04 February 2013

More on the little bench that could

A young, armless bench looking for love; may 2010
So, we left off the other day with me finally painting this bench I bought in Austin off of Craig's List. I was having a grand old time sanding and painting, then I got to the under side of the seat part to paint. As I was going at it, I noticed there was a logo on the bottom. 

My heart dropped, because that usually means that someone worthwhile made the furniture and I had possibly just painted a piece of American history. It pains me when people paint antiques (and sometimes "shabby" them) because real craftsmen made that furniture with their own two hands, and gosh darn it, that wood just needs some tender loving care. I was horrified at the thought that I had just done the same.

I hopped on the Googles and searched for the information I found on the symbol- Nichols & Stone Company, Gardener, Massachusetts. It was a real American company, who has been making furniture since 1857! A little more research led to me to the photos below, that show that the bench originally came in a number of paint styles and was mass produced. And my bench used to have beautiful arms! I knew it used to have arms, because of the holes in the sides, but I didn't know they were so beautifully designed!
white with stenciling
black with gold and mint stenciling
natural wood
Black with gold detailing
I'm a little bummed that I painted over the original paint that the bench was sold with, but it might have been ready for a change anyway, having lost its arms.
Maybe I'll make it new arms!
 Here it is with a nice coat of emerald green on:
And now I have written a long post about a bench.

1 comment:

  1. Yesss! The armless bench! I cannot believe the history behind that line of furniture. That's insane but also wildly amazing (even if it's painted over, it doesn't take away from it's character). But I gotta say it - I'm kind of obsessed with that green paint you finished it off with!