In the midst of my Mom’s packing and move, she pulled out a dingy copper stockpot from Portugal that my Dad bought for her in 1973 from Johnny Appleseed’s in North Beverly, Massachusetts. She had not used it since I was in college because the metal inside had worn off from so much use. The outside was so dark one could not tell it was copper. Thank God she handed it to the child who is overly emotional about things from her past. The stock pot that I ate many a chicken soup from and my Dad’s famous spaghetti sauce could not be tossed into the Good Will pile. Instead, I contacted Jim Hamann at East Coast Tinning, #eastcoasttinning, in East Greenwich, Rhode Island, to do his handiwork. Look at what we received last night. The best gift from the past, to be used for another 40 years. #recycle #restore #retinning #rhodeislanders
Saw this beauty listed on Hilton Head Marketplace. It said, “elderly owner has sold his home with all contents but a few items, like this slant desk, were too emotional to part with”. He wanted to “pass the baton” onto someone who would love and care for his grandfathers desk. Turns out his grandfather was a doctor on Beacon Hill in Boston named, Dr. Jack Haley. The desk was made in Marblehead, Mass and in my opinion is an important piece. I paid him all he wanted, $300, but felt like that was stealing. He gave me the chair as well because his grandfather used to sit in it.
He told me he just lost his wife and decided it was time to see a bit of the world. He wanted to travel to Ireland before he died. He was part of the “lost children of Ireland”, supposedly orphaned and left with the Sisters of Mercy (Catholic Church) in Tuam, Ireland, until he was saved by a family in Boston. He cried and so did I. The brutality these children endured was horrific.
Antiquing often leads me to hearing the stories behind the furniture. That is what makes this hobby so special.
I told him I will love and care for his pieces because I was from Boston, sailed the ocean off of Marblehead and would appreciate all the history that the desk and chair contain.
These are a few items that will stay in my collection.
A pair of original French Bergere Chairs were saved today..
These date to 1890’s and made their way to the United States by Polish immigrants. The story goes that the husband purchased these for his wife for their wedding. He wanted these well-made French walnut chairs with flowers in the center and open backs showing beautiful fabric.
They immigrated to the US through Ellis Island. Their clothing and these chairs were all that came with them. Over the years, the chairs were handed down to the next of kin. The current owner, granddaughter in her late 80’s, lives in Oceanside, California, and is in hospice waiting to cross over. She asked her son to make sure the chairs went to someone who would love them. Sadly, no one in the family wanted them and so they were rescued by me this morning. I will make sure they are loved and appreciated by the next owner. These are very well made, special chairs, hard to find pairs and for only $100 each, are a real steal.
The broken spindle will be fixed, wood given a nice coat of beeswax and new fabric put on soon. #bostondane
The newest “pick” for my Mom Josephine Taylor. A Berkey & Gay burled walnut and satinwood sideboard, federal period, from the 1930’s. Listed as, “need it gone asap-new husband hates it”. (I’d find a new husband😳). Berkey & Gay was synonymous with quality. This was a US furniture company started in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1855 and closed by 1948. Upon arriving for pick up, the husband said, “good luck with that “thing”-may it drop off the back of your truck”. I’m delighted it didn’t. The sad irony is that this couple purchased a new buffet, manufactured in China of pressed board. Millions produced. A dime a dozen. Low quality and nothing as unique as this buffet. They let this beauty slip away because they didn’t appreciate what a true piece of mastery it is. Mom bought it for $300.
I need to stop asking Mom what she wants to accomplish before she dies….we might end up with a pet chimpanzee.
A conversation about missing my Dad’s piano playing led Mom to telling me that she always dreamed of owning a baby grand piano. No more than several days had passed before I saw a piano listed for sale. It stated that the piano had been abandoned and would be destroyed if not sold soon. I am no piano expert but when I saw “her”, I knew there were good memories contained inside.
This is a Chickering and Sons quarter baby grand piano made of satin rosewood. Quarter baby grands are more narrow, only 54 inches. This piano dates to the Great Depression of the 1930’s and was manufactured on Tremont Street in Boston, Massachusetts. Despite being the largest U.S. piano manufacturer, Chickering went out of business in 1985. They say there is nothing that compares to the powerful bass strings sound from a Chickering. We shall soon find out.
Had I not leaned down to see what was written on a balled up piece of paper, I would not have learned that this piano had been inside a historic Virginia plantation before it landed in Savannah. One of the keys is missing in the center of the keyboard, which identified it as the same piano. Serial number has not been located yet but it will be interesting to know who the original owner was. I don’t know why it was moved to Savannah.
The home that is was abandoned in is part of the famous Owens Plantation of Savannah, Georgia, where General William T. Sherman and his troops stayed before crossing Salt Creek in 1864 to capture Savannah. He gifted Savannah along with 25,000 bales of cotton to President Abraham Lincoln.
Today we picked up the piano. It will be restored by 88 Keys Piano of Bloomingdale, Georgia, where it will get a fresh start. Fortunately we learned that it had been restrung and was in exceptional condition.
Another successful save..with quite a history.
We never miss a chance to go home. Visiting family and taking in the beauty of our home state of Massachusetts is always wonderful, and lucky for us, it’s also a great place to find furniture.
For a short three weeks a year, quaint Brimfield Massachusetts’ population of 3,000, grows to over 250,000 and boasts some of the most sought after antique finds in the world. It’s like a field of dreams for us, hunting the perfect pieces. The trip always promises a haul of fantastic finds…and this trip did not disappoint.
Our favorite find by far, was this Mid Century Modern authentic Widdicomb Gibbings Mid Century Modern Couch. In the midst of a treasure hunt, and needing a little TLC, we were so excited by the history (and popularity) of this piece.
Don’t be fooled by its current appearance, this beauty came from a home in New York City, and when spruced up a little, will blow you away. Its wooden frame is in remarkable shape and the Dutch linen cushions simply need to be cleaned. After we finish with it, it will fit perfectly in a number of different decor styles. Here’s an example.
The British born designer, Terrance Herold Robjon-Gibbings was truly ahead of his time, seeing beyond the over the top style of the day, keeping his designs simple and modern. Called one of the most important designers of the 1930’s & 1940’s, his work is described as a mix of Art Deco and Ancient Grecian styles, creating wonderfully modern furniture all his own. Due to recent publishing of some of his more obscure works, the demand for his pieces is quickly growing, as are the values and prices at auction houses. We are so excited to have one of his pieces in our collection.
We can’t wait to share the finished couch with you. Follow along on our journeys, as we find the needle in the haystack, the perfect piece, the most coveted furniture designs. Our job always promises a fascinating find.