Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas is coming

Christmas is coming and as usual I'm really behind.  You'd think that working in a shop you could at least keep up with the Holidays, but a last I' always running to catch up. " The Hurrier I go the Behinder I get," I think I remember using this motto through out school and into my life as a mother.  In our business we seem to always be making things work for other people.  The last thing we think of is making things work for ourselves. So we did not get out Christmas cards, and I' rushing around looking for presents to give.

Today is Lewis' birthday!  Every year he wants a special cake a dear friend first brought us 15 years ago.  She gave us the recipe and I've been making it ever since.  So since I can't send everyone a card or a gift this is my gift to all of you.  The recipe for our Christmas Cake/ Lewis' Birthday Cake.



USE PAM IN BUNDT PAN or an Angel food cake pan (almost easier)


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Happy Holidays in Kilmarnock

Last night we had the Christmas parade in Kilmarnock.  Everyone has a great time.  People come from all over come to see the parade.  The Town is all decked out in Holiday splendor.  Almost every shop on Main Street is decorated.  Our Window is particularly fine this year.  I blogged earlier about our 7' 6" silver lady.  She made it into the window.  There have been no complaints about her.  She stands next to our Christmas tree decked out in all silver and white for the season.  Handing in the window are several wonderful Murano glass chandeliers. There is also a great silver leaf commode and a mirrored screen.  If you are anywhere near our area it is truly worth coming by to see.  Comer & Co. is dressed elegantly for the season as well their Christmas tree is decorated in green and bronze tones.  Other shops in town are also well dressed, even the Animal Welfare Thrift Shop looks like Santa's work shop. We are going to be open on Sundays between now and Christmas. We wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Friday, November 26, 2010

So What Makes Deco Designers Furniture so Important

Lewis and I were thinking about why all of a sudden the really nice Deco pieces of Designer furniture are bringing higher and higher priced.  Particularly the nice Italian and French pieces.

After our Turkey dinner and all the family went their ways or passed out in a turkey coma, Lewis turned to me and said, "I think I've figured it out."

"What have you figured out?" I said.

"Why Deco furniture is becoming so valuable.   Traditional, 18thc, other period pieces were made over long periods of time.  The really fine Deco pieces were only made for a relatively  short space of time. A lot of these pieces were handmade or required a lot of additional hand piecing.  The modern age quickly made mass production more and more convenient."

Just like the good 18th century pieces, The fine Deco pieces have begun to be copied.  They have become iconic.  The lesser known designers who produced fewer pieces will be even more desirable.  Architects currently who are looking at clean modern lines fine that these pieces fit well in their interiors.  Also traditional homes with clean lines do well with these pieces as well.

The interesting thing is that clean sparse lines enhance and go well with all sorts of other periods. I've always advised people to express themselves, and combine periods for a sophisticated home.  In our shop we are allowed the luxury of having a wonderful assortment of items and furniture with which to work.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

We always have lots to do around the shop.  Preparing forT hanksgiving in the shop means trying to give customers room to move around in the shop.  What is different this year is that we have been doing a lot of our business through 1stdibs.  This in turn has given us more funds for investing in more pieces for the shop.  Unfortunately a lot of the new pieces are big, and take up a lot of space.  We started our life here as an Antique Mall, and gradually have taken more and more of our 8,400 square feet of the shop.  Slowly we had to ask our dealers to leave until we were down to 3 or 4 special dealers. The end of this month we will say good bye to one of the last few dealers.  So in the mean time we are cramped for space.

The one dealer friend that we never intend to say goodbye too is our friend Maurice Beane.  Cindy and Maurice have a great collection of branded vintage goods nothing like Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Channel, Gucci, and Lanvin bags, jewelry, scarves,and ties for Christmas.  There's plenty of designer jewelry, Mexican silver, and custom designed necklaces to choose from.  Don't forget the vintage murano glass and antique japanese and chinese pottery.

Although we have large pieces, we have those special pieces that can make a Christmas.  Stephen Redd one of our silversmith friend has just come back from taking classes to add to his skills.  We are looking forward to seeing even great works by him.

Have a great Thanksgiving.   Even with the down turn in the economy we are a truly blessed country.  Let us all be thankful for all our many blessings.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Kilmarnock get ready for shock and awe....Holiday window

Lewis has planned a Holiday window that will knock your shocks off!  Maybe we will call it Princess in an Ice Palace.  We have had complains that our windows stops traffic.  This one is sure to do that.  We just hope that we don't cause any accidents. He visualized a window full chandeliers making the window look like an ice palace.

This last trip he went after an original plaster figure of a deco lady all done in silver leaf.  She is seven feet tall.  She came out of a Henri Bendel Store in New York City in the forty's.

This is a signed plaster statue by Fernard Guignier, 1902-1972, french sculpture and painter.  There are several of his sculptures in Paris.  She will grace our window with all the elegance of a deco nude, like an ethereal nymph. She stands in her bare feet 90" tall.

The Christmas tree stands on the other side of the window, decked in silver and white, and twinkling lights.  There are a total of seven Murano chandeliers in our large window, and several more in the smaller window.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Lewis visited Todd Merrill in New York

We're finally getting around to Blogging about the rest of Lewis' recent trip to New York City. Another great shop that he totally enjoyed visiting was Todd Merrill. He was wowed by the lit sconces by Tommi Parzinger. It's always inspiring to see thungs in person.

This Jack Rogers Hopkins circa 1970 chair at Todd Merrill's is an excellent example of find craftsmanship still found even in the 1970's.

A pleasant surprise was finding an old friend, some that we have in our shop, at Todd Merrill's. This James Mont lamp with the original shade is a classic Mont piece. We love James Mont's designs and Lewis was treated to several more of his pieces there. The mirror below is Mont's.

This James Mont chest has his carved bamboo motif around the top of the piece. it is quite a striking piece. Mont was a designer for Hollywood and the mob during the 1940's and 1950's. He had a checkered past and even spent time in Sing Sing; this takes nothing away from his designs only adds to the mystique.

Please someone give me a hand or maybe a foot and a hand.......found atTodd Merrill's by Pedro Friedeberg, Mexican. This unique chair was made sometime in the 1970's.

Below are a set of chairs designed by Dan Johnson, these are terrific. Visiting Todd Merrill's was a real treat and Lewis' can highly recommend visiting if you go to New York.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A visit to see Lost City Arts...

We've been a little busy in the shop recently so I hadn't posted the rest of the photos from my trip to New York City.  This set of photos I took while I was in the shop Lost City Arts, which is one of my favorite shops in the city, just for it's modernism and the large collection of Harry Bertoia.  So I asked if I could snap some photos to use on my blog and here they are!  Enjoy!

An Incredible Copper Bush Sculpture by Harry Bertoia (1915-78)

This was an amazing piece by Harry Bertoia the detail work of it was simply amazing. The casting of this piece I would have been a nightmare as each end would have had to be vented in the mold.  Reminiscent of coral, brain stems or something a mad bonsai artist would have made.  :)

Incredible Dining Table by Giovanni Michelucci (1891-1990)
Sorry about the blurry photo, this is an amazing dining table by Giovanni Michelucci.  This table is drool worthy.  I've seen tons of great tables, but this is by far one of the best ones.  Michelucci was one of my favorite architects, and I did a blog posting earlier on him. Click here to read the blog on him. 

Stunning Italian Glass Sputnik Chandelier
This was one of my favorite chandelier's ever!  It looks like dew on a dandelion in a space.  It's one of those pieces that you almost have to pinch yourself to make sure it's real.  Please remember I've linked to all the images to their pages on 1stdibs.  So click it to find out more information!
Incredible Interlocking Opalescent Glass Chandelier
Okay so this chandelier was also insanely beautiful.  The construction was amazing,  each piece of glass was hanging and connected to the one above it. It is amazing to know that this was constructed with molten glass.  People never think that a lot of decorative arts are hand made, and aren't just made by a machine or stamped out.  This piece was thought out, drawings were made and each single piece was formed to fit in this jigsaw of a chandelier.  I'm also a sucker for opalescent murano pieces!
Pair of Renzo Rutili for Johnson Furniture
I snapped a photo of these 2 Renzo Rutili Chests as I was walking through.  I picked up a long low version of these that has ab ebonized finish a few weeks ago.  I love the feet on these and the quality level of the Johnson furniture pieces are amazing!  If you are in New York City please stop by, or if you are planning a trip to New York City make sure to visit.  It was definitely worth a visit to the city to see some of these shops!  Hope everyone enjoys!  I stopped at Todd Merrill's as I walked in between Donzella and Lost City Arts, and I still need to do a posting on his shop!  Most likely in the next few days.  This next week I'm hitting the highway again in a different direction to pick up a few pieces I couldn't fit in my van last trip!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Gabriella Crespi, Italian Designer, 1922-

Where in the world is Gabriella Crespi? We acquired a lamp by Gabriella Crespi.
Maison 21 has recently been blogging about her and they showed a picture of her cube table. I found an interesting article about Crespi by New York Times in their style section. She has been a designer of lamps, furniture, and small sculptural items and utensils. Below is a cube bar in brass.
Crespi has divided her time between Milan and high in the Himalayas, seeking Satya (truth), unity and a feeling of infinity. In 1987 she got rid of most of her material possessions. She became a vegetarian and continued to seek enlightening. She has become an author writing''Search for Infinity — Himalaya,'' when asked if she has found infinity, she says," Yes, it goes on forever."
Above is an iconic desk by Crespi. Recently, " Maison 21" has posted several items about Gabriella Crespi

Saturday, October 30, 2010

S. Drake Streetman, American Artist, 1944-

My good friend and X-neighbor is getting ready to ship out paintings that she has been working on for the years since Katrina. These are going out for a fund raiser to continue help for the victims of Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf. These paintings are remarkable both in their design and vibrant colors.  I'm impressed by the motion, color usage, and the design.  The work is by no means ordinary,rather extraordinary. 

Streetman has taught art to children and young adults encouraging them to think out side the box not to be influenced by what others are doing, but to be true to themselves and to follow where their mind leads them always pushing the envelope.

We hope that they will all do well with the show.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Terrible Weather for traveling

Wouldn't you know it. The last time Lewis was in Chicago, "the Windy City" a tornado hit the area just after he left. This time his contact emailed him Sunday after he had left at 4:30 am that he could not meet him on Tuesday as expected, but would see him on Monday instead. Lewis drove until late Sunday evening before fatigue took over and he was forced to stop. He met up with his contact retrieved his purchases and then some, and headed back out of town. Where he found a motel to spend the night. He awoke to fierce winds and rain with threats of high winds and tornadoes. All yesterday he was chased by storms buffeted along the highways. At one point he realized that tractor trailers kept in contact with weather up dates so he followed one to watch what it did. That night he talked to someone else who was traveling as well and that person said he thought the same thing but he actually saw 3 wheels of a tractor trailer lifted up off the road. We're glad that our Guarding Angel was watching out for Lewis, and his meeting was moved up. This storm was noted as the worse storm in the mid-west in 70 years.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Found Work by James Yoko

Lewis is on the road again. This time to pick up an interesting piece he saw in Chicago and could not fit it into his van the last time he was there. I think this was an excuse to go back for the food in Chicago (see last blog on Chicago). On his way yesterday he picked up Two nice "Modern Paintings" form the 1960's by Dayton Ohio Artist, James Yoko, 1916-2004.

I did some research and found that he and his wife had donated work to Dayton Art Institute. He donated the bathers painted in 1946. This painting was representative of modern trends in the 1940's.

Another of his paintings given to the Art Institute was Called Slowdrift. This is a complete divergence from his art in the 40's.

Another work by James Yoko was found while searching the web. Media Man is a Collage this painting also shows another aspect of his work continually changing with the times.

We never know what treasures a trip will bring. Lewis has arrived in Chicago and we wait with great expectations.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Photographer and Furniture Designer Willy Rizzo

This week we are looking at the designs of Willy Rizzo. We found this interesting clip on youtube and thought we'd share it with you. In the sixties He made his fame by photographing Celebrities in Hollywood. His iconic photo of Marilyn Monroe was taken two weeks before her death. He did countless photos of celebrities in the 1960's.

In the seventies he decided to try his hand at furniture design. He did this with an inventive eye. The artistic eye which allowed him to capture the essence of the person he photographed also allowed him to use his imagination to capture and enhance the materials utilized in his furniture designs.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Giovanni Michelucci

Recently I've really been digging the designs of Italian Architect Giovanni Michelucci (1891-1990) who was concidered one of the forefathers of modernism.  His designs remind me of a relaxed version of modernism.  Some modernist furniture pieces can be too slick and space age.  His pieces are pieces that are made to be lived with.  His buildings are timeless being both modern and archaic. 

I always like getting into a designers head and I found 2 photos of the inside of his house.  This is who he wanted to live.  Here are the photos of Casa Michelucci. 

I think I'd find this house easy to live in.  Love the mix of the old and new, the classical and the modern.  Simple clean lines and plenty of places to read a book!  So when you see his furniture it's a mix between his architecture and his own home.  It could easily fit in either place and it's both modern and timeless. 
"Torbecchia" Credenza by Giovanni Michelucci available at my shop

Custom Console Table by Giovanni Michelucci available at Donzella Ltd.

Pair of Michelucci Chairs available at my shop

Stunning Huge Dining Table by Giovanni Michelucci available from Lost City Arts

Architectural Arm Chair by Giovanni Michelucci designed in 1919! available at Donzella Ltd.   

Friday, October 8, 2010

Lewis visits the BIG APPLE!

Last week Lewis headed up to the Big Apple during the bad storm we experienced on Thursday. He visited a friend, and several shops that appear on the website 1stDibs. He took photos of some of the things that he liked in these shops, vicariously shopping.

The first shop he stopped was Donzella. The two pictures above are from this shop. The bedside table are by Paolo Buffa. The sconces are Barovier, andthe mirror is Fontana Art.

Here is a chest by Roberto Rida with mirrors and blown and cut glass appliques. This is a gorgeous piece of art.
Another remarkable piece is this console by Osvaldo Borsani an Italian Deco Designer of note.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Transitional Modern

One of my favorite things is what I like to call "Transitional Modern" which is classical styled pieces that don't fit the modern category and don't fit the classical category. They are stuck in the middle. The odd ducks in the pond who just don't fit into either category. In interior design work these pieces can bridge the gap in a room. The pieces can range from simple to over the top hollywood regency.  The chairs above with lucite legs were made by Grosfeld House and sold at Christie's Auction for around $55,000.  Grosfeld House was one of the finest makers of furniture in the early half of the 20th Century.  They produced pieces that were both classical and modern.  They even produced pieces for Vladimir Kagan.  Another example of good transitional design is the work of Italian Architect Paolo Buff, his work is very similar to Gio Ponti whom he studied under but has an elegance to it making it stand out anywhere it's placed.  He is one of my favorite designers as nearly everything I've seen that he has designed I instantly love.  The simplicity and elegance of his designs are awe inspiring.   The photograph below is a sideboard available in our shop by Paolo Buffa for Marelli & Colico.
There are many more designers from this period that bridge the modernist and traditional gap.  A noteworthy example would be the designer Tommi Parzinger.  Tommi Parzinger's moved to New York City in the early 1930's and soon came into his own in the design world.  In the late 1930's he was designing his own pieces for the furniture company Charak of Boston.  Charak was a high end furniture company and their range was limited to more traditional American Colonial and Regency style furniture.  The line Parzinger designed for was Charak Modern.  After WWII Parzinger opened up his own shop called Parzinger Inc which later became Parzinger Originals.  Here's a stunning example of some of his work for Charak Modern, available through the shop Converso in Chicago.


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