Wednesday, May 23, 2018


These gorgeous peonies were just being pulled from the truck when I was at Trader Joes a couple of days ago

I couldn't resist. I am fascinated as I watch the flowers open to engage with us mere mortals.

The vase is a sangria pitcher from my favorite Spanish Parador--inspiring so many happy memories. 

Still haven't been able to have anyone verify my Japanned Desk

But I'm working on it.....

In the meantime......I've sold some Fortuny pillows which I haven't been able to do for a long time. In fact, I've had two sales of Fortuny pillows which tells me that my level of pillow is returning to the design forefront and that I get the joy of designing with my stash of antique and vintage Fortuny fabrics. Not only that, I was able to buy a pair of c. 1930-40 vintage Fortuny pillows in the Glicine pattern which were probably created about 10 years ago. 

(Sorry about the photo) I believe that this is an early example of Glicine in a mottled green with (now faded) metallic gold on a museum or twill fabric. I just need to clean the covers and order new goose down and feather inserts. The quality of the goose down and feathers is super important for the structure and form of the pillow--for this type of textile I like a slightly overstuffed mixture of 30% goose down to 70% goose feather.
I also brought home this pair of c.1960-70s Jansen-style French iron and marble gueridons or side tables. They're beefy and very heavy. The carrara marble isn't in perfect condition, but I like it with a bit of history showing

The tables' brass feet, loops and center ring make them sassy. 
Last week's auction was pretty interesting: G spied a pair of 18th c. Chinese Export plates. He recognized the figural design as one he had seen at a museum and at one of the New York Antique Shows; I knew that the plates were 18th c. 

But we didn't know if they were equal to the plates he had seen several years ago....... which were very very very pricey.
Gerry found a similar plate online with the high price point, but it differed slightly from these plates. And then he called a London dealer hoping to get more answers........
The plates were coming to the block around noon on Thursday and we were still waiting for the London dealer to get back to we decided to bid the plates to $5000. For me, that a big chunk of change. I bid to $4000 (the buyer's commission brought the bid to $4800) against my nemesis. Another person bid $4500 and Tom took the bid at $5000 ($6000 w/commission). I was kicking myself knowing that it would be a long time (if ever) before another such find came along......I was so disappointed in my lack of courage, that I left the auction fuming and depressed. However, all was not lost: the London dealer finally got back to G: the plates are 18th c. copies of the (very valuable) true dinner service plates. MY MOOD LEVEL WENT THROUGH THE ROOF.
God bless Tom!! I don't know if he has discovered that HIS plates are antique copies; he will. 
We are having a chilly Spring after a warm Winter and I love it........still wearing cashmere sweaters which always makes me happy.
No auction tomorrow; so I think I'm going to curl up with a good book.
Sending blessing for the coming week.

Mary & Jones & Cole

Monday, May 7, 2018


I know that I have explained my relationship to this crazy business numerous times, but here I go again: Everything that I find and/or buy is a gift and an adventure. Yes, I know a lot about many different kinds of "stuff", i.e., I'm prepared, I also know that everything is a gift.
This desk is one of those gifts and, if I'm correct, a big one.




I have a lot of research to do on this guy. I believe that it dates to around 1835-40. It's English in form, but the secondary wood is pine which would indicate that the desk is American. The drawer bottoms are chamfered, which would also indicate an American origin. However, the Japanning (chinoiserie decoration) appears to be English. Whatever its origins, the desk is very rare. The condition of the Japanned surface is exceptional--the gold leaf is newer--most of the painting is intact and very interesting with numerous animal and plant depictions. The sides feature a shi-shi or foo dog on one side and a dog with tree and chinoiserie fence on the other.
The top surface retains its original leather writing surface surrounded by a detailed chinoiserie border.

I be posting more about the desk in the coming weeks as I unravel more of its secrets....I do know that several individuals loved this desk as its condition is exceptional.

Blessings for the week!!!

Mary & Jones & Cole