Antique Desire

Antique Desire

AUCTION FINDS OF THE WEEK- FEBRUARY 15TH: FAB! FURNITURE IN BOSTON

by Kelly Keating on 02/14/16

Welcome back to Auction Finds of the Week!  This week I am looking at four eclectic pieces of furniture being offered for sale on 27 February 2016 at Skinner's American Furniture and Decorative Arts auction in Boston. These 4 items span from the 18th century to the early 19th century.  They are all definitely so-called brown furniture, a pejorative term given to antique furniture that is considered old-fashioned, out of date and not relevant in today's world.  I am as readers of this blog know a devotee of brown furniture and I think it is relevant in today's world, not just as a museum display, but as living, breathing objects replete with history that can not only enhance one's surroundings, but also help create a dynamic interior design.  Adding an antique piece of furniture into a modern room can foster a lively debate between old and new, past and present and form and design.

The first find this week is lot 92, an 18th century maple slant-lid desk probably made in Rhode Island after 1750 with a pre-sale estimate of $800-1,200.  The desk has a valanced, compartmented three drawer interior above four thumbmolded drawers standing on bracket feet.  Now of course this piece is not the best example of an 18th century slant-lid desk, but it is honest.  It is maple, not mahogany. Its brasses have been replaced and it has an old refinish.  Yet, it has its charms and displays candidly the history of its existence.  I think that such a desk would be charming and practical in today's interior.  It would work well with laptops and wireless printers.  Then, when needed one can close the desk and place your laptop in the drawer below the lid.  That is what I do with my computer and the Renaissance Revival slant-lid desk in my bedroom.  Pair this desk with an Art Deco lamp or a mid-century modern double gooseneck lamp in a chrome finish.  I think that would foster an interesting dialogue.





The next discovery this week is lot 127, a birch, mahogany and bird's eye maple veneer elliptical Federal chest of drawers with a pre-sale estimate of $3,000-5,000.  The chest of drawers is attributed to Joseph Clark (1767-1851) of Portsmouth or Greenland, New Hampshire and is dated 1810-1814.  There are four cockbeaded drawers inlaid with crossbanding and contrasting stringing. Cockbeading was the normal practice for finishing and protecting the edges of drawers.  This chest looks very modern to me in its very graphic use of birch, mahogany and that wonderfully figured bird's eye maple.  I could easily see it in a modern interior with a lamp of 20th century design placed on top.



The third treasure this week is lot 328, a circa 18th century painted maple and pine tavern table with a pre-sale estimate of $800-1,200.  The tavern table has a rectangular top over one drawer standing on block turned legs with square stretchers.  The table is painted a light green and dark blue with wear that gives it a lovely patina and story.  Why not create the design and color of a room with this tavern table as the starting point? 



The final find this week is lot 187, a pair of early 19th century mahogany and mahogany veneer footstools with a pre-sale estimate of $400-600.  The stools were probably made in Massachusetts circa 1825 and feature double scrolled legs joined by a turned stretcher with an upholstered rectangular seat above.  I love the dynamism of the legs and one could recover the stools in a colorful, print fabric or go sleek with a textile that is neutral and textured.  I would like to see these stools positioned under a simple metal and glass console.



When designing your interior space, think about adding a piece or two of dreaded brown furniture.  This addition will bring a spirited quality to the room and create a dynamic conversational space.  If you would like help in finding an antique or vintage item from an accessory to a piece of furniture, please contact me at [email protected]  and I can work with you.

Visit my website which details the other services I offer and how I work with my clients.  I not only source antiques, but I can also help you sell your antique and vintage items.  And my main pursuit is as an appraiser of fine American, English and Continental silver.  If you need an appraisal, please contact me.

Until next time,
Kelly T Keating
Accredited member of the Appraisers Association of America

AUCTION FINDS OF THE WEEK-AUGUST 7TH: DISTINCTIVE ACCESSORIES IN BOSTON

by Kelly Keating on 08/07/15

At the end of the last Auction Finds of the Week post which reviewed lots from Skinner's European Furniture and Decorative Arts sale held on 18 July 2015, I mentioned that the next post would discuss the demise of the silver tea and coffee set as a common item in the American home.  I changed my mind, however, after previewing the upcoming August Americana sale at Skinner to be held on August 8th and 9th.  This sale has really wonderful and unusual items from furniture to decorative arts not only for the serious collector, but also for one seeking to add a degree of distinctiveness to their space.  Several lots caught my attention as truly whimsical and dynamic accessories that could strongly change a room's decor and atmosphere.  As I have mentioned before, mixing different items from different periods and styles can give a space a unique warmth and presentation.  Stay tuned next week for the demise of the silver tea and coffee set!

This week's first find, lot 8, is a pair of light green pressed glass tulip vases with octagonal bases that stand 10" high and were made by the the Boston & Sandwich Glass Company of Sandwich, Massachusetts circa 1845-1865.  Lot 8 has a pre-sale estimate of $1,000-1,500.  The Boston & Sandwich Glass Company was incorporated in 1826 and was in business until 1888.  The development of pressed glass was a significant contribution by America to glass making. Around 1825 a more economical and mechanized method of glass manufacture was developed involving the pressing of molten glass into a mold with a metal plunger.  By the mid-19th century glassmakers were turning out pressed glass vessels in many different shapes and sizes and in different patterns such as the tulip pattern in lot 8.  And what a striking green!  Why not design an entire room with these tulip vases as your starting point?  On a mantel or sideboard they would be wonderful receptacles for fresh flowers in white, purple or pink.  Such a pair of vases could become the focal point of your space giving it a distinction, a history and a past, that a new item cannot achieve.



The second discovery this week, lot 367, with a pre-sale estimate of $300-500, is a carved and painted horse pull toy from the late 19th/early 20th century.  The cream and black spotted horse is mounted on a black base with red edging and wheels.  This lovely equine retains his original paint surface and stands 22.25" high x 22.5" wide x 7.5" deep.  I would love to see this piece as the centerpiece for a sideboard or next to a fireplace.  It exudes a degree of whimsy and nostalgia when toys did not need batteries.  Like the tulip vases, it will bring a unique character to a room, a sense of a past and a permanence.  It has a patina of history that one cannot find in something new.



This week's third treasure is another children's toy also full of whimsy, nostalgia and history.  Lot 1136 is a late 19th century paint decorated child's pail with "Good Girl" and "Love" written in red paint on the yellow ground of the piece and further decorated with red stars and a red bird.  The pail measures only 4.25" high x 5.5" in diameter.  A sweet, quirky piece.  Why not find several for a mantel or a kitchen?  Like the other 2 lots this week, I love sense of history that this object expresses.  The pail has a pre-sale estimate of $400-600.





The next find, lot 1153, is a European papier-mache hat stand or milliner's head from the early to mid-19th century of female form hand decorated with black hair, blue eyes and a blue dress.  The pre-sale estimate for lot 1153 is $300-500. Besides the tulip vase, the hat stand is my favorite object this week.  It's quirky and decorative, but had a useful life as a functional object which appeals to me greatly.  The woman's face is serene, dreamy and beautiful and the black swag decoration on her blue dress is so simple yet superb.  She stands 15" tall and would make a great decorative accessory. 



Another great decorative group is lot 1197:  10 mid-19th century glazed carpet balls in blues, greens and reds.  The lot has a pre-sale estimate of $800-1,200. The largest ball measures 3" in diameter  Fill a simply shaped glass bowl with these articles of a bygone game for a dining room table.  Or fill a large wooden dough bowl with the carpet balls for a kitchen great room.  Or fill 2 large clear glass hurricanes with the carpet balls and place on a sideboard or mantel.



This week's final discovery, lot 1329, is an unusual and quite rare pair of paint decorated fire buckets from Charlestown, Massachusetts circa 1807 with a pre-sale estimate of $5,000-7,000.  The leather buckets are painted black with a red rimmed opening.  They are decorated on the front with eagles with outstretched wings clutching olive branches and arrows in their talons.  Above the eagles are banners reading "Jefferson Fire Society", "Issac Kendall" and the date "1807". The back is inscribed "Charlestown".  Amazing objects with great decoration, that also used to have a function in their own lifetime.  The buckets measure 19.25" tall.  They would make a great pair for a mantel or a sideboard or on either side of a fireplace.  Totally fab!



Bringing in one vintage or antique object into a space can change the whole character of room giving it a sense of history, giving it a past.  In today's digital world where the world is flat once again, life is often transitory and ahistorical. An object with its own past life can ground one's room as well as oneself in our amorphous age.

I hope you enjoyed this Auction Finds of the Week and found inspiration for the creation of your own space or even motivation for a new collection.  If I can help you find an antique or vintage piece of furniture or decorative art for your room, please contact me at [email protected] and visit my website www.theantiqueflaneur.com to see the services that I offer.  I have multiple sources across the country and even Europe to find you that unique piece.

I am now able to offer insurance and informational appraisals for decorative arts particularly for fine silver and English ceramics.  Please contact me at [email protected] if you need an insurance appraisal or an informational appraisal for purposes of selling your antique or vintage items.  I also accept consignments of antique and vintage items where I can help you sell your pieces for a commission.  If you need an estate or donation appraisal for tax purposes, I can bring in another appraiser who will work with me to complete that for you.  Details are on the Services page of my website.

In the next Auction Finds of the Week, I will get back to the demise of the silver tea and coffee set. 

Until next time,
Kelly T Keating


AUCTION FINDS OF THE WEEK- JULY 13TH: BITS & BOBS IN BOSTON

by Kelly Keating on 07/12/15

Welcome back to Auction Finds of the Week!  This week's lots all hail from Skinner in Boston from their European Furniture & Decorative Arts sale to be held on 18 July 2015.  There are four finds this week:  two bits of English wood, an Art Deco clock and an American Aesthetic plant stand or pedestal.  All of these pieces would be a wonderful addition to your own space giving it distinction and character and hopefully fostering a new/old mix that can be very dynamic and appealing.

This week's first discovery is a bit of probably English oak from the 17th or 18th century.  Lot 85 with a pre-sale estimate of $600-800 is a coffer or chest measuring 21.375" H x 43.375" W x 19.25" D.  It consists of a lunette-carved frieze above three panels with diamond shaped lozenges inset with a flowerhead.  The top has three recessed undecorated panels.  The oak coffer could make an interesting coffee table with an added glass top or perhaps placed at the end of a bed for blankets with or without cushion to turn it into a bench.



The second bit of English wood is made of pine not oak.  Lot 118 with an estimate of $800-1200 is an English settle originating in England or Wales and dating to the early 18th century.  A settle is a wooden bench with a high back and arms and typically incorporating a box under the seat.  Lot 118 has a high paneled back of nearly 5 feet with a curved seat and nicely shaped arms, but no box under the seat.  This piece which is approximately 50" wide with its warm patina would be striking as seating for one side of a dining room table or in a large kitchen for breakfast seating.



The next find for this week, lot 106, is an American Aesthetic ebonized pedestal or plant stand standing 38.25" tall with a pre-sale estimate of $200-300.  The apron of the pedestal has hand painted plaques that depict butterflies, birds and flora and there is a lower shelf.  A pedestal like lot 106 is a useful piece of decorative furniture to display an important vase whether Aesthetic or perhaps a striking piece of Chinese blue and white porcelain.  The vase can be left on its own or filled from time to time with flowers such as white peonies or blossom branches.  A piece such as this can create a dynamic focal point or be a central part of a vignette for a room that is stylish, comfortable and easy.



The final treasure this week, lot 38, is a most likely French Art Deco three piece clock garniture with a pre-sale estimate of $400-600.  The set features a central clock with a hexagonal pink marble casement with an Arabic numeral clock face.  To the right of the clock sits a typically Deco gilt-bronze female figure holding a parrot, the whole on a pink marble base with gilt-bronze accents. Accompanying the clock are two vessels with pyramidal rims and shallow vacant openings and consists of alternating pink and grey marble.  Something with such distinctive style can be hard to incorporate into an everyday room. The clock garniture shouts "ART DECO" and could look out of place unless one is designing a total Deco space.  But as I have written before, recreation of style or a pastiche should not be the goal, but rather a mixing of styles and periods, of high and low, to create a space that is visually and dynamically intriguing.  So, while lot 38 is fabulous on its own, it would be a tough addition to a designed room.



I hope you enjoyed this Auction Finds of the Week and found inspiration for the creation of your own space or even motivation for a new collection.  If I can help you find an antique or vintage piece of furniture or decorative art for your room, please contact me at [email protected] and visit my website www.theantiqueflaneur.com to see the services that I offer.  I have multiple sources across the country and even Europe to find you that unique piece.

I am now able to offer insurance and informational appraisals for decorative arts particularly for fine silver and English ceramics.  Please contact me at [email protected] if you need an insurance appraisal or an informational appraisal for purposes of selling your antique or vintage items.  I also accept consignments of antique and vintage items where I can help you sell your pieces.  If you need an estate or donation appraisal for tax purposes, I can bring in another appraiser who will work with me to complete that for you. 

In the next Auction Finds of the Week, I will be discussing the demise of the silver tea set. 

Until next time,
Kelly T Keating

AUCTION FINDS OF THE WEEK- JULY 6TH: WALLS ARE WHAT MAKE A ROOM II: PRINTS AT COWAN'S AUCTIONS

by Kelly Keating on 07/04/15

Welcome back to Auction Finds of the Week!  This week I will be looking at prints and works on paper to adorn your walls from the online only auction to be held by Cowan's Auctions in Cincinnati, Ohio on 10 July 2015.  As in my previous post Walls Are What Make A Room I will suggesting interesting and affordable items that can decorate the blank walls of your spaces.
  
This week's first find, lot 12, is an etching entitled September Sunset, Venice, 1925 by James McBey (British, 1883-1959), 8.75" x 17.75", with a pre-sale estimate of $200-400.  The depicted scene is appealingly schematic, yet one can still make out buildings, churches and gondolas in the foreground.  The sun represented by just using the print paper surrounded by the black lines of the etching creates a wonderful sense of light and warmth, truly conveying the setting of the sun. This etching would be wonderful as part of a wall grouping and could work well  in a more modern setting with its abstract nature.



This week's second discovery, lot 24, is an aquatint entitled A Span of Old Battersea Bridge, late 19th/early 20th century, by Sir Frank Short (British, 1857-1945), 7.25" x 11.5", with a pre-sale estimate of $100-150.  Like the McBey etching the Short aquatint has a degree of abstraction though more geometric in nature than the gestural quality of the view of Venice.  The aquatint presents the viewer with a small section of the bridge.  The detail becomes the whole. Through the opening between the bridge supports, there is a boat with figures on The Thames.  This work has great detail and a quiet mood, perfect for a bedroom.



Another etching, lot 42, entitled The West of Ireland, 20th century, 5.25" x 6" by Gerald Leslie Brockhurst (British, 1890-1978) with a pre-sale estimate of $200-400 is this week's next find.  In the work 2 teenage girls occupy the foreground with the countryside of Ireland behind them.  They stare directly and confidently at the viewer and look as if they have just been involved in some mischief.  There is something creepy and unsettling about this work that is appealing.



The next treasure this week is an etching, lot 61, entitled Piazza San Marco by Frank Duveneck (American, 1848-1919), early 20th century, 13.25" x 10.75" with a pre-sale estimate of $800-1200.  Duveneck captures the spirit of the piazza even including some children feeding some pigeons amidst the architectural backdrop of the church.  A nice historical piece that would work well in a wall grouping.



The final find this week is another etching, lot 67, entitled Eighth Street in the Rain by Edward Timothy Hurley (American, 1869-1950), 1937, 11.75" x 9.5", with a pre-sale estimate of $200-400.  Hurley really captures a wet day in New York as people hurry across the soaked street with their umbrellas against an dark, urban architectural backdrop of a rainy sky.  This etching is another work that would look great in a large wall grouping.



Walls are what make a room.  Give your walls a lot of texture and visual interest by finding original artwork at your price point that you find captivating, not just decorative and hang the pieces in thoughtful and planned out groupings that catch the eye.  Hang different sizes pieces with different frames in an asymmetrical Salon style.  Or unite different pieces in different media using the same sleek, unobtrusive frame and hang the grouping in a symmetrical and geometric fashion.  Either direction will yield a pleasing result for the eye.  Go for bold displays of color or chose works that are only black and white.  There are a myriad of choices with which to adorn your walls.  Walls are what make a room.  Just don't leave them blank!

I hope you have enjoyed this Auction Finds of Week.  I can help you find a particular work or works to embellish your wall, please contact me at [email protected] and visit my website to see the services I offer at www.theantiqueflaneur.com. Or if you are looking for any kind of antique or vintage piece from the 1750's to the 1950's and beyond, I can assist you.  I have multiple sources across the country and in Europe to find you that unique piece.

I am now able to offer insurance appraisals for the decorative arts especially silver and ceramics.  Please contact me if you need an appraisal of items to schedule them on your insurance.  If you need an estate or donation appraisal for tax purposes, I can bring in another appraiser who will work with me to complete that for you.  I am in New York City, but have worked with clients in New Jersey and Connecticut as well.  In addition, if you are interested in selling a piece(s), I can provide you with a Professional Opinion of Value on the object(s) to guide you in your selling (and I can sell it for you too) or perhaps you are just curious about the value of your antique or vintage item.

Until next time,
Kelly T Keating

AUCTION FINDS OF THE WEEK- FEBRUARY 9TH: ECLECTIC FINDS AT THE DOYLE @ HOME SALE

by Kelly Keating on 02/09/15

Good morning!  Welcome back to Auction Finds of the Week!  This week all the selections will come from the Doyle @ Home sale which will take place on 10 February 2015.  The Doyle @ Home sales are every month or so and offer an interesting mix of fine and decorative arts from period items, in the style of pieces and contemporary objects.  Often, this eclectic mix can be bought at good prices for items with a degree of quality and difference.  On offer this week are a couch, a pair of gilt mirrors, a large red cabinet, a pair of Chinese vases and some American Art Deco.

This week's first discovery is a large leather upholstered Chesterfield sofa in a wonderful teal green, lot 111, with a pre-sale estimate of $600-900.  The sofa measures 7 feet 4 inches and has nail head details.  It would be great to use this piece as the starting point of a living room and build the entire design around its style and color.  The traditional and iconic nature of the Chesterfield sofa lends itself to many style types and can fit into a room from modern to traditional.  And what a superb price!



The next find is a Chinese style red lacquer cabinet, lot 277, with a pre-sale estimate of $600-900. The cabinet is a deep, rich red color with a stylized pagoda as its crowning top.  It stands an impressive 8 feet 3 inches and good be the centerpiece of any chinoiserie inspired room.  Why not fill it with a contrasting color of pottery such as blue and white pieces or celadon green items.  It would be a striking contrast.  Make this the starting point of your design and again it is at a great price.


The third treasure for this week is a pair of Queen Anne style gilt framed mirrors, lot 118, with a pre-sale estimate of $300-500.  Don't let the name Queen Anne fool you.  These mirrors while in an older style actually have a quite sleek and modern look with their shaped tops and simple molded gilt frames.  Depending on the configuration of your room they would be a striking addition to a space reflecting light and the objects in the room.  And again what a great price!


The fourth find this week is a pair of Chinese celadon glazed porcelain vases, lot 169, with a pre-sale estimate of $800-1,200.  The pair stands a nice 24" tall and would be perfect on a large mantelpiece.  There is no information in the listing as to the age and origin of these vases, but that is typical for the Doyle @ Home sales, but they appear to have a degree of quality.  The pale celadon color is superb and the shape is traditional and pleasing.  The vases would make a great starting point for the design of an entire space.



The final discovery this week is an Art Deco gilt-metal mounted rosewood console along with an associated Art Deco mahogany mirror, lot 383, with a pre-sale estimate of only $600-800.  The console is a good size at about 39" in width.  The rosewood is a rich choice with its inky black streaks.  The console is embellished with gilt metal of 3 inlaid lines down the console column ending in a shaped metal panel of circular shapes which contrasts nicely to the overall rectilinear shape of the piece.  Quite handsome!  The mahogany mirror is a nice complement to the console with its geometric detailing and shaped framed which mimics the shape of the console.  This pair would look smashing in an entry foyer or in a small apartment dining room.

 



I hope you found something in this Auction Finds of the Week that will inspire the design of your own space.  The Doyle @ Home sales are a great place to find interesting objects to add to your room(s) that can give that space a distinctive and collected look.  Many other auction houses have these type of sales, so take a look at the auction houses in your local area.

If you are looking for a particular antique or vintage item in any style and from any period and in any budget and would like my help, please contact me at [email protected].  Also, if you need help selling your antique or vintage pieces from a small decorative object to a large piece of furniture, I can also help.  Finally, I can provide you with an insurance or informational appraisal of your objects as well.  Check out the Services page on my website to see how I work with clients.

Until next time,
Kelly T Keating
www.theantiqueflaneur.com 


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