I love finding unique and fun pieces and when I saw this map/blueprint cabinet I had to try to get it. These things are so hard to find because they are so drool worthy- this was absolutely my best find yet!
I have always wanted one to store my children’s art. Over the years four children can create a lot of art work and sometimes it comes home on large pieces of paper that aren’t easy to file. The large format of the drawers is perfect to keep their masterpieces wrinkle free.
When I saw the online estate sale listing for this piece it had additional pictures of some of the contents. Then I knew I HAD to do what I cold to get it. Gorgeous vellum and mounted line drawings of shopping kiosks in Central Park. Blueprints and projects this man had worked on…. Lucky me- I won!
Little did I know HOW amazing the finds in here were…. when put together, the piece has a fairly large footprint. Taking out the drawers and dividing it in two, lowers the weight significantly and made moving it out SO much easier. As we were emptying the drawers and carrying things out, my husband handed me a file. “Here”, he said, “Elliott Gould, that’s somebody, it’s it?”
It was a file with the name Mrs. Elliott Gould and a New York address on the tab. In the file were the 1970 communications between the architect and various companies regarding the design of an apartment for his client, BARBARA STREISAND. Yes, THAT one.
The first file was fun… but oh the discoveries later. Opening those drawers was the best treat EVER!
I found articles about the architect and his work in NY, VA, and even Amsterdam. A numbered print from an Erté from the Grosvenor Gallery in London, detailed blueprints for two entire neighborhoods, and so much more.
Then my girlfriend came over to have a look and she flipped over the vintage embroidery set (no idea why I hadn’t done that yet) to find this on the back…
Squeal! Then I got serious about going through the cabinet. Another friend recognized the architecture and street names of the row house line drawings as Amsterdam. I found a whole other file of communication about Ms. Streisand’s home, clipped newspaper articles, and even the blueprints to the Arlington County Detention Center. Serious history here…
SO what are my plans? I’m really not quite sure. I have some friends who know more about these sorts of things and are willing to help me. I also have a lot of research to do myself. He was obviously very proud of these things to hold on to them all these years and I want to make sure whatever happens they go to places where they will continue to be respected and treasured as unique and incredible art.
I will probably keep the cityscapes of Amsterdam. Something about them completely appeals to me. I’ll frame them and put them somewhere. Maybe my husband’s office.
As for the cabinet? I plan to add a walnut top maybe stain it darker, and put it in my husband’s office under his “bike art”. It’s certainly better than the fairly useless table he has there now. He doesn’t really like that idea… but I am not sure he will really have a choice. Ahhh marriage….
P.S. I’d love to hear from you if you happen to know anything about the things in these photos or even ideas on where to find information. There is so much more in the cabinet, I just didn’t want to risk boring you with all of it. I love history and can’t wait to learn all I can about these finds!
KandiceMay 30, 2016 at 10:46 AM
That is so cool!! All I’ve ever found was an old coupon and electric bill.
ShannonMay 30, 2016 at 11:11 AM
So excited for you..what a find!!!
ScottieMay 30, 2016 at 11:31 AM
Thanks! I’m still giddy over it!
SarahMay 30, 2016 at 12:55 PM
Oh. My. Goodness! Babs! That’s unreal!!! What an incredible little adventure you just went on!
ScottieMay 30, 2016 at 8:54 PM
Yea! I’m still just smiling like a complete dork and I really did buy the thing months ago.
Deb CantrellMay 30, 2016 at 5:27 PM
Love love love it all! So jealous!
Treasure hunting is so addicting 😉
ScottieMay 30, 2016 at 8:53 PM
Isn’t it?! Ugh hard to stop myself but I’m seriously running out of room!
Shannon BernestineMay 30, 2016 at 10:38 PM
Oh I just found someone’s tax return from 1995 🙂 lol
ScottieMay 31, 2016 at 6:11 AM
I’ve found underwear before…gratefully they were clean…so far.
StephanOctober 25, 2019 at 12:00 AM
Dear Scottie, My name is Stephan and for 35 years, I have served as artist-in-residence to the Art Deco Society of California. I also knew Erte for the last 10 years of his life and I now get to travel the world lecturing on his life and art. There is a connection between Erte and Barbra Streisand and said townhouse. She was a fan and collector of Erte’s work and they had met several times. She commissioned him to design a folding screen or “room divider” for this townhouse in New York. he had sent her some preliminary sketches but, from what I understand, she never did purchase the townhouse and the Erte screen was never made.
ScottieOctober 25, 2019 at 8:19 AM
Wow. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment on my little blog- I am truly so honored. I would love to hear any stories you have on any of this- It’s such a fascinating snapshot of a small piece of someone’s life.
belgin yucelenOctober 7, 2020 at 11:38 AM
Hi, may I ask where you find this amazing drawer. I have been looking for one for months now for my own art. Belgin
ScottieOctober 7, 2020 at 4:12 PM
Hi Belgin! I found it at an online estate auction and kept a close eye on it to make sure I was able to win it. It’s still one of my favorite pieces! One day I will add a real top to it.