Saturday, May 7, 2011

Kentucky Derby and sweet memories

bungalowWhen I used to work at Vail's Grove Golf Course in the early to mid-90's, there was still an air of nostalgia in that clubhouse. It was a cool, old bungalow style house with this gorgeous stone fireplace built in the early 1900's. The owners were all in their 60's and up and so were a few many of the members, it was nice because the ages were so diversified with people from all walks of life. Those members and owners were like a family to me but when I visited there this past August, it was under new ownership, the building had undergone some remodeling and modernization and many of the members I knew were no longer there. I don't know why but I still always think time will stand still and keep our favorite people and places and memories intact. Even though I loved to see the couple who remained and that Karen was still working there, the special feeling I used to get when I would go there was gone.

One of the things we used to do was a pool for the Kentucky Derby. If there was a reason to bet, there would be a pool! I would be given the instructions on how much to collect, how the selections would be made (draw the name from a hat, no picking your own horse) and I would fill-up the sheet before noon. The members would slowly trickle in after 18 holes and the bottles would come out of their lockers as they set-up in the TV room to watch the race. It was always fun and I remember I even 'showed' one time, my $5 got me $15 :)

Tonight's anticipated auction launch at 10:00 p.m. EST includes a 1990 Alabama Stakes glass. That is what got me feeling all nostalgic about today's big race.

Also, something else in tonight's batch that got me yearning for my past is a Hull mirror brown drip glaze creamer and sugar set. I spent a few summers at my Aunt and Uncle's huge farm in Denton, MD in my teens and this was the set my Aunt had. I still remember helping innoculate all the latest kittens that were born in the barn and feeding a newborwn bull from a bottle. Sure, I could do without the hundred's of pigs all oinking like mad at 4 a.m. to be fed but overall, the farm for a few weeks in the summer is something every kid should experience.

And, as usual, a slew of some souvenir items, plates, ashtray, cups, etc. for others who also want to remember days gone by.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Who would have thought to collect feet!

Guess I was born after the porcelain foot souvenir craze! Apparently, it was the same molded foot with two holes on the back for hanging to literally climb the wall and then the state name was added under the catch-phrase - WE GOT A KICK OUT OF ... These particular feet were from Japan and will be up for auction starting Wednesday, May 4th for Florida and South Carolina. They would be cute in a beach house or a guest room, if I ever have a home that actually has a guest room, I plan on filling it with quirky finds and whimsy! Sure, some guests may call it clutter but I am sure many would appreciate the variety of items which might spark some interesting conversations.

I tried to find out exactly who Lenox (the old green wreath mark and an incised mark I can not make out) made the ashtray with match holder for, it has a large schooner type ship and reads The Commodore - a few yacht clubs came up, which would make sense. I then tried to date it but wow, can anyone agree when the green wreath USA mark was actually used? No concrete answer on that but I know it is an older piece.

Then, for the well-dressed man, some vintage Anson bling! Or even for a lady, I saw some gorgeous blouses that had cufflink sleeves and you needed cufflinks for them. I was chatting with a colleague about this and she said when she worked in the banking industry in the 1970's down by Wall Street, she had several of these blouses and cufflinks. I am so for this style to come back in vogue, no woman can have too many accessories!! So we have here a lovely pair of silvertoned with faux onyx cufflinks and a matching tie tack by Anson with their original box, wonderful condition!

Sunday, May 1, 2011


Its been several weeks since I have done a few things, post on my blog and list a lot on eBay. Pneumonia got me again (had it back in 2003 as well) so I took it a bit easy. It even got me out of jury duty (which I really didn't want to be excused from). Since last Tuesday night, I have been making my daily listing goals and am happy to say we have some fun vintage and collectible finds hitting the eBay auctions every night @ 10 p.m. EST except Friday's.

Tuesday night, May 3rd, we will be getting these items set for launching. A single serve restaurant ware Hall tea pot. I love restaurants that bring me my own little tea pot and let me keep filling my own cup. And we have a Holt Howard Santa boot. We have a personal large collection of Santa face mugs, including the winking Holt Howard pitcher with cups. One day I hope to display our close to or maybe over a 100 by now Santa mugs. Also coming is a sweet sailor and young lady salt and pepper set, a sweet embossed apple creamer and a little souvenir jug from Flemington, N.J.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Local history

In addition to several collections, my husband and I love to collect local vintage memorabilia as well. I have always found it fascinating to know what used to be where in our town, no matter where I have lived I always wanted to know more about the town's past. I am now in Hopatcong, N.J. and for some inexpicable reason I am drawn to the Lackawanna Railroad and the Morris Canal, both of which used to pass through this once bustling resort town on the lake. The Lackawanna Railroad is now part of New Jersey Transit which I ride regularly, I like to imagine what it was like a hundred years ago on that same train line when tourists used to be dropped off not only at the station (this was when the Canal also ran next to the tracks)-

But the stops that were in the middle of the woods with little dirt paths that led to a fine hotel or a small inn.

Our museum is filled with lots of old photos and stories, a lot of the grand houses and hotels burned down, unfortunately. And the Depression saw a major decline in this area as a resort hotspot. We even had an 18 hole golf course which was reduced to a 9 hole course and now is gone.

The 1980's saw the closure of an amusement park here on Bertrand Island, progress, it is now filled with condos.

Many of our local eateries have the walls filled with wonderful old photos of this area as well.

I love being able to acquire postcards of the past from here, I am not the only one because I often get in bidding wars on eBay for certain cards. It took me a few years to acquire the coveted original train station as well as the Breslin Hotel. I missed out on a few last week but I will keep checking back.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Heisey glassware - a quick note on the legit mark

It is important when collecting or buying a collectible that one researches fakes and reproductions and become familiar with how to spot the real McCoy, in this case, though, it is the real Heisey.

As I prepare to list a single Heisey stemmed goblet tonight, I wanted to verify the H mark on the bottom is indeed a true Heisey mark. I visited the Heisey Glass Museum site and found this helpful tidbit on identifying.

The H is in a diamond - the reproductions make you believe it is an H in a diamond but it is actually a square on its side. The H on my glass is indeed a Heisey mark, when I turned it sideways my diamond did not form a square.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Few Decorating Techniques on Dinnerware

Dinnerware, be it for your own home or on restaurantware, often has a design on it. From a plain band to intricate designs, there are a few terms associated with the decorating process.

Hand Painted as implied, not as prevalent as in earlier years, often it takes years of training to make each piece almost identical. Brush stroke variations, color overlap and inconsistencies in line width and color depth are strong indicators that a piece is hand painted.

Lining and Banding can be done free hand but most often machine-applied now.

Airbrushing this technique became popularized in the 1940's, it is useful for band rims or accents. Stencil Airbrushing uses a stencil - also called "shadowtone".

Transfer Printing This is a neat pocess and common on older multi-colored pieces. Images are engraved onto a copper plate which a mixture of color and oil is then spread over the heated copper plate and this is worked into the engraving. Excess color is removed and then the designed is printed onto special paper which resembles a strong tissue-paper. Like a temporary tattoo, this piece of paper is placed on the piece and rubbed firmly. The paper is then soaked off and leaves behind the printed image. For multiple colors, it is basically layered on repeating the above for each color.

Direct Printing Like transfer printing, each layer of color must be applied separately in the following steps which are compared to an accurate form of rubber stamping. Soft silicone is used for the molded design and placed on a printing head. The head is then positioned on the piece, pressed down and leaves behind a single color design.

Decals applied by hand or machine, as the name implies, decals which are applied to the piece using various techniques.

For a more comprehensive in-depth definition with lots of great color photos, check out the Collector Books - Restaurant China Vol. I by Barbara J. Conroy.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

No snow in our forecast FINALLY

I finished this just this past weekend, we had a forecast of snow into Wednesday and another batch Thursday to Friday but we were spared! I started this after the first fall, coincidence?

Of course it is!

My next project is 1/4 of the way done, may be completed by this weekend.

We hit a local thrift shop today, I was very good, we donated a cart full of boxes and I left with less than 10 items for eBay. Not that I don't have thousands of items waiting to be listed already (not an exaggeration) but I do LOVE the hunt!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Booze - how it gots name

A slight diversion from the Parian posts as promised and a fast little tidbit.

August 1942 Hobbies:

The original whiskey bottle was made by a man by the name of Booz. That is how whiskey first came to be called "booze", and hence the term, Booz bottles.

Speaking of whiskey, we have two Kessler Whiskey plastic signs for collectors with some bidding activity, I misidentified the birds as pheasants in the one (you can scroll down to the bottom of that one to see where I am called out on my error in the questions area).

Parian Porcelain - What is it? - Part 4

Sorry for the delay in my attempts to come to the end of this lengthy vintage article, with a 4 year old, working full-time (4 hr daily commute) and eBaying, I really do and try to make time to keep posting here regularly but something has to give and usually it is me giving into exhaustion. That whine being said, Part 4 of the Hobbies Aug. 1942 article on Parian:

Parian was a specialty of the Cannon Street Works, operated by Edward Steele. Adams and Bromley, also of Hanley, made exceptionally fine Parian busts, including that of Gladstone. There was still another potter here, operated by a Mr. Ash, which joined in the making of this popular product.

The Dresden Works at Tinkerclough made it in a cheaper grade for both the home (UK) and American markets. Daniel Sutherland of Longton in 1863 was making Parian jugs, brooches, crosses and other small trinkets. Parian was made at the Church Works in Longton before 1876 and by Mr. Wilson of Heathcote Road; and an especially fine quality was produced at the pottery of Joseph Holdcroft.

T. and R. Boote purchased the Waterloo Potteries at Burslem in 1850 and was one of the earliest cocncerns to include Parian among their productions. "Repentance, Faith, and Resignation," one of their known Parian groupd, is three figures grouped in front of a cross. Among the vases made by them were some of buff-colored Parian with raised, applied flowers in white. (my note - almost sounds like Wedgwood)

A company which manufactured Parian exclusively was Turner and Wood, established in 1850 at Stoke-upon-Trent. They made Parian animals and ornamental figures along with the usual line. Occasionally they decorated their Parian with majolica colors (earthtones).

Robinson and Leadbeater established a pottery at Stoke-upon-Trent in 1865. They also confined their production to Parian. Rock of Ages and a portrait statuette of Queen Victoria were among their best pieces. Mr. Leveson Hill, located at the Wharf Street Works in the same city between 1858 and 1879, made Parian figures, vases, flower stands, centerpieces or comports (compotes?), baskets, bouquet holders, trinket boxes, creamers, jugs, etc. He also made Parian busts of Gladstone, Disraeli, Tennyson, Dickens, Longfellow, Garfield, Abraham Linclon and other celebrities. Much of his Parian ware was shipped to this country. William Henry Goss, located on London Road after 1858, made Parian, terra-cotta, ivory porcelain, etc. his portrait busts in parian rank above the average. One of Queen Victoria was particularly lovely. He also made scent jars, tazzas, and bread platters of Parian.

Okay, looks like there may be 2 or 3 more parts to this, I wish I could sit and type all day but my RA really makes typing an arduous task at times. I will be posting some small tidbits of notes I find interesting in between the Parian posts. Thanks to my readers for their patience.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Parian Porcelain - What is It? Part 3

Continued from previous posts:

At Hanley, England , several potteries were were extensively engaged in the manufacure of Parian. The Trent Works, established in 1859, made a cheap, ornamental grade priced within the range of all. During one year they made and sold more than 450,000 pieces, a large amount which was shipped to the U.S.A. Their Parian productions included jugs, vases, figure groups, busts and classical statuettes. The pineapple, shell, dolphin, and Indian corn were used as designs for creamers and larger jugs. They used no mark of any kind. sidenote- the McKinley Tariif Act did not come into affect until 1890 so a lot of pottery and porcelain that was imported here was not marked which helps date items.

The syrup pitcher illustrated has a light pink background with white ivy leaves and a pewter top marked "T. Booth, Hanley." In 1864 this firm was located at Burslem and was known as Evans and Booth, but in 1868 the name was changed to Thomas Booth and COmpany and in 1872 to Thomas Booth and Son. At one time they were located at Tunstall and at Shelton, a part of Hanley.

The Kensington Works at Hanley operated by John Bevington, and the Burton Place Works owned by Thomas Bevington both made Parian, the latter sometimes between 1862 and 1883. John Banford, located here, made Parian after 1850. Charles Meigh and Company operated the Old Hall Works in this city and produced a very fine grade of this ware. Among their notable pieces was an elaborate clock case decorated with cupids and nymphs in bold relief, a tankard, a similarly ornamented, and an urn-shaped vase, all of which were displayed at the Exhibiition of 1851.

Numerous medals were awarded the Cauldon Place Works at Hanley for their Parian products. About 1855, T.C. Brown-Westhead, Moore, and Company took over one of the Ridgway Potteries in this same city for the making of Parian.

Well, this article is much longer than I thought so there will be a part 4 and 5 to follow shortly.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Parian Porcelain - What is it? Part II

From Hobbies August 1942 by Thelma Shull:

Continued -

One need only glance at a list of English potters who made Parian, many of whom exported large quantities to the United States, why it is still to be found in homes scattered over the country. Many American firms also made this ware.

At Copeland and Garrett's factory, they called their fine Parian figures and busts Statuary Porcelain. It had a silky texture and a slight glaze. Copeland made a wedding service for the Prince and Princess of Wales, Edward and Alexandra, and the large compote was upheld by four Parian figures representing the four continents: Europe, Asia, Africa and America. Matching smaller fruit dishes were made of soft porcelain, richly gilded, were each ornamented with a Parian figure. These represented Earth, Air, Fire and Water.

The Minton firm at Stoke-upon-Trent, England, exhibited their Parian ware at the Exhibition of 1851 and again at the United States International Exhibition of 1878. IN 1878 they were making both white and colored Parian.

With a radius of about ten miles in the northern part of the County of Stafford, England, were located the towns known as The Potteries, including Cobridge, Etruria, Burslem, Fenton, Tunstall, Longport, Shelton, (at one time called Hanley), Lane End, and several others. It was here that so much Parian, Majolica and Ironstone china was made and sent to America between 1850 and 1900.

Part III to come soon...

I was just wondering, the four continents? In 1942, we did know the world and that there 7 continents. Were these just the four that England still had empires in?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Parian Porcelain - What is it?

From Hobbies August 1942 by Thelma Shull:

Part I - (more to follow within the next few days)

Ever since its discovery about 100 years ago, Parian has been one of the most popular porcelain. The dainty figures, the interesting groups, and the well-known hand vases are sought for and prized by the collector of today.

There is always the question as to whether or not a colored porcelain can be called Parian. It was first used only for making busts, statues and other reproductions of large sculptured pieces; but later English and American potters broke away from the all-white Parian and applied color. The white marble which it imitated was quarried on the Isle of Paros in the Egean Sea; hence its name. If the ingredients used in the making of the pieces which are partly colored are the same as for other Parian porcelain, it seems simpler to call it colored Parian, regardless of the original meaning of the word. Parian has also been called Carrara Biscuit and Statuary Ware.

Some of the earlier pieces were made from a mixture of kaolin, felspar and glass, but the best Parian bodies were made from China-clay and felspar alone. It is fired at a temperature of 1150 to 1200 C. which is considerably lower than that needed for English bone porcelain.

Pieces which may be found in Parian include busts, figures, groups, vases, pitchers, candlesticks, clock franes, creamers, covered sugars, trinket or small ornamental boxes, baskets, ring holders, doll heads, animals, jugs, jewelry, and even platters!

During the process of firing, it shrinks about 25%. The various parts for a figure are cast separately and kater joined. It is this shrinkage which most be accounted for and the skillful joining of the parts after the firing which makes careful handling a requisite for the succesful manufacture of Parian.

Parian is seldom glazed but the better pieces have a soft luster. However, pitchers and vases and any pieces made to hold liquids are usually glazed on the inside. The Irish Belleek porcelain is a variety of Parian porcelain.

The famous old English firms of Copeland and Minton both claimed the honor of first making it. Each worked independently of each other, but chanced to place their product on the market at about the same time. However, Mr. Mountford, an ex-figure maker from Derby, and Mr. Bataam, both of whom worked for Copeland and Garrett, are usually given credit for the discovery of this particular type of porcelain. They were searching for the formula or an improvement on Sevres biscuit when they made this hard white body that so closely resembled Parian marble.

Sculptors were enthusiastic about this ware because they recognized the advantage of having their artistic creations duplicated a number of times at a price which would make them available to the public at large.

Parian was seldom marked and was made by so many different potters during the last half of the 19th century that one is seldom able to identify its origin. Occasionally one finds pieces which were marked or passed from well-authenticated sources to present owners and their history is therefore established.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Jousting for Jewels - Hobbies August 1942

What a quaint custom this was, you learn something new everyday as they say and this I learned today:

Just an Old Court Custom

"The traveler, Tavernier, in his records of his trips and adventures, makes mentions of the ladies of the court and how they obtained fine collections of jewels in their day.

He speaks of one custom that he observed at the festivities at Raitsborne when Ferdinand III was crowned emperor. Tournaments were waged for jewels, and jewelers from all over Europe came to these celebrations, for it was good advertising and often they were rewarded with good orders.

It was the custom of the manager of the festivities to have erected two platforms - one for the emperor, empress and ladies of the court, the other arranged to resemble an open shop in which many jewels of great rarity were displayed. The knighs and nobles would touch the jewels they were supposed to compete for - either in races or games. The losing contestant paid for the ornaments which the competitors won.

The conqueror would receive his jeweled trophy from the Prince, place it on a sword and offer it to the empress, whose custom it was to decline. The winner would then offer it to his favorite lady of the court."

I wonder would happen if the empress decided not to decline, I am sure a few pieces caught her eye as well.

We don't have jewels worthy of royalty but we do offer costume jewelry in our store with much more to be added as time permits. Just click on the BushellCollectibles in the header above to see all of our offerings!