Whitehall Blog

Archive for November, 2013

Theta Antiques Show–Houston, Texas

Thursday, November 28th, 2013

Long considered one of the top three charity antiques shows in America, the Theta Show with an amazing and enthusiastic staff and volunteers made 2013 another exciting year.  The range of periods and objects is exceptional with museums and collectors carefully shopping the floor.  Once again Gary Sergeant had one of the most diverse collections of simply superb pieces and his fine black Chinoiserie bureau bookcase and many other objects disappeared as the show progressed.  It would be silly to try to name who had what–connect to the Theta website for a full dealer list and links to their websites.  But I thought it would be fun to share some of the pieces that caught my eye.

In the Iliad booth from New York City (www.iliadny.com), specialists in the ideal match of Biedermeir and Art Deco (the former is the design basis of the latter) was this columnar desk:

Every piece in the booth was selected with remarkable care and an eye to brilliant design, as one more view demonstrates:

Lisa Sherwood of Macon, Georgia (sherwoodantiques@bellsouth.net) quickly sold this charming little country French Directoire influenced hanging cabinet for the display of prized possessions–the entwined rings for the shelf guards was between exceptional and unique!

As I noted Gary Sergeant (Gary@Gsergeant.com) had an outstanding booth and he is a dealer I greatly admire for his consummate good taste, lack of airs, and genuine friendliness. Here are some highlights with his own descriptions.

This table got my mental prize for the most fascinating piece in the entire show!

In the booth of William Cook of London (www.williamcookantiques.com)–filled as always with fine pieces–was this marvelous desk with multiple adaptable uses from architecture to simply standing and writing or perhaps using a clerk’s stool.

Don’t fail to notice the cunning pair of dummy boards to the left of the desk.  While their uses remain controversial–shrouded in mystery!–their charm is indisputable.  (Did they appear from outside the house to be people standing guard or were they decorations in front of the hearth in summer?)

Also in Billy Cook’s booth was this exceptional miniature:

This view into Sissy McAlister’s booth (Nashville, TN–mmcaantiques@comcast.net) shows a wonderful array of dog paintings, as well as Sissy’s signature wall arrangements creating myriad nooks and crannies to explore in a very confined space–no one does this look better!

The champion garden dealers of Chicago, Finnegan Galleries (www.finnegangallery.com), planted their amazing pair of twin beds!  Again, my photos and a description in their own words.

The beds.

Footboard detail shot.

If you love eccentricities of all types from early children’s pottery to fine Vienna cold painted bronzes with a heavy dose of Black Forrest, then Leatherwood–the lead booth to the show–is your favorite spot!  Moe’s booth is simply amazing and this photo does not do it justice, so check their website! (www.leatherwoodantiques.com)

Obviously you have from this only a taste of the Theta Show–and I “forgot” to show you my favorite booth–Whitehall!  So come back this weekend for that experience–it is fun to see how dramatically it changed from the opening to the close (as in lots of sales!)

Happy Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 28th, 2013

We wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving, safe with your family and friends!

I will publish a report soon on the magnificent Theta Antiques Show which just closed this past Sunday.  I have photos of many of my favorite things throughout the show!

Buying Antiques Makes “Cents”

Saturday, November 16th, 2013

Not only do antique and vintage pieces make “sense” because of the better quality of construction and their green impact on the environment, they make “cents” because their value is enduring and they always cost less than the comparable new item!  A few days ago I started exploring some of this on this blog and now I want to continue that exploration with you.

The attractive new box of bone trimmed shagreen (sharkskin) in this article in Veranda notes what a delightful piece this is a 2,100.  Now unfortunately I could not immediately find the same box as an antique but I can assure you that once you buy this box and take it home it will be a miracle if you can sell it for 400.00!  And I did find a similar sized tea caddy of equally great rarity–curled and gilded paper–from the late 18th century.  And it was priced at 1,200!  Here it is:

Perhaps the most fascinating article was on the utility and beauty of console tables being made today–priced from 1,001 to 17,000.  So I spent fifteen minutes on the floor of the Antique and Design Center and see what I found after you look at the new ones. Read the info carefully–the thousand dollar very stylish piece is pine or particle board covered with grass cloth and lacquered!

And next is a striking vintage lacquered wood two drawer console table for $450.00–yes, 450 not 4,500!

And a very clever and stylish PAIR  are next.

This pair was created by the dealer from a pair of 1920′s twin leather covered, brass studded headboards with wrought iron bases created of vintage and modern pieces!  The price?  $2,900 the pair!

Come by the shop or our booth at a show and let us share with you information about the value of antiques today!

Fall Sale Week

Monday, November 4th, 2013

Through Saturday, November 9th at 6pm every antique on our website as well as the entire stock of the shop is on sale for 30% off.

Check it out and see what bargains are available this week!

Next week we are packing for another run of shows so this is a very busy time–but remember that no matter how busy Elizabeth and I are always available to assist you in person, by phone or by email!

Antique and Vintage Overwhelm the New

Monday, November 4th, 2013

From design to quality of craftsmanship to price, almost all new items come up so very short!

During the Antique and Design Market Seminars I was speaking to the issue of why designers should steep themselves and their clients in the pleasures of antique and vintage furniture and decorative accessories.  Much of my talk was inspired by a perusal of several major shelter magazines the week before at the Birmingham Antiques and Design Show.  I was simply floored by the pricing displayed in promoting various new items.  Here are a few of the comparisons I found!

A page in Veranda, a gorgeous shelter magazine

In Veranda there was a section on the latest in design from France–fully sourced and priced for most items.  Let’s start in the lower right corner with the reproduction bonnetiere called a painted cabinet for $6,895.  How it is made is not totally clear, but I did scan their website and let’s just say not impressive.  Compare this to two larger painted examples I found on the show floor–a Swedish example for under 5,000 and a piece from Normandy for 1,800, both in painted surfaces on pine.

Swedish neo-classical armoire

The paint is certainly restored on this handsome piece but is architectural and simply dynamite design.  It is early 19th century and useful for myriad purposes from storage to clothes to sound systems.

Buffet a deux corps from Normandy (Caux region)

This charming cauchois painted pine piece dates to about 1830.  The dealer had offered it for 2,400 for several markets with no action so he chalk painted it for this show and repriced at 1,800–sold on day one!  The reason it had not sold were the missing pieces–still missing if you look carefully–which stood out like sore thumbs in natural pine (it had been stripped many years ago).  Also the color was not good.  Now it has sold for less than a third of the reproduction!

Homme debout

In our own shop is this splendid piece the same size as the reproduction from France yet read this description!

A country French homme debout of burl ash, ash & cherry wood. Early 19th century. A rare form. The upper & lower doors well carved with fabulous burl wood panels, centered by 2 drawers with burl insets, and with line inlaid diamond shaped panels of burl at the top and on the shaped apron. Original steel hinges, escutcheons & handles. Well developed escargot feet. Molded crown. 80 7/8″ h., 38″-43″ w., 22 1/2″-25 1/4″ d. $4,800