Thursday, November 20, 2008

Object Lessons

A ndrée Putman, the famous French designer, was in Houston for a book signing. As she has been a great influence on my life, Tall Husband and I attended her event. Her lecture, delivered in English with her utterly charming French accent, was enchanting. I wish that I could recall it word for word. What I do recall her having said is that an object is not worth having if it does not have a story. We all know this but somehow having a given thrust out into the air, feels remarkable.

So the story behind the church pew: Howard, an Antique dealer, Tall Husband and I were sitting as we chatted and people watched at an art Gallery opening. I said to Howard, "If you ever run across a church pew, give me a call. He said they were difficult to find, as they were so popular. At that point, Tall Husband looked at us strangely, jumped to his feet and was off.

Howard asked, "Did we say something wrong?"

Within minutes, Tall Husband returned and demanded the family checkbook. I asked why and he answered, "Because I am buying you the pew you and Howard are sitting on, unless you would like one of the two in the next room; it's your choice." Howard and I were embarrassed that neither of us had noticed we were surrounded by pews and that we were even sitting on one.

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Tall Husband and I found this vintage office chair in an antique shop in the Houston Heights one weekend while we were out and about in his small convertible. The shop did not have delivery service so I rolled the chair down several blocks of sidewalk, to The Bunny Bungalow as Tall Husband drove slowly alongside giving me encouragement.

And here is the greatest part of the story: The pew and the chair, as well as an Arts & Craft plant stand (next to the pew in the photo), were in terrible condition. As a result we found two new friends, Robert and Nick, who lovingly rebuilt and refinished all three pieces. So every time we use these objects, we can remember their stories and our friends.


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  2. Hi, this is kinda random but I was wondering how much was spent on that pew because i have one exactly like it and am going to try to sell it so we can afford Christmas gifts but don't know anything about it or how much it's worth. Thanks so much!

  3. Hi Trish,

    Thanks for dropping by. The church pew was a great bargain, as it belonged to a friend who sold it to us for what she paid for it, $250. Then we spent another hundred or so having a missing piece on the arm replicated and replaced.

  4. Do you know anything else about it? Like the year it might be from or what it's made of? I'm thinking oak but don't know. I hope I'm not being a bother.

  5. LOVE LOVE the pew... I'm searching everywhere for one! I found some that I like and they're $300 each!