Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Time to Craft!

Here's the latest rundown on what we have in the shop for all you crafters out there. Whether you scrapbook or make hats, delve into mixed media, create altered art and books, or just love to doodle, Vintages probably has something to make your project stand out and be unique. Take a little tour below.
Art glitter, miniature bottles, vintage letters, die-cuts and crafting images, watch parts, and a variety of doo-dads

Vintage candy and pharmacy boxes and packaged jewelry making, scrap booking and mixed media trinkets

Transfer artist paper, eyelets, vintage BINGO and game pieces, and vintage French order forms

Crafting packages, thank you notes, hand decorated journals, and notebooks

Wonderful glass and brass display or storage boxes

These display cases are lined with vintage wallpaper, paper from an old encyclopedia and sheet music

Old ledgers sold by the book and some by the page

Wrinkle paper garland perfect for all kinds of special effects
Rubber stamp sets, bookmarks and other paper

Large selection of letter press blocks, both wood and metal

Ranger melting pot and UTEE (ultra thick embossing enamel)

Simply Swank soldering kits and supplies
Some items are available online, so check out our shopping site. If you see something you want that is not online, shoot us an email.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Happy Birthday to the Typewriter!

Patent drawing for the Sholes, Glidden & Soule Typewriter 1868
144 years ago on June 23, 1868, American inventor Christopher Sholes, and two partners Samuel Soule and Carlos Glidden, patented the “Type-Writer.” There were other mechanical writing machines before this, but the "Sholes and Glidden Type-Writer" became the first commercially successful model. The rights to the typewriter were purchased by E. Remington & Sons in 1873. Remington (later Remington Arms Co.) marketed a commercially viable version the next year.  During its development, the typewriter evolved from a crude curiosity into a practical device, the basic form of which became the industry standard. The machine incorporated elements which became fundamental to typewriter design, including a cylindrical platen and a four-rowed QWERTY keyboard.
The first commercially viable typewriter

A female typist operates a Sholes and Glidden typewriter, as depicted in an 1872 Scientific American article
Through the years major manufacturers of typewriters have included Remington, Underwood, Royal and Smith-Corona. With the advent of the electric typewriter in the early 1900s other business machine companies got in on the act. IBM launched its first electric typewriter in 1935 and changed the world standard with its IBM Selectric in 1961.

Now, in the world of computers, word processing programs and touch screens, typewriters have become just another part of history. Old typewriters are cherished by business machine and office products collectors. Designers love the look as an accent in an otherwise modern office. Typewriters fit right in with industrial chic!

Many famous writers have depended on typewriters for their livelihoods, some well into the computer era. Mark Twain claimed in his autobiography that he was the first important writer to present a publisher with his typewritten manuscript for The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876). Ernest Hemingway used to write his books standing up in front of a Royal typewriter that was placed on a tall bookshelf. Famous beat poet, Jack Kerouac, typed his classic On the Road on a roll of paper so he would not be interrupted by having to change the paper.

Other notables were Tom Robbins, who wrote lovingly about his Remington in Still Life with Woodpecker, Andy Rooney and William F. Buckley, who swore by the typewriter (and presumably "at" the computer) right to the end and the Unabomber, Ted Kaczynki, used a typewriter to  write his infamous manifesto.

Even musicians have been captured by the classic sounds of the typewriter. Composer Leroy Anderson wrote The Typewriter (1950) for orchestra and typewriter, and it was used in this classic scene with Jerry Lewis from his movie comedy Who's Minding The Store. The Lovin' Spoonful used the  typewriter, complete with carriage return bell, in their hit song Money (1968).

We have a few excellent old typewriters available. One is a Royal KHM typewriter from the 1930s. The other two are Remingtons - a Remington-5 (1937) and a Remington-7 Noiseless (1940s).  These are available in our shop and are not listed online at this time. Contact us if you are interested in one of them.
Royal KHM Typewriter from the 1930s ($195)
Remington-5 Typewriter from 1937 ($145)

Remington-7 Noiseless Typewriter from the 1940s ($145)

For more information about typewriter history and collecting, visit Anthony Casillo's typewritercollecting.com.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Life Magazines from 1906 through 1919

We recently found a stash of old Life magazines from the early 1900s. These are from a time when Life was a satirical-humor publication, throwing barbs at politicians, world leaders, high society, industrial moguls and intellectuals. From the earliest that we have, which have simple, but noteworthy, line drawings on the covers, to the nineteen teens with stunning color covers, these are real-time statements about the issues important to Americans. The issues between 1910 and 1919 are especially interesting as they are a commentary on the war, women's rights and suffrage. We have these priced between $20 and 29 each.
We also have an excellent selection of issues of the Illustrated London News (New York Edition) from 1894-1896. These are available in the shop, but I will answer inquiries about issues we may have and will send photos as well. Phone 408-399-9090 or email us.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Sue Bianchi's Beautiful Handcrafted Wedding Bouquet

One of our customers, Sue Bianchi, made this marvelous wedding bouquet from a variety of items she got from Vintages, including silk ribbon, vintage millinery flowers and some simple (and a few "distressed") vintage jewelry pieces. Beautiful bouquet, Sue, and thanks for sharing it with us.

Here is a photo of the wedding bouquet I made for a friend's May wedding .  It was made with several items from your wonderful store!  The centers of the fabric "peonies" are bits and pieces of broken rhinestone jewelry purchased from your store. The small flowers are from a small bunch of millinery flowers also purchased at Vintages, along with the tinted ribbon which was the foundation of the entire bouquet, as well as  the green leaf ribbon that finished it off.  The bouquet is approximately 8-9 inches in diameter.  I'm so glad your store exists! Thanks, Sue Bianchi
Close-up of a round pearl brooch at the center of a flower
Close-up of a vintage millinery flower used like stamens

Friday, June 15, 2012

Velvet Victorian Photo Album

We found this fantastic velvet Victorian album filled with photographs of children, wedding couples and gentle-ladies. The album is a special type for two reasons. Firstly, it is a stand-up album, placed on a stand to make it easy to view the photos. Secondly, it has a print of a Spanish American War & WWI US Navy cruiser, the USS Columbia. The USS Columbia was launched in 1892, commissioned in 1894 and sold in 1922. To find an old photo album with a naval vessel on the cover is truly rare.
Victorian Photo Album ($175.00)
Inside we found many wonderful cabinet card photos, all from the 1890s. One great attribute of cabinet cards, and their smaller brethren the carte-de-visite (CDV), is that many have the name of the photographer on the front and back as well. These photos are from the Chicago area.



There was also one fantastic tintype of three dapper gentlemen in white caps.
These photos, and many others, are available in our Los Gatos shop. Prices range from $5.00 to $25.00 each.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Vintage Wax Seals

For millennia the presence of a seal on a document signified authenticity and insured privacy. Seals of one form or another were used by royalty, government officials, religious entities and military officers. Seals have been around since biblical times, with cylindrical seals being found in southern Mesopotamia in 3500BC. 
Clay Cylinder Seals from Mesopotamia
Official seals have been generated on documents by embossing, attaching a seal, using an ink stamp or impressing the seal into wax. Letters that were written before the advent of the gummed envelope were normally sealed with wax and the initials, armory or symbol of the writer was impressed into the wax using a ring, a watch chain fob or other type of matrix or die.
Official Seal of the Town of Nachod c1570
The first document to have the Great Seal of the United States applied to it - Sept 1782
Gold-filled watch chain with wax seal fob ($95.00)

Gold-filled watch chain with wax seal fob ($75.00)

We often think of wax seals as desk implements and that is typically how they are made today. We carry a nice line of wax seals in the shop. However, recently we obtained several very nice early-20th century and Victorian wax seals. These have decorative handles of gilded brass, vulcanite with gold mounts, silver and crystal. These would make a great collection and are useful as well.
Wax seals from late-1800s to early-1900s (from $29.00 to $195.00)

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II


Queen Elizabeth II in Coronation Robes 1953
I remember Queen Elizabeth's coronation back on June 2, 1953. It was shown on television (via a delayed broadcast in black & white). Our teacher at Our Lady of the Angels elementary in San Diego brought a TV into the room for us to watch. Fascinating then - after all, she was the Queen - and a great memory today. There will be lots of hoopla over the coming months as the British celebrate Queen Elizabeth II's diamond jubilee, 60 years of her reign, starting with a gala performance broadcast tomorrow evening. Should be fun to follow along!
Beautiful Diamond Tiara from the exhibit Diamonds: A Jubilee Celebration
One event that would be great to see is the exhibition in the state rooms of Buckingham palace this summer - Diamonds: A Jubilee Celebration. This spectacular exhibition at Buckingham Palace will display the many diamonds enjoyed by British monarchs over the last 200 years. The exhibition includes an unprecedented selection of the Queen’s personal jewels, either those inherited by Her Majesty or acquired during her reign. The exhibition will reveal how many of these extraordinary stones have undergone a number of transformations, having been re-cut or incorporated into new settings during their fascinating history.
The Queen's Williamson Diamond Brooch, 1953

Queen Victoria's Fringe Brooch, 1856

Table Snuff Box from Frederick the Great, Prussia, c1770
Last year I posted on our other blog site an article about diamonds (the birthstone for April). Here's is an encore of that post.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Hi Dad! It's almost Fathers' Day


Fathers' Day is swiftly approaching and we have some great stuff for Dad! We have desk and den items from magnifiers and telescopes to old books and games. In our jewelry selection for men we have some nifty key chain knives and money clips, plus cufflinks and tie pins.
Desk accessories for Dad
Key chain knives and money clips -- great gifts! ($22.50 to $75.00)

We have a nice variety of desk and wine accessories for Dad.
We love gadgets and we have some cool gadgets for Dad. A vintage drafting set, a pair of wooden dumb bells, several old cigarette silks from Ivy League universities, a wonderful 19th century humidor, bottle tags and decanters for the bar, vintage cameras and more.
Wooden dumb bells and Indian clubs, plus other toys.
The toy accordian is wonderful. So is the student's microscope.
A variety of gadgets ... always fun!
Beautiful crystal decanter with a silver bottle tag on a silver tray.
Antiquarian books make a super gift.
Vintage Kodak Brownie cameras ($95 & $45 respectively)
1940s 8mm movie cameras ($75 each) and c1910 Seneca bellows camera ($295)
Hand crafted gaming wheel made in the USA ($295 - one only)
These folk art banks are made from reclaimed construction and electrical pieces. The computer clocks are also handmade.

These folk art banks are each one-of-a-kind ($115 each)
Computer art clocks made from discarded electronic parts ($39.95 to $66.95)
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