Archives for category: Accent Furniture

Kaminski Auctions is pleased to present the collection of the internationally renowned interior design icon Thomas Britt. His artistry has been published extensively in Architectural Digest, Elle Décor, House Beautiful, House and GardenThe New York Times, Washington Post, W Magazine and in international design publications.

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Known for his creative designs incorporating bold colors and luxurious textures his style is always a harmonious blend of classic and modern design.
His illustrious career spans over 40 years and among his awards and honors are the prestigious Smithsonian Institute’s award “Giants of Interior Design” in 1987, numerous Who’s Who in Interior Design awards and the Architectural Digest “ The AD 100” award every year since it’s inception.

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His keen eye for detail, extravagant designs and well appointed interiors have attracted a glittering clientele.  His impressive client list includes ambassadors, counts and countesses, princesses as well as New York City society.

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We are pleased to offer decorative items that graced his Manhattan apartment and Long Island seaside retreat. There is also a selection of custom furniture and objects from his company warehouse that he designed and sourced for his clientele from around the globe.
From 19th century Chinese carved altar and demilune tables, to colorful Indian dhurrie rugs and decorative brass and pottery vessels to Chinese porcelain and garden seats, to 19th century Italian classical engravings there is something in this sale to add interest to any décor.

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Kaminski Auctions is pleased present part one of the collection in a one day unreserved auction on Sunday, January 31st starting at 10:00 am at their auction gallery at 117 Elliott Street, Rt. 62, Beverly, Massachusetts.  Preview for this exciting sale is Thursday, January 28th through Saturday, January 30th, 2016 from 10:00 am – 5:00pm and day of sale starting at 8:00 am.

Go to http://www.kaminskiauctions.com to preview all lots and sign up to bid by Internet with KaminskiLIVE. For more information, or telephone or absentee bidding call 978-927-2223.

If you are like me you love to see the before and after photos of a great apartment/home renovation or redecoration.

One of my favorite sites for “Before and After” makeovers is a website called “ Apartment Therapy “. I am addicted to it. I read it daily and love the apartment makeovers they profile from all over the world. Whether it’s a Victorian apartment in London or a studio in Brooklyn, I love to see the creativity, and the way people are using vintage items and auction finds to make their apartments feel more like a home.

One post in particular resonated with me as they profiled a series of basic white box apartments decorated in an up to date modern style with a bit of chrome, plexiglass and modern pieces of furniture.  But each and every one of the rooms had a vintage or antique piece in it that added character, depth and timelessness to the room.  What was interesting as well, was that each person interviewed chose the antique piece as their “favorite find” that really made the apartment decoration come together and feel like home.

Storage and organization seems to be a common theme on the Apartment Therapy blog as well.  The limited space in apartment living makes for very creative storage solutions. Forget The Container Store or that bookcase from Pottery Barn, there is no better place to find furniture for creative storage solutions than Kaminski Auctions!

For inspiration I will show you a few pieces coming up in our October 25th Estate Auction that can be  mixed in with your modern décor that will make your decorating so much more interesting or could will provide a creative storage solution.

In the October 25th sale we have three “pier tables”,  perfect as a small entry table or in a living room set up as a cocktail bar.  The mirrored back to these wonderful tables provides a reflective element in the room that will make the room  look larger…perfect for a small space !

Lot 8110-19th Century Marble Top Pier Table

Lot 8110-19th Century Marble Top Pier Table

French Pier Table

Lot#-8210-French Pier Table

Lot#-8299-19th Century Mahogany Pier Table

Lot#-8299-19th Century Mahogany Pier Table

This old fashioned french vitrine could double as a coffee table and is a great way to display a favorite collection.

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Lot#-8404- French Vitrine

Lot- #8387 is a fabulous old English Regency Sideboard that could double as a cocktail bar and a television or media center could go in the base.

Lot#-8387-English Regency Sideboard

Lot#-8387-English Regency Sideboard

Not just for the kitchen…this brass baker’s stand provides great storage for any room in the house….  A perfect bookcase or étagère.

Lot#-8385-Brass Baker's Stand

Lot#-8385-Brass Baker’s Stand

or this English Regency version

Lot#-8274-English Etagere

Lot#-8274-English Etagere

This set of nesting tables are can provide extra surface space for parties or dinners in front of the television.

Lot#-8321-Adams style Nesting Tables

Lot#-8321-Adams style Nesting Tables

This beautiful marble stand would make a perfect plant stand and bring a little greenery into the room.

Lot#8226-Marble Stand

Lot#8226-Marble Stand

A French glass cabinet would dress up any apartment kitchen or dining room filled with glassware and dishes instead of hidden away in kitchen cabinets.

Lot#-8212 French Glass Cabinet

Lot#-8212 French Glass Cabinet

And finally this very decorative whatnot stand could hold towels in the bathroom, plants in the foyer or a collection of family photographs in the corner of your living room….

Lot#-8227- Decorative Whatnotstand

Lot#-8227- Decorative Whatnotstand

As with any antique purchase the piece will surely be a reflection of you, so buy what you love and you will find a place for it ! Click on any photo to visit our website http://www.kaminskiauctions.com and sign up to bid with KaminskiLIVE from the comfort of your home or on your mobile device !

Sorry for the long hiatus on writing this blog. I seem to get bogged down with writing press releases, pre and post every auction, social media and a  million other things that have to happen each month. My New Year’s resolution is to write, write, write, at least one post every single month if not more.

I would like to welcome Amy Cavilla as our new head of social media marketing. We have lots of fun things planned to keep you up to date on our Kaminski Auctions, and keep you informed on whats happening in the auction and art world. So be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram if you don’t already.

Amy Cavilla

I have so much to learn about social media but the one thing the experts keep telling me is that I need to engage my audience. Although this blog is not quite the same thing, I realized that the posts I got the most comments on were those I made personal.

Our social media campaign this month is “Some of Our Favorite Things” that sold this past year at Kaminski Auctions . So for my final post of 2014 I thought I would share with you some of my personal auction purchases of 2014 and how I used them to decorate my homes.

My first purchase of 2014 was from the May 20th Century/Decorative Arts and Modern sale and it was this Mies Van der Rohe for Knoll, Barcelona low table, “X” form with a chromed steel base and square glass top, circa 1950s.  An iconic table I purchased for $425.

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Mies Van der Rohe for Knoll, Barcelona low table

                                      

The exact same piece is selling on the popular Design Within Reach site for $1720. I used it as a coffee table in my Boston apartment.The glass top makes the apartment seem more spacious and airy. I unfortunately don’t have a photo of it to share. But you can see it works perfectly in a traditional or modern room.

A beautifully furnished traditional living room with a Mies Vander Rohe Barcelona table

A beautifully furnished traditional living room with a Mies Van der Rohe Barcelona table- Elle Decor photo

And a more modern apartment with the same table     Elle Decor phot

And a more modern apartment with the same table- Elle Decor photo

Another purchase which I absolutely love is this Mid Century root table.  It is really made  of grape vines from the vineyards in California but I thought it looked a lot like drift wood, and would work in my Nantucket home as a fabulous end table.

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It was described as a Northern California tree root table with glass top and I purchased it for $120.00.  I changed the black glass it was shown with to clear for a lighter more airy look as well. With the clear glass top you can see the beautiful roots below. Everyone who visited this summer loved this table.

A not so great auction purchase was this pair of carved continental style gilt wood planters that I paid $360.00 for.  They were an impulse purchase I made with a friend thinking they were” too over the top together” and we would each take one.

medium-9111.0_1They were also too garish all gilt. The plan was to wash them with a white paint and rub it off for a french washed wood effect or to paint different parts of them black for contrast and the French Empire look.  Needless to say neither one of us has had the time to do anything with them, so they were reconsigned to auction.  The beauty of a making a mistake purchase at auction is you can usually resell them at a future sale.

My two favorite purchases of 2014 were my last two. A beautiful console table constructed from a staircase segment.  It has  great provenance, as it was originally from the Newport, Rhode Island  home of Cornelius Vanderbilt.

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It is wrought iron with a sandstone top. A very mediterranean look.  I thought initially I would use it outside as a serving table on my loggia but found it was the perfect size and visually interesting enough to finish off my upstairs foyer.

Upstairs Foyer with New Console Table

Upstairs Foyer with New Console Table

Above the console table hangs an unusual Venetian mirror which is faux tortoiseshell. I purchased it some years ago at a Christie’s Interiors auction. Flanking the mirror on both sides are very large sepia photographs by Michael Kahn featuring exquisite details of two italian sculptures that stand in front of the Uffizi Gallery Museum in Florence, Italy.

At the Annual Thanksgiving auction I purchased this beautiful 19th century highly decorative Venetian mirror.  The glass surround has detailed images of gondolas and scenes of Venice.

medium-17008.0_1 It was the perfect thing to finish off my Venetian inspired bathroom with it’s very pink, very dramatic Designer Guild “gilded” wallpaper.  I carried the pink theme into the bathroom as it is just off the Venetian inspired dining room (from a previous post Updating a Traditional Dining Room, March 22, 2013).

My over the top Designers Guild wallpaper with my new Venetian mirror auction purchase.

My new Venetian mirror auction purchase.

The pièce de resistance of 2014 has to be my auction purchase from the “Oprah Winfrey Collection sale last November 2013.  Although from the previous year, I have to count it in this years purchases, as it arrived it the dead of winter in 2014 with four feet of snow on the ground.  After many months of searching for the perfect cistern and figuring out how the water would be pumped thorough the dolphins mouths and the center shell,here it is in it’s full glory.  The focal point of my loggia!

IMG_1388                     Happy Holidays to all and I wish you a great auction and decorating year in 2015 !

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I was fortunate to spend a lot of time on Nantucket this summer. Nantucket is an island 30 miles out to sea,south of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. It is known for its beautiful beaches, grey shingle houses covered in roses, it’s historic whaling tradition and hand woven “Nantucket” baskets.

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My New Dawn roses in full bloom !

My New Dawn roses in full bloom !

There is a Historic District Commission on the island that dictates every aspect of the design and construction of the houses, and has kept any and all chain stores (with the exception of Ralph Lauren) and fast food franchises from reaching our shores.

Photo by: follow pics.net

Photo by: follow pics.net

Traditionally homes on the island were decorated in nautical or casual chic beachy style. Think white walls, sea grass carpets, and overstuffed upholstered furniture in any shade of blue or sea green or simply slipcovered in white duck.

Photo: nauticalcottageblog.com

Photo: nauticalcottageblog.com

Photo: living.msn.com

Photo: living.msn.com

More formal homes along Main Street and in the downtown area, reflected the islands whaling tradition and were decorated in 19th century antiques with mahogany furniture, gilded mirrors and oriental carpets.

Photo: bummersaheadyay.blogspot.com

Photo: bummersaheadyay.blogspot.com

Thanks to the Historic District Commission all the homes look the same on the outside, but oh how things have changed on the inside! The young families building on the island now, have embraced the 20th Century and modern design trend that is popular today and have redefined island chic.

I was fortunate to be invited to tour a fabulous new house designed by the architectural firm BPC Architecture, and decorated as a collaborative project with Jennifer Palumbo doing the soft furnishings, Joel Olson designing the bathrooms, stone, tile and lighting and built by Joe Gamberoni of Cross Rip Builders. The original house was torn down and a wonderfully traditional shingle home was built in its place.

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Apart from the grey shingles and white trim nothing is traditional about this house. The minute I entered the front door the design features in this house” wow” you. I was so impressed with the clean white linear elements of the walls and glass staircases.  As you enter the front door a fabulous curved wall creates the foyer and distinguishes the living room from the entrance.

A fantastic light fixture in the entry.  The free standing curved wall creates the divide between the living room and foyer.

A fantastic light fixture in the entry and the free standing curved wall creates the divide between the living room and foyer.

Glass, wood and chrome staircase.

The glass, wood and chrome staircase.

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The more formal living area.

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The fireplace serves as a room divide as well.

A floating fireplace serves as the divide between the kitchen, family room and more formal living area. The light fixtures are modern white spheres or wonderful glass globes with a simple bulb that complement the modern clean lines of the house design.

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The bedroom furniture is built into the walls and closets, so no need for dressers or armoires.  Platform beds with upholstered headboards and side tables that float from the walls are an integral part of the clean crisp design.

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Everything is white, glass and chrome or natural wood with just pops of color in each room. The August issue of N magazine of Nantucket featured a similarly modern new home built on Squam road, by a London couple that summers on the island.  The article titled “Starting Fresh” shows some amazing interior and exterior shots of the new pool, pool house, and glass stairways that connect the different areas of the home. The original house on the property was owned by the infamous former CEO of Tyco International.

It is hard to believe these modern design concepts have reached the shores of this old whaling island, but as you can see it has!  One can see from opening any decorating magazine that modern and 20th century design is the fashion just now.

In response to this trend Kaminski  Auctions now holds 3-4 modern auctions a year .  This weekend on Sunday September 22, 2013 Kaminski will hold its fall 20th Century and Decorative Arts sale starting at 10:00am. Curated by our new 20th century specialist Kathryn Wilkins formerly of Treadway-Toomey Galleries in Cincinnati, Ohio. If you are a modern enthusiast check out this fabulous sale at our website http://www.kaminskiauctions.com today!

The new Restoration Hardware store on Newbury street opened in the month of March with great fanfare. It was accompanied with what seemed like the largest catalog mailing in history, that left us wondering “how did they afford to mail that”. Four books arrived to most Massachusetts zip codes, shrink wrapped in plastic, titled RH Interiors, RH Outdoor and Garden, RH Objects of Curiosity, and RH Tableware.

RH, as they now wish to be known, opened in the 40,000 square foot landmark Back Bay building that was once the home of Louis Boston, the high-end men’s retailer. The building itself was designed by architect William Preston in 1862, and was only the second building erected in Back Bay. At one time it housed the New England Museum of Natural History.

Restoration Hardware has completely renovated and restored the building to its former glory, with a spectacular glass elevator and a welcoming glass atrium outside on Newbury Street.

RH Boston Photo Courtesy of www.Boston.com

RH Boston
Photo Courtesy of http://www.Boston.com

The company is trying to reinvent itself from the original success story that started in 1980 as a niche business selling door knobs, hooks and hard to find hardware, to an up scale home furniture store selling an eclectic line of luxury home furnishings.

A visit to the new Boston store for RH is definitely worth the trip. It is truly an “eye candy” experience for anyone interested in design or decorating. The showrooms dazzle with multiple crystal chandeliers, and everything is monochromatic with oversized furniture in leather, linen, natural wood,and chrome.

RH Boston Interior photo-www.architecturaldigest.com

RH Boston Interior
photo-www.architecturaldigest.com

The store is truly beautiful and the merchandising excites and enthralls the visitor. Smartly dressed sales consultants walk around with IPads looking up your every question, as to dimensions, what other fabrics the furniture comes in and when it is available to ship.

Plush towels are stacked by graduating color hues in faux french armoires and there are home accessories everywhere,  but everything is by mail order, nothing is available to purchase and walk out of the store with. For those of us who like instant gratification, this is not the shopping experience for you…..or me.

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The furniture on display is so over scale, you have to wonder who can fit these pieces in their apartments or homes. Along with the over scale size comes a huge price tag.

Each week I see  the original antique furniture that have inspired these RH designs at our auctions, only more authentic, more interesting and with the wonderful patina that only comes with age.   Like purchasing a new car, the minute these pieces leave the showroom, they are worth a fraction of their original price.

With a bit of research in the past/sold items at Kaminski Auctions I want to share with you the Kaminski original and what it sold for and the RH reproduction, and you can decide for yourself.

The RH Interiors tome that arrived shows The RH Kensington leather sofa starting at $3795.

98" Kensington Leather Sofa  $3795 - $4615

98″ Kensington Leather Sofa
$3795 – $4615

This a wonderful old Chesterfield leather  sofa that sold at Kaminski Auctions DéCoR sale for        $1500.same beautiful shape, with the real patina of an old sofa.

Vintage Leather Chesterfield Sofa

Vintage Leather Chesterfield Sofa

84" RH Lancaster  Leather Sofa $3495 - $4285

84″ RH Lancaster Leather Sofa
$3495 – $4285

Brown leather 3 seater sofa $1300

Kaminski leather 3 seater sofa $1300

The same hold true for this wonderful old club chair .  The RH Lowell chair ..

RH Lowell Club Chair $1595-$1865

RH Lowell Club Chair $1595-$1865

and the comparison piece at Kaminski Auctions that sold for a fraction of the RH price.

English Style Leather Club Chair

English Style Leather Club Chair $850

The RH vintage french side chair.  just a copy of the french style side chairs at Kaminski    Auctions.

RH Vintage French Side Chair - $299.00

RH Vintage French Side Chair – $299.00

Recovered in a natural linen these chairs will give you the same look.

Mid 18th Century French Side Chairs

Mid 18th Century French Side Chairs $400

The RH French style bergère…

The RH Lorraine Chair $595-$710

The RH Lorraine Chair $595-$710

And again, a French bergère at auction covered in natural linen will give you the same look.

19th century, French Bergere armchair

19th century, French Bergere armchair $300

The Rh catalog states “Our Chandelier mixes the opulent sparkle of crystal with the rustic    restraint of a bronze finished frame.”

RH Florian Chandelier $1695.00

RH Florian Chandelier $1695.00

The chandeliers at Kaminski Auctions have the same opulent sparkle at a fraction of  the price.

French Style Iron and Crystal Chandelier

French Style Iron and Crystal Chandelier $300

RH Rococo Chandelier $1495-$2795

RH Rococo Chandelier $1495-$2795

French StyleCrystal Chandelier

Kaminski French Style Crystal Chandelier $500

French Empire Chandelier

RH French Empire Chandelier $1875

French Empire Crystal Chandelier $425

Kaminski French Empire Crystal Chandelier $425

If modern furniture is your thing.  We have that as well at our 20th Century Modern sales ! You will always find great modern design pieces from famous names like Mies van der Rohe, Nakashima, Sven Eriksson, Hans Wegner and many more.

Cantilevered Armchair $625

RH Cantilevered Armchair $625

Modern Sofa

Modern sofa

A CB2  leather Sofa from  our 20th Century Modern sale !

Mayfair Trunk $1595-$1895

RH Mayfair Trunk
$1595-$1895

The real thing from E. Goyard, Paris !

Antique Labeled French Trunk E.Goyard, Paris

Antique Labeled French Trunk E.Goyard, Paris $2,200

From their RH Objects of curiosity Catalog..

"A Meticulous Reproduction"

RH Vintage Paris Map $1695-$2495

Bowen Early Map of World

Bowen Early Map of World $225

Trophy Urn $449

RH Trophy Urn $449

Art Nouveau Silver-Plated Trophy                                                Art Nouveau Silver Plated Urn Estimate – $200-$300

I could go on and on with the comparisons, but you get the idea.  I do wonder who is buying this furniture.  Is it people who have no imagination, or just those to whom money is no object.  The experience left me very uninspired and I thought,  give me the thrill and excitement of  a good auction any day !

I am always looking for new and exciting ways to use furniture. Often, I fall in love with a particular piece, but don’t have the space or the need for it. Pinterest is a wonderful place to get inspiration (and first-timers beware…it is highly addictive!), and I stumbled upon the fabulous idea of converting beds, chairs, sideboards and dressers into benches.

These ideas are so incredible, and something I certainly never would have thought to do. Depending on your level of competency with power tools, you may need to enlist outside help for some of these ideas. Still, these are easy projects that are sure to transform your space and add a point of interest to your décor.

This is the first one that caught my eye. This person took the headboard and footboard of an antique bed, and cut the footboard in half to make a bench:

To check out this blogger’s step-by-step instructions visit: http://www.addicted2decorating.com/d-i-y-project-turning-a-headboard-and-footboard-into-a-bench.html.

This conversion will create a substantial-sized bench. Imagine it as additional seating in a breakfast nook. Paint it an eye-catching color, add a cushion and some bold throw pillows and place it in your entryway. Or wouldn’t it be the perfect seating for a mudroom? Place and label a storage bin for each member of your family underneath to conceal snow boots in the winter and sandals in the summer. Why not also try using weather-proof paint or top-coat and putting in your backyard or on your porch.

Another fun idea is taking the frame of antique chairs and converting it into a bench.

As you can see, this is a smaller scale final product and would look great as a piece of accent furniture in any room of your house. I love the idea of putting a bench at the foot of the bed, like this:

This is another twist on the same idea. You could paint every chair the same color to keep some uniformity, but don’t be afraid to mix and match!

I saved the project with the least amount of labor for last! This is a great way to gain both seating and storage in one piece of furniture:

This is a converted sideboard, but it would also work with a small dresser. The only updates you would need to make would be removing the legs, painting it your desired color or restoring the wood, and adding a cushion and pillows. Adding more decorative hardware would certainly brighten up the piece even more.

You can find the beds, chairs, sideboards, or dressers to create any of the above pieces at our monthly estate auctions. We always offer beautiful antiques and they often sell for reasonable prices. Last Saturday we held an on-site auction at the beautiful Devereaux Estate in Nahant, Massachusetts. The 700 lot sale was full of items such as this, just waiting to be updated and given a creative touch.

These would have been the perfect items to create benches, and they were all included in our last sale:

Lot #8201: Pair of early American maple twin rope beds

Lot #8202: 18th/19th century American maple rope bed

Lot #8342: 19th Century mahogany side chairs

Lot #8455: Three miscellaneous mahogany chairs.

Lot #8509: Pair of 20th Century chinoiserie decorated chairs

Lot #8549: Early 20th Century Hepplewhite-style mahogany sideboard

Antique Steamer trunks evoke the images of long transatlantic voyages or the British and European nobility embarking on the “Grand Tour”.   Though out of fashion as a form of luggage, they are fabulous and versatile as pieces of decorative furniture in today’s décor.

We recently sold this Louis Vuitton Steamer  Trunk with Tray in our June Estate sale for $6500.00 !  It would serve as a fabulous coffee table with a piece of glass on top and a wonderful conversation piece!

Louis Vuitton Steamer Trunk with Tray

And this other E. Goyard steamer trunk from our June Auction, sold for  $850.00 ! It is the perfect shape for a fabulous end table.

Used primarily in place of the traditional coffee table by decorators today, a fabulous trunk can  also serve as an ottoman at the foot of the bed providing wonderful storage for duvets, pillows and  off season storage of heavier blankets and quilts.

Or stacked in a corner for storage of heavy winter sweaters and coats and switched to summer clothes and lightweight linens as the seasons change!
In a more modern decor they can serve as an interesting platform for your flat screen television with one or two trunks stacked to the appropriate height.

From gallery.apartmenttherapy.com

From houzz.com

Two vintage suitcases stacked in a corner to the perfect height next to a bed make a wonderful and interesting nightstand and you could always spray a trunk white to update it’s look or match your color scheme !

From acozycanvas.blogspot.com

An 18th or 19th  century steamer trunk can have a surprisingly modern feel used in this way! Check out our monthly estate sales on our website for Louis Vuitton trunks, suitcases and much, much more for a truly inspired decor!

With all the Snow White movies hitting the nation’s cinemas, it reminded me of what an important role mirrors play in our home decor. Mirrors can make a small room appear larger, reflect and spread light, highlight the view, and add a lovely decorative touch to any living space.

We always have a large selection of mirrors available in our monthly Estate Auctions. From neoclassical to French trumeau to modern, and everything in between. We usually have a large selection and they go for very reasonable prices.

Imagine some of these objects in your own home. Perhaps above a small table in your entryway, above a mantel, or in a dining room:

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Lot #6118: 18th Century Italian Baroque Hand Painted Mirror (98.5″h x 48.5″w)

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Lot #6127: Late 19th Century Giltwood over mantle mirror (26″ x 62″)

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Lot #6177: 19th Century Italian Carved Giltwood Mirror (35″ x 27″)

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Lot #6228: Black and Gold Painted Mirror with Garland Element (40″h x 31″w)

Think outside the box of all the ways mirrors can be used to complete or update a room. All of the above mirrors will be up for sale in our June 16th Estate Auction. We invite you to join us at this, or any one of our sales, to discover an inspiring mirror to incorporate into your interior decor.

I love the idea of putting an oversized mirror behind a bath tub: