Life in Old South Central Alabama

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South of Birmingham, Alabama, United States
I am an antique trader in central Alabama....I love old houses... My log home was built in 1817 by my ancestors Benjamin and Hannah Harless Wilson .............. Outside the house are herb gardens and lots of pass-along plants................ No one in Alabama is in a hurry about anything......... Visitors think that the garden needs weeding and the furniture needs polishing....I am a direct descendant of Joseph Towne, whose two sisters Rebecca Towne Nurse and Mary Towne Easty were hanged in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692 as witches. I am also a direct descendant of Pocahontas and husband John Rolfe.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Oil Portraits in the House

Now that my English lady is sold, and three more restored paintings are on Ebay for sale, I walked around the house and photographed the oil portraits that are here.  Here is my family's Old Miss of the plantation, hanging in my library.  She was a kind soul.  

Going up the stairs is the cousin who was a wealthy businesswoman, namely a saloon owner.  

The 1790's portrait by an artist named Taylor Dean.

My mysterious stranger.  He is shy and hard to photograph. 

My Alabama Portrait.  Felix Taylor Taliaferro ( pronounced Tolliver in the  South).  He was a cotton merchant in Mobile, Alabama after the war.   His grandmother was a cousin to President Zachary Taylor.  He moved to Alabama and got married but later moved back and lived in Orange County, Virginia, and by 1900 was in Hudson, New Jersey.  His father was Edmund Pendleton Taliaferro and his mother Octavia Hortense Robertson.  Edmund's mother was Mildred Taylor Taliaferro.  Mrs. Felix Taliaferro was nee Annie E. Penny.  They married 14 January 1867 in Mobile, Alabama. 

Monday, June 25, 2012

Goodbye to my English Lady

Well, I sold her yesterday on Ebay.

She was never happy here. I think being English, a log cabin in central Alabama wasn't her style.

She went from wall to wall, room to room, but just didn't seem to fit in.

She's moving to San Francisco,  and I can see a slight smile has formed on her face. Her eyes have a sparkle now.

Understand, she never caused any trouble, never complained, never made any noise in the middle of the night.

She patiently waited on me to realize that her time here was just a waiting game for something better.

Maybe the ghosts of the plantation children who died in my house made her nervous. 

Maybe the family portraits who actually belong  never welcomed her.     She was always an outsider.

She's leaving tomorrow, and I do hope her new home far away in California will be everything she is looking for, and that at last she can find the contentment she so desperately sought but was denied here.
(Update: My new buyer friend in San Francisco who is my age says that he will soon be moving to New Jersey so the Lady will end up in an Original Colony.  He also reports that a gentleman in a green frock coat with black lapels is on the wall and awaiting her arrival as his new companion.  What a lovely way to end this story . )

Waiting for her arrival in San Francisco......

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Saturday June 30 Auction Primitives in North Alabama

This Saturday in Hanceville Alabama will be the place to go  for some fine Primitives.  How about seven pieces of Southern stoneware pottery?   I think back row number three has great color.

An early cherry corner cupboard. If I bought this, I don't think I could ever sell it. 

A Sheraton Work Table pre-1850. 

A walnut pewter cupboard. Pretty spectacular.

A walnut stepback cupboard that appears to have original  finish. The top should lift off the bottom for easier moving, but each part will still be heavy.

I've never been to the Hanceville auction, don't know anyone there, so I want to see if the prices are cheap or sky high.  If the Atlanta or Nashville dealers show up,  forget it.  They never run out of money. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Primitives at auction this week in Alabama

While looking over the auctions for this weekend in Alabama,  I found some really good primitives that caught my attention.

This baby cradle in pine with dove tails is really nice. It will be at  David Tims Auction in Pell City, Alabama.  

For English and French antiques, his shop is the place to go, but if you like American prims, you can find some real gems there, also. 

I love this Southern Walking Spinning Wheel,  going on the block at Whits Auction in Attalla, Alabama. 

I used to think these were called "walking spinning wheels" because the legs looked like they were ready to walk across the floor. 

 Tasha Tudor said that it's the spinner who does the walking; that in a normal spinning session the spinner will walk back and forth for a mile or more. Maybe she was exaggerating a bit.  

Whit's Auction is also offering this Federal mirror; circa. 1800 , I think.  

They are a love-it-or-leave-it type of thing.    Consider it really beautiful, or really ugly. 
If you don't like Federal mirrors, you can turn it to the wall and show this dandy backside. 
This pie safe, maybe linen press,  alone would be worth the trip. 

  It looks like Southern Pine, never painted,  a nice size,  and can be useful anywhere. 
I can see this loaded with quilts and homespun.
The sides appear to be one board, at least 22 inches. 
Ah, a beautiful back.  I think one day I'll have a room in my house with all the primitive furniture turned to the wall so I can see the backs.   

Yes, some people would talk, but the real primitive folks would understand perfectly. 
Cadle Auction in Calera, Alabama is holding two sales on Saturday.  I already bought four of these blue-and-whites from them at other times. 

Here is another perfect one.  Repros of these are all over the internet for sale. 

 ( Update: There was a  very small chip on the top so this sold for $10. )
I don't know why, but  I love old stoves. I guess never had to cook on one.  I remember as a child that Mrs. Hill  the pottery lady had one under a shed near her shop.  

 Her husband , whom she called  Marse Hill,  would fire it up for summer outdoor canning so the house would stay cool. 

 I remember also going to Tennessee as a child with my parents and seeing more than one of these sitting outside with peanuts boiling on them  for sale.  

 ( Update:  Sold for $65 )
Well, here is the ice box to go with the stove. Somebody painted it white over the golden oak, but that can be fixed, or not,  if you like the attic surface look.  

The cable program guy who does restorations could have this looking like fresh 1920.  

( Update:  There were actually FOUR of these iceboxes, all in relatively good condition to be 100 years old;  they sold for less than $50 each )
These final three items are going up this weekend at the Olde Argo Auction in Argo, Alabama. 

This dandy four gallon churn surely has been lucky not to have had its top broken.

Which reminds me..... I leaned the hard way that one must never pick up an old churn by the handle....they will snap right off. 

 ( This happened while lifting an already broken one in our old barn, so it was good that I learned what not to do) 
The blue and white milk picture has had a long and happy life. I guess that is supposed to be an ear of corn  with shucks around it.  

I don't get the connection so maybe I missed the potter's intention... 
These rockers aren't old but I had to include them as a primitive house needful

They are sold by Cracker Barrel, a country store/restaurant chain that began in Lebannon, Tennessee (Betty should know all about this place) and now are found all along the interstate highways.  

 A country porch with a line-up of rocking chairs is a welcomed sight.