Whitehall Blog

Archive for December, 2013

Happy New Year

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

From Chapel Hill The entire Whitehall Antiques family wishes you a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year.  We hope to see you either in the shop or at a show this year and if not, via the amazing world of the internet.

David and Elizabeth

“These are a few of my favorite things”

Thursday, December 26th, 2013

In addition to music (yes that is a line from The Sound of Music) and family,  much of my life is visual.  So here are some photos I took this year–hope you enjoy them.  In just a week we will load for The Vero Beach Museum of Art Show and return to unload a new shipment from England and France–so what better time than now to remember the past year.

Nelson, Christmas 2012 at grandma's

Alexander's Christmas Past--2012 at grandma's

The glory of North Carolina from Grandfather Mountain

Elizabeth ready for opening night, Vero Beach Museum of Art, 2013

Oops--it slid! Uncle Erik with Nelson and Alexander and Elizabeth presenting her masterpiece: Erik and Alexander in a joint birthday celebration

Topiary magic in the Nashville Antiques and Garden Show

The epitome of George I walnut bureau bookcases

Thomasville, Georgia hospitality--we stayed in dear clients' guest house

Chang at work--half snoozing in the Villa entrance room

Serenity in the Asiantiques booth, Alexandria, March, 2013

Spring finally arrives in the Duke Gardens in mid-March--at least the jonquils arrived in February!

A sweet Edwardian Sutherland table came home to Whitehall after 50 years in a Mebane, NC home--and now has a new home in Florida

May 2 brought Paul's 65th birthday celebration at Kipos, a new West Franklin Street Greek restaurant in The Courtyard

Spring Market was a great success: part of our huge booth at The Antique and Design Center of High Point

26 Abraham Derby roses by David Austin line the Whitehall parking lot producing a heady fragrance in memory of our dear employee of 50 years, Frances Farrington

Our new condo nears completion in mid-June

We ran the floors from the front door 30 feet toward the glass walls–this view covers most of the 30 feet lateral into the study making a large “L”.  Always run flooring so that you carry the eye to create a greater sense of size, rather than chopping up the desired view.

A "Moral Monday" sea of protestors in Raleigh--this year NC traded a 50% tax cut for the wealthy for reducing education funding to 47th in America. Bless our great teachers who soldier on.

The thrill of entering a lovely retirement home and finding a period breakfront from the late 18th century! I was waxing it again today at the shop!

Moving day was June 27th--this is July 1st and off to England July 4th to buy for the shop

Looking for nifty sporting items in southeast England

And finding 1960's G-Plan furniture for Paul's new Studio Design Gallery at The Courtyard (a three block walk to work each day) and already a huge success!

Nelson and Dad join us in London and then off to Paris!

View from the hotel room

Grandpa as Napoleonic Soldier--yes the sword is period

An Exciting Durham estate--I had worked with the parents for 25 years--yielded a rare Milo Baughman for Thayer Coggin chrome backed swivel, rocking club chair--and so much more!

Paul’s Modernism gallery included in his new Studio allows us to help with a broad range of fine items from the late 17th century to the 1970′s between Whitehall and Studio Design Gallery–and the stores are only a mile apart!

And then it was July 19th and time for my 65th birthday–60 friends and family gathered atop our new building to celebrate.

My son Erik and older grandson Nelson David (Elizabeth's son)


The best little guests!

And also celebrating over 23 years with Paul, my guide through life.

And then 6 days of both teaching and learning during the annual Whitehall Summer Antiques Seminar

Then the new shipment arrived followed by a wonderful fundraiser at the Villa benefitting The Chamber orchestra of the Triangle and finally of to three fall shows and the Fall High Point Market (all featured in prior blogs).

And Halloween

A December sunset from my hotel for the Jacksonville Antiques Show--my 36th straight year!

Exploring a collection to sell this winter!

And finally the beauty of Christmas again!  Another year of exploration, learning, teaching and enjoying all that life has to offer with family and friends.  Happy New Year!  Live it with love and gusto.

The Villa Beckons At Christmas

Sunday, December 15th, 2013

The Villa, home since 1990 to Whitehall Antiques, lends itself to decorating for Christmas and we always enjoy the process.  The Villa was built as Villa Tempesta by the renowned artist Gerard Tempest from the dismantling of Durham’s two greatest mansions, Four Acres (the Duke mansion) and Harwood Hall (the Watts mansion).  Carefully created over four years, the Villa charms all who enter.  Here it is decorated for the Season in a light evening rain.

And the inside can be equally lovely with flickering fires in the Oak Room and the original wine cellar/dining room on the lowest level next to the Palm Garden and fountain.  Here is the Oak Room with a large tree in the windows overlooking the deep ravine to a stream.

Once again the tree is filled with collectible Patricia Breen ornaments for sale to our clients (we have reserved them for many years) and at their original prices, not their collector prices.  Each delicately made of blown glass and perfectly painted, they are some of the finest ornaments created in the last century.  Come see them.

Seasons Greetings from Chapel Hill

Saturday, December 14th, 2013

We maintain special (truly exceptional!) rates with several four and five star hotels and inns in Chapel Hill for our clients visiting in Chapel Hill.  Each is beautifully decorated for the season–The Siena Hotel,  The Franklin Hotel and  The Fearrington House Inn.  Here I am sharing the wonderfully inviting entrance and the four large window displays enjoyed this evening strolling by The Franklin.  A mile up the street from Whitehall, it is only two blocks from our area’s new modernism shop:  Studio Design Gallery, the art studio, gallery of work and mid-century shop created by my partner Paul Hrusovsky.  (I get to help find the furniture and accessories–a real delight.)

Hotel Entrance with twinkling tree

Come share the Holidays with us in charming Chapel Hill, home to James Beard restaurants and incomparable hotels as well as A Southern Season, the largest gourmet store in the world (approximately 85,000 square feet).  Add live theatre in seven venues, Broadway traveling shows in two venues, live music everywhere and world class classical concerts all reached by two interstate highways and a major international airport and you know why our Triangle Region is mecca for many!  And of course, there is always world class sports–the latter represented in those Joy To The World windows by Ramses, the blue ram mascot of UNC!

For our Christian visitors another reason to visit is the vast number of moving Christmas Eve and Christmas Day worship experiences in churches of every denomination and size, many with great pipe organs and superb choirs blessed by the professional musicians of four universities and numerous colleges.  Whether you seek a cathedral experience in Duke Chapel or a quiet village church like St. Matthew’s in Hillsborough, you will find a welcoming respite and joyous service.

Children’s Hospital Benefit Show–updated

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

The 37th annual Wolfson Children’s Hospital Antiques Show has come to a successful close and we have returned safely to Chapel Hill.  Tomorrow we will unload the unsold furniture and Thursday completely re-accessorize the shop!  It was a blessing to simply add furniture and accessories to our truck when it returned from Texas instead of unloading and reloading!  It is a grueling amount of work for all of us. And having a show well above last year’s successful show was a great reward for our efforts–sales including a fine cabinet, dining table, five smaller tables, loads of silver, porcelain and glass–and even a flask and a couple of trout and salmon fishing rods for the “young collectors”.  Truly great fun!

We sold a wonderful country French cherry draw leaf table–one I featured in an earlier blog–which literally doubled in length from 79.5 ” to 159″ with a simple concealed support dropping at each end when fully extended.  It is the only example we have either owned or seen over the years.  Here is a photo of the booth with the table and equally fun, the tree which now owns the table (a tree with a house and an owner).

So the cherry table has gone to live with the 500 year old oak tree which spreads 200 feet wide and has allowed generations to share its land in many ways.  I put this on facebook and a friend commented that antiques seem to want to find the right home and this table certainly did!

The steel and gilt metal coffee table and end tables with black eglomise tops were our only modernism pieces in the show and they went quickly to a nationally prominent designer.  Interesting–in Birmingham a splendid modernism table sold to a prominent dealer/designer known for great period French furniture, to use in her own home.  In Texas our only modernism table sold to a designer who took it to a client’s home to immediate success.  We are thoroughly enjoying our addition of a few fine modernism pieces to our inventory.  Arriving in the shop in early January is another collection of fine French modernism tables found on our last buying trip.

Set up for the show was smooth and fun, as the next photo of a dear client and show volunteer sort of kicking up her heels after finding a wonderful set of huge antique cut glass goblets and a set of gracious rim soups in the booth and laying claim ahead of the evening crowd!  This is one of the benefits of volunteering for charity shows–a well deserved benefit for both the volunteers and the dealers.

This is a show working hard to invigorate itself after some rough years precipitated by the Great Recession which hit Jacksonville with a vengeance.  Last year I reported on the new show manager, the new young collector’s booth, and the rearrangement of the show. They did not rest on their laurels, but worked hard all year and added blogs, instagrams, and other devices to reach a younger, hipper crowd.  The show was again rearranged and this time it worked brilliantly with no dealer feeling they had a bad location.  And most importantly when they discovered the Jaguars were being televised in a home game on Thursday, they dropped back and punted brilliantly:  a sneak casual preview Thursday before the game for all donors and a stunning party on Friday night with huge attendance and dancing until midnight!  And yes the dealers were also dancing, including yours truly for about an hour and a half.

Across the show sales were brisk and diverse including fine art, majolica, silver, modernism, funky decorative, American Federal, Georgian and Regency and of course country French.  No doubt a few dealers were a bit disappointed, but overall the feeling was remarkably upbeat.

One las parting shot:

End Shot of the Booth

The interesting architecture is due to the show being in a historic train station.

Whitehall in Houston–Theta Start to Finish

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

This is my wrap-up for the Theta Show in Houston, including the adventures of getting back home!

These first photos are simply a review of the booth shortly before opening, with some highlights pointed out.

The booth centered with a c. 1830 dining table.

We had so many flatware sets and other silver pieces that we put some into the wonderful rosewood chiffonier, silver which you can see through the elegant thin brass mesh–just barely!  It was enough that opening night a client sitting beside it writing a check noticed the pieces, asked to see and bought a flatware set!  It seemed a serendipitous beginning.

This is the side wall outside of our booth–our space to use. The committee chose to unify the show by using black paper on every facia (front panel with name that provides bracing for the lighting bars in each booth) and all side walls.  Only the interior of each booth was a color selected by the dealer.  I think this is a good idea visually even if it is not quite so clear to which dealer outer walls belong–especially in a large blackened hall with light coming almost entirely from each dealer’s booth.  In small shows with confined spaces, it does not work as well–the feeling can be claustrophobic.

This photo was taken on the final day of the show–a dramatic change.  And on my phone–thus the smaller size!  I have learned a new lesson for the future–send them in larger format! Duh!

Dining table, large fauteuil, chiffonier, two coffee tables are gone, as well as accessories of every type.  Happily we saw such changes across the entire show.

The trip home was through O’Hare–again I am sharing camera photos in small format.  The interior decorations definitely matched the weather, but I got home within a few minutes of our scheduled arrival.  Having been grounded going through Chicago for as long as four days, this was a real blessing.

I didn’t really turn the hall on its side–but I am way too tired to start over with a cantankerous photo!

Deicing begins with orange goop followed by green goop.

Our truck had a less happy return–rear ended at a stop light.  Minor damage to the truck and none to the driver or contents, so far as we can tell as we will only reload tomorrow morning and head on to Jacksonville Tuesday.  No time to even consider unloading and examining everything–and what we can see looks just fine.