Thursday, January 19, 2012

Shopping Scott's in Atlanta

I believe your children, friends, homes and possessions somehow magically find you in your life. This sounds like heresy to the shopping population, as we do a great deal of scouring in dusty corners. I always believe, when I open an old folio of photographs, that I will see somebody that I once knew, and I have. Underneath it all, shoppers are snoops. In all my Nancy Drew and Harriet the Spy fantasies, when I fall into a search coma, I am solving a mystery, connecting dots and looking for clues. If you have been with me for awhile, you will know my Father's adage: "Train your eye dear." 

I saw this pretty little French table, when I walked in the door. For $200.00+. It is cheaper than a dress and is a great character accent with nice, old cast fittings. It will work somewhere, and the price is right. 

This is a very lovely 18th century French chest, that is not a steal in the $3,000.00 range, but a fair price. While we are training our eye, this dealer had some really unusual French and English chairs. 

We are looking at charming, old, stripped chairs that have lost their collectible value, since they are not in original condition. They are artfully designed, hand carved, and remain outside of the usual style genres. With sensitive restoration,  you have unique, affordable, antique chairs for the same price as premium modern chairs, albeit a tad smaller.  

This set of mid-century wrought iron chairs should clean up beautifully. I love patina like the rest of us, but they will fall apart if the rust is not addressed. They are so festive, they brought a smile to my face.

This is a very large cartoon: "A cartoon is a form of two-dimensional illustrated visual art. While the specific definition has changed over time...... Cartoons were typically used in the production of frescoes, to accurately link the component parts of the composition when painted on damp plaster over a series of days (giornate). Such cartoons often have pinpricks along the outlines of the design; a bag of soot was then patted or "pounced" over the cartoon, held against the wall to leave black dots on the plaster ("pouncing"). Cartoons by painters, such as the Raphael and examples by Leonardo da Vinci, are highly prized in their own right."(Merriam Webster's Dictionary). I was very drawn to this piece, but did not have enough background on the subject to pull the trigger, even though the price was moderately alluring for the size and look. It is worthwhile to take photographs and notes when you shop. Next time, I'll look for pinpricks and soot. 

Antique fairs are without a doubt the place to purchase linen. Vintage, home-made linens are inexpensive and have much more character and charm, to me, than new linen. 

I already have enough vintage linens, so they are not calling my name, but: Note to self--get them out of the closet and into the house!!

Forgive the dreadful picture. This is the iconic McGuire dining table from the '70's. It is a steal at $2,200.00 dollars. The original owners paid well more than that for this table.  I don't have a client for it, but I did--sigh. 

I had never seen intaglios in book form before, but I was told, this is a classic 19th century Grand Tour souvenir. There are two wooden pages of plaster casts depicting scenes from antiquity, with detailed notations. They were going for about $500.00 per book. They are cool, but not my thing--yet. 

 An unquestionably, stunning pair of sterling and horn vases flank a ceramic Stilton cheese holder. They are Victorian, beautiful, and $1,700.00. I want them--admire them, but I am not buying them. Horns are everywhere, in different forms, these days--thank you Miles Redd. 

You would think there were no church's left in Europe with the Ecclesiastical candles and Saints everywhere. For $300.00 a pop I thought these French altar sticks were gorgeous with plenty of bang for the buck, so they are mine! 

I think they are the perfect addition to daughter number 1, blowing bubbles when she was two. She's a cute one. I bought them from Shelton Davis out of St. Louis. 

He also had this fabulous Meerschaum pipe. The first recorded use of this material is in 1723, and these pipes are valued to this day for providing a cool, dry, flavorful smoke. I live in Winston Salem, so I could not resist sharing. 

Antique Circus Train in well loved condition

I covet this charming pair of Bohemian amethyst glass vases, attributed to Mary Gregory. Mary Gregory is something of a mystery, and has become a catch-all term for the technique of painting children with layers of enamel on colored glass. The older, 19th century pieces are lighter in weight than the modern machine molded examples. They make terrific lamps. While we are on the subject of children...

Am I a sap? This sentimental little fellow and his dog were $200.00. I love the motion and of course his pudgy cheeks. We admired it, but kept moving. 

I don't need to tell anybody what this is. It sold for $14,000.00, owing to its excellent condition. I've seen them at a price range of $7,000-$36,000. If you've got one, take it out of the attic and flaunt it. Or, sell it.

I was very taken with this tea set, offered for $525.00. This is Arthur Wood Silver Shield: black transfer resembling tree bark with silver luster rim, incised rings, raised shield and accents on the spout and handle. The spout, handle and finial are molded and hand painted to resemble stag horns. The real excitement begins here:

This dealer also had a set of 4 stunning original Gouaches by Prince Fritz von WINDISCH-GRAETZ (German, 20th Century). My Mother has a beautiful pair of them in her living room, that she inherited from her Father. 

I grew up admiring English sporting art and military equestrian prints and paintings. My Grandfather had a brilliant eye for art and brain for negotiating. The title is: "Alexander The Great Drum Horse of the Life Guards," and is signed and dated 1966.  Drum horses are Clydesdale mixes, as they must be able to carry considerable regalia. It measures approximately 2.5' by 1.75'  The frames are wood carved with reverse painted glass matting. The frames are typical for this artist and certainly came out of his studio. 

                 Here is a detail of my second Gouache. I do love the uniforms and beautiful harnesses.

So, for $200.00 each, I have interesting original, listed artist paintings that have meant something to my family. Imagine my surprise when I came across this!

It is close to impossible to get a picture depicting the engraving. This is the trophy for The Santa Anita Handicap. Darn, if I'd seen it first thing in the morning, I would not have made any purchases. But, I had to have it, since my Grandfather created this race. It is also called the "Big Cap" or the "Hundred Grander." 73 Handicap trophies have been awarded, so I called Mary Saenz, who has been with Santa Anita for over 40 years, to discuss my coup. The dealer was told that the cup was purchased from a  Getty estate. The only Getty to win the Handicap has been Jacqueline Getty Phillips, with Bates Motel in 1983.

                                                                    Bates Motel
Mary Saenz, has a nimble memory. It is a Queen Anne cup, and based on the engraver, materials, and the fact that it does not have a lid, she agreed that the trophy could have been circa 1983 for Bates Motel. The stories lined up. I am such a super Nancy Drew sleuth. What is more strange, is that I was actually at that race. I am sure I didn't win a dime. So, things do have a perfect way of finding their way into your home. Thank You for the Christmas money Mom!! I had a ball agonizing and spending.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Christmas, Boxing Day and New Years Celebrations at Home

Now that we've packed up the tree, decorations and our Christmas merriment, I want to share some of our holiday traditions. We take our gifts very seriously and open them very s-l-o-w-l-y, in the dining room, over the sacred strata breakfast,
Thoughtfully chosen books were the theme for this year's exchange.  

For a special friend of our family, I choose this spectacularly written book. Everybody needs a strong dose of wit, so I recommend Cecil Beaton without reserve. 

"All I want is the best of everything and there's very little of that left."
Cecil Beaton
While I found Bemelman's prints to be a tad steep, for my neighbor and dear friend, I was able to procure  a title that illustrates my great affection. The Episodes from the life of Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), combines one of my favorite illustrators with a favorite designer.  

"I am going to make everything around me beautiful. That will be my life."
Elsie de Wolfe

I was lucky enough to receive this special volume from my second daughter.

Dorothy Rodgers makes me feel like I've done absolutely nothing with my life. She was one of the early domestic divas, as a writer, inventor (the Jonny Mop, dress paterns and children's educational books), and decorator. She sat on numerous charitable boards, was a famous homemaker, entertainer and had a radio show. The wild success of her composer husband, Richard Rodgers, never dampened her work ethic or drive.  Speaking of which... I bought myself this spectacular chronicle, at the opposite end of the spectrum. 

I must say, this crowd displayed a great amount of energy and enthusiasm for dressing, entertaining and intrigues. I am most impressed by the collage, society journals of The Baron de Cabrol. 

Our humble decorations, pale in comparison to Cafe Society, and I adhere to my oldest and dearest friend's Mother's floral adage: "arrangements should never be tortured." She is, after all a Garden Club of America blue ribbon winner. 

This year the Santa's gifts did not fit the stocking, so to speak. He, left them a tad sloppily on the floor. What can you do? He is almost as bad as our absent minded tooth-fairy, but I digress.

Here is our swirly tree. The girls have been complaining about the lack of garland over the past few years, so I reinstated it. Note, no theme. The spaghetti goes on the wall. What is not broken-sticks to the tree.

Our latest, annual tradition is our Boxing Day Brunch. It is a casual respite from all the dress up. My specialty is a comforting spinach, mushroom, sausage and gruyere strata that is a combination of two recipes from America's test kitchen. While I have my favorite, and most elaborate decorations of the year, not to mention left overs, I like to have a small group for New Year's dinner. It consoles me after the girlies depart.

Well, after the nine bright days of the New Year, I send you my new 2012 discoveries.

Read… Pimp My Bricks Blog. I am enchanted by the writing.

See the Movie, Hugo!! 
It is one of the best movies I have ever seen.

Remember, to visit our online store
Dovecote Decor,
when you shop for furniture, lighting, accessories and antiques.
If you don't see your desired piece in the store,
call us at 336-705-1316.
We will help you find:
 All the Best to Feather your Nest