Thursday, December 30, 2010


My hubby knows me pretty well, and one of his Christmas presents to me this year, was Warman's Antiques & Collectibles 2011 Price Guide.  It is quite the tome of random items, some of which have sold for quite impressive prices in the recent past.  An ideal gift for a hoarder of all things old like me. 

While I always enjoy reviewing the current pricing of fine antique furniture and a, what is so much more fun in this publication, is the random 'collectibles' which I must admit, sometimes I wonder just who collects these collectibles.  And who pays such prices for them....

A few good examples are:

This Planter's Peanut sign from the 1930s or 40s, which is actually worth a whopping $16,100!  Frankly I find Mr. Peanut not nearly as dandy-ish and charming as he is these days...I find this version a bit creepy and slightly evil looking.

Of course I have great appreciation, as do many museums around the world, for great ceramics made by great producers such as Sevres, Rookwood or Grueby, but I must admit there are some pieces by lesser known producers in which I struggle to find the appeal.  For example, this Hull Pottery pitcher, worth $375.  Nice, sure.  Sweet, sure.  But really?  Almost $400?  I am glad everyone has differing tastes.

And then we come to the world of cookie jars, which is a world unto itself.  The prices are certainly nowhere near Mr. Peanut, but still, over $100 for this fine specimen?  I will be keeping a lookout during the spring estate sale season, that's for sure.

Movie posters are another world unto themselves, but I have to admit many of these are really quite cool.  But again, somewhat creepy.  That seems to be a theme here...

Creepy but still pretty awesome, this poster (worth $89,000!!!) for a 1923 movie called Hollywood, featured all the leading silent film stars of the day.  Not sure why Hollywood was associated with the inside of this guy's mouth.....

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


I know, I know, I am several days behind with this post, but you know how the holidays are!  So, I will merely say thanks so much for following my blog this past year (and your patience when I am late).  I really do appreciate the support and all the comments.  Have a great holiday season, and I leave you with a few shots of my somewhat low-key decor this year.

We decided against a full-sized tree this year....much less hassle....and got a baby one instead, very well positioned next to the liquor:

And missing the lights that often occupy large trees, we instead turned the CB2 floor lamp into a light holder:

Our black&white dining area got some bling:

And the mantle, some red:

With the obligatory Norwegian Nisse (anyone who tells you they are Swedish is lying):

And I gave in to a 'latest craze' with the antlers on the coffee table (note: no animals were harmed during the creation of these cast antlers):

Of course we could not leave our guardian lion out of the fun:

I will be back to regularly scheduled posts next Thursday, Dec 30th!  Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Wow, life in France in the 1950s seemed to be all dancing girls, booze and cigarettes. Wait a minute, that is pretty much what France is like now too...except maybe for some extra student protesters and strikes...isn't it? At least seemed that way when I lived there a decade ago :)

Some weeks ago I came across a wonderfully printed and presented French magazine from Dec 1951 at a small local antique fair. It was entitled 'Plaisir de France'. The pages were all wonderfully preserved, and the magazine was absolutely filled with beautiful photos and the most fabulous illustrated advertisements. It was a 'high society' travel and leisure publication that is clearly geared towards the highest of society. I just had to have it.

What always strikes me with any advertising from this era, is the plethora of liquor and cigarette ads. In particular liquor. Almost the entire magazine is filled with liquor ads of huge variety! Cognac, wine, whiskey...take your pick. How great would these be for a 'man cave'?

And then there are the ciggies:

And can't have all this drunken smoking going on without some girls with great legs too, right?

I guess there was not much stigma about bare legs by 1951 in France. 

Now remember, I am not an ephemera or book expert, so despite the fact that it likely with horrify all such people in the world, I must admit the first thing I could think of with this magazine, was: ohhhh, I can't wait to cut out all those great ads and frame them!!!

And well, now, the deed is done. I have selected the ones that best match my decor, squirreled those away to be framed and hung over the Christmas break, and decided to share the rest with the world. I always hope to find good homes for such awesome items. Some are now available through my etsy page, with more to come. Check out some more wonderfully retro ads here.   Sigh, I miss the French.

Friday, December 3, 2010


No matter how great I know a piece will look after being reupholstered, I am still always utterly breathtaken at the first sight after the deed is done.  One of my all-time favorite clients just got this chair back from the upholsterer.  While it was a wonderful late Victorian chair to begin with, I knew a fresh layer of fabric would give it new life.  The pink was just not doing it anymore. Here is the chair before:

Here is the chosen fabric which we knew would look fabulous with the Benjamin Moore Historic Color Newburg Green paint selected for the walls:

But I was just not prepared for the absolutely fabulous results:

Of course it helps have an amazing upholsterer on your side...Sharp Upholstery of Salt Lake City, you rock.  Look at how carefully they lined up the patterning on the channel back:

It just makes me happy to look at.  If only I could have a house full of different cool antique chairs....who needs casepieces?!