Friday, June 17, 2011
For Father’s Day 2011, “Baron’s Atlanta’s Answer To Italy’s Benevenuto Cellini.”
Mr Baron’s customers, from two major department stores, once made a path to his backyard garage workshop when his postwar hobby was tinkering with the irreparable. Now his business comes from all over the world, direct from the nation’s principal express service, from international moving van companies, from museums, department stores, jewelers, antique dealers and interior decorators. His services as an appraiser of objects of art are in demand by such companies as Lloyds of London. Indeed, but for a Korean in
and a Japanese in Chicago who do mending, his only competition is a woman in Washington , who trained in his shop. Norwalk, Connecticut
“We love nice distant competitors,” he says slyly.
Recently Mr Baron solved the aesthetic impasse between a decorator and his wealthy client who insisted on a television set in his formal French drawing room. Using a Fleetwood chassis, Mr Baron built a set into the chimney above the fireplace and covered its lens with a fine old oil painting. He rigged up a mechanism which moved the painting slowly upward at the flip of a switch, lowering it back gently when the set was no longer in operation.
“I have a field day with this kind of thing.”
Helpers for such a business are almost nonexistent. After trying several European artisans, Mr Baron found his best aides in an untrained man and woman from
Now Edna Broughton, her cousin, Ralph Wyatt, and a third woman, Flora Adams, can match any color, grinding it from Japanese lacquer, copy any intricate design, mold porcelain feet, hands, ears to restore crippled statuary – whatever is required. Their employer says they are all marvels of deftness and patience. Rutledge, GA.
The most vital people in the word, Mr Baron says, come to his cluttered shop. The South has more and more collectors every year, some of them with acquisitions valued as high as a million dollars.
The Barons never catch up. “We could close our doors and stay busy for a year. But we don’t want to miss anything.”
…Transcription of an article appearing in The Atlanta Constitution in the early 1960s. It was written by Doris Lockerman. A very long-time reporter and editor, she died recently, on