Friday, May 22, 2015

A Maple Chest in Black and Gold

Sometimes things work out so nicely and neatly that one must pause a moment and wonder if it's all just the mad turmoil of causality, or if perhaps, every now and then, there's something more purposeful guiding our fates.... Which is almost certainly too heavy a consideration to lay entirely on this little vintage solid maple chest made by the Hale company c.1965.

       Wednesday morning I spotted the most magnificent antique chest of drawers, posted by antiques dealer firm Doe and Hope of England, on their twitter feed. I believe I choked on my coffee a little bit, it was just that damn lovely. Mere moments after pinning the image to my furniture inspiration pinterest board I recalled that I was to pick up, that very evening, a fabulous little vintage cupboard that would lend itself perfectly to recreating the look of the antique one. I've been wanting to try my hand at more decorative painting on furniture, and this seemed a most excellent coincidence.

         The solid maple chest was in flawless condition, giving me free reign to concentrate on surface and decoration. I mixed a deep deeeeeeeep charcoal, almost black, with the teensiest hint of midnight blue, and sanded, stained, and sealed the top. For contrast I painted the interior and drawers in fresh linen white. And then I took a step back and stared at the cupboard for a long time trying to work up the courage to drop my big furniture paint brush and grab the detail brush. After three false starts I finally figured out a design that pleased me and went from there. The drawer pulls are antique, re-colored in a bright gold.

Monday, May 18, 2015

A Drop Leaf Table in Blue

I bought this table at the Brimfield Flea Market last week, having spotted it on one of three laborious return trips to my truck, weighted with art and decorative accessories. The gal that was selling it had had it in her home, and then her shop, and then when her shopped closed, had packed it off to Brimfield. Why hasn't this gorgeous table found a home yet?!

       I can tell you, as a lady who has her hands all over furniture all day every day, that this is a rare and fine piece. I'd place the date at early 20th century though with those thick top boards and nicely turned legs it could be fifty years earlier. It is beautifully built to the point that every time I walked by it today I ran my hand along the wood and sighed. I painted the base in one of my favorite rich blues, because a table so finely made should cut a bold line, and sanded, stained, and sealed the top to reveal the absolutely spectacular top.

A Drink Cabinet in Bottle Green

I purchased this adorable little c. 1960 mahogany drink cabinet at the flea market on Sunday morning. It has handsome lines with a carved shell at the bottom and finely tapered and fluted legs. The interior features a fold down shelf and fittings to accommodate both bottles and glasses. It's adorable and perhaps a bit cheeky. I painted it a bottle green inspired by the early paint surface of a Windsor chair I spotted at Brimfield, and did the interior is a riotous Spring green for a fun burst of color when the lid is opened.

What a Difference a Day Makes

I bought this fabulous antique Empire pine dresser yesterday morning at the flea market. It is just the most wonderful thing, with boldly turned feet and gently curving sides. I sanded the drawer fronts as the wood grain below the old dark varnish was too good to ignore, and painted the remainder of the case in a pale blue layered over a pale aqua, distressed and waxed. I kept all but the top two original knobs (as one was cracked) and replaced those two with antique knobs I already had on hand. When I started working on this piece I made a most extraordinary discovery, on the interior backboard twice, and on the back of one top drawer is a brand, "S.G.L.". It's also stamped on two of the drawer blades. This tells me that the piece was handmade, not in a factory, which is interesting as the construction and style place it right at the point when furniture production moved from small craftsman run shops to large factories. I would regret painting it were it not for the fact that the surface I removed was not the original red wash I saw remnants of, but a later early 20th century sticky ugly shellac. I do hope that absolves me of my refinishing sins for still I feel I tiny twinge of guilt.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Flea Market Finds and New Acquisitions: Brimfield Edition

And then here's what I bought while up shopping at the Brimfield Flea Market yesterday.

This was the first thing I bought. A stunning antique oil on canvas. I just love this.

Close up of the cows enjoying a cool drink.

I spotted this antique oil on canvas painting early in the day but didn't buy it right away. I walked around the entire rest of the day but it was basically all I could think about. Every other piece of art had to measure up to it. I went back twice to stare at it, and finally bought it on my way out, grinning like a fool the entire walk to the car. 

I actually didn't buy this up at Brimfield. I got it two weeks ago at the flea market in Mansfield, but I forgot it was in the cab of my truck until yesterday, so I thought I'd show it to you anyway. It's 20th century but I love the throw-back grain painting that harkens back to boxes made a century earlier. 

A pretty blue glass vase.

And this poor little bunny who's seen better days. 

Some vintage green bottles to serve as place holders until I can afford a set of real antique chestnut bottles.

And this sassy Persian cat named Pippin, that I bought on behalf of a client. 
And my favorite find, this incredible delicious stunning antique dropleaf solid maple harvest table.

Its about as sexy as a table can get!!