A neighborhood furniture and antique store is preparing to close its doors after over 30 years. I stopped in looking for deals as they wind down their operation.
The first thing to catch my eye was this curvy and deeply finished oak wall clock. The dark oak was a great match with the trim in my living room, its round, feminine shape would add a dash of contrast to the square lines of my woodwork and furniture.
The clock’s numbers and hands had been painted white at some point–probably to improve readability– which I figured could be pretty easily remedied. However, even at 20% off it was still too expensive. A bit of research when I got home helped me determine the clock is a Sessions “Ramona.” Even though this Ramona was out of my league, I can look around for one of her sisters that is cheaper or slightly less attractive.
I continued my antique browsing down in the basement where I saw this lovely Bradley and Hubbard tiffany-style lamp.
The clean, geometric lines and neutral colors of this lamp really appealed to me, but as with the clock I had to settle for taking a picture instead of taking the lamp. It was just too easy to picture the lamp smashed to pieces on the floor after one of my kids knocked it off the piano.
Then on my way out of the shop I spied a hammered copper bowl in a simple but pretty flower shape. The price was well south of $100 and the risk of child-inflicted damage was low. Bingo.
I think of antique pieces, such as this bowl, like seasoning in cooking. Even though most of the furnishings in my house are contemporary, a bowl like this sitting on a side table or display shelf conveys a real vintage flavor that can influence the whole room.
As you can see from the maker’s mark above, the bowl was handmade by Craftsman Studios, a minor metalwork company that a discussion thread at the Arts & Crafts Society forum indicated was based in Laguna Beach, California. The mark is appears authentic and the “Arizona” stamp indicates the source of the copper for the bowl and not, as the antique store guy told me, that the bowl came “from an early time in Craftsman Studios operation before they moved to California.” That information from the seller didn’t influence my purchasing decision, but it was at best speculation and at worst an outright fib with the intent to convey greater age/significance to the piece.
In the end, I’m really glad I purchased the bowl. It looks great in my house. It’s a genuine antique with beautiful patina, and I got it at an affordable price. Researching the bowl after the sale also provided a valuable reminder to approach sellers with skepticism and to do my homework on bigger ticket items–like a clock or lamp–before I put my money down.