Saturday, April 28, 2012

Mother's Day • Sunday May 13th

Mother's Day is special ... because Mother's are special.
Victorian Mother-of-Pearl Pin (One only at $49.00)

Vintages has a store full of special gifts for any Mom. Come on in and see for yourself. We will be open on Sunday May 6th as well as on Mother's Day, Sunday May 13th.
Great Bookmarks for Mom (just $3.95 each)

These Hand Decorated, Made in the USA Journals are perfect for everything from laundry lists to daily notes to a place to jot down intimate thoughts ($18.95 each)

Love You Mom ... Little Things Mean a Lot ($9.95 each)

Special Decorative Paper for wrapping, crafting or framing ($3.95 to $4.95 per sheet)

A Bit of Whimsy for the Queen of the House ($79.95 each)

Hand Made in California, these Planters and Bowls from the Teyros Collection would be a beautiful gift for any Mom (from $75.00 each)

What Lady would not like a gently scented potpourri of exotic flowers? ($20.95 per bag)

Or you can say it with music ... vintage sheet music to suit any mood or message (prices vary)

Another way to send a dozen roses ... with vintage sheet music
Say something really special with a hand painted porcelain box from Limoges France (starting at $83.00 each)
Vintages has the best selection of vintage jewelry around.
That's just a sampling of our selections for Mom. Remember, we have complimentary gift wrap for purchases and we can ship worldwide. We are your one-stop shop for gifts.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Chapbooks, 19th Century Children's Toy Books

When you've been collecting stuff for your whole life as I have, you are always learning and finding new things of interest. Still, after all these years, you think you've seen it all! No way!
Newly discovered chapbooks from the early 1800s
Just the other day I ran across an interesting box containing six little volumes. They looked old and were just barely small enough to be miniatures. I had to have them. A bit of research led me to realize that I had stumbled across a printing genre that I was not familiar with ... Chapbooks.
Title pages from three of the chapbooks (prices $95 each)
These little booklets were sold door-to-door by country salesmen in the late-18th and early-19th centuries, primarily in England. The format was simple, typically a little smaller than 3" x 4" and 8 to 32 pages. They contained stories, songs, poems, religious or inspirational texts, some new, most plagiarized. Simply printed using old typeset, re-used woodblock prints and coarse, laid paper, chapbooks were quite popular. (They are still made today mainly as a method of instruction, promulgating ideas, or self-publishing of poems or short stories.) To keep costs in line, as these were typically sold for a half-penny to two pence each, chapbooks were printed on a single sheet, or part of a sheet, then cut and folded into 8, 16, 24 or 32 small pages.
Title page and frontispiece woodblock prints from Kendrew's The History of Tommy and Harry ($125.00)
The star of many of these toy books were the woodblock prints. The images usually helped tell the story, but often had nothing to do with the texts. The best of the genre have original images, while many just borrowed, or rather, re-used discarded woodblocks from other publications.

Two of the better publishers of chapbooks were James Kendrew and James Lumsden & Son.
James Kendrew's The History of Little Tommy Tucker c1820 ($95.00)
James Kendrew, a 19th century publisher in Yorkshire, produced a whole series of chapbooks for children. He issued three sorts of neatly printed small pamphlets illustrated with serviceable wood engravings: 32 or 24 pages for a penny, and 16 pages for a halfpenny. Most of the titles Kendrew produced were reprints of popular works originally issued by well-known London publishers. The little collection I found includes three of Kendrew's books (Old Mother Hubbard, Little Tommy Tucker and Tommy & Harry) all published about 1820.
J. Lumsden & Son The Merry Cobler and His Musical Alphabet c1815 ($150.00)
My favorite of this group is the wonderful alphabet text by J. Lumsden & Son, a Scottish engraving and publishing firm founded in 1783 by James Lumsden. The publisher was mostly known for its short runs of high quality printings of children's books. The Merry Cobler and His Musical Alphabet is a real treasure. 

American publishers also produced some chapbooks. The other two books in this little collection are from Sydney Babcock of New Haven and the American Sunday School Union of Pennsylvania.
Hard cardboard covers added in the 1890s, possibly by Wilbur Macey Stone
One of the fun consequences of researching something new, is how the information leads down side roads that are sometimes quite interesting. This set of books was re-bound with hard cardboard covers. One of the books has an ex libris from Wilbur Macey Stone with an 1899 date. It turns out that Stone was an avid book collector and designer of bookplates. In fact he wrote some books on the subject - Bookplates of To-Day, published in 1902, is one of them. He also collected paper dolls, children's books and toys. For his books, he would often make special slipcases or protective covers to store them in. Could he have been the binder who made the covers for these books? I think so.
Bookplates from these books
All of these books have a bookplate from Sylvia Lent, the famous concert violinist. Lent married Alfred Frankenstein, an avid book collector and acquaintance of Mr. Stone! Looks like a connection to me.

So here is a new collection for you ... and me as well.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Los Gatos 6th Annual Photo Contest

The Los Gatos Visitors Bureau is sponsoring its 6th Annual Photo Contest. Here's your chance to get your photographic creativity engaged! A panel of local professional photographers will judge the contest and choose the winning entries. Their criteria will be based on technical merit, aesthetics and Los Gatos identity. Plus there will be a People's Choice Award chosen by popular vote at the exhibition on June 21 at the Art Museum of Los Gatos. Submission deadline is May 21st, so grab your camera and start shooting! For more information contact the Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce (408) 354-9300, or visit the Chamber website.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Vintage Los Gatos Postcard: The Old Stone Mill


The original Old Stone Mill of James Alexander Forbes, was built in 1850, the first permanent commercial building constructed in Los Gatos. In 1880, an addition was built next to the four story mill to store flour and supplies. The Forbes Mill Annex, which today is the only part of the mill still standing, is now the home of the Los Gatos History Museum

The above postcard shows the mill with the annex under construction. The photo below is the annex today as the History Museum.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

L'Assiette-au-Beurre

Launched in 1901, this French illustrated weekly publication was a forum for speaking out against anything and everything! Each issue during its 11 years of publication was devoted to one topic or illustrated by one artist.

According to Lisa Reisman of Lisa M.Reisman et Cie:
  Common themes in L'Assiette au Beurre were anti-clerical, antimilitarist, anti-capitalist, anti-civil servant … essentially, anti-everything. L’Assiette au Beurre had a definite anarchistic reputation. Remarkable not only because of the ideas that it expressed, but especially because of the quality of its illustrations, L’Assiette au Beurre was an extraordinary laboratory of graphics, colors, and social commentary.

L'Assiette au Beurre literally means "the butter plate", a reference to the upper classes of Paris. The publication attracted some of the finest artists of the Belle Epoque era as contributors. Some issues were extreme in their satire. Others were just funny. All of them addressed some of the social and political issues of the time. The advent of WWI changed the attitudes and focus of the French people and L'Assiette au Beurre ceased publishing in 1912.

We have one copy of this marvelous magazine. It is the February 1902 issue (No. 44) which is devoted to "Sportsmen" and illustrated by Xavier Gose. The satire is subtle, the images are humorous and the whole series is great. 
Cover of February 1902 Issue (No. 44)

Chauffeurs (Auto Racing)

Bicyclistes (Bicycling)

Boxeur Anglais (English Boxing)

Tauromachie (Bullfighting)

Le Croquet (Croquet)

Escrimeurs (Fencing)

Pesche a la Ligne (Fishing)

Retour des Courses (Horse Racing)

Patineuses (Ice Skating)

Les Guides Montagnards (Mountain Climbing)

La Pelota (French version of Jai Alai)

Foot-Ball (Soccer)

Lawn-Tennis (Tennis)

Yachting (Sailing)
 For additional information on L'Assiette au Beurre, follow this link.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Beautiful Vintage Staret Orchid Brooch

This is a fantastic, large Staret brooch with bright red and clear crystals. It features a beautiful gold-tone orchid trimmed with clear crystals and with three red crystal stamens. Staret was a jewelry company from Chicago in the 1940s known for big, showy pieces -- like this one. 
This beauty is available in the shop or online ($350.00)

Friday, April 6, 2012

Happy Easter

Have a wonderful and fun Easter.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A Collector's Home

I thought I would pass along this blog post from The Peak of Chic (aka: Jennifer Boles Dwyer, Atlanta interior designer). I often get asked "What do I do with this?" Or "How do I display something or a collection?" Well here is a classical way of integrating collections into home decor. It does not have to look like a museum or gallery. With a bit of imagination and creativity, you can update these ideas into your own special collector's environment.

Having your collections out for you and others to enjoy, or making them part of the ambience of your home, is great! Why stuff your collection in boxes or closets? They cannot be enjoyed if stuck in an over-crowded cabinet or piled on a table. Make them part of your life. Just a thought.
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