Monday, March 30, 2009

Love this!

This beautiful chest is currently one of our favorite antique pieces at Willa Home. You can really see in this example why it's called flame mahogany.
Flame or crotch-cut mahogany is cut at the crotch where a limb protruded from the trunk of the tree, producing a flame-like figuring. Flame sounds so much more elegant than crotch-cut, don't you think?
It's a cutting technique also used with other fine hardwoods, including walnut, and is extremely expensive, given the limited number of major limbs on any trunk. It is a hallmark of quality in furniture construction and is highly-prized for its inherent beauty.
This piece would be great in a bedroom but even better in a dining room or entry hall where the fire in the woodgrain can really be seen.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

More on James Jeffries, the boxer.

We received a surprising amount of emails yesterday asking for some more information of our boxer.
We have dated the painting to the early 1900's. The painting is of Jeffries in his prime. It is signed and the signature was extremely difficult to read but we think we finally figured it out. It turns out the artist lived down in the San Diego area at the same time as Jeffries lived there. Jeffries was 6 feet tall and the painting is 6'8" so it is a really impressive scale.
We had no idea when we got the painting that he was a famous boxer, we just knew we liked him. The ironic part is that an ephemera dealer happened to walk in our store for the first time the day we brought the painting in and immediately identified him. Because in his previous life he worked in the boxing world. What are the odds?

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Boxer

The mystery has been solved about the new man in our lives! The handsome subject of this old, rather large (6'8"tall) oil portrait has been identified as Jim Jeffries. He is a fairly recent addition to Willa Home and has been enjoying a bit of notoriety being a famous old boxer from the early 1900's. Wouldn't he be gorgeous in a man's library or game room? The painting has some repair spots and has been relined. But he is stopping men and women in their tracks when they see him!

James Jackson Jeffries ("The Boilermaker") (April 15, 1875 – March 3, 1953) was a world heavyweight boxing champion. He was also a sparring partner of Gentleman Jim Corbett. He started boxing as an amateur at age 16 until he turned professional at age 20.
Jeffries stood 6 ft (183 cm) tall and weighed 225 pounds (102 kg) in his prime. Despite his bulk, Jeffries was a trained sprinter who could run 100 yards (91 m) in just over ten seconds, and could purportedly high jump over 6 feet (180 cm).
He was known for fighting in a crouch position learned from his trainer which can be seen in the portrait above and the second photo below.

Jeffries has the record for the quickest KO in a heavyweight title fight ever, which was 55 seconds. We think he is a knockout!