Well, they don't actually mention us by name, but they do list Central Kentucky as the #8 U.S. destination to visit in 2018; right there between Richmond, VA and Minneapolis, MN. While the beauty and history of the Bluegrass are becoming more widely known, we like to think of our little antique shop as a hidden gem within a once-hidden gem of a region.
Our home is also home to the natural beauty of the Kentucky River palisades and the Dix River (shown in the photo at top). It is here that you will find rich history in the form of places like the Beaumont Inn, the restored Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill, as well as our shop, which was built by the man described here:
And we'd be more than happy to point you to one of the finest bourbon bars you'll find anywhere, Jane Barleycorn. All of this is located within 20 miles of our door, and there is much, much more to experience and enjoy. Come pay us a visit. We'd love to show you some Southern hospitality, help with travel arrangements, and steer you in the right direction.
As New York's Winter Antiques Show draws to a close, there is plenty of discussion about "mixing" periods and styles in current interiors and on the floors of antique shows. The Winter Show is the most prestigious antique show in the US. For most of it's 64 year history, the show has been known as a bastion of the most traditional decorative arts. In the past, the merchandise on display was subjected to very strict age requirements. As times have changed and tastes evolved, the show has gradually opened up to a wider variety of wares including modern and contemporary art and furniture. This type of mixing is becoming the norm at shows across the country. Some pull it off more successfully than others.
When it's done well, mixing can create a more interesting space. Introducing the unexpected through juxtaposition can be thought-provoking and eye-opening. Is there any reason not to hang an 18th Century portrait of a champion cock beside a two-year-old bull portrait by Peter Maier all on a wall covered in a modern Carolyn Ray wallpaper? We think not. Take a look at the picture above and see what you think.
We normally ask that you call to make an appointment before visiting our shop. This is mostly to make sure that someone is here to answer the door when you arrive. Harvey showed up unannounced and uninvited earlier today. The sky went dark, the wind whipped up, and the rain came down in droves. A split-trunk water maple was the sole casualty.
Luckily, the house was untouched (just barely).
No, that tree is not supposed to be that close to this window.
Of course, we are extremely thankful to be safe and sound, especially in light of all those who have lost everything along the Gulf Coast. Please consider giving to one of the many charities doing good work in the recovery efforts.
We had to stop working for a few minutes to check out the 96% solar eclipse overhead. While the light turned eerie and the insects and birds were agitated, some human viewers were disappointed. We'll know to put forth the extra effort in 2024 to chase the path of totality.
We attempted to use a Windsor back-splat as a pinhole viewer. Can you spot the crescent?
This guy didn't order his glasses in time.
The McMansion Hell blog provides hilarious critiques of the many disastrous design decisions and affronts to architecture that befall too many new homes. A recent post turns its critical eye toward a Montana abode rife with questionable design choices of nearly every stripe.
We've worked on several mountain homes, hunting lodges, and cabin retreats. When involved from the planning stages, we can incorporate antique architectural elements to provide "instant age" and character to a new build. For this Colorado home, we sourced antique beams and terra cotta tiles for the ceilings.
An antique door and surround find new life as the entry to the pantry in the kitchen.
Antique iron work brings a uniqueness that can't be bought out of a catalog.
Don't get burned in Mountain McMansion Hell! Call us. We can help.
"Do young people even like antiques?"
I’m often asked this question and I always enthusiastically answer, "Yes!”. While we may not collect in the same manner as people did years ago, I feel our generation still appreciates a good piece of furniture or art. As Jayne's daughter, I grew up surrounded by antiques and didn't really understand them; I questioned why would people pay so much for something that wasn't new. Now, after furnishing my own home and working in the industry, I get it: we want antiques for their rarity, quality craftsmanship, and style. Antiques of the period we deal in (pre-industrial revolution) are rare; they were handmade by trained craftsman and, more often than not, commissioned for a specific client. When I put a piece in my home, I don't have to worry I will see it in someone else’s home or that my house will look like one from a website.
Good antiques were made by quality craftsman. To be a technical antique, a piece needs to be over 100 years old, meaning it has stood the test of time. The early 18th century oak gate leg table I feed my two young kids on each day is made of good quality solid English oak and has a rich wax patina that cannot be replicated in a new piece of furniture. Antiques have style. Just like fashion, furniture was made to appeal to the styles of the times, and those classic pieces will always be en vogue. One of my favorite pieces in my home is a French fruitwood farm table with a trestle support that looks like a ladder. I remember being so excited when the dealer offered the table to us for the gallery. This piece was so unique, I couldn't quite afford it, so I asked the dealer if we could work out a payment plan. She agreed and I’ve never regretted it. Every day, I see this table in my dining room and it makes me smile; it is not made of old floor boards (like most of them on HGTV) and has a wonderful nutty brown color and thick top.
These are a few reasons this young person loves antiques. I am not alone in this sentiment. I recently helped two clients, one in her early 30s and one in her 20s, find statement pieces that make their homes special. Both of these gals wanted their homes to be different from their friends and not out a catalog. Antiques were an easy solution. One of the young clients is very concerned about the environment and loved that her antique pieces are “green.” The Windsor chair she bought was handmade and has been around for over 150 years with zero carbon footprint.
So, yes, young people are collecting; maybe they are not doing it the fever or fashion they did in the late 80s or early 90s, but I have a feeling that as homes across the country continue to become clones from a catalog, more and more young people will look to something that is unique, quality crafted, and stylish.
A lady approached me at a recent antique show in Chicago. After complimenting several of the pieces she saw on our booth, she got to the point. She looked me in the eye and asked directly, "How much does a Sheraton table cost these days?" Well, in my terminology, a Sheraton period table could take any number of different forms. It might look like this:
Or it could look like this:
Or even this:
Her demeanor made it plain that she thought I was a total incompetent (or worse) for not knowing what a "Sheraton table" is, but I persisted. After a round of questioning and lots of flipping through of photos on the iPad, I learned that the table she was talking about had drawers and flap-leaves. However, it was not what I call a Pembroke table:
After a bit more digging, BINGO! We had hit upon the object in question. It is what I have always called a "sofa table." As in:
In spite of the barrier formed by our common language, we had solved the mystery. But now it was on to the riddle: so how much does a "Sheraton" (or sofa) table cost? I answered her question in the only way I know how: as honestly as I could. So I told her a Sheraton period sofa table can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $80,000. She was completely aghast. She made it very clear that I was no longer an ignorant fool as she had previously thought. I was now considered an outright affront to my profession. It was the lower end of my estimate that shocked her. She chastised me and told me that I should never have said $2,000 and that I should never tell that to anyone ever again. She explained how she had bought one of these tables 40 years ago for 25,000 pounds and that it was beyond the pale to suggest that there might be some examples floating around at such a meager price. So I turned to the iPad and pulled up several sofa tables online. Within seconds, I was able to show her one priced at $2,000 and another priced at $75,000. She must have thought I had conjured up some kind of black magic. She didn't want to hear what I was saying and stormed off in a huff. I was a bit surprised, because I would guess that there are many more people walking around an antique show who would be offended at the upper end of the estimate given.
The whole incident left me baffled. Amongst ourselves, many antique dealers will complain about show patrons seeking "free information" with no intention of buying. While I understand where they're coming from, I don't share the sentiment. As an antique dealer, I fully accept that part of the job is educating the general public in the hope that they will one day become buyers. In the case of "young people" (defined in our field as anyone under 60), those potential purchases may be many years in the future. But I'm patient and happy to talk to anyone, especially at the smaller shows we do which tend to have long periods of quiet time. So I must admit that it left me frustrated to provide an honest answer only to be met with such hostility.
I don't think her question was stupid. The layperson has no idea the ins and outs of the antique trade. That's why I recommend that they seek out and develop a relationship with a dealer that they trust. However, to illustrate the complexity in answering, consider this question: How much does a car cost? I think most people would understand that the answer depends on whether you're looking at a McLaren P1 or a Nissan Versa. While many of us would be surprised at the price of each of these cars, most of us will recognize that there are many factors that contribute to the pricing of each. I think we would each grasp that there are valid reasons for the wide fluctuations in pricing of cars or antiques or tea in China. In most cases, the old cliche holds true: you really do get what you pay for.