Saturday, January 11, 2020

Antique Corner Cupboard and New Years

Right before New Years Eve hubs and I went to an auction and bought a cupboard.
Not that we were planning to or even going for anything in particular.
It was a spur of the moment decision.
 I did mention to him that this auction had antique firearms.  
Hehe, I knew that would catch his interest and sure enough he wanted to go! 
But what surprised me most was how much other stuff caught his interest.  
 While I had quickly looked around and settled into my seat to listen to the auctioneer,
hubs was walking around checking everything out in great detail, 
 then coming back to me to ask did I see this thing or that?  
 He was on a hunt and it turned out he was interested in anything bronze.
 Statues that is. See him looking down over there??
 He was checking out these cute Corgi dogs, a bronze statue by artist 
Elizabeth Leary Strazzulla of Orleans, Massachusetts.
And then he asked if I had noticed the enormous life size Indian and eagle statue.
WHAT?? Why in the world do we want or need that I wondered?
  Where is that going to go?
In New Hampshire at the lake, he replied....
ok... well I guess I could try to imagine it....
and that was only the beginning.  
We would have to wait for it to come up and then bid on it,
and hope it wouldn't be too high.  
I had noticed things like this old tin weathervane which I could imagine
going on the top of our not yet built barn/garage. 
I guess one gets attracted to things for whatever reason....I was 
still processing his attraction to all the statues.
Then I rounded the corner and saw it. 
 The enormous and old corner cupboard. 
 The listing said it was "an important early 18th century 
cabinet" and it certainly was important looking to me.
It looked very old, with lots of carvings and the interior 
was painted with a turquoise color that was appealing.
I can bet Martha has cabinets like this in her homes!
I thought to myself, no one will want this thing.  Its too big!!
We will get it for the lake house!
 So I sat and waited for a few of our items to come up on the auction block.
Finally the big cupboard was up!!
Hubs whispered... Oh please. Don't.
 I continued to lift my paddle until I won.
Oh yes!! I won!! 
And that was that. It was coming home. 
 We went home with all the big things, 
like the Indian statue (bronze but painted white).
And some French barstools, and an antique fish service, 
some big blue and white transferware platters.... 
 And the enormous cabinet!!

 When we checked the measurement of the cupboard I was nervous to see that the cupboard 
was the same height as our ceiling. But it fit like a glove, with the help of our son Justin.
It was meant to be...for now. It belongs at the lake, and in that house our ceilings will be 
a foot higher, so it will fit without any worry at all.
 We bought a few tables, a game table, a dresser, the corgis, 
and another crazy big statue too....
This pretty demilune table with gorgeous carvings came home with us.
Y,a we bought a lot of antique stuff!! And it was sooo much fun!!
These are full size bronze statues out of a Malibu CA estate that someone painted.  
Why my husband wanted these is something I can't answer, but I can tell you it was
very funny when he was bidding on them.  At least I thought it was funny! 
I whispered to him, we are going to be known as "those people" when our neighbors
at the lake see these things on our property.  Haha. I will do my best to hide
them in the shrubbery or behind trees. 
 For now our auction treasures are in our Massachusetts home, waiting for the lake.
Its been so much fun to fill the cabinet with my antique collections
of majolica and transfer ware into the cabinet.
 It was all part of what turned out to be a very fun way to ring in the New Year. 
Before we headed out, I learned how to saber the champagne,
which means cut the neck off the bottle with a "saber" or knife.
You use the back of the knife blade, not the sharp part.
It cuts it clean off!!
 There are a few secrets, and one is to put the champagne
bottle upside down in the ice bucket to freeze the neck first. Then reposition the
casket around the cork to above the bottle ridge neckline, and as you cut it off,
to move the saber up the bottle along the molded glass line of the bottle. 
 It was thrilling!
We had reservations to enjoy dinner
in Boston's historic North End with our youngest and a good friend,
 then headed to Ciao Bella in North Square next to the Paul Revere house
to meet Justin who was working to celebrate some more.
 We capped the night off with more champagne and oysters.
What a treat!
In closing I hope you all had a nice New Years Eve.
We usually spend NYE low key, so this was especially fun and memorable.
 Wishing all a great 2020!! 
 Our family looks forward to many changes this year. 
Building a new home and then moving to the lake 
as our youngest (who, might I brag, just got straight A's in his first senior term)
graduates from Boston Latin School and then heads off to college,
leaving us as empty nesters for the first time. 
The next phase of life has arrived for us Chalmers!


  1. Wow do I ever love that cabinet! And how fun that your husband caught the auction fever.

    1. Thankyou, it was so much fun to watch him have even more fun than I was!

  2. What fun- I LOVE that cabinet. What a find! LOL about the statues and being 'those people'....hahahaha...I am so glad you had fun with the kids on NYEve. I don't do IG very often but I saw your little grandgirl on there cutting strings. She is ADORABLE! xo Diana

    1. You know how sweet having a granddaughter is Diana!! She is a treasure...omg those statues are something else. You should see them in our backyard now next to the pink wire furniture. It all looks so crazy.

  3. All the items are beautiful, but that corner cabinet is absolutely stunning.. Congrats!

  4. How fun! I love how your hubby just lets you ‘go’ and you let him ‘go’ too! I think he was right about that Indian statue being a winner at the NH lake house. It will be interesting to see if you strip it to its natural bronze. I really look forward to watching you build your lake house. It’s going to me something and your creative juices will be on overdrive. Enjoy this time in your life Amy. I really enjoyed the time when the kids were off in college. I still have one left. Blink and they are home to visit or sometimes return to the nest. I know you will miss the memories of your MA home , especially having your beautiful mother in law next door, but looking forward is the only way to fly!

    1. HI Susan, yes we plan to strip them to bronze. They are just too Hollywood in silver and white for New England. I still cannot figure out what to do with the Arch Angel. Hide it behind the garage haha!!

  5. Happy New Year is right, 2020 is going to be an exciting time for your family.

    Getting your home on the lake will be fun, exciting and memories with the family will be made.

    The cabinet is a start to what your decor will be. I will be following you along on your journey you know that.


    1. Thank you Cindy, yes the cabinet gives a good idea as to the direction of the lake. It will likely be a mix of cottage and colonial times with some random European thrown in....

  6. THAT. CABINET. Stunning. You two had quite a haul with all those yummy items. Cannot wait to see your lake house with all the trimmings from the auction. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you for reading! I LOVE this cabinet, and they certainly made them big and important back then!!

  7. Amy, your new cabinet is gorgeous, and it displays your pretty Majolica collection perfectly! The auction sounded like such a fun time! I love spur of the moment purchases. That is when I have found some of my most special treasures. You made me laugh telling about the statues. I hope you have a wonderful 2020!!!

    1. HI Shannon, I couldn't agree more that these special things find us when we head out with no certain purpose on antique hunts. It was a memorable day and these things will remind us of the fun we had.

  8. Your new auction purchases fit in with your lifestyle and home decor, so Beautifully!
    Wishing both of you ( soon to be empty nesters), a Very Happy 2020!

    1. Thank you Elizabeth! Happy New Year to you too!

  9. You were so smart to tell Dave there were antique firearms at this auction. I am surprised that he wanted the large statues and yes that will be a decorating challenge. I could see purchasing one...maybe but two! If you get the paint off them they will blend with their surroundings. But right now I have visions of the Hearst Castle. I love the corgis though...They are delightful. Your cabinet is'll have to build the house around it. I once had a customer who decided to buy a huge huge china display wall cabinet. It was like 10 feet across. She was building a new home and planned on putting it in the new dining room. The house had not been built yet but she was shopping with blue prints in hand. When she decided to buy this cabinet in front of me she called her architect to tell him she'd just bought a huge cabinet and the dining room wall would have to be pushed out another 4 feet to accommodate it's depth. She said she had to keep doing this because she kept buying large things. And it was a huge house to begin with!

    1. You are so right! I already altered the floor plan and drew in a wall to make the perfect corner for the cupboard. The house is very open so there aren't a lot of walls, more like windows and French doors. I can see on the back of the statue that the patina of a copper green is coming through where there is missing paint. I am hoping our New England winter will begin the peeling process so there is less to remove this spring.

  10. I LOVE reading this posting today!!! Thanks for sharing all of your beautiful finds! Best wishes for a wonderful New Year!

  11. Oh my goodness Amy you found some amazing treasures! You have such an eye for beauty! I’m loving the statues that your husband found! I have a soft spot for large statues/garden statues! I do t have any as of yet, but hope to in the future! I wish you many blessings in this new year and look forward to seeing your beautiful lake home!


  12. Amy, just wanted to thank you for your post about the faux wax taper candles in December. What a find! I purchased them after your recommendation and they did not disappoint! I have been reading your blog for several years and have never commented until now. You have inspired me in so many ways. So happy you won the bid on the large cupboard and yes indeed Martha has a cabinet like this somewhere in one of her homes. It is a fabulous heirloom piece! Congratulations and Happy New Year!


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