Have you ever | The Story of My Maison Bagues Bar Cart

Several years ago, I was in an endless search for a brass bar cart. I scoured the internet, but at the time, few options were available and those that were were costly – at $600-1,500. It just wasn’t in our budget.

Thanksgiving entertaining tips - setting up a bar cart

I set an alert for Craigslist and eventually found a bar cart. I sent Chris to a somewhat sketchy location late at night to pick it up and it barely fit in my tiny SUV. It appeared dated to me with the same foggy marbled glass I remembered gracing the walls at our elderly neighbor’s house when I was a toddler. I was overjoyed to give it a makeover.

Maison Bagues bar cart

Oh I’d spruce it up, replacing the glass, potentially the wheels and a fresh coat of gold {spray} paint. I loved that bar cart. We used it to serve guests in the dining room of our home in Kansas, then it made the move to St. Louis and we used it in our breakfast room until…

Beautiful brass bar cart styled for effortless Christmas entertaining with a magnolia wreath

in the middle of the night, we heard a large crash. We were totally alarmed. Did a window just break? What could have happened? I was too tired to find out and thought it must be a dream. Chris wasn’t rattled at all.

The next morning I walked into the breakfast room to pour cereal for the girls and found broken bottles and alcohol scattered throughout the room – all over our brand new hardwood floors!

The glass couldn’t bear the weight of the overloaded bar cart and gave way, sending the bottle crashing to the floor and into one another. 

After that, I considered replacing the glass, but instead replaced a bar cabinet. Eventually we started to clean out the storage room, listing the bar cart on Craigslist. At $100 {original purchase price $200}, it didn’t sell. I received the occasional offer for $25, but pulled the listing thinking I’d eventually find a use.

The other night, a reader commented on my original bar cart blog post alerting me to an earlier comment saying “Hi Julie, I think Karolina is right. That looks like a genuine Maison Bagues bar cart. They sell for about $3,000.” Say what? It couldn’t be true. I visited the link. My heart sunk. It is an original Maison Bagues bar cart – identical. It is what bar carts today are modeled after. It was valuable. 

masion bagues bar cart

Notice a difference? Neither do I.

I did a little research and a similar cart is listed for $9,000 with taxes and shipping. $9,000! 

Five years ago, I was quick to pick up a can of paint and transform anything, but I’ve come to realize there is so much beauty in pieces as they are. Sometimes you have to open your eyes to see it and embrace what you have. There’s nothing more beautiful than a piece in it’s original state in all it’s integrity. 

I’m still dying a little inside, but as I did with our oak kitchen cabinets, I am going to resist the urge to paint because for me, there’s so much beauty in what lies beneath. PS, what would I do without you?

entertaining expert and lifestyle blogger Julie Blanner

 

 

6 Comments

  • DeAnna says:

    Hi Julie, Your cart is beautiful! Enjoy! Only in the past 3 or so years, have I really been into antiquing. What I’ve noticed though, are a lot of these vintage/antique pieces were once painted over too from previous owners. Maybe these pieces don’t bring the same dollar value as original finishes, but many of them I still prefer. There’s just something about a particular piece whether refinished or not that draws me in. I buy what I love.

  • Shannon Fox says:

    So, it’s devalued because you spray painted it? Can that be stripped, without damaging the brass underneath? Either way, it still looks like an uber’ chic gazzilion dollar bar cart!! So it’s still a major win. xo

  • Karen says:

    Hi Julie – what a crazy story. Your bar cart is beautiful though! Definitely a keeper in my opinion. I always wanted a cool bar cart like that but unfortunately we don’t have space for it in our house at the moment. Maybe someday though – it’s amazing what you can find out there with a little patience! 🙂

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