July 1, 2013Our Vintage Illinois Moulding Company Mirrored Shadowbox Is Finally On The Wall!
Last week I showed you guys the new retro chair we bought for our living room, but this week we focus on a vintage piece that we are pretty proud of!
Behold! Our almost pristine gold mirrored shadowbox made by the Illinois Moulding Company. I seriously love this thing, and surprisingly, so does Tom. This makes the shortlist of kitsch that he actually allows upstairs!
How we got this was actually kind of funny. Sara in AZ has one filled with poodles in her living room. She sent me a picture one day, and while I squealed with joy and envy, Tom wasn’t quite on board. Maybe it was because Sara’s is filled with poodles, or maybe because Tom didn’t see it up close and personal. We will never know. Either way, he declared he didn’t like it and we moved on.
Fast forward to about two months later. There was a new coffee shop in one of our favorite little towns and the theme of the shop was MCM! It was a really fun little place (it is sadly closed up now) and the best part was that it was filled with lots of vintage MCM pieces.
“That,” Tom whispered to me, “Is awesome.”
“What? That floor lamp with the sputnik shade?”
“That collection of carafes? Because I like that one on the-“
“No! That mirror thing!”
“What mirror thing?”
“That one.” He pointed to giant, gold shadowbox behind the counter that was filled with owl figurines.
I turned to face him. “You mean the SHADOWBOX?”
“Is that what that thing is called?”
I was speechless.
“But you…but I…Sara’s poodles-“
He smiled down at me. “I like it. We should get one.”
So, we started to look for a golden shadowbox, but it was tough. We found a few that were beat up, some that were too expensive, some that were beat up AND too expensive, and some that were just plain wrong.
By the way, big thanks to my Dad, who you see in the pictures here helping Tom drill into our cinder block walls so we can hang the shadowbox. Thanks, Dad!
Anyway, a few months went by and no luck. Then, one day, I opened up my email early in the morning and just about spit milk all over my computer screen.
“Tom! This is it! It’s the one!”
“What are you screaming about?”
“I got an email from Sara! She found a shadowbox for us on eBay!”
“That’s cool. How much is it?”
“The right price.”
“Nice. What the…why did Sara write, ‘Buy this or I will seriously have to kill you!’?”
“She is just joking. The best part is that the shadowbox is here in Michigan! We can just drive and pick it up and we don’t even have to worry about shipping.”
“If she is joking, why is it in all caps?”
“You don’t have to worry about her killing you, because I am buying it right now.”
He sipped his coffee while he watched me finish paying on eBay. “Just so we’re clear, she NOT going to kill me.”
“No, because I just bought it.”
He took another sip of coffee. “Sara is pretty serious about her mid-century stuff isn’t she?”
“Yes. Yes she is.”
So, that is the story of the shadowbox! It took us about a year to track one down, but with some help (Thanks, Sara!) we were finally able to get one in the house.
And thanks to Tom and my Dad, we were able to get it up on the wall, too!
By the way, this shadowbox was made by the Illinois Moulding Company, which was a company in Chicago that mass-produced decorative goods like these mirrored shadowboxes and various kinds of wall art for sale in department stores. (Thanks to Mid-Centuria for the info.) If you are looking for one of these, you should make lots of trips to Midwestern antique stores and shows, and keep an eye out on eBay!