Caning, Asian influences, shopping with a friend and good housekeeping practices because it's the LAW.

Greeting! After a busy few weeks, I have just completed restoration of a homemade oak rocking chair with cane seat and back I picked up earlier this year.  I took it on because I have successfully replaced sheet cane early in my restoration career and decided I was ready for another go.  I am happy to report it all went smooth and the chair is now available!  Here are a few pics from the process.

The first pic is the chair as found with a blown out back.  Step 1 was removing the old cane and spline.  The best way to accomplish this is with a $40 steamer.  The steam loosens the old glue.  I would say it took the better part of an hour to work the old cane free.  Then I visited my local basketmaking and caning supply shop (yes, that is a THING!) called the Country Seat and they helped me match up the cane and spline to the right sizes.  The spline has to be big enough to fit in the channel tightly as that what keeps the whole structure intact.  Then I returned home ready to work.  After soaking the new cane and spline in water for about 20 min, I got to work using the wood pegs to insert the cane into the channel.  Working from side to side and and making it taunt.  Once I had it all lined up and inserted as I liked, I would trim off the excess, cut the spline to size beveling my ends for placement.  Then adding wood glue in the channel, inserting the spline, pounding in with a rubber mallet and my peg and wiping off the excess glue.  Overall, this project took about 3 hours of my time.  The chair looks fantastic!  If you have an eclectic style like I do, you may fall in love with the texture of caned and woven goods. Sheet cane replacement can be tricky, but it is a lot easier and less time consuming that outright caning!  Stop by my etsy shop if you want to read more about the chair. CLICK HERE

While I was at the caning shop, I picked up some material to repair a 1930's Heywood Wakefield rattan rocker.  It is shown on my Diamonds in the Rough page.  I am going to get started repair the one arm that is a little dogged up and then redoing the seat.  I have some golden yellow fabric I thought would be a good choice with the aged orange finish of the rattan, but I am open to  using a pattern.  If you want to claim this baby now I will finish it per your specifications.  Amazingly enough, the rattan is actually a very tight twisted paper and not a reed at all!  When I snapped off a piece to take it along to the shop, I was suspicious and the woman at the shop confirmed it!  I will be replacing with a reed in the area that needs repaired and hoping I can do a close match of the orange paint to blend it in.  These kind of details are always challenging and fun for creative types like myself. 

NEW ITEMS.

I just picked up a few new items that I am getting ready to list.  I love to know the history of what I find so being able to select things from the home they lived in is a fun yet melancholy part of securing my inventory.  I was able to visit a home that is getting cleaned out after it's owner recently passed on.  She was a working artist who made her living selling prints and original oils.  I am still trying to get more info on her business but she did copyright everything she sold so there were definitely savvy practices being followed.  Her home was filled with late Bombay Company furnishings in near perfect condition.  I picked up a pair of 2005 era MING style end tables in a black finish with gorgeous burl tops.  I quite enjoy the Asian style and think it would be a great match in an eclectic or boho décor.  This will be photographed and listed in the next 24 hours- hoping for no rain and a little sun! I also picked up 2 very large original oils on canvas in beautiful gold gilt lighted frames.  They are both floral subjects.  One is marked Not Copyrighted DO NOT SELL.  The other has been copyrighted and her notes show pricing and editions for canvas and paper reproductions including her asking price on the original, $4,000.  I am trying to get some more info regarding where her work was being sold and what galleries she had relationships with.  

One  of my friends mentioned they wanted me to look for a couch for them.  A few hours later a lovely living room set gets texted to me from an estate guy I buy from. Well turns out my friend was as smitten as I and trusted me to handle his deal. He got my full services including condition evaluation, pick up/delivery and a complete cleaning and sanitization.  He is handling a structural issue with the couch himself.  My Facebook page blew up after I posted the pics so I think lots of people loved it! It is Bassett Premier, often misattributed to Adrian   Pearsall.  It is in amazing condition too! Looks great in his home and I get to visit them. 💕

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Speaking of sanitizing, in other exciting news, I decided to apply for a license from my state to be able to tag my own used or restored upholstered goods after I clean and sanitize with one of 2 products the state authorized to be used. I chose Steri-Fab, which is an insecticide, germicide and fungicide.  I will vacuum and steam all upholstered goods and follow with sanitizing all areas I can get to, I am certain that not all places do a thorough job with this especially thrifts, who are required to tag and any other retailer you shop with in PA.  I was letting my mall handle it for me but decided it would be something I would do for every customer I ship to. I am already following procedures but am waiting for my license to be approved so I can order the yellow tags. Buyers can remove them after receiving the item but it is piece of mind for all of us! I welcome local people to use my services! I would gladly sanitize and clean something you found or are selling commercially so you can comply with the law. Message me and we can talk about it!

HALLOWEEN

Just to let you know I have some fabulous NEW Halloween kitchen towel from Primitives by Kathy available locally at my Fleetwood Antique Mall space and currently a few styles are on ebay.  Please stop by and check them out!  ebay.com/usr/madmodworldvintage

This towel available NOW in my ebay shop or locally at Fleetwood Antique Mall!

This towel available NOW in my ebay shop or locally at Fleetwood Antique Mall!

order now so you get yours in time!  

order now so you get yours in time!  

Thanks for reading, your comments and emails!  XO Malissa

Dunbar Discovery Day!

The kids enjoying the fine chairs on the 6th floor of the Van Pelt Library at UPENN.  Beautiful space!

The kids enjoying the fine chairs on the 6th floor of the Van Pelt Library at UPENN.  Beautiful space!

Here with William Penn on UPENN campus. 

Here with William Penn on UPENN campus. 

Finally, I was able to peruse both of the books I originally ordered from storage a week ago.  After the snag of UPENN having lost the book that I was positive I would be able to find my chairs, I found the only other copy within a reasonable drive, was also in Philadelphia at the Phila Art Museum Library.  Learning my lesson on the lost book, I called ahead.  Was told that yes, indeed the book was in their possession, but a staff member had it checked out.  The awesome gentleman at the desk promised to notify me when it would be available and I told him I would be in the city Friday.  Thursday I got the email it was on the shelf waiting for me, so away we went! 

Genevieve and Trent skipped swim team practice so we could get a jump start on the drive and we had some backups to deal with on the Schuylkill Expressway, but we arrived by 10am, found street parking and walked 4 or so city blocks to the Van Pelt Library.  We checked in as guests at the front desk, headed to Circulation and was given the first book, The Dunbar Book of Contemporary Furniture (Hockaday).  Much of this looked familiar, to the newer and most reasonably priced book I already own.  I do believe they reprinted the text in the new book.  I do enjoy this book because of the specs in the back.  It even tells you yardage for upholstery, which I find very useful if you need to work on a piece.  Alas, as I already knew, this book (published in 1956) was not going to contain my twins.  It’s ok, because I only requested it because I was going there for the other and thought I’d still follow through even after I found out the Dunbar Book of Modern Furniture was no more. 

The Van Pelt Library is a gorgeous space.  Trent (9), decided he wants to go to college at UPENN after the campus visit.  I assured him he should start a gofundme now to start saving as there is no way that is in our budget!   J  On recommendation of the front desk clerk, we rode the elevator to the 6th floor for a fabulous view of campus.  There were some exhibits up there, mostly of medical equipment, a Shakespeare Library room, and what appeared to be banquet space for weddings and such.  After, we headed back to the car. 

The residential area surrounding the Benjamin Franklin Parkway is super adorable and offers free parking up to 4 hours!

The residential area surrounding the Benjamin Franklin Parkway is super adorable and offers free parking up to 4 hours!

A short drive later, we were scanning the residential streets behind the Phila Art Museum for parking.  The library clerk had told me there are usually parking on the side streets and I was hoping to avoid a parking garage.  The first street I picked had a few open spots and I quick asked a resident if it was ok I park there.  She said, yep, you can park for up to 4 hours without a permit.  SCORE!  We then walked into the museum, checked in, was issued a visitor pass and up we went to the 2nd Floor Library. 

I did not hear angels singing when I felt the book in my hands, but I’m sure I had a huge smile plastered across my face!  I waited until we found seating in a lounge space before I opened it up.  It is hard cover and the binding had some issues, but my first impression was….wow, there isn’t a lot of pages in this thing!  I spent the next half hour or so reviewing the pages, snapping photos and enjoying the catalog.  

Here it is!  This hard to find book is selling for $700 currently on First Dibs!  Glad there was a copy regionally available for viewing!  It was worth the trip!

Here it is!  This hard to find book is selling for $700 currently on First Dibs!  Glad there was a copy regionally available for viewing!  It was worth the trip!

Some things I found out.  My chairs are No. 4580, with the arm chairs being No. 4581. They are described as:  Side Chairs, cane backs, buttoned foam rubber seats.  The write up on the page says:  ‘In modern furniture, various materials are often strikingly combined in a single piece. The chairs on this page, for example, use woven cane panels in the backs. ‘  The page prior says ‘The furniture on these pages is from the Dunbar Continental Series, named in honor of Berne, Indiana, which recently celebrated it’s hundredth birthday….’  Nothing on the next pages about the line name, so don’t want to assume it carried over to the following pages.  Also, this book was published in 1952.  Which dates my chairs around the late 40's-early 50's.

Here they are!  Check out the awesome table they were shown with!  It's totally angular and not at all what I was expecting these more traditional looking chairs to be shown with!  Also glad this pic shows the cane being lighter as I did not want to stain the new cane.  I think it looks great 2 toned!

Here they are!  Check out the awesome table they were shown with!  It's totally angular and not at all what I was expecting these more traditional looking chairs to be shown with!  Also glad this pic shows the cane being lighter as I did not want to stain the new cane.  I think it looks great 2 toned!

Other interesting facts.  Dunbar used mainly mahogany and walnut as it’s ‘standard exposed woods’.  Other woods and laminates or veneers were used in case work, tables and desks as well.  All furnishings were hand made with the utmost care and the factory operated as more of a custom style workshop.  Some components were machined, but drawers and door fronts were fitted by hand for a precision fit.  The finishing procedures were mostly hand work as opposed to spraying and machines.  Their skilled finishers were able to produce this after many steps and coats.  Some pieces were in finishing for up to 2 weeks to attain the final finish. 

According to the dedication, this book was donated by the Dunbar Company!  Very happy they did this or this book would be out of reach for the average mid century lover! 

According to the dedication, this book was donated by the Dunbar Company!  Very happy they did this or this book would be out of reach for the average mid century lover! 

I must say, I am even more in love with these chairs after reading all of this.  Working for a high end custom millwork shop, I can also relate to the hand finishing as some of our work is done to the old standards depending on what is required for the job.  I am so happy to be able to make these chairs comfortable and pretty again!  They truly are a wonderful piece of mid century design history and Edward Wormley’s adaptation of a classic design really makes for a stunning piece to feature in your home.  I hope to get started on the upholstery shortly, so please check back for updates!  If you would like one or both chairs to be held for you, please email me at malissa@madmodworldvintage.com.  The listing is in the shop, so please click on the shop link to review. 

One final note!  There is an INCREDIBLE Scandinavian Design exhibit at the Perleman Annex of the Phila Art Museum right now.  I am not sure how long it is there, but as I asked about paying admission to see, the desk clerk informed me that since I had a visitor's pass, I was able to explore the museum!  I do sort of feel guilty, so I promise to make a donation to the museum in the future!  Lots of Hans Wegner chairs and Arne Vodder.  Definitely worth checking out if you are in the area!  So neat to see the Papa Bear and Wish Bone chairs in person!  This chair whore wanted to touch them, but alas, not proper museum etiquette!   Click on the photo below to scroll through some shots of the exhibits.  Lots of Hans Wegner pieces, Arne Vodder and more.  The kids found a Minecraft station, appropriately designed by in Sweden.  The first photo, is local, Philly artists (husband/wife) who create cool and colorful visuals with rattan papa san chairs!

Philly Reseach Mission Part Deux!

So excited to be heading to Philly tomorrow to finally lay my eyes and fingers on these Dunbar books!  I have one on hold at UPENN, the other is at the Philly Art Museum.  I plan to hit both places tomorrow to review, photograph interesting pages and enjoy these beauties!  I will have much to share upon my return!  xo Malissa