By Karen Parr-Moody
You know the piece – that one-of-a-kind vintage find that makes your heart go pitter patter. We’ve all had one of these, or more, in our lives. My first one was a hand-carved walnut corner chair upholstered in blue velvet. I was 16 years old and I could only imagine how such a piece of furniture could shine its internal “light” in a room that might be otherwise unremarkable. The chair was unlike any I had seen, and with good reason: Corner chairs were only popular for a short period of time during the Victorian era, so there weren’t many to begin with and there aren’t many left.
Such a piece possesses an unnatural beauty that one can’t stop ruminating about. It’s the kind of piece that adds elegance to a room all by itself. One might call these “statement pieces.” GasLamp has many, because our dealers have combed the country searching for rare vintage and antique furnishings. Whether you’re looking for a Rococo figure to add a pop of “wow” to your living room or a decorative sofa for a fancy flourish, you’ll find it at GasLamp.
The Rococo style of this reclining putti with a playful dog at its heels reminds one of the late interior designer Tony Duquette ($250, T-114 at GasLamp Too). The sensuous drama of this porcelain figure fits Duquette’s “more is more” aesthetic. It could also be placed against less fantastical backgrounds to gorgeous effect. With its seaside motifs of a cornflower blue conch shell and fishing net, it could infuse an elegant beach house with a dose of decadence. It was made during the 19th century by Spode, the English porcelain and earthenware manufacturer that has been in existence since 1770. What a breathtaking piece.
A vintage perfume atomizer, like this one blown from art glass, adds a dose of glamour to any vanity table or powder room ($140, T-944 at GasLamp Too). The bulb on this one is in perfect working condition. Atomizer bottles debuted in the late 1870s to accommodate a craze for “exotic” scents – frankincense, patchouli and cloves – that arrived in Europe via the trade routes. The major French perfumeries, including Guerlain, Caron, and Molinard, used this new perfume delivery system, which they called the “pulverizateur” or “vaporizateur.” If you like glamour in small doses, collecting such vintage perfume atomizers is an inexpensive and fun hobby.
This is a traditional chair that would have been found in the homes of wealthy Victorians. Called a “throne chair” or a “hall chair,” such chairs were placed in the entrance halls of large houses. This one at the original GasLamp is truly a work of art ($599, B-234 at GasLamp One). Made of fruitwood and of European origin, it features many carved details, including a putti, acanthus leaves and a classic shell. (Sometimes these chairs included a carved family crest.) It also features a caned back panel and seat. Victorians of the later 19th century loved caning and considered it a modern look, as opposed to the heavy velvets of earlier years.
Want a showstopper for your foyer? Look no longer: This antique Murano glass chandelier is it. It was handmade by master glassblowers on the island of Murano in Venice. From the early 20th century, this stunning chandelier features colors of the palest blue with accents and edge highlights in a rose tone ($2,400, B-106 at GasLamp One).
Victorian Eastlake settees are not exactly uncommon, but this one is unique. It has been glammed up with a coat of slate blue paint that renders it soft and sweet. Then it was re-upholstered in a cream-colored fabric with tufted details. It would add a touch of cottage-style elegance to any room ($595, T-101 at GasLamp Too).
This French faux bamboo armoire is a true investment piece. It was created in the French Japonisme style, which created a thirst for bamboo motifs in furniture. Made of pine, it features a glass door and a single drawer. There are three adjustable shelves (only one is shown in this photo). It dates from approximately 1840 to 1850 ($4,800, B-384 at GasLamp One).
Every GasLamp fan knows that the store is a catacomb of treasure. What one-of-a-kind find will you discover among many? The one that speaks to your heart, surely.
Header photo by Dimitri Houtteman on Unsplash; all other photos by Karen Parr-Moody.