At the Auction: An Old Friend Comes Home

At another time in my life, I had the opportunity to see in person the opening of Thomas Pheasant’s very first showing for Baker Furniture in High Point. I did not have anything else to do and the hustle and bustle of High Point was over whelming for a small decor store owner. So as I took a walk through the town away from selling and ordering: I passed a small store front and in the window were two small slipper chairs I had sol to the decorator Charlotte Moss from my Georgetown store. The little storefront was for an upholsterer and furniture maker outside of town and this was his idea of an advertisement.

I got the address and off I went until I found a factory- no AC and no heat and all the employees were busy stuffing, sewing, tacking – all with cigarettes hanging from their lips. I found the owner and that day I started my own line of furniture. Man, I am naïve!

I did not do a lot but I had about a dozen pieces and some weren’t terrible. My favorite was the Gore Dean sofa and chairs. I loved the sleek style of the back and somehow I got lucky and the pitch of the chair made it easy to raise yourself without pushing out of the chair even with a down wrapped cushion. I sold a good number and kept one set from which I could take orders.

One day, designers Glenn Pushelberg and George Yabu happened into our Georgetown store and ordered enough to finish the room below for the St Regis in Mexico City. Our Delano chairs in the forefront and our coordinating sofas done in celery green velvet for the area right before the bar.

We had some orders and the lounge chair was particularly popular in a nubby white thick, loose weave bright white fabric that you can see in our Baltimore store below. Eventually I was going to take my samples home…and I would have that chapter of my life forever. That was until the flood came in 2008 during a hurricane.

My store was carted off by FEMA to the trash pile, Bernie Madoff hit and designers stopped ordering and High Point factories closed including mine- along with my patterns…I thought I may never see my chairs again…..

But you know what happened !!! Yes, last week at the all too wonderful and always terrific weekly sale at Weschler’s in Rockville, Md….I saw what had to be my chair.. Albeit, in a different pattern- maybe a bit overstuffed now- but one look at the feet below the now skirted bottom and I knew. Baby had come home!

leave it? or rebuild to the original? A softer cushion, straighter back and skirtless….

Which is why I always look through every auction…just look sometimes…because you will never know what memories you might unlock or what you’ll find…….at the auction.

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