Here at Sally Beresford/French Farmhouse Tables we strive to offer more. More than a simple repository for fine antiques. More than hand-crafted French timber bespoke dining and occasional tables. Of course, if you visit us, here in the gently hilled surrounds of the Mount Ashby Estate Winery, you will discover even more than the known quantities you might expect. Flavours: foods and wines to savour will be among those surprises.
This is beside the point. Here the more on offer is an enhancement, or a transformation, of something you already have but might not have thought to look at in another way. You must have a piece of furniture sitting somewhere familiar that no longer excites you, or the look of it has tired, and you have been wondering whether to discard it. Think again. Is there still some appeal to it that you haven’t already given it away? Is the line and shape, the bare bones of it worth saving? Maybe it just needs a little facelift.
That’s where we can help. We can offer custom paint finishes from refined to rustic, with more or less or no aging dependent on your tastes. Below you will find a set of images of a recently finished piece that might inspire you to look differently at some of your furniture at home that may have been fading into the background. Could be time to bring it forward. This piece was originally in an extremely dark stain with lacquer over top. Very rustic to begin with it has been refreshed sympathetically. Take note of the change.
An article from Sally Beresford as featured in Antiques and Art in New South Wales (Sept – Dec 2013). To better view the article please click here to open a larger version.
An article from Sally Beresford as featured in Antiques and Art in New South Wales (May – September 2013). To better view the article please click here to open a larger version.
We’re very much looking forward to the opening of our sculptural and painted works exhibit beginning Saturday 4th May. The Opening kicks off at 4pm and continues on into the evening with canapés and music from Bondi’s The Silver Lining, wrapping up at 8pm.
The full list of artists on show has been finalized and features talent from the region and afar. When you come by you will be delight in the works of Megan Payne, Dana Dion, Alison Coulthurst, Sharon Candy, Danielle McManus, Ollie Heath, Jacqui Joubert, Michael Appleford, Sara Cusack-Cox, The Tin Men, Sara Phemister, Stephanie Corkhill Hyles,
and Sam McGeoch.
We would love it if you can do your best to get along to the Opening Day Celebrations, but if you can’t, make sure to drop by through the rest of the exhibition to Sunday 12th, between 11am and 4.30pm. We look forward to sharing the fine things in art, wine, and food.
Mount Ashby Estate and Sally Beresford/French Farmhouse will be hosting an exciting exhibit of sculptural and painted works in May! “Why?” you might ask. Because, we appreciate fine art as much as we do fine wines and food. By any reasoning, such a great trio (wine , food, and art) deserve celebrating; and that is what we’ll be doing with Art a “La Palette”. As you might guess, the name for this adventure of the senses, derives from our own Cafe “La Palette”; palette takes its meaning in French from the idea of range, scope or a palette, as the artist might use. And that is what you will experience come Saturday 4th May. If dance shoes feature in your wardrobe, you may want to pop them in your handbag or back pocket, as we will have a live band playing on the afternoon and evening of the opening. And even if you don’t dance, you can enjoy the ambience, delicacies to be eaten and drunk, and those to be consumed with the eye…
The exhibition will feature the works of The Tin Men, Megan Payne, Sharon Candy, Dana Dion, Alison Coulthurs, among others; all works will be for sale.
Make a note in your diary for Saturday 4th May, 2013. You will find all kinds of entertainments to be had. Even if you can’t make the opening, come past another day and take an easy walk through the outdoor sculptural installation, and pop in to the Produce Store to view the visual works displayed inside. Before, or after, taste some wine and savour a morsel from the cellar door and the Cafe “la Palette” menu.
To view this article at full size, click this link: Country Table – Vogue Living March 2013
We had snow yesterday! It didn’t settle, but still, snow in spring! We waited all winter for it and instead of showing up during the appropriate season, it decides to visit us fleetingly for an evening and part of the next morning. Apart from that, we’ve been blessed with the temperate climate and new life that spring brings; we’ve had some lovely little fluffy yellow additions to our Goose family; they hatched a week and a half ago and have trebled in size! We’ve lost 2 of the 7 but last year we lost them all, so we’re pleased that the 5 are thriving and almost big enough to not fall victim to predation. There are tiny oak leaves and little buds on the vines, and along the main roads, the paddocks are busy with lambs and excitable little calves that run one direction and stop suddenly, deciding perhaps it would be more fun to try the bolt in another direction. As well as these annual delights of country living, things have been very busy for us at the restaurant and showroom. We had a post wedding group spend most of the day here with us last weekend; we all had lots of fun. There were kids playing skittles on the lawn, lots of wining and dining, and as the sun set, a bit more (lot more) wining. It was buzzing, really, since we have our lamp sale at the moment, also, there were lots of people in the showroom, too. It’s been interesting actually, it seems half of Sydney has relocated to the Southern Highlands, or have a weekender here, at least.
(Goslings, shortly after they hatched)
(Goslings, a bit older)
(Beautiful new oak leaves)
Let me tell you about my friend, Mr Lonesome. He is actually a bull; a young one with only a few black spots, but mostly white, and he was a very lonely one for a little while. We all felt sorry for him here. We’d arrive at work in the morning, scattered over the farm to do our various jobs, and there would be Mr Lonesome, bellowing across the paddock for someone to keep him company. One by one we started noticing the friendless fellow, and would make passing comments to one another, “Oh, that poor bull, he’s lonely…” We were, therefore, very relieved when the farmer dropped off a load of young girls to accompany him in the paddock. Suddenly it was much quieter. He would sit there surrounded by about 7 girls, eating grass, moving them along, making sure they didn’t get up to too much mischief. He actually looked like an older brother keeping his younger siblings and cousins in line. (I’m sure, in time, this dynamic would have changed…) Anyhow, Mr Lonesome and his girls have moved on, but don’t worry, they have a happy ending; they’re of the dairy variety, so they won’t be served for lunch at our restaurant. Oh, and another thing; we have our annual, up to 70% off lamp sale with beautiful French and Belgian lamps just flown over from France, so by all means, come and join us and the cows here for a browse through our range; Mr Lonesome won’t be here, but there are some very sweet young Holstein in the front two paddocks.
So, after a momentous few weeks of packing, selling, farewells, and heavy lifting, we’ve finally arrived at our destination, Mt Ashby Estate (with a few pieces left behind in Sydney – we’re getting used to road trips, six times there and back in the last 4 days, I think).
We were all a bit sad to say goodbye to Woollahra; we’ve made many acquaintances and friends along the way, and have a few good years’ worth of fond memories, but we’ve known for a while that the space just couldn’t accommodate our tables. I’d been toying with the idea of creating an environment for my tables that would combine the elements of good food, wine, and coffee (I mean, it makes sense – this is how I prefer to spend my time at a table. Perhaps the producers at Masterchef and I are likeminded; I quite liked seeing George, Gary, and Matt perched behind my ‘Christmas’ table, sampling those delicious dishes…) . To be honest, my initial thoughts were to find another place in Sydney, and I looked for a while, actually. Nothing quite struck me, or seemed suitable; the only space I remotely considered was, realistically, too huge, which moved away from the idea I had in mind; something bigger, but not so big it would lose the intimacy of being able to enjoy a coffee, or a light meal, whilst still being able to enjoy the ‘retail’ experience browsing through the showroom. After a bit of disappointment and frustration over not being able to find what I wanted, my husband and I had one of those serendipitous conversations with a good friend of mine. I have a lot of faith in his opinion; he has a good and long track record in successful business ventures… We were enjoying a meal and a glass of wine at one of my tables at, which we fondly dub, ‘Our Cellar Door’ (more commercially known as Mt Ashby Estate). I don’t know how it was initiated, but we found ourselves (probably merrily inspired by the ambiance) in a conversation about formerly merging these two businesses together. For the first time in a while, these ideas actually felt right; everything I’d been looking for was already in front of me in the shape of a popular and expanding food/wine business run by my husband, Chris – I don’t know why I hadn’t considered it earlier, to be honest. We already spend half of the week here, and it would save me packing my bags twice a week, which I loathe, as well as being the perfect step to realising the vision I have for my tables.
So, after lots of planning, sorting, wheeling and dealing, long days, and exhaustion, here we are. We have this beautiful property in the lovely Southern Highlands, set on acreage, with a warm fire, friendly cows, a yummy French inspired lunch menu, Chris’ very own wine (we do tastings, too), a fantastic old wheat silo, and a great, industrial old barn, that was originally ‘The Produce Store’, but now the new home for my French Farmhouse Tables. I’m very excited about this new chapter (you can probably tell), and I really look forward to seeing some of your old faces (as in I know you, not as in you’re particularly weather beaten), and new (as in, we haven’t met, of course), at our combined and permanent location, Mt Ashby Estate, cum La Pallette, cum Sally Beresford Antiques incorporating French Farmhouse Tables.
SALLY BERESFORD FRENCH FARMHOUSE TABLE STARS IN MASTERCHEF:
If you’ve been watching Masterchef lately you may have noticed a new table featuring as the judging table this season. You’ll have picked up from the post heading that it’s one of ours! It is our French Farmhouse Christmas Table – now the Masterchef Table! Every crucial decision, every triumphant or tearful meal, is taken and eaten by Matt, George, and Garry at our table.
For further details on the Christmas Table follow this link: http://www.sallyberesford.com.au/the-christmas-table.html
MASTERCHEF TABLE DELIVERED
On Tuesday 3rd January 2012 we delivered our Christmas Table to the Masterchef Studio in Alexandria NSW . It will be used as the head table in the Masterchef series for the next three years.
Made in our workshop The Masterchef Table measures 3 metres in length and 1 metre in width, with extensions increasing the total length to 4.2 metres.
Handcrafted with traditional 17th Century methods of construction out of French Oak trees as old as 400 years, these trees are personally selected from France each year by us in compliance with the French Environmental Forestry Initiative, and then imported into Australia. Each table is given a beautiful patina which can be customised in keeping with the client’s preferences. We have a choice of colours available.
To view The Christmas Table go to: http://www.sallyberesford.com.au/the-christmas-table.html
An article written by Sally for Antiques & Art on the history of the chair, 1850 to the present.
In our last article we looked at the evolution of the chair.In this sequel we look at the chairs development to today.
France and England: 17th and 18th centuries The French Rococo chair in its most mature form-that was, to say, as progressed in Paris around 1750-spread through most of Europe and has been imitated or copied into the mid-20th century. The chair owes the popularity to a combination of comfort and delicacy. The seat conforms to the human body and grants a relaxed seated position. The back is bow-shaped, the legs curved. Typically the seat and back are upholstered, and there are small upholstered pads over the armrests. Smooth transitions are made between seat frame, legs, and back disguise all the joints, which are constructed solidly on craftsmanlike principles in spite of the absence of stretchers between the legs.Canework is sometimes used instead of upholstery.
Alongside the French Rococo chair and the best English chairs in walnut and mahogany, the stick-back chair was relatively unaffected by the stylistic changes of the day. Originally a medieval form, known, for example, from paintings by Pieter Bruegel the Elder and still found in mid-20th century in the churches and inns of southern Europe, the stick-back chair (in all of its variations) consists basically of a solid, saddle-shaped seat into which the legs, back staves, and possibly the armrests are directly mortised. This typically peasant form underwent a renewal and a process of refinement in England and America during the 18th century. Under the name Windsor chair (a term that seems to have been used for the first time in 1731) or Philadelphia chair, it became popularised and was widely distributed throughout the world.
Late 18th to 20th century In the Neoclassical period, no basic changes took place in chair forms, but legs became straight and dimensions lighter. Backs in the shape of classical vases replaced the fanciful outlines of the Rococo period. Around 1800, freely executed imitations of Greek and Roman chairs of the klismos type, with curved legs and backrest, appeared. French chairs of the Empire period, executed in dark mahogany and embellished with ornate bronze mounts, created a ponderous effect.
In cheaper brands of inferior workmanship, bourgeois chairs of the 19th century carried on the traditions of the 17th and 18th centuries. The only real innovations were the bentwood (wood that has been bent and shaped) chairs in beech that became popular all over the world and were still made in the 20th century. Around 1900 the continental Art Nouveau and Jugendstil styles (French and German styles characterized by organic foliate forms, sinuous lines, and non-geometric forms), and the Arts and Crafts movement in England (established by the English poet and decorator William Morris to reintroduce idealized standards of medieval craftsmanship), gave rise to many original chair designs. These new furniture styles did not exercise wide, let alone decisive, influence. The Art Nouveau chairs designed by the French architect Hector Guimard, for example, are collector’s pieces, but his name is known to a broader public only because of his fanciful entrances to the Paris Metro.
Modern After World War I, the Bauhaus school in Germany became a creative centre for revolutionary thinking, resulting, for example, in tubular steel chairs designed by the architects Marcel Breuer, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and others. During World War II, the aircraft industry accelerated the development of laminated wood and molded plastic furniture. The dominant chair forms of this period go back to designs by Alvar Aalto, Bruno Mathsson, and Charles and Ray Eames.In France we experienced the mass produced metal stacking chairs and stools developed by Tolix which are still being manufactured and improved upon even today.Early Tolix chairs are highly desirable.
Rapid technical developments, in conjunction with an ever-increasing interest in human-factors engineering, or ergonomics, suggest that completely new chair forms will probably be evolved in the future.
History of the Table Reading Version [click on link to read]
To better read the article click on this link: Tables-Turned