Sunday, July 17, 2016

A Curly Maple Dressing Table

I had such a fun time at the Elephant's Trunk flea market this morning. I went down to the market at the crack of dawn with two dear friends who are great antiques collectors, and we all found treasures. I found three awesome early photographs (An ambrotype, a tintype, and a daguerreotype)
and a magnificent early 20th century tin storage container, and finally this sweet vintage maple desk. It's c.1925-1940 and at first blush I thought it was mahogany veneer, as so many of these early 20th century Federal Revival pieces are. But nope, it was my lucky day, it's maple, with the most beyond beautiful curly maple top on earth. The figuring is knock-you-socks-off groovy.
            For whatever reason I knew as soon as I saw it that I wanted to paint it in a deep emerald green, and I think the shade plays up the top, which is the real star of the show, perfectly.
           I replaced the backboard as it was totally shot, and had the chance to be a bit thrifty and cheeky in the process. I had another vintage piece that's beyond hope that I've been cannibalizing bit by bit. Today I stole its backboard, which just happens to say "maple" on the back. I cut it to size and even reused the old nails, you'd never know it wasn't the original backboard! I fixed the runner on one drawer and a guide on another, tightened the case in one corner, then painted, distressed, and waxed. The turned knobs are original. I hauled this sucker all the way across the massive field of Elephant's Trunk while they were filming 'Flea Market Flip'. I hope I made it into the background to show those guys what a real flea market flipper looks like (sweaty but victorious), and what they're capable of in just one day's worth of work!

It originally said "Hemp Seed" but then "Raw Umber" was scrawled across later. I love the decoration and the faux brass tacks on it. I'm going to put it on my art desk but I haven't decided what I should keep inside it yet. 

This c.1865 tintype caught my eye because of the amazing twig contraction folk art bench the gentleman is posing behind!

A c.1856 ambrotype identified on the reverse as Elizabeth Alcott. She's enchanting, smiling, and dressed to the nines!!

And a daguerreotype of a c.1830 folk art portrait. Early photographs of portraiture are very very rare, I've never seen one in the wild, and the only reason I could afford this is because the image is pretty shot at this point. Still neat though!

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