Monday, January 25, 2010

Valentine's Day at Vintages of Los Gatos

Using the language of the law courts for the rituals of courtly love, a High Court of Love was established in Paris on Valentine's Day in 1400. The court dealt with love contracts, betrayals, and violence against women. Judges were selected by women on the basis of a poetry reading.

The origins of St. Valentine's Day as a celebration of love is, at best, confusing.  But to eternal lovers, that does not matter.  According to Wikipedia, the first known written Valentine was a fifteenth-century rondeau written by Charles, Duke of Orleans to his wife. 
Je suis Desja d'amour tanne 
Ma tres doulce Valentinee... 
(I love tanned Desja 
My very sweet Valentine...)

Valentine's Day is mentioned ruefully by Ophelia in Shakespeare's Hamlet (1600-1601):  
Tomorrow is Valentine's day, 
All in the morning betime, 
And I a maid at your window, 
To be your Valentine. 
Then up he rose, and donn'd his clothes, 
And dupp'd the chamber door; 
Let in the maid, that out a maid  
Never departed more.

But maybe the earliest comment on Valentine's Day came from Geoffrey Chaucer in his Parlement of Foules (1382), a poem written to honor the first anniversary of the engagement of King Richard II of England to Anne of Bohemia.  
For this was on seynt Volantyns day 
Whan euery byrd comyth there to chese his make 
Valentine's Day has many symbols denoting love as eternal, ethereal and whimsical.  Roses and chocolates are modern day standbys -- and who could argue with either of these. Cupid, the Roman God of Love who was the son of Venus the Goddess of Love, is often depicted as a mischievous winged child.  He has become associated with Valentine's Day because his arrows pierce the hearts of his victims causing them to fall deeply in love.
Here at Vintages, we love Valentine's Day.  We get to bring out all the love tokens -- hearts of all types,  beautiful cards, keys, kisses, cupids and angels, too.  And never forget jewelery as a direct path to a lover's heart. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Antiques and Treasures from the East Coast

One thing we have found about antiquing when traveling, is that we find different treasures than we find near home.  On our recent trip to the East Coast we spent some time at an antique show and several antique shops, looking as much for vintage crafting doodads as for antiques -- found some pretty neat stuff of the former and not much of the latter.

Here's an array of flowers, ribbons and such that we found at our various stops.  The cute little buttons with faces are my favorites.

These 19th century mortgage documents have great handwriting, colorful stamps and interesting paper.

And here's a cache of watch parts that we found.  Think of the endless possibilities of working with these lenses, watch cases and frames, dials and springs and gears!

With Valentines Day approaching -- February 14th -- we gathered up some nice love tokens.  Here's a silk and celluloid greeting.

These silver miniature picture frames are presented on one of a few Italian trays that we picked up.

For something completely different, I got these Tootsietoy die-cast cars.  Ahh!  Memories of days long ago!

There's more, but you'll have to stop into Vintages to see the rest.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

What's New for 2010?

We just got back from Atlanta where we spent several days at the Gift Show.  As usual, the array of products is overwhelming and it takes time to separate the great stuff from the ordinary.  We focused on bringing back to Vintages unique products, looking for value and quality in handmade and Made in America items where possible.

While we specialize in vintage and estate jewelry, we do offer artisan crafted jewelry from local artists, such as Norma Dice and Christine Charter Moorhead, as well as handmade solder pendants by Susan.  Soon we will be carrying a unique and beautiful line of customizable beaded jewelry from Lela Belle.  This jewelry is exclusive to Vintages in the Bay Area.  We will blog more about these fabulous necklaces and bracelets in the near future when the product arrives in our shop.

We also restocked our Limoges porcelain box selection.  Below is a selection of what's new.

These handmade inspirational and whimsical signs, blocks and plaques from artists in the mid-west are irresistible.  Love Birds, Dogs, Cats, and just plain old folksy sayings!

We ordered a handsome selection of magnifiers, desk accessories and brass nautical items, as well as a new selection of greeting cards, all of which are due into Vintages over the next month or so.  Unfortunately, I forgot to take photos of these!

We had a lot of fun gathering an array of accessories that we call Vintages Paris Style.  These design accents and decorative items come from a number of wonderful suppliers.  You might call it Paris Apartment Style, but we have added our own unique Los Gatos interpretation to the classic Paris boutique interior design.  Mix in a bit of shabby chic, a touch of vintage country, an antique or two and voila! you have Vintages Paris Style.  Here's a gallery of some of the things that will be arriving into Vintages over the next few months.  We are excited about these and hope you will be too.

And finally, we selected a nice array of Holiday products for the Fall and Christmas seasons.  There's more than what is here, but I just want to tempt you ...

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