Monday, March 29, 2010

Victorian Advertising • Illustrated London News 1898

We found this fantastic bound copy of The Illustrated London News (July-December 1898).  WOW! What a wealth of information.  Lots of things going on in the world in 1898.  The ascension of Queen Wilhelmina to the throne of Holland, the Spanish-American War, the British War on the Soudan, the German Emperor's visit to Palestine and the assassination of the Empress of Bavaria all received major attention and cover stories in the Illustrated.  A smaller amount of coverage was given to the annexation of Hawaii by the United States.

With all these major events, the Illustrated carried its usual publication of serial novels, fashion news and gossip.  And the businesses of London produced some fantastic advertisements.  These four are just the tip of what we found, but represent the quirky side of advertising back in 1898.

We all love chocolates ... and apparently the man in the moon does too, as shown in this ad for Hildebrand's High Class Chocolates and Confectionery!

Long hair was a big thing in the late Victorian era.  There were several ads professing to both grow and care for lengthy locks.

What is this gadget?  It is called the Excelsior Electrical Cabinet made by Parkins & Gotto.  What strange things were done with this appliance?

And the show must go on!  The Greatest Show on Earth, Barnum & Baily's Circus was in London on Boxing Day.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

New Additions: Cake Toppers, Playing Cards, Bunny Pins & More

Our online shop for Vintages is starting to look pretty good.  Recently added items include:

Vintage bride and groom wedding cake toppers from the 1920s to the 1960s.  These are great gifts for engagements and anniversaries.  They are also a fun collectible.  Wedding season is right around the corner.

Hand crafted bunny rabbit pins and pendants made in the 1980s at the Raven Studios of Oakland.  These are truly miniature wearable sculptures.  Pretty enough for a lady.  Cute enough for a girl.  And just in time for Easter.

One advertising and souvenir staple in America has been playing cards.  We have posted some unique decks of cards, including Rexall Drugs, Southern Pacific Railroad, and the Chicago 1933 World's Fair.

These represent only a portion of what we have available, as many products have not yet been added to our online inventory.  We also have an online antiques shopping page, so please check that out using the menu link on the side bar.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Mary Jo Matsumoto Handbags

These gorgeous little silk handbags are beautifully crafted with hand applied flowers, delicate embroidery, and enhanced with pearls and sequins.  These were made by Mary Jo Matsumoto, a fashion designer whose luxury products include handbags, fine jewelry, home furnishings and couture separates. Her designs have been worn by the super stars of the entertainment world, and have also appeared in  numerous style mags and on television shows, such as Oprah.

Our Mary Jo M handbags are just big enough for keys, cash and a lipstick – or to carry your cell phone.  Everything about these clutches is high quality -- from design, to materials, to workmanship.

We just have one each of these handbags in the shop.  For more information and photos check our online shop.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

By the Sea

As mentioned in our last post, we spent some time this past weekend by the sea -- in our favorite ocean side space -- Moonstone Beach in Cambria.  Just wanted to share some images of crustaceans clinging to rocks along the shore.

A short drive to the south is the beach community of Morro Bay which is dominated visually by the gigantic Morro Rock!

Back on the beach we sat on a large driftwood tree and watched a few of our favorite birds, the pelicans.  To quote Ogden Nash:  
What a strange bird the pelican,
His beak can hold more than his belly can!

Penmanship • Seaweeds to Flourish

We were strolling along the sandy shore of Moonstone Beach the other day, looking for interesting objects in the sand and hoping to catch a glimpse of a whale or dolphin off shore.  Unfortunately we saw no ocean mammals on this morning, but as always we found our share of small shells, sea glass and opportunities to photograph the unique images of the changing shore.

These two little remnants of seaweed brought back a thought I have had for years about how the ocean contains so many vessels of creativity for us humans -- who emerged from the sea so many eons ago!

I went through some online archives to find these lovely images of flourishes from masters of penmanship. 

Beautiful penmanship is an art that seems to be lost by us, or at least a skill that is fading into the background in today's email and twitter world. Learning to write using the classic Palmer Method was not an option in the missionary school I grew up in back in Hawaii -- not that many years ago I'll have you know!  My handwriting is lousy, but I really treasure examples of beautiful calligraphy, neat penmanship and the flair with which our forefathers put words to paper.  In researching penmanship and flourishes, I found this fantastic website with images, information and links  about wonderful artistic penmanship -- International Association of Master Penmen, Engrossers and Teachers of Handwriting (IAMPETH). 

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