Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Wind Rose: 17th and 18th century European antiques at High Point

High Point has a bad rap. I completely understand. To High Point's credit, they try to organize vendors in locations by category, yet proximity is impossible to maintain with 10 million square feet of space. A city that constitutes the largest furniture market in the world is also the largest money making event in the U.S.  It is a city where there is too much to be seen, and focus requires ritalin and comfortable shoes.  The budding Ralph Laurens and Martha Stewarts of their fields, are scattered, amongst barcalounger showrooms. I want to tempt you to visit,  focusing on an outstanding resource, representative of many artisans you will find only at the High Point market. 

The Wind Rose has been my favorite antique resource for 25 years. Antiques are not associated with High Point and the Wind Rose, a trade only business,  does the best job of marrying old world craftsmanship with excellent price points. I have known Ned White and Cary Wright for 25 years, and their knowledge of provenance, and European vendors, has trained my eye and translated beauty.

The year round showroom in Greensboro has been a go-to resource for thirty years for antique dealers.   Their showroom in market square is worthy of your first stop. The showroom sells out quickly, and is constantly replenished. You can also go to the warehouse on 701 Hill St. in Greensboro. Their showroom in High Point is Space 246-250 Market Square, Telephone: 336.327.5306. From the transportation center in front of the massive IHFC (with the entrance behind you) walk left down commerce. You will see the gigantic brick market suites. You will take the first escalator to the second floor and pass through the suites into market square. To the right rear, you will find information services at podiums for all entrances. Ask directions, you are close.

It is fascinating to see the process in the restoration studios. Ned and Cary shop their vendors in Britain, France and Belgium, sending home containers of beautiful antiques and interesting accessories in need of sensitive restoration. This striking French provincial vaisselier dating from the late 17th century, is one of the  finest examples Ned and Cary have found. They date this antique through analysis of both the hinges and detail of the carving. Northern pieces are more ornate than southern provincial examples.  The wood is cherry and the marquetry and carving are exquisitely executed and balanced. 

Chris, a master of restoration surveys his work and of course the Wind Rose had to have it with their motif featured between the two top drawers. This is the buffet component of the vaisselier ( dishrack).

Mike Northuis works on the dish rack. The overhanging bonnet is to keep dust from the dishes. It is currently serving to hold the remains of Mike's lunch! The shelves are narrow, since they function to tilt the dishes forward to additionally protect them. Beyond his mastery of finish and restoration, Mike creates patterns and new finishes, for completely redesigned vintage pieces and bespoke furniture.

The Wind Rose is in great demand for custom work. The bold graphic is chippendale in origin with an art deco mood. 

This chest was designed for Cary's twin grand nephews' nursery in Manhattan. When they outgrow the changing table, the tray can be removed and repurposed as a beautiful coffee table, or a bar. Note the Trompe-l'oeil detailing in the design. 

Kevin created this finish plan for a piece Ned and Cary found in Brussels, although it is Scandinavian in origin. It was red in its most recent incarnation, with many layers beneath accumulating since 1870. While the finish looks like faux graining, the look was achieved by streaking the gray wash over the paint layers. Sanding back over the new paint adds complexity to the piece as the different color strata emerge subtly using an uneven depth of the sanding. After this stage, we watched as Mike applied a flat, oil based varnish to add more depth. If you get to the showroom early, you can see the final product. 

The Wind Rose has created hundreds of bespoke card tables suited to different locations and styles. While painted furniture is very popular right now, nobody executes it with their expertise and price point. Their accessories range from transfer ware platters, majolica plates, to gigantic copper cooking pots from the grand kitchens of large British and French estates. My clients and I have accumulated these unique and tenderly restored antiques at every single market I have ever attended, one or two lovely pieces at a time. 

Tole containers come in all styles, colors and themes. They have invented hundreds of them, over the years, but these repurposed flower buckets, hat boxes, and even grape hods are on my wish list, big time. 

Walking from room to room at The Wind Rose warehouse is like unpacking the trunks of 20 grand tours. We heartily recommend this as a first stop.

The High Point showroom transports us to a gentler time and place. These antiques and custom furniture are truly sturdy, everyday pieces. Our  next post will be a "How To" navigate High Point, mapping a path to our other, unique artisanal, hand touched goods, unique to this city. Thank You Brooke for inviting your readers to learn about the many diamonds in the rough to be discovered here.

Tess and Minnie are ready for market, I hope you are! 


  1. I am. I think it would be a lovely way to spend a day. You won my necklace giveaway so be sure to stop by and send me your info -

  2. We are definitely excited for Market! Thanks for the inside look at Wind Rose.

  3. I like the photos, most of all the last is really cute.

  4. I do not know Wind I'm going to check them out...thanks for the introduction! Enjoy the market!

  5. That nursery piece is just great! I want it for my "crib"! So right now, meeting you at High Point is going on my "someday" list of hopeful things to come. The King Charles ending just got me as well. Just the other night I was pleading with my husband for one! XO, Kely

  6. Wow. I could get lost there. The last shot is sweet, part of me wants to shout "mush!"
    Enjoy your weekend finds.

  7. Is the warehouse in Greensboro to the trade only? I'm so close would love to be able to go there...looks fabulous!!

  8. Love the antiques....but my heart went pitter patter when I saw your pups. I so, so want a King Charles Cavalier. I see Kelly's comments above - she and I have chatted about our love of these precious pups!!!


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