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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Crazy Craigslist bargains

From time to time, I cruise Craigslist to see what kind of bargains are out there for the taking all around the country. Sometimes I'm amazed at the prices I find. A layer of foam to fill out stretched upholstery, a quick steam cleaning, a coat of paint, a rubdown with Restor-a-Finish or vinegar or just a gentle hand wash, and these pieces will look great. (We should probably tell them that they could ask more if they'd clean them up and take better pictures...but, nah...we'll take their "junk" off their hands and clean them up ourselves.)

Danish rolltop desk - $95 - Albuquerque, NM
Kroehler sectional - $250 - Albuquerque, NM
Tropitan rattan set - $150 - Albuquerque, NM
Danish lounge chair - $50 - Austin, TX
Pair of bullet planters - $60 - Austin, TX
Arc lamp - $25 - Dallas, TX
Jens Risom credenza - $180 - Dallas, TX
Tiki bar - $20 - Dallas, TX
Pink and silver Sascha Brastoff dish - $20 - Dallas, TX
Milo Baughman chair (with tags) - $99 - Denver, CO
Bench - $50 - Denver, CO
Sofa - $150 - Denver, CO
Danish sofa - $200 - Los Angeles, CA
Hanging ceramic clock - $85 obo - Los Angeles, CA
Chrome chandelier - $49 - Palm Springs, CA

Update: Here's a picture of the Milo Baughman chair in our store, after a little TLC...and a long trip to Dallas from Denver.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Bertha Schaefer

Bertha Schaefer (1895-1971) was born in Yazoo City, Mississippi. She obtained a B.A. from Mississippi State College for Women and a diploma in interior decorating from the Parsons School of Design.

In 1924 she opened Bertha Schaefer Interiors where she worked to incorporate fine arts and architecture with interior design. In 1944 she opened the Bertha Schaefer Gallery of Contemporary Art. Her firm and gallery featured American and European painting and sculpture and was instrumental in launching the careers of many artists and designers.

Her exhibitions often included economical designs that were well-crafted and beautiful and were suited to postwar mass production. In particular, she promoted lighting fixtures, and as early as 1939 was using decorative fluorescent lighting. Her firms work included interior and furniture design for private homes, apartments, hotel lobbies and restaurants. In 1954 she designed a model bathroom for General Electric.

Schaefer's designs caught the attention of Joe Singer of M. Singer and Sons Furniture Company of New York City. She designed furniture for that company from 1950 to 1961, often working with Gio Ponti.

Her professional accomplishments and academic contributions brought her invitations to participate in many round-table discussions and design juries sponsored by museums and universities. She won design awards from the Museum of Modern Art (1952) and the Decorators Club of New York (1959). She was also a member of the American Institute of Decorators, the Home Lighting Forum, the Illuminating Engineers Society, the Architectural League of New York, the American Federation of the Arts and the Art Dealers Association of America.


Dining set, with Gio Ponti

Upholstered armchairs


Coffee table

Coffee table


Sofa we just won at auction
It was sold as a Schaefer piece, but we're not sure.

Monday, August 29, 2011

More auction scores

It was a big weekend for auctions. We got back to the store after the local auction I posted about yesterday, only to participate a couple of hours later in another one online. My SIL won so many things that it will probably be just as economical to go pick them up a few states away, since there are several pieces of furniture, one of which is a sofa. I don't think you'll hear my daughter complaining about taking some vacation time and going on a nice trip with hubby and boys. The past few months of getting the store up and running has cut into some of their family time, and this will be a well-deserved getaway for them. (I think they were hoping he'd win the sofa so they'd have an excuse to hitch up the trailer and head out of town.) I'll stay behind and tend the store.

We usually wait till we have things on the floor to show them to you, but we're so excited about some of them that we simply have to give you a preview of the auction house photos.

Signed Hilde Weingarten lithograph "Bright Afternoon"
25" x 21.5"
Signed James Sicner lithograph
24.5" x 20.5
Another signed Sicner lithograph
22.5" x 28"
Massive Fayette floor vase - 41" high
Black lacquer Herman Miller tulip table - 46" round
Upholstered armchairs
Bertha Schaefer attributed sofa
originally purchased at Abraham and Straus

I'm sure you'll see these pieces again when they get to Texas and make their way onto our floor. We're also awaiting the arrival of a couple of Danish chairs my SIL won on another online auction several days ago. He's really been scooping up some great things lately!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

In the store: Dining set and sideboard

We hit an auction today and ran into our friends Scotty and Liz from Retro Revival.  We picked up a large three-piece wall unit, a couple of sideboards, a room divider, a some dining room furniture and a couple of crystal decanters.

Here's what's on the floor so far:

This great teak dining set has a pop-up leaf,
and the chairs are upholstered in shades
of gray, charcoal, black and orange on white.

Close-up of upholstery

Majken upholstery fabric*

This large teak sideboard has a dropfront bar,
nice pulls and lots of storage space..

Two vintage crystal decanters: The one on the left
has a geometric design, while the one on the
right has an etched floral pattern.

*Thanks to Vintage Hunter for the information about the fabric...and for showing us the beautiful curtains made out of it.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Back in the day: Circle pins

Ah, the circle pin. Of all the fashion memories of my youth, it ranks right up there with penny loafers and the bubble hairdo.

In my day and in my location (which was the late 50s/early 60s in Shreveport, Louisiana) was called a "virgin pin." I've read that girls wore them on the left if they were, indeed, virgins and on the right if they had "gone all the way," but I don't remember our being that sophisticated, although the picture of me below clearly shows mine on the left, so it's possible we did attach some significance to placement.

Other meanings for the pin, in other places, included friendship and eternal love, while most of the moms back then, no matter where they lived, were so obliviously un-cool that they just used them to hold their scarves.

They came in every price and style, from the cheapest, simplest dimestore version to the diamond studded and designer interpretations. The one thing they had in common was their ubiquity.

Me...late 1950s...the junior high school years

Similar to the "goldtone" one I was wearing in the photo

Irridescent costume style
 (very popular with moms and grandmothers)

I had a plain one like this too. - mslioness

Friday, August 26, 2011

Ole Wanscher

Ole Wanscher (1903-1985) was born in Denmark. He studied with Kaare Klint at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen and worked with him for three years following the completion of his studies. In 1927 he set up his own office, specializing in furniture design.

Like his mentor Klint, he was influenced by classical furnishings, particularly 18th century English furniture, as well as designs from Egypt, China and Greece. One of his most famous designs is the delicate Egyptian stool.

Upon the death of Kaare Klint in 1955, Wanscher took over his position at the Royal Academy, where he remained until 1973. While there, he used his vast knowledge of furniture history to write several books on the subject.

While many of Wanscher's most beautiful pieces were made with master cabinetmaker A. J. Iverson, he also had an interest in mass production. He had a successful relationship with P. Jeppesens Møbelfabrik A/S that began in the 1950s and lasted the rest of his professional career. He also designed pieces for France and Son.

From and

Upholstered armchair

Coffee table


Egyptian stool

Dining chairs

Bentwood rocker


Expandable dining table and chairs

Rosewood cabinet

Senator series chairs

Sleeping sofa