I’ve got a great story for you today, one involving antique French Renaissance chairs, the famous Aztec calendar stone, and singer Axl Rose, of the band Guns N’ Roses!
Yep, it’s hard to see how those all fit together, but read on… I’ll start from the beginning.
I met Bernard M. through our antique furniture store on Etsy. He asked about this set of antique French Renaissance chairs but he needed 8 chairs not 6.
The antique French Renaissance chairs Bernard liked are finely crafted in walnut wood with embossed leather upholstery. The 6 chairs date to 1900, carved with shells and swags. They have a lovely floral nailhead trim. So far, so good, but Bernard wanted 8 chairs not 6, so I suggested combining a similar set of antique Renaissance chairs that also featured embossed leather, spindle carvings, and those sexy curvy stretchers. He said yes!
It turns out that all 12 chairs fit around his massive table that came with his new home in Hawaii. Bernard and Carol were in the process of moving from Switzerland to the Big Island, so we had to time the shipping of the chairs to arrive at approximately the same time as their load of furniture.
When Bernard shared the photos of the chairs, I had to find out about the unique table and he told me that the table is a reduced-scale (7ft diameter) reproduction of the Piedra del Sol. (See this Wikipedia entry for the history of the Aztec sun stone or calendar stone, one of the most famous works of Aztec sculpture.)
“We were told it was a gift — a housewarming present, perhaps — from Axl Rose, of the band Guns N’ Roses, to his band manager, the original owner of the house, which would make it about 25 years old,” said Bernard. “Obviously, unlike the original, it’s not stone! It’s not any synthetic stone either: it’s hollow metal, to keep the weight manageable and to render the very deep indentations of the original, painted to make it look like stone. (I am glad they did not attempt to paint it the way the original was thought to have been painted with very bright reds — for blood – plus blues and yellows, etc.)
“The pedestal does not really fit the style (it’s a classic motif of intertwined leafy branches), but it’s inconspicuous and so it’s OK,” continued Bernard. “There is no “original” for a pedestal for a round table from Aztec culture anyway.
“It was one of the two pieces of furniture from the sellers that we asked remain with the house — as the sellers themselves had obviously done when they had bought the house from the original owner,” said Bernard. “It is not a “comfortable” piece: it looks stunning in the space, but, once one looks at the designs on the top, it becomes disturbing.”
I guess that doesn’t bother the cute kitty stretched out on the antique Renaissance chairs!
Bernard added: “The views are fantastic — I am attaching a pure view picture, taken from the window at the kitchen sink (makes washing dishes more pleasant, but slows down the pace