Do you know?

Do you know the difference between a tea table and a game table?

Quite simply, the tea table has a polished surface on the interior and a game table has a baize surface.   With the fashion of taking tea and other refreshments, the folding side table became quite common in 18th century homes.  While the tables with baize interiors were used for the most part as game tables, tea tables with their polished interiors were certainly more functional.

Take these simple, yet elegant tables.  Which do you think is a game table and which is a tea table?

Not sure, discover the answer for yourself at Mill House Antiques.  More than an ordinary experience.

Did you know there is more than meets the eye at Mill House?

While our 17 showrooms are complete with the finest European antiques assembled in one place, it is also our workshop that has helped establish Mill House as destination for over 50 years and differentiates us.

We don’t just remove a piece from a container and put it on the floor.  Au contraire, every antique is thoroughly examined by our own craftsmen, who employ the same fine techniques pioneered centuries ago to conserve and restore each piece.  And when an antique is sold, it goes back through the workshop for the same thorough inspection.  Not one antique leaves Mill House unless it meets our high standards as we believe an antique should not only decorate a home but be used.

So when you purchase an antique from Mill House, you can be confident that it will endure for another lifetime or two.

Did you know that Welsh dressers were used to keep chickens?

Did you know that Welsh dressers were not only for displaying one’s plates, but in some cases, chickens too?

Some ingenious cabinet maker probably under the direction of a mad cook tired of tramping outside to gather the day’s dinner made what is simply known as a chicken coop dresser.  All the cook had to do is lift one of its gates, grab a hold of a sure to be squawking bird, plop it down on the work table, and grab the cleaver.  Well, you know the rest of the story.

Not many of these dressers survived, as their popularity was not widespread. However, this fine example exhibits all the wonderful peculiarities of a coop dresser with its duplex structure and plate rack on the top. While rare, it can be discovered only at Mill House Antiques. More than an ordinary experience.

Mill House Antiques Welsh Dresser

Did You Know? Joint Stools were also referred to as coffin stools…

Did you know that joint stools were also referred to as coffin stools? Due to their sturdy nature, these stools were used in the home to support the deceased’s coffin as friends and family gathered to pay their respect.

Of course, unless you were wealthy in the 17th century, there was not much else for the common folk to sit on except a stool, which is why they were quite plentiful.  Certainly a very functional piece of furniture, the joint stool remained popular throughout the 18th and 19th centuries.

With the Jacobean Revival of the 1880s, the joint stool also enjoyed a return to the limelight.  Take this Jacobean Revival stool with its handsomely carved legs and apron.  With its distinctive carving and drawer incorporated into the apron, it is not only unusual, but only at Mill House Antiques.  More than an ordinary experience.

MillHouseAntiquesJointStoolM

Did you know? A cheval derives its name from old French for horse…

Mill House Antiques Cheval

Did you know that a cheval derives its name from old French for horse? Known as horse dressing glasses, these large, free-standing mirrors did not come into existence until the early 1800s when producing large sheets of glass became possible.

The reason for this association with the horse is that these mirrors were held by large frames or horses and not because of their “use by sartorially conscious cavalry officers”. No doubt this handsome cheval was the possession of a well-heeled gentleman, or even an officer. Made of the finest burl walnut and detailed with ebonized accents, a cheval of this quality is a rare find today and only at Mill House Antiques.  More than an ordinary experience.

Did you know that a spill vase was used to hold rolled paper or sticks and not flowers?

Mill House Antiques Spill Vase

Prior to the advent of matches, spill vases were placed on mantels from which a stick or rolled paper would be lit from the fireplace and used to light candles, lamps or even pipes. Spill is derived from the Middle English word spille or small piece of wood. The earliest example of a spill vase goes back to the 1500s and they were commonly found in English homes in the 18th and 19th centuries.

While utilitarian in nature, spill vases were often highly decorative and made in various materials, including, brass, porcelain and pottery. Take this wonderful Staffordshire spill vase with its quaint country theme. The wonderful metaphorical composition of the cow and the calf next to the dead tree, which serves as the vase, is an excellent example of Victorian ornamental design. This and other fine spill vases can be found only at Mill House Antiques.

More than an ordinary experience.

“Downton” vs. “Mad”

It’s January 2015. It’s freezing outside, which means customers are not in a mood to be running here and there looking for antiques. So here I sit looking at the the snow falling and gazing at our three dogs curled up together (I guess the forecaster was not wrong when she said it was going to be a three-dog week!). As I sit, I wonder what 2015 will be? Will modern and mid-century furniture still preoccupy the design world? Will Downton Abbey trump Mad Men and will we see a renaissance of fine, hand crafted antiques–better known as “brown furniture” as a result?

I have heard lots of predictions; and of course, I am slightly prejudice but I am rooting for Downton Abbey. I am hoping we will see more blending of the modern with the antique, the grey with the brown, the plastic and steel with the rich patina of mahogany and brass.

Let’s revisit in 2016 and see what transpired. Right now the three furry friends need some ambulatory exercise. – William

Mill House Antiques

Did you know that a housekeeper’s cupboard was more than a place to store linens?

Did you know that a housekeeper’s cupboard was more than a place to store linens?  These large and imposing pieces of furniture with drawers below and cabinets on top also stored the best china and glass, and occasionally, the more valuable staples, such as tea and coffee. Generally under lock and key, it was the head housekeeper, much like Mrs. Hughes in Downton Abbey, who oversaw the contents.

While most of these cupboards were utilitarian in their appearance, some were crafted to reflect the status of the household.  Take this superb housekeeper’s cupboard with such fine details as mahogany crown moulding and banding, as well as a fusee clock.  It must have come from a rather well-to-do manor house, but can only be found now at Mill House Antiques.  More than an ordinary experience.

Mill House Antiques Cupboard

 

Did you know? Austro-Hungarian cabinet makers were considered some of the finest

Did you know that 19th century Austro-Hungarian cabinet makers were considered some of the finest across the continent?  Rightly so, as they took great pride in their work and went the extra mile by hand carving a moulded edge along the inner edges of drawers — something rather unique for cabinet makers of that period.

Take this fine example of a chest of drawers from Budapest that incorporates a drop down secrétaire.  With its handsome walnut root veneer and wonderful brass, the quality of its construction is readily apparent on the outside, but one look inside shows the careful attention to detail rarely seen in chests and found only at Mill House Antiques.  More than an ordinary experience.  #millhouseantiques #antiques

 

Mill House Antiques

 

More than an ordinary experience

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 104 other followers