Wednesday, September 29, 2010

a new (vintage) idea

I know I've been absent from here. There hasn't been much work on the house - nothing much to report. To keep things semi-interesting what do you say we try something new? As mentioned before, we deal in vintage furniture/art/objects and have amassed a large collection over the years. I thought I'd post a story of two rare pieces, one we purchased to sell and one we've kept. Both have pretty interesting stories behind them. You are welcome to comment and let me know if you like/dislike this idea... because I have many more stories from the past decade of hunting.

Let's start with this piece:

Above is a vintage bar unit designed by James Mont. He and his matching larger credenza brother (both sold) recently came from an estate about 40 miles (not in NYC) from the Get To Fixin' house. What's so interesting about that you say? Well, upon speaking to the former owners, we were told that this cabinet and its mate originally came from Staten Island! The former owner said that her aunt had these pieces in her home (along with an entire matching dining set) and that her whole family lived on Staten Island when she was younger. She asked us where on Staten Island we lived and after responding St. George, she said, "my grandmother lived in St. George, on Stuyvesant Place!" To which we replied, "we know exactly where that is - we live on ________!" And she replied, "That's where my aunt's house was!" So yes, these two pieces were originally created by James Mont himself, for a house on OUR EXACT STREET! Crazy right?

And now, I'd like to introduce you to my favorite pair of vintage earrings:

These brass earrings were handmade by Harry Bertoia. I love their simple form and how they vibrate and spin with the slightest movement. I wear them from time to time, although they tend to get caught in my hair.
Bertoia is one of my favorite sculptors and furniture designers. I can't say I don't aspire to own a sculpture or two in the future but looking at my bank account I can certainly say it won't be happening anytime soon. The idea of two little Bertoia sculptures dangling from my ears thrills me every time I put them on.
I bought these 7 or 8 years ago at a tag sale in New Jersey. (Yes, that New Jersey. I love many parts of NJ [which I consider my home state even though I was born in and live in NY] and I've been seeing so much negative talk about the Garden State lately. We do not all behave like the people depicted on the that reality show ok? I think it's pretty obvious that being from one state or another doesn't automatically make someone a great person. I mean, I always thought everyone in Alaska must be awesome until I became aware of Sarah Palin.) Anyway, I was charged $2.00 for the pair. The woman running the sale looked at them in pure disgust (and flashed me a strange look too) after we decided that they were in fact made out of brass. She then ticked $2.00 off of the total after we tallied up all of our items. So in fact, they were free!


  1. DUDE. Those earrings are on eBay right now for $600. I am not even joking.

  2. HOLY CRAP those earrings are AMAZING. Did you know they were Bertoia prior to purchasing them?
    What an incredible find!

  3. P.S. Yes, I like this post, keep'em coming.

  4. wow I'd be wearing those earrings every day! It's amazing what some people think is junk-I've gotten some fantastic stuff that way.

  5. Anna,
    I saw them on ebay too - I think it's a good deal for them (someone out there buy them!) I've seen them sell for obscene amounts at auction in the past.
    I was pretty sure that I knew what they were when I first saw them but wasn't 100% sure. I have a book that shows a similar pair so that confirmed it when I got home.
    You should have seen the looks I got when I took them to the Staten Island Mall to buy gold ear wires for them so that I could wear them (I'm allergic to brass.) Let's just say that I was asked more than once why I wanted to put gold ear wires on junky brass earrings.

  6. Those earrings are amazing, what a score!