Tuesday, April 26, 2011

We're Obsessed: Albini's Ottoman

Franco Albini Rattan Ottoman - Caned Poof Detail

This past weekend's trip to Minneapolis was, as usual, all too brief. Between visiting the home and studio of local artist Joe Sinness, chatting with old friends at Bev's, and feeling nostalgic for the Foshay tower, I hardly had any time to acquire stuff. A venture from my mom's house to the nearest Target to replace a Mac power cord was fruitless, so instead I headed to the downtown of Northfield, MN, past the Ragstock and coffee shops of my teen years. Instead of smoking cloves and trying on Military surplus jackets, I decided to stop by a couple of home stores.


Though the town is adorable, boasting two liberal arts colleges and a Malt-o-Meal factory, it does not have the greatest thrifting scene. A bizarre gift-cum-antique shop on the main drag sells an odd assortment of inspirational mugs and chicken-soup-for-the-whomever books, with a few vintage items thrown in for good measure. I passed over an overpriced vintage riding helmut, a damaged Lane cedarchest, an expensive Red Wing pottery crock. As I was about to exit the store in exasperation, I spotted a glittering mass of pink gauze, atop which sat a victorian birdcage. There, beneath copious amounts of frothy netting and aviary splendor, was the familiar shape of Franco Albini's caned ottoman.

Franco Albini Rattan Ottoman - Caned Poof

Too good to be true, I thought, and asked the sales lady if it was for sale. "Of course! Everything is for sale," was her reply, and she looked at me suspiciously, as if to say, what does a big ole' man like you want with this dainty little thing and maybe I should charge you more? And then she was removing the pink draping, handing me the ottoman beneath, and then I was buying it for a ridiculously low price, so low that one feels guilty talking about it. "I'll take that rusty old animal trap too!" I said, pointing, as if trying to claim a degree of masculine credibility back - like I was about to trap beavers or something. Since she was clearly baffled by my aesthetic, perhaps even a bit vindictive, I put on my sunglasses, paid, and hastily exited.

Franco Albini Rattan Ottoman - Caned Poof Detail

An excited phone call to John later and we pretty much confirmed it was the real deal, and in outstanding shape. Now arrives the big stupid obvious question: to resell or keep? We should really just quit our day jobs so we stop this nonsense of keeping everything, so that the question comes down to a matter of keeping or eating. Then again, it isn't beneath us to starve for good design.

That said, we are hell bent on knocking y'alls socks off at the next Vintage Bazaar, so on the truck it goes.

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