You Oughta Be in Pictures: This Week’s Forum Roundup
If your ears were burning last Friday at 3:00, it’s because I was talking about you. I was on the Warner Brothers tour in Burbank and where I got to visit the magnificent prop house. The tour guide said that the prop warehouse was originally set up to handle the overflow of antiques that Mrs. Warner loved to buy. Every few months, she would send a truck to the warehouse to pull out new pieces to swap with the ones she had on display in her home. In the meantime, the pieces were being used in hundreds of Warner Brothers movies.
Today, the prop warehouse is loaded with furniture from all sorts of eras, including some highly detailed, beautifully crafted Victorian pieces. The highlight was a pair of huge Tiffany chandeliers that were bolted to the ceiling. The guide said that the lamps were used in one of the Batman movies and there was a scene where Robin actually hung from one of them before dropping to the floor. Upon seeing the movie, an antique expert told the studio that these were real Tiffany lamps, not reproductions, so perhaps they shouldn’t allow people to swing from them. The studio had no idea that their prop lamps were priceless antiques! Needless to say, they no longer use them on movie sets!
This week on the forum, Woodwright posted some photos of a furniture set that looks like it came right out of the movies. This Gothic cue rack goes with a matching ball cabinet and pool table. Just look at the detailing on this piece. There’s something about the shape that makes me think it should revolve and play music like an old carousel calliope. Check out the rest of the photos right here in the Other Antiques section of the forum.
Woodwright then comes to lesbet’s rescue with some information about a marble-topped washstand, dresser and half commode. The furniture originally belonged to Lesbet’s great-grandparents and that makes me wonder about how we value items that have been handed down from generation to generation. It must be hard to separate the emotional attachment from the facts about what an item is really worth. I have a Melmac mixing bowl that my grandmother always used to make pirogues at Christmas. I probably couldn’t sell it for a dollar on eBay, but to me, that mixing bowl is worth all the money in the world.
Finally, if you were thinking of pulling out that Old English furniture polish this weekend, don’t do it! Not until you read this thread about the care of old woods and burl in particular. Our experts deliver some very passionate advice about which products should and shouldn’t be used to keep your antiques in shape.
Do you have a Victorian antique that you’d like to know more about? A hand-me down from your great-grandparents that you’d like to show off? Post your photos in our forum, we’d love to take a look.