Over the years, a common thread in conversations with my customers has been, “My grandfather made it.” For some reason, most folks have the desire to think that the piece in their possession has been handmade, typically by their grandfather – although, I easily and quickly recognize most pieces as factory-made.
On this particular day, a dining table, six chairs, and a buffet were brought in with that good ol’ familiar saying, “My grandfather made it.” I displayed my best, and most sincere, forced smile and said, “That’s impressive,” (knowing, once again, that it was bred from a factory). Later, while working on it, I turned over the table and found a label.
I called the customer upon finding the label and asked if she knew of a Pete Baroni. She replied with, “Yes! That’s my grandfather.” I was dumfounded – and a bit ashamed, having regarded her as another “grandfather made” customer.
In the black and white photos, you will see the shop where the furniture was made, photos of the pieces, along with a picture of the tag from underneath the table.
This was a one of a kind set, made with factory specifications. The lumber used, the inlay applied, and over-all construction was simply superb.
The pieces were a joy to restore and work on. An even greater sense of mirth came from returning them to the rightful owner, the now granddaughter.