design out of reach

Ray Azoulay of Obsolete Inc.
Obsolete carries a number of exquisite santos figures
Much of the lighting on offer seems as though it would be perfect on the set of a Brothers Quay movie

I stumbled on the web site for Obsolete Inc., a high-end antique furnishings and curio gallery in Venice, California, a while ago and was entranced. A curatorial mix of American folk, European industrial remnants, objects of vertu and threadbare opulence of the 18th through mid-20th centuries, the shop is the creative purview of Ray Azoulay. Azoulay is, I gather, a former Liz Claiborne fashion executive who traded in the Manhattan-apartment-to-country-house-and-back hamster wheel for California a few years ago, opening Obsolete in 2008. He must be doing well: the store is a monumental 6000 sq feet, large enough for regularly changing installations. And Azoulay's 1800 sq ft showpiece loft is down the street. At 7800 sq ft I bet his West Coast indoor real estate is multiple times the size of his New York apartment AND Pennsylvania country house— combined.

I post this now because I received an email noting an Obsolete sale today through August 17th, via this site. Alas, the prices are virtually nonsensical—it is as though it's quoted in Monopoly money: a quirky set of wicker whisk brooms on a primitive peg board is now $949, down from $2800; a collection of 200 small lidless wooden storage boxes, circa 1910, $1899 down from a heartstopping $4800. But if any shop were to make me ache for, say, an enigmatic circular railroad reflector, or a heroic 12-and-a-half foot wooden ladder, it is this one...
Check out the Obsolete links page for some good random referrals.

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