Tuesday, July 23, 2013


I suppose by now you all know that I love antique furniture, last Friday my brother and I went to the NAADA annual antiques fair in Sandton, it is probably the antique fair with the best pieces on show in SA. Most of the dealers that exhibited are from the Johannesburg area. Actually thinking about it I guess there must be 50 plus shops within a 50km radius of me that sells antique furniture, most of them are in clusters in different area's, so you can really park your car in one area and spent the day browsing which is something that I enjoy doing every few months. By now I have learned to carry one of my miniatures with me, when I see a piece that talks to me most of the shop owners are quite happy for me to take photos and measurements once I show them my miniature, most of them have never seen any miniatures it is always so interesting to see their reaction.

One of the first pieces that caught my attention was this beautiful French carved cupboard. The drawers have no handles or knobs and never had, I guess so as not to detract from the carving.

A close-up of the carving on one of the doors.

A campaign writing table, the drawer has a writing slope that you can fold up when the drawer is open. The screen exited me the most though, last year when I made the sewing tables I could never find any info on how the back looked where the screen slides up and down, except for one table that just had a tiny strip of wood attached to the back leg, I didn't think that would be strong enough in such a small scale and cut a slot in the back of my tables.

Well, to my joy this table had a similar arrangement with a solid piece of wood going across the back and the full height of the sides and drawer front.

In the back is a beautiful apothecary cupboard with a lovely sewing/writing table in front of it.

I loved the British secretary in the back.

An Irish server, rather a different piece.

Another French cabinet.Update: One of my Castine friends that makes mini musical boxes just informed me that this cabinet would have housed a disc playing music box with storage below for extra discs.

My brother with a few pieces typical of the Cape Provence in South Africa, I am not sure if the Chinese chairs were made here or imported. The chair on the table is a child's chair, a lot of the 18th century chairs made in SA had caned or "riempie" seats, I guess probably because of the expense of importing fabrics.

Talking about Cape furniture, my brother recently bought this Cape Regency chair made from Stinkwood, a South African wood, as you can see the chair has lost it's cane seat and needs to be restored. Someone gave me a piece of old Stinkwood last year and I plan on making this chair in miniature, it isn't every day that I have the chance to work directly from a full scale piece of furniture. The cupboard that you can see in the back is one that we bought a few years ago at the fair, the first time I ever went.

It is rather huge, over 3 meters wide, is made of Walnut and dates from the 1940's, it was made in Germany and still has the manufactures label on the back. Originally the right hand side housed hunting guns, my sound system is in there now so the doors are actually open most of the time. The left hand side houses the television which I am tempted to throw out as we almost never watch anything (I can't do petitpoint and watch tv, I would have to switch glasses the whole time, not very practical, so I tend to listen to the radio) and put my ever growing pile of books in there as I have run out of space in my bookcases.

Remember that the highlighted words in the text are links to more info on the subject.

Have a great week everyone.


Dorien Litjes said...

Dear Elga,
What a beautiful bookcase you have! It's so nice to visit antique stores an fairs. We don't do that anymore. Maybe we should do that again sometime.
I like to read your stories.
Hugs Dorien

miraclechicken said...

Such beautiful furniture, I would have loved to be at that show. And the piece in your home is beautiful--

Giac said...

Hello Elga,
How wonderful. Those are wonderful pieces. great pictures! I am in love with the French cabinet. it is gorgeous. The cabinet you purchased is also lovely. I really like the length of it. wonderful piece.
Big hug,

Isabel Ruiz Alonso said...

Son unos muebles precioso, pero se necesita tanto espacio para poder lucirlos.....

Margaret said...

Hi Elga, I share your love of antiques and you are lucky to have so many dealers nearby, you have shown some beautiful examples. Your cupboards are terrific and you have made them suit your needs. Your mini chair is sure to be another treasure.