Wednesday, June 27, 2018

IT'S BEEN TOO LONG..........

And now it's been even longer as I started this post last week. It's busy.... I find that my Internet work is taking up more and more of my time. But I am so grateful that all of us are able to reach an entire universe if we put in the effort--amazing. I even have some items going to Moscow this week. Sending furniture to Russia is complicated and not for the feint of heart.

Jones in his prime

I have a fantastic update re. Jones (the world's best poodle): I took him back to his original vet (I now live about 20 miles away), Dr. Starr took two x-rays and found the problem. He has a pinched nerve in his lower spine that was progressively affecting his back legs. One shot of cortisone and gabapentin twice a day and Jones is almost back to normal. Still not jumping on my bed, but I'll settle for being able to walk w/o pain.
I (Roberto) have been working on my expanded space. It's taking a bit longer than my usual 2-3 days and ready to go, but it's coming. G. chose the first color for the back wall and it sucked all of the energy out of the room; so I chose a new color (surprise......) and we are half way there.

I still need to get the gold-framed pictures up-- which will really pop against that wall. The wall color was not intentional, I was aiming for a more green tone--but we know how colors change w/lighting. At first I was shocked, but it's growing on me. And it's drawing a lot of attention. Maybe I'll give it a light green wash???...we'll see.
Notice that set of four arm chairs on either side of the altar table? 

Here they sit waiting to be auctioned off. G and I thought we would have to compete against a deep-pockets dealer, but they went for a song... And they are great. Due to the painted detail on the backs, I thought that the chairs were 19th c. in an 18th c. style. When I got them in the trusty Explorer and upside down so that I could check out the legs, feet and construction, it became apparent that they were definitely 18th c. and Portuguese. The chairs have been over-painted, probably in the late 19th or early 20th c. as the chairs display a wonderful natural patina. I personally think that the chairs are a bit outrageous--and perfect for a wine cellar or tasting room with those grapevine painted back splats.
I'm on another outrageous quest tomorrow.......
I used to think that great couldn't be ugly; but I'm evolving and what I used to think was unattractive, is becoming interesting.......Hmmmmmmm.
I love this small sofa (or settee) and chair that is coming up for auction tomorrow

I have never seen anything like this pair.......the original (I assume) dark mahogany finish has been stripped off leaving bleached bare wood. Just look at those Corinthian columns. The carved capitol is rather impressive and those funky feet--almost sexy.
I thought that I would upholster the sofa in a rich dark gray Belgium linen, replacing the channeled back with a tufted back. (Lalo is the master of tufting.) Taking these guys from quasi-feminine to very masculine. Ideas??
Here's a photo of the front of shop--before I take it all apart tomorrow.

Blessings for today.

Reminder: Contact your Senators regarding the Supreme Court vacancy. We cannot allow another justice that might limit our hard-won rights as citizens and work to disassemble our amazing democracy.

Mary & Jones & Cole

Monday, June 11, 2018

SHOPPING--To Buy or Not To Buy

I fell in love with this period Louis XVI large mirror last week. The mirror plate was original (one of my passions) and the carved embellishments were all there--just a couple of minor restoration were needed. And just look at the back--18th c. perfection!!!

But, unfortunately, falling in love with an object doesn't mean I should buy it (insert sad face here). I love the internet and that means I do a lot of market research, i.e., checking to see what my competition for an 18th c. Louis XVI mirror might be.............much to my disappointment 1stdibs lists about 14 pages (100 items/page) of Period French Mirrors.
I don't think I want that mirror with that kind of competition..............
The same goes for this Italian early 20th c. mirror that we loved.......

......there were 11 pages (or so) of antique Italian mirrors.
We both loved this to-die-for cast iron Faux Bamboo patio suite

The only thing needed was to reupholster those six amazing ARMED faux bamboo wrought iron chairs and the 1" thick glass only had one tiny tiny flake........but!! there is the question of how much sq. footage displaying it would consume and the cost of moving such an extremely heavy piece of glass. We were the underbidders--but the set just went too high. (Actually, afterwards, I was super happy that we didn't win the bid.)
Using my brain as a separate entity, totally removed from my emotions (but not my intuition) we did buy a few super things.
I love almost all blues----the intense blue of this set of three Chinese Monochrome and FLAMBE (be still my heart) jars is show-stopping.

My rationale (perhaps justification is a better word) is the amazing vibrant and rare color of the jars. The jars are missing their original porcelain lids (which is the reason the Chinese buyers backed down) but the high decorative value of the jars remains. The energy added to a room with the use of this color is spectacular.
The next item up (actually a pair) was chosen for its rarity, condition, value, and decorative value.

And because I love 16th-18th c. works on paper. Albertus Seba (1665-1739) was one of the premier engravers of forms from nature of the 18th c. and wrote the famous "Cabinet of Natural Curiosities" ---his original works are highly desirable. Additionally, look at the detail of the framing

--the matting combined with the wide carved and gold leafed frame is exceptional. Even though works on paper are hard to sell, I still love them and they are also a bit like money in the bank.
Now.....I just need to sell this stuff.

I'm expanding my space next week--painting, lighting and moving; so I most probably won't get a blog post written. So blessings for the week and  please send some prayers for Jones.

Mary & Jones & Cole

Wednesday, June 6, 2018


Yesterday, Gerry had followed a hunch and drove to an LA Auction that is located about 40 miles (or more) out side of the Los Angeles traffic, that is considered a real trek. He didn't like what he had initially gone to see, but spotted the above bench. When he texted me the photo I about fell out of my chair as I knew that it was really good. Without even researching, I recognized that the bench was faux bois and I assumed it was in the Coalbrookdale style. Gerry decided to bid the item via phone today.
I thought that we would have to spend major money to acquire the bench........Oh, no--that was not in God's plan for us today. Nobody else seemed to recognize what it was and so the bench was just dropped in our waiting hands.
After Gerry won the bid, I went on line to see if I could find something similar. And here's what popped up............

It's an identical bench (with the exception of paint color).....
I won't price the bench at that level, but there will be plenty of profit to go around. 
Some times life is about simply showing up and being present in the moment.
Well, it's late and my head is nodding; so I'll make this entry short and sweet....must get off to bed.

Mary & Jones & Cole

Monday, June 4, 2018


I was talking to No. 2 Grandson Musical Genius Ethan last week--explaining to him that I was on a lot of sites to promote my business--I counted them for him and I realized that I was on 8 different platforms. Yikes! And I suddenly felt very exhausted. I, who had previously been computer-phobic was now spending the majority of my time at this darn key board. Do not get me wrong--I love the freedom and connections the Internet has created--but still. And of course, being a type A personality, the guilt I feel when everything is not up-to-date is pretty heavy. So I took a little break from loading and posting.......feeling much better.
I also took a mini-break from my auction addiction to just "be" and breathe a bit. I've discovered that I need a lot of time to simply take in stuff. I tend to hyper-focus which means that I'm missing chunks of everyday life--not making me happy. But there are some advantages.....
At auction last Thursday I hyper-focused on these adorable footstools. What I mean is that I hyper-focused on the signed needlepoint and couldn't decided if it was super chic or tacky......I decided to go for super chic and very Sister Parish; so I bought them for quite a bit of $$. When I preview the stools I was so focused on the textile

(I think it's c.1960) that I paid hardly any attention to the frames, just glancing at them and assuming that, because of the finish, they were early to mid 20th c. (Didn't even turn them over--big no-no)
I could not have been more mistaken

Any one who knows me, or reads this blog, knows that my two biggest (there are many) passions in this crazy business are period 18th c. furniture and great design. So I should know to check out the undersides and insides of everything.... You can imagine my joy when I turned over this little stool to discover that it was totally hand planed with the right softness to the tips of the feet and just the right crispness to the carving. The 1960s finish obscured the detailed carving and fooled me into thinking that it was newer. But, also because of my hyper-focus, I missed the obvious fact that the frames of the stools are not a pair--just similar. The second stools is a 19th c. example of a Louis XV footstool

The stool is old, but you can clearly see the marks of a circular saw which tells me that its 19th c. And the form is quite different from the 18th c. stool. I had never seen needlepoint quite like this--I have seen early 20th c. kitschy prints with "flower faces"--but these guys were just tipping the scales at "Hot, hot, hot.

And I finally managed to find a lot of pretty decent Chinese trunks....I had another stack of these last fall and I sold them all. I think simple trunks fit just about any where you would need storage--or coffee tables.
And final find of last week was this classic English bamboo and cane pastry table. These tables used to be very popular and pricey, but lately have been out of fashion. That said, I thought that I would give it a shot. The condition was excellent and the cuteness factor was up there.

Pretty cute.

Now for the GOOD STUFF................Lalo brought back Gerry's beautiful and stunning late 18th c. Directoire side chairs. I had them upholstered in a breath-taking green strie silk velvet. I'm pretty sure that this silk would price out at about $400+ per yard--we were lucky and bought a lot of bolt ends and this fabric was one of the bolts.

 The chairs are gorgeous and retain their original gold leaf finish--and the fabric...I just love to pet it.
Lalo also brought back the chair seat for the Swedish chairs. The gorgeous original blue-gray paint needed a fabric that wouldn't complete with it. So I chose a 100% Belgium linen with a good texture open weave and a touch of silver.

I love these chairs.

Jones is not doing very well. He's turning twelve next month---so I have many vet appointments this week.
Hopefully it's just arthritis and some laser treatments will make him good as new. Prayers please.

Sending blessings for the coming week.

Mary & Jones & Cole