I have quite a treat for you today. While visiting my family in Cleveland last week, I visited Rebecca and Derek Smith in their new home that sits on twenty four acres with multiple outbuildings. "New" is a relative term. It is actually an architecturally significant Century home in Chagrin Falls. They have JUST moved in and are truly still in the middle of boxes and remodelers. I am so grateful that she agreed to collaborate on a couple of tablesettings with her beautiful dishes and accessories. Rebecca is the owner of Rebecca Ray Designs, a company that celebrates the sporting life, and you can see one of my previous posts featuring her goods here.
We were able to set three placesettings at the end of the dining room table and I bet you can't tell that the other end of the room is filled with boxes and packing paper and even Derek's laptop set up on a stack of cardboard! Boy! I was asking a lot to do this. Thank you, guys! Note the black framed oil beside the window.....it's their daughter, Lizzie in her first horse show and Rebecca's mother, Ann painted it. I tell you.....it's a talented family!
Have you ever heard of Marguerite Kirmse? You can read about her here. She is an English artist from the late 1800's who did these etchings featured on these plates by Wedgewood. We chose three different designs to feature on this table.
You can see more of her images here. I jumped at the chance to use these, but stopped jumping when Rebecca told me what they were worth!!! I handled them very gingerly after that. Of course, I was even more drawn to them when I saw the acorns on the borders.
Here's a close-up of the Cocker Spaniel artwork.
And here's the back of that plate.
To say that Rebecca knows her dogs is sort of an understatement. She breeds and shows English Setters and her mother, Ann Yuhasz, is a rather big deal in the dog judging world. Her kennel is called Hemlock Lane and their champions have shown at places like Westminster Kennel Club Show to name drop just a bit. You can see some images of her dogs here.
Here's doggy love for you! It's their daughter, Lizzie, with one of their puppies. Because of this love of dogs, their collections are impressive. You'll find a treasure trove of dog and horse related items in their home and outbuildings. Most of them or vintage or antique.
Here's what we chose to feature in on this table:
These vintage, taupe-on-cream linens support the colors of the plates. We placed them directly on the lovely old Baker inlaid table. These napkin rings are from the Rebecca Ray collections. They come four to a set and are different dogs or horses. These reproductions of old brass encircled rosettes are handmade for the company by the Amish community in nearby Middlefield, Ohio. They show up on many of her purses and accessories and can be customized to your taste.
Here's the sweet Beagle face......
and here's the King Charles Spaniel. I featured my set of equestrian themed rings in a post I did called "Giddy-Up". You can see it by clicking here.
Rebecca just opened the doors to her china and glassware storage closets for me and I chose these engraved wine glasses to go with this placesetting.
They are from an old Seder set that has been in her family for years and years. Aren't they special?
The horn handled knife is paired with vintage silverplate.
Look closely at the knife rests!
These salt and pepper shakers are made in Japan. These guys don't look very happy to be here, but are very sweet and perfect for the tone of the tablescape.
At two of the placesettings, I placed these tiny spill vases with a few wildflowers from the yard. What a nice pair, not totally matched, but facing each other. Love them!
Then, the third place got this little pair of paper mache dogs in the same colors. I just walked around and "shopped" her shelves to find them.
Let's look at the center of the table.
As a divider, we chose this remarkable alabaster setter. It almost took both of us to lift it! For right now it has found a place in a dry sink welcoming guests as they come in the front door. As she unpacks, it could probably end up anywhere, I suppose.
Then we added one of a pair of bronze bookends. You'll find several sets of these around the house.
And.....trumpet fanfare, please.....these French chalk dog heads that usually hang in the hallway. I've tried to research them from the markings on the back and I can't find anything. They are engraved M(H?)alide Suepteur Edite Paris. It's hard to read. If any of you know anything further, please let me know. I. Love. These.
And then there's this waif-like little bronze guy. I chose him because I just loved his face.
See what I mean?
I couldn't help sticking my hand into that china cupboard you see and finding this to use for the wine coaster.
Here's the marking on the back.
And they just happened to have the perfect bottle of wine to put on it.
Who wouldn't want to sit at this table and dine? Especially with the comfort of the Rebecca Ray leather and canvas pillow with genuine horse harness fittings? It sits on one of the 18th century tole, rush-seat chairs.
You'd never know by the look of this serene table that uninvited guests were dropping in, Rebecca was late for the Western Reserve Dog Show, Derek was in the midst of bank negotiations, Lizzie was looking for lunch, and about six dogs needed to be fed. They were so gracious to me. Their mind-set was putting things away, and I was taking them out right and left. I wish them well in their new home. May they fill it with love and laughter.
I think you'll agree they are "best in show"!
My next post will be the same table done in an equestrian theme with her unique finds and dishes. You'll love it!