Friday, November 27, 2009

Hobe Asian Man Brooch

This is a fantastic Hobe brooch from 1944.  The figure is carved Tibetan ivory and the silver setting is encrusted with brilliant, colorful crystals.  The Hobe Cie jewelery company was founded in Paris in 1887.  Jacques Hobe's son, William Hobe, started working in the theatrical costume business in the 1920s in New York and drew the attention of Florence Ziegfield.  In the mid-1920s William Hobe began creating costumes and jewelry for the Ziegfield Follies on Broadway.  The business grew from there into the upscale retail department stores in the '30s.  In the 1960s William's sons Robert and Donald took over the business, which is run today by his grandson James.

 In its long history, Hobe always was focused on unique designs and high quality.  They maintained their upscale image, keeping prices and distribution on the  high-end.  This superb brooch was designed by William Hobe in 1944, according to the design patent that was issued in September 1944.  The accompanying ad refers to this piece as a Jeweled Tibetan Chessman, made from antique ivory.  It's a pretty spectacular piece from a firm that was dedicated to the exotic and unique in jewelry design.




Hobe jewelry exhibits a certain diversity and flair seldomly matched in the jewelry of today.  Almost all of the Hobe jewelry prior to 1970 were designed by members of the Hobe family.  Below is a little gallery of some of our favorite pieces.

This parure below is from an article on Hobe Jewelry on the website Morning Glory Antiques and Jewelry.  There is quite a bit of information on Hobe Jewels in this article and the accompanying gallery and patent images.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

We wish you all a truly Happy Thanksgiving.  Though times have been tough, the economy appears to be turning positive.  What's more important is we have so much else to be thankful for -- friends, family and health.  HAPPY THANKSGIVING.

As we sit down for the traditional Thanksgiving turkey dinner, here's a Thanksgiving Day thought:


Benjamin Franklin preferred the Turkey as the national bird of the United States, a thought he expressed in a letter he wrote to his daughter, Sarah Franklin Bache on January 26, 1784.

For my own part I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral character… For the Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America... He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on.
 
We might concur with Mr. Franklin, as we get to see these marvelous creatures regularly as we drive to our shop through the Los Gatos countryside.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Christmas Cards by Patience Brewster

This year, as we have in the past, we have a wonderful selection of Christmas and Holiday cards by Patience Brewster.  Patience Brewster (yes, there is a Patience!) is a highly creative lady.  Her cards give the recipient "a little lift, a little wish, a little cry, a little hope and maybe a little surprise!"  "And to make the planet happy, the printing is done locally, using soy inks, wind power and paper from responsible resources and replenished forests."

These cards are pretty, whimsical and thoughtful.  The messages are simple yet  poignant.  We present below a sampling of our Patience Brewster Christmas and Holiday card offering.



Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Vintage Christmas Tree Pins

Every year we search for Holiday jewelry and stash it away until November.  This year we have a bumper selection of Christmas tree pins and other Holiday jewelry.  Here's a sample.


Monday, November 16, 2009

Tweed, Bowlers and Capes • Victorian Men's Fashion

There was an interesting article in the New York Times last week about the resurgence of Victorian fashions for men.  Dress Codes author David Coleman writes: "...consider the steady infiltration of 19th-century haberdashery into the 21st-century wardrobe. Garment after garment has arrived on the scene that one might think more Gilbert and Sullivan than Bergdorf and Goodman, only to be taken up by the young beards."  The article online, This Just in From the 1890s, is accompanied by two slide shows.  One offers a pictorial insight into the making of tintypes, that largely American photographic technique that was used extensively in the second half of the 19th century.  The other depicts contemporary Victorian inspired fashion photographed on tintypes by David Sokosh, a modern day tintype pioneer.

Curious as I am, I wanted to compare the images to some that we have in our inventory, from both France and America, of dapper gentlemen of the late 1800s.  There is quite a remarkable similarity between the fashions, even separated by 120+ years.  Take a look.


The top image is one of David Sokosh' modern day tintypes.
The bottom image is an early albumen photograph from the late 1890s.

Here are some of the other images we have.  These are both tintypes and the slightly later cartes de visite (CDV) and cabinet cards.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Vintage Jewelry

We recently brought in a wonderful selection of quality costume jewelry to add to our inventory.  Beautiful pieces from designers like Miriam Haskell, Henry Schreiner, Pennino Brothers, Polcini, Weiss, Trifari and Eugene.  There are also a number of early 1900s and late-Victorian jewelry including a few marvelous Czech/Bohemian glass pieces and a lovely gold-filled Victorian locket.  Take a peek below!






Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thanksgiving at Vintages

Thanksgiving is near and is so often forgotten when it comes to decorating, falling between the frenzy of Halloween and the merriment of Christmas.  Well, here at Vintages we have not forgotten.  We have a nice selection of turkeys and fall decorations.

We also have a great selection of vintage silver serving pieces for the elegant holiday table and crystal for the dinner wine and after dinner port!

And Have a Wonderful Thanksgiving!
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