My Mazamet

Life at № 42

A Horrendous Day

I had planned on posting wonderful pictures of a stunning parcel gilt lacca povera console table from the first half of the 18th century this afternoon – but that will not be happening.

Picture this. You hand over to an artisan a table made between 250 and 280 years ago. The only thing you ask that person to do is fill in some missing decoration which has flaked off. When you finally go to pick it up, the formerly water gilt (with real gold, obviously) bevelled edges and central mouldings are covered in schlagmetal (imitation gold leaf) – which was applied with modern adhesive and scrapes off with your fingernail. Under this layer of fake gold leaf is new gold paint, and under the gold paint lies a completely ruined layer of what was once outstanding 18th century gilding. And just like that, poof, a table that was worth thousands is worthless. And for the privilege of having my property ruined I paid just 240€. Hurrah!

I’ve tried to move very quickly through the five stages of grief. Denial: When I first saw it I thought it must be the light. Anger: I stormed off. Bargaining: Maybe this disaster can be fixed. Depression: How stupid was I? And finally acceptance. I spent 40 minutes on the way back home thinking how in the grand scheme of things, we’re very fortunate. So I’m going to take the loss on the chin and move on.I made a mistake by trusting someone knew what they were doing, and sometimes mistakes can be very expensive. As Mr. Trump would say #sad.

To end on a high note here’s a Venetian console which hasn’t been ruined, and is available from a Connecticut dealer.

 

 

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68 comments on “A Horrendous Day

  1. inspiredbythedivine1
    March 15, 2018

    Damn, bro, that sucks. If that had happened to me, there’d have been some serious anger flying out of me at the culprit who ruined it.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Steve Ruis
    March 15, 2018

    From what I can tell, such things happen more often than not. Historic pieces have to be cared for with very explicit instructions … otherwise … shock!

    Liked by 2 people

    • The Pink Agendist
      March 15, 2018

      You’re right. Every dealer I know has at least one restoration horror story they tell at dinner parties. It was only a matter of time until I got mine :/

      Like

  3. Scottie
    March 15, 2018

    What a mess. I would have made sure that the person knew how angry I was at the harm done to a valuable antique. I would also make sure that others know of the results from your simple request. Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Pink Agendist
      March 15, 2018

      The biggest shame is it was a total waste. It’s essentially vandalism to take on that sort of work if the person doesn’t know what they’re doing.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Kris Jennings
    March 15, 2018

    I’m sorry that happened but think it’s super awesome that you recognize your progression through the change curve 😉 Perhaps in acceptance you will find a positive action to take with the offender, and may even be surprised with the response. If not, sharing it here is good for you too. Hugs (or awkward high fives to respect your personal space).

    Liked by 4 people

    • The Pink Agendist
      March 15, 2018

      Mike is pleased. He says that a few years this would have sent me spiralling out of control. Thus far, I’m okay 🙂

      Liked by 6 people

      • Esme upon the Cloud
        March 15, 2018

        You’ve handled it brilliantly, better than a great deal of people would. Putting things in perspective isn’t easy, well done dear. *hugs him*.

        A much smaller scale version of your debacle occurred to me when a friend broke a huge Victorian glass witch ball that I’d kept in perfect condition for years and I was sorely attached to. I went through those very stages, it’s the only way not to end up making yourself even more miserable I reckon. ❤

        Liked by 2 people

      • The Pink Agendist
        March 15, 2018

        I’ll admit that deep inside I felt like crying. Then when Mike got in the car he gave me an annoying speech about how it was a privilege just to be able to know the difference between beautiful and mediocre. And how unfair it would be to blame the people who don’t know the difference for not knowing.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Esme upon the Cloud
        March 15, 2018

        He’s the real treasure.

        – Esme knowing he knows it

        Liked by 2 people

      • The Pink Agendist
        March 15, 2018

        Precisely. Almost worth the price of a Venetian console table!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Esme upon the Cloud
        March 15, 2018

        Almost. Let’s not go mad now.

        – Esme falling about and then off the Cloud laughing

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Sirius Bizinus
    March 15, 2018

    You have my condolences. It’s a shame that you had to pay for the ruination of a piece of history. Is there any way you could remove the vandalized bits and get someone else to fix it?

    Liked by 2 people

    • The Pink Agendist
      March 15, 2018

      I’m investigating. I’ve sent pictures to a few people and I’m hoping it can at least be sold as a decorative piece, but its value as an antique is seriously dented.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. jim-
    March 15, 2018

    That is a horrible story.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The Pink Agendist
      March 15, 2018

      It could be worse. If I were Catholic I’d be thinking god is punishing me for something 😀

      Liked by 5 people

      • jim-
        March 15, 2018

        Yes. What kind of sin caused this? Maybe now you could just spray it with rhino liner and use it for shop furniture :/

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Pink Agendist
        March 15, 2018

        I’m not sure, but as I go through the 7 cardinal sins every day, all options are open 😀

        Liked by 2 people

      • jim-
        March 15, 2018

        I think I’m at 6 already today. Are there more? Lol

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Pink Agendist
        March 15, 2018

        Yes,they’re SEVEN. Pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath and sloth 😀 😀

        Like

      • jim-
        March 15, 2018

        I’m a little new at this still. If I do lust twice, does that count as one, or two?

        Liked by 2 people

  7. agrudzinsky
    March 15, 2018

    You had a great chance to practice self-control and reflect on your feelings and emotions. Besides, you now have your own horror story to tell at dinner parties. (I know… My wife would probably kill me for this kind of “empathy”.)

    What else can I say here?.. Oh, yes.. “It’s only a table!” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Pink Agendist
      March 15, 2018

      Flippancy is actually very welcomed – and good for me. It is only a table and disasters are rare enough that when one happens it’s a major event.

      Liked by 2 people

      • agrudzinsky
        March 15, 2018

        My dad likes to say, “May this be the biggest disaster in your life.”

        Liked by 5 people

  8. john zande
    March 15, 2018

    You see, this is why not having access to guns is a good thing.

    Liked by 5 people

  9. Diana MacPherson
    March 15, 2018

    Oh that sounds awful! Sure, you’re very lucky, but you do have every reason to be really angry at someone ruining something so nice. I hope you spoke to the owner and you tell everyone not to go there!

    Liked by 2 people

    • The Pink Agendist
      March 15, 2018

      Oh, I’m angry. Especially angry that the person looked into my eyes and actually DENIED having touched the gilding! As if I were some sort of cretin who wouldn’t notice the difference between how it was before and how it is now.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Arkenaten
    March 15, 2018

    I’ve just finished watching Forest Gump … again. ”Or as my daughter said: ”A re-run Forest, a re-run.”

    And as Forest said: ”(Sh) it happens.”

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Clare Flourish
    March 15, 2018

    I am so sorry for your loss.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. metan
    March 16, 2018

    Cannot press Like for dead table. ☹️

    Am hugely impressed that evolved Pink made it to stage Acceptance though! Old Pink would’ve started at Denial, slid quickly into Anger, then burnt the world down.

    Liked by 1 person

    • makagutu
      March 16, 2018

      This is exactly what I would have done!

      Liked by 1 person

    • The Pink Agendist
      March 16, 2018

      😀 Well, as I came down the stairs today and saw the table in the hall I had to take another deep, deep breath (ok, more than one) – but I’m managing 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • metan
        March 16, 2018

        Even more impressed! I would definitely have to keep it out of sight. What are you going to do with it now? Does the greenhouse need an extravagant potting table? 😜

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Pink Agendist
        March 16, 2018

        I’m putting it out of my mind for a few days. Then next week I’ll send pictures to restorers I’ve worked with before to see what they think.

        Like

      • metan
        March 16, 2018

        Good idea. Even if there isn’t much hope one of them might see it as an exciting challenge. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  13. makagutu
    March 16, 2018

    Pink, I would have exploded. You even paid for it? Wow, your cool is beyond me. Sorry mate.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Pink Agendist
      March 16, 2018

      I thought that if I didn’t pay for it, the person would have felt absolved from the mess they made. I wanted to drive home the point that this was wrong from every angle.

      Like

      • makagutu
        March 16, 2018

        It would have been much better for them to admit we don’t deal with this. That way, I would give them business. But to mess your stuff and act like you lost your eyesight is offensive

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Pink Agendist
        March 16, 2018

        Incredibly offensive. I was shocked at the gall of just pretending they hadn’t done anything to the gilding.

        Like

  14. davidprosser
    March 16, 2018

    I’d have counted to a lot more than ten in order to contain my dismay then probably started laying about me with my crutches. You must have been devastated and with good reason.I’m sorry, such a nice piece of furniture too.
    Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

  15. MELewis
    March 16, 2018

    Was this some sort of English-French communications gap? Or was the fellow just thick?

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Pink Agendist
      March 16, 2018

      Not even that. I’m always super careful. Even in the phrasing of what I ask for. My initial suggestion was that the person do the outline of the missing decorations in red and I’d handle the rest myself. At that point the person insisted they knew how to gild and could do the entire job. But at no point did this involve destroying the pre-existing gilding. There was just no reason to even touch the bevelled edges. This was a case of someone getting in way over their head and pretending they had knowledge and skills that they simply did not have.
      Did you hear of the Ecce Homo (now known as the Monkey Christ) restoration in Spain a few years ago?It reminded me of that. The restored version is the one on the right.

      Liked by 4 people

    • The Pink Agendist
      March 16, 2018

      btw, the person in question was English :/

      Liked by 1 person

      • MELewis
        March 16, 2018

        Well, I only ask as it’s happened to me more times than I can count that I assume people understand me and trust they know what they’re doing. Let’s see: the dermatologist who left a scar on my face when removing an innocuous sun spot, the painter who swore up and down he’d be careful then slopped white paint all over the glass on the balcony…I always end up wondering if somehow my ‘foreignness’ is to blame!

        Liked by 1 person

  16. poshbirdy
    March 16, 2018

    Shit. That’s awful, a real nightmare. How did this person manage to pass himself off as qualified to destroy your goodies?

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Pink Agendist
      March 16, 2018

      They insisted they knew what they were doing and I (stupidly) presumed no reasonable person would pretend to have knowledge or skills they didn’t have. Now I’m going to walk around thinking anyone could be a sort of Jodie Whittacker in Trust Me…
      Is that really a waiter or is it some random person bringing me a fake bill 🤔

      Like

  17. karenjane
    March 16, 2018

    Your restraint is remarkable, & the next time I’m about to explode over something I’ll think of your table disaster, & with luck I too can calm down. You deserve a medal, or at least a huge bottle of wine. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Pink Agendist
      March 16, 2018

      I’ve had the bottle of wine! Starting on the second. I was furious again today, so it was a lot of work to calm myself down. The problem was I went to inspect the table and discovered it was much worse than I initially imagined… It looks like there’s just nothing of the original painting left to be salvaged.

      Like

  18. Ya know, that’s really tough.
    “Mike is pleased. He says that a few years this would have sent me spiralling out of control. Thus far, I’m okay ”
    So if we have to look fr a nugget of anything positive that is it. I think you need to put this out of sight. Just don’t have it anywhere in your field of vision. Tuck it somewhere you rarely go, come back to it in a years time.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. pendantry
    March 17, 2018

    OK, I’m surprised I’ve scanned through all these comments and not seen anyone talk of suing. Doesn’t this guy have insurance?

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Osyth
    March 19, 2018

    I’ve been away in a private Schloss in the Alpes-Bavarie foothills so please excuse my lateness on parade. Actually, when we arrived back in Grenoble our bag had been stolen from the hold of the Navette. Apparemment this has been going on for over a year, the police think drivers are involved. We have lost around $5,000 of stuff including our two MacBook pros. I only reference this as a reminder that this is a thing not a person. It is horrible (one of the things stolen from us was a pair of vintage Kurt Geiger boots that I have owned for 10 years and which carry so many memories I can’t even start to recant them) but we can’t fix the past no matter what insurance or recriminations we take. You are a discerning and cultured, highly educated at a guess and clearly intellectual person (this is why I follow you) …. this is a tragedy and I can’t imagine your pain but I urge you not to wrinkle your pretty face because you have given into sucking bitter lemons 🍋 🍋.

    Like

  21. Pingback: Cohen connect – Love Thy Neighbor

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This entry was posted on March 15, 2018 by in art, thinking aloud.
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