By Karen Parr-Moody
Whew, it’s been a weird year, so the GasLamp staff is making the holidays at the store as normal as possible by repeating popular traditions. And as any GasLamp shopper knows, Christmas is when GasLamp’s dealers give ’em the old razzle dazzle, sprucing up their booths with holiday cheer and placing their finest items on display. It’s a Nashville Christmas tradition to peruse the aisles slowly, ever so slowly, to take it all in.
In this state of nirvana for antique lovers, you’ll find gifts that won’t be duplicated: one-of-a-kind wine stoppers, antique paintings, silver serving pieces, 1950s lipstick holders, Art Deco powder compacts and vintage jewelry from all eras.
But before we chitchat about GasLamp’s gift possibilities, let’s pull up our chairs and sit by the fire – and not just any fire, but an antique Swedish tile stove, or “kakelugn”, that is currently featured at Booth T-108 at GasLamp Too ($8,500).
This towering, 8-foot-tall French Rococo kakelugn features a shiny white-and-green surface that has been hand painted with acanthus leaves and scrolling. As with all kakelugns, heavy ceramic tiles line its interior and exterior to capture and slowly release the heat with greater efficiency than cast-iron counterparts. (Due to their clever design, kakelugns are the most efficient wood-burning stove today, even though they were invented way back in 1767.)
How incredibly stylish would this kakelugn be in a sophisticated condo? I can see it in the corner of a modern living room, inviting conversation from the moment guests step in the door. It looks like a fine piece of Meissen porcelain.
Every holiday, there’s such cheer to be found in the vintage Christmas-themed items of décor that heavily populate GasLamp’s booths. From exquisite and delicate to kitschy and loud, Christmas decorations are their own subculture of visual fun at this time of year. One example is this musical snow globe designed by well-known folk artist Jim Shore called “Oh, Blessed Family” ($40; T-389). This nativity scene features a family Christians call the Holy Family – the Child Jesus, the Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph. The song the snow globe plays is “O Holy Night.”
Moving from classic to kitsch, GasLamp Too currently features these groovy nativity blow molds at Booth T-389 ($395). If you love some bold kitsch on display, you’ll get a double dose with this set that includes Mary, Joseph, Jesus and the three wise men. These figures come with working light cords and a 5-watt LED bulb to illuminate their glowing white tones. There’s such detail on each figure: Check out the faceted gemstone in one wise man’s turban, as well as the gift of frankincense dangling from his clasped hands.
Everyone’s Christmas shopping list includes “the woman who has everything” but let me tell you: Every woman can use another vase. (In fact, women need a collection of vases for several reasons, but that’s another blog post.) This curvaceous vase at Booth T-944 is made of blue-and-white striped blown glass and is a glorious piece of art glass. Bonus: It’s a great size for use with floral arrangements. At this time of year, it would be much improved with a bouquet of red roses and carnations mixed with white Asiatic lilies, hypericum berries and assorted Christmas greenery. Divine!
Whatever your family traditions – elves on the shelves or roasted marshmallows at the kakelugn – a visit to GasLamp will add to your coterie of Christmas decorating finds. And remember: If you’re too busy to make it to one of the stores, just call 615-297-2224 or 615-292-2250 to purchase your goodies, then pick them up at your convenience. Both stores accept orders over the phone (and they offer layaway … how cool is that?). Merry Christmas!