First Vistiors to the 15th Annual Garden Tour

First Vistiors to the 15th Annual Garden Tour

Yesterday was the scheduled 15th Annual Garden Tour for the Maine Music Society. Rain or shine this was the date. With a heavy rain filled month of rain you can imagine how fervent our prayers were to the patron Saint of sunshine. (Yes, one of our committee members Googled patron saints and voila there was Julie!)

 

 

 

Picturesque Floral Display in the Center of the Garden

Picturesque Floral Display in the Center of the Garden

 

And the sun would shine down on us on all fronts yesterday. Not only could it not have been a more beautiful day for the tour, which showcased a total of 7 gardens, but we would come out of it having raised monies, from tickets and raffle prizes equal to that of last year!

 

 

A Serene Setting in the Woods

A Serene Setting in the Woods

 

Chinese Antique Red Lacquer Box donated for the Maine Music Society Garden Tour Raffle

Chinese Antique Red Lacquer Box donated for the Maine Music Society Garden Tour Raffle

Antiques by Zaar was only one in  a long list of local businesses that contributed raffle prizes to offer as part of the fundraising efforts.

 

 

 

 

Was thrilled that I was able to contribute this as well as assist in a small way with an event that brings so much joy to so many people, supporting a group I am proud to be part of, namely the Androscoggin Chorale of the Maine Music Society.

 

This is my 4th year as a contributing alto in the chorale and I look forward to our next Season of making music and further fostering friendships along the way.

 

Yes, the sun is shining down on me!

(And again today as ALL of my children are home.)

Ruth Olbrych
www.antiquesbyzaar.com
ruth@antiquesbyzaar.com

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 The Brimfield Antique Show, in Brimfield MA is right around the corner; July 14-19 to be exact. It is renowned in its size and scope of offerings with folks traveling from across the nation to buy and sell. If you are into antiques/finds, this is “the” place for you!

 

Brimgfield Antique Show, Brimfield Mass.

Brimfield Antique Show, Brimfield Mass.

Antiques by Zaar did do a stint showing at Brimfield, with our last show being in the Fall of 2004, and as recently as this past January, a customer came my way directly because of my time at Brimfield. Yes, a friend of hers had purchased something from me at the show, shared with her my business card (more than 2 years ago) and this winter she called and placed an order herself, after quietly following my website all these years.

 

I can’t help but be delighted when a customer relates to me how they not only came upon my website/collection, but what further incited them to take the plunge and purchase from me. For, at times it is with genuine surprise that something we did, or put out there, literally years ago, still has impact with our prospects. Not only magazines, but events, such as our time at Brimfield, what is 5 years ago now, have great “shelf life”, as is evident by this chronicled scenario.

 

Brimfield, Mass. customer shares photo of their Antiques by Zaar purchase in thier

Brimfield, Mass. customer shares photo of their Antiques by Zaar purchase in thier

 

Aside from this obvious benefit to our business I will always remember with fondness the opportunity to share with my kids the time that Antiques by Zaar was on the road, doing antique shows. They would help load/off load the truck, keep good company on the long drives and be good sports about working the shows in all kinds of weather.

 

All good and yes, it does ALL count!

Ruth Olbrych
www.antiquesbyzaar.com
ruth@antiquesbyzaar.com

American And Canadian Flags Flying at the Olbrych's

American And Canadian Flags Flying at the Olbrych's

With myself being Canadian and husband being American, and as such our children having dual citizenships, we feel it appropriate to fly both flags at our home in Maine, and we proudly do just that. Similarly, with Canada Day and Independence Day back on back this week we feel it timely to acknowledge our gratefulness for the opportunities afforded to us by citizenship in each of these fine countries.

 

We are also grateful for the experiences afforded our children by way of the years we spent living in Asia. And although we don’t fly flags for Thailand and Taiwan we certainly acknowledge our time there by the furnishings and accents throughout our home. (Of course with a little punch from Haiti, where Mark and I met and lived pre children.)Yes, we were pretty much “full up” even before we started this business of importing and selling Chinese Antique Furniture.

 

Asian Antique Furnishings in the Olbrych Home

Asian Antique Furnishings in the Olbrych Home

 

However, it doesn’t make it any less tempting to want to change things up abit and take any number of the beautiful pieces from our new shipments and give such a permanent home in our own home. Must say that with the warehouse moved from Maine to North Carolina it does deter this impulse somewhat. And so, I must remain satisfied with offering a wonderful selection of Chinese antiques to make available for you and YOUR home.

 

Delicate Artwork Adorning this Chinese Antique Sideboard

Delicate Artwork Adorning this Chinese Antique Sideboard

 

Happy to advise that we have a container en route and due to arrive mid July. Enjoy the sneak peak on a few items here and check out all at our FOTKI link. And, of course, our full inventory can be viewed by visiting our online retail store at www.antiquesbyzaar.com .

Traditional Chinese Antique Elmwood Altar Table, with carved Spandrels

Traditional Chinese Antique Elmwood Altar Table, with carved Spandrels

 Ruth Olbrych
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www.antiquesbyzaar.com
Ruth@antiquesbyzaar.com

Although I just did a blog on the usage of Chinese screens I wanted to share with you the blog that Gaita Interiors just put out with a similar bend, titled Chinoisiere Screen: A Timeless Interior Design Classic.

Gaitia Interiors Logo

Gaitia Interiors Logo

 

Meg Braff Interiors June House Beautiful

Meg Braff Interiors June House Beautiful

Her blog was not only informative but a pictorial delight, including, among other photographic references, this image as created by Meg Braff Interiors and showcased in issue of House Beautiful.

 

After showcasing the multitude of venues screens are used she offers resources for those that want to create the look themselves and DYI, followed by sharing with you sources for buying the “real deal”, and that’s where we come in.

 

Chinese Antique Four Panel Screen

Chinese Antique Four Panel Screen

So glad we found each other on Twitter and are able to serve each other as resource. Thank you Leona for the added exposure for our business and hope I can do the same for you.

 

Ruth
www.antiquesbyzaar.com

It is not uncommon for me to hear from prospective customers a sense of insecurity as they ponder an on line purchase of a large item, like, let’s say, a desk. Such was the case for Liz, in New York City, as she was scouring the internet for pieces to accent her apartment. Our conversations online and eventually on the phone started back in January 2003 and the base of a relationship was formed.

 

Chinese Antique Desk and Chair in New York City

Chinese Antique Desk and Chair in New York City

The photo above showcases the desk that Liz was pondering, and did indeed purchase. Allow me to share with you the email I received after delivery of the desk, which you can also see in the Home Gallery section of our website.

 

 

“The desk arrived, right on schedule. I’ve been trying to compose a note that would express my appreciation for your service and how pleased I am with this piece of furniture without sounding “over the top” but I guess I’m just going to have to gush a little bit. First, the desk is beautiful. Frankly, the picture on your web site did not do the finish justice. I’m still amazed that I bought something this beautiful over the internet with no hassle and no problem. You made the entire process not only painless but fun. Thank you again for everything and I look forward to finding enough room to fit in another piece. Best to your family, (human and canine)” 02/06/03

 

 

Chinese Antique Red Lacquer Desk from Antiques by Zaar

Chinese Antique Red Lacquer Desk from Antiques by Zaar

Yes, I was able to garner Liz’s confidence enough for her to not only purchase the 3 piece traveler’s desk, but over the course of the years to purchase a total of 17 pieces from Antiques by Zaar; some of which she placed in her NYC apartment and some which she has placed in her vacation home in Cape Porpoise Maine, the latter which I enjoyed seeing first hand when visiting her last summer. During my visit I grabbed some photos which you can see in our Galleria of Collectors on our website. I think you’ll agree that the Asian infusion works very well in the relaxed setting of a vacation home.

 

 

Chinese Antique Traveling Desk of Elmwood

Chinese Antique Traveling Desk of Elmwood

Our pieces are indeed one of a kind and although Liz’s desk as such has not been available again to us, we do have in stock a lovely natural wood toned Elmwood traveler’s desk. Our signature rubbed wax finish has been applied to this desk which hails from the Shanxi province of China. The inverted bat hardware (Fu, which means “Good Luck”) on the drawers adds further character to this simply stated and functional piece.

 

 

And if you like bamboo we can offer you the below desk, which is en route from China along with a container of other pieces, which you can view by visiting this Link. For our complete collection of desks you can visit our DESK section on our site.

 

Chinese Antique Red Lacquer Bamboo Desk

Chinese Antique Red Lacquer Bamboo Desk

Should be no surprise that I would have a Chinese desk (or two) in my own home and leave you with this photo of our reading room, with desk in place.

Chinese Antique Black Lacquer Desk and Chair

Chinese Antique Black Lacquer Desk and Chair

Ruth Olbrych
www.antiquesbyzaar.com

Almost 10 years ago to the date, we made the bold move to the United States after living in Asia for just shy of a decade. We had enjoyed our time and the people in Asia and wanted to keep that sentiment strong, surrounding ourselves with memorabilia in our new home in rural Maine.

 

View of my office with my Chinese Antiques

View of my office with my Chinese Antiques

 

The chairs and screens shown here are part of a “housewarming” gift from my husband, to further add that flavor of Asia to our home. The gift that keeps on giving though, is the business we established, importing and selling Chinese Antiques. Buying an antique can be very “personal” and I am happy to be able to add to that my own special touch as I try and make buying an antique from Antiques by Zaar the next best thing to going to China yourself.

 

Although I’m decidedly keeping this set of folding screens, over the years we have been able to locate and sell similar sets to our customers. Commonly used as room dividers, or as backdrops, they have also been used otherwise.

 

Chinese Antique Screens used as Decorative Wall in the dining room

Chinese Antique Screens used as Decorative Wall in the dining room

 

 Chantal Lawrence, of Total Design Source in Old Saybrooke CT, found us online in 2001 and has been an Antiques by Zaar customer/friend since then. She backed a set of screens/doors with mirrors and mounted them on a wall to serve as backdrop in the dining room of her Asian infused home. Unquestionably, a wonderful and innovative way to use these carved screens. You can find TDS in our Designer Directory.

 

The carved screens were generally made of Elmwood and often carved on one side, leaving the back side flat, to facilitate the attachment of semi-transparent protective paper or cloth, for they were used as we would use glass in a window.

 

Chinese Antique Window Screen as Decorative Wall Art

Chinese Antique Window Screen as Decorative Wall Art

The screen shown here is in an Antiques by Zaar customer’s home in Guilford CT. This particular screen is made of pine and is intricately carved. It was a  perfect fit in the space he had between two rooms in his new house. The accenting of the stone statue on a simple Chinese bench, placed in front of the screen completes this lovely setting.

 

Some screens tell a story, such as this set of seven panels which hail from the Fujin province of China and date to circa 1890.

 

 

Set of 7 Fujin Chinese Antique Panels

Set of 7 Fujin Chinese Antique Panels

Chinese Antique Window Screen

Chinese Antique Window Screen

Others are more basic, showing the status of the previous owner as being much “less than” that of the owner of the decorated set shown above. These screens not only serve well on any wall, but would also fill in well hanging loosely inside of a window frame.

 

No matter the stature of the previous owners there is beauty to be found in the either the simplicity or the complexity of carving on what we know as traditional Chinese carved window and door panels. You can visit our offerings on our website and also see more of how our customers are placing Chinese antiques in their homes, in our Home Gallery.

Ruth Olbrych
www.antiquesbyzaar.com

We’re pleased that we are able (as we have since inception of our web based business in 2000) to continue offering a selection of Tibetan pieces to our customers. And here would like to offer a small introduction to Tibetan furniture in general as well as to pieces we have in specific.

A 2003 Antiques by Zaar customre uses this Antique Tibetan Sideboard as a base to display her golden gilded horse.

A 2003 Antiques by Zaar customre uses this Antique Tibetan Sideboard as a base to display her golden gilded horse.

Furniture was rarely used in Tibet, other than by the wealthy and the religious, and as such not a surprise that most pieces were found in the monasteries. Although simple in form it is the decorative and colorful artwork that makes the Tibetan pieces stand out.

 

Antique Tibetan Book Cabinet

Antique Tibetan Book Cabinet

Although you will find some darker toned piece it is more common to see pieces that are on the vibrant side of colorful with the prevalent colors being shades of red, yellow and green, with dabs of blue. Painting was generally reserved for the façade of the piece with the tops more often than not being red or just left in natural wood tone. Favored woods used are fir, pin and other Himalayan soft woods.

 

Themes commonly depicted on the furniture are of Buddhist symbols (such as the three jewels, Buddha, Dharma and Sangha), power symbol creatures (such as intertwined dragons, lion, tiger, mystical giling, elephant or birds), and ritual offerings including flowers and fruits.

Often times these themes, with their vibrant color schemes are enhanced by the use of gesso, which is the working of a gypsum paste, allowing for the creation of raised painted decoration, which simply adds further allure to these pieces.

 

Tibetan Antique Sideboard

Tibetan Antique Sideboard

Joinery on the pieces is simple. No nails or screws used, similar to traditional Chinese antiques and doors simply in place by pegs that are placed in carved holes. In fact often times it is hard to discern which panels on the cupboards open and which are solid as pulls are not always used to differentiate a door from a solid panel.

Traditional Tibetan Antique Cabinet

Traditional Tibetan Antique Cabinet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more information on Tibetan Furniture might I recommend Tibetan Furniture: Identifying, Appreciating, Collecting, by the renowned expert in the field, Chris Buckley.

Ruth Olbrych
www.antiquesbyzaar.com
Ruth@antiquesbyzaar.com

Tibetan Furniture: Identifing, Appreciating, Collecting by Chris Buckley

Tibetan Furniture: Identifing, Appreciating, Collecting by Chris Buckley