This ancient armoire was our very first antique. We purchased it as a freshly married couple, in celebration of our first wedding anniversary.
I spied this piece at a consignment shop in Westport, CT. The shop owner advised that it was early 19th c. and French. Its finish a deep green, hand-painted in a primitive style, with a motif of whimsical polka dots within a painted frame. The door, on hand-forged rat tail hinges, was askew – loved that! The lock still had its original key. I was smitten.
After a major pitch to Murph, the only way we, as newlyweds, could swing this major purchase, was by asking the shop owner if we could please, pretty, pretty please, put it on a layaway plan. Thankfully he agreed. Four long months later, it was ours. Yay, was quickly followed by the reality of, uh oh.
Our next hurtle was to get it to Port Chester, NY and up to the 5th floor of our co-op. The two of us schlepped this ginormous cupboard up – shifting it from side to side as we went, until it reached our little humble abode. Upon reflection, I’m still amazed we didn’t kill ourselves!
Since then, it has lived at a number of addresses and has served a variety of purposes. Initially it was put to use as a much needed coat closet. After the addition of shelves, it did a stint as our TV cabinet. When we moved into Connecticut Country House, it found a home in the hub of the house, the kitchen.
As our pantry, it houses a lot: oils and vinegars stored on the top shelf, baking supplies one shelf below, canned and jarred goods just below that, to the base, where baskets are filled with garlic, shallots, onions, and potatoes.
The best feature of this cupboard, without a doubt, is the inside of the door. Tacked up where we can see them everyday, are some of our most precious memories and recipes.
After 27 years, it’s still my favorite antique at Connecticut Country House.