Sunday, February 3, 2008

Antique Curiosities: In My Husband's Storage Sheds

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It's always a thrill for me when my husband decides to "reorganize" his treasures. He has sheds (plural) full (to the ceilings) of the items he has collected (hoarded) to repair and refurbish (let sit there for years and years). He loves (obsesses over) his "stuff" and can't hardly bear to part with any of it (would rather lose me than one piece of rust) but space (no space) sometimes demands (I beg) that he pull some out and reassess the potential of each. This sunshine Texas weekend has coaxed him outdoors and I have been watching (coveting)with an (eagle)eye towards what he might let me have(things I could swipe without him noticing). I've taken a few photos of things that intrigued me. These aren't staged to be pretty shots -just candid photos of things I've managed to take before he shooed me away. (threatened my life if I didn't move)

I was elated to find something I thought was lost forever(I told him he had sold it and I would never forgive him! He claimed it was around "somewhere".Guess I owe him an apology) My full-size antique wicker baby bed! It is perfect for a conversion to seating and just loaded with charm. It was tucked in the back of one of the sheds. (no wonder he didn't know where it was!) The springs, and all four sides were there! Yippee!!!!

These first two photo are of four chairs. Alas only one was salvagable.
I did persuade my husband to save the front legs and backs of the other three.
These chairs must be very old. We had to toss out the horsehair stuffing and old burgandy
tapestry coverings of the seat. They seats were supported with webbing. I've never
seen any like them and I'm very curious about them. Look at the designs on the chairbacks.
Click image to see details.

Below is one of my favorite items that I thought had been sold at Canton.
It is an antique stainless steel apothecary cabinet. It's wonderful! Look at
those legs... and it is sooooooo heavy!

Below is a charming old basket. It is marked Basketville, Vermont on bottom. I checked the Basketville site online and there were none like this one.

Now this bed below is fascinating! It's an iron bed but it is very tiny. Much smaller

than a twin bed. More small cot size? The motif of the ironwork trim is

a cross or shield with a sword. I'm so curious about this - I've never

seen a modern mattress this narrow.

Below is a large iron contraption that appears to be a candleholder of some sort? I don't know a thing about this.

YES!!! I know what this is! It's an old wall clock case and my sweet, darling, precious hubby said he would convert it into a little cupboard/cabinet (add shelves inside)! That's one for me!

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suzanne said...

Hi Devonia, i love all your great treasures! You could paint that candle holder thingy white and distress it and it would be awsome. My favorite is that old clocl case though!!! Wont that be awsome once yo paint it???? My hubby and i have a basement stuffed full of stuff and a shed too! I guess we are jus tincurable collectors!!!!
suzanne Cant help it though , i just love great junk ---- rather treasures!!!!!

Devonia said...

Hi Suzanne! Thank you. Shhhhhh - I'm whispering so my hubby can't hear. I tucked that candleholder under my dining table waaaay under the tablecloth. (wish I knew more about it -it's really different?) I'm thrilled over the clock case. I'll post the conversion on the blog if he keeps his promise and converts it. Soooo, can I hop right over to your gorgeous blog, Shabby Cottage Designs at, and see some things you are planning to transform with your gorgeous art? Just let me know and I'll be there with bells on my toes... Devonia

Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

Hi Devonia, I am a rabid treasure hunter too. The thrill of the hunt just can't be beat. Your rose paintings and trash to treasure projects are amazing and beautiful. If you don't mind I am going to add your blog to my "take me away" blogs. I want everyone to see your fabulous blog. xo Lynn

Devonia said...

Lynn: Oh MY Thank you! I can't wait to add your Vintage Nest Blog & your 2-die-4 boutique so I'll run do it right now! I spent forever there yesterday. Devonia

Rare Victorian Blog said...

Lynn, I think the top chair is Philadelphia, NY, or NJ in origin and is Chippendale (not my specialty - Victorian as you know is) and is probably 19th century and not 18th. Look forward to seeing before/after photos

Maria said...

Cool, I have one just like your charming old basket but I ruined it by putting gorilla glue to hold the slat on the cover [didn't know gorilla glue bubbles and expand! waaah] I use it to store my knitting things

Devonia said...

Thank you kindly for the information.I've already passed it on to my husband. I frequent your blogs, especially The Rare Victorian-
Following the World of Rare Victorian Furniture @ All of your blogs are an education in antiques for me. REAL GOOD STUFF you are offering us!

Lori @ Katies Rose Cottage said...

Devonia ~ What treasures your hubby finds !! It would be fun to look through all of his things ~ I miss seeing them all at Canton ~ is he going to be back soon ?

Mandy said...

The apothecary cabinet and the bed are my favorites. You seem to find the most interesting things.

Devonia said...

Lori ~ I'll tell him you miss him. Unfortunately, last year it seemed to rain most Canton weekends; but he missed it, too. In the meantime, it all piles up, uP, UP! Lorie, I just loved your parchment roses that you posted on your gorgeous blog, Katie's Rose Cottage @ and have made available, among so many other gorgeous things at your shop - Katie's Rose Cottage, @ There's something about paper roses that are so nostalgic.
My bests,

Devonia said...

Mandy!!! You picked my fave too - and the baby bed. But this is a major clean-out and he's still finding stuff! So who knows? I've noticed you handle some very thought provoking medical topics with humor and substance on your Texas Medical Freak blog @ www/ Nice work!
My bests,

The Old Painted Cottage said...


That apothecary cabinet is absolutely amazing, and has the best patina on it. Whatever you do, don't paint it!

By the way, please stop by my blog...I'm having a Pampered Package Giveaway!


Devonia said...

Hi Jennifer! Can I replace the knobs with crystal and clean it and seal it with a matte finish? The almost-gone interior finish of the drawers is flaking away to gleaming stainless steel- it's wonderful. Those doors have beveled glass inserts and the interior shelfs are beveled glass as well. Sigh... I feel a need to be pampered so I'm heading to your wonderful blog, RIGHT NOW! E'body, give me a head start, please and then follow this trail straight to - THE OLD PAINTED COTTAGE @
My bests,

Laura said...

Nice finds. My Mom and I used to go to a local auction at the local school. I found a chest of drawers there. The funny thing was that most people were not interested in the really old pieces, unless they were fancy. I really like the old plain ones so I pretty much had my pick of everything I wanted.

ga.farmgirl said...

Hi Devonia, I just love the finds. My favorite is the iron bed. Down at one of the old homestead sites on our farm is a piece of an old iron bed a lot like that. I will have to photograph it for you.

Devonia said...

Lucky You, Laura! I never luck onto a sale where no one wants the goodies, plain or otherwise - unless I'm first there and that's only possible once in a great while.

Devonia said...

Hi Pam - aka g.a.farmgirl, I'll be so happy to post the photograph of your iron bed,..please do! I once had displayed this iron bed frame above my fireplace mantle and it looked really great. I can't imagine why I moved it - decorating for Christmas one year? But I do believe it is going right back. It is really small.

Debbie said...

Hi Devonia....I can't imagine how I've missed your blog all this time! I love all the items you snatched away from your husband's shed. By the way, I think he may have a twin brother here in husband! Mine is about to clean out one of his sheds and I just can't wait...I KNOW I have an old table-style sewing basket with curved sides in there somewhere....wonder if it has refurbished itself yet??? I'll be back to visit again soon.

Warm regards,

Octavine Illustration said...

i love your goodies! makes me very envious indeed. you have a wonderful eye and i know you will do these beautiful objects the proper justice they deserve.
thanks so much for your lovely comments. us artists are never alone....

Anonymous said...

hi devonia, sorry suzanne but as much as i am a shabby freak, i disagree with you on this one, to paint the candleholder white, i think it would be best leaving it in it's original condition, it is such a beautiful piece.

Devonia said...

Octavine illustration: Thank you. I'm always amazed at your art deco style of illustration. You've really managed to take an old style adding your own flair, and the result is so fresh and original. I love to see each new thing you do.

Veronique: I so appreciate your opinion. My husband told me if I dared to touch this candleholder with paint, he would toss out all of my paintbrushes. The patina is lovely and I will only clean it. Promise.