We always love receiving a new container of one-of-a-kinds and antiques, but perhaps it’s never more fun than when we’re doing it with newbies experiencing it for the first time. That’s what happened this week when two new employees (whom we will introduce you to at another time) were there to help, box cutters in hand, excited with every reveal.
Seeing it through the eyes of our newbies made us relive the thrill of the hunt in the first place. There were lots of oooh’s and aaaah’s as things got unpacked, and almost as many questions: Where are they from? What are some of our favorites? What’s the history behind them? What were they used for? How do you find this one? And (Sam Jones’ favorite question), was this bought before or after lunch?
The answer to Sam’s question is simple: Our treasures are uncovered often in the dark, at trade-only wholesale fairs that take place a few times a year very early in the morning, and come with a mad rush, laced with adrenalin and caffeine, that lasts for just two hours. If you haven’t found your treasure in the first two hours after the gates open, you’re too late. So to answer our newbies’ questions, here are some before and afters that will take you from “dans son jus” (what the French euphemistically call “in its juice” to define a piece that has never, for better or worse, been altered) to the cleaned up version that you see on the floor of our store.
One of our favorite leaps of faith was spotting this 1940’s Italian burled wood bar in the basement of a showroom in Paris.
When we saw this pair of doors stacked behind others in the back of a showroom, we weren’t really sure what they looked like from top to bottom.
Ditto for this pair of Trumeaux which we bought without seeing them from top to bottom.
So it was fun reliving our container through the eyes of our newbies and telling them the stories behind each piece as it came off the container. We always love to see all of our employees’ reactions and appreciate their support and excitement as each piece is unveiled and questions are asked. Of course we sprinkle our stories with embellishments of all the hard work, waking up at the crack of dawn when we’ve barely had any sleep, digging through snow, plowing through wet fields covered in so many layers we can barely walk with sniffing noses and rain soaked clothes.
P.S. We can’t wait for you to meet our newest arrivals — the goodies we brought off the container and the newbies we have working at the store!