The Soulfulness of an Old Chair

It’s hard for me to pass by an antique store, junk shop or flea market without at least peering in the window. You just never know what kind of treasure might be found inside.

The hunt for good pieces is certainly part of the lure of antiquing, but I don’t have to own, looking is just as good. The patina of age gives old furniture a soulfulness that I appreciate. I suppose it appeals to the history buff in me.

Aside from the unique aesthetics and beautiful craftsmanship I like to imagine the journey the piece has taken. Who sat in the Windsor chair or slept in the tester bed? How did a corner cabinet make it from France to a small store in Texas? Imagine the stories a 300 year old dining table could tell?

When it comes to using antiques in my home I select a few stand out pieces to combine with contemporary furniture. Sort of like functional art. The juxtaposition of color, texture and form creates a compelling composition.

I also like to bring antique garden ornaments indoors to use as focal points or as an element of surprise. They are often over scaled, which creates drama.

Speaking of dramatic antiques, I recently attended what I’d call the grandest antique show I’ve seen in some time. The Masterpiece London Antique Fair was held on the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea this past June and boy what display. Most of what was offered was English and Continental furniture, art and decorative arts. Not the best place for me to make many purchases because most of what I collect is American, but it was joy to look around!

I was immediately impressed with the tent that housed the event. It was enormous and disguised to match the surrounding buildings. I wish I could do that for some of the events at the farm.

I also enjoyed browsing through book dealers’ booths. The collections of gardening books were amazing.

I was most taken with the edgy floral displays, which were quite the contrast to the traditional piece of furniture and art. It was interesting to see contemporary accenting antique, which is the reverse of what I do in my home.

The is the exterior of the tent disguished as a brick building.


18 Responses to The Soulfulness of an Old Chair

  1. The extra leg on this chair is interesting. Was it put there to accommodate plus-sized people? Good read.

  2. Patricia says:

    We had a new house built, but relocated it on our 10.5 acres and when the site was being cleared we found a lovely old fancy pattern, wrought iron, rocker covered in vines and trash. We thought it had been ‘dumped’ several years ago. It was dirty, rusty and very sad looking, but has been wire brushed off and painted black. Needs reseating and will be done in the next few months. It is totally beautiful. This makes a wonderful accent point in our lovely garden. I bring my English culture to the planting of our garden, but have to take notice on the things that do well in beautiful Texas.

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