Antique Desire

Antique Desire

AUCTION FINDS OF THE WEEK- JUNE 24TH: WHAT'S COOKIN' IN THE KITCHEN IN CINCINNATI, OHIO?

by Kelly Keating on 06/24/16

Welcome back to Auction Finds of the Week!  I have been quite busy lately with a variety of consignments of antique and vintage items.  If you have antique and vintage items that you would me to sell for you, please contact me at [email protected] and take a look at the Services page on my website to see how I work with consignments.

This week I found 8 antique and vintage items that I think would look wonderful in a kitchen/great room or just simply a kitchen.  These objects will add charm and interest to a place that is often the heart of the house both for families and guests especially if the kitchen is expanded into a great room as is often seen now in newer construction.  Vintage and antique pieces can give a sense of permanence and warmth to these large, new spaces.  All the finds this week are from Cowan's Auctions in Cincinnati, Ohio from their Spring Americana and Decorative Art Sale which is taking place on 24 and 25 June 2016.

This week's first find, lot 163, is a pair of Currier and Ives hand-colored lithographs of fruit entitled Summer Fruits and Autumn Fruits.  Each print measures 12.25" x 17.5" unframed and date to the second half of the 19th century.  Pictured here is the print entitled Autumn Fruits.  You will notice that the bunch of grapes on the right has not been colored.  While some might see this lack of color there a drawback, I think it imbues the lithograph (there are uncolored grapes in the Summer Fruits print too) with a certain charm and naivete of the hand done and the unfinished.  The pair of lithographs have a pre-sale estimate of $200-400.  With their bright colors and rendering of fruit I think they would look great in any kitchen.



This week's second discovery, lot 208, with a pre-sale estimate of $250-500, is a pair of four color jacquard coverlets (1 pictured here) made in Ohio in the mid-19th century and signed by Dennis Cosley who was born in 1816.  Each coverlet is in red, blue, green and white with rose medallions and lovely fruit and flower basket borders.  The design of both is rich and intricate, yet not overpowering.  One of the coverlets could be used as an intriguing wall hanging for a great room attached to a kitchen.  It really couldn't be hung in the kitchen itself where it would absorb all the smells, smoke and gunk from cooking.

This week's third treasure is lot 242, with a pre-sale estimate of $200-400.  It is a whimsical vintage advertising item from the early 20th century.  An advertising display features a standing cow with a bell and bucket on a wheeled cart.  The cow is labelled Sneezy underneath the bell which must be his name and affixed to the cart is metal plaque for the Snee Dairy Co. of Pittsburgh, PA. The whole piece measures 18" high x 24" long.  Why not put Sneezy on the big kitchen island for some added interest.  Or if there is a mantelpiece in the kitchen/great room make Sneezy the centerpiece.  A wonderful piece with great character.



The fourth discovery this week, lot 247, with a pre-sale estimate of $200-400, is another advertising item- a delicatessen trade sign from the 20th century and originating in Dayton, OH.  The wooden, hanging sign has a rectangular form with stencilled black and green letters on a cream ground.  The sign is 12" high and just over 6 feet long.  What a bold piece for a kitchen or over the mantel of a great room.  The graphic quality of the sign feels quite modern and would work even in more sleek kitchens of all stainless steel.

This week's fifth find is my favorite of the 8 finds although it does not have great age, provenance or value.  Lot 253 is a stencilled wooden hanging spice cabinet with a pre-sale estimate of $200-400.  The spice cabinet has 4 drawers with porcelain pulls over a lower lift-top compartment.  Each drawer has an internal divider and each is stencilled with the name of some ingredient like cloves or allspice.  I think it is charming and would have it on my kitchen wall in a hot minute.  It's a sweet decorative piece that is also functional.  





What's a kitchen without a stylish rooster?  Lot 294 is a painted rooster weathervane with a pre-sale estimate of $200-400.  Proudly standing 18.5" tall, the weathervane is made of sheet metal and is painted gold with red accents.  It looks like something homemade in the garage and even though the surface probably isn't original, it has a wonderful presence.  Hang it in the kitchen over the stove or put it on a great room's mantelpiece.



The sixth discovery this week is lot 379, with a pre-sale estimate of $150-300. It is a small scale Kenton Marvel toy stove made of cast iron with copper highlights.  It is a sweet, small size only being about 13" wide.  It has the look of an antique stove with lots of detail.  A great accessory for the traditional modern kitchen.


The final treasure this week is lot 704 with a pre-sale estimate of $600-800, a wonderful painting called The Quilters by the American painter Frank McElwain who was born in 1942.  The Quilters was painted in 1994 and measures 23.5" x 29.5" sight.  The work depicts 3 women in hats working on a large quilt outside under an arbor.  It seems to be scene of a bygone era.  There is quiet sense of purpose to their work.  McElwain creates an overall abstract pattern with the color and texture of the ladies' blouses, the quilt and the flowers on the arbor punctuated by the black color of the ladies' skirts.  I think it is a wonderful idea to have a painting such as this one in your kitchen or great room.



I hope you enjoyed this installment of Auctions Finds of the Week.  When designing your kitchen or great room, try to add some vintage or antique objects to give the space warmth and distinction.  Even if your kitchen is totally sleek and modern and full of stainless steel, why not add a great vintage advertising sign like the delicatessen sign above that has some history and a patina.  It will be a great counterpoint to the smooth, hard stainless surfaces.

If you are looking for a vintage or antique item and you would like me to assist you, please check out the Services page on my website for details or contact me at [email protected]  Also, I can help you sell your antique and vintage items.  Details are also on the Services page for consignments.

Finally, I am a USPAP compliant accredited appraiser in all types of silver with the AAA.  If you need an appraisal of your silver objects, please contact me and see the Services page for details.

Until next time,
Kelly T Keating

AUCTION FINDS OF THE WEEK- FEBRUARY 25TH: UNUSUAL DECORATIVE ARTS IN BOSTON

by Kelly Keating on 02/25/16

This installment of Auction Finds of the Week returns to Boston for Skinner's American Furniture and Decorative Arts sale to be held on 27 February 2016 to look at four very unusual and distinctive decorative arts lots.  The last installment of Auction Finds of the Week featured four pieces of furniture from this same upcoming Skinner sale.  This week's finds all would add a unique presence to a room and certainly be a point of conversation and focus.

The first discovery this week is lot 475 with a pre-sale estimate of $300-500, a 19th century painted sled.  It has a red stained frame with iron runners and a blue deck with red striping.  The deck is decorated with a brown dog depicted in the center and a wonderfully abstract design in yellow.  The whole piece has a wonderful patina.  I would love to see it hung over a mantel or sideboard in place of  a painting or mirror.  Use its colors to design the whole room.  It would add a touch of whimsy and history to the space.



The next find this week is lot 476 with a pre-sale estimate of $800-1,200, a large (19" H x 72" W) rectangular, vintage advertising sign which states:  "The Ladies Shop Women's Apparel" lettered in black, red and orange with very smart drop shadowing on a white ground.  The whole is surrounded by a green and black molded frame.  Old advertising can be a great addition to an interior space and the modern graphic nature of this particular piece would work well in today's settings. Like the sled, this sign would look fantastic over a mantel or sideboard instead of a painting or mirror and would become the dynamic focal point of the room.

The third discovery this week is a bit macabre, but still quite fascinating.  Lot 405 with a pre-sale estimate of $300-500 is a pair of 19th century carved and painted hearse finials.  The finials are black painted pine (with most of the original paint now gone) in the form of draped urns with flame finials. The hearse finials stand 14.25" tall and could be used on a mantel or sideboard or as objects to mix in with books in a large bookcase.  Certainly this item is not to everyone's taste, but could appeal to those who like the unusual and different.



The final treasure this week is lot 451 with a pre-sale estimate of $1,500-2,500, a late 18th century carved and painted milliner's head.  The woman's head is subtly carved and painted depicting her facial features, jewelry and dress details. She wears a silk and linen bonnet with metallic sequins and thread decoration and stands 12" tall.  A very expressive and evocative piece, it could find a new home on a mantel or sideboard or in a large bookcase.



I hope you enjoyed this week's auction finds.  When designing your space, think about using objects other than ceramics, glass and artwork to accessorize the setting.  Why not hang an old sled on the wall or find a graphic, vintage advertising sign that can add an unique quality to a modern space.  Look for unusual items like store displays and other commercial items such as the milliner's head and the hearse finials found at Skinner.  Such pieces will become a focal point and conversation piece for your room.

If you would like me to help you find distinctive accessories for your room contact me at [email protected] and visit my website to see how I work.  I am also an accredited appraiser USPAP compliant for fine American, English and Continental silver.  If you need an appraisal of your silver, please contact me.

Until next time,
Kelly T Keating

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


Strolling through the city, the country and cyberspace to find your antiques and collectibles