Archive | Collecting

Vintage, antique and modern collections of objects and ways they are used, displayed or arranged throughout the house.

Marie Antoinette Armchair

marie antoinette armchair - Marie Antoinette’s giltwood Louis XVI armchair - Christie’s via Atticmag

An armchair belonging to the last queen of France— Marie-Antoinette — was sold at Christie’s. Guess how much it fetched.

Updated July 9, 2015: As Lot 18, the gilded Marie Antoinette armchair sold within the first 30 to 45 minutes of Christie’s sale. It was estimated to fetch between half and three-quarters of a million dollars. Auction sales prices are always unpredictable and this last highly documented armchair is a chair fit for a queen — literally. The hammer price for the chair greatly exceeded the estimate . It sold for for $2,721,300 (1,762,500 £)!

Marie Antoinette’s exquisite armchair, a bergère, features an arched back and padded scrolling arms.… Continue Reading


Collecting Americana

collecting Americana - Ellie Cullman's colorful graniteware - Connecticut Cottages & Gardens via Atticmag

For anyone interested in collecting Americana, there is a wide variety of folk art and objects to explore.

All of us express our passions partly through what we love, buy and display. Sometimes it’s fine art. Other times it’s odd objects with little value.  And it can be everything in between. My little collection of Americana happens to be floral Hubley painted doorstops. I began with a single piece I saw in an antique shop and expanded as I discovered a micro market for them on eBay. Everyone has their special “stuff.”

Top New York decorator Ellie Cullman collects Americana, displayed in her family’s house which was renovated and modernized a few years ago.… Continue Reading


Collector’s Day at the Auction

country auction - vintage country wooden wheelbarrow - Atticmag

A country auction, to paraphrase Forest Gump, is like a box of chocolates.

You never know what you’re going to get at a country auction, even if you study the catalogue online. What pried me out of the house on a sunny Saturday morning was the prospect of some 80 cast iron American doorstops coming up in a sale nearby. And while I have limited my collection of flower doorstops to a very specific type, I was hoping there might be a new gem for me. However, on the way into the sales room I couldn’t resist taking a photo of an old wooden wheelbarrow [top] that would look make a great flower stand for a patio, no?… Continue Reading


Sofa Story

antique George III needlework sofa with asymmetrical back - WOI via atticmag

Like any work of art, this antique needlepoint sofa can be appreciated for its stunning details and fascinating history.

During the late 18th century English women were known for certain attributes: the size of their hair and the cut of their dresses. Georgiana Cavendish — the ill-fated Duchess of Devonshire – also was a famed beauty, disastrous love affairs, and gambling compulsion eventually did her in. So it’s not surprising to see a basket of wool, a ladies’ tasseled bag, a folding game board, or a shawl depicted on an antique needlepoint sofa covered by a large scale piece of Georgian-era needlework.… Continue Reading


Displaying Collections

displaying collections - antique weather vanes - kelly and olive via atticmag

When displaying collections, grouping similar pieces together creates maximum impact.

It happens to all of us. We fall in love with something and, before long, the objects get scattered around the house.  The last thing many of us want is a themed room but displaying collections by gathering objects together creates a dramatic impact.  Farm animal weather vanes, are a popular collector’s item. The various types of metal take on different color effects and patinas. Aged by nature, these barnyard favorites gracefully strut across this paneled wall without singing “Old McDonald.”

A grouping of antique carpentry tools evoke an emotional response from the collector when they history is personal.… Continue Reading


Showing Off Ceramics

displaying ceramics - turquoise 1950s Haeger and McCoy pottery collection - country living via atticmag

When displaying ceramics, high contrast color helps collectibles pop off the shelves.

Few aspects of home décor are as interesting as well-displayed objects. I adore pillows and lush upholstery details but displaying ceramics — interesting vases, plates and cache pots in a single vibrant color like turquoise seems like an object lesson of its own. Fluted, high-gloss Haeger vases and McCoy pieces [top] are massed together on a chippy white shelf. They make an unmistakable statement about 1950s sensibility. The ceramics have interesting textures based on bamboo, wood, leaf and floral motifs as well.

I’m always surprised by how glamorous assorted white pottery pieces can be.… Continue Reading