So, for all of you on the Redeux mail list, our “winter shop” will be open just for you. Look for the “Furniture Tag Sale” sign in front of the garage doors – that will be the indicator that I am open and working inside. Just come to the door. Call ahead if you’d like: 203-254-2017 / 203-414-1727.
With the onset of the colder weather I really had intended to consolidate the pieces on hand to make the move indoors a bit easier. However, we've gotten in several items that I just could not resist – or leave homeless. These include:
A small, console type chest with drawers at the top and doors below. It is dark mahogany.
Two oak chests, both having curved tops. One seems to date from the late 1800’s; the other from about 1910-1930 or so.
A very nice oak chest with pivoting mirror.
A chest of drawers that appears to be walnut with a gold stenciling on the front. The design is quite different and is pictured here:
Note the drawer pulls that appear to be original– they appear to have Bakelite incorporated into their design. This would date the piece to the Depression 1930’s.
A sideboard/server also was located. For those of you looking for an elegant piece that is not quite so “heavy” looking as the darker mahogany ones we’ve had this may be right for you.
Just finished is an oak dresser that has been stripped of its old, damaged varnish and given an “evening” coat of stain and then hand-rubbed with oil. New period-correct brass hardware has been added. This is a sturdy, handsome piece. The "before and after" pictures are at the top of this posting.
Just refinished, too, is an oak bed frame with a trundle-type of frame to accomodate a sleep-over guest. The piece seems to date from the late 1800's and has wonderful detailing. It is a bit smaller in size than a modern twin so it would be quite suitable for not too tall folks (up to about 5'8" ) and children. A mattress company in Hamden can custom make a quality mattress for this bed at a reasonable price. This is a very special piece! Ask me for more details
There are also a number of other wonderful pieces ready for a new home!
Working in the garage these past few months has given me the opportunity to chat with all of you and the question of why I choose what finish for which piece often comes up.
Each piece is different and has its own personality, so to speak. Sometimes, it takes several weeks to figure out the best approach for restoring an old chest, table or server. Once in a while I’ll know what to do the first time I see a piece of furniture – regardless of its current condition. Concentrating on only American-made wood furniture built before 1950 makes the job a bit easier. Quality and craftsmanship, so often in short supply in modern furniture, was the rule of thumb back then. Restoring these furniture pieces is both a privilege and joy.
But, back to the finishes. I prefer oil stains and paints over water-based products. While requiring a bit more care in application, they are much more attractive, durable and better for the wood.
The same with the top coating on stained wood furniture. Varnishes and shellacs have their place and have been around almost forever. Yet, more and more, I find myself drawn to giving a piece, when appropriate, a hand- rubbed oil finish. Boiled Linseed oil is my preferred method and each piece gets at least 2 to 3 applications of the oil. This oil finish provides a durable, water and scratch resistant top coat. The oil penetrates the wood fibers and actually gives them more strength. An oil finish is also resistant to heat damage – great for table tops! Re-touching later is fairly easy, too.
Thank you, again. You have made Redeux such a joy and I look forward to seeing you again very soon. Remember to look for the sign in front of the garage - or just call.