Category: Thrifting

Oh Hey, George!

I was strolling through Cambridge Antique Market last Saturday, and this handsome devil caught my eye:

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When I got closer, I realized that it was a painting on velvet of George Washington, modeled on Gilbert Stuart’s famous portrait. It is roughly 6-ft tall. The painting has gorgeous craquelure, but it is still in excellent condition. The velvet is plush, and the color palette is rich; the subtle play of greys and blacks is still apparent. The dealer said he bought the piece at an auction, and unfortunately he lost all the information about its provenance. All he could tell me was that the painting is Victorian.

Here is what George looked like when I first spotted him hidden at the back of the booth:

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I think this is a stunning statement piece, and I can’t wait to find it the right home. Perhaps in a living room against a white brick wall. Or in a library with lacquered black built-in bookshelves. We will have to wait and see!

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I was strolling through Cambridge Antique Market last Saturday, and this handsome devil caught my eye: When I got closer...

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The Settee Reveal

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My Victorian settee is ready for its final reveal! The original piece was in a sad state, with lopsided springs and worn upholstery. I wanted to give the settee a fresh identity, so I chose an off-white fabric with embroidered black tufts. I love that this fabric is a bit irregular and freeform because it provides a nice contrast to the settee’s formal frame. Here is a close-up of the upholstery:

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Springs are much higher quality than foam padding, but they are also more expensive to replace. Luckily, loose and lopsided springs can often be repaired; they are simply retied in tight, orderly coils. One more reason to appreciate the excellent craftsmanship of antiques! This settee’s springs were able to be retied, and now it has an even, comfortable seat once again.

The high contrast between the new off-white upholstery and the dark wood stain accentuates the frame’s intricate detail. I especially love the serpentine carving along the top edge of the frame back. I hope you all enjoy the finished piece!

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My Victorian settee is ready for its final reveal! The original piece was in a sad state, with lopsided springs and worn...

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