The Attack Of The Armoire

July 27th, 2012

The SC spotted this armoire while helping a friend move her booth out of an antique mall which was closing the end of May.  This Art Nouveau piece was in the space next to my friend’s booth and I admired its beauty with the thought that it would make a great accessory closet.  It was discounted at $250 from the original $800.  I decided not to purchase it, but the next day the owner called me and made an offer of $20 if I would pick it up and take it off her hands.  I couldn’t resist what I viewed as a gift bestowed upon me.

With much excitement I dashed off to rent a U-Haul van for $19.99 and off I went to pick up the armoire.  With help we were able to get it into the van and upon arriving home, the two men who were refinishing the hardwood floors helped me move it into the house.  Resourceful has become my middle name.

After dropping off the van, I arrived home to find that the floor workers had left for the day.  Pleased with myself as I admired my purchase, I opened the doors of the armoire and suddenly, apparently unsteady on its base, it came crashing down, taking me with it and throwing me to the floor with its crushing weight. Fortunately there was a less than two feet high padded cedar chest in its path which caught the descending piece, and saved me from the full impact of the falling armoire. Stunned, I was able to crawl on my stomach out of the small space beneath the wood structure and stand, moving about to make sure that I was unharmed.  As was my hat of the day!

Fortunately the beveled glass which adorns the doors was unbroken, but the center piece between the doors had broken off.  The heart included in the hand carving above my hand in the photo was lying next to the fallen armoire.  I reflected on the symbolism, as our anniversary was two days away at the time of this frightening incident.

I had adjustable shelves installed in the armoire, which will now holds accessories as demonstrated above.  And its broken heart has been repaired.  If only human hearts could be healed with such ease.

I’m aware that after the death of a partner, one can be at higher risk for accidents and illness.  Luckily I remain healthy and injury free, and pleased to enjoy my armoire.  But I have to say that I open its doors with care, making sure that it’s safely and securely on its base.  Why test fate twice?

Photos by Diana

White straw cloche with black trim by ‘Hats By Guy’ HERE – NYC flea market, black linen DKNY dress which was worn the day that we moved Camille into the Fordham University dormitory in 1999 – summer retail sale, earrings and bangles – estate sales, shoes – summer retail sale years ago at Strut, a boutique in northwest Denver, black obi from deep within my inventory.

Linking to Patti’s celebratory gathering at Visible Monday HERE.

40 Responses to “The Attack Of The Armoire”

  1. Pam@over50feeling40

    Amazing story! Things like this never happen to me…what a gorgeous piece for just $20 or I guess $40 with the UHAUL. It was meant to be yours and you look gorgeous standing by it!

  2. pao

    My goodness, what a story! It sounds like you both had a close encounter and made it through to the other side. (You can even hear it thundering in the background….)

  3. Practical Paralegalism

    When you said it fell on you, you scared me to death, even though logically I knew you were okay if you were writing about it 😮 Still, that was awful! I am so glad you are okay.

    I think cloche hats are my favorite. I am so jealous when I see my fave bloggers wearing them. My oldest, The Costume Technician, made me a hat several years ago, because she knew I can’t wear normal sized ones. But in my fantasy style life, I have a cute little head perfect for cloches 🙂

  4. Patti @ NotDeadYet Style

    Like Lynn, I was frightened as I read the story, even though I see you smiling beautifully in front of the armoire! It is a gorgeous piece, and I hope you enjoy it (safely!) for many years.

  5. pastcaring

    I am so relieved to hear that both you and the armoire survived the fall, Judith! What an incredible story, from being offered such a lovely piece at a bargain price, to the crashing fall, the broken heart, the stunned escape, and the restoration. There is such symbolism in everyday life. You look beautifully elegant as ever, gorgeous dress, and I love the unharmed cloche hat! Here’s to anniversaries and mending hearts and near misses! xxxxx

  6. Willa

    I thoroughly enjoyed your story of obtaining the armoire and of surviving the accident with this large piece. As you say, there is great symbolism that can be found in both portions of the story. You remind me that loss can be linked to risk as one continues on in life, and as I have been negotiating survival and reinventing my life in recent weeks, I take the message to heart. I am taking care of myself, but as your story demonstrates, the unexpected is apt to be behind the next door one opens. — As an aside, Judith, I appreciated your recent note, and I will respond soon. My schedule has been hectic, and I have fallen behind in correspondance. I am, however, touched by your effort to reach out with sisterly support.

  7. SizzleandZoom

    Wow, what a harrowing story. I am so glad you are OK. You look
    none the worse and beautiful, like you are walking out of the twenties
    into the thirties.

  8. Sara D.

    Oh my, I’m glad that you came out of that incident unscathed. The armoire is really beautiful and it was a steal and will be a great keeper of all your lovely things 🙂

    Have a great weekend!

  9. Joni

    Oh my gosh, how shocking! I was reading and my heart was pounding in my chest! Thank God you were saved within the wedge of space. Love the photo of you in the mirror’s reflection. I’m happy to see that you and the armoire have made peace with each other. I have almost the exact same one in my bedroom right now. I didn’t get quite the deal you got on yours but mine didn’t try to kill me either. 😉
    You know, interesting thing about illnesses and injuries after losing loved ones. My brother whom I was very close with died suddenly in a bicycle accident. Soon after I was diagnosed with cancer and I know it was from the manifestation of the sadness. It is a life changing thing, isn’t it?

  10. Kathleen Lisson

    Love the hat! Glad you are alright!

  11. Catherine

    What an experience! So glad you’re okay. Could it have been Nelson, just letting you know he’s watching over your heart, knowing it’s broken, but wanting you to take care of yourself?

  12. Rose

    What a double stroke of good luck! First, getting that fabulous piece of furniture for only $20! And then, that you weren’t injured when it fell over on you. How frightening that must have been. I “survived” an silly accident just recently too, so we are both survivors! How poignantly sad that the heart fell out. As you say, the timing was so near to your anniversary. So glad that you are OK, and continue to make progress on your new life’s journey.

    Much love from England,
    Rosemary from

  13. Josep-Maria Badia

    beautiful dress, very elegant …

  14. Jeannie@gracefully50

    LOVE your elegant outfit & hat! So classy!
    That beautiful armoire for $20? Wow!
    So glad you’re okay! Have a beautiful weekend Judith!

  15. Veshoevius

    So glad you weren’t hurt – it is a stunning wardrobe though and an amazing bargain! – hopefully now it is safely stable to fill with your beautiful clothes. Love your outfit! So elegant and the cloche hat is very you – I’m eyeing a cloche hat as a purchase this year. xx

  16. Kaffesoester

    I’m so glad to hear that your alright! The price could have been very high indeed for this beauty. You look so elegant in front of it, the dress fits you so well and the hat is just incredible. Lucky that the mirrors didn’t break!

  17. Anne-Marie Bruun

    Beautiful – as in a movie – it looks like in twenties? I love the style and what a story and what a furniture.

  18. Crystal

    I’m so glad you’re okay! What a lovely, murderous piece of furniture.

  19. Shelley

    I must say that was an emotional roller coaster of a post! First I was thrilled that you got such a beautiful piece of furniture at such a low price, then I was so upset to read that it had fallen on you, but thank goodness you weren’t hurt. It is also fortunate that the armoire could be repaired. Whew!!

    I have to say that you look unbelievably elegant and damn gorgeous in this outfit. The hat is stunning, as is the dress!

  20. Terri

    What a fantastic piece of furniture it is. I know that DH and I shopped and shopped for matching antique armoires and ultimately gave up because all that we found were too wide for the space we had. It is amazing that it was a gift, but how harrowing to have it fall on you this way. I know that we have anchored tall pieces we have to the wall and I can only imagine that your workers might be willing to do this for you after what has happened.

    And you look especially striking in this dress and this hat!

  21. Ariane

    Wow Judith that was scary
    But you are ok
    I am always careful with armoires, i always make sure that they are stable
    On the other hand i took a nasty fall on my bike yesterday, my wrist is so sore, i was lucky!
    Your armoire is grandiose! I love antique, i was raised in a house full of antique furniture,lamps, ect…

    Take care and be careful:)

    Ariane xxxx

  22. Vix

    Thank goodness you and the armoire have made peace with one-another despite it trying to kill you. It’s a truly beautiful piece and the price was astonishing.
    You are right about the loss of a partner often taking it’s toll on the one left behind. My Dad went downhill rapidly after my Mum died after a lifetime of rude health. xxx

  23. Corinne

    Oh my, I am so glad that you escaped without injury. How frightening. It is a beautiful piece and you were destined to have it. I do not believe in coincidence so that tells me that it was waiting for you! Death of a loved one does make us more vulnerable to accident or injury and we need to be vigilant. You did well with this one.

  24. Maureen

    The armoire is now tamed-ish! I too have had a long marriage and who knows how it will end. Loving thoughts to you.

    I have just discovered my inner – I hesitate to say ‘fashion’ self – but I am starting to wear clothes that are different. I love your blog.

  25. Rebecca

    No one would guess from the cool, calm and beautiful pictures of you that you just had a
    major fight with the armoire! The piece is gorgeous and it will provide very chic storage for many of your treasures.

  26. Rawkul

    Oh my goodness, my heart was sinking as I read about the fall!!! Oh Judith, your life is so incredible because you look at all things around you and you see the messages. I didn’t know about that fact about death, accidents, illness and partners. My mother mourned my step-father’s death for five years straight and got cancer during that time. She told me on her deathbed to not be sad or worry like she did. She honestly believed she brought on her own illness and I believe it too. I am so glad you are okay SC. So, so happy you are okay. And you look so beautiful with your armoire. Gorgeous, just gorgeous. xo

  27. Jean

    Wow. The crazy thing about accidents is the sudden nature of them-totally unanticipated! So glad you’re alright. I have to believe that yoga contributes to your resiliency.

    The armoire looks amazing in your space, along with the gorgeous floor and wood trim. It was meant to be there, clearly. I look forward to seeing more lovely outfits in front of it. I love how you can remember your dress from a day in 1999. I often remember events in the past by what I wore.

    I’ll be thinking of you the next few days!!

  28. RobinDenning

    What an alarming story and I am so glad you escaped serious injury- that is really scary! But I know you will move about with care and stay alert. You are so smart.
    And that is one gorgeous & dramatic armoire (and outfit, of course 🙂

  29. Megan Mae

    Ohmy! What a story. I’m glad you came out alright. I worry often about my mom (separated from my father) because she lives alone.

    Your hat is so beautiful. So classic and chic.

  30. Bella Q

    I am glad you are unharmed! What a beauty of an armoire- and now it has a good solid home and purpose. And it’s heart, like you sagely note, can be mended. My heart sends you much love as you celebrate and mourn your anniversary with your beloved, Nelsen. XO!

  31. Melanie

    Your old-world vibe here is astounding, especially in that first photo! True story: I thrifted an antique armoire when I was living in Japan, but I got a strange sensation around it all the time. Finally I did a ritual I learned from a friend to rinse away the lingering whatever-it-was, and from that day onwards the armoire was friendly. All in my head? Maybe, but I felt better. Seems you’ve made friends here too. So glad to hear it!! I like the cubicles you’ve added.

  32. Debbi@SheAccessorizesWell

    The armoire is beautiful. What a frightening situation though. I am so thankful you were not hurt. Some of the old pieces are so delicate even though they look quite sturdy. You on the other hand look so very delicate and yet you are very strong! You look amazing in the dress and hat.

  33. Idiosyncratic Fashionistas

    GREAT STORY! So glad you told it!
    Great outcome!
    Great dress!
    Great hat!
    Great pictures!

  34. Tamera Beardsley

    Judith your posts are always so rich in photos and stories…I often need to take them in individually…and will comment the same.

    First…you look the definition of elegance…your outfit is sheer perfection…living art you are!

    Second I am am all to aware of illnesses following the death of a loved one. Within the year after my sister’s death, both my mother and father were hospitalized,
    for mental problems… as a heart so broken can so easily bring on. Six months after, my mother was found to have a brain tumor. Six months after that, I too was diagnosed with cancer.

    All this to say this is one of the reasons I am so entranced with you and your ability to grieve with such dignity and spiritual fortitude. You have a respect and reverence for the process of grieving that gives hope to so many. You are a true light during during a dark night. You give me more courage daily to live better. I thank you and send you love dear Judith.

  35. O D Y S S E Y

    That is scary. When I was four, my chest of drawers fell on me when I stood on an open drawer to put my clothes away (duh). Scared my parents half to death, and me too. Glad you survived intact. Whew!
    You look very chic in hats. Much as I love them, they’ve never loved me back. But I so admire hats on others.

  36. Greetje Kamminga

    Beautiful hat, exquisite dress, lovely armoire. Being Dutch, I have seen many armoires and yes you have to be careful. Luckily you are unharmed. (no woodwurm in it?)

  37. Judith Boyd

    Hi Greetje, No woodwurms! At least I hope not. Thank you for your comment!

  38. Anna

    What a wonderful dress! Really, less is more!

  39. Lynn

    I found your blog by way of Not Dead Yet Style. Saw your post on this gorgeous piece of furniture and just had to comment! It is lovely! I must admit your story about it falling was scary!! I am glad you are okay. Love your outfit here! I take it from this post (have not yet read other posts here) that you lost someone. I am very sorry.


  40. Laura

    I had an armoire fall on me last year. I had 6 broken bones, and have had 3 surgeries, but KNOW it could have been worse! Your Armoire ~ and You ~ are beautiful 🙂

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