Tuesday, May 31, 2011
An Enchanted Chair
I love and have always been fascinated by antiques, they all have many interesting stories to share. I realize however that you never really "own" an antique you simply become its caretaker for a period of time. In one hundred years it will rightfully and proudly grace someone else's home.
Being the romantic spirit that I am I also enjoy knowing I played a small hand in its eventual fate, that maybe some how I assisted it along in its travels throughout the ages. (I'll share a little secret with you at the end of this post)
Gorgeous... as you can see a 19th century hand carved birch painted Louis XVI beauty... it was certainly love at first sight the moment I laid eyes on it. This chair has journeyed across the seas and over continents, past centuries to fall into my fortunate and appreciative hands.
It arrived at my doorstep one day in a very large wooden crate packed in lots of soft excelsior, I nearly fainted when I finally saw it in person, a stout little frame full of dignity... dainty but strong, an authentic treasure if there ever was one, and the color, it still retains its original paint which can only be described as a luscious faint shade of "rain."
Now I ask you... Do you believe an inanimate antique object like say a locket, a house or even a chair in this case could actually carry with it its very own predestined fate?
That your chance encounter, having crossed paths with said object could alter and even help it to full fill and complete its journey properly just as destiny had always intended?!
This enchanted little chair has been in my possession for some time now, sitting naked... patiently waiting to be restored to its former glory and in a manner by which its pedigree deserves so that its original beauty will finally be rediscovered.
I actually had a very vivid dream one night in which my little chair called out to me... asking me to rescue her. She told me she had full confidence I would find just the right person who could do her justice.
She requested a master craftsman, most preferably one of her own nationality, insisting that in any other hands other than that of a highly gifted french artisan with a vast knowledge of historical restoration and a deep passion for his work she could easily fall into the most terrible of fates... that of mediocrity.
Here is where a bit of serendipity comes into play. I was walking my dog in our new neighborhood and came across a sign that read "Upholstery in Garage" as luck would have it within that unassuming building I passed by everyday,
the most capable and talented hands were waiting with remarkable credentials some of which include the finest workshop in Europe,
the Chateau de Versailles and Chateau de Fontainebleau to name a few.
You can see for yourself... the little chair coming back to to life before your very eyes,
restored to her former grandeur, astonishing perfection given to every detail,
every line and curve precisely followed, an unequivocal masterpiece,
a timeless beauty once again!
And about the secret I mentioned earlier,
as with all the art I create and the antiques I cherish,
I try to help them keep whatever noteworthy provenance they may already possess,
and add to it that which has occurred to the piece while in my possession.
I write out on a fine piece of parchment paper every fact I know about my item,
then discreetly tuck it in somewhere within my treasure
so that it may carry its past history
securely right along with it
forward into the future
with the hopes that
someday, some lucky person will happily find it
and they will in turn be able to reflect upon its past and appreciate its sheer beauty the way I do!
Thank you Eric Thoman for your brilliant upholstery work and thanks also to Veronique for sharing your "in progress" photos to add with my at home shots.
Here is the link to VE Thoman furniture upholstery in Austin, Texas, if you are any where local I highly recommend him! Also on another note be sure to check out their luxury dog beds, they are enough to make even Marie Antoinette swoon!