Lalanne Sheep Invade Chicago Antique Store

Friday, 8th April 2016 No Comments »


Bronze Sculpture Sheep in the style of Claude Lalanne

Bronze Sculpture Sheep in the style of Claude Lalanne

Don’t worry, it’s not one of the latest episodes of Game of Thrones or the latest Zombie movie/series, it’s just sheep. Sheep, made in the style of Claude Lalanne, that have invaded Chicago’s premier French Antique Showroom, Antiques on Old Plank Road. There’s a little summary of how these Lalanne Sheep (in the style of) came to be, in Chicago at least!

The story behind the Lalanne Sheep (in the Style of) –

About 25 years ago Robin and I (Richard) were strolling through the Paris Flea Market and sitting right there on the sidewalk of rue des Rosiers was a Claude Lalanne sheep, for the equivalent of a then staggering $5000 and of course I immediately told my wife to just forget it, for who in their right mind would pay that much for a furry sheep. After all, who was I to predict that what Claude, and her husband Francois-Xavier Lalanne, sheep would sell for years later.

Ever since that moment we have been searching for a more affordable Lalanne Sheep equivalent or pardon the term, “knock-off”, but there was always something just a little off, or out of proportion. In my opinion, this particular Lalanne sheep was the answer to my prayers. A great sheep reproduced face and will you look at those unique sheep legs? How could you not love this Claude Lalanne Sheep (in the style of)?

So that’s how the sheep came to Chicago. We currently have three different models to choose from, all hand crafted from a master sculptor who graduated from the Art Institute of Chicago. The process includes precision quality and all done by hand, no assembly line process or SE Asia parts used here. This is the upmost in quality, as Claude Lalanne would have admired, although Claude passed away in 2008, we can only hope we met the tough standards set at this point.

Here are the three models (click on one of the pictures for more information):

Lalanne Sheep, in the style of, in Resin Material

Lalanne Sheep, in the style of, in Resin Material


Claude Lalanne Sheep, in the style of, Solid Bronze

Claude Lalanne Sheep, in the style of, Solid Bronze


Lalanne Sheep, in the style of, in Solid Bronze - Dark Patina

Lalanne Sheep, in the style of, in Solid Bronze – Dark Patina

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Buying Antique Tables: What to Look For

Thursday, 13th August 2015 1 Comment

Tables are one of the earliest types of furniture in the world. Comprised of a flat horizontal surface held up by “legs,” they are mainly used to support objects, but can also be used in a variety of ways. Various types include dining tables, bedside tables, coffee tables, console tables and writing tables or desks.

Antique French 18th Century Side or End Table

To the untrained eye, antiques can be hard to determine. So for those who are just starting to collect antique tables, here are some things to look for before buying one.

1. Check for wood composition

Having knowledge in wood is a huge advantage when inspecting older furniture. Knowing the wood colors and wood grains can help you predict the period of production. For example:

  • Early 16th century to the mid-17th century – Age of oak
  • Late 17th to the early 18th century – Age of walnut
  • Mid-18th century – Age of mahogany and satinwood

Many buyers struggle with wood types and descriptions. Check below for the basic wood types and grains.

Photo from eBay

Also inspect if the furniture is composed of solid wood, veneered wood or particle board.

  • Solid wood – earlier pieces of antique
  • Veneered wood (slices of wood are covered by base wood) – first appeared in the walnut period, but were hand cut and very thick. Thin veneers indicate modern-day furniture reproductions.
  • Particle board – cheapest type of wood furniture and were never used in older pieces

2. Check for rarity

Is the table unique? Have you found other pieces that look exactly like it? Older tables are usually rare, as they tend to be handmade by skillful artisans. Some antique tables have unusual shapes, designs, or colors that make them stand out from the rest.

3. Check construction

Inspect the construction of the table before purchasing.

  • Drawers – Open and close to see if they slide well.
  • Dovetailed joints – Antique furniture pieces have handmade dovetailed joints which are large and uneven while machine dovetailed joints are even.
  • Circular saw marks – These did not come into usage until the 18th century. Furniture pre-dating 1830 have small, parallel saw lines
  • Wood shrinkage – Wood shrinks in a direction opposite to the grain. Tabletops with that measure oval, or ⅛ longer than the direction of the grain, or those with legs slightly extending beyond the frame is most likely an authentic piece.
  • Modern screws – Modern screws, staples and glue are indicators of a recent reproduction.

4. Check condition

Normal wear is expected in antique tables. Areas of wear usually include legs or edges. Older tables also show signs of age, which means boards are usually of varying width or have signs of cracking.

Before purchasing however, make sure that the piece is still functional despite its imperfections. Don’t buy rickety or wobbly tables. Deviations from the table’s original condition, such as missing parts and chips can reduce the antique’s value.

Here at Antiques on Old Plank Road, we offer a variety of antique dining tables, antique tables, French dining tables, French country tables and vintage tables from different time periods. From solid Louis XIII style tables to rustic farm tables, these quality pieces cater to all preferences. Check our antique table selection today.

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Top Interior Design Blogs to Read

Monday, 26th January 2015 No Comments »

Earlier this month we brought you the top antique blogs to follow. Now we’re sharing our favorite interior design blogs that you should be reading, too. Without further ado, here they are. Get inspired and start bookmarking!

Remodelista is undoubtedly one of the go-to authorities on home design – and it comes as no surprise that architects, remodelers, and enthusiastic home renovators refer to its pages regularly for ideas. But what makes this website stand out from all the others is the singular aesthetic that it promotes: classic pieces are favored over trendy ones.

The Inspired Room

Inspiration is free, and now with The Inspired Room, it’s also easily accessible with just a click. This website offers not only ideas on home design, but also helpful advice for any kind of season. But what really makes it a winner are the life hacks intended to make decorating both fun and simple. Make the most out of small spaces using any of the tips and tricks that you can find on The Inspired Room.

The Selby  

Need design ideas to infuse more color and life into your own homes? Let this next website show you how the artsy folks do it. The Selby is a unique design website that spotlights artists and people of creative passions from all over the world in the comforts of their own homes. It grants an insider’s view into the personal spaces of individuals who breathe life into art by unleashing their powers of imagination into their living quarters.

Design Milk

Stuck on what theme and design to go with for your home renovation or redecoration? Look no further than Design Milk for imaginative ideas to take you out of that rut. Curated by Jaime Derringer, an artist from New Jersey, this website spotlights interesting styles and avant garde pieces of furniture that aims to transform rooms to fashion-forward living spaces. When you’re running out of inspiration for finishing touches to home decoration, this is the site to check out.

Design Crush Blog

A blog that brings forth anything and everything inspiring to get those creative juices flowing – this is Design Crush in a nutshell. From art gallery paintings and collections to imaginative pieces of accessories both hand-made and commercially advertised, this website showcases original and innovative styles that can serve as the inspiration for turning rooms from drab to fab. Browse through pages full of beautiful photos and short descriptions that are pleasing to the eyes and stimulating to creativity.

One Kind Design

Home decorating websites are abundant and contain helpful information on transforming a house to the perfect home for the people who live in it. What makes One Kind Design stand out is the focuses on environmentally-friendly ways of constructing and decorating a home. Design aficionados from all over the globe are encouraged to submit their own creative ideas and these in turn serve as fresh inspiration to those who are as passionate about architecture and interior design.

Addicted to Decorating

If the title hasn’t tipped you off already, this website was designed with the home decorating fanatic in mind. With contents covering various design aspects like DIY projects, home makeovers, and room renovations, Addicted 2 Decorating is perfect for the hands-on home decorator looking for ways to spruce up their living space. Find decorating ideas at the click of a mouse, learn the basics of do-it-yourself projects, and get the answers to decorating questions all in one comprehensive website.

Apartment Therapy

This website contains many interesting articles, including a variety of vintage and antique-related content. Their goal is to help people make their homes more organized and beautiful by connecting them to resources and any online ideas they might need. From do-it-yourself projects to house tours and home renovation that caters to any kind of budget, Apartment Therapy delivers. With a layout that is easy to navigate and explore, finding the best resources for home design and styling has never been this easy.


If you want to browse and save beautiful design photos, Houzz is the website for you. It contains hundreds of inspiring ideas whether indoor or outdoor, antique or modern. Houzz can also connect you to construction professionals, as well as others who are also looking for the same thing. A phone app helps you stay connected even through your mobile device, which gives you the convenience of looking through hundreds of design inspiration no matter where you are.


This influential online magazine is the go-to destination for those whose passion lies in design, architecture, lifestyle, and creativity. It offers readers the best advice for every space in the house as well as practical solutions to problems their homes may present. Find the latest news in the world of architecture and design, and be inspired by all the amazing creative ideas that are available in one comprehensive and up-to-date website.

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Top 10 Antique Blogs to Follow in 2015

Monday, 5th January 2015 1 Comment

In recent years, adding antique or vintage furniture pieces to interiors has become a rising trend. With 2014 behind us, we’ve decided to dig up the most informative and inspiring antique blogs around the web.

Some of these blogs are quite well-known while others are new blogs that have already caught our attention. That said, here’s our top 10 antique blogs to follow in 2015. Enjoy!

Homes & Antiques

H&A is a go-to resource for antiques and heritage interiors. It features vintage decorating ideas, must-read guides on collecting antiques and collectibles, up-to-date fairs and auctions, shopping guides as well as antiques travel explorations. H&A is packed with news and ideas that can help antique lovers make their dreams a reality.

The Quill

This blog by U.S. Antique Shows gives collectors and enthusiasts a clearer view into the world of antiques, vintage jewelry, and watches. We get to read about antique jewelry, Art Deco, consumer tips, jewelry history as well as insights from antique dealers across the globe.

Judith Miller’s Blog

The Antiques Roadshow specialist and author of numerous Miller’s Guides keeps us updated with posts about fairs she’s been to, overseas adventures on book tours, as well as interesting details on antique finds and vintage pieces.

Antique Trader Blog

This blog features posts from Antique Trader writers and industry professionals. Here, readers can see relevant news, shows, shops and auctions that will help them find what they are looking for. It also shares antique-related advice that will get them closer to the pieces they seek.

Art Antiques Design

This online community for antiques, art, and design gives industry insiders a communication tool. It is a trusted channel by art market professionals, interior designers, collectors and exhibitors that is updated regularly by professional journalists and retail experts.

My Old Country House

This blog is where Lesli DeVito showcases the many facets of herself as an artist, a mom, a photographer, and decorator. In “The House” portion of her blog, she shares the look of her country house which has a touch of vintage or rustic design. We see her inclination towards wooden furniture and how she combines them with modern pieces

Vintage Revivals

Mandi shows us all about fearless DIY projects in her blog Vintage Revivals. In her section “Room Reveals,” she shows us how antique or vintage furniture can easily be incorporated into a colorful, modern space. Her posts also contain tutorials that are inspiring and easy to follow.

Emily Clark

Emily loves finding bargains and rearranging her furniture. On her blog, she shows us how to make an old piece of furniture look totally new without having to spend a lot. She aims to inspire and encourage readers to make their own homes a place that they would love.

Lilyfield Life

Because of her passion towards painting and restoring old furniture, Fiona shares a lot of vintage-inspired design on Lilyfield Life. You’ll find how-to articles on buying, cleaning, upholstering, restoring, and painting vintage furniture pieces. You’ll also find step-by-step instructions and photos of her tutorials, making it easy to follow.

A Beach Cottage

Stylist and photographer Sarah blogs about her new life by the sea in A Beach Cottage. Every week you’ll get to read a new post about white paint, vintage finds, coastal designs, or anything about her creative, happy life in an Australian cottage. Sarah wants her readers to learn simple ways to love their homes.

Not only will these blogs help antique lovers get the look they want for their homes, they would also give more insight about aged furniture pieces.

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How to Care for Antique Gilt Mirrors

Tuesday, 30th September 2014 No Comments »

Antique Gilt Mirror Antique French Gilt Mirror

Gilding is the art of painting or applying thin sheets of gold or silver to an object (READ: How Gilt Mirrors are Made). It dates as far back as ancient Rome, Greece and Egypt and is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to add luster to an item.

Gilt mirrors became popular in the 18th century and were used as decorative elements in the house. They were embellished with ornate carvings and came in a variety of shapes including square, oval, and round.

Antique Gilt Mirror

French Antique Gilt Mirror

To keep antique gilt mirrors in top shape, proper care and attention is required. Because they are no ordinary mirrors, certain measures should be kept in mind when cleaning them. Here are some ways to care for your antique gilt mirrors:

1. Do not spray water directly onto the mirror.

Even small drops of water may wear away the water-based gilt finish of your mirror. To avoid destroying the frame’s lustrous look, spray water directly onto the paper towel or cleaning cloth instead. When wiping the glass mirror, ensure that the towel or your fingers doesn’t touch the frame.

2. Remove dust lightly.

  18th Century Original Paint and Gilt Mirror

Dust particles may settle in between the ornate carvings of the antique gilded mirror. To remove the dust and dirt, use a feather duster, a dust blower, or a very soft brush. Avoid using a rug on the carvings as the designs are very delicate and tend to fall off with moderate pressure.

3. Keep the mirror away from strong chemical cleaners.

Avoid using chemical or abrasive cleaners. Some of these elements may either scratch or rub the gilt finish away. Use water with diluted mild soap instead.

4. Go to the experts if necessary.

If the mirror is heavily soiled, head to a professional antique restorer. He or she can help clean the mirror without disturbing the gilt finish.

If you’re looking to start your antique collection, Antiques on Old Plank Road has an incredible selection of high quality antique mirrors for sale imported from France and England.

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