Friday, July 18, 2008
The Peckham Gallery, located at 118 E University in Champaign, IL, has announced they are closing after 16 years in business. The Peckhams plan to concentrate on their estate sale and personal property appraisal businesses. The gallery, which was only open on select weekends each month, featured high quality furniture, glass, paintings, Oriental rugs and much, much more. Prices have been discounted up to 50%. We're really sorry to see them close.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Over the past five years it seems the antique market has slowed down significantly. There seems to be several causes: ease & low overhead of selling on eBay or other Internet sites, families retaining heirlooms (thanks to shows like Antiques Roadshow) resulting in lack of quality store inventories, and a general disinterest by most younger consumers.
Two area stores have/will be closing by the end of this month. Will E Makit, a well-established business on Rte. 9 in Gibson City, will close at the end of this month. Not only did they sell/consign antiques, they offered china repair, doll repair, and custom lamp shade services. The owner is retiring. Ruby's Glass in downtown Paxton has sold their building and is concentrating on internet sales. Although we felt their inventory was quite over-priced for the area, they had one of the largest antique/collectible glass selections in East Central Illinois.
Friday, June 13, 2008
Friday, April 11, 2008
The on/off switch also has a dimmer to adjust lighting.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
The velvet top adorned with coppery sequins was warm for our winter weather, yet the plunging back allowed some skin to be revealed. Abundant netting under the flounce skirt helped keep the shape of the lower part of the dress.
Since the dress says it all, we simply added a few gold bangles around the wrist and tri-gold dangling earrings.
Monday, April 7, 2008
One Realtor had baked chocolate chip cookies and the odor hit our noses before we got to the front door. Although many Realtors suggest doing this to make the property seem homey, D. is always suspicious that it is masking an odor that cannot be removed (i.e. pet urine, mildew). Have the cookies available for prospective buyers, but don't overdo the aroma thing. It can have the opposite effect of what you're trying to accomplish. The odor question distracted us from enjoying the otherwise comfortable, stylish home.
Another property was fairly new and most of the furnishings had been removed, but the lower level was strewn with children's toys. The owners or Realtor should have stored or organized the toys before the public entered the area. A jumbled mess of toys all over a room in an otherwise empty house says that perhaps the whole house looked like this when they lived here, and if so, how well has this house been maintained?
D. had been known to make beds, hide dirty laundry, put away toys and pick up dog poop before an open house. These Realtors perhaps just didn't have the experience yet to know how to get a property sold. The trick is not showing the public how you really live.
We really enjoyed walking through a beautiful two story brick 1920's Georgian home. The owners and Realtor did this open house the correct way. Everything was clean, put away, and odor-free. All the lights were on, the hardwood floors shined, and even the yard looked good despite the still somewhat unattractive time of year. D. had actually sold this house a couple times and it was interesting to her to see how the house had looked good once, fallen into disrepair, and now looked great again. We predicted that the Georgian house would sell fairly quickly compared to the other two properties. It was well maintained, decorated tastefully, but not bland, and showed well.
Friday, March 28, 2008
This 1970's 24 x 48 picture of San Francisco had been recently rewired with new mini-holiday lights to bring back the original gaudiness. Everything else was original. A little cleaning and it was as good as new. The artwork can really be appreciated when it is lit.
Price for this great (?) piece of art - $25.00. It cost more than that to ship it to California, but the party conversation that it now generates more than offsets the shipping costs.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
You can catch a glimpse of the table top in the picture below. Ugh! The table top wasn't so stylish with the dated Formica surface - it really didn't seem to fit the rest of the set, but covered with a tablecloth, no one knows how awful it looks underneath. The table legs are similar in design to the chair legs.
The large dining table, six chairs, and china cabinet were purchased for only $200. It was a remarkably cheap set that was as stylish, trendy, and youthful as the owners, despite the fact the furniture was over 35 years old.
Monday, March 24, 2008
We were at a Gordon Hannigan auction in Paxton, IL when D. spotted a 5 piece bedroom set that she thought had great styling and contemporary lines, even though it apparently had been purchased by the owners sometime in the late 1940's to early 1950's. Everyone else at the auction seemed to have their eyes on a maple bedroom set that was a cheap imitation of an Ethan Allen grouping.
D. began examining the construction of the inconspicuous set. The backs of the pieces were marked "solid mahogany." The drawers were dove-tailed construction, and inside the top drawer of each piece was stamped "Drexel." This was a high-end bedroom set manufactured by one of the best furniture manufacturers in the country.
The condition of all the pieces was very good - only some minor light scratches near the bases that could easily be masked with some Old English scratch remover. All the case pieces had custom-made glass tops for protection. The wood was stained a medium brown, not too light like some 1950's pieces, but not a deep dark color. The slightly reddish hue of the mahogany was visible in the still original finish.
What really attracted D. to the set were the slightly rounded lines of the pieces and the contemporary style of the handles. She visualized this set in a large loft apartment in some metro area. The large dresser could even stand alone as a bar or side-board in a dining room.
(Sorry these pictures don't do the set justice; they were taken in a dark crowded warehouse.) The set consisted of a full size bed (headboard & footboard), night stand, chest of drawers, and dresser with full mirror. She could see real potential here and ended up as one of two bidders on it. She finally won the auction, stealing the set of 5 pieces for only $300. And here's why it was an even better bargain than she imagined:
D. began researching the Drexel grouping and found that it was the only collection ever designed by Edward Wormley, a famous Midwestern designer. The 1947 "Precedent Collection" was designed by Wormley to secure his position with the competing Dunbar Furniture Company, and the collection was marketed to the upscale conservative modern Beverly Hills type of clients. Although not considered his ultimate best work, the line is still highly valued by collectors. The dresser and chest alone are likely worth at least $750-$900 each. We also noticed the same bedroom set was sold in the Marge Schott Estate.
For now, the furniture pieces are being stored in our warehouse until someone comes along with a loft apartment or large contemporary home that simply must have a vintage Edward Wormley bedroom to showcase their superior modern taste.
Friday, March 21, 2008
We were looking for some small size occasional chairs to fit in a living room that had plenty of seating for large size people, but nothing for smaller adults or children. A pair of these very fine quality club chairs fit the bill.
The colors and the striped fabric also coordinated well with the bold Waverly wallpaper in the adjoining dining room.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
We found this reproduction Hitchcock at an auction by Kruse Auction Service, last year in Gibson City, IL. A couple of us were lusting over it. You'll see why later.
From 1826 to 1840, Lambert Hitchcock made about 200,000 chairs in his factory in Riverton, CT and in the 1830's he was known as America's greatest chairmaker. His chairs are among the most famous pieces of furniture in American history.
Monday, March 17, 2008
We were looking for an accent piece for the table that would merge the table and chandelier together as one central focal point and it had to be large enough to compete with the scale of the room.
This early 20Th century punch bowl and platter is pressed glass, but has enough intricate pattern that light easily reflects into sparkling diamonds that simulate the light from the real crystals hanging from the chandelier above.
Why we loved this purchase: