Dedicated to Historic preservation and restoration of the Victorian Era and my own spin on why things are the way they are. Paul Willham, Editor & Publisher
Monday, April 9, 2012
Knox Hill Project Weekly Update: Recent Acquisitions
The "preservation gods' were apparently watching over the Nagele Merz House as we located not one, but TWO, much needed (and desired), items for the house.
While we love our small electrofied gas light in our front parlor, we realized from day one it was too small to work properly in the space and fully expected it to be replaced with something more substancial befitting this house. However, restored lights or even quality reproductions are extremely hard to find and VERY expensive when you do find one. Imagine our suprise when we came across this four globe chandelier for twenty bucks! The owner had it sitting in his garage and was glad to get rid of it. I could not imagine anyone wanting to part with a chandelier like this. But we got it home, cleaned the globes, and it now hangs in the front parlor and it makes the room.
The SAME DAY we came across what may well be the best find in all my year of antique collecting and restoration. I responded to an ad for this wonderful overmantle mirror fully expecting it to be sold because it had been for sale for over a week. Imagine my surprise when the owner answered and said it was still for sale! We quickly make the trip over to Spring Grove Village and found ourselves at the door of a nice but certainly not a " over the top" 1890's Victorian home, covered with vinyl siding. We were ushered into a nice but modest, under restoration Victorian. As we entered the front room, there it was. A fabulous 1870's Overmantle mirror. Greg and I just looked at each other and I tried to contain my excitement as I asked the owner why they were selling it. He replied they were "remodeling" this home they bought not long ago and his wife wanted a more modern looking Dining room and it was 'in the way' of the front room restoration. I replied we'd take it but would have to make arrangement to have it picked up as our vehicle was too small to transport it. He said well why don't I just follow you over to your house with it? We loaded it into his truck and I remarked I fully expected the mirror to break as its almost impossible to move one this size with our breaking the mirror but he said "well the glass is pretty thick, maybe it will make it OK".
We made the slow trip over and as we got back I expected a mirror in millions of pieces but it made the trip and was perfectly fine! We carried it into our parlor until I can restore it and install it in our dining room. I gave him an extra 10 bucks for his gasoline to drive it over.
While it needs minor work like stripping the latex paint and I will have to do some plaster repairs because this piece obviously was not original to a 1895 home it came out of as the top had been snipped to fit in that house.Clearly this was designed to sit on a cat iron or slate mantle.The original gilt is underneath. In all my years I have never purchased this beautiful a mirror for literally a song.
However not all our week was buying we actually got some work done and tommorrow I will fill you in on our yard projects.
I have been involved in Historic Preservation and Restoration for the last 25 plus years. I am president of Victorian Antiquities & Design. I am proud to be a part of restoring the architectural history of our country.