Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Antiquated Charm (Mini-Home tour)

Today we go all the way to Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh to visit the home of poet and ardent reader of TECD, Aruna Patnaik. Aruna's collection of vintage artifacts and antiques is fascinating and so are the stories that accompany them. Isn't this one of the main reasons as to why we love a home tour? To hear the when, why and how of a particular piece being chosen and finding its way into the heart and home of its owners.
Let's cut right to the chase then shall we? Taking centerstage is the above vignette is a vintage, reverse glass painting of Gajendra Moksha. The painting, Aruna says is more than 80 years old and belonged to the royal family that once ruled a little hamlet called Mandasa in the Srikakulam district of Andra Pradesh. After marriage, Aruna had to move base to Mandasa where she up home in a bungalow that once belonged to a courtesan of the Rajah. Abandoned behind one of the doors in the bungalow, were 20 such paintings. On her first visit to inspect the bungalow, she heard a huge crashing noise only to realize that  someone's negligence had caused these lovely paintings to come crashing to the floor. Aruna could hardly believe what had just happened! She managed to save only two from the lot! After decades, it still has a place of importance in Aruna's home. Also seen in the frame above on the left, is an 18th century compass gifted to her by a cousin. Balancing it out on the right is an antique bowl weighing 3 kilos that Aruna managed to snag from a shop that sells steel kitchen utensils. The bowl was originally used by farmers to soak rice in butter milk that they ate for breakfast before heading out to the fields for the day. But now Aruna uses it to float flowers. 
At the far end, you can get a glimpse of the other reverse glass painting. This one features the Vaman Avatar.

Another lovely vignette where a collection of Kerala "Kindis" is arranged following the rule of height. Accompanying them is a traditional bronze lamp  that was got in exchange for some steel utensils.  
Now isn't that a fascinating antique bed? Infant, one doesn't get to see these anymore! What if I told you, that something as beautiful as this was going to be used as firewood?? GASP!!!!  Apparently, this piece along with a gramophone and a grandfather's clock were being taken away by some residents of Mandasa to be used as firewood. An acquaintance of the family, realized that this would be a hideous waste of such lovely pieces and brought this to Aruna's attention. Without a moments hesitation Aruna, decided to rescue them by paying for it. Now, they steal the show in her guest bedroom.
You know of my obsession with plantation chairs, don't you??? I absolutely love how striking this corner looks by combining a vintage plantation chair with a contemporary looking copper pendant light (a gift from Aruna's son from Habitat, London). As for the chair, yes it has a story.  Over to Aruna, "The plantation chair belonged to the same royal family of Mandasa who lost all their riches in time and were selling away things. It broke my heart just imagining the difference in their life styles. But little did they know about how valuable these pieces were. They asked for a Godrej cupboard instead in exchange for this piece!" 
Another score, an antique book case that belonged to the royal family. Now, its filled with Aruna's collection of books and a few other vintage brass artifacts. 

With that we come to the end of our mini-home tour. I hope you enjoyed the glimpses of this lovely home. Thank you Aruna for sharing lovely corners of your home with my TECD readers. We wish you all the very best!

(Image Credit: Aruna Patnaik. Please do not use the images for commercial or non-commercial purposes without the prior consent of the home owner or TECD)

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