I’ve spent a good part of the past 4-5 weeks slowly moving into another apartment (it turns out that moving gets harder as you get older) and I’ve been shopping around for needed furniture pieces. Compared to other large metro areas, the vintage market here in Seattle is surprisingly weak when it comes to things like this and it’s been a challenge to find particular items in good quality – one great resource we do have though, is a large antique mall down in SODO called Pacific Galleries, which houses stalls for numerous vendors selling styles of all types. It is a favorite among the local interior designers, along with the owners of vintage furniture stores who often come here to find things to resell.
In 1995, Sotheby’s hosted an auction for a large collection of antiques and fine art that was used by Ralph Lauren to showcase his clothing lines throughout his stores, showrooms, and advertisements. If you’ve ever visited the Ralph Lauren mansion in NYC, or the store on Michigan Ave in Chicago, you definitely can get a feel for how he sells everything by also selling the perception of a having a certain lifestyle. From the introduction to the book that accompanied the auction:
This remarkable group of antiques and furnishings , which were bought in both the United States and Europe, embrace a diversity of styles and cultures through grand and casual, rugged yet sophisticated. In addition to such high-style furniture as the Louis XV ormolu-mounted tulipwood and kindwood parquetry bureau plat from the mid-18th century signed by Pierre Garneir, the collection also includes a large number of whimsical and traditional decorative pieces, such as the 19th century English carved rocking horse, the pair of 19th century Codestone garden urns, needlework pillows, tea caddies and andirons.
My favorite piece shown in the book is a chair and ottoman set made from tusks and alligator leather, and only because it’s so tacky and politically incorrect by today’s standards.