Friday, December 20, 2019


I've been adding to my Noah's Ark Christmas tree for years on end. This year I added Adam and Eve to the multitude of animals that have come to roost on  the tree.

I haven't counted the beasties, but there must be close to 100 by now. And I know that I'll find space for a few more next year.

Well, I'm ready--presents are bought and wrapped. Major grocery shopping is almost done. And I'm so grateful that my family and those close to me are well.

Yesterday was the last auction of the year.....and just when I thought that I would never be able to acquired an Italian chest of drawers..........I got one.
Blessings come to those who wait.

It's pretty cute. Not the more elegant form that I was looking for, but this guy has great personal integrity:
solid walnut, two-board top, original back and old surface. The hardware is old, but not original. This type of chest didn't normally have drawer pulls, but a key (with tassel) was used to open the drawers. The chest needs Roberto's magic touch and then, it will be all set to go to its new owner.
I love country neoclassical pieces like this one--the old finish is smooth as silk and begs to be touched. You can mix this style with almost any design aesthetic (except frou-frou). And you really can't hurt it, because the wood has already acquired a deep natural patina. Best of all, you can place the chest just about any where.

Well, I'm off to bed--no sugar plums just yet. Tomorrow is baking day.

Sending blessings for Christmas and beyond.
Mary & Cole

Monday, December 16, 2019


I am so proud of myself: I have wrapped one present. I still have a few more to purchase.

Now------the new Fortuny Pillows:
This is a very unusual c.1920-1930 "Ucelli" pattern antique Fortuny textile. I have never seen this color used in very early Fortuny--it's a rich tomato red with a gold-tone overlay. The original "Ucelli" wood blocks were still sharp and crisp when this fabric was created and this particular piece had never been used.

I chose a textured Clarence House gold silk strie (visible in the first photo) for the backing and micro-welt.
Here is a photo of a pillow created with c. 1970-80 "Ucelli"--there are subtle differences. One of the

most noticeable differences between early Fortuny and post 1940 Fortuny is the width of the textile. Early Fortuny is printed on cotton that is no more than 30 inches wide; whereas latter Fortuny is printed on cotton that is the standard 54 inches wide. The width of the top pillows is 29/30 inches.
"Melagrana" Pillows: these two pairs of pillows were created using the "Melagrana" from the tunic that I bought at auction a couple of months ago.

The pair with the antique metallic braid decoration was crafted with the front section of the tunic where there was a center seam. The antique braid covers the seam and I think it adds more interest to the pillows...thoughts?
And now for a a couple of fun (not serious Fortuny) pillows. I bought the 1940s/50s tropical bark cloth from a fellow dealer--it was, miraculously, in mint condition..

I had a lot of catching up to do at the shop (I had a little accident and had to spend a few days at home); so I didn't go to auction on Thursday. That does not mean Gerry stayed home. We had agreed that we didn't have any room for new stuff (it's all just stuff). Famous last words: Gerry bought 18 chairs--yikes!!! Fortunately, Roberto and I hustled and just about everything fit (squeed in tight). By the grace of God and His perfect timing, I sold the large French weathered oak and pine farm table exactly when I needed to and it was delivered last Saturday, meaning that I had a few extra inches to space.
Here's what one (very congested) section of shop looks like:

Those pagoda-top chairs sitting on the lacquered table are amazing....they are 4 of the 18 chairs. Here are another 6 of the 18:

These chairs are pretty good, too. They date to about the 1980s and are in great condition, don't even need to to be reupholstered. There are several reditions of this type of faux bois chair--and these are the better, more highly detailed iteration; are super comfortable and all arm chairs.
Now, for the best of the 18.....set of 6 (all arms) Chinese Chippendale faux bamboo in a yummy green

All of these 6 chairs are in great condition, also. The green needs a bit of touch up in a few spots, but my miracle worker, Roberto, will have them spiffed up in less than an hour. They dovetail with the new 1950s/40s bark cloth pillows! (And Gerry didn't even know about the pillows until after he bought the chairs)
Christmas is closing in on us. This year has been filled with growth and love and increased sales. Growth, by it's very nature, tends to be a bit uncomfortable. This year was no exception, but this time, growth came with a bit more tenderness and to a stronger me. I'm wondering what 2020 holds--I've been approached by some one to start another venture involving antique/vintage furniture. We'll see. I love the serendipitous nature of stepping forth without exactly knowing the future.

Sending blessings for this last busy week before Christmas. Some times I forget that this is the day we celebrate the Light of Christ coming to all. It's good to remember that Light leaves no room for darkness if we choose to focus on the light.

Blessing for the day.
Mary & Cole

Thursday, December 5, 2019


November has been a very auspicious month. Lalo did himself proud with the upholstery on the little sofa and the French Chauffeuses.

The new 1920s Fortuny pillows are ready and I'll pick them up tomorrow. Can't wait to see them.
......The piece de resistance and the most important blessing is the George I bachelor's chest with secretary section.

I was having a bit of trouble firmly assigning a date to the chest, and then, this popped up on 1stdibs this week........

I think I need a professional appraisal. My chest is very similar, but larger. Of course, it has the secretary section (original design) added to the traditional bachelor's chest form. I don't know if the unusual secretary section adds to or detracts from the value of the chest. Both chests retain all of their original c.1720 elements and are in very good condition. I listened to that little voice inside my head when I purchased the chest and am grateful.
I love this set of Chinese early 20th century quartetto tables--the wave design of the skirts (instead of a highly carved skirt) is what drew me to the set and Roberto made them shine (he always does).

This week-end this little French etagere is coming up at auction. Both Gerry and I love it--we'll see. I'm about finished with buying for 2019, but the hunt must go on.

The stand is in very good condition--no more projects, please--and has unusual detailing, just my style.

The San Gabriel Mountains received their first blanket of heavy snow and Big Bear Mountain was open for skiing this past week-end. My drive up to Pasadena all week was breath-taking. I love the chill in the air and being back to wearing cashmere--my favorite second skin. We are getting ready for of the trees is in place and ready for the decorating party with the girls tomorrow. I'm planning what to bake. Miraculously, I have even purchased some presents... I do not like shopping. We usually have about 18-20 for Christmas Eve--this year, it's only going to be family, which still adds up to a lot of people. 

Wishing everyone a blessed Christmas season. I fully intend to focus on my blessings. 

Mary & Cole