Friday, April 29, 2011

Adventures in Antiquing

The thrill of the hunt, seeking hidden treasures, discovering new and thrilling items makes this business more of an adventure than a job.  We do work and work hard, but the rewards are great.  The hard work comes sometimes after the find.  We haul, move large pieces of furniture, we scrub, we dust, we polish, and then because we have a regular shop we have to try to arrange things to look nice.  We have been in transition for the last two years.  We have grown by leaps and bounds recently and our shop has looked like it is in transit.  Lewis is always on the road in search of, or retrieving  his fabulous finds. We have found it necessary to weed out the old and make room for the new.  Being on 1stdibs has helped us refine our thinking.  We are in a rural part of Virginia, in between the Chesapeake Bay and the Rappahanock River, a little bit of God's Country. Our shop is situated on the Main Street of the small Town of Kilmarnock.  Originally we needed to have pickup items for the walk in customers.  Not everyone understood our transition from a more tranditional antique shop to vintage and famous designer furniture and decorative arts of the early and mid twentieth century.  Some people got down right mad indignate that we no longer carried old brown furniture and china knick knacks, not that we ever were average.

The shop recently has taken shape.  Our local customers have realized that they now have something special.  We draw from the entire state,  North Carolina, Northern Virginia and D.C., plus many visitors from across the States.  Now customers come in and bring their friends to see our collection.  We are lucky that we have Comer & Co as a neighbor both in town and on 1st Dibs.  Comer & Co compliments our shop their antiques are more traditional than ours.  The two nice shops are a draw.

We have had to make room for the larger pieces that we have been acquiring.  We have a red tag sale on going and we actually sent a lot of old inventory to an auction!  The auction took place last Saturday during shop hours.  It was on line as well as live.  We watched our old stuff sell and of course we saw items we just had to have. We waited on customers and watched the auction!  We counted the auction sales ( we sent a lot of things) and bid on a few as we made sales in the shop!  A way fun day!!!  One of the pieces that we won was a painting by an old friend and my painting instructor at Old Dominion University, Charles Sibley.  Charles used to show in my Dad's Gallery, Auslew Gallery in Norfolk Virginia.  I was thrilled to be able to obtain a large painting by him.  We bought one or two other items, a pair of green Murano Lamps, two Wilmotte end tables, and another nice painting (buying art is in the blood).

Monetary rewards take time, we believe in reinvesting as much as possible.  The real rewards happen when you look around and see all the improvements and the great items you have acquired in the shop.  Nice compliments from your customers and just people who happen into the shop.  It's the feeling of doing something well.  I look around now and see our ideas taking form.  It struck me this morning as I came in the shop that a change had actually come about.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

One, Two, Three Bars and More!!!!

Italy 1930's

Italian Art Deco bar in Rosewood and bleached Mahogany with black lacquered mustache pulls. Possibly by Guglielmo Ulrich. Fluted drawers integrated into the apron under the cabinet. This wonderful piece takes you to the glamor of old Hollywood.  Can't you just see Cary Grant or Marlene Dietrich having drinks at this bar?

Marlene Dietrich

Or maybe Jean Harlow in a slinky long white dress....Oh, Yes!!!
!940's Italian Bar

This Whimsical Walnut and Maple Bar on stand is in the style of Jean Royere. It's interior is fitted with a gallery for glasses, with clever conical balustrades holding brass railings. It has it's original key and fully functional locks.  This piece lends itself to a country villa on the coast of Italy.  Where the chic meet.
1940's Bar Cabinet by Paolo Buffa

This is a  splendid mid 1940s neoclassical yet modern bar cabinet by Paolo Buffa in a herringbone mahogany with satinwood inlay and refined brass mounts. When one opens the bar all the original mirror is decorated with stars and it takes your breath away. A similar piece is featured in the book about Buffa.  This piece belongs in a swank penthouse in Manhattan. Ginger Rogers and Fred Astair could easily dance around this piece and sip champagne.

Malachite Green Parchment & Gold Plated Bar Cart by Aldo Tura
This is a bar on the go. A Malachite Green dyed Parchment covered in lacquer with gold plated hardware  by Aldo Tura is perfect for entertaining.  007 was seen with a martini just before jumping into his Aston-Martin.

Friday, April 8, 2011

New Listings on 1stdibs

We found Osvaldo!!!  We just listed these beautiful side tables by Osvaldo Borsani.  They are not large, but Oh So Elegant.  Early modernist....These tables could make a room or a house.  He used the shell and plants in many of his designs.  We will list a 10' long armoire with vines and flowers carved in between panels some time this month.
 Here is a grand Bar/Cabinet by Buffa....He incorportated very old engravings of the Roman Soldiers fighting the Barbarians behind glass framed in real gold leaf.  The attention to detail is amazing. The exterior of the bar is only the beginning.  When the doors open the real treat begins.  The interior is lined with original mirrors etched with stars.  We have many wonderful pieces, but I must say that this is one of the most spectacular.  Bars from the30's and 40's reeked of old Hollywood elegance. Imagine Movie Stars and Jet Setters. It's just too grand for words.

Massive Pair of Venini Style Snowflake Chandeliers were listed this week on our 1stdibs sight.  The fact that we were able to find two of these is hard to believe.  We have one hanging in our front window and we worry about auto accidents on the street in front of the shop due to rubber necking.


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