Wednesday, April 8, 2015


A Pair of 19th c. Napoleon III vitrines

Yesterday, I had one of our top interior design clients stop in and ask, "Buzz, where are the vitrines?" Pronounced "vuh-TREENS."

But she looked a bit disheveled. Plus I'm getting a bit hard of hearing-so I honestly thought she asked "where are the latrines." Pronounced "luh-TREENS." So I said, "Second door on your left sweetie…and after you've freshened up, let's look at some antiques!" She seemed a bit confused but headed for the restroom.

A Pair of 19th c. Biedermeier Vitrines, these filled with antique tortoiseshell boxes

Unfortunately (for me and her) a latrine isn't exactly a vitrine. A latrine is an outhouse, especially a communal one, like this one:

This piece is not available at C. Mariani so please don't contact me about it.

You can see that a latrine is quite different from a vitrine, which is a glass or partial glass display case or cabinet. Like the vitrines shown earlier in this post, here's another vitrine we have in stock:

A Stately 18th C. Parcel Gilt and Polychrome Italian Louis XVI Vitrine

And so are these:

A Pair of 19th c. English mahogany, brass and glass vitrines

Anyhow, my client returned from the restroom and said she couldn't find a single vitrine in there! But her lipstick and hair now looked great. So I just said, "Really? Oh yeah, I forgot, that vitrine sold. But let me show you some others! :)

So off we went and she wound up purchasing a lovely Louis XV vitrine very similar to this one:

In this case, I agree with Shakespeare: "All's well that ends well!" Happy hunting for a vitrine of your very own! :)

Sunday, April 5, 2015


Picture this: you're in an important job interview and you find your prospective boss very attractive. There's nothing wrong with that.

But then you make an impulsive misstep trying to show her how much you really want the job:

But you quickly realize your pathetic behavior, get off your knees, regain your composure and continue with the interview:

You start concentrating on smiling, acting poised, sounding smarter than you are, and above all appearing sophisticated and urbane. Which doesn't make a lot of sense because the job you want is an entry level position at your local Jack in the Box. What's the title? Oh yeah, "Fry and Shake Station Operator."

But let's face it, you need the money (albeit minimum wage). Just be thankful you've kicked that nasty coke habit (the one that put every dime of your family fortune up your nose). So you need to go for it here. I say BULLY FOR YOU BUD (this Bud's for YOU!).

Then, while she's asking some question about how hot the oil needs to be to properly crisp the fries, you're noticing how luxurious this woman's office is:

Then you start wondering how much she's worth....I mean, just look at those pillows and how they're perfectly karate chopped (a tired look but nobody's perfect). You're thinking this chick must make a fortune here! That means you could make a ton of dough as you climb the Jack in the Box corporate ladder! Buzz's side note: I do not endorse or use sexist words like chick but this guy's a moron.

And behind her you spy that 18th c. Georgian Gainsborough chair and wonder how much she paid for that little gem. Wowee zowee! Things are definitely looking up!

But then she pauses...and notices you looking around appraising her furniture. Uh oh. She looks you dead in the eye and says one word: "Gauffrage!" Pronounced "GO frahzh!"

OK so you're busted - what the hell does "GO Frogs!" mean?

Maybe she was a cheerleader at Texas Christian University…at TCU football games they scream GO FROGS constantly. It's very annoying--wouldn't CROAKING be more creative? Of course it would.

Speaking of football, I also like "ALL THE WAY IN ONE PLAY!!!!!" That's a football chant too, right? And now that I think about it, that's what we said in high school when you got wayyyy past first base with a hot date! :/  And what about S-C-O-R-E !!!!-that chant meant the same thing! I guess gauffrage has a lot more to do with football frogs and their sex lives than I ever imagined! Don't believe me?? Below is a pic of the TCU mascot and DO YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MASCOT IS??? It's called a "horned frog." Not kidding--Google it. I rest my case.

Texas Christian University's mascot: A Horned Frog

But back to our story-so you keep your cool….you just need to figure out how to respond to Gauffrage!---(this is a multiple choice question) - Should you say:

1. Bless you! Or if she's of German descent, say Gesundheit! "Pronounced "Guh-zoont-hite!" It's always smart in interviews to show you're conversant in multiple languages (especially if the interviewer looks Aryan and/or possibly Germanic. By the way, if you're Germanic, please know that IT IS TREATABLE).

But back to the our topic…what was our topic? Oh yeah, how do you answer her saying Gauffrage!

2. Maybe she's proposing a toast and you got the job while you were daydreaming! Yay! If that's the case, then maybe you should answer: Chin chin Fraulein! And wait for her to pop a cork;

3. Or maybe you should jump to your feet, outraged, and scream:  DON'T MESS WITH ME MISSY! This is a trick question! I happen to be an expert in linguistics, French fries AND textiles! Gauffrage is a technique that embosses plain fabric with a hot pressure cylinder that melts a pattern into the fabric (usually silk or cotton) making it permanent and really expensive."

A Gauffrage Rolling Cylinder

Obviously, "Don't Mess with Me Missy" is the right answer. So be assertive when you say it and then just lean back, look smug, smirk every-so-slightly (I mean who busted who this time?!), and just wait for her to apologize. But she doesn't. Instead she rips up your resume (it was mostly bogus anyhow) and calmly says, "Don't let the door hit you in the ass you piss-ant." :(

OK, fine, you didn't get the job, but I think it was worth it, don't you? You don't need no stinkin' fast food job. You need to go and apply at Prada, Jimmy Choo or C. Mariani Antiques. Why? Because that's where the gauffrage is. 


P.S. Doesn't gauffrage remind you of flocked wallpaper? Ewwww.