Monday, January 30, 2012

Friends in High Places

So this is not at all the blog posting I had in mind for today. I was going to talk about my recent closet/slipper purge (postponed), but I can't contain my excitement about possibly adding to our family. And by family, I mean antiques. Yes, I lurrrve me some antiques.
We are fortunate to have made a friend who goes on monthly or bi-monthly trips to France to hunt out estate furniture from French castles and stately homes. He then restores them to their former glory, making sure not to remove any aspect that is original and still functional.
Our inaugural piece from him was a much needed bedroom linen wardrobe. It's made of beautiful, rich walnut with solid wood interior. Better yet, it has two original drawers in it (currently used for napkin rings) and comes apart for travel (so clever!). I drool every time I see it.
Our Louis XV (1880) Walnut Armoire, pre-delivery to our house!
It is rare to find the crown intact, without repairs!
Our antiquing friend has just returned from one of his trips and my heart skipped a beat when he showed me our possible sibling bookcase. Thankfully he is not just knowledgeable, but honest too, so he revealed to us that Louis XV wardrobes like ours and it's sibling, originally always came with mirrored fronts, as they were intended for bedroom use. Many antique dealers will sell glass-fronted armoires as original. I think this fact is nice to know, but right now I am specifically looking for a vitrine/glass fronted bookcase to display my collection of china, so I don't mind a little non-original glass! 
Louis XV bookcase/vitrine - should we match or not?
My heart is aflutter, because I cannot decide if I should match our bedroom wardrobe with the bookcase (notice the classic shell shaped crown and curved top, typical of Louis XV and a very close match to our existing bedroom armoire). Gorgeous, isn't it?
Close-up of the carving and solid oak interior
Notice how the interior of antiques meant for daily use is usually constructed of harder wearing wood, such as oak. The only slightly odd thing I just noticed, is the front of some of the shelves and the drawers appear almost veneered, or lacquered. Although this probably wouldn't be enough to make me not love it, there is another option, which I also looooove.
Bookcase option 2: More French Country than French "estate"?
This is also made of walnut and from the same period and I love the seeing the wood grain on the doors. The straighter and angular lines of the doors, juxtaposed with the soft and slightly simpler carving on the crown of this bookcase really appeals to me. Possibly, marginally, more than the matching Louis XV bookcase.

Close up of French bookcase option 2
Which one would you pick?
I think the second one is my front runner at the moment, but depending on the exact hue of the wood in person, I may swing one way or the other, since I tend to prefer saturated deeper wood.
*Fingers firmly crossed that my beau agrees with my picks and is feeling uber-generous!* But honey... it's not expensive if you consider that these purchases will outlast us all, to be cherished by future generations. Really we are investing in our future children. Think about it.

1 comment:

  1. I like the first one that matches your armoire--it's just so regal!! BEAUTIFUL! Once you decide let us know and I can't wait to see it filled with your China!


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