Monday, January 12, 2009

What are you waiting for??

At Garth's, and we'll bet every other auction house in the country, there remains stuff that was purchased and been paid for, sometimes years earlier. This perplexes us greatly. When we make a purchase, we simply cannot wait to get our grubby little paws on it. Seriously, for Andrew, it's worse than waiting to open presents Christmas morning.

So, last week, Andrew needed to pick up a consignment in Virginia, and Hollie tagged along (always a great help in providing top-notch customer service, and she's a charming traveling companion). And since Hillsborough, North Carolina was only a couple hours from the pickup, we decided to swing down and visit Leland Little Auctions. Despite arriving at near closing time, Leland and staff were tremendously hospitable.

Of course, the real purpose of this visit was to pick up a one-drawer stand that we purchased in their December auction (shown on the right...image courtesy of Leland Little Auctions). It was catalogued as southern, and not surprisingly as there are a number of tables and stands with similar cabriole legs that were made in the lower Mississippi River Valley, particularly in the New Orleans area, in the early 19th century. However, we don't think it's a Lousiana stand. Most of the stands from that area utilize cypress as the secondary wood while this stand has poplar. So what is it?

We think it's Midwestern. During the second quarter of the 19th century, thousands of Germanic settlers flooded into the Midwest, establishing communities from Ohio to Missouri. These communities held tightly to their European culture and the furniture they made and used reflected this.

In the case of this stand, if you remove the brass pull (the stand originally didn't have a pull), it exhibits a simplified neoclassicism that is very reminiscent of the Biedermeier furniture made in Europe during this same period and in the same parts of Europe from which these Midwestern German settlers came. And the woods--cherry and poplar--are exactly what you would expect from a Midwestern stand. Voila!

That's what we love about this stuff...making connections, finding that next piece of the puzzle. It's particularly exciting with this stand as the early furniture of the Midwestern Germans is the next big puzzle that Andrew is tackling.

So, we have to ask...why would we wait any longer than absolutely necessary to pick up our stuff??


Anonymous said...

Hi Hollie and Andrew, as a young person (I am turning 18 today actually!), I am so happy to find that I am not the only person under 50 who avidly collects antiques. I too was at Leland Little Auctions in the December sale and managed to acquire some things that I just had to have as well. My advice would be for a young collector is to buy what you love, and buy quality. I have finally realized after collecting seriously for 8 years, that saving money and buying 1 high quality item instead of 5 things which are not particularly special is the way to go. I collect many different things, and thanks to this simple tip, I have taught myself how to buy smart, and buy things which I will cherish for a lifetime. I look forward to reading your blog in the future.



Hollie and Andrew said...

Thanks for reading and happy birthday!! We love that you have been collecting since you were 10!

Be sure to check out our column in Maine Antique Digest!

Andrew & Hollie