Just Merveilleux

Life at № 42

Light-hearted things

In the first half of the 20th century there were squads called Einsatzgruppen- HA! Just kidding. No depressing history or politics today. I promised a picture of the Louis Philippe table we bought in Castres and here it is.

We wanted a round table in the upstairs landing, but it turns out this one is too small, so when we find something bigger that we like, we’ll move it into one of the bedrooms. Louis Philippe d’Orléans reigned from 1830 to the revolution of 1848 when the monarchy was abolished for the second time in less than 100 years. The style is sober and the wood of choice cherry (which has a colour I find very friendly.)

I’ve begun cleaning up the Georgian chest we found in Castres. It was my best buy of the year (by a mile.) It’s very early Georgian, I’d say about 1720/1730. From the price tag of €50 I initially presumed it was a 1980’s reproduction- but then I got closer. When I was close enough to see the handles and escutcheons my heart started beating a little bit faster.

All hand finished, each one slightly different to the next. And then I opened a drawer to find rabbets with hand forged nails. That’s the joint that predates dovetailing (which only really became widely used in the latter part of the 18th century.) The patina is exceptional, the deepest possible shade of brown.

014

We confirmed the price and the owner seemed terribly pleased we were taking it off his hands. I was able to maintain my composure until we got it into the car and as soon as we’d driven away I burst into wild laughter. Even in this market (so-called Brown Furniture is nowhere near as popular as it was for most of the 20th century) good early examples still demand substantial sums.

Fine George I Oak Bachelor's Chest 1

Fine George I Oak Bachelor’s Chest, Yew Tree Antiques, NY €12,100

George I Walnut Chest of Drawers 1

George I Walnut Chest of Drawers, Mackinnon Fine Furniture London, €21,740

Condition, of course, is key. Whether it has its original brasses, whether pieces of wood have been replaced or filled etc. etc. But even a piece that’s been well used will still fetch a decent price.

George I Oak Chest of Drawers 1

George I Oak Chest of Drawers, James Graham-Stewart, London, €6,750

In other nº 42 news, the guest bedrooms are starting to get curtains thanks to the discovery that Ikea sells 100% linen fabric at €8 per metre (width of 150 cm). It’s sold worldwide under the name Aina. It’s fine linen, so it needs to be lined, but once it is, it drapes beautifully. I really went to town with the embroidered silk Pierre Frey curtains in the grey salon and also with the Italian linen in the green room- so I can claw some of that back now with this discovery. The only thing I’d say is don’t skimp. Go pole length x 2.5 and let it drag on the floor a bit.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

25 comments on “Light-hearted things

  1. Carmen
    December 27, 2016

    Elegance! Ooh – love it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Arkenaten
    December 27, 2016

    For the price you paid for that chest you must have been doing a jig all the way home!
    Seriously, you’d think folks would have something like that valued before they put it out for sale?
    It’s like one of those nutty stories of a little old lady having a Van Gogh hanging behind the door in the loo.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve noticed there’s often a tendency to dismiss things owned by parents or grandparents.
      And yes, I’m still doing a jig now 😀

      Like

      • Arkenaten
        December 27, 2016

        By all accounts, my grandmother had some gorgeous stuff, although personally, I wouldn’t know antique from firewood, yet I heard it was all sold off as a job-lot on the cheap not long before she passed.
        Even my mother knew nothing of the sale.

        My late grandfather had an old Morris Minor in absolutely mint condition and that went the same way.

        Oh well, like you someone, somewhere is smiling. C’est la vie.

        🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Life is ups and downs. In 2008 we had to sell a house we owned for less than 50% of the valuation price because there was just no market and we needed the money…

        Liked by 1 person

  3. shivashishspeaks
    December 27, 2016

    Great post
    Amazing
    Visit mine
    http://shivashishspeaks.wordpress.com/

    Like

  4. Steve Ruis
    December 27, 2016

    Wonderful finds … but don’t “pooled” drapes as you prefer collect a lot of floor dust?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Helen Devries
    December 27, 2016

    Years ago I found a horde of full length plus linen curtains at one of the Emmaus braderies…all lined and all in a super russet colour.
    They furnished the windows of the last house in France perfectly and it was worth repainting some of the rooms given price of paint v price of curtains.

    It is odd what you come across given the vagaries of taste or lack of it. When I was first in France people were chucking out their family furniture and buying modern stuff and we picked up a fair number of nice pieces.

    Here there is a brisk trade in containerloads of furniture and oddments from France being sold at ludicrous prices simply because the stuff comes from Europe…but there are some interesting pieces among the china and bronzes if you are prepared to go through the lot.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think it’s the same in much of Latin America. There are even museums in Brazil with some rather common Bourgeois French furniture. Btw, I LOVE Emmaus 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Helen Devries
        December 27, 2016

        I don’;t know about your area but in my later years in France one of their local administrators became crafty and started siphoning off the best stuff to dealers who shipped to the U.S.A. and things went downhill.
        Mark you, his taste wasn’t impeccable…some nice things were passed over…

        Liked by 1 person

  6. foolsmusings
    December 27, 2016

    I’m pretty sure that the oldest thing in my house is me. 😛

    Liked by 2 people

    • Carmen
      December 27, 2016

      I was going to say that but then I remember that it’s actually my husband. 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Diana MacPherson
    December 27, 2016

    I read “rabbets” as “rabbits” and thought you found baby bunnies nesting. “Cool, free bunnies”, I thought. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  8. acflory
    December 27, 2016

    Love, LOVE that table, and the chest sounds like an absolute dream. Are you going to keep it or sell it?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Both the chest and table ARE MINE!!! MINE!!! I still haven’t recovered from giving up all the furniture- so the next few months will be a concerted effort to get back that feel I had at Villa l’Africaine.

      Like

      • acflory
        December 27, 2016

        -giggles- Okay! Can’t keep a good collector down. :p

        Liked by 1 person

      • metan
        December 28, 2016

        Loving the chest. And now all I can imagine is this whenever Mike suggests a clean out of unnecessary items… 😉

        Liked by 2 people

      • Superb.

        Like

      • metan
        December 28, 2016

        You’ve put a smile on my face with the exact carpet pattern to table legs/book to ornament positioning too. 😉

        Like

  9. appletonavenue
    December 28, 2016

    Wonderful pieces! I love old wood. Not that I have anything near that old, but I love the warm patina. And such a steal! Don’t you feel a little guilty, knowing the value of the table and not offering more than the requested price since they obviously, had no idea what they had. (Not that you should feel guilty.)

    Like

  10. midihideaways
    January 2, 2017

    Love your story of the finds – wonderful what you can find sometimes!! Good luck on your future forays!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Information

This entry was posted on December 27, 2016 by in design, Mazamet and tagged , , , , , , .
%d bloggers like this: