French Antiques – Our Specialty!

Welcome to Crown and Colony Antiques, Aubergine Antiques and RF Antiques – We are three unique shops under single ownership. 

We specialize in French antiques and accessories.

All of our shops are located in downtown Fairhope, Alabama and are within walking distance to each other.  We deliver locally at no charge, we deliver for a fair price to certain parts of Louisiana and Florida (where we can drive and return within a work day) OR we have wonderful, professional outside shippers who we work with daily that will provide expert delivery.

   See below SPECIAL ITEMS FROM OUR STORES 

  If you see something that really sparks your interest we invite you to EMAIL us directly at  peter@crownandcolony.com

We will respond the day you inquire!

 

Pair of 19th Century Italian Sunburst Altar Fragments with Mirrors
$1,335 EACH

ITEM: 217-8085  Dimensions:  3 ft. 9 in.Hx3 ft. 0 in.Wx2.75 in.D

http://www.crownandcolony.com/viewwishlist.php?id=2178085

These items can be found at RF Antiques 251-928-8336

Pair of 19th Century Italian Sunburst Altar Fragments with Mirrors 1

 

Italian 19th Century Bench
$1,300
ITEM:  216-5838   Dimensions:  22 in.Hx82 in.Wx22.5 in.D
This item can be found at Crown and Colony Antiques 251-928-4808

 

Italian 19th Century Bench 1

French Terracotta Vinaigrier Pot
$390 and up
We maintain several items like this along with Confit Jars
This item can be found at Aubergine Antiques 251-928-0902

French Terracotta Vinaigrier Pot 1

19th Century Italian Monastery Walnut and Iron Trestle Table
$5,900
Read our Blog post on Trestle Tables – Search Trestle Table
ITEM:  217-3097   Dimensions:  31.5 in.Hx142.5 in.Wx37.5 in.D
This item can be found at Aubergine Antiques 251-928-0902

19th Century Italian Monastery Walnut and Iron Trestle Table 1

Pair of 19th Century Italian Sconces
$990 for the PAIR
ITEM:  217-0115   Dimensions:  15.5 in.Hx13.25 in.Wx5 in.D
These Sconce and others can be found at RF Antiques 251-928-8336

Pair of 19th Century Italian Sconces 1

Set of Six French Painted Kitchen Dining Chairs with Rush Seats
$1,400
ITEM:  217-4476   Dimensions:  38 in.Hx19 in.Wx17 in.D
These chairs can be found at Aubergine Antiques 251-928-0902

 

Set of Six French Painted Kitchen Dining Chairs with Rush Seats 1

 

19th Century Crystal Empire Chandelier
$2,450
ITEM:  217-4551   Dimensions:  37 in.Hx32 in.Wx32 in.D
This item can be found at Aubergine Antiques 251-928-0902

19th Century Crystal Empire Chandelier 1

19th Century French Louis XVI Painted Commode with Faux Marble Top
$3,600
ITEM:  217-3014   Dimensions:  37 in.Hx50 in.Wx23.75 in.D
This item can be found at RF Antiques 251-928-8336

19th Century French Louis XVI Carved Painted Commode with Faux Marble Top 1

Late 19th Century Regency Bullseye Convex Mirror
$890
Read our Blog post on French Mirrors – search French Style Mirror
ITEM:  217-5159   Dimensions:  2 ft. 8 in.Hx18 in.Wx2.25 in.D
This item can be found at Crown and Colony Antiques 251-928-4808

Late 19th Century Regency Bullseye Convex Mirror 1

Two 19th Century, French Louis XIV Walnut Needlepoint Armchair
$900 EACH
ITEM:  217-3090   Dimensions:  45.5 in.Hx26.25 in.Wx24 in.D
These chairs can be found at Crown & Colony Antiques 251-928-4808

Two 19th Century, French Louis XIV Walnut Needlepoint Armchair 1

Large 19th Century French Butcher Block Table with Marble
$3,600
ITEM:  217-4514   Dimensions:  35 in.Hx80 in.Wx31.5 in.D
This item can be found at Aubergine Antiques 251-928-0902

Large 19th Century French Butcher Block Table with Marble 1

Louis XVI Ebonized French Buffet with Marble Top
$2,100
Read our Blog post on Buffets  – Search Buffet or Enfilade
Item:  217-1127   Dimensions:  40.5 in.Hx81 in.Wx19 in.D
This item can be found at Crown and Colony Antiques 251-928-4808

Louis XVI Ebonized French Buffet with Marble Top 1

18th Century Vellum Books
$320 per item & vary depending on size
Dimensions will vary from book to book – we have in stock more than what is shown here:  1.5 in.Hx10 in.Wx15.5 in.D
These books can be found at Crown and Colony Antiques 251-928-4808

 

 

18th Century Vellum Books 1

19th Century French Inlaid Louis XVI Commode with Marble Top from Paris
$1,900
Read our Blog post on Italian vs. French Chests – search Italian Chests
Item:  217-4560   Dimensions:  35.25 in.Hx48.25 in.Wx23.75 in.D
This item can be found at Crown and Colony Antiques 251-928-4808

19th Century French Inlaid Louis XVI Commode with Marble Top 1

19th Century Louis XV Serpentine Front Commode
$4,400
ITEM:  216-5646   Dimensions:  35 in.Hx50.5 in.Wx29.75 in.D
This item can be found at Crown and Colony Antiques 251-928-4808

19th Century Louis XV Serpentine Front Commode 1

Early 19th Century Biot Olive Jar
Prices Vary and we have many to choose from
Read our Blog post on the Olive Jars from Biot France – just search Olive Jar
 All Olive Jars can be found at RF Antiques  251-928-8336

 

Early 19th Century Biot Olive Jar 1

We hope you have enjoyed a preview of just some of the hundreds and hundreds of items we carry – All beautiful, authentic and special!  Please call us, visit us in person or view our websites for more details and information.

http://www.crownandcolony.com/

http://rfantiques.com/

http://aubergineantiques.com/

Au Revoir!  A La Prochaine!!

Oushak Rugs from Turkey

ANTIQUE OUSHAK RUGS from TURKEY – Aubergine Antiques

Investment pieces for your home can run the gamut and you may think a rug isn’t one of them because it gets walked on….but,  an antique rug can be a great investment, if you know what to look for.

There probably is not one single factor that determines a rugs value – I’m no rug expert, but I have heard that the “knots” per square inch seem to add value….Appraisers of antique rugs seem to say it has to do with a few other things as well as knots per square inch.

AGE and CONDITION

The knot type and size does determine the quality of a rug’s construction while AGE and CONDITION of the rug add value.  The older the rug is and the better condition it is in for sure dictates its value. Ok so RULE #1 – look for an older rug in good condition.

You are going to want a rug that does not have frayed edges – they can unravel quickly AND this is the most costly area to repair.  Avoid the hassle.

The country of origin is important

For example, a vintage Oushak rug made in India is going to have less value than an Oushak make in Turkey, its original place of origin.  Your cost difference will be considerable as well. The country of origin impacts the value of antique rugs as does a particular region– a certain village or tribe may be renowned for their craftsmanship or beauty during the time that the carpet was made. The Turkish village of Usak is in Central Anatolia

and they have been weaving Usak carpets there for hundreds of years. Acquiring a rug from that particular village increases the value of your rug dramatically.   Rule #2 – The fact that an Usak rug is authentic (actually made in the Usak village) adds to its potential long term value.

To ensure that a machine hasn’t made the carpet, always look at the back of it. “When you flip the rug, it must look almost identical to the front.

Oushak rugs can also command higher prices because the larger ones are so much harder to find in good condition.  Turkish labor is quite expensive as well – from start to finish the hand weaving process is laborious and commands time, talent and ultimately a high dollar price for the finished product.  The weaving and finishing processes begin with the shearing of wool, spinning the wool and then dying the wool in small batches – in comparison to other types of new rugs.

So Rule #3 – when you are looking at Oushak rugs and your mouth drops open at the price tag, just remember what you are paying for:  the labor intensive efforts put forth in making the rug!

Note to self:  All of our Oushak rugs come from various areas of Turkey.   Rugs shown here are from Aubergine Antiques – Fairhope AL 251-928-0902

MATERIALS AND CRAFTSMANSHIP

The most common materials for Oriental rug construction are wool, cotton, silk, metal threads, goat hair and camel hair.

It is also important to understand that not all wool is the same. There valued differences in the grade of wool being used which comes from its feel and seeing the fineness of the wool.  This is important because it tells us how it was spun before it was woven. Yün eğiren anadolu kadını.

And of course, when the sheep are raised at higher elevations they tend to generate a more luxurious coat and ultimately better wool — resulting in a more luxurious rug pile. Hand spinning the wool versus machine spinning the wool makes a softer and more natural looking pile.  Again, adding to cost because of the time it takes to hand spin the wool.

     

                

DYES

When dyes are used in the construction of the rug using natural dye will add to the calmness and less saturated colors in the rug.  Vibrantly colored rugs are also beautiful; however, the less intense the colors, the more complicated the rug is to make.  This type of dying requires expert knowledge and the scarcity of these artisans are becoming more difficult to find which adds value to the rug.

KNOTS and their DENSITY

Typically the art of rug making is a family tradition passed down from mother to daughter.  By geography one can trace where the rug was woven by the knot –  While knot size is a consideration, the more important consideration is the density of the wool and how the knots are tied.  A quick way to determine the longevity of a rug is to take it in your hand – if it has a bit of sturdiness to it, it will wear better than one that is flimsy with loosely tied knots.  A hand knotted rug can be identified by looking at the back of the rug.  Below is an example of an authentically hand knotted rug versus a machine made rug.  Note the difference in how the knots look.

So there you have it in a condensed version –  the knot alone does not determine the rugs quality, but the quality is based on the wool choice, the actual construction of the rug, the weaving accomplishment and finally the actual visual appeal presented by the weaver.  FINAL RULE – If the rug isn’t beautiful to the person buying it then it has all been for nothing!

Stop buy our Antique Store – Aubergine Antiques – and let us help you pick out a rug that will suit your needs.  We carry all sizes of Oushaks as well as Persian and Heriz rugs — all are beautiful.

Below the Owner of Crown and Colony Antiques, Aubergine Antiques and RF Antiques is Peter Fargason (right) and the Manager of Aubergine Antiques, Jack McCown.  Both extremely knowledgeable about the rugs we sell.

Unloading rugs is a common sight at Aubergines!

Aubergine Antiques  315 De La Mar Ave  Fairhope, AL  36532

  (251) 928-0902

If you own a valued rug it is also important to know that if you need to have it cleaned, please seek a professional rug cleaner equipped to do so.  In the mean time if you need to spot clean an area, a solution of one part white vinegar to six parts water and a gentle blotting technique to clean a small area will work nicely.

 Au Revoir!  A La Prochaine!!

Mardi Gras – A French Celebration

Mardi Gras BEGAN IN FRANCE…Related image

The celebration of Mardi Gras came to North America from France where it had been celebrated since the Middle Ages.  The origins of Mardi Gras can be traced to medieval Europe, passing through Rome and Venice in the 17th and 18th centuries to the French House of the Bourbons.

With this French influence we can compare our celebrations to those of modern day Paris and smaller villages across France.

Below Mardi Gras in Nice, France

For us in the United States, the actual founding of Mardi Gras was in 1702:

 In 1702 French-Canadian explorer Jean Baptiste Le Moyne Sieur de Bienville established “Fort Louis de la Louisiane” (which is now Mobile). In 1703, the tiny settlement of Fort Louis de la Mobile celebrated America’s very first Mardi Gras. Though most people associate Mardi Gras with New Orleans, LA–Mobile, AL began holding the festival in 1703, 15 years before it started in Louisiana.  It grew into a stronger and stronger tradition even into the 1800’s

MardiGras and Carnival represent a festive season in France which refers to eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lent, accompanied with sumptuous public celebrations or parades (les carnavals) which take place in many French towns and schools.

Buyenlarge 'King - Mardi Gras Parade Float Design' Painting Print Size: 30" H x 20" W

Even Claude Monet found inspiration in the Mardi Gras Carnival in Paris      Carnaval boulevard des Capucines, 1873

By Claude Monet – The Yorck Project: 10.000 Meisterwerke der Malerei. DVD-ROM, 2002. ISBN 3936122202. Distributed by DIRECTMEDIA Publishing GmbH., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=155837There are traditions associated with Mardi Gras. 

 Traditions of Mardi Gras in France and here in the United States are very similar, such as…..

  the wearing of masks, throwing trinkets and beads from the floats in the parades and a reigning King and Queen….

The Wearing Of Masks     Image result for 5 X 7 pictures of mardi gras from the 1800s

Masks are an integral part of Mardi Gras culture. During early Mardi Gras celebrations hundreds of years ago, masks were a way for their wearers to escape social constraints and social demands. Mask wearers could mingle with people of all different classes and could be whomever they desired, at least for a few days.

   Decorate your walls with Giant Mardi Gras Masks . Wall decorations are a great way to celebrate the Mardi Gras holidays. Wall decorations that we carry include Big Mask, Jester Venetian Mask, Joker Big Mask, Comedy Big Mask, and Tragedy Big Mask.          

In New Orleans LA, float riders are required by law to have a mask on.

On Fat Tuesday, masking is legal for all Mardi Gras attendees – 

The term “Fat Tuesday“, refers to the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season, which begins on Ash Wednesday.  Fat Tuesday in French refers to Mardi Gras!

  Villages and smaller towns still revel in age old Mardi Gras traditions like donning costumes, feasting and singing.  One of the few remaining big city carnivals, the Nice Carnival, is one of the most exciting events of the year in Nice. The parade is colorful and jolly, and flowers are either used to bombard the passing floats, or people use them to stage mock flower fights  Image result for images of flowers tossing in nice france during mardi gras  OR flowers are thrown into the crowd  by individuals on the floats!Related image

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The Throwing of Beads and Trinkets

The tradition of bead throwing & the color of the beads was determined by the king of the first daytime Carnival in 1872.  He wanted the colors to be royal colors – purple for justice, gold for power and green for faith. The idea was to toss the color to the person who exhibited the color’s meaning.

The beads were originally made of glass, which, as you can imagine, weren’t the best for tossing.  It wasn’t until the beads were made of plastic that throwing them really became a staple of Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

A King and Queen of Mardi Gras

Each year, a king and queen are selected to reign over the parade. The royal colors of purple, green, and gold are to this day the colors of Mardi Gras.1907 king and queen of mardi gras in mobile, al-- the birthplace of mardi grasFirst King and Queen of Mardi Gras in Mobile, AL

And while Mardi Gras reigns strong in Mobile, Alabama and New Orleans, Louisiana there are many parades in other cities as well, such as our beautiful city of  Fairhope AL.   February 2018 !

–Elaborate Floats christen the parade route–

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            Today’s floats are highly detailed and vibrant in color!

    And of course, part of the glutenous food intake during this celebration is the traditional King Cake,Image result for pictures of king cakes which are eaten in abundance during the Mardi Gras Season!  French settlers brought Mardi Gras to New Orleans and the Louisiana territory.  The “Galette des Rois,” or king cake, came too, becoming a symbol of New Orleans’ and a brand of Mardi Gras.

Image result for beautiful pictures of mardi gras

EAT, ENJOY AND BE MERRY & HAPPY MARDI GRAS!

Au Revoir!!  A La Prochaine!!

DESIGN TRENDS with Antiques

2018 Top Picks to make your home ready for the year ahead!    INTERIORS

What we think  the hottest trends are right now in home furnishings!  Every now and again we need a little something to inspire us to change a room completely or just “freshen a room up”.    There is nothing more unique than the ability to change a look with a beautiful antique.  Just one key piece can transform a room.

  Look for the element of “symmetry” which creates balance and structure.  When you add symmetry with a modern piece and an antique piece the room suddenly feels modern with juxtaposition.

Rooms, especially kitchens are increasingly becoming more like living and dining rooms.  Everything is layered with an eclectic look.  Acquisition over time regarding furniture and accessories. Trend word for 2018:

COZY

Here are pieces that we feel are trending now:  Our Picks-

The Settee    

What we are reading and seeing is that Cozy is in and the casual feel that brings for a more inviting space.  The settee is a natural expression of maximalism without eating up a lot of space.  Look out for settee’s with great lines and period influenced styles.

The Architectural Element   

This is the accent for the home that currently is sought after not only for its unique nature, but a lasting trend that adds character, personality and soul to the home – the patina it has acquired over time brings warmth and richness to any area.

        The Chair 

ok, so it’s not just any chair that you need to have for 2018 – You are going to have to look beyond that strict linearity.  Strong lines are uncomfortable and people seem to be opting away from them.  Curves are the natural expression of maximalism (there’s that word again – kinda like saying, “get more bang for the buck”) for a room.  The swerving legs and curved back of this chair hugs you and brings a casual elegance to an area.  Nestle this one in a corner or cozy it up to a desk.

The Chest  

Yep, it seems that the mood for 2018 is less shiny and glamorous.  We seem to be leaning to furniture that exudes that someone actually lives in the house.  We want things that have a patina, add character and personality.  Yes, warmth is the new trend for a room.  This chest has both:  warmth and a bit of antique brass trim that gives a special feeling for everyone.

The Mirror  

Neutrals are new again, but in a different way.  Choose colors for your walls and accessories (like the colors on this trumeau) that are soothing.  The traditional colors this year are going to be amped up with dollops of grey.  Sophisticated and gentle colors of the earth are going to be showing up everywhere.

Outdoor elements

The earth tones and textures from outdoor elements like a crete jar from Greece or an Olive jar from France.  Note how the olive jar in this picture brings in texture, neutral coloring and “big” interest to the room:

The Trestle Table

This is a table that is timeless in style because of its versatility.  Not only can it be used in the dining room, but the trend now is to utilize the trestle table as an office desk or as a console behind a sofa.  Looks like this choice will be a “Win Win” for 2018!!

In the picture above the two bergeres are common sites at Crown and Colony Antiques, as is the marble top bistro table being used as a console and the stool.  In lieu of the bistro table one might opt to put the trestle table.Pair bergeres

French BergerePainted bergere

 and, last but not least, lighting   

A crystal chandelier is timeless and far from boring.  Elevate your dining space with lighting that reflects understated glamour.  This is one possession that is to never go out of style.  Dim your chandelier while eating to create that warmth and coziness embodying everything in 2018!!

Please see all of these pieces and our other merchandise for pricing and dimensions on our website http://www.crownandcolony.com and on our Instagram page:  @crownandcolonyantiques

Happy 2018
AU REVOIR!  A LA PROCHAINE!!

 

FRENCH BAROMETERS

How’s the Weather?  A Brief History on Antique BarometersImage result for images of french barometers

 

The mercury barometer was invented in 1643 by Torricelli, a student of Galileo, in Florence, Italy.

Image result for images of black and white photos of barometers from the 1800s

This remarkable device is used to measure atmospheric pressure, and those changes in pressure indicate a change in the weather.

Interestingly, barometers were not originally used for meteorological observations, but for measuring heights and to use in air pump/vacuum experiments. Weather forecasting became a secondary feature once it was realized that a connection existed between the alterations of the weight of the air and alterations in the weather.

Until about 1780 barometers were still the preserve of scientists and the wealthy, but they had started to move out of Italy, up through France and into England. The Italian-the original craftsmen responsible for making barometers -were mainly from the northern towns of Venice and Milan, still famous for their glass blowing abilities.

After 1780 or so wheel barometers were being made in France, both in the familiar banjo shape and fabulously gilded in the Louis XV style of French furniture, as well as in the less frequently seen – but very desirable – octagonal shape18th c. French Louis XVI Gilt-Trimmed Octagonal Barometer with Pediment:

The mercury type barometer manufacturers reached their peak from about 1830 to 1890.

Below are the barometers found currently at Crown and Colony Antiques – all with years and years of age showing, but in beautiful condition considering how old they are.

As barometers measure air pressure, they were also used for measuring altitude, or height above the ground, such as the height of a mountain, and were often used to measure altitude aboard a hot air balloon. They were also used by miners in caves to determine the depth of a mine. By the late 1800’s, the barometer was as popular, and an equivalent in it’s time, as the computer is today. Because competition for market share was fierce, the finest cabinet and clock makers, and inventors, devoted their talents to create the best and most appealing barometers to capture the eye of the buyer.  These endeavors are still seen and appreciated today.

Here a barometer is used in a bedroom over a fireplace – compliments of Atlanta designer, Patricia McLean.

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BAROMETERS can and are used in literally every room in the house…As Lynn Lee Terry, Editor of Southern Home magazine, agrees.

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In the Dining Room – compliments of Cote de Texas

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What makes the needle turn on the front?

The mercury tube is enclosed behind a door in the rear of the case; and by a system of strings, weights and a pulley, the reading of the air pressure is transferred to a needle which moves over the circular register, or dial, on the front.

.:

An “in tack” pulley system with the wires…

Image result for images of antique french stick barometers

The stick barometer which showed up around 1810, did not require any mechanism to turn a needle on a dial, and the reading of the air pressure is taken directly from the height of the mercury in the tube – exactly as it had been in 1643.

Formal French stick Louis XVI barometers

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The bulb filled with mercury Image result for images of french stick barometer

these  formal stick barometers can be found at G.Sergeant Antiques

Barometers today, especially very old ones, are recycled as decorative pieces for beautiful homes.  Typically the oldest ones that once used mercury to determine pressure no longer function.

The French Tangerine: ~ beguiling barometers:

By 1870 to 1890 production of mercury barometers had slowed way down and then virtually ceased; making them more precious today than ever.

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Wall vignette with blue and white porcelain - Charles Faudree:

Renowned designer with a flair for French design, Charles Faudree, really knew how to place a barometer in the home with all the best accents surrounding it.  In this room it is definitely a focal point.

I have always been captivated by all things blue and white. The combination  is such a timeless,classic look. I enjoy using dead gray and white gesso furniture with very committed patterns of blue and white. Here are several amazing examples of blue and white with cream and gilt. I especially love the French gray color on the trumeau and  bed. In Carolyne Roehm's book, A Passion for Interiors. I find a great deal of inspiration from her rooms for my painted furniture designs. I hope you will be: Banjo style barometer – one of the first shapes when the barometer was being developed.

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Crown and Colony Antiques carries beautiful barometers.  Please stop by our shop to embrace the full beauty of these spectacular historical pieces that can add decorative flare to your home.  They are very special and very sought after.  

Feel free to call us for more information:  251-928-4808

  Our merchandise can also be found on 1stdibs.com  SEARCH: Crown and Colony Antiques…

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Au Revoir!  A La Prochaine!!

blue striped sofa picture from amyhowarddaily.com / square barometer with blue background- 1st dibs / picture of long slender gustavian barometer from trouvais.com on pinterest

Any pictures used other than those of Crown and Colony, RF Antiques or Aubergine Antiques are used solely for the purpose of information