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The Find

Showstopping Antiques That Raise the Bar

by Karen Parr-Moody 16 Nov 2022

For more than 1,000 years, Venetian glass masters have shaped molten glass into flights of fancy, initially in Venice, Italy, but later on the nearby island of Murano. The island lent its name to history, as the whimsical, colorful works are referred to as Murano glass, which is distinctive among other glass works. Every Murano chandelier is a showstopper, as is the one currently in GasLamp Antiques Booth B-101, one of many showstoppers that fill the halls of GasLamp and GasLamp Too.

The holiday season is the best time to search the GasLamp Antiques stores for showstoppers, as dealers put their best wares on display for the holidays. It’s the time of year when everything seems shiny, sparkly, and bright. Here, the GasLamp Antiques staff lists some items to catch your eye.

A Vintage Murano Chandelier Fills a Room with Magic

Lovers of Murano glass look to its famous chandeliers as the gold standard for what this artwork can conceive and deliver. The chandeliers maintain a sinuous, organic form, but the materials – colorful glass against shimmering metals – are as fanciful as they come. This stunning six-arm Venetian fruit chandelier is a fine Murano example ($1,298; GasLamp Antiques Booth B-101). Handblown glass fruits in shades of red, mustard and purple hang from its gilt branches.

Jaclyn Cole’s Reupholstered MCM Chairs are Vintage Winners

The tastemakers among us have tapped Jaclyn Cole as the go-to upholster around town; she could be nicknamed the Eames Chair Whisperer. She revitalizes authentic midcentury modern furniture by expertly upholstering it with chic fabrics in distinctive colors. Cole’s propensity for picking perfect color schemes makes chairs sing.  

Cole refinished, re-caned and reupholstered these four vintage mid-century modern chairs ($1,599; GasLamp Antiques Booth 208). Called “Changebak” chairs, they were crafted from solid walnut by Boling Chair Co. in North Carolina in the 1950s.

A Handmade Shaker-Style Table Goes Against the Grain

A showstopper need not be sparkly. It can add quiet theatrically to a room. Take this Shaker-style table that local artisan Michael McGuire handcrafted from solid cherry wood in his workshop ($1,750; GasLamp Too Booth T-236). McGuire created a table that seats six to eight people and can flow into various décor styles, including mid-century modern. The wood’s warmth infuses any home with a cozy, inviting ambiance that stands out in an age of soulless mass production. The table’s dimensions are 84-by-38-by-30 inches.

An Exotic Copper Tray Makes for Convenience

This antique Moroccan tray table delivers craftsmanship, beauty, and brass in one convenient package ($425; GasLamp Antiques Booth B109). Entertaining is a breeze when there’s a moveable table in the mix. Used as a low dining table in the Middle East and Africa, the table embodies the exotic with its patinaed brass tray featuring a hand-engraved mandala. The table is 34.5 inches in diameter and 20 inches tall, and the frame folds for storage and ease of use.

Vintage Wooden Angels Take the Stage

GasLamp Antiques’ eclectic showstoppers span design styles from ultra-glam to uber-rustic. This pair of carved wood angels fall into the latter category ($750; GasLamp Too; Booth T-101). The sculptor carved each angel slightly differently from the other, which gives them more personality. These fellows would whimsy to a rustic holiday display but could also be on display year-round.

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