Identifying odd home artifacts and features
December 13, 2011 9:22 AM   Subscribe

Antiques Metafiltershow: Can you help me identify any of these wild, weird, artsy household features?

My siblings and I inherited my dad's (very dated) house after his passing, and are beginning to try and assemble some plan of what to do with everything. All of the attached features came with the house, which my parents bought in 1985, and was built by the only previous owner in 1978. I think they were international contractors, or possibly diplomats - something that afforded them to travel and collect eclectic stuff.

We identified this gothic looking chandelier - turns out it's an interesting Brutalist artistic light piece, and maybe even worth a little bit.

These are some others we're trying to place (pictures here):
- Silver & black doorbell chime cover
- 3 hanging (brass?) Moroccan-ish lamps
- Attached filigree (brass?) Moroccan-ish ceiling lamp
- Hand-blown glass mini chandelier

And from my parents' own odd collection, a set of stone encased coffee and two end tables. At least from the early 80s, probably 70s. The top appears to be varying sizes of stone encased in some kind of material - definitely not glass, feels plastic-ish. The base is mostly wood, with some metal features (the petal-looking parts on legs of side tables)

Can you help identify any of these pieces? Dates, makers or manufacturers? Or provide any terms and descriptors that might help us narrow or research?
posted by raztaj to Home & Garden (4 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I can't help you with your unidentified objects, but you might be interested in this link to a closer match for your Tom Greene "brutalist" chandelier.
posted by yoink at 9:39 AM on December 13, 2011

The Apartment Therapy community is great at this type of help!
posted by poodelina at 10:24 AM on December 13, 2011

You may want to inspect these pieces carefully for maker's marks. They may be well-hidden, so look carefully. The marks may be as simple as symbols, initials, or even a full-fledged company's stamp. There are a variety of resources to help you identify any makers- online, books, etc., so it's a good place to start. Maker's Marks changed through time, so it's possible to date the pieces to a specific time period.

The stone inside the table is agate, and they appear to be embedded in something akin to an epoxy resin (or gem epoxy). That would fit in with the 70s-80s time frame you mentioned. The smaller pieces in the table are probably also smaller pieces of agate, but it's hard to tell from the photo. A good rockhound or geologist at your local university could tell you for sure.

Best of luck- those are very interesting!
posted by chatelaine at 11:01 AM on December 13, 2011

You may want to call around to some estate auction houses and see if they'd be willing to come take a look at a few things. They are more likely to want to do this if you mention you may want to consign one or more items depending on what they turn out to be.
posted by FlamingBore at 11:12 AM on December 13, 2011

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