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These low chests with their rounded lids can be used for storage of blankets or out-of-season clothing. The hallway, if it is wide enough, is a good place for one of these; or a stair landing, again if space permits. A framed seascape or whaling scene would look very good hanging above.
There are two kinds of spinning wheels: the large wool wheel and the smaller flax wheel. Not actually a piece of furniture, still, it is used as decoration in the house. It is difficult to deter mine the age of a spinning wheel, for they were made and used over such a long expanse of time.
Small flax wheels are often placed near the fireplace. The larger wool wheels take up more space even though they are so narrow. One of the most effective places in which we have seen one displayed is at the top landing of a stairway, where it can be seen from the floor below and also from the street, since there is a window on the landing. Another attractive place would be in front of a picture window.
TABLES AND CHESTS
All sorts of tables and chests of dubious age are to be found. It will be best to take time to look them over very carefully, for it might well be that what does not look like much at first may be valuable after all. One such discovery was made by a couple searching for a hanging cabinet for their kitchen. They chanced across what seemed to be a very old cabinet, but they could not tell exactly because it had been painted all over even to the glass in the door, and had been used as a medicine chest in a basement. They liked the shape of the piece and took a chance, buying it for five dollars. After they had removed the paint they discovered, much to their pleasure, that eleven of the twelve tiny panes of glass were the original hand blown glass and that the wood was curly maple.
Search for signs of age in construction, style, period, hardware and finish. Develop your eye for spotting pleasing line and good style, so that you will be able to find that one good article hiding amid all the junk. One good "find" will overbalance a hundred disappointments and is well worth the effort.
The hand-painted china that our grandmother loved so much is scorned by most antique collectors. True, it hasn't the age nor the sophistication to be accredited as such, and yet much of it has merit. The soft coloring and the naturalistic flowers endear themselves to most women. Extra china is always useful in any household, and painted china has a second feature to recommend it-it can be so effectively displayed in china cabinets or on open Welsh dressers. Used this way, it can add the accent color to a room. The larger plates can be hung on the wall with plate hangers that do not show, thus giving the appearance of a round picture.
When choosing hand-painted china, look first of all for artistically good painting, colors you most prefer, and of course for good china as the base.