Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Mulling over wallpaper possibilities this afternoon and sifting through the deGournay website I stumbled across these 5 beauties! Oh - and is that a Pair of French Louis XVI armchairs I see? Whoever was it that said antiques did not work in a modern setting??!! See more at

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sculptured Whales

Martin Scorey is an emerging contemporary sculptor making a name for himself in Europe at the moment, who I had the pleasure of meeting when I was last overseas. This pair of whales are an example of some of his amazing work.

Just beautiful! You can see more of his work here!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Short Lived Affair...

Two days on the shop floor and it's farewell already. One of the most beautiful 19th Century Eastern European Benches I have yet to see, the detail is museum worth.

I'm going to have to try very hard not to cry as it walks out the door, but it's going to a very good home so that will help stem the tears at least a little. Wonder where it will be in another 100 years time...

Monday, March 8, 2010

Real from Fake - A Couple of Clues...

There are heaps of fakes around the place and even more repros. There's nothing wrong with a repro either unless someone is selling it as a genuine piece. Working out how to tell a real from a fake can be tricky - here are a couple of clues...

Check your marble!
It's perfectly acceptable to have a replacement marble on an antique, but make sure it is only the marble that is new and the iece of furniture it is sitting on is genuine. Check the under side of the marble to see if there is a grease stain from years of people running their hands around the rim. The darker the stain, the older the piece of marble in all likelihood. Old marbles can sometimes be put onto new pieces though so be careful!

Does it match?
There's a saying in the antique trade that goes like this. 'If a piece of furniture will come to pieces, in time the piece will end up in pieces in different places.' Many pieces lost their parts in the 1st and 2nd world wars. Wealthy families died or went bankrupt and the pieces went into smaller houses with lower ceilings. During this time, the pieces that could not fit into the home were burnt as firewood. So ensure that the parts match. I. e. The top of a bookcase matches the bottom. If it does not, this is called a marriage and you would expect to pay considerably less for a marriage.

This is a gorgeous piece of marble that I found in France recently - I just love it!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Louis XV? Louis XVI? What’s all the fuss about I can’t tell the difference!

When I was small and my father tossed around the words Louis XV and XVI I have to confess to thinking they were the same thing. Only when I looked did I realise there are significant differences in the style of furniture, and for those that are looking to create a certain ‘look’ in their home it’s important to remember the difference. Lets start with Louis XV...

Louis XV is one of my favourite styles of furniture, with its curved ‘cabriole’ legs and elaborate carving and detail. I was doing some reading the other day to improve my history knowledge on the style that I so love.

Louis himself ruled as king of France from 1715 until his death in 1774 and his reign saw great prosperity for the wealthy. Not surprising then that the furniture from this period is so incredible. I was particularly pleased to read that womens power increased significantly during this time, and the result was that their influence was felt both in the court and in furniture design.

So how do you tell a Louis XV piece? Well you can basically follow a few simple rules...

Look out for:

- Gorgeous curves (cabriole leg) were used readily;
- Inlaid marquetry and hand painting;
- Intricate carving;
- Motifs of shells, ribbons and acanthus leaves;
- Gilt and ormalu (gilded bronze) mounts.

Happy hunting!