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Mikey and his buddy were taking the train to see the sights. On the way to the train station, they decided to stop at a convenience store and buy some snacks to have on the trip. They each bought some snacks and soon they were on their way. As usual Mikey being Mikey and not playing by the rules, he took his snacks out and started eating on the train.
Just as they were entering the tunnel Mikey bit into a banana. After emerging on the other side, Mikey looked across at his buddy and said “I wouldn’t eat that if I were you.” His buddy asks him why and Mikey looks him and said, “I took one bite and went blind for a half a minute.
When people mention the Georgian era or the Georgian period, they are not referring to 1989-1993 or 2001-2009, when we had George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush as Presidents of the United States. Although who knows? Maybe at some point, hundreds of years from now, those years may be heralded as the Bushian periods of the United States. Now however, when people speak of the Georgian era or period, they are indeed speaking of the years 1714 to 1830 when the Georges (I-IV) ruled England. And although these Georges are not associated with terrorists and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, we will remember that George III was King during the American Revolution, when America gained its Independence.
The Georgian period in England was an energetic period in the economic sense. England had many colonies around the world from which it drew riches and economic prosperity. In these years, the middle class flourished and people demanded and were able to afford fine furniture and decorative arts from the many outstanding craftsmen of the time; woodworkers, cabinet makers, artists, and architects are just a few of the areas that the Georgian period affected. From this same era, we also get the superior furniture designers and maker trio of Thomas Chippendale, Thomas Sheraton and George Hepplewhite.
As antique furniture goes, probably some of the most beautiful, exquisitely designed and certainly one of the most expensive pieces to be had by collectors are those by this trio of fine furniture craftsmen. Although other antique aficionados might argue, probably the most famous of the trio is Thomas Chippendale; mainly because we have seen enough episodes of Antiques Roadshow to recognize the name; we certainly could not afford to decorate our home with his or his contemporaries’ antiques. In any case, the name Chippendale is synonymous with quality furnishings that were originally made for aristocratic families and statesmen. Rococo,Chinese, Gothic and Open Pediment are all things that are incorporated into the designs of Chippendale and readily identify creations designed in his style.
Because of his success, Chippendale designs were produced all over the world including Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. If like us, you have to admire his creations from afar, then you might be interested to know that his furniture is on exhibit in many museums throughout the country including The Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco and The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The Rhinebeck Antiques Fair is one of the Mid-Atlantic’s best antique shows and probably one of the best in the country. It has been around for more than 33 years and features some of the best antiques dealers in the country selling everything from Fine Antiques to rare and hard to find vintage collectibles. The Rhinebeck Antiques Fair takes place this Saturday and Sunday May 23 & 24, 2009 at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds in Rhinebeck, New York.
Collectors know what to look for when buying antiques and collectibles at local antique shops, malls and stores throughout. For those of us who don’t know too much about fine furnishings and especially Chippendale style furniture, here are some things to look for.
Keep in mind that the Chippendale style used a lot of Rococo, Chinese and Gothic influences as well as carvings and Open Pediments. Additionally, Chippendale only used the finest woods available including Mahogany, Walnut and Cherry. Chippendale style furniture will often have cabriole legs, which are curved legs that may end in claw and ball feet, especially if the furniture was American made. Although some chairs may indeed have straight legs, again depending on the origin or the chair. Similar to using only the finest woods, the Chippendale used only the finest materials to upholster furniture.
Chippendale style cabinets use a lot of Gothic spires atop massive pieces of furniture as can be seen on Highboys and Secretaries of the period. In addition, in more elaborate pieces of fine furniture you might see concave shell and wreath carvings reminiscent of previous eras of furniture design and yet other pieces may include rich gilded carvings. Yet the most simple of the designs is the block front, which the Chippendale designs used on tables and small chests.
A Tiffany studios maple leaf floor lamp recently sold at auction for more than $103,500. The lamp which stood about 6’4” inches tall, was described as in excellent condition and had its original patina. The Tiffany lamp included a 22” shade and was signed at the base. It was sold by Cottone Auctions of Geneseo, New York and was part of a sale that included more than 250 mixed lot that included period furniture, art glass, pottery, fine art and sculptures. The sale also drew than 300 people in attendance.
Last Sunday we went to an Emerald Estate Sale in Falls Church, Virginia and found a vintage Replogle Globe. It is a 12” topographical globe, which means that it has both raised and indented relief to portray the world’s landscape, and it is has deep rich coloring; However its best feature is that it is a lighted globe, giving off a subtle light when plugged in. Like most people, I can’t just walk by a globe without spinning it around and taking a quick look at the different countries. The bad thing is that most of us can’t tell one globe from another . . . guess I should have paid more attention in geography class while I was in school.
Luckily for us, we live in the era of technology where knowledge is at our fingertips; through the computer and the Internet. We can look up just about anything on the web including information on how to date a vintage globe. As it turns out, Replogle Globes, which has been in the business of making globe since the 1920’s, has a nice webpage detailing countries to look for when dating a globe. If Tuvalu is shown in the South Pacific, then your globe was made after 1978; if Democratic Republic of the Congo is depicted, then it was made before 1971 are just a couple of examples that you can find on their website.