Sunday, December 19, 2010

Chic by design 'at auction'

For me, there is an allure to a beautiful antique. The warmth of the wood patina, and workmanship of the curves and carving. I don't like adding antiques to create a museum, but rather to add interest and style.

NY Spaces Magazine - Designer: Alex Papachristidis

This apartment designed by Alex Papachristidis for Fruzsina Keehn in New York looks fresh and modern, and is furnished with wonderful antiques. The chaise longue has a fabulous shape, and sits happily besides the ever chic round table and X stools. The the bottom photo the 18th century French secretaire, and the wonderfully shaped chair give this living room it's high style. 

I decided to see what I could find at auction to re-create this look. 

Christie's sold this lovely 18th century Louis XVI tulipwood, amaranth, and parquetry secretaire for $1,625. This was well below the estimate of $3,000 - $5,000. As in the photo of the apartment above, leave the desk front open, and have a beautiful flower arrangement and lamp sitting on it.

New Orleans Auction always has a good offering of Continental antiques. This 2nd quarter 19th century Louis Philippe mahogany daybed is a remarkable match to the one in the top apartment photo. It has the lovely sweep of the back, and just needs the darker striped upholstery to finish the look. This sold for $2,880. The estimate had been $2,500 - $4,000.

New Orleans Auction

These chairs are not quite the same as the one in the living room photo, but they I fell in love with them. They are Italian, of course! These were sold at a New Orleans auction for $2,091. They are early 20th century and made of mahogany. The detailed carving is fabulous, and the patina of the wood is gorgeous. A pair of chairs is always better than one anyway.

To complete the look we need a round center table. This Beidermeier style table is a close cousin of the one in our photo at the top. It has the carved column along with an even more interesting base. It's made of mahogany, and has the added bonus of two leaves to expand in to a dining table. It sold at a Doyle New York auction for $875.

So, for a total spend of $7,471 we could substantially re-create the key elements of the look in the Alex Papachristidis designed rooms. It was fun too!

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