Last month I decided to meander local antique stores as I have not done in years. Along with many other joys in life I’d left behind for nearly a decade, antiquing seemed a pleasure of the past. After a rather quick reintroduction, I caught up with the current antique shop scene in the city of Spokane, Washington where I live. While I’m not in the market for anything extravagant, I can’t say I won’t begin collecting in the future. Not only do I adore the sturdiness of real wood, but the intricate carvings and stately styles of furniture of bygone eras blanket a room in such a way that feelings are evoked from all who enter. People may not discover these feelings right away, but they will know something is happening, because words will escape their mouths. Statements like, “You never know what to expect in these neighborhoods. When I walked inside I thought, Wow, this is a nice house!”
Indeed, last month is when I decided to put almost all my contemporary furnishings up for sale on Craigslist and replace them with either older pieces or styles that fit my personality. Previous furniture had been chosen to accommodate other folks who resided in my home for a good number of years, but the furniture was not only wrong for the period of the house (1938), but bulky and dark and just blah. I called the brown micro-fiber sectional “The Giant Turd”, if that gives you any idea. And I said that once “The Giant Turd” was gone, it was as if the house was no longer constipated.
This is true. I chose furniture with legs. This way I can sweep beneath the furniture easily. Height, not width, is fashionable in a house like this in which the living room is small and square, with a fireplace, and of a pre-television design. The only other item I long for is an antique upright piano, but there just isn’t room in here.
While window shopping antique shops, there were a couple of things I looked for. 1. salt and pepper shakers, 2. lamps, 3. coasters, 4. anything that caught my eye. After many hours I found salt and pepper shakers: petite, orangish-opalescent shakers made in Japan. Simple. Elegant. Perfect.
Lamps, I have not found.
The other item I came across was at a friendly little 1,600 sq ft store called Rare and Retro Vintage at 27 West Indiana Avenue. The store only opened on May 2, 2014, but I was impressed with the layout, prices and inventory. Not only did I find a set of glass coasters, hand-painted and made in Japan, but a light turquoise, glaze statue, about five inches tall, of a woman in a long dress, her arms spread out with the arms of the dress like wings. When I laid eyes on this piece, I knew it probably wasn’t something expensive, but struck a chord, nonetheless, reminding me of Freddie Mercury’s love of astrological symbols, The Virgin for Virgo is his birth sign, and the white blouse he would wear on stage during the seventies with the arms just like that on the statue.
This is so Freddie, was my thought.
So I purchased this little statue and the coasters and went home.
That evening I brought Freddie Goose in the house so he could prance around the living room and do his entertainment bit that he enjoys. By that time I’d refurnished the living room, so Freddie had some studying to keep him occupied while I unwrapped and polished the statue.
I settled on the sofa.
“Freddie,” I said. “I have a present for you.”
I held the statue in Freddie’s direction. He tipped his head curiously and approached, uttering a soft, “Heh.” as he does when he’s feeling gentle and intimate. What struck me first was that he wasn’t afraid of the statue in the least. He kept looking and looking. Tipping his head this way and that way. Then he craned his neck and reached toward the statue with his bill, touching it lightly on the arm, and then said, “Heh.” and touched the head and then the feet. After that, Freddie straightened up proudly as he always does and began prancing. (Did I mention we were listening to Queen the entire time? Freddie Goose loves Queen, of course. That goes without saying.)
This made me very happy. I wasn’t sure how he would react to the statue. Would he grab it and fling it like he does chunks of mud he excavates outside? Would he bite it to see if it was edible? <–I highly doubted this, because Freddie Goose is particular about his diet and smarter than that. He was not afraid. He even let me touch the feathers on his shoulder with the statue.
Now the ethereal Virgo in blue stands in front of a vase near the front window where Freddie passes by now and then during one of his performances.