Sunday, August 10, 2014

Lights! Camera! Say Cheese!

Early 1900s 5x7 Glass Plate Bellows Camera
Vintage cameras are really a lot of fun. Old fashioned film and camera photography is a lost skill nowadays. Film and developing and printing resources can still be found. However, most vintage cameras lead the life of decorative accessories in offices and dens, residing on bookshelves, in display cases and collection cabinets. They do make a wonderful statement.
Old photographs are great for decorating and for mixed-media artwor. We have lots of them.
We have recently acquired a large collection of cameras and photography accessories ... from old Brownies to more contemporary 35mm SLR cameras and even a couple of miniature or spy cameras. For the most part these cameras appear to be functional ... they are mechanically sound and clean, but we have not actually taken photographs with them. The accessories range from darkroom gadgets to lenses and filters to flashbulb attachments. Fun stuff.

You have got to see this stuff. Come on in!

Some old electrical meters, a Kodak Brownie Box Camera and an Argus Camera. In back is a 35mm SLR and on the right a wind-up movie camera.
Kodak Brownie, Kodak Instant Camera and an Antique 5x7 Camera
Cameras, lenses, filters and an old Paymaster check meter.
Some old darkroom equipment, movie film reels and other stuff.
More cameras and accessories.
Go really old-fashioned with this stereo viewer and slides.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

It's Beach Time!

With the weather so beautiful, it's time to head for the beach. Sail out on the bay in your boat. Get out the fishing gear ... and don't forget the sunscreen!

Vintages is celebrating summer with a super selection of sailboats, shell frames, mermaids and more. Perfect gifts for friends with beach houses ... or your own beach house ... or to make your home a summer beach house. Go for it ... and we will help you.

Here's a gallery of what we have available in the shop.
Shell Sailboats cruise in front of an old map of Florida ... plus a shell encrusted birdhouse and a large abalone shell.

Map paperweights, handmade boats, glass crabs and fish, carved wood sandpipers.

Shell frames, small globes and wooden boats.

Wooden lighthouses and sailboats with shell sails.

Patriotic Red-White-and-Blue sailboats in a variety of sizes.

A whole variety of beach themed decorative items ... and do you remember the sand sifter?

More boats ...

The table to the right is handpainted with shells on the removable tray shelves.
Come on in and say HI.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Victorian Pansy Jewelry

Our ancestors used to place meanings on many special items in their lives. Flowers and animals symbolized a whole variety of emotions and commitments, just like the Greeks, Romans and even the Hawaiians found connections to their gods using earthly characteristics and phenomenon. The Victorians were especially fond of symbolic gestures and attachments. Flowers and jewelry had symbolic connections galore. (See Morning Glory’s Jewel Chat about Jewelry Symbols.)

Pansies were a popular motif in Victorian times. The word “pansy” derives from the French “pensee” which means “thought.” To give someone a calling card or piece of jewelry with a pansy on it meant that you were thinking about them or that they were in your thoughts. Wearing a pansy conveyed that you were thinking of the person you were with. (See Beneath the Petals:Fun Facts About Pansies and Violas.)

We have three spectacular pieces of pansy jewelry in the shop. These are all done with hand painted enamel atop 14K yellow gold.

This single pansy brooch is extremely realistic and dates from the turn of the last century, probably made by Krementz.
Gorgeous Single Pansy Brooch - Enamel over 14K Gold with Pearl ($695)
This large brooch with three pansies is made in the 1940s using Victorian era pansies, c1870.
Large Brooch with Three Pansies - Enamel with Center Diamonds set in 14K gold ($2450)
This pansy bracelet is similarly a 1940s piece using antique Victorian pansies.
Link Bracelet with Three Pansies - Silvered Enamel with Center Diamonds set in 14K gold ($2450)
We have a wonderful selection of fine estate and vintage costume jewelry. Quite a bit of our selection is online in our antique shopping site, but there is a lot more in the shop.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Can't Come to Dinner ...

Some messages in letters and postcards are just too precious. Look at this one from 1946!

Dear Aunt Ruby,

Can't be able to come Sun. Someone informed me I would have to cook a dinner.

Love Alice

I guess Alice really did not like to cook!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Ephemera - Old Paper, Photos and Stuff

Old paper is great stuff. It's ephemera ... ephemeral ... it was not meant to last ... but when it does it is wonderful stuff! It has history ... texture ... warm colors from gentle aging.

We are always finding photo collections, old documents and letters, postal covers, labels and wallpaper. Some of it goes into our mixed media projects, most ends up in our shop for our customers. Now and then we find items that we repatriate with long lost relatives.

Old Ledgers ... sold as complete books and as individual pages. Great for everything from wrapping gifts to collages to mixed media art.
We just got these in ... customs' documents for seeds sent from Argentina to a researcher at University of California's botany department. The stamps are on both sides. ($15 each, while they last, as we only have five available.)
Love bird prints. These here are from a 1950s Audubon portfolio. We have others available. (Most are $18 each.)
Old letters make for interesting reading, if you like ... but these are treasures for their beautiful penmanship and aged paper. (Starting at a few dollars each.)
19th century and early 20th century French bottle labels ... direct from Paris. We do have others available as well. (Prices vary.)
Old mortgage and other documents from the late-1800s and early 1900s. (Typically $10 to $25 each.)
Old probate letters from New England in the late-1800s and early 1900s. (Typically $6 to $10 each.)
1920s shoe manufacturer receipts from France. (Typically $4.50 to $9 each.)
We have hundreds of old photos, as well as scrapbooks and photo albums from the 1870s through the middle 1900s.
Wallpaper is available both as individual large sample sheets ($4.50 each) and in packages of ten 8x10 sheets ($12.95 per package). Available online.
Vintage Wine labels are available in packages of ten ($5.95 per package) and special ones sold individually (From $5 each) Available online.
We recently acquired a large collection of letters from USA WW2 military personnel. Most of these were censored by the military and are stamped or marked as such. (Starting at $4 each)
Some of our ephemera is available through our online sites. Click on one of the links below to see what is listed at this time.

Vintages Antiques online.
Pretty Ribbons on Etsy.
Vintages Online Shop.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

A Precious Little Book from 1820

One reason I love old ephemera, is that now and then I find true treasures. A while back, we found this marvelous little book … Plants Quadrupeds Birds. It is fully done by hand … all the text is hand printed in watercolor ink and it contains six ink and watercolor illustrations as well.

This little book is written and illustrated by Robert Clement Sconce (1787-1846). It is signed simply “Sconce” on the inside of the front cover and was written to Sally from her Papa. Sally is Sarah Susanna “Sally” Sconce Bunbury (1816-1897), who later compiled, annotated and edited the work Life and Letters of Robert Clement Sconce (1861). Numerous passages in that book have Robert Clement Sconce discussing, in letters to his daughter Sally, his drawing and sketching using watercolors.

The book begins:

Does dear Sally know that while she has been amusing herself gathering Plants, and learning their names, she has been learning Botany? And when she picks a Flower to pieces and Papa shews her the Calyx, Petals, Staminae, and Pistils, what is it Sally learns? Why Botany!

Little Children do not often learn such things, but as dear Sally is very able to learn them, and as she has great pleasure in learning, Papa is very glad to teach her.

He goes on to cover all sorts of details of life in the garden. Beautiful descriptions of plants and flowers. Tales of foxes and wrens. Stories about creatures and critters. It is simply a beautifully written and illustrated book for children … and adults as well.

The patience of Sconce demonstrated in handwriting this book, with nary a flaw, is remarkable. That trait is also shown in how he “talks” to his daughter throughout the book. Sconce, while born and raised in England, spent most of his adult life in the Mediterranean on the British controlled island of Malta. He held numerous positions in the British Admiralty that afforded him time and space to dabble in botany and art. Although he was never wealthy, he and his family lived well and circulated in upper class English society.

His artistic talents were inherited by some of his children … Robert Knox Sconce (1818-1852), who was a minister and author; Herbert Sconce (1833-1867), who was in the British foreign service in Assam, India, and a superb watercolorist; and his daughter Sally, whose watercolors (now in museums in Australia, where she lived as an adult) document her family's travel and life experiences. Alas, other than the little illustrations in this book, I have not been able to locate any of the works of Robert Clement Sconce.

Book Testimony of Antiquity written by Robert Knox Sconce in 1848

Watercolor Painting by Sally Sconce Bunbury 1841 Back of Our House Darebin Creek W. Melbourne

Watercolor Arial Map of 1864 Seebsagur Tank Assam India by Herbert Sconce

The Plants Quadrupeds Birds book is 174 years old and it was read many times … but it now has condition issues. The pages, text and images are in very good condition, but the covers are detached and the binding is loose. It is currently with a conservator for restoration, rebinding and stabilization. I cannot wait to get this back. I love it.

Book as originally found

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Vintages is Los Gatos' #1 Antique Shop ... again

For the fourth straight year, Vintages has been voted as the Best Antique Shop in Los Gatos. Thanks to all of you who voted for us, shopped with us and recommended us to your friends.

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