Silver Fox Mantel Frieze: In Dutchess County, NY, there was the second oldest operating inn in America, The Cottonwood Inn. At one time a couple from the Big Apple took over the place with the intention of turning it into a major wedding resort. They discovered two original surrounds from the 18th century in the basement and I was asked to recreate them into pieces with the new “Silver Fox” theme. This is the end result on one of the pair. I spent weeks scraping probably fifteen layers of paint off the two old surrounds to get to the original 18th century wood before I could work out the carvings. The new owners then promptly bankrupted their ambitious project before completing it, having gutted and destroyed the historical inn; they stiffed their contractors, split town, and the two mantels disappeared. C’est la vie. What’s left of the inn has now been turned into a high-end spa of no historical significance and all of the antique wood and interior is buried in a pit in a field behind the swimming pool.
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