Thursday, June 15, 2017

A Pine Lifttop Chest in Biege

These pieces are commonly called "commodes". I hate that name for them. Haaaaaaaaate. It just, eurgh, it makes my skin crawl. We will not call this a commode. I'm not even sure these were actually used in some Victorian washstand-esque morning preparations, and not just as normal storage pieces.
 Anyway, I re-did this sweet antique pine piece for a wonderful new client. She's one of those people you could talk to for hours, likable and kind and fascinating.
        Between getting bronchitis and my dreadful experience on flea market flip (don't ask), it took me an indecent amount of time to finish this sweet little piece. It's a object that came down in the client's husband's family, and I wanted to take meticulous care as I worked on it. And then today, just as I was moving it out onto the driveway in prep for pickup, the sun caught the drawer side in just the right way and BAM, a note from the past : a pencil inscription that runs along the top right lip of the drawer. I couldn't read most of it, but the date is clear as a bell, "1893". The client wasn't aware of the date, we'd actually speculated on its age when she dropped it off, so it was especially exciting to share my find with her today!
       Finding a date or any inscription from the original owner is a wonderful discovery, and sometime soon I'll write up a post with my all time favorite inscriptions I've found over the years. They're so important to me not only because it's a direct tie to a fellow furniture enthusiast from ages ago, it's also an invaluable piece of information, a concrete marker in the tumbling and complicated flow of American furniture design through the years. Another final and pleasant addendum to the date discovery; within the case, with the single drawer removed, I could see signs that the piece had originally been painted, a soft beige, almost identical to the color my client selected for the piece, unaware she was honoring its original design in the process. :-)

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Kate for the miraculous makeover of this family lift top chest! From drab, to this lovely, charming piece my hallway has an entirely different look and feel because of your talents! I am looking around to other pieces in my home, seeing them with new possibilities with your insightful talents. It also has been such a pleasure talking with you. You are such a wealth of knowledge, not only about furniture, but all sorts of topics. thanks for posting this piece. Looking forward to doing another project with you!