Thursday, August 25, 2011

Losing My Marble

"Imagine how it would feel to be surrounded only by things you use and love."                      Karen Kingston

The blogging world can be the most beautiful place.  Here houses are always warm and inviting, gardens are blooming, children and pets are clean, well groomed and have perfect manners...  

Looking for its 'best' side...

Welcome to my home.  The alligator head was the only souvenir my husband wanted from New Orleans.  (I blame the History Channel television show "SWAMP PEOPLE.")

Me?   I wanted this. 

Compared to some of the other stuff in this shop, it was a very simple fireplace mantel.

It must have called to me while I was walking down the street. I popped into a little light shop with lots of chandeliers, lots and lots of chandeliers (I couldn't resist saying to the owner, "So it looks like everyone is going with ceiling fans this year."). I asked if I could take pictures, he said, "Sure." I walked through the store and suddenly, from across the well lit room, I saw this beauty.

The more I looked at it, the more I liked it.

"Oh, there you are." I heard myself say.   Right out loud.  It didn't answer. There was no need for words. I was enchanted. Amazed. And maybe slightly giddy.  My pictures may not catch all the glory, but trust me, it was wonderful. I liked it just the way it was and no amount of faux finish could ever make me want less than the real thing. 

I've never thought about buying a marble fireplace mantel before.  We have a nice, little wooden mantel shelf above our fireplace and I have thought about looking for a more substantial (maybe even beautiful) wooden mantel, kind of like this with the sides and a some carving, but this....  I just sort of fell in love with this amazing work of art. 

The details were amazing, I'm using my camera on this (not my flip phone) hope you can see how beautiful it is.

After a few minutes I realized I was a little angry that someone would have ever taken this out of the home it was made for.  Was it made especially for someone?  Was it original to the area or had it come from another part of the world?  I just kept staring.  At some point I found myself running my fingers along the edges (it was in great shape), the carving was smooth and it was cool to the touch.  I tried to imagine how many hours (days, years...) it had taken to create. 

(sound effects please:  TIRES COMING TO A SCREECHING HALT) 
I finally looked at the price tag and realized we couldn't be together on this day, I would have to leave my discovery here.  I left the shop a better person, and I left New Orleans still married to the sweet guy who likes alligator heads. 

After a fairly lengthy goodbye, I somehow left the mantel.  Maybe someday we'll meet again...
Have you ever been surprised by your reaction to a thing - especially a thing that was so beautiful it took your breath away? 

I have to leave my blog now to go visit Colorado Lady's Vintage Thingie Thursday .  I'm a genius!  I just added a button from Suzanne's blog.  Happy Thursday!


Betsy said...

It is gorgeous indeed! Think about how many hours it took to create such a masterpiece. I'm glad you got to visit and take pictures even though you had to leave it behind. I think you'd have to have a room built around it!!

P. said...

Say what? For that amount of money, you could probably fly to Italy, hire your own sculptor, and have it custom made. Or at least it seems that you could.

Ha, my dad loves Swamp People. He would love one of those alligator heads too!

Jeanne said...

Even though you couldn't buy the mantel you had the pleasure of seeing something gorgeous. My husband has that same gator head. Yuck! He is a UF graduate and a Gator fan though and through. So are my kids...I am surrounded.
Hugs, Jeanne

Rebecca said...

I noticed that too, how similar they were! What a price tag on yours!

Coloradolady said...

Welcome to Vintage Thingie Thursday!!! I am THRILLED you linked in today and showed us this WONDERFUL mantle. The, unreal! I'd have said, good luck with that!!! Have a great VTT!

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed your post! The marble piece is gorgeous.

Tiff said...

I have the giggles about the alligator! Swamp people in on TV over here too, they are something! I LOVE that fireplace! Too bad about that excessive price!!! X

Mary said...

Thanks for stopping by and leaving a sweet comment.

I'm laughing at the alligator - men can have such weird taste when it comes to decorating! As for the mantel - OMG, I would have been fighting you for it, BUT only if they knocked off at least $41, 000!!!!!!!!


Stephanie said...

Simply gorgeous but egads the price would give me hives! I get giddy over lovely finds at my local antique mall...especially when the price is steal.

Barbara said...

Hi! Thanks for visiting and commenting.

I guess it was fun for a while dreaming of owning the fire surround. We see them all the time here when visiting large houses.

I think the main thing I brought home from New Orleans in 1960 was a memory of being given the largest slice of watermelon imaginable. I just sat and stared at it. Would have taken me a week to eat it all.

The lovely patchwork is so much more detailed when seeing a square close up.