Wednesday, December 28, 2011

More Charm Bracelets

Since I posted about Elizabeth Taylor's charm bracelets in the recent Christie's auction and then the charm bracelets that we have for sale in Vintages, I found this article in the January, 2012, issue of Town & Country Magazine that features a selection of charm bracelets. I thought I would share it with you.

Old World Charm • Charm bracelets have always been a kind of jeweled autobiography, each dangling trinket a tangible remembrance of things past: that first trip to Paris, that beloved black Lab, that year you almost won the club tennis championship...

Monday, December 26, 2011

Murmuration • Gathering of Starlings

An amazing video by Sophie Windsor Clive and Liberty Smith shot on the River Shannon in Ireland. No matter how creative we are, Nature sets the standard!
Murmuration from Sophie Windsor Clive on Vimeo.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Decorations Sale at Vintages

Save 30% off the regular price of all Christmas and Holiday decorations through New Years Eve!
Sale is for in-store purchases only and limited to stock on hand. Sale ends 12/31/2011.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Charm Bracelets

Charm bracelets are a little bit of history worn on your wrist. The charms collected by a lady tell a story about her thoughts, her travels and things she holds as precious. Some are engraved to mark a memorable event, others are souvenirs of special places she has visited, and still others are vicarious images of places and people in her dreams. I love to look for themes and connections among the charms.

The unique charm bracelets of Elizabeth Taylor are commemorations and collections of places, events and whimsies in her life. While her bracelets are precious metals and stones by the likes of Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels, here at Vintages we have several nice charm bracelets from unknown people and jewelers that still tell a story.

This bracelet has 27 silver charms with a Southwestern theme • Including a turtle box, several with turquoise stones, western gear and American Indian items. ($395.00)
I have not figured the theme out for this bracelet. It has a few college items (sorority charm, an Oregon Duck and a mortar board) as well as a US Navy ring and a pineapple. ($95)
This charm bracelet has some interesting travel related items • Including some old British coins, an airplane, jeep, horse and mule for transportation, and a cute little red plastic googly fella. ($195)
Here is an anniversary charm bracelet. I guess these represent some memories of their married life together. ($95)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Elizabeth Taylor's Charm Bracelets

The recent sale of The Collection of Elizabeth Taylor by Christie's Auction House in New York has been over-the-top, both in what was being offered and for the prices realized. The sale follows a world wide exhibition of many of the items and has drawn attention as a media event. Looking through the catalog (and prices) reveals the breadth of the offering -- from fantastic jewels to Liz Taylor's unique fashion choices, from ephemera to furniture. I was especially drawn to the lots that featured Miss Taylor's charm bracelets and necklaces.

There were five highly personal Gold and Multi-Gem Charm Bracelets that attracted enormous interest and strong bidding, getting a combined total of $1,110,500! Other lots also featured charm bracelets and necklaces from the collection. From her teenage years through to adulthood, Elizabeth Taylor collected charms for her many bracelets. The images below are my favorite charm pieces.

Gold and Multi-Gem Bracelet featuring charms personalized for Elizabeth Taylor

Charm Necklace and Earrings by Chanel

Whimsical set of Fish Charms on a Van Cleef & Arpels Gold Neckchain.

Gold Pendant and Necklace by Cartier • The pendant is a commemorative Broadway ticket for the play The Little Foxes starring Ms. Taylor.

Ivory and Gold Necklace featuring thirteen antique ivory opera passes.

Gold and Multi-Charm Bracelet with 30 charms collected by Ms. Taylor

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Folk Art, Primitives & Fishing Decoys

How wonderful is it to show off something made by your dad? or display a craft item created by your mom or a close friend? or that little boat you made when you were twelve? Folk art goes as far back as mankind. Toys, dolls, games and images crafted for entertainment, worship, memories and beauty by common folk are the core of many cultures. The American Folk Art Museum in New York City has some great collections and background on this genre.

At Vintages, we occasionally get the opportunity to acquire some pretty wonderful collections. Earlier this year we obtained a whimsical group of folk art dolls.
These little beauties range in price from $29 to $49 each. Some pictured have already been sold.
This past week we got a collection of wonderful, colorful ice fishing decoys, plus several dolls and a couple of Santos figures.

Ice fishing decoys appear to be an American invention, used by the Native American Indians hundreds of years ago. The idea of attracting a fish to a hole in the ice and spearing it for dinner is not just American, but the use of a fish or critter effigy to attract the fish is uniquely American. While there are commercial examples of these lures and decoys, it is the hand carved and painted variety that attracts collectors. Many of these rise to the level of objects of art ... folk art for sure. (Click this link for additional information on Fish Decoys.) We have listed a collection of these online and have them in the shop.
Ice fishing lures from the early to mid-1900s. Prices range from $125 to $195 each.
Here are a couple of Black Americana folk art dolls we have. One is a dancer or jigger doll. A kind of puppet that moves and dances when jiggled from a string or spring or moved around on a stick. The other is a wonderful little black man doll, decked out in a cloth outfit including a bow tie and suspenders.
Black Americana Folk Art Dolls ($295 each)
These two bunny rabbits are candy containers! Wonderful little gifts from an Easter long ago.
Candy container c1930 Boy in Bunny Costume ($395.00)
German Bunny Candy Container c1920 with Feather Trim ($495.00)
We have posted about some of the reproduction Santos figures we have in stock -- these are handmade and wonderful. Now we have two superb antique Santos statues from the 19th century.
Antique 19th century Santos figures. L: Padre ($795); R: Angel ($695)
We love folk art and always have some nice examples. Come on in and check out our selection ... or look at the folk art on our online site.

Vintage Christams Decorations

Throughout the year we search out interesting vintage  items for the holidays -- Easter, 4th of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and of course Christmas. It is getting harder each year to find quality collectibles from holidays of the past. Here is a selection of the vintage Christmas Holiday decorations and ornaments that we have this year.

A variety of Victorian tinsel & other vintage ornaments, tags, tinsel and Santa lawn lights.
Old candy cane box ($18.00)
Holiday postcards (from $4.00 each) and a candy container sleigh with snowman ($34.95)
1930s vintage village houses ($18.00 - $24.00 each)
Fantastic tin holiday candy box from Knutsen Lines ($45.00)
Santa bell candy container ($29.00)
A glimpse of our display window with an old red & green truck from Grandpa's Toy Shop c1953 ($149.00) and an old doll ($85.00). The 1960s Santa & snowman lawn lights are priced at $65.00 to $95.00 each.
WOW! This is a super little Santa wind-up walker pulling a sleigh. It has its original box! ($49.00)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Hostess Gifts & Thank You's from Vintages

During the Holidays we all have opportunities to take a little gift for the host or hostess ... or to say Thank You ... or just to wish someone Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas. Vintages has many wonderful little treasures for your favorite folks ... and we wrap them up for you so you are ready to go. So when you need a gift, see us at Vintages.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Christmas in London 1902

Ever wonder what the Christmas gifts were 110 years ago in London? Well, here is a snapshot I gathered from advertising in the December 1902 issue of Connoisseur: A Magazine for Collectors. These ads were aimed at British collectors, but are not just about collectibles or antiques.

The articles in the magazine have nothing at all to do with Christmas. It's all about collecting. But there are a few choice ads.
Maybe an antique sleigh filled with gifts!

Or a pair of opera glasses.

For the musically inclined, there is this beautiful pianola. 
(This ad by-the-way is the only color ad in the magazine.)

Maple & Co. suggests an array of  
Chinese and Japanese Curios (imported direct from the East).

Beautiful Furs for Christmas Presents and New Year's Gifts.

Of course, what would the Holidays be without a 
special Favrile vase from Tiffany's?

And finally, once the Christmas cheer has died down, 
spend the rest of the Winter on the Nile.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Steuben Glass Closes its Doors

Quite a few years ago, back in 1996, I was working on a hi-tech project with Corning Glass and had the good fortune to be treated to a personal, one-on-one tour of the Steuben factory and the Corning Glass Museum. It was a wonderful experience. I came home with a lovely Steuben vase that we still treasure today.
Crystal Clear Steuben Vase c1996
I was truly surprised to hear that after over a century of art glass excellence, the Steuben factory closed at the end of November! Since 1903, Steuben glass has been fashioned into everything from fruit bowls and decorative animal figurines to one-of-a-kind sculptures bestowed as official gifts by American presidents from Harry Truman to Bill Clinton.

Steuben got its start when Frederick Carder, an English designer, agreed to run a glass-engraving shop in exchange for the freedom of creating decorative glass. His richly hued creations turned him into a giant of the glass arts scene alongside Louis Comfort Tiffany and Rene Lalique. Early designs by Carder were colorful, many with Steuben's famous Aurene iridescent surface. While Tiffany and Lalique delved into the world of Art Nouveau fantasy, Carder chose to remain faithful to classical shapes revived with fresh, vibrant colors.
Frederick Carder's Aurene Vase
After nearly going out of business during the Great Depression, scientists at Corning Glass, which had acquired Steuben in 1918, came up with an exciting new crystal formula—a colorless heavy-lead optical glass that throws off an extraordinary rainbow of color. Arthur Houghton Jr., Steuben's marketing maestro, along with Sidney Biehler Waugh who had taken over the creative reigns, propelled Steuben back into a name of distinction with an emphasis on line and form created in clear, colorless crystal. Houghton staged exhibitions by leading contemporary artists such as Henri Matisse, Georgia O'Keeffe and Salvador Dali, opened a retail store on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue and advertised in all the best magazines. 
Sidney Biehler Waugh's Clear Crystal Gazelle Bowl c.1935
Steuben remained a hallmark of creativity and excellence in glass throughout its history. It will be missed. On the brighter side, art glass dealers expect an even more vibrant aftermarket in Steuben collectibles. "Tiffany art glass hasn't been made since the 1930s, and the desirability did not diminish, it's increased," said a prominent collector. 
Contemporary Eagle Decanter
A couple of final notes: Steuben's flagship store in New York is holding huge sales and will close once its inventory is sold off. The Corning Glass Museum, in Corning, New York, is not affected by this closure and will continue to operate.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Vintage Dress Forms or Mannequins

We have always used vintage dress forms for display here in the shop. The ones we have had were part of Susan's personal collection. These vintage mannequins are difficult to find, especially in good condition. We now have several of these vintage dress forms for sale ... while they last!

We have these priced from $395 to $495. Most are adjustable types, one has a metal skirt at the bottom and all are old. Come on in and check these out.

Christmas Creche Theater

We have this wonderful antique looking theater that was made for a Parisien themed opera scene ... but we found that it is a gorgeous backdrop for a wintery creche nativity scene. The theater itself comes with two interchangeable backdrops - one is a Paris scene on a bridge over the Seine River, the other is a wintry forest.
Theater with two-backdrops ($249.00); Decorated brush tree (from $18.95 each)
Wire form Creche ($24.95);  3pc Nativity ($19.95 set)
Theater Paris Seine River scene backdrop and dancing ladies (Dancers $21.95 each)

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