We recently completed an etagere version of our Cole Porter model and had an occasion to use the original finial for this client’s project. As a model that has been made many times now, by many different hands, we thought this small detail might be intriguing. When Frederick originally made the etageres for Billy Baldwin, we used a short, domed finial with radiating gadrooning. We used these for all the etageres made in our shop at the time. However, as the model became more widely made, we ceased making the etageres around the mid-1960′s and, frankly, forgot about the finial model.
When Tony started producing the re-edited coffee table versions of the model in 2000, there was still no need for a finial on a coffee table. But around 2009, as John Archer Abbott started putting together his exhibition “Baltimore’s Billy Baldwin” at John Hopkins (http://www.museums.jhu.edu/evergreen.php?section=exhibitions&exhibition=baldwin), he contacted Tony about anything we might be able to loan to exhibit. Sure enough, we found the finial models (2 sizes) and sent them down for the exhibit along with some archival photos.
Needless to say we were thrilled our client agreed to use this original detail for their etagere and to see the model used again after a 50 year hiatus!