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.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Empire Banquette from 1840's

 Here you see a matching pair of American Empire Banquettes from ca. 1840,  flame mahogany, serpentine crest with scroll carving, serpentine skirt, and  rear bracket feet. 
 I bought these yesterday from a consignment shop.  They had been there for a long time and the owner said they were odd and too small and no one had shown any interest in them.  I was able to conceal  my excitement.  The last pair I saw ( the only pair I had ever seen)  was priced on sale at $1800. 
American Empire furniture is not for everyone.  It's the furniture of the Old South.  It's in every plantation home I have ever been in. It was out of style by 1850 when Renaissance Revival was taking over. Then Eastlake came in from about 1870 to 1885. Then the Era of Golden Oak ran from 1880 to 1920.  My dates may be off a little but that's basically the story. 
 This was not done by a machine. 
 The upholstery...love it or leave it; an easy fix.  The only problem...how do you work two of these into a log cabin full of primitives?  Yep, put them upstairs in the secret Empire attic bedroom.   Don't tell my purist prim friends that I can't give up all my Victorian ways.  

The sun came out today so I'm airing out a rug I'm going to sell at the shop next week.  I"m looking for a worn out rug with mustard and maybe a bit of blue to replace it. That patch of green in the yard reminds me that March is on the way.  I'm glad to have lived through another winter. 


My new stove for the primitive kitchen

 OK.  So I've got this idea.  My old stove from the 1970's only has two eyes that work anyway.  I haven't turned the oven on in 15 years.   I bought this 1920's maybe 30's stove a couple of weeks ago;  it is gas but that isn't going to happen, so I removed the gas eyes to create an open space. 
 I'm going to Lowe's or Home Depot and find one of those drop-in electric set of eyes to go in the space. I don't need but two burners. ( I can't manage four going at the same time and wouldn't have four things cooking at the same time anyway)
The drop-in might need a bit of an adjustment but I can hire someone to do that.  Slowly my kitchen is going to turn into an acceptable place for a primitive house.  I can store the three cooking pans I own in the oven part.   That's my grand idea.  

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Muddy looking old pottery churns

Today I bought two chairs,  a box from 1920, a crate from 1910 that was used to mail leather shoes,  a  Godey's print from 1860 in a deep walnut frame ( I was told to pronounce that as GO-dees) ,  a large pickle jar with a red top, and the churn on the left.  It's a 3 gal and probably made in Chilton or Bibb County, Alabama.   

It was 60 today and sunny, so it was a great day to look around.  A new friend has opened a shop in a nearby town so I spent an hour rearranging  and organizing a room in his shop.  He told me to come back next week because there are four more rooms to fix. 

This is why I stay away from the book section in a shop in Chilton County; the organizer in me starts fixing the 18 shelves of  books and suddenly it's an hour later and I realize I need to walk away.  

I have always loved books; I have about 900 here at the house in my back room I call the library.  One of my friends wrote a poetry book and had it published. When the boxes came, she called me and said, " I now have 400 books in my library...350 of which I wrote myself."