These are images from our Chicago home because the India apartment doesn’t have a fireplace or mantle. Actually the India apartment doesn’t have anything in it, really. But we’re working on that …
We certainly need the fireplace in these frigid early December days. Because here’s the view out the window by the fireplace:
Brrrrrrrrrr! Let’s turn around and look the other way. It’s warmer. And warm colors too.
The boxes we purchased at an antiques store in Chiang Mai, Thailand. And yes we are aware of the difference between the “new” antique shops at the Night Market and other places. These are supposed to be either vintage or antique, I don’t recall which. Certainly hope they are new for the price at an antiques store. Actually one of these may be from a shop in Cochin, India. I am forgetting what’s what now when I mix them all together. We did look at many new boxes in Chiang Mai but the older ones had extra depth and detail to them.
The candlesticks are samples we received many years ago for a business we had. They were made in Delhi. They were produced in the business of a nice gentleman who we traveled to New Jersey to meet, and while they were driving us to their home, the driver mentioned he had just arrived in the U.S. and this was among his first few days driving on his own. Um, gulp, did we really need to know that? Actually I kind of figured it out pretty quickly … these are the stories I like to remember. Much more fun than buying candlesticks at Macy’s.
Here are more boxes and candlesticks on the mantle:
About the candlestick samples, it was so much fun opening that box so many years ago and pulling them all out! One thing I will always regret is asking Mr. Jolly to modify the candlesticks by removing all the color and gold ornamentation. At the time, my eyes were shocked by all these fantastical pieces coming out of the box. It was overwhelming. Now, I see the travesty in removing all their personality. I’m so glad these were spared and they’re still with us. But someone made and sold candlesticks as they should be — the smallest one here is from a Goodwill store. I saw it and decided it needed to live with others like it.
And yes we are looking at an alpaca teddy bear there. Everything on the mantel looked so hard all together, and this fuzzy guy needed a place to sit. So he is there. We got him from a market in Penn Yan in the Finger Lakes region of New York State. He needs to be out of the reach of the cats so they don’t chew on him and drag him all over the house, because he really can’t defend himself too well. So those are all good reasons as any to mix him with candlesticks and Burmese boxes.
I love this one:
Next to the fireplace is a Chinese cabinet we found in Baan Tawai, Thailand. On top of it are new Burmese style lacquer boxes also from Baan Tawai, Thailand. Plus bells found in India, one in Bangalore and the other is a yak bell from Sikkim.
So for holiday decorating, this room is already festive with all the red. I usually just tuck some evergreens and berries around the items on the mantle and hang stockings. Then build a roaring fire in the fireplace, sit back, and enjoy.
(To learn more about lacquer from Burma, check out the book “Visions from the Golden Land – Burma and the art of lacquer.”)