Tuesday, December 10, 2013

An Unexpected, Early Christmas Present

My telephone rang yesterday morning with a friend calling to tell me she and her daughter were in a consignment store, and they saw a signed, numbered drawing of the J.L. Hudson Department Store at Christmas time.  She said it was in a 11 x 14 cherry frame with beautiful matting, and it looked like new.  The store owner hadn't even priced it yet, but if I was the least bit interested I better get there a.s.a.p.

Up to this point, the majority of my Hudson's memorabilia has pertained to the store's tea room, dining rooms, and food service, but my friend said, "This drawing is to die for!  You need to see it."

So after finishing another commitment, I headed 21 miles north of where I live to Frontier Town in Romeo, MI.  The little house built in 1854 was previously an antique store which I had visited in times past, but last August it became Castaways Consignments.

The owner said this is the first piece of Hudson's memorabilia that has ever come into her store.  It was as though it was meant for me because she showed it to my friends before putting it on the sales floor.  

The price was $89, and it didn't take me very long to decide I wanted it.  Below is the drawing/print with only the burgundy matting visible.  Snow is gently wafting down, and there's the outline of a Christmas tree spread across the Woodward facade of the store in white lights.

The artist, Jim Williams, had a note affixed to the back of the frame, which appears below. Everything he says is spot on!  And since he specifically mentions Hudson's dining rooms, it ties into my collection perfectly.  

It is numbered 103 of 200.  When I got home I unwrapped it to show my hubby.  He looked it over and concluded it was a very good purchase, and said he'd pay for it as a Christmas present.  I'm so happy with my new Hudson's 'treasure,' and so grateful to my friends for calling to tell me about it.  Thanks, Wanda and Cindy!


  1. How kind of your friends to know you well enough that you'd want the print. It reminds me of downtown Toronto years ago with the streetcars, although I don't see any tracks so perhaps it is a bus?
    Your hubby is sweet to pay for the print to be a Christmas gift, truthfully, something mine would do too.

  2. Your painting is spectacular, Phyllis! I googled "Jim Williams artist" because I was interested in when the painting was done (1983, I think). If you go to his site you can click on "Detroit" and see another Hudson's painting too. I think you got a good price considering it already was matted and framed.
    p.s. I like Jim Williams' art and enjoyed visiting his website! Thanks for introducing me.

  3. I'm a CA. girl and not familiar with Hudson but if it was anything like My memories of the old Bullucks down town in L.A. in he 50s ---Oh yes I understand.My stylish Auntie Jean use to take Me and My Sister there at Christmas -Oh what a dream of beautiful memories for a girly girl like I was.

  4. I think you feel about that store the way people around Atlanta feel about Rich's. How wonderful that your friends found this beautiful piece of art and called to tell you about it! It will make a lovely Christmas present for you.

  5. Oh my, this was MEANT TO BE! This is fabulous, and I love that it is a gift from your hubby too! (Alex loves it when I buy something at Christmas and hand it over, telling him it's one of his gifts to me. He hates to shop, so this is much preferred!)


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