
                   Save The Children
                   Global Giving
                   The Red Cross
                   Catholic Charities
                   World Vision.......
(Credit Cards and PayPal have made giving easy!)
I'm now getting off my soap box. I am determined to be more conscious of our amazing world and its people. I will discover where my efforts can be most effective; where I can hope to alleviate (even to a very small degree) the suffering of others.

Thank for listening.

Mary & Jones & Cole

Friday, March 10, 2017


This gorgeous Paul Evans "Skyline" dining table was front and center at the auction on Thursday. Needless to say, I want it very, very, very badly. The brass veneering was in very good condition and the burl veneering only had a couple of minor issues. My good friend, Gerry, decided that he would make an attempt to buy the table. The table sold for about $4200 and Gerry was the under bidder. Oh well, there's always a next time. Unfortunately, Paul Evans is really hot RIGHT NOW.
Although the table went to another dealer, I did bring home a few choice bits.....
I've been looking for a little desk to replace the my large English Campaign desk that's going to be restored next week. I saw a little kneehole desk, but really didn't pay much attention to it until I sat in front of the reverse side of the desk and realized that it was really old and that I should buy it. I hesitated because these English pieces aren't selling that well in California. I pulled this photos from 1stdibs, the desk I bought is similar, but not quite this good

So I will be going from a large double pedestal desk to this adorable little guy. This George III desk dates to c.1760--my desk has the same bracket feet--the hardware on this example is of the best quality and all original.  

Is everyone signing petitions, going to Town Hall Meetings, donating time and money?? Let's keep the pressure up. 

Jones is a mess--he's getting his hair done tomorrow. Then he can come back to work. He's a very big boy any way, but when you add 3 inches of hair everywhere, he looks like a giant and scares people at work (not good when the goal is to sell).

Must get to bed.
Blessing to all.'

Wednesday, March 1, 2017


This is the forlorn appearance of my newest Aldo Tura Cart when I picked him up last week.

And this is what he looked like after Roberto had had his way with him.

Not to shabby.
I bought another item that I had been yearning for last week

Aren't they cute!! I have a zoo romping around in the shop--elephants, hawks, horses, cats, camels, crabs, dogs and probably some other beasties. These guys were also very dirty which, I'm sure, contributed to their affordability. This particular pair of elephants is a particularly good example of its type: they are very heavy, terra cotta with a brick type clay, c. 1950s, great color and definition, detail and a good larger size.

After quite a few days of heavy rain, we are having the most glorious weather--clear skies with a painted-on smattering of puffy clouds--and crisp temps.  I need to remember these days when we hit the Santa Ana winds and heat of the summer.

Blessings for the week!!

Mary, Jones & Cole