Mini Reunion in Cincinnati, Ohio

Yesterday was wonderful.  After enjoying a ridiculously decadent brunch prepared by my husband (crab legs and a cheesy broccoli omelet!), I drove down to Cincinnati to visit one of my oldest friends, Liz.   I’ve known Liz since 2nd grade.  We grew up together in Cincinnati.  She’s now an art history professor at Syracuse University in New York .  It’s not too often that we are in the same state anymore, so I was not going to miss the opportunity to catch-up in person!

Liz was in Cincinnati for a memorial service/research trip centered around the artist Kataro Shirayamadani.  He worked for Cincinnati’s famous art pottery house, Rookwood, from 1887-1947.   His artistry was amazing, check out this close-up of a vase he decorated:

We met up at Aglamesis Brothers, an ice cream shop we used to frequent when we were in high school.  It was an old school ice cream parlor then, and nothing seems to have changed during the last 20 years!

After enjoying ice cream and coffee, I wanted to take Liz to Wooden Nickel Antiques, a favorite antique/architectural salvage store of mine that is in the heart of downtown Cincinnati.   (Visit them online at http://www.woodennickelantiques.net/ .)

Located right across the street from Music Hall, Wooden Nickel has amazing stock.  They carry some very high-end stuff, like over-the-top Cincinnati Art-Carved furniture, lovely antique bars, Eastlake furniture, lighting fixtures, and stained glass windows.  They have sold several pieces to the Cincinnati Art Museum.  They also carry architectural salvage and smaller bits like vintage hardware.   The staff is friendly, passionate, and knowledgeable, making time spent poking around the store time well spent!

Some of the treasures at Wooden Nickel…

Just some of the salvage and smaller items that reward closer inspection.

One of the antique bars they specialize in —just waiting to go in someone’s “Man Cave”, no? (Or better yet, in a lucky new bar, perhaps?)

The great thing is, the prices are really reasonable.  Yes, you will pay for the higher end stuff, but those prices are very fair for what the items are.  And the stock  is a mix of high and low.  My husband and I scooped up a pair of tall bookcases on our last visit to Wooden Nickel.  Salvaged from an old elementary school that was being demolished, they have leaded glass doors and a narrow footprint, perfect for our petite home.  And they were only a little more, price-wise, than it would have been to get a pair of Billy bookcases with added doors from Ikea.

Schoolhouse bookcase in our living room from Wooden Nickel.

Especially eye-catching to me this visit?  This carved Cheval Mirror has actually been in the store for a while and I’m still dreaming about it.  It is so pretty, and I love how the silvering is coming off a little.  I can’t afford it, but I can wish!

And if we’re really dreaming, what about this large fountain?  Salvaged from the lobby of another Cincinnati art pottery studio, Wheatley Pottery, before the building was demolished, this fountain is just amazing.  Wish my picture was better!

Glorious Wheatley Pottery fountain at Wooden Nickel Antiques. To me, this piece straddles Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts styles in an interesting way.  And the colors are fascinating: matte and yet somehow they have depth and seem almost luminous.  Imagine how it would look with water running down it!

Maybe if one of my readers were to purchase the fountain, I could get a discount on the mirror as commission??? 😛  Oh well, a girl can dream, anyway!

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