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New cabinet of love and joy

A couple of weeks ago, ms_siobhan and I spent a day in Saltaire, with the particular aim of checking out an antiques dealer with a bit of a line in Art Deco furniture on the top floor of Salt's Mill. I was looking in particular for a largish sideboard / cabinet to go in an alcove next to my fireplace, and I'd hardly got inside the shop when I saw an absolutely wonderful example, in a golden maple-wood finish with a bowed front and lots of lovely storage capacity. The price was high enough that I had to spend quite a bit of time thinking it over and psyching myself up before I took the plunge - but eventually I did, and it was delivered today.

This is what was previously in the alcove which it now occupies:

Old sideboard

Perfectly all right, but not really making the best use of the space. What I needed was something that would look good and allow me to stash lots of crap inside it!

So this is what I have now:

Shiny new cabinet!

Is it not teh shiny? When you open the top centre section, a mirrored tray rises up out of the depths at you, and an interior light switches itself on:

Mirrored light-up interior

I assume that it was intended for cocktail glasses. Not quite sure what I'll put in there yet, but I feel it ought to be pretty special! Below that is a cupboard that was clearly designed to hold your cocktail supplies:

Slots for cocktail supplies

On either side are further cupboards, mainly just with ordinary shelves in them. The right-hand one, though, has a cute little drawer lined with green baize - perhaps for your cards, dominoes, etc?

Green baize drawer lining

Finally, a close-up of the handles. I'm not quite sure what the white bits are made of - some kind of plastic, I think. Anyway, they are certainly very much 'of the period'.

Close-up of handles

All told, I am completely thrilled with it. It's gorgeous, it's practical, and it feels solid and weighty on a more than merely literal level. Somehow it makes my entire house, and by extension me, feel so much more grown up.

Meanwhile, the old low-level beechwood sideboard which used to stand in its place is now surplus to my requirements, and therefore for sale to anyone who might be interested. It's good solid wood furniture, with a lovely spicy smell when you open the drawers, and there are a couple of pictures here if you want a closer look:

Old sideboard - now for sale

Old sideboard - drawers

There are a couple of small marks on it, as you can see, but it's basically in very good condition. I paid £70 for it when I moved into my house, and will take £50 for it now. Buyer needs to collect, though, as I don't have a car.

In other news, I spent this last weekend in Birmingham visiting the parents. Mum is still doing pretty well - enough to go to a jazz concert on Friday, have my sister and fiancé (!) round on Saturday, and then go and visit some local gardens which were having an open afternoon on Sunday. While there, I also stocked up on floaty purple skirts at The Oasis, because (despite the rain today) there is clearly no way I am going to make it through the summer without a good selection of light-weight medieval princess skirts that ripple around my ankles when I walk. I also spent Saturday afternoon reading in dappled shade on a deck-chair in my parents' gloriously beautiful garden while my sister and fiancé (!) planned wedding stuff, my Dad made random observations about the state of the world and my Mum sat in the summer-house. It was a perfect slice of English summer, and I hope there will be more in the same vein over the next couple of months.

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( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 7th, 2009 07:58 pm (UTC)
Ooh that is gorgeous - and brilliantly functional, too.

I'm really glad to hear that your mum is doing well, and that you've all been spending such lovely time together as a family.
Jul. 7th, 2009 08:08 pm (UTC)
cor, that's fabulous!
Jul. 7th, 2009 08:11 pm (UTC)
wow! that is stunning and so perfect. well done you for finding it. enjoy!
Jul. 7th, 2009 08:19 pm (UTC)
now that is nice, I think I may need to visit Saltaire again in the near future
Jul. 7th, 2009 08:29 pm (UTC)
Yay for art deco cabinet-ness, it really is a beautiful piece of furniture and yay for family filled perfect slices of English summer!!
Jul. 7th, 2009 08:58 pm (UTC)
Utterly gorgeous.
Jul. 7th, 2009 09:02 pm (UTC)
Definitely a grown up piece of furniture! And utterly beautiful too. Congratulations on it!

I'm glad you're having a delightful English summer--hopefully, I can have a few slices of that myself in the upcoming fortnight.
Jul. 7th, 2009 09:16 pm (UTC)
Hope so! I'm still not sure whether I'll be in Oxford on the 23rd or not yet, by the way, but it's not unlikely, and I should have be reasonably sure by the end of the week. When are you setting off, and should I use your usual UK mobile number to contact you after that point?
Jul. 7th, 2009 10:28 pm (UTC)
That's splendid and compliments your house perfectly :-)
Jul. 8th, 2009 06:37 am (UTC)
We have an annual Art Deco fair at Eltham Palace, and I've seen things like that and coveted grievously. Lucky you!
Jul. 8th, 2009 08:20 am (UTC)
Ooh lovely - and I understand Eltham Palace itself is pretty spiffing too! I haven't visited it yet, but it features heavily in practically every book about the Art Deco era, and I'd definitely love to see it.
Jul. 8th, 2009 08:37 am (UTC)
Eltham Palace is utterly gorgeous. If your occasions ever take you to these parts, go and see it, and drop me an email - I'll give you tea in the orangery!
Jul. 8th, 2009 08:51 am (UTC)
Now that sounds like an offer! I shall let you know if I do. :-)
Jul. 8th, 2009 07:14 am (UTC)
Oh that's a fantastic piece of furniture. We're still on the lookout for a glass fronted cabinet to match our cocktail cabinet for the other side of the chimney breast in the dining room. I must take some photos of the lights we got - I promised I would and I forgot, sorry about that.

What you need now is a nice Art Deco radio from 1936:

Jul. 8th, 2009 08:23 am (UTC)
Yeah, that would look a little better on top of it than my Sony stereo! But then again, how would I play CDs?

It sounds like it would be worth your while visiting the same dealer in Salt's Mill, anyway, as they had at least two other cabinets there, and I think one of them was partially glass-fronted. His website is here.
Jul. 8th, 2009 08:43 am (UTC)
I shall have a look at their website. Been meaning to visit Sale's Mill for ages now, so there's an excuse.

Most pre-1960s radios have a socket on the back labelled as 'gramophone', where you could plug a portable CD player into. OK, it won't be stereo - but that's a minor issue...
Jul. 8th, 2009 08:38 am (UTC)
What a sensible, stylish, and appropriate piece of furniture! I like knowing that your house is still coming together, since ours is too (and we haven't been working on it quite as long).
Jul. 8th, 2009 08:51 am (UTC)
Hehe - it's been nearly two years now, and there's still plenty to do. I suspect the process never really ends - it's a matter of gradual improvements bit by bit over the years.
Jul. 8th, 2009 09:29 am (UTC)
That is a gorgeous piece of furniture! I like the sideboard too, mind, for different reasons (and it goes better with the lava lamp).
Jul. 8th, 2009 11:31 am (UTC)
Very shiny indeed!
The white plastic bits are most likely to be Bakelite I would think.
Reminds me I need to post piccies of my house now it's (sort of) finished :)
Jul. 9th, 2009 09:16 am (UTC)
No, I don't think they're Bakelite. That always feels brittle and slightly porous, but this stuff is more flexible and slightly waxy. Anyway, quite a few other early types of plastic were used before the ones we're familiar with now were developed, so I assume it is just some other one of those.
Jul. 9th, 2009 09:05 am (UTC)
Ooh, stunning. And it looks like the dimensions are absolutely perfect for that alcove. (Am now trying to persuade Paul we need to go to Saltaire ...)
Jul. 9th, 2009 09:12 am (UTC)
Yes, the dimensions really helped to sell it to me. They made it feel as though that cabinet had been 'made' for my alcove. (Although I was really nervous on delivery day in case the guy in the shop has slightly under-measured it, and it would turn out not quite to fit after all!).

Saltaire makes for a nice day out even if you don't end up buying an Art Deco cabinet, so you should definitely continue with your campaign. :-)
( 23 comments — Leave a comment )

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