Monthly Archives: July 2011

Go Antiquing in Newberry, South Carolina!

My friend, Robert Summer, has been the Editor of Newberry Magazine for many years. It is a bi-monthly full color magazine about the lifestyle of folks living in Newberry, South Carolina. I love reading the bi-monthly articles about the big, beautiful homes around Newberry and especially enjoy the recipes for delicious southern cooking. He even published an article about EuroLux Antiques when we opened back in 2004. Recently Robert created a new video about Newberry to promote tourism and asked me to speak briefly about shopping for Antique Furniture on Main Street.

 

Visiting Downtown Newberry is a great way to spend a Saturday or an entire weekend! Go antiquing through the nine Antique galleries and two thrift shops, and don’t forget to stop at one of the many specialty stores, including clothing, shoes, and gift stores. You can spend all day browsing through the shops and then enjoy lunch or dinner at one of the restaurants downtown.

Of course, don’t forget to check the calendar for the Newberry Opera House so that you can catch a show while you’re in town. A large variety of entertainers perform at the Newberry Opera House each year, from ballet to bluegrass, with wonderful Elvis impersonators to boot!

A visit to Newberry would be incomplete without visiting the largest indoor orchid nursery in the US at Carter and Holmes Orchids.

So the next time you’re looking for a fun day trip, or wondering how to entertain out-of-town guests, come on down to Newberry, the City of Friendly Folks!

Thanks for stopping by the EuroLux Antiques blog!

Aimee

 Aimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina.  Connect with or sign up to receive this blog in your inbox!

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Symbolism and Chinese Antique Furniture

One of my favorite aspects of Chinese Antique Furniture is the use of symbols to convey specific meanings for the owner.  Symbolism has long been an important part of Chinese culture with particular animals, plants, and even geometric patterns representing ideas or concepts.

Dragons are a powerful symbol in Chinese mythology and symbolize power, authority, male vigor and fertility. They represent the “yang” force in the “yin-yang” dynamic.  A Dragon is used as decorative trim around the edge of this Chinese Antique Cabinet above and as a decorative medallion in the center of the back splat of an Antique Chinese Chair in the photo below.

Running horses symbolize imminent success in Chinese culture, as seen on this Chinese Antique Chest of Drawers below. A bat hovers above the horses, adding good luck for the owner.

According to Chinese belief, bats represent good luck, as the word for bat sounds very similar to “Fu”, the word for good fortune or blessing.  Two bats seen together doubles the good luck, while the representation of five bats together symbolizes the Five Blessings of life: wealth, health, virtue, a long life and a natural death.  The four bats shown together on the back splat of this Antique Chinese Armchair below will bring quadruple luck to the owner!

Many pieces of Chinese Antique Furniture or Chinese Antique Architectural Elements use multiple symbolic objects, whose meanings combine to create a richly layered and complex interpretation for the owner.  For instance, the beautifully carved Antique Chinese Doors below may have been created as a wedding gift for a new bride and groom.

The Antique Chinese Doors feature a large Chinese character in a prominent position that represents health and longevity and is surrounded by four painted butterflies, which symbolize love and joy.  These symbols on the lower area of this Pair of Antique Chinese Doors, taken in combination, express a wish for a long and happy marriage based on true love.

This beautiful message is further enriched by the symbolic objects found in the upper area of these Antique Chinese Doors: pomegranates (fertility), peaches (longevity), lotus flowers (purity and perfection), and peonies (material wellbeing and also female beauty and reproduction).  Taken together, this complex interplay of symbolic meanings seems to convey warm wishes for a lifetime of marital bliss that is blessed with children.

I love how the juxtaposition of symbols on the Chinese Antique Cabinet below creates a deeper philosophical meaning for the owner.  The geometric pattern found on the upper drawers and in the large, full moon medallions on the front doors is called the Wanzi, and is also known as the Buddha’s Footprint.

In China, the Wanzi symbol represents the infinite multiplication of happiness, wealth, and longevity and comes from the Buddhist tradition. The Wanzi should not be confused with the swastika symbol of 1930s Nazi Germany, as Hitler’s swastika is inverted in the opposite direction and tipped up at an angle.

This Chinese Antique Cabinet also has carved flowers that represent the seasons of the year: Chrysanthemum (Autumn), Peony (Spring), and Lotus (Summer).

The Lotus flower also adds another layer of symbolism in that it often represents the Buddha himself. The lotus plant grows in the mud, yet the pretty bloom arises from the muck untainted, a symbol of purity and perfection, and one that represents the way of Buddhism.

The combination of symbolic objects on this charming Antique Chinese Cabinet creates a complex, multi-layered meaning that juxtaposes the fleeting nature of time (the brief life of a flower, the passing of the seasons) with that which is eternal and infinite. A nice message to ponder while enjoying a beautiful and functional piece of Chinese Antique Furniture.

Thanks for stopping by the EuroLux Antiques Blog!

Aimee

 Aimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina.  Connect with or sign up to receive this blog in your inbox!

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Client Spotlight: Santa Rosa, CA

There is a strange phenomenon in the Antique Furniture business that I cannot explain.  We may have a beautiful Antique Buffet or a striking Vintage Chandelier or an amazing Antique Clock for several months without having any email questions or phone inquiries about it, and then as soon as someone purchases that Antique Buffet or Vintage Chandelier or Antique Clock, it seems we could have sold it three times over!

That was the case with the wonderful Antique Renaissance Revival Buffet that just arrived at Pixie and Joe’s house in Santa Rosa, California today.  We had several people try to buy this piece after it was sold — if only we had three more just like it!

We often have folks ask us about our methods of shipping larger pieces of Antique Furniture.  We use a variety of blanket wrap vanline companies that specialize in moving Antique Furniture.  These companies carefully wrap the delicate areas of pieces and know how to pack the pieces in their trucks so that the items are not damaged during transit.  We do not ship via Freight companies, as Freight companies stack heavy pallets on top of one another to maximize space in the truck, and this would most certainly guarantee damage for Antique Furniture.

Our FREE SHIPPING via Vanlines for larger furniture includes “white glove delivery service,” which means that your piece of Antique Furniture will be brought into your home, put together in the place where you would like it to be, and all packing materials will be removed.  We do not ship curbside, as we don’t want our customers to have to struggle with moving and building heavy pieces of furniture. Our shipping companies are experts in handling and moving the pieces from their trucks and into your home, avoiding the damage that can happen when one doesn’t know the best way to move a piece of Antique Furniture.  Of course, all items are fully insured just in case there is a mishap along the way.

Pixie and Joe are still in the middle of remodeling the room where their lovely Antique Renaissance Buffet will ultimately reside, but it will be used in a large family room on a wall adjacent to the kitchen and the back deck and will hold overflow and urgent items.  We would love to see a photo once their room is finished, but in the meantime they sent photos of the exterior of their beautiful European French Country home.

Thanks for stopping by the EuroLux Antiques blog — please keep the photos and questions coming!

Aimee

 Aimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina.  Connect with or sign up to receive this blog in your inbox!

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Gustav Becker & Antique Wall Clocks

Of the many clock manufacturers in Germany in the 19th century, the name Gustav Becker is recognized as one of the leading producers of high-quality Antique Wall Clocks, as well as a variety of other types of clocks, including mantel clocks, anniversary clocks, and watches.  Gustav Becker (1819 – 1885) learned the clockmaking trade in Austria and Germany, eventually opening a very successful factory in Freiburg, Germany, in 1850.  He was awarded a gold medal recognizing his achievement in clock design, the Medaille d’Or, at a regional Trade Exposition held in 1852.  Gustav Becker quickly incorporated that stamp along with a Gustav Becker mark on the works of his clocks in order to establish his brand.  The Gustav Becker brand of clocks became highly celebrated, winning awards and recognition at trade shows across the world.

Antique Gustav Becker Wall Clocks are synonymous with high quality craftsmanship, as Gustav Becker was able to attract the best clockmakers in Germany to work at his factory.  His clock case designs reflect a wide variety of tastes, from simple, clean lines like the weight driven Antique Gustav Becker Double Vienna Regulator Wall Clock shown above, to highly ornate, hand-carved clocks like the spring-driven Antique Gustav Becker Vienna Regulator Wall Clock shown below.  Just as the consumer public desired heavily carved Renaissance Revival furniture at the turn of the 20th century, there was also a great demand for large and highly decorated Vienna Regulator Wall Clocks.  A rising middle class that had more disposable income than ever before due to the Industrial Revolution wanted to show off their newly found wealth and prosperity, and a beautiful, high quality Gustav Becker Wall Clock was a great way to do just that.

While the founder, Gustav Becker, died in 1885, the Gustav Becker Clock Company continued to manufacture exceptional Regulator Wall Clocks bearing the Gustav Becker brand trademark until 1935, when the competitor, Junghans, purchased the company.  Below is an example of a high-quality, spring-driven Vintage Gustav Becker Wall Clock featuring a striking Art Deco design, which was one of the last Wall Clocks stamped with the Gustav Becker trademark prior to the Junghans buyout.

Gustav Becker clocks are stamped with the easily identified Gustav Becker brand trademark, which did change over time, but always prominently featured an anchor topped with a crown and the initials G and B, as shown in two marks below.

Antique Regulator Wall Clocks with the Gustav Becker brand trademark are more valuable than similar Antique Wall Clocks by other lesser-known German manufacturers and will continue to increase in value as the years go by.  An Antique Gustav Becker Wall Clock would make a wonderful addition to your collection!

 Aimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina.  Connect with or sign up to receive this blog in your inbox!

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