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:


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 and on our Instagram page:  @crownandcolonyantiques

Happy 2018



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.

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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…

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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  SEARCH: Crown and Colony Antiques…

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Au Revoir!  A La Prochaine!!

blue striped sofa picture from / square barometer with blue background- 1st dibs / picture of long slender gustavian barometer from 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

French Furniture and Accessories

 You know what they say… Paris is always a good idea.

Parisian style, French furniture and French accessories are also a good idea!

 Ever wonder how the French so seamlessly pull together clothing and furniture/accessories to make everything sparkle FRENCH…

The French have a certain appreciation for antiques, as well as the beauty of aging. An antique mirror, speckled with telltale signs of age like oxidation and scratches, can bring a sense of history to a room that no shiny, happy new thing can. A vintage desk with water rings from coffee-fueled days has character and brings a human element to a space.

Crystal chandeliers are ubiquitous in Parisian homes. A natural place for one is a dining room, but you can also add a little sparkle in a small powder room or master bathroom.  Choose sparkle, crystals and metal for that added bit of glamour that actually mixes quite well with casual.

ALL THREE OF OUR SHOPS CARRY GORGEOUS CHANDELIERS!!  You can view the choices under “lighting” from our website

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 A French settee is ALWAYS a sure bet as an accent in any room of the house.

Glamour is a major pillar of Parisian interiors, and a touch of gold is often the key to achieving it, such as a gold gilt accessory for atop a chest…

or hanging a French Louis Philippe or French style mirror (maybe a trumeau) over a fireplace mantle, console or French chest.  An occasional chair with gold accents can also make a statement.

French candlesticks in gold also add a warmth and French touch to a room.

Antiques are a must-have for every sophisticated home, but they seem to be innate in Parisian homes.  The French home lends itself to naturally showcase certain styles of French furniture/accessories, such as, imported chinoiserie pieces,

Louis XVI, Louis XV and Louis XIV chairs, desks or commodes. 

All similar, but with slight differences which give the room/home that acquired look and not “matchy matchy”.  French antique pieces are ones that you can literally use in any room of the house, they are a worthwhile investment and can be passed down from generation to generation.

Crown and Colony, Aubergines and RF Antiques carry French antique furniture and accessories – anything you can image French, we carry!  Come visit us this holiday season and add a little “French Style” to your home.

You can view most, but not all of our items on Instagram @crownandcolonyantiques or view our website

See all merchandise by visiting our three shops in beautiful downtown Fairhope, AL

Au Revoir!  A La Prochaine!!

Some, but not all pictures are borrowed from Pinterest, One Kings Lane and other internet sites.  Pictures that are not those of Crown and Colony are used for educational purposes only.


The FRENCH Watering CanRelated image

Original “watering pots”, were terracotta and very heavy.  Popular in the mid 1800’s were French ones with one large handle that arched from the front to the back of the can; this did make it a bit more troublesome to balance the can while watering plants that were on higher shelving.  But, none the less were functional and beautiful.

Below is one of the many French water cans that we sell at RF Antiques.  It has the original one handle design that I find to be charming and contrary to what John Haws notes of design, the French design is quite adequate!


The change in style begins with Madagascar and the growing of vanilla beans.  While tinkering with growing the vanilla bean plant in Madagascar a man named John Haws found the current design for watering cans to be awkward and hard to maneuver.

When John Haws returned to England he found himself in the midst of a gardening explosion very popular during the Victorian era.  The wealthy upper class were constantly searching for the perfect garden to put on display.  Ornamental gardens and greenhouse cultivation with plants in self contained areas required a lot of hand watering.  Image result for images of victorian greenhouses and watering cans

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In 1885 John Haws applied for and was issued the first ever patent on a watering can with his new handle design. His patent claimed:

“This new invention forms a Watering Pot that is much easier to carry, and at the same time being much cleaner, and more adapted for use than any put before the public”

His new invention introduced the addition of a second handle.  The previous French design had just one large front to back handle. Haws revised design had a “carrying” handle on top and a “tipping” handle on the back of the can to allow a more even distribution of water and his design also called for a spout located at the bottom of the watering can to allow for easier watering of plants on high shelves. Photobucket

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Watering Can Fact: The spout is capped with a fitting made of small holes where water is expelled from a very gentle flow to a heavier flow, dependent upon the delicacy of the plant being watered. This ‘cap’ is also known as a ‘rose’– It comes from the French word arroseur which means sprinkler.


Sotheby’s director and “gardenalia” expert Alistair Morris is quoted:

“There is nothing more emblematic of gardening than a watering-can,” he says. “It is a simple vessel with a pure purpose which started out as a pottery pot and only turned into a can made of metal in the late 17th century.”

THEREFORE, this “simple vessel” has been used extensively as subject matter for artists all over the world.  It adds that element of “connection to the painting” that artists strive for.

Woman With Watering Cans by L. E. Adan

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A Girl With a Watering Can by Renoir 1876

Theophile Emmanuel Duverger

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Martha Stewart shares a video on antique watering cans of all kinds and the history of the watering can.  Click on the link below to enjoy this short and enjoyable watering can excerpt.

As history would dictate through progressive movements the quality and production techniques of the watering can improved dramatically with the Industrial Revolution, when the heavy terracotta

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and copper was replaced by tinplate and lighter metals as seen below.  Lighter metals allowed for the increase in weight once water was put into the vessel making it naturally heavier.The watering cans in the above picture are at our garden antiques shop, RF Antiques, 251-928-8336 Call us to check availability of all French watering cans or call Aubergine Antiques, our French culinary shop, 251-928-0902 for information on our supply of copper watering cans.


Au Revoir!  A La Prochaine!!



Chatelaine (chain)

The name chatelaine derives from the French term châtelaine – which means wife of the lord of a castle or a woman who owns a large house or is in control of it OR a set of short chains worn on a belt that carried necessary items needed in the home.

From the 16th century, women often wore a decorative clasp at the waist with a series of chains attached, called a chatelaine. Suspended from it were useful household accessories such as scissors, keys, and sewing tools. Crafted from precious metals, chatelaines were considered as jewelry and status symbols.Wedgwood Chatelaine, Indianapolis Museum of Art. Chatelaine, Tassenmuseum Netherlands. Chatelaine bag, LACMA.

Wedgwood Chatelaine, Indianapolis Museum of Art. Chatelaine, Tassenmuseum Netherlands. Chatelaine bag, LACMA.

Status among women

 The woman with the keys key equipage

to all the many desks, chest of drawers, food hampers, pantries, storage containers, and many other locked cabinets was “the woman of the household”. Carrying this chatelaine was a sign of status and power – This person directed all the servants and possessed total authority over who had access to what.

A tid bit:  When a woman married a son and the couple moved into his father’s house, the son’s MOTHER would have authority over the keys to the locked items.  BUT, if the mother became a widow the keys and the status that came with them, were passed to the wife of the eldest son.  If the woman of the house had to be absence then the controller of the keys was passed to the head housekeeper.

Often times younger women in the house would want the appearance of this responsibility, and would wear decorative chatelaines with a variety of small objects Image result for chatelaine jewelry that french women wore

in the place of keys, especially bright and glittering objects that could be used to start a conversation.

Early 19th Century Gold Sewing Chatelaine in Original Case

Early 19th Century Gold Sewing Chatelaine in Original Case

inspiringdresses: Chatelaine with watch, key, pomander, ca, 1770, BritishMFA

Chatelaine with watch, key, pomander, ca, 1770

Abiti Antichi Chatelaine in argento. Punzoni Citta' di Londra; anno 1892. Maker Samuel Jacob. Composta da quaderno, matita, porta metro, forbici e portaditale. Rif: chatelaine 5 Clicca sulla foto per vedere altre immagini di questa chatelaine.

Chatelaines were worn by many housekeepers in the 19th century and in the 16th century they often typically used as watch chains for the most wealthy.

This is a Georgian chatelaine which clipped to the waist band or belt of a dress for holding such items as the mistress of the house would need with her throughout the day. It might include her seal, watch, scissors, thimble, a vinaigrette, or a key holder.This is a Georgian chatelaine which “is a device which clips to the waist band or belt of a dress for holding such items as the mistress of the house would need with her throughout the day. It might include her seal, watch, scissors, thimble, a vinaigrette, and a key holder.”

Here is the front

and back view so you can  see how the chatelaine would be clipped to the waistband of the woman’s dress.


A locket such as this sterling silver one would be used for rouge/powder and attached to the Chatelaine chain.  Antique French 800-900 Silver 'Poudrier' Compact locket for chatelaine. LOVELY <3 @

Chatelaines were made of precious metals: gold, sterling silver, but many were made of steel as the one showed below.  This one made of cut steel is also from France, late 18th century; the tools include a disc shaped pin cushion, a button hook, a thimble holder with steel thimble, and a folding corkscrew for perfume bottles.

Fine Mint 2671, cut steel chatelaine, France, late 18th century; “Five matching attachments to the waist plaque. The tools include a disc shaped pin cushion, a button hook, a thimble holder with steel thimble, a folding corkscrew for perfume bottles and a decorative cut steel attachment made of 5 chatelaines.

And of course, all the Queens had beautiful chatelaine adornments to their dresses.  Here Marie Antoinette walking with her children is wearing decorative chains with charms – certainly a sign of wealth.

An up close view of the chains:

Marie Antoinettes Marie Antoinette's gold watch and chatelaine with diamonds and rubies, 1y V Oswald V Oswaldgold watch and chatelaine with diamonds and rubies  –  Very opulent & decorative.

Even today, women enjoy a new interpretation of history with a modern twist as symbolism in unexpected places turns up:  The chatelaine is officially on the fashion runway as Prada shows off the updated chatelainePrada_AW16_chatelaine2


CROWN AND COLONY ANTIQUES carries Chatelaines when they can be found!!  They have become rare commodities, but here is a picture of what we currently have in our shop.  251-928-4808

Au Revoir!  A La Prochaine!!