Friday, April 25, 2014

A Chair's Tale

I couldn't say goodbye to this fixture in the shop without a post.  For those of you who have visited the shop, you might have heard the story behind my desk chair; a chair which has served me well for almost the whole time Michael Thomas has been in business.  Before the chair came into my possession, it was owned most recently, and in the office of, Conrad Black.  For those Canadians reading this post, you know the story there.  Prior to Conrad, it was owned, and in the office of his father George Montegu Black Jr.  One of the best parts of this "job" is researching the history of pieces and pondering the lives they have lived.  I know while this chair was in the shop it lived an interesting life and met some fascinating people.  It heard lots of intriguing stories from clients and friends, heard lots of laughs and a bit of gossip, and even got featured in an article that was done on the shop in 2009.  It wasn't the first time.  It had already been published in "The Canadian Establishment" by Peter C. Newman twenty-five years earlier.  Last week a gentleman came into the shop and fell in love with it in its current Miss Havisham state and had to have it.  For some time, my back had been telling me it was time for something a little more ergonomically correct, so I decided to say goodbye.  Saying goodbye to so many of the great pieces that pass through Michael Thomas is bittersweet as it will be with this tattered chair with a history.  However, as I have said many times, it is a real pleasure to be a caretaker for a while and then send these pieces off to make new history.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Pair of Louis XVI Style French Bouillotte Tables

Elegant and fine pair of Louis XVI style mahogany double drawer tables with gold embossed leather top slides.  The marble tops are trimmed with mounted brass galleries and the tapered, fluted legs have brass capped feet.  French, c. early 20th c. SOLD

International Relations

While the relationship between the French and the Italians hasn't always been harmonious, they seem to be working well together in our latest window.  One of our French Louis XV style Bergeres is paired with an ornate Italian gilt wood mirror (SOLD) and a pair of Italian wheat sheaf tables.  Hopefully the robins egg blue backdrop, wheat sheaves and fresh flowers will send a message to Persephone that we are ready for spring!

Monday, April 21, 2014

"Widdicomb" Asian Modern Dining Table and 6 Chairs

Palm Springs chic!  This outstanding set by Widdicomb features a round, four foot diameter table with three leaves.  Each leaf is 15" wide, and fully extended the table is a 93" oval.  It is finished in a rich sable stain and has decorative patinated brass balls on the skirt.  There are two arm chairs and four side chairs.  Each chair has been completely restored and newyly reupholstered in a very smart cotton Ikat style fabric with new foam.  The chairs are on casters and are very comfortable.  In addition to being one of the coolest sets we have had in the shop, it is also one of the most versatile.  It functions beautifully as a dining group, but would also be perfect as a games set or for a sun room.  The chairs work nicely as occasional chairs as well as dining chairs.  American, c. 1960  SOLD

Friday, April 18, 2014

Olexander Wlasenko; "Whisper"

This drawing features a young Stefania Sandrelli and Marcello Mastroianni in his acting prime.  The scene is from the 1961 Academy Award winning film, "Divorzio all'italiana" (Divorce Italian Style).  They share a secret.  A whisper remains concealed from peers and parochial ears....  Charcoal on paper.  Framed, 42 1/2" h., 78" l.  SOLD

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Happy Easter!

Michael Thomas will be closed on Good Friday and Easter Sunday, but open from 10 to 5 on Saturday.  We wish everyone a Happy Easter!  Please check back early next week for some fantastic new pieces that we will be posting as they make their way into the shop.  In the meantime, we thought we would leave you with a seasonal tune to start off your Easter weekend.  We heard this song for the first time a couple of weeks ago sung as a traditional hymn.  This is a beautiful folk version of "What Wondrous Love Is This".  The hymn originated as an American southern spiritual and was first published in 1811 in Lynchburg Virginia.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Pair of Italian Tables

These sophisticated and hospitable (the pineapple is a traditional symbol of hospitality) tables have gilded metal faux bamboo frames with pineapple finials, and inset glass tops.  The tables are on casters and would function nicely as side tables or used together as a coffee table.  Each table, 20" square, 21" h.  Italian, c. 1960's  SOLD

Theater Masks

Highly expressive and very decorative pair of bronzed, wall hanging theater masks.  Larger, 10" h., 8" w. American, c. 1960   SOLD

Brass Towel/ Blanket Stand

Made in Italy and originally imported by Decorative Crafts of Greenwich, CT, this is a very high quality piece.  This ribbed brass stand would add a nice decorative element to a bath or kitchen or used in a bedroom to hold a throw or blanket.  32" l., 15" w., 35" h.  Italian, mid-20th c.  SOLD

Thursday, April 10, 2014

James Mont Style Cerused Oak Chest

Cool and clean lined cerused oak double chest in the style of James Mont.  This moderne chest has six deep drawers with wonderful chunky patinated brass pulls.  54" l., 20" w., 34" h.  American, c. 1940's  SOLD

Wheat Sheaf Chandelier

This chic little three candle wheat sheaf chandelier would be perfect for a foyer, hallway or powder room.  23" h., 12" diam.  Italian, c. 1940's  SOLD

Louis Style Cocktail Table

Carved, gilded and paint decorated wood cocktail table with floral and garland decoration and an inset beveled glass top. 36" l., 26" w., 19" h.  c. mid 20th c.  SOLD

"Edward Wormley for Drexel" Credenza

Designed by Edward Wormley in 1947 as part of the "Precedent" collection for Drexel Furniture Co., this credenza is made of lustrous silver elm. While it is thoroughly modern, the arrangement of drawers and the hardware recall earlier architect and drafting cabinets.  62"l., 19"w., 33"h.  American, c.1947  SOLD

Monday, April 7, 2014

Pendant Light

One of the nicer of this variety, this hip pendant light has a dark green enamelled metal shade with a white interior and brass socket, chain and cap.  15" l., 11 1/2" diam.  American, c. 1930's  SOLD

Adjustable Desk Lamp

Classic desk lamp with adjustable painted metal shade and heavy bronzed base.  17" h., 6" diam.  American, c. 1930  SOLD

Dr. Martin Wilckens; "Wall Panels, Natural History of Farm Pets"


Just in from our framer, these will be some of the last prints we will be offering from this series......We are very excited to offer these rare and exceptional original first edition prints of Dr. Martin Wilckens' "Naturgeschichte der Hausthiere" (Natural History of Farm Pets) taken from the original folio.  They were published in Germany by Theodor Fischer in 1878.  Each print is newly and handsomely framed in a black shadowbox frame.   33" l., 33" w.  German, c. 1878  $650.00 each 

Honey Maid: Love

While we are on the topic of advertising......we thought this was definitely worth a post, and a good way to start the week.  I saw the original Honey Maid ad a couple of weeks ago and thought it was awesome, but wondered what type of response the company would receive.  This is what they did with the responses.... and a perfect and thoughtful way to respond to hate.  I am heading out now to buy some graham crackers!

Friday, April 4, 2014

"Edward Wormley for Drexel, Precedent" Desk/ Dressing Table and Chair

Edward Wormley was an American designer at the forefront of introducing Modernism to the American public.  His furniture was shown in the early fifties at the Good Design Exhibitions put on by the Museum of Modern Art.  The Exhibitions showcased top cutting edge designers of the period including Eames, Nelson and Bertoia.  This desk or dressing table and coordinating chair were designed for the Drexel Precedent Collection.  There was a twenty page spread for the Precedent Collection in the August 1947 issue of House and Garden.  Below are some favorite images from the spread.  As you can see, the collection is "flexible, blendable, livable and mixable" amongst other "bles".  These ads are fantastic, and artfully and beautifully illustrated.  It is interesting to see how they were mixing modern with more classic/ traditional at the time.  Also, they highlight the importance of designs that are mixable and flexible, and easily transition from one room to another.  This piece showcases the flexible nature of the collection.  It functions well as a desk or a dressing table.  It is made of beautiful, golden toned silver elm and has a curved top with three drawers.  Below, one cabinet has a compartment with a stationary shelf and two removable caddies.  The other has two sliding shelves.  The coordinating chair which was also designed by Wormley swivels and has an upholstered seat.  Desk, 59" l., 20 1/2" w., 28" h.  American, c. 1947  SOLD

Glass Table Lamp

Handmade blue glass table lamp with lucite base and fabric shade.  34" h., 12" diam.  New, SOLD

"American of Martinsville" Credenza

This piece by American of Martinsville is just right.  It is beautifully designed; a nice balance of classic and contemporary.  It is very well crafted and has interesting details; burl inlay, ebonized pilasters with gilded accents, and great looking hardware.  It is a nice size; not too big and not too small with lots of storage.  There are two long drawers on top, and below two cabinet doors open to a divided compartment.  The door on the right opens to a compartment with one stationary shelf.  58" l., 19" w., 31" h.  American, c. 1960  SOLD