Monday, October 31, 2011

Holiday Hours Start This Weekend

Vintages Holiday hours begin in November. 
We will be open on Sundays until Christmas
and even a couple of Mondays just before Christmas.

Holiday Hours at Vintages
Tuesday thru Saturday 10am - 6pm
Sunday 11am - 5pm
Monday Closed (except the two weeks before Christmas)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

David Beck Miniatures

I was at the San Francisco Fall Antiques Show at Fort Mason yesterday. This year's theme of hidden treasures was reflected in many of the dealer booths as well as in the special exhibition. One particular artist captured my attention. David Beck is an American artist who creates a fascinating world of hidden scenes, boxes and drawers that hold secret sculptures, creatures and rooms. He also sculpts these intricate animated creatures that move and wiggle using a crank mechanism or tremble from the simple movement of the object.

David Beck was commissioned to create MVSEVM, a sculpture to commemorate the reopening of the Smithsonian American Art Museum in July of 2006. Inspired by the American Art Museum's Patent Office Building, the model opens to reveal miniature artifacts and artworks as well as drawers containing hidden treasures. 
This video gives a wonderful insight into the world of David Beck as well as his thoughts in creating MVSEVM.

Happy Halloween

Hope you have a positively ghoulish Halloween

I took these photos at an antique stall in the Clingencourt Paris Flea Market a couple of years ago. Spooky stuff in this place.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Glamorous Glitz: Weiss Fashion Jewelry

The Weiss Company, started by Albert Weiss on 5th Avenue in New York City, sold jewelry from about 1942 to 1971. He had learned a lot about the costume jewelry business as a designer for Coro in the 1930s. Weiss offered high quality costume jewelry at several price points and all of it is quite collectible today. 
1954 Weiss ad in Vogue magazine (Courtesy
1959 Weiss Ad (Courtesy
Weiss Crystal Demi-parure (Earrings $45; Necklace Sold)
The focus of Weiss' designs were the stones, the glitz not the metal work. Some of Weiss’ 1950s and 1960s clear rhinestone pieces share a look with Eisenberg pieces of the same era. Weiss used high quality brilliant rhinestones and Austrian crystals, which is why so many of their pieces look as good today as the day they were fashioned. Weiss is known for using smoky rhinestones, which they called black diamonds, Japanned or blackened metal findings and was one of the first to use Swarovski’s polychromatic aurora borealis crystals in the late-1950s.

Albert Weiss designed or approved virtually all of their jewelry, but manufactured only a part of it. Some items were made for Weiss by Hollycraft, including the trademark Christmas trees. Desirable pieces sought after by collectors are the beautiful rhinestone-studded figural jewelry that includes the Weiss butterflies and insects.
Weiss Highly Collectible Christmas Tree Pins (Private Collection)
The company's first pieces were signed “Weiss” in block letters or script, either on an applied plate or stamped directly into the metal. They were also signed “Albert Weiss” or "A.W. Co.", a signature that appeared sometime in 1951.
Typical Weiss Jewelry Marks
Weiss Classic Butterfly Brooch ($95); Hard-to-find Weiss Flower Brooch ($165)
Weiss Brooches from the 1950s & 1960s ($69 to $95 each)
Weiss Lucite Clamp Bracelet with Crystal Rhinestones (Sold)
We have a very nice selection of Weiss jewelry available in Vintages, both in the shop and online. Here is a selection of the items that we have at the time of this post.
Weiss Crystal Brooch & Earring Set 1950s ($125 for the set)

Weiss Crystal, Rhinestone & Lucite Brooch & Earring Set ($125 for the set)

Weiss Yellow Crystal Domed Brooch c1950 ($95)

Weiss Brooch with Green Crystals and Black Baroque Pearls 1950s ($95)

Weiss Black Diamond Crystal Brooch & Earring Set ($95)

Be aware that fake Weiss pieces entered the market from Mexico in the late-1980s and are difficult to distinguish from the genuine pieces. One clue is that many of the fake Weiss pieces have a textured back, while with few exceptions Weiss pieces have a smooth, shiny rhodium-plated back. A new line of Weiss jewelry is being offered today by a group that has bought the rights to the name and trademarks called the Albert Weiss Collection.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Vintages' Holiday Open House • Nov 5th

We will be celebrating the 
Start of the Holiday Season with 
Vintages' Annual Holiday Open House 
Saturday, November 5th. 
Join us for fun, refreshments, savings and a drawing for a special gift or two. Our entire Christmas Holiday collection will be on display. This is the perfect time to get some of our fabulous holiday decorations, ornaments and crafting supplies before they are gone! And it is never too early to get started on shopping for unique and distinctive Christmas gifts at Vintages.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Los Gatos Votes Vintages #1

Los Gatos has spoken! Vintages has been voted the
#1 Antique Store by the 2011 People's Choice Awards
(sponsored by the Los Gatos Weekly-Times)

Thank you Los Gatos for giving us this honor. We will continue to bring you the best in antique and vintage finds, as well as inspirational crafting treasures and distinctive gifts. We enjoy serving all of you. Thanks, Bob & Susan.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Gorham Silver Advertisement 1890

Ad from Scribner's Magazine October 1890

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Halloween Decorations

Every year we search out the best in Halloween Ghosts, Goblins and Witches. Susan has also made a nice collection of Halloween themed pendants and ornaments. This year we have some really spooky stuff! Black trees, giant spiders and webs, spooky houses, flying skeletons. There is also a selection of colorful Halloween ribbons and giant orange flowers. Come on in and check us out while we still have a good selection left. And there is still time to order online.
EEK! and Ike • Great Pumkin' Kids at $94.95 each
Disc ornaments at $6.95 each

Giant flowers in several colors at $18.95 each

A variety of Halloween pendants at $12.95 and $19.95 each

More ghost & bat pendants

Pendants, door hangers or ornaments. Your choice at $19.95 each

Handmade Halloween puppets at $38.95 each

Halloween ribbons by the yard at a variety of price points

Witches, goblin fences, haunted houses that light up.

Flying skeleton and jack-o-lantern at $24.95 each

Giant spiders at $13.95 each • Spider web to match at $19.95 each

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Los Gatos Historic Homes Tour

The 18th Annual Los Gatos Historic Homes Tour will be held on the first weekend of November (Saturday and Sunday, November 5th and 6th). This year's self-guided tour will feature older homes that have been updated with an eye toward architectural detail to preserve the integrity of the town while reflecting modern life-styles. Homes designed by Los Gatos architect Gary Schloh will be featured.

The Historic Homes Tour is an annual event sponsored by the Museums of Los Gatos. For tickets contact the Museum at 408-395-7386 or online at

Stop into Vintages' Open House on Saturday, Nov 5th, after your tour.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Beautiful Little Silver Heart Perfume Pendant

We just found this lovely little heart-shaped perfume bottle that can be worn as a pendant. It is sterling silver with a beautifully crafted body of repousse feathers and swirls, highlighted with hand-chasing. Who wouldn't love this little gem?
Vintage Silver Heart Perfume Pendant ($125)

18th Century Map of the Americas, the Pacific and Hawaii

Old maps are fascinating. Not just for what they show, but what they do not show. Just as wonderful is the way these maps express the ideas of the time with little embellishments and decorative vignettes.
Charte von America - Homann Heirs, Nurenberg, 1796
This is a superb example of an early map of both North and South America by the famous German cartographers Homann und Söhne. Johann Homann was a master geographer and was appointed Imperial Geographer of the Holy Roman Empire in 1715. After his death in 1724, his sons continued the business as the Homann Heirs company. This map was created by Homann Heirs and published in 1796 by F. L. Gussfeld in Nurnberg, Germany.

Charte von America - Homann Heirs, Nurenberg, 1796 is a hand-colored copper plate engraved map that was originally published in book form, thus the quadrant folds. The map is generally true to form, geographically, for the eastern half of both continents. Sketchy information was available at the end of the 18th century about the American west and north.  The detail of the Pacific Northwest, for instance, is an early depiction prior to the Lewis & Clark Expedition of 1804-1806. The Hawaiian Islands are shown as the “Sandwich Islands” and the individual island names are shown using the early phonetic spelling. To the east of the Hawaiian Islands, i.e., between Hawaii and California, are an erroneous group of islands with Spanish names. These islands were introduced on maps in the mid-18th century and were not corrected until the early 19th century.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Nicole Dextras • Weedrobe Fashion

I did not think I would see an off-the-wall fashion exhibit to compete with Pulp Fashion, but here it is! Nicole Dextras of Vancouver, BC, has created these "weedrobes" (and other environmentally friendly art pieces) out of vegetation! Check out this blog post from diana:muse and Nicole Dextras' website for more inspiration.
Photo from diana:muse blog

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Antique Letter Copying Book

We found this amazing book. It is filled with a hundred or so copied letters from 1912 to 1914. The book is a Bed Rock Letter Copying Book. The letters are copied onto translucent paper using a wet oil cloth and a book press.  The interesting thing is, that the side you read is on the opposite side of the paper from the ink.
These are the instructions from the inside of the front cover. Click on the image to get a larger, easier to read image.
The book opened up like this shows the readable copy on the left and the "backwards" copy on the right. Click on the image to get a larger, easier to read image.
The letters themselves are interesting. These are typically purchase orders being placed by the Summerville Drug Company, Summerville, Georgia. As you can see, some of the copies took better than others.

We are selling these sheets individually ($4.50 per sheet for copied letters and $1.00 per sheet for blanks). All of the pages are numbered. Artists, scrapbookers and other paper enthusiasts love these.
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