Friday, May 1, 2015

Absence makes the heart grow fonder!

 Hey guys, sorry about the long absence but you know how it is life gets in the way and all hobbies must go on hold. I do have a lot of stuff to post so stay tuned. Yup, we're still alive and kicking...fussing, cussing, throwing things in a fit of rage, repairing things, and sometimes just saying forget it. Thanks for checking in on us.

Sunday, April 13, 2014


Recently, we have been finding a lot of Empire style sofas and settees.

Below is a settee that was recently added to the collection. This piece needs to be reupholstered and the joints need to be tightened and glued. Right now, this piece is being used as an artwork holder because of the condition of the upholstery.

This piece dates to about 1825-1830 and was likely made in Philadelphia. There is intricate hand carving all along the rails and there are two eagle heads on the back. Some furniture made in the United States during the Federal era (roughly 1780-1830) have patriotic themed carvings. Many pieces depict eagles, though there are some that have arrangements of stars, arrows, or acorns that correspond to the number of states there were in the Union at the time the piece was made.

This will be re-upholstered eventually. The upholstery is stained and soiled beyond repair and has some thin spots. Considering it's been on the piece for about 75 years, whoever had it done got their money's worth.

More artwork and frames

Sorry for the long absence, I have been sick and due to my crazy work schedule having a life outside of work was impossible.

Lately we have been collecting a lot of artwork consisting of oils and watercolors. Unfortunately some of the frames need some TLC or have to be replaced. We have found a few replacements but we are still on the hunt.

Here's a few that we recently found from auctions and our usual spots.

This is an early watercolor on paper from Britain. It's a scene of a small coastal town and is very mysterious looking. There is early writing, probably from the early 19th Century, on the bottom of the paper that attributes this to Richard Wilson (1714-1782) and there is an early seal on the bottom right of the paper. Since this work is unsigned, we may never know if it was really by Richard Wilson, though the paper is consistent with the type that was used in the mid 1700s.

Below is one of my favorites because the sky and the sea seem to move when it is hanging on the wall (optical illusion...but it's still really cool.) The artist really did an excellent job with the effects, to the point that he or she didn't bother to sign the painting! This is an oil on board from about 1900. This picture reminds me of growing up near the water because the sky is clear, sunny and misleading at the same time (sea storms are the worst because they can form so fast.)
Can you see it...the water and the clouds moving?! Can you hear the waves crashing against the boat and hear the wind...and the bell clanging on top of the buoy...truly amazing (I love the ocean).

Below is another wonderful painting. This artist was a master of oil and watercolor paintings. Benjamin Champney (1817-1907) had a long artistic career that spanned nearly 70 years. He mostly painted mountain scenes, but was known to paint a seascape here and there. Champney really had a gift for painting water, whether it was a river or an ocean. It's hard to see in this picture, but the water looks like how it does in real life if you were standing on the shore. The shallow water near the shore has a greenish brown tint that gradually progresses to a deep blue as it heads to the horizon. This is a watercolor and is one of his later works, dating to approximately 1890-1900.

Here is another oil based painting. This one is an oil on canvas from Denmark and was painted by Henrik Schouboe (1876-1949). The painting dates to about 1910-1915.

Even though it depicts a rescue scene along the coast of Jutland in Denmark, this painting reminds me of the Outer Banks with the rough seas and the Coast Guardsmen rowing out to sea to aid a distressed vessel. It's fascinating to see one of these lifesaving vessels in person because of the size, weight and the man power needed. These gentlemen were true heroes!

Below is a watercolor painting of a night time seascape. This was painted by Neil Reid Mitchill (1858-1934) and is probably circa 1900-1910.

The sky and the sea are ominous in this painting. The frame was replaced at some point with a very cheap one. Don't worry - this will be framed in something better down the road!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Random stuff

More random stuff that I forgot to post yesterday

Since childhood, my husband has collected and restored consoles, radios and phonographs. He has a lot of them from the rarest to the most common ones. There are a few that I really like and will display in the house after renovation. Below is one that I really like a lot.

Sonora phonograph circa 1918
This is the original floor in the living room and it will eventually be restored to her former glory at a later date.

Now who wants to go searching for treasure "me mateys"

This piece will be tucked away for a few years before we restore it. Hubby wants to restore this piece with our kids (distant future) one day. This piece needs a lot of work. It's a Colonial American chest complete with rosehead nails and hand-made iron hinges, strapping, and lock. Hard to put an exact date on something like this, but it's probably circa 1750-1760 or so. The green paint and paper lining were probably added in the 1800s. We found this at a flea market for $15. The person selling it had no idea it was an 18th Century piece.

In our travels we collect light fixtures(did I fail to mention a lot of fixtures) for future use in our house restoration. We have quite a few of them hanging in the basement waiting to be restored and rewired. Here is an example of one.

This one is really cool because of the decorations and the placement of the light sockets. My husband found this one day at a local salvage yard for a decent price. It needs to be cleaned and rewired but she is pretty. This will probably hang in the future hallway leading to the hall closet (check out our site to see the foyer where the radiator is all of that was open at one time). It's stamped brass and is from the early 20th Century, probably the 1910s.

Here is a piece from the infamous second floor bathroom collection! This room refuses to be

This sink was found at a salvage yard. It's cast iron with a porcelain enamel. There is no manufacturer on it anywhere, but there is a 1907 patent date. Sinks in this style were popular from the 1900s through the early 1920s.
Hopefully this year we can finally finish this room! Yes, we had to gut this room down to the studs to fix major damage and to prevent future issues.

Monday, March 3, 2014

More miscellaneous items (lost count)

More miscellaneous items for you guys.

My husband found the candlestick phone for a good price while we were on vacation in North Carolina. She's a beauty isn't she! This baby will eventually be placed in the living room (will be turned into a study) or family room. It's funny...when you show these phones to the younger generation (post 90s babies) they are in This one is from the early 1920s and has an original 5-cent courtesy coin box on it.

Remember when we didn't have to use area codes when dialing a number...I don't remember any further back but my husband does (grew up in a small town)! I think this dial was replaced at some point, as it looks more like one from a 1930s phone. The exchange name (VErnon) is printed on the insert.

 Here's another phone from our collection.

This is a Western Electric model 202 that is dated 1936. The model 202 was one of Western Electric's mainstays from 1930 to 1937. This one is all original.

More clocks from my hubby's collection

This is a late 1940s advertising clock made by Neon Products of Lima, Ohio. It hung in an appliance store in central Virginia for almost 50 years before my husband acquired it. Philco was based in Philadelphia and their name is synonymous with antique radios, televisions, and major appliances. This clock displays a common problem found on many old advertising clocks. These clocks are supposed to have low wattage (less than 15W) bulbs installed inside them. Someone installed 60 watters in here and it caused the paint on the glass to start flaking and de-laminating. Higher wattage bulbs generate too much heat inside these clocks.

This is a fluorescent advertising clock made by Tel-A-Sign of Chicago in 1962. Teem was Pepsi's answer to Sprite. The dates online vary for when the soda was introduced, but it was sometime in the early 1960s. Teem existed until 1984, when it was re-named Slice. Slice continued through the late 1990s when it was re-named yet again to Sierra Mist.

My husband found these flashlights at various flea markets and thrift shops for next to nothing. He had to replace the bulb in two of them but they are really bright. I will grab one of these if I have to take the trash out at night and I can see everything. All of them are in regular use around our house.

These were all made by Eveready. From left to right: 1913 model 2633 three-cell miner's light with nickel-plated brass casing, 1915 model 2616 two-cell miner's light with vulcanite fiber casing, 1918 Daylo model 2602 two-cell light with vulcanite fiber casing, and 1925 model 2671.

Here's a coin-op hospital radio that I love (this one will be placed with the rest of the collection). This is a Telex model T-6 made around 1954. It mounted to the head of a bed and also contained a reading light.

New painting from our collection

This is an original watercolor painted by the Scottish master William Leighton Leitch (1804-1883). It is signed by him on the lower right and dated 1856. Leitch served as Drawing Master to Queen Victoria for over twenty years and his watercolor landscapes are very well known in the art world. This is probably the most famous artist whose work we own an example of.

We bought this painting at an auction for a good price. It was overlooked due to its residing in an ugly 1970s frame with a smoky glass (boy this frame is so actually made the painting ugly). The glass made the painting appear much darker than it really is - almost to the point it appeared that the painting was soiled or the paper had bad foxing. We took a gamble and it paid off. Getting it out of the frame improved it a hundred times over!

Thanks for checking out our blog. See you next time.

Kenzie said good night! :)

Kitchen stuff #2

I've decided to do a late 1940-1950s era style kitchen because I have a lot of appliances and nicknacks from that era (besides that era's appliances were really cool). I was able to round up more stuff for the kitchen so sit back and enjoy.

Can you guess what this is?

In my travels, I found this interesting little nicknack. It looks like an eggbeater (it is) but it is specifically for whipping and creaming egg whites. I had to get this because I have never seen one of these before. This is from the early 1930s.

Ice crusher

I remember these from my childhood (before the fancy refrigerators that crushes the ice for you) the hand crank ice crusher. This one has the insert for attaching it to the wall. This needs to be washed and wiped down (not sure if we will use this). These are common, but can be hard to find in good condition. I believe this one was made in the 1950s.

We found this set on a whim (we were not looking for a kitchen table at the time) from one of our local ma and pa second-hand shops.The stainless trim and formica top are in excellent condition. This is probably 1955-1960.

Please do not pay any attention to the wall with the trash bag. Remember from previous pictures, we had to replace the second floor bathroom cast iron pipe. Bookcases from Ikea in the background.
If you check out the house website you will see that our kitchen is nice but it is not functional. Since I am very creative (make something out of nothing) I decided to purchase four bookcases (three large and one small) from Ikea and use them for storage (we brought the doors separately). These bookcases are great because my counter top has been cleaned off and the cabinet doors are able to close (extreme stuffing of the Apparently, this kitchen was renovated in the mid 1960s and the butler's pantry was removed (shaking my head) and replaced with cheesy cheap cabinets (because of this the cabinet space was reduced dramatically - the originals went all the way to the original ceiling).

I'm not sure if I mentioned that I love telephones the older the better. I have quite a few phones tucked away throughout this house so when I find them I will definitely take plenty of pictures.This phone will eventually find itself in the kitchen after renovation (we will definitely use this one). This one is dated 1960 inside. We picked this up at a flea market for $5.

Growing up, I had the pink princess rotatory phone in my bedroom. (The rotatory phone...if you messed up and dialed the wrong had to hang up the phone and start all over again...and it was always the second to last digit

Check back for more!