Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Antiques & Collectibles Class in Los Gatos • Open for Registration

Last year we held a successful and fun class on antiques and collectibles. We have again partnered with Los Gatos Recreation to offer another class about antiques.

This spring class on Antiques and Collectibles will meet at the Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce Conference room, located at 10 Station Way in Los Gatos. It will be held on Tuesday nights, from 6:30 to 8:30, starting March 20th and continuing through April 24th ... More information below ... Set aside the dates and plan to join us.

Antiques & Collectibles: Some Class Details

The class will be organized around traditional antiques and vintage collections ... some popular, others a little bit more obscure, but just as interesting. In each class session we will discuss the history and timelines of the topic, to give us an understanding of styles and materials, as well as a basis to be able to decipher the age and provenance of an antique. We will bring some samples of the antiques and collectibles into class (you are encouraged to bring in your own examples as well) and we will also view examples of the works of the important designers and artists who have created the masterworks. Each class will end with a chance for all attendees to show and tell their own antiques and collections.

The instructor will be Bob Bortfeld, lifelong collector and co-owner of Vintages of Los Gatos.

Antiques & Collectibles: Topics

Week 1: Introductions, Collections, History, Terminology 
Week 2: Silver, focusing on 20th century silver, including identifying marks
Week 3: Porcelain & Pottery, including identifying marks
Week 4: Jewelry, focusing on 20th century costume jewelry
Week 5: Ephemera, a collage of paper and printed collectibles
Week 6: Your Night ... we will determine the content of this session together during the first few weeks of the program.

Antiques & Collectibles: Course Description, Catalog & Registration

Course Description: Expand your appreciation for antiques through this fun and educational 6-week workshop! Class will be provided with a basic vocabulary and timeline for understanding antiques and collectibles. Each class will feature a bit of history, a collection theme and a “show & tell” by attendees. Class themes will include silver, jewelry, china/porcelain, ephemera and more. Participants will be provided a detailed class schedule at the first class describing what types of collections will be the focus of each session and the types of items to bring in for show and tell segments.

Catalog of LG Recreation classes. The Antiques & Collectibles class is listed under Adult Classes: Potpourri. Or go directly to the Antiques & Collectibles class listing. Additional information can be found in our newsletter announcement.

To Register, click the Registration Link on the course description page. Or go to the LG Recreation page and follow the links.

The class will be held at:
Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce Conference Room
10 Station Way, Los Gatos, CA 95030
Tuesday nights • 6:30pm to 8:30pm • March 20th thru April 24th

Monday, February 27, 2012

Paint Test Samples and Mark Rothko

At first this connection does not make much sense, but then, take a look at Rothko's paintings and the light goes on! I came across this image in a blog post by Katy Elliott about her Favorite Green Paint Colors. What do you think.
Mark Rothko Painting
Mark Rothko Painting 1958: No. 16 (Red, Brown, and Black)
Katy Elliot's paint test wall

Vintage Los Gatos Postcard: Main Street Bridge 1906

New Concrete Main Street Bridge over Los Gatos Creek 1906
This Main Street bridge was built in 1906 to replace the old trestle bridge. It was dedicated on May 1, 1906, in a quiet ceremony. A bigger event was cancelled after the April 18, 1906, earthquake damaged significant parts of Los Gatos. The temblor did not damage the "new bridge." This bridge was demolished and replaced by the current bridge in 1954 to make way for Highway 17.

For loads of images on Los Gatos' history, check out Hooked on Los Gatos, a project of the Los Gatos Library and History Museum.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Vintage Jewelry: Gorgeous Hobe Guitar Brooch


WOW! This is a gorgeous crystal brooch in the shape of a guitar with strings! The piece is loaded with brilliant unfoiled crystals in clear, blue and pink tones. The frame is brass and the strings are twisted brass wires. The brooch is unmarked but shows all the style and workmanship typical of a 1940s Hobe Brothers piece.


Click here for another post about Hobe vintage jewelry.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Swedish Ledgers & Documents from the 1890s

We have just brought in this collection of Swedish ledgers and documents from the 1890s and very early 1900s. The handwriting is beautiful ... it is so fantastic you could call it calligraphy. The ledgers are covered in hand-crafted covers of oil cloth or brown paper. Many of the pages have lines that are hand-drawn. The documents are equally beautiful, with great hand-writing, fancy etching and even some stamps. We have the ledgers priced at $20 to $59 each and the documents are $2 to $18 each. These are only available in the shop.








Friday, February 24, 2012

Andersen's Fairy Tales Illustrated by Arthur Szyk 1945

This is a gorgeously illustrated version of Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales. A year ago I was fascinated by the miniature paintings and illuminations done by Arthur Szyk. Well, this book is filled with illustrations by Szyk. It has ten wonderful color illustrations and dozens of black and white ones as well. He brings to life the stories. The Little Tiny lady is precious. The Marsh King's Daughter is beautiful. The emperor in The Nightingale is sad. The king and queen in Little Ida's Flower garden are royal indeed.










This special edition was published by Grosset & Dunlap in 1945. See my earlier post about Arthur Szyk to view other fabulous artwork.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Joy of Books

This is an amazing little video. Using stop-action photography, the books come to life!

A little note from the creator:
After organizing our bookshelf almost a year ago, my wife and I (Sean Ohlenkamp) decided to take it to the next level. We spent many sleepless nights moving, stacking, and animating books at Type bookstore in Toronto.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Just In: Hammered Brass Pendant Necklaces and Keychains


We just got these funky hammered brass initial charms that look great by themselves or with other steam-punk or industrial chic accents. The initial is impressed into the oval pendant and highlighted with a black enamel to give it a real steam-punk look. 
Hammered Brass Oval Pendant Charms ($7.95 each)
In the shop we sell these as components, where you can build your own necklace (chain $7.95 each) or keychain ($4.95 each) with the oval charms and add a variety of smaller mini-charms to create the look you like! Great for any age or anybody -- keychains especially are for men or women and the pendants have a dog tag look to them.
Charms and Components Display
We have necklaces and keychains for sale online, complete with an initial charm pendant. 20 initials are available (I, Q, U, X, Y, Z are not available), but please check with us before ordering to see if your initial is in stock. 
Keychain with Charm ($12.90 online or in the shop)

Necklace with Pendant ($15.90 online or in the shop)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Trees if You Please



I was doodling around looking at blogs and found this one devoted to trees! It's pretty and cool! Check it out. And surely we all remember this little, witty poem by Joyce Kilmer ...

Trees

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
 Joyce Kilmer 1913

Monday, February 13, 2012

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The First Signs of Spring!

In a short walk-about in our yard this morning, I was inspired by the spring blossoms. Yes, we have definitely had a very mild winter this year ... at least what we Westerners call "winter" ... but there is still something uplifting about the first flowers, the return of the robins and the blooming of dormant fruit trees. Please enjoy the little visual stroll through out gardens.











Saturday, February 11, 2012

Chevrolet Speedometers

I found this blog post this morning ... and had to share it. I love the minimalist nature of the images ... and it does bring back memories! My first "real" car was a '56 Chevy Bel Air.
Speedometer from a 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air -- my first car.

Speedometer from a 1949 Chevrolet -- this one is my favorite.

See the whole post and all the images on Christian Annyas' website page: Chevrolet speedometer design • Design evolution from 1941 to 2011. While you are there, check out some of his other posts on graphic designs.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Say "Be My Valentine" with Magnetic Frames

We just got these wonderful frames with a variety of create your own story magnets. This set is all about valentines ... love, kisses, hearts ...

Our current stock of metal board frames and easels start at $12.00 each. The valentine selection of magnets are priced at $6.00 to $14.00 each.

We have other magnet boards and frames, as well as other magnets available. In a couple of weeks we will unveil the complete line of these magnets, but we couldn't wait to share these valentine themed embellishments with you. By the way, these are Made in America!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Stamp Collecting in 1902!

Back in December, I posted about Christmas ads in the December 1902 issue of Connoisseur: A Magazine for Collectors. This was a British magazine aimed at collectors of a wide array of things. When looking through these old magazines I love to scan the articles, columns and advertisements to put things into historical perspective. Amongst the articles about antique furniture, columns about pottery and ads for antiquities, are quite a number of ads for collecting postage stamps! I would not have expected that, as the first official postage stamp, the British penny black, was issued only 62 years earlier. Not only were there advertisements, but there is a column dedicated to stamp collecting and an article about The Stamps of Lagos in the October 1903 issue.







Now I was a neophyte stamp collector as a kid, and still have my old collection which I add to on occasion, although I am not really an active collector at this time. It kind of puts a historical continuity to my collecting habit to add to a collection that started about 60 years ago.

Postal collecting, or philately, involves more than just stamps, as it includes postal history, postmarks, envelopes (covers) and just about anything related to the mail. The interest in collecting stamps was quite widespread by 1860! It would seem that having an official and easy way to communicate across the country and even worldwide was fascinating even then.
The first British stamps L to R: Penny Black, Two Penny Blue, 1850s penny stamp
The first official US postage stamps were issued in 1847 -- the 5c Benjamin Franklin and the 10c George Washington. A series of stamps featuring Franklin, Washington and Thomas Jefferson were issued in the 1850s to replace the first two stamps. Franklin was the first US Postmaster General.
Early postal mail used "stampless" envelopes and local or regional stamps
First Official US postage stamps 1847
The next series of US stamps from the 1850s
One fascinating (at least to me) era of US postal history was the Pony Express. The service lasted just one year (from 1860 to 1861), being made obsolete by the advent of the intercontinental telegraph system. But it created a lot of legends and folklore.
L: Actual Pony Express stamp • R: Commemorative issue 1867
Hawaiian stamps have been a special interest for me, having been born there a long time ago. The first Hawaiian issues are known as the missionary stamps and are extremely collectible -- wish I had one!
Hawaiian Missionary stamps 1851
Postage stamp errors are an added spice for collectors. Some seem almost laughable (like the FDR stamp where he has six fingers!), others are subtle, and many are actually artistic in their misprinted condition.
Postage stamp invert errors. Top left is known as the "Inverted Jenny"
Here is a timeline of events in US postal history:

1639: First American Post Office set up in Boston
1775: Benjamin Franklin appointed as first Postmaster General
1799: U.S. Congress passes law authorizing death penalty for mail robbery
1813: First mail carried by steamboat
1832: First official railroad mail service
1847: First U.S. postage stamps issued
1857: Perforated stamps introduced
1860: Pony Express started and lasted until 1861
1861: Mailing of post cards permitted
1873: Pre-stamped "postal cards" introduced
1879: Postage Due stamps introduced
1885: Special Delivery service introduced
1893: First commemorative event stamps: World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago
1918: First airmail stamps used
1958: Well-known artists begin designing stamps
1963: ZIP Codes introduced
1989: Priority Mail introduced 
Source: Wikipedia
Header form the Stamp Column in the Connoisseur: A Magazine for Collectors
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