Tuesday, July 18, 2017

A Federal Sideboard in Navy

I'm booked up to my eyeballs in custom work (yay!), which leaves me an infinitesimal time allotment for what I casually call "spec" pieces (stuff I refinish to my own taste or vision, and then sell). Obviously having loads of custom work is the most fiscally savvy business model. I can almost sleep at night, knowing there'll be a regular money flow for weeks out... but it's not as much fun. Though I certainly enjoy working with clients, and helping them to recreate their (or my) furniture to suit, I do get a frequent itch to just follow my heart with a piece.
           Last week I felt the itch in a substantial way. Backlogged to death with the custom orders, and on the hunt for a dining table for a client, I made the long haul down to the Waterford ReStore. Not only did I find the perfect table for my client, but I spotted this beauty, lurking in a far back corner. It was love at first sight. I have massive weakness for Federal sideboards, and this one, in a form I'd not seen before, was in relatively reasonable condition. I had to have it. Impossibly, the sideboard and the massive dining table fit in the back of my little yellow pickup, and the weather held until I got home and unloaded.
             I intended to leave the sideboard be, a carrot on a stick, to help propel me through the last of the custom work logjam, buuuuut self control has never been my forte. I held strong for all of three days, and then couldn't resist her allures further. So here it is, just as I wanted it, in a rich custom shade of navy blue, with a paler blue interior. I refinished the top, stained with minwax mahogany, and sealed. The gently patinated bail brass pulls are original.
            I think my next facebook live video will be on the various stylistic artifacts that characterize individual eras of furniture design. I'm telling you this piece is Federal, but it might be a good exercise to illustrate exactly why it falls so firmly in that period.

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