I recently attended a wedding shower at a good friend’s home. We started with a choice of raspberry blini, Champagne and/or iced tea. (Who can pass up raspberry-anything?). The two hostesses did such a beautiful job with lunch (Mandarin chicken salad, fresh popovers and strawberry butter; killer cupcakes from a specialty bakery in Newport Beach called Susie Cakes). Due to my love of antiques and wonderful décor I failed to take pictures of the table with the fabulous meal, sorry.
The bride-to-be was in attendance with her mom and her maternal grandmother and all three women are delightful. It was also fun to see a few friends I haven’t seen in some time.
…but the best part for me was getting to visit my friend’s beautiful home. Anne has always had a way of creating a warm and welcoming ambiance while featuring amazing antique pieces and accessories. She graciously allowed me to shoot a few pictures and while this is but a sampling of her home, there are a couple of antique secretaries with an interesting story (that’s part of the fun in having antiques, right?).
Anne explained, “The Dutch secretary (below) is late eighteenth century (and should probably be in a museum some where) and was given to us by Marr’s grandmother whose father was an antique dealer in Los Angeles. It has beautiful inlaid marquetry of fruit woods into a walnut veneer. It is all original except for the brass hardware which was replaced many, many years ago. One of the fun things about it are the little wooden trays that pull out that would have been used to set candle holders on – simple eighteenth century lighting! When the doors on the upper portion are closed over the shelves you are able to see the fine marquetry work in all its glory”.
The English secretary (above) is as beautiful as the Dutch piece and stands out in Anne’s living room. It has such a wonderful story as Anne shares, “The English secretary is, I believe, from the Sheraton period and is all in original condition including the glass. The only change made to this piece was also the hardware – also done many years prior to our ownership. We bought this piece from an estate sale when we were first married. The woman who had the sale owned an enormous, beautiful old home in the Hollywood Hills. Her husband had been in the film industry in Hollywood and had passed on. She was, at that time, quite advanced in years and was selling the contents of her home and moving to Paris to spend her remaining years. She had a companion secretary that was just like the one we bought but a bit larger, and that was the only piece she was moving with her to France. I wish now that I had taken time to know her story more thoroughly, I think there was quite an interesting life history there”.
This little painting (left) catches your eye when you pass it and I had to ask Anne if the artist was famous, she explained, “The little seaside painting is one I gave ML (Anne’s hubby) for his birthday some years ago. It is by a local artist but I don’t know anything about the person. I liked it because you could almost feel the windy day and smell the salty air from the way the artist painted it. I also liked the people in their nineteenth century dress standing on the shore and looking out to sea”.