Thursday, January 29, 2009

Yves Is Attracting Attention

A great post from a blogger, EEE, I just found tonight about the YSL auction. The pictures are great. Well done.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Yves Saint Laurent Auction

The auction world is reeling as a result of the world's economic straits but all eyes are turning to Paris for what can only be termed a fabulous auction. I am of course talking about the estate sale by Pierre Berge of his and his late partner, Yves Saint Laurent's lifetime accumulation of fabulous. Here were two men who epitomized the theme of living large as the best revenge. The accumulated treasures are estimated to bring in between 200 to 500 million Euros and will go on display in Paris on February 23rd.

I have already tried looking at the catalogue to no avail but I'm sure as the time grows closer we'll be able to get a look. This is such a spectacular auction that we're going to spend some time looking at the history of these two men and what they were able to collect over the past half century.

Pierre Berge, photo from the Telegraph.

Here is an interesting article from the, entitled, "Multi-million pound 'meaningless' Yves Saint Laurent art sale." In it Berge explains his reasons for disbanding this great collection. Click here for the story.

Alex Cooper Auction in Baltimore

I'm sorry to report that I can't find the results from Cooper's auction this past Sunday. I've trolled their website and will send an email to see if I missed something but I have gotten pretty good at this. If an auction house doesn't publish their results, then how can we learn at this baseline event what our treasures might be worth. Its how we learn. If the results are not published we won't be back.

Monday, January 26, 2009

When Great Minds Meet

Compared to today's wintry weather, last Friday was a balmy day in DC. After such a busy week here in town where everything swung as wide as a pendulum can with the Inauguration and the crowds, I ended the week with a cocktail and a meeting of new friends and a couple of newer ones. Yes, we had a bloggers happy hour.

The Designer,Interiors, Architect,Art and Culture and Antique and Auction bloggers, of great renown of course, met up downtown for a libation and conversation. I think this should become a regular event as you get such great stories and ideas from your fellow peers in this new media.

Amongst the crowd was Michelle from My Notting Hill, Stefan from Architect Design, Jennifer from Washington Spaces Magazine blog and new friends Annie, from Bossycolor and Janet from JCB.

Although too short a happy hour for this Irishman, I just got the feeling that here was a collection of very talented people in spheres of influence and mutual interests that the bigger world out there should be paying attention too. Hey, we're here in DC..and this town is happening! Need I say more.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Perfect Match

A small painting for us users of matches. Yes, for all the wrong reasons. I have always loved matches. There's something romantic about them. Could it be the perfect match? You can buy it here.

Bonhams New York January Sale

A few nice pieces from this sale. Isn't funny that this simple mug is my favorite. The sale takes place on January 22, 2009. I will report back on final sale prices.

Lot No: 1041
An American tole peinte tray: The Peaceable Kingdom
mid-19th century
length 20 3/8in (51.6cm); width 15 7/8in (40.4cm)
Estimate: $800 - 1,200
SOLD FOR - $2,196. I'd hang it on a wall.

A very fine molded copper standing stag
W.H. Mullins Co., Salem, Ohio
last quarter 19th century
height 6ft 5in (1.93m); width 34in (88cm); depth 45in (1.15m)

Estimate: $60,000 - 80,000

Lot No: 1102
An English blue and white historical Staffordshire coffee pot
probably Enoch Wood & Sons
first half 19th century
Depicting 'Lafayette at Franklin's Tomb.'
height 11 3/4in (30cm)
Estimate: $1,500 - 2,500

Lot No: 1117
An English polychrome Delft mug
early 18th century
Decorated with trelliswork and cross hatching.
height 6 inches (15cm)
Estimate: $2,000 - 3,000
SOLD FOR - $3,660. I hope it found a nice home.

Lot No: 1160W
A William and Mary painted pine flat top high chest of drawers
New England
first quarter 18th century
height 5ft 4in (1.60m); width 39in (1.00m); depth 22in (56cm)

Estimate: $5,500 - 7,500
DID NOT SELL. Whats going on here?? A mug gets $3,600.00 and this pretty piece doesn't find a buyer? What a shame, I thought it looked so new, so old at the same time.

A Chippendale blue painted pine corner cupboard
Estimate: $3,500 - 5,500
SOLD FOR - $4,270. There was a deal. A great looking piece. Priced right.

Lot No: 1224W
A Chippendale pine child's slant front desk
New England
late 18th/early 19th century
height 38in (97cm); width 20in (51cm); depth 16in (41cm)

Estimate: $1,000 - 1,500
SOLD FOR - $854. A Lovely little piece.

Lot No: 1255W
A Federal inlaid mahogany lolling chair
first quarter 19th century
height 46in (1.17m)

Estimate: $4,000 - 6,000

Lot No: 1262W
A very fine and important Federal carved mahogany settee
possibly the workshop of Duncan Phyfe or one of his contemporaries
New York
first quarter 19th century
height 34 1/2in (87cm); width 6ft 10 1/2in (2.06m); depth 23 1/4in (59cm)

Estimate: $80,000 - 120,000
SOLD FOR - $85,400. On the low end for sure, but quality still finds a buyer.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Gentleman's Library Sale - Results

A pair of stools fashioned from WWI cavalry saddles
One stamped 'A. E. Dougall & Son, 1917', each on a tubular support with foot rest and a circular metal base, 83cm high. (2)
Estimate: £200 - 400
SOLD FOR - £1,320. Perfect for the Library Interview.

Here is an auction for the man who has everything. First off I love the title of the auction. It takes place in London at Bonhams on January 21st and is full of items that a man doesn't need but would love to have. I have always wanted a library filled with beautiful books, framed pictures and treasured items from travels and experiences to fill my days when reminiscing becomes important. Hey, I'm there already.

I've seen a few stories recently on the news about the popularity of the man cave. This is a room that men create to get away from the daily grind. A place to hang pictures and antlers and past trophy's that the mistress of the house has banned from the rest of the home. I really don't like the term "man cave," as it denotes a place to hide. A gentleman's library suits my purposes just fine.

I know that some of you out there will find a few of these pieces politically incorrect, a term and philosophy whose days I hope are finally numbered. I've hated political correctness from the moment it reared its dangerous head.

Naturally these are older pieces that simply are not made anymore. They were created in another time when tastes were different and environmental awareness not as firmly entrenched. That doesn't mean they're not still beautiful and worthwhile.

I normally don't show as many pieces from an auction but there was too much that made me swoon with the thoughts of ownership/stewardship. The whole catalogue will keep you entertained for a good while and gents, you will salivate. Ladies, we really do like these things and Christmas is only eleven months away. Here is the link for the full catalogue.

A silver 'finger print' cigar box, by Thomas Eady & Co. Ltd, London 1918
Estimate: £250 - 350
SOLD FOR £960. I thought it was an unusual and personal piece.

A Chinese presentation silver model of a junk circa 1927,
Estimate: £800 - 1,200
SOLD FOR - £2,280. Every man's desk should have one.

A George III silver and Old Sheffield plate double decanter trolley the coasters by Roberts, Mosley & Settle, Sheffield 1807/9, the old Sheffield plated trolley unmarked,
Estimate: £2,000 - 2,500

A George III mahogany brass bound writing box
Estimate: £400 - 450
SOLD FOR - £432. A good buy.

Antoine-Louis Barye (French 1796-1875)
Estimate: £1,500 - 2,000

A George V mahogany cheese coaster
Estimate: £300 - 500
DID NOT SELL..I guess people just aren't buying rounds of cheese these days.

A J. C. Vickery brown crocodile document case, circa 1920
Estimate: £250 - 350
SOLD FOR - £540. The perfect box for important papers and secrets.

A small gilt metal mounted claret jug in the form of a parrot
Estimate: £200 - 300
DID NOT SELL. I loved that piece.

An unusual American silver plated cocktail shaker, in the form of a golf bag
Estimate: £400 - 600
DID NOT SELL. Bring it across the pond. Us Yanks would love it!

Two Edwardian crocodile skin Gladstone style bags
Estimate: £200 - 400
SOLD FOR - £1,020.Every man who saw these gasped with want. Even at that price a great deal.

A Regency mahogany whatnot
Estimate: £500 - 800

After Samuel Howitt The Tiger Hunt 61 x 75cm.
Estimate: £150 - 250
SOLD FOR - £216. There is a deal.

A magnificent large polar bear
Estimate: £8,000 - 12,000
I had to include him, though I think he'd scare the hell out of me every time I walked into my library!!

A leopard skin with mounted head, Van Ingen & Van Ingen, Mysore.
Estimate: £1,500 - 2,000
My best friend had one of these in his library. The beast faced the door as you entered the room and made for a great entrance statement but gosh be darned if we didn't trip and knock out the beast's teeth after a few martinis. It's true but I loved that rug.

A rare 19th century logger head turtle shell
Estimate: £400 - 800
He's long dead. I love turtles and he'd hang proudly on my a sconce!!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Winter Antiques Show In New York City

The Big Apple's Winter Antiques Show starts tonight with the preview party. I'm sure you can catch all the people shots and such tomorrow morning at New York Social Diary. This show does make our DC show look a bit tame but hey, the times are changing and I believe that DC is getting more important by the day. We did have a kinda big week here ya know.

However if your in New York between now and the first of February this is a great way to spend the afternoon. Here is the story from the New York Times on the event. For Collectibles, All Roads Lead to New York.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Sometimes We Are Cool In DC

I thought Garth Brooks picked a great couple of songs to get the crowd revved. Here you can see what I mean.Video from the concert on the mall.

A Baltimore Auction


Chinese Export armorial porcelain plate, fourth quarter-18th century; non-decorated border with shield-form armorial in center; 9 in. diameter.

Fire flaws, wear to gilt on armorial, age appropriate wear, submit inquiry for further details.

Low Estimate: 250

High Estimate: 350

For us locals in Washington, I know, I've been selecting pieces that, unless your willing to purchase over the internet, are far from home. I've had readers of Homer tell me about the Alex Cooper Auction House in Baltimore and that I should check them out.

I've been trying for a couple of weeks to access the site knowing they had an auction coming up at the end of the this week. It was either me or their website but I finally was able to view their catalogue for the auction coming up this weekend. Well, this Sunday is your day and a great outing for a cold, January 25th. And folks, I think there are going to be some tremendous deals.

I know that if tonight is your first night burning the midnight oil at the White House, your never going to make this auction, but I was thinking of all the new folks in town who will need some good pieces to install in their new homes. May I say, I thought the day was SPLENDID and I wish this new Administration great good luck.

Now to you local auction fiends, what a great way to spend a cold January Sunday then an hour or two up in Baltimore bidding on some great pieces followed buy a lovely crab lunch. I may well be there too. So lets look at a few lots and their estimates. There are some great buys.


Pair of Chippendale style brass andirons, early 19th century; 18 in. height, 14 in. depth.

shanks replaced, pitting, dents, splits at seams, submit inquiry for further details

Low Estimate: 150

High Estimate: 250


Pair of Federal style brass andirons, 20th century; 21 in. height, 18 in. depth.

Wear from use, submit inquiry for further details

Low Estimate: 100

High Estimate: 200


Italian carved gesso giltwood mirror; acanthus and floral decoration; 36 in. length, 22 in. at widest point.

Cracks, repairs, gilt wear, submit inquiry for further details

Low Estimate: 600

High Estimate: 800


American Classical carved and spiral turned mahogany bow-front chest of drawers, New England, circa 1820; 40 /12 in. height, 37 in. width, 16 in. depth.

Top refinished, repairs and splits to ovolo corners, veneer damage, replaced brasses, submit inquiry for further details

Low Estimate: 500

High Estimate: 800


Federal style carved and inlaid mahogany serpentine-front sideboard, Biggs Furniture, Richmond, VA; 38 in. height, 72 in. width, 25 in. depth.

top refinished, submit inquiry for further details

Low Estimate: 1500

High Estimate: 2500


American Elizabethan Revival carved spool turned walnut etagere, circa 1850; four tier, single drawer, 55 in. height, 19 1/4 in. square

surface refinished, wood splits, cracks, scratches, stains, submit inquiry for further details

Low Estimate: 700

High Estimate: 900


Regency style carved, shell and stringer inlaid mahogany demilune side cabinet, 20th century; 34 in. height, 40 1/2 in. width, 18 in. depth.

top needs refinishing, stains, scratches, dings, submit inquiry for further details

Low Estimate: 250

High Estimate: 400


Queen Anne style carved mahogany tea table with candle slides, Kittinger, Buffalo NY; Kittinger paper label, 26 1/2 in. height, 19 x 30 in.

sun fading, wax residue, scratches, dings, submit inquiry for further details

Low Estimate: 150

High Estimate: 250


George III stringer inlaid mahogany corner etagere, circa 1800; 64 1/2 in. height, 22 in. width, 13 in. depth.

top and base associated, veneer losses, scratches, dings, submit inquiry for further details

Low Estimate: 250

High Estimate: 350


Arthur B. Parton (American, 1842-1914). House in Landscape, oil on canvas, signed "Arthur Parton" ll, 18 1/4 x 26 in., framed.

paint loss, frame loss, wear, submit inquiry for further details

Low Estimate: 3000

High Estimate: 5000

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Then and Now

Last night's posting on Bonham's Auction got me thinking about one of the pieces and one that I featured close to a year ago. I have always loved a great RED chair. Perhaps its the Irish Catholic in me, but give me a room to decorate and there may well be a red chair in it. Let's take a look at an old one and a new one. The first is from Bonham's upcoming auction. It is American, early 19th century and beautiful. The second is from Soane's UK furniture store and is sublime in its luxury, but in many ways they make the same statement.

Naturally the antique is estimated to sell for between $4,0000.00 to $6,000.00 and Soanes should come in around $2,500.00. So you could have one of the first or two of the latter. Oh such problems! I'm a modern gent in the end...give me two of the new and I have just the place for them. Take a look and tell me what you'd pick.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Watch Looks Cool But Love the Tie

Homer is a Dick Tracy and a gadget fan. It all goes back to wanting to be Billy Mummy as Will Robinson in Lost In Space. I know, once a nerd. However to my fellow design and gadget friends here is the link to Gizmodo's review of the best from Macworld Expo and the Consumer Electronics Show. While I love the great antique or piece of art, I also love what technology will be bring us in the future.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Washington Antiques Show

It was a dark and stormy night for the Washington Antiques Show. No really, it was a cold, rainy, miserable, DC January evening. I stood on Wisconsin Avenue at 5:30 after having changed from a preppy khaki store clerk into a fashionable press hack looking for a cab and realizing that, "Lord this isn't NY." It was cold and wet and I was holding a bag and an umbrella and trying to hail non-existent cabs at the same time. Actually I didn't hail a cab until I saw one.

Now, I'm not trying to sound like a former snooty New Yawker but my fellow DC'ers are simply not taxi savvy.Over the years I have watched countless people stand by the side of the street with their arms raised high with nary a cab in sight. "What are they waving at?", I've always pondered.I however have a trick that works ninety percent of the time when looking for a cab. I light a cigarette. Yes, Homer smokes, (see representational picture at top of page,) knowing that the minute I spark a fresh one a cab will come along, and it did.

I was kindly invited to attend the fifty-fourth Washington Antiques Show on opening night. Despite the weather, the annual event, in a new venue drew a full house.

It was a venerable DC crowd and a new venue, The Katzen Arts Center.I thought the Center was a much better exhibition space for the event which has long been held at the Omni-Shorham Hotel. The theme of this year's show was Art and Antiques in Red with a special room designed by Barry Dixon of Warrenton Virginia. Circulating amongst the crowd were the Honorary Chairs His Excellency Sheikh Salem Al-Sabah, Ambassador of Kuwait and Mrs. Salem-Al Sabah.

I wondered through the three floors of exhibitors and chatted with many of the Antique Dealers. All seemed to be curtailing their usual trips to the different Antique Shows around the country and are obviously hurting in this economic downturn.

I must honestly say aside from very pleasant company I didn't see anything that caught my eye as a very interesting piece. Additionally, as the auction fiend I try to be this is not the venue for finding a deal. None the less, the Antiques Show exists for charity purposes and that is what is important. It is the major annual fund raising event of the Thrift Shop Charities which provides multiple services to needy entities throughout the city.

I did however end the evening with a long chat with noted Interior Designer Barry Dixon. He had great things to say about many of the design bloggers around the country and says he is an avid reader of a number of them. " I especially like Eddie Ross, Cote De Texas and Mrs. Blandings," he said. "My staff is always printing out posts that they think I should see and there's just incredible talent emerging in this field."

Here are some pictures and some friends old and new from the evening.

The Red Carpet

Noted Washington I.D. Andrew Law and Katie Gewirz

Beautiful Library Ladder

All American Pieces

Dinner for two in Barry Dixon's Red Room

Well known Washington Interior Designer Kelly Proxmire and Dorothy Woodcock.

Interior Designer of the Evening Barry Dixon with Michael Schmidt and the Jim Lambeths.