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Fiberglass Find!!!

Fiberglass Find!!!

This is the view of San Francisco seen from the fair.

Last weekend Mel and I decided to take a break from unpacking to attend the Alameda Point Antiques Faire. There have been very few times where we had such a successful haul as this faire. While cruising all the vendors we came across an amazing rhinoceros wall mount.

Don’t worry all you animal rights activists, this thing is made out of fiberglass! We purchased this from Bob & Bonnie of Alchemy Estate liquidations in spot M23.

They were so nice and just wanted to make sure it went to a good home. Our tiki room is quickly becoming a fiberglass game room!

We were so excited to get this. We missed out on a hippo a while back, so this makes up for it. We are on the hunt for more of these fiberglass wall mounts and hope to add more to the collection. We will share our other scores shortly.

2017: Year in Review

2017: Year in Review

This past year was about turning the page. If you’ve followed our blog, you’re aware that we recently moved. This was a MAJOR move for us. What some of you may not know is that we had a house in Sacramento and an apartment in San Jose that Mel lived in during the week for work. This move included moving out of both homes, moving out of Midway, selling a house, and buying a house. All of this happened in less than 4 months. For our year in review, we’d like to focus on key events related to our move and cover some of the fun stuff we were able to squeeze in.

Sold 1959 Ranch

People would often say to us that they would hate to be us if we ever moved. Mel and I have been collectors our whole marriage (13 years this coming Feb) and we’ve amassed quite a collection of vintage home decor. To be honest, we probably would have moved sooner if the idea of moving wasn’t so daunting. We began packing in mid-July, and the house hit the market on August 20, 2017. The house went pending a week later on the first day of our open house. We accepted a contingency offer over asking, and the house closed on October 3, 2017.

Here are a few shots before and after we packed the rooms up.

Closed our Showroom 

Once we started packing, the next thing we did was begin liquidating our inventory in our showroom at Midway Antique Mall. We became dealers at Midway in August of 2013. Coincidentally, we closed our showroom almost exactly 4 years later this past August, 2017. Here are some photos of how our showroom evolved over the years.

Moved out of San Jose Pad

In our San Jose pad, we were able to decorate outside our usual atomic fifties style. This was a fun change. Luckily, we were able to keep a lot of this collection. We’re creating a music listening room in one of the bedrooms in our new house, and we’re decorating with a lot of these pieces. Below are some photos of our pad before we moved out.

Photo Shoots

We squeezed in a few photo shoots before we started moving. Our house in Sacramento was decorated in fifties atomic and tiki, while our San Jose apartment was decorated in a more space age, mod style. Below are some photos from shoots that occurred at both locations.

Location: Sacramento Atomic Fifties Ranch

Sadie LaSalle

Publication: Pinup Kulture Magazine, Photographer: Feathered Flash Photography, MUAH: Heather Elizabeth Camacho, Model: Sadie LaSalle

Sadie LaSalle

Publication: Pinup Kulture Magazine, Photographer: Feathered Flash Photography, MUAH: Heather Elizabeth Camacho, Model: Sadie LaSalle

Location: San Jose Mod Pad

Bo Vixxen

Photographer & MUAH: Marilee Caruso, Model: Bo Vixxen

Bo Vixxen

Photographer & MUAH: Marilee Caruso, Model: Bo Vixxen

Kitti Von Paige

Publication: Delicious Dolls Magazine, Photographer: Shogun Photography, MUAH: Brandi Proffitt, Model: Kitti Von Paige

Collection

Even with all the chaos and stress of moving, we had some time to add to our collection and knock out a few restorations.

We added one final piece today to our collection for 2017. Thanks to Christina and Chris Lindquist for thinking of us when they decided to re-home this amazing Frederic Weinberg piece.

Frederick Weinberg

Name Change

When we started our blog about 6 years ago, our focus was on sharing our mid-century home decor collection and restoration techniques. Over the years, we’ve evolved and become more diverse in our collection and we decided to no longer offer restoration services to the public (we’ll still blog about pieces we restore for our collection). Because of this, Hepcat Restorations no longer represented who we were. So, we rebranded ourselves as Hepcats Haven.

Hepcats Haven Designs

I’ve always thought of myself as an artistic person. As a kid, I used to spend endless hours drawing. I decided to embark on a new adventure and try my hand at graphic design. My portfolio isn’t very large yet, but I plan to build this up. You’ll find a variety of designs in my collection including fifties atomic, tiki, seasonal, Panton era, etc..

Currently, I’m using the Redbubble and Spoonflower platforms to showcase my collection. You’ll be able to buy the images I design and have them printed on clothing, books, and home decor such pillows, bedding & clocks. You can purchase my designs on fabric, wallpaper, and gift wrap via Spoonflower. Click on the links below to check out my designs.

Hepcats Haven Designs on Redbubble

Hepcats Haven Designs on Spoonflower

Here are some examples:

Our New 1961 Ranch

Special thanks to James Safonov Realty and Brad L’Engle of Guild Mortgage. James actually sold our house in Sacramento and helped us with buying our new home. He drove from Sacramento all the way to the Bay Area every time we had homes we wanted to check out.

We found our new Hepcats Haven in early November. This is what we’re starting with. We’re putting our touches on it, and will show you some after photos once we get our landscaping more dialed in.

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What’s Next?

We’re focusing on getting our new house in order. Getting unpacked and our collection up has actually been more difficult than the move itself. As we get rooms in order, we’ll be sure to share our journey with you. Here’s a sneak peek…

Hepcats Haven

We wish a happy New Year to everyone!

Carlo of Hollywood Stallion Partner

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As you may be aware, we’re major collectors of Carlo of Hollywood watercolors.  One of our favorite pieces is our large Stallion watercolor.

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This is one of the two smaller ones that would have been part of this 3 piece set. When Carlo watercolor paintings were sold, they were usually in pairs or sets of three. In the case of this stallion set, there is one large one and two smaller ones. Usually, one of the smaller ones would be almost a duplicate of the larger one.

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This one has some character, but it may just be dirt under the glass. I’ll have to take it apart and clean it up!

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We just love the bold imagery of these pieces.  We of course, love the forced perspective/angular frames.

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We decided to hang them above our fireplace.

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Hopefully, one day we’ll locate the other smaller Carlo.

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As always, we hope to enjoy these for years to come.

Sunday’s Best

Mel and I came across an ad on Craigslist that stated a gentelman had some items he wanted to sell. We drove up through the beautiful El Dorado Hills until we arrived at his homestead. We had the pleasure of meeting a man by the name of Tom. As we spoke he began to tell us that his wife had been an antique dealer for years. They had been into antiques since the 70’s. His wife passed away recently due to cancer and Mel and I could tell it was hard for him to go through their collection and sell it. It makes you realize that when you go to these estate sales that these were someones prized possessions. These are the things they cherished. I guess all I am saying is that as a dealer/collector sometimes we forget what this stuff meant to those who owned it before us and those left behind.

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These are the items we were fortunate enough to find at Tom’s place.

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As I am sure a lot of dealers out there know, stuff is getting harder and harder to find so it makes your day when you stumble across a collection of cool items.

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Most of these items will make it into the our shop, while others will be staying with us.

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Here are a couple of large Carlo of Hollywood watercolors we purchased. These will end up in our shop.

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Mel and I have been looking for one of these for a long time. This is a collapsable record/magazine holder. We wanted to start selling records and this will work great to display them.

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Here are a couple of cool looking danish lamps that are heading to the shop.

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We have a 1958 Wurlitzer 2200 jukebox and these speakers will be great companions for it.

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This John Hauser style hoop chair will make someone very happy. It’s going into the shop!

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I wish we had room in our home for this pink dream chair with frieze fabric. This chair is clean and will also be going into the shop.

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For me, this was the find of the day. We have a vintage bathroom that is the same color and this vintage dentist’s cabinet will be a great addition.

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Here are a pair of breathtaking Art Deco horse head lamps. They need to be cleaned up and I need to find some shades for them. These will be going in the shop.

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This was not a part of Tom’s items but we picked this up a few days ago from San Jose. This is the highly sought after Heywood Wakefield record cabinet (model: m395).

Well now comes the hard work of restoring these items as needed, but I wouldn’t have it another way!

Jungle Cat Carlo of Hollywood Pair They’re Grrrrreat!

Jungle Cat Carlo Paintings

Mel and I were contacted by Bobbie at At Home Modern regarding these fantastic Carlo of Hollywood watercolors she purchased from auction house in New Jersey. I had seen pictures of these online before but had never seen them in person. They are soo cool with the black background.

Jungle Cat Carlo

Unfortunately, these had some mild condition issues. It appears dust and some light mildew had accumulated on the surface of the art. This happens when the back dust cover is torn or missing or when the paintings are stored in a humid area. If you recall, we had a set of bullfighters that had mold that penetrated the paintings.  I had to do an extensive restoration of that pair. Luckily, the mold & dust on this set did not penetrate the art.

Jungle Cat Carlo

Jungle Cat Carlo

We were able to carefully remove the surface debris and they cleaned up great!

Jungle Cat Carlo

Jungle Cat Carlo

I refinished the frames of course.

Jungle Cat Carlo Paintings

These will look fantastic in our Tiki room.

Hepcat Tiki Room

Here is a sample of the Tiki Room so far. There is still a lot I want to do. So far so good.

Hepcat Tiki Room

Another Carlo Stash Raided

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This is an original tag that would have been on a Carlo of Hollywood piece. This is the rarest of the rare. Most of these tags were discarded. Mark is going to include this in our purchase.

Mark and Ann, the owners of Midway Antique Mall, called us today to tell us they got in 21 new Carlos!!! WHAT, 21!!! We almost swallowed our tongues. We immediately shot over to survey the collection. Mel and I picked out what we wanted but there are still pieces available for any of you collectors out there. Here are the ones we picked out (excuse the reflections).

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Don’t know what this picture reflects but it seems like something that relates to breaking the chains of bondage.

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This is an Asian man meditating while his tea steeps.

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Mel and I have some Thai dancers that will look fantastic with these. (Thai 1 & Thai 2)

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We have never seen these before. They seem to be Thai as well.

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These are small Carlos but are very cool. The frames are to die for. (sorry about the glare)

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This is a large Asian. The colors are FANTASTIC!!!

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Ok, Mel and I have seen a lot of cats by Carlo, but NEVER a Bengal tiger. This is super rare!

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This is a HUGE panther Carlo. The colors are fantastic and it is soo cool.

Count Carlo

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I was recently contacted by one of our readers named Robert. I was so excited about the information the email revealed about Carlo. I have asked him to please send me copies of the correspondence between both of them and any pictures he has of Carlo.

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Hi there,  

It’s with great interest that I read your newsletters and admire all your wonderful Carlo’s.  I started collecting Carlo in the mid 80’s and at the time had one great source from a woman living in Southern Cal. I live in Boston. Carlo’s can appear unexpectedly anywhere but there seems to more on the west coast. Somehow Carlo heard from another collector that I was collecting his work and he WROTE to me! You can just imagine when I opened the mailbox and saw his name on the return address. So over a short period of time he wrote me four times. At the time he was living in Manila, the Philippines and working as an artist along with some other creative adventures such as film making. He sent me an article written about him from July 8, 1987 titled  “Predictions by Count Carlo”   The guy was a character.  He claims that at the age of 28 he had a vision of his obituary published in a newspaper. I assume he passed away sometime in the 90’s but I can’t verify that.  The great thing about this article is that there are three photographs of him…an amiable looking balding man with a full grey beard.  One photograph has him sitting in front of one of his recent paintings – a 15 foot tall abstract painting.

He went by the name Count Carlo and I have three of his calling cards that he sent me. He didn’t consider any works signed “Carlo” to be his serious work except those painted for JC Penny. I think it’s difficult to figure what exactly was done by him since after moving to Italy and “proceeding to mass produce ‘original’ Carlos with the aid of over a dozens artists and semi-artists….hence their must be hundreds and thousands of paintings with my original signature.”  Another quote “My serious work I sign Count Alberto Carlo or just Albert Carlo but never Carlo, except of course what I painted for JC Penny”  

At the time I sent him photos of all the Carlo’s I had and he returned them with a sentence or two description written on the back of each. Back then he was looking for paintings that he did on velvet and was willing to pay for them. I had none and rarely see any. There was a pair recently on eBay of harlequins that sold for something ridiculous like 9.99.  I don’t know about you but most of the stuff listed on eBay these days by Carlo I personally do not care for. And the prices are terribly inflated. 

He sent me a painting unexpectedly titled “Hong Kong Beauty” which he requested $300 for but I sent it back. I didn’t like it at all!  I wanted to say to him…no offense but I prefer your stuff that was mass produced. I guess he might have been offended because I never heard from him again.

I’ll go through my letters again and see what other info I can send you. Although my collecting has gone in a different direction I still have a few on the walls. I absolutely love Carlos in the forced perspective frames and there’s nothing like them….whoever painted them!

Hope this bit of info helps a bit…..

Regards,
Robert

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If Robert can manage to find the original correspondence and photos I will post them on the site. I am soo excited at the possibility of adding a face to the name. This is like solving a mystery 60 something years in the making. It is soo important that we share this info so it isn’t lost to time. I will make sure to keep all you Carlo art lovers updated as soon as I hear anything.

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