Saturday, June 25, 2011

Work work work....the more we get the harder we work!!!

We have just gotten in some fabulous pieces.  Lewis had to enlist the help of his brother Chris in hauling in his goodies.  They traveled far and wide in their search for quality pieces.  Chris lucked out too! It is in deed fortunate that the two brothers enjoy antiquing together.  Chris goes for the historic American pieces and believes he found a piece from Williamsburg.  He will take it to be checked out by the powers to be in Williamsburg.  Chris grew up taking his bike into Colonial Williamsburg and loved American History.  We moved from Williamsburg to Va. Beach when Lewis was a pre-teen.

Lewis loves the great designers of the Deco and early modern periods for their classic designs that look modern even today.  These early pieces were made with the same attention to design as the pieces made 100 years earlier.

Lewis has been working feverishly even since.  He is cleaning,  polishing, and wiring.  Yesterday and the last few days the big project was cleaning and french polishing a huge parchment covered console, by Dassi, that sits on a green marble base.  Today he steamed clean the upholstered pieces that he acquired.  Cleaning and polishing two chandeliers. Our man Friday, Ray, worked equally hard .

If you can make it to our store come by and check it out or check out our shop's website . We will be listing some of our new finds this coming week and the next couple of weeks.  We are always getting in lots of interesting pieces.   There are always things coming and going in the shop.  What Fun!!!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Trends Toward Surrealism in Contemporary Design

Furniture that looks like something else.  Wooden or metal furniture that resemble ropes and tassels.  The french particularly have a love for the rope tassel motif and have for ages.  John Dickinson did tables that appear to be covered with cloth and tied with robe all out of plaster, or his 3 legged stools with feet that might walk away at any moment.  Dickinson also did rocks piled into low tables also made of plaster.
a piece in the style of Dickinson featured in an article by Elle Decor  Magazine sold from our shop

Arthur Court designed his sconces cast in Aluminum to resemble tortoise shells they are mounted up right with lighting from behind. Serge Roche a 1930's &1940's French surrealist designer, created many pieces using the palm leaf motif.  Grouping these together with other trompe l'oeil items makes for a very unusual interior. Adding interest to interiors is a fun challenge.  Making use of the unusual and the unique takes an interior to something way beyond the usual.

A Plaster Chandelier

In our shop we try to set an example of using unusual items together.  Trying to get people to step out of the ordinary and to take a flight of fancy. The photo at the top is a grouping from our shop using some of these items.   Even small items like this old key bowl adds whimsy to a room.

Virginia Metalcrafters key bowl

Friday, June 17, 2011

Evolving and Changing Taste

We are situated in a rural area in Virginia, close to the Chesapeake Bay.  Because we are close enough for individuals from D.C. to come for the weekends, we are becoming more cosmopolitan in our taste.  So much for the need to be like the Colonial Capital of Williamsburg Va.., our customers are more and more tending to make the leap into the 20th century design if not totally into the 21st century.  Of course, this still is Virginia.

Maybe it is just that they are finally accepting our view point.  When we made the change from 18th century antiques to the classic look of fine deco designed furniture, there were those who did not understand.  We had all sorts of comments.  Now we are still getting comments, but more and more the people in our area are understanding and appreciating the fine pieces that were designed in the 20th century.

Furniture of the 20th century is coming into it's own.  The Italian and American designers of the early 20th century excelled in their concepts.  Great leaps were taken in design. The forerunners of design were primarily Architects designing furniture that would fit into their new concept of building.  They were forced to create their own styles.  There was nothing to base their designs on other than these new concepts in architecture.  Utilizing clean lines, new materials and finding unique ways to use traditional materials.  What an exciting time in which to design.  Gone were the old rules, the imagination could run wild.  Quality was still very important.  The pieces designed and manufactured were held to high standards and finished to perfection.  That is why they have held up so well and increased in value.  They were produced but not many on a massive scale.  There is a huge demand from the younger generation, those in their 30's and 40's.  So many pieces were mistreated, painted or just destroyed.  Now the fun job is searching out and finding these illusive pieces.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

What a Good Auction Result Can Do

 DONALD DESKEY Silver-plated metal desk lamp, 1927. 13 1/4" x 4 1/2" x 5"
Sometimes auctions bring unbelievable results.  A Donald Deskey Desk lamp sold at Rago Auction.  It's estimate was $2,000 to $4,000 dollars and it sold for $138,000.  Every Antique dealer dreams of. finding and selling at auction something like this. Recently a pair of wing chairs by Paolo Buffa  went to auction at Wright.  The estimate was for $5,000–7,000, they sold for $16,250 and another pair with the same estimate sold for around $11,000. We had a similar pair, which we recently sold from our shop.

pair of lounge chairs from the Hotel Bristol, Merano, Italy
At the same auction last week a set of six armchairs from Hotel Bristol, Merano had an estimate of $7,000–9,000  and bought  $18,750.  This did wonders for all Paolo Buffa prices.  Auctions results often help sent the standard from which shops use to price their items.  Take the art world and the remarkable rise of the Impressionist prices.  In the mid 60's Renoirs and Monets were sold for prices in the tens of thousands as opposed to the millions they bring at auction today.

similar Paolo Buffa Chairs sold at Lewis Trimble


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