Thursday, March 16, 2017

Staff Picks: Our Materials Unlimited Favorites

By Gretchen Sawatzki
Antique French Art Deco light fixture.
Photo by Hannah Manning
for Materials Unlimited

The staff at Materials Unlimited see a lot of great antiques come through the door and at any given moment we have our favorites. Here's our current list of staff picks!

1. Antique French Art Deco Three Arm Bowl Fixture

This beautiful antique Art Deco light fixture is our General Manager, Scotty's current favorite. "This [light fixture] represents a complete design: the grape and grape leaf motif is carried out on all of the glass as well as the canopy."

Signed "Noverdy, France, Depose," this fixture embodies all the beauty that makes up classical French Art Deco design of the 1920s.


2. Antique Gothic Ceiling Light Fixture

Antique Gothic light fixture.
Photo by James Wilson.
Massive in scale, and unique in design, this ecclesiastical Gothic light fixture pick is brought you courtesy of our Director of Marketing & Advertising, James. "I love the fact that we saved 9 of these fixtures from the Genessee County Property Impound. They were confiscated from a Gothic church located in Flint, Michigan that was built in the 1920s. All of the fixtures needed restoration and we were able to combine parts from several fixtures to fully-restore a few. The left over parts were repurposed to make new, custom fixtures."

3. Antique Late Victorian Quartersawn Oak Full Mantel

This antique Late Victorian quartersawn full mantel pick is our Architectural Preservation & Design Consultant Michael's favorite item in the shop right now! "It is a quintessential example of the 'Massive Mode'... that form otherwise referred to generically as 'Late Victorian'. Heavy, chunky detailing, oversized scale, and a combination of stylistic motifs such as foliate curl carvings, architectural forms, and early Neoclassical themes are hallmarks of this relatively short, transitional period of furniture and interior architectural ornamentation. It serves as transitional style between the Renaissance Revival style ornamentation and the emergence of Arts and Crafts forms." And, if Michael hasn't convinced you of how amazing this mantel is, "we also resurrected this piece...it had a dark and heavy plastic-like finish, and we completely stripped, repaired, and reassembled it. It's a lovely snapshot of what we can do and offer here, both on the sales floor and the restoration shop."

To see our restoration of this one-of-a-kind mantel, check out our blog post, Before and After: Antique Full Mantel.

Antique Late Victorian quartersawn oak full mantel.
Photo by Hannah Manning for Materials Unlimited.


The next staff pick comes courtesy of Shipping Coordinator, Sales Associate, and Wizardess, Hannah. "One of my current favorites is a simple, little pendant [light] fixture. I like the simple lines, they compliment and really showcase the elegant Art Nouveau floral motif. The combination of colors used with the floral design evokes the artwork of [illustrator] W.W. Denslow."



The last staff pick comes courtesy of yours truly, Social Media Specialist, Gretchen. To quote myself, "I've always admired the bold geometric shapes and simplicity of Art Deco design, but my absolute favorite Art Deco items are always the petite porcelain bathroom wall sconces. Their shape, minimalist design, and charm always bring a smile to my face, plus they can be installed in any type of bathroom, whether it be a historic restoration or contemporary home, they just work!" For more on porcelain light fixtures check out our blog post, Porcelain Light Fixtures of the 1920s. 

Antique Art Deco porcelain wall sconce.
Photo by Hannah Manning for Materials Unlimited.

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