Thursday, February 10, 2011

"What Happens When I Find Something I Absolutely Love?"

Recently, I showed you the fabulous antique lantern I found at a local antique shop.   I had asked the question "What happens when I find something that I absolutely love?"  Am I content for awhile, or do I feel obsessed to continue the hunt to find what other treasures are out there just waiting to be discovered.
What do I do?  I have a filing pile 7" high, and projects all over the house waiting to be started or finished.   So what do I do????   I'm feeling guilty, BUT I also feel obsessed.   So I get in my car and drive to my favorite local antique center, and guess what?   I found this fabulous mirror.    I loved the carving, the shape, the soft grey color of the background and the gilt that had mellowed with age.  The mirror was bevelled and original.  The tag said "Awesome Mirror from the Dodge Mansion Ca, 1790".    Should I buy it?  Do I need a mirror?  Where am I going to put it?  What will my husband say?    

I have to leave the store as I am running late for a doctor appointment so I quickly take a few photos with my Iphone.  After the appointment, I decide to stop at another huge antique center, and picked up nothing but two old shells.  I drive home still thinking about the mirror.   As soon as I get home, I immediately look on the internet to do some research.   OMG, I found that these mirrors range in price from $2,000 - $20,000.  I couldn't believe it.   The mirror I saw was in amazing condition for its age with no repairs that I could spot, original bevelled mirror, good quality carving, beautiful overall design, and provenance.    I am so excited I can hardly stand it.  I immediately text the images of my great find to a few friends of mine that antique shop with me.  Then, I tell my husband about this incredible find and that not only do I LOVE the mirror, IT'S A GREAT INVESTMENT!    I get my computer and show him about ten other antique trumeau mirrors for sale to prove that this was mirror was really a steal.  
It is now 9 pm, and I had left the store at noon.  What if someone else spotted it and bought it already?  Maybe it has sold?   I can hardly sleep as I am so excited about the mirror and worried that it could possibly be gone as I did not put a "HOLD" on it.   While the center doesn't open until 11 am, I call at 9 am, 9:30, 10:00, and at 10:20 a sales person answers the phone.  I ask her if she can check to see if the mirror is still there and put a "HOLD" on it for me.   I describe the location of where I spotted it.  She puts me on hold while she looks for the mirror.  She gets back on the phone and tells me that she can't find it.   UGH!!!!   Then I ask her to look again and give her more details on where it is located and guess what?   It was still there.   Well, then comes the big question, "What is the best price?"  She said that this dealer discounts 20% on any items over $100.   That's it - IT WAS MINE.....    I asked her to put a "HOLD" sign on it, and I would be there when the store opened at 11 am, to buy it.  What do you think?  Isn't this an amazing treasure?
In my research, I learned that trumeau mirrors originated in France in the 18th century and were intended to hang on a wall between windows as a decorative element and to bring more light into the room.  There wasn't electricity back then so this would be helpful in extending the hours of daylight.   Most were painted, and the upper portion would have a relief carved design or a painting.  As with most antiques, the price depends on the age, size, style and condition.

I really wanted to talk to the dealer to get more information on the mirror.  The label said that it was from the Dodge Mansion.  Meadow Brook Hall is often referred to as the Dodge Mansion and I wanted to know if this was where the mirror came from.  Unfortunately, he was not available so I will try and catch up with him sometime in the future.  In the meantime, here is a photo of Meadow Brook Hall which is often referred to as the Dodge Mansion.
The information below was taken from the Meadow Brook Hall - Dodge Mansion web site.

One of America's greatest estate homes, an icon of the automotive aristocracy, and the home of the founders of Oakland University
Meadow Brook Hall is the historic home of one the automotive aristocracy's most remarkable women, Matilda Dodge Wilson, her second husband Alfred Wilson, a lumber broker and their four children, Frances and Danny Dodge, and Richard and Barbara Wilson. It exists as an indirect product of the achievements and good fortune of her first husband, automotive pioneer John F. Dodge, co-founder of Dodge Brothers Motor Car Company who quickly prospered in the burgeoning auto industry before his tragic death in 1920, leaving Matilda one of the world's wealthiest women. This fortune not only built one of America's finest residences and country estates, it also supported numerous Detroit charities and organizations, and made possible the founding of Oakland University.
Meadow Brook Hall was built during the country place era, a time when wealthy American industrialists pursued rural life in settings of great beauty. It represents one of the finest examples of Tudor-revival architecture in America and is especially renowned for it superb craftsmanship, architectural detailing and grand scale of 88,000 square feet. Inspired by the country manor homes in England, it was designed and built by the Detroit architectural firm of Smith, Hinchman and Grylls between 1926 and1929, at a cost of nearly $4 million.
Carefully preserved with original family furnishings and art, the 110-room mansion is elaborately detailed with carved wood and stone, ornate plaster ceilings, Tiffany stained glass, custom made hardware, and filled with fine and decorative art. Although the interiors reflect various historic styles, the house is equipped with every "modern" amenity appropriate to the active lifestyle of the Wilson's and their children.
Meadow Brook Hall was built on the 320-acre farm estate John and Matilda Dodge had purchased years earlier as weekend country retreat. The Wilson's expanded the estate to include 1,500 acres and several residences. For the Dodge and Wilson families, the farm estate provided a splendid setting for recreational activities and pastimes such as equestrian sports, motoring, and gardening and developed into one of the finest agricultural complexes, producing the finest lines of pedigree livestock.

Are you an "Antiqueaholic"?  I'm sure there have to be others out there like me.    How do we cure this addiction?  Do we really want a cure?  I would love to hear your stories, and about your favorite finds.  Please post a comment so I can prove to my husband that I'm not the only "Antiqueaholic".


  1. The trumeau mirror is lovely.
    You are not the only antiquaholic! FAR from it.
    There are lots of us around.

    Love all your basket handbags also! Simply delightful.

  2. I love the mirror. And no, you are definitely not the only one! Let's just say that my daughter (age 9) is developing quite the keen eye too! ;) She enjoys our outings as much as I do. =)

  3. Tell your husband that you are indeed not the only antiqueaholic. I believe one never regrets buying a piece that "speaks" to you. It's hard to explain to someone who's not an antiqueaholic. As far as a cure? Well, I don't think there is one. And if there is one, I don't think we antiqueaholics want it! Have fun trying your mirror in the various rooms of your home. It is absolutely lovely!

  4. I'm waiting for a tremeau mirror update- where did you put it?

  5. Right now, the mirror is still leaning against a wall in my family room as I don't really have a good place to put it right now. I have to move something. I am considering hanging it in a hallway off of my kitchen so I could see it all the time.

  6. OMG it is gorgeous. You lucky lady. I am going antique hunting today to a large market in Atlanta for who knows what.

  7. Not only beautiful - but SO unique! NEXT time (and there WILL be a next time:)follow your instinct and BUY it right then and there. Can you imagine how you would have felt had it been purchased by somebody else?? I have fallen in love with different pieces and bought them not having a clue what I am going to do with them, but knowing I HAVE to have them. Every single time they fit in my home in just the perfect place:) I've had only one that 'got away' because I waited too long the next day to go buy it (well it was a 130 mile round trip) - adding insult to injury, the woman told me they discounted it down another 40%! Oy! Love your website by the way:)

  8. I LOVE this mirror, and your story is gripping, too. You have a great eye! Maureen s.