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Monday, January 23, 2012

French Antiques

Every antique store I have visited in person and every antique store I have visited in cyberspace have a good number of French antiques on their inventory. Some of the local big and famous antique storeowners go to France every year to bring containers full of French antiques. (They swear by it).

France is approximately 213,010 sq. miles in area with a current population of around 65 million.  USA is around 3,794,101 sq. miles with a population of 312 million. (This shows France is much smaller than USA, both in area and population). If you did not get it, let me tell you that the great State of Texas is around 268,581 sq. miles in area. Which means France is 55,571 sq. miles smaller than Texas.

19th century French table
There are 50 states in USA and there is at least one big city in every state. That big city has at least dozen antique markets or stores. (Slocum Street in Dallas, Texas alone has more antique stores than you can imagine). Now in each one of these antique stores you will find French antique furniture and accessories.

It is said that, in France all the worldly possessions such as furniture etc. is passed on within the family, generation after generation. Which means unlike us, they do not have an estate sale after their grandpa and grandma pass on.

I am curious as to how much furniture (or extra furniture if they don’t sell family heirlooms) French made in the last few centuries, so that we could get an endless supply of it in the form of French antiques here in the USA.

Louis XIII armoire 
The other curiosity is that in case they did not make any extra furniture and since we Americans have bought all of the furniture out of their homes, what do they use these days in their own homes? I bet they don’t use IKEA.

Have you ever thought of that? I have been bothered by this thought lately.

18th century wedding armoire

19th century French console

Credits: 1stdibs,minton,courtyard,inessastewart antiques etc

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Finesse Originals wall sculpture

First time I came across one of Finesse Originals wall sculpture was at a local antique store,  it was a piece with horses and knights on it. (similar to the picture on the left).  A few years’ back I ended up buying one at Courtyard antiques here in Oklahoma. Though this piece seems to be metal, but in reality it is fiberglass on a metal frame.

Finesse Originals wall sculpture purchased few years back, on
the wall in my home
This picture gives the scale of the wall

About a week back I bought my second Finesse Originals piece at another local antique store. But this one has a story behind it. This piece came from a family owned grocery store that recently went out of business after 122 years. Established in 1889 on the day of the famous “Oklahoma land run”, the store was located in an affluent part of town. (It is another story how the store was forced out of business by a company that has nothing to do with groceries).

Newest find 
I bought it since it is part of the local history and also part of my butter buying history, since for past several years I had bought my French butter from that grocery store, as they were the only ones to carry it. 

My previous post was on antique silver, I was asked by my blogger friend of Architect Design to post some pictures of what I got. I am including a few pictures of some small silver (sterling and silver plate) pieces that we have rescued in the past months.  We did not pay a fortune to acquire them anyway; we just got lucky and ended up at the right places at the right time.
I like both these covered dishes, they hold nuts and candy
in the living room

I am using this one as a planter, square tray was bought new
when silver was cheap 

I am proud of my purchase of this large bowl you can't buy a
plastic one for the price

Salt and pepper shakers (the candle holders are part of
existing collection)

more salt n pepper shaker

and more salt n pepper shaker

We love this silverware set serving for 24 which turned out
beautiful after a wash and some polishing
Credits: google, paisley curtain etc

Friday, January 6, 2012

Antique Silver

Last month at a party, I met this gentleman who owns couple of “cash for gold stores”, that we see pop up all over since the precious metal prices shot up.

I was stunned to hear that a lot of antique silver and even silver plate pieces are getting melted down these days in order to make money.  A lot of people are grabbing silver pieces from the antique stores and selling to these shops. The gentleman said he feels bad melting some of those antique pieces but then it is his livelihood and he can’t afford not to melt them.

So the next day I went out to save antique silver pieces, with my limited budget I did manage to buy a few sterling and a few silver-plate pieces for personal collection and also to give as gift for the holidays. I can’t save them all, but I did some. It feels good. If you can save any, please do so, it seems if the prices of precious metals keep going up, most of the antique silver will be melted away.
castillo silver plate lapis lazuli pitcher

Antique sterling+cutglass caviar dish . French

Japanese dragon motif silver bowl

Lapis lazuli silver plate candlestick c.1960

Russian silver cigarette-case

silver plate mexican water pitcher

Sterling and crystal bowl 1800s. German

Sterling tea caddy

Reed and Barton silver plate set c. 1958

sterling hunting-hound cufflinks
 Credits: 1stdibs, google etc

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Cary Grant

“I think being relaxed all times, and I mean relaxed, not collapsed, can add to the happiness and duration of one’s life and looks. And relaxed people are fun to be around”. Cary Grant

And relaxed he was, all his 82 years of life and fun he was to be around with.  And even now 26 years after his death, he is fun when you watch his movies; he is relaxed when you look at his photos.

Cary Grant was a gentleman, a style icon, a great movie star, a great father and a great man.

At age 5

On the set

You don't lose your identity up on the screen. It's always you...  CG
The Philadelphia Story

The Grass is Greener

NYC, shooting North by Northwest

With Grace Kelly in "To catch a Thief"

Gregory Peck, Joanne Woodward, Paul Newman, Sophia Loren, Doris Day (back to camera), Cary Grant, Ronald Reagan and Dorothy Malone listening to dir. Parker during rehearsals for 30th annual Academy Awards show at the RKO Pantages theater
If you want to be an actor, my advice is to learn your lines and don't bump into other actors... CG
With Katharine Hepburn

With Ingrid Bergman

Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant

Cary Grant and Marilyn Monroe
How the devil do I know what I would have become if hadn't become an actor? CG

Cary Grant in "Male War-bride"

katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant on the set 

Cary, Eva, Hitchcock and James

Hepburn, Cary and Stewart

Cary and  Priscilla Lane

Rock Hudson, Cary Grant, Marlon Brando and Gregory Peck
Clark Gable, Cary Grant, Bob Hope and Sir David Niven

The only really good thing about acting in movies is that there is no heavy lifting. CG
 Cary and Virginia Cherrill

Cary and BarbaraHutton

Cary and BetsyDrake

Cary and Dyan Cannon

Cary and Barbara Harris
I could have gone on acting and playing a grandfather or a bum, but I discovered more important things in life. I retired when I became a father because I didn't want to miss any part of my daughter's growing up. Jennifer is the best production I ever made. CG

Cary Grant and daughter Jennifer Grant

I'm too busy living my life to write about it. CG
In Father Goose

North by Northwest
To Catch a Thief 


With Tony Curtis in Operation petticoat

Credits: google, evenings wit cary grant etc.