Saturday, March 26, 2011

American Pickers?

I guess you could call us American Pickers.  We do go all over seeking out hidden treasures; however, it is rare that we would pick through someone's garage filled with old rusty stuff.  We look for the treasures that other Antique dealers have already found, but haven't a clue as to what they really have.  When I was a child my father would buy art this way.  He made a living by studying and knowing more than the other guy.  You pay the price that the person wants and sometimes you luck out.

The hold idea is that you must constantly study.  Studying the market as to what people are buying and studying antiques, art, and design. I have to say that I have a habit.  A buying habit, that is.  We work hard buying and selling so that in return we can buy some more.  We have local people that kid about following us on our buying trips.  We never really know where the good buys will turn up.  We sometimes just follow a whim.  Intuition is sometimes the best way to go.  There are times that we feel that a good spirit (perhaps my Father) is whispering in our ears.  If we follow that hunch we usually find a treasure or two.  My advise to those of you who aspire to be American Pickers is to know what you want and to have studied up and then just go out there and look around with an open mind.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Osvaldo Borsani, noted Italian Furniture Designer of the mid 20th century.  We have been waiting with great expectation for Osvaldo Borsani's pieces that we purchased.  They have arrived in the Port of New York and are waiting for Lewis to pick them up.  There is a set of end tables with a shell motif holding up the table top. They rate a place in our front window before it gets too warm.

The most unusual piece that we are picking up is a huge armoire almost 10 feet across and 5.5 feet tall. It is designed with concave panels and in between are borders carved with leaves and vines. It would be a striking piece used in any room.  We will be posting this on 1stdibs and will add a Photos and link at that time.  We are so excited that we are finally finding Osvaldo.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Italian Designer Furniture

Lewis keeps getting better and better pieces of furniture.  He has a fondness for the really good Italian Designers of the Deco Period.  Paolo Buffa, Gio Ponti, and Oswaldo Borsani.  The Italians are taking over the shop.  What an elegant take over.  I am completely won over.  The designs are clean but imaginative.  The use of woods inventive.

We have a console by Gio Ponti that has an early laminate top in aqua that was made for the Hotel Parco dei Principi.  The console shown above is not as long as the one we acquired. It went through Wright Auction
Italian Deco Bar 1930's

We now have three Italian Deco Bars.  One by Paolo Buffa with framed Italian engravings that look to be from the 17th century, and an interior mirrored with stars. We already had an Italian Deco Bar from the 1940's that was a show stopper in design.  The third bar is plainer in design similar to some of  Jean Royere's designs.  All in all they are a pretty handsome trio.
Gio Ponti Console for Hotel Parco dei Principi

We are looking forward to the pieces that he is picking up by Osvaldo Borsani.  I'll blog more about them at a later date.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Road Trip

Yesterday we took off early.  Earlier than we thought.  With the time change, and our own time clocks not yet completely tuned in.  Well we made it out the door about 6:45 am and headed up the road. somewhere on route 17 between Tappahannock and Fredericksburg Va. we saw soaring high a majestic Bald Eagle.  Within minutes we saw the second Eagle, also in flight.  We were commenting on how you never see two Eagles flying separately when in the road, just to the side of our vehicle we almost hit a third Bald Eagle.  It was within 10 feet of our van, after some road kill in the middle of the Highway.  The Wildlife Center of Virginia does a great job of rescuing and rehabilitating injured birds of all sorts.  My friend Sally is working with her second eagle rescue in the last couple of weeks.  Follow the link above to see more.

The Bald Eagle almost didn't make it as our national bird., because it occasionally would eat carrion.  Benjamin Franklin wanted the wild turkey. Thankfully the Bald Eagle won out; however the wild Turkey is a grand bird too.

Bald Eagle on the shore Belle Isle State Park

We are blessed here in the Northern Neck of Virginia to be surrounded with areas the allow bountiful wildlife.  Here in Lancaster County we have
Belle Isle State Park

Monday, March 14, 2011

The New Gals in Town SHOW OFF

We'd like to welcome to Kilmarnock the new shop in town Show Off.  We have been looking across the street at the transformation of a new shop.

samples of some tempting Items!!!

What an addition to our block on Main Street, Kilmarnock  VA.  Allison Drake is one of the founders.  We are well aware of her excellent taste and style.  We can hardly wait for them to open up for business.  It is a shop for ladies in the know.  Click this link to like them on Facebook

Friday, March 4, 2011

"My Architect " discovered again

Several years ago I watched with Lewis the movie by Nathanial Kahn about his father Louis Kahn.  We watched again last night.  I remember being impressed  with the documentary and the scope of design of his architecture.  I am continually impressed with the people either born in the 19th century or in his case the very early years of the 20th century, who were able to not only bridge the great advancement of thought into modernism but totally embrace it.  These men of that period forged ahead attempting to design a whole new world.

National Assembly Building Banglidesh by Kahn

The city of Philadelphia in the 1960's was launching a decade of immense redevelopment of the city.  Louis Kahn who had spent most of his life in Philly decided to participate.  He drew up plans for the city center and did much work without any commission.  In the end Philadelphia did not go with his plans.  His visions would have done a great deal for the city.  Many of the ideas that he had come up with for their city center he used in the work that culminated his career in Banglidesh.  What a pity that Philadelphia passed his ideas by.
Ceiling Banglidesh

His work may be seen in the building he designed for the Salk research center in La Jola CA, and in library designed for the Exeter Academy.
Exeter Academy Library
 What an inspiring building in which to build ones mind.  Kahn's use of circles and geometry as well as soaring heights make his buildings awe inspiring.  He loved light and was able to harness light in the most unique ways into his buildings.  What a masterful designer!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Vico Magstretti

Vico Magstretti 1920-2006

We just got in a huge 64 1/2 inch square dinning table with a composite top by Vico Magstretti.  A Renaissance Designer out of Italy.

Photo from "Domus" of the same Magstretti table that we acquired

There was the Italian Renaissance in the 15th century of the arts, but truly when you consider the achievements of the Architects and Designers of the 20th century there seems to have been another Renaissance going on through out the world.  Architects like Gio Pointi, Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier, Giovanni Michelucci,  Mies van der Rohe, and Walter Gropius all were multi-talented men that excelled in their work in many mediums.

Carimate Chair by Vico Magstretti
Modernism was taking off, and people were enthused with the idea of change. Ideas took flight and one great concept led to another multipling.  A great change was taking place, and these men were in the midst of a new wave of change, and they were aware of what was occurring.  They wanted to design cities and completely new life styles.

Frank Lloyd Wright Dinning Table by Henridon
Frank Lloyd Wright wanted to design not only his home and industrial buildings but every thing in these buildings.  We have a Dinning table that he designed.  Vico Magistretti, an Architect, who designed our table and other pieces of furniture to go into his buildings.  He even designed glass pieces working with Vistosi.  His glass globe sconces are simple and beautiful.  He believed in conceptual design working on pieces that would lend themselves to his interiors, with a clean and elegant designs nothing fussy.


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