Monday, May 02, 2011

Get Thee From A Nunnery

Back in the 50's and 60's, my grandmother (for whom I am named) had an antique shop on State Street in Jackson, Mississippi. To find items for her shop, she scoured the countryside for treasures. On one trip to New Orleans she found a pile of chairs on the street outside a nunnery. My guess is that sometime between 1960 and 1974, my grandmother was in the right place at the right time when these chairs were being thrown out with the trash. The best I can figure from a little bit of internet research, is that the chairs came from the old Ursuline Convent, which, in 1960, was declared a National Historic Landmark.

My parents have the chairs around their breakfast table in Mississippi. Either my grandmother collected all of the chairs outside the convent and sold one, or someone else gathered a few, because surprisingly enough, this one, the one in the painting, was discovered at The Guild Shop here in Houston.

The Guild Shop is a consignment/re-sale shop with an ever changing inventory. When the Amazing Reese and I got married, we, as mentioned before, were so poor we couldn't even afford the "o" and the "r" in poor. We were just po. To furnish our home, I followed in my grandmother's footsteps, scouring the streets and re-sale shops for almost every piece of furniture we have. On one of my many trips to the Guild Shop, I saw this chair and, of course, recognized it immediately.

The Guild Shop lists three prices on each item they sell. The highest price is a "buy it now" price. The second lower price is generally one month later, with the final lowest price marked at the beginning of the third month. Taking a chance (because we were po,) I waited until the final markdown price to buy it. (I even put the final markdown date on the calendar.) At the front door when the Guild Shop opened the beginning of that third month, I hurried to the chair to claim it. On my heels, another person was coming for the same chair, also having put the date on his calendar for the final markdown, and was supremely disappointed to have missed it.

This trash to treasure chair is one of my favorite pieces of furniture in our home and is living happily in the art studio. (I honestly can't verify the history of this particular chair, but the eight chairs around my parent's breakfast table are just like it, and I'd like to think that my grandmother touched this chair, too.)


erinhazel said...

bootyfull story

Sarah Hazel said...

Thank you sweet Erin

Sarah Hazel said...

Oh, bootyfull. chair. I just got it. Funny.