Friday, June 25, 2010

Stairways to heaven

When I mention the word 'ladder' you will probably immediately think of something quite utilitarian. Something to climb to get to a high place. But ladders can be amazing and versatile decorative objects as well.

This is our living area in our Upstate NY house. We bought this Chinese ladder while living in London, and it just goes anywhere. It's red and leans against the wall looking very chic (as does our wonderful cat!).

I was inspired to write about ladders, in part, because the collection of Douglas S. Cramer and Hubert S. Bush that's being sold June 26th at Stair Galleries contains quite a few. I have to say that the owners had great taste, and I have rarely been to an auction preview with so many items that tempt.

 Stair Galleries - Lots 71 and 82

The ladder on the left above is shown displaying plants. I think that's a great way to use a ladder as a display shelf for objects as well as plants. This lot (71) is described just as a cast iron mounted pine ladder with an estimate of $250 - $450. The ladder on the right above (lot 82) is a Victorian pine library ladder and would also be great for displaying things. It has an estimate of $200 - $300. Both woods have lots of character and patina.

Stair Galleries Lot 63

For a different type of ladder, this library ladder is quite smart looking with the lions on the ends. This would not only be a good display piece, but could also be an extra seat in a room when you have a party. Another idea might be to use it in your guest bathroom to lay out the towels! This has an estimate of $250 - $450.

Doyle @Home Auction June 23rd

Finally, you occasionally find a chair and ladder combined that does it all! This Regency style mahogany metamorphic library chair is both seating and a ladder that can be used for display (or even to reach the high shelves of your library!). It had an estimate of $800 - $1,200 (lot 466).

A ladder can be a fun object for your home. Wait to find the right one that fits your space, or buy one that looks great that can be leaned up in a free wall area to be just a wonderful piece of decoration. At auction the prices are quite reasonable.

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