Sunday, October 28, 2012


It was a dark and stormy night .... Those famous words! Makes me think of images of Halloween ... or just a bad novel. I'll stick with Halloween, since I hate bad novels.

Heard of sponaneous combustion? How about flames coming off the railing of your deck?

Graveyards, headstones, spooky places for a walk anytime, but more so on Wednesday night ... fright night!

And here's a hotel that looks like it belongs in the next sequel of Halloween.

Have a Happy (and safe) Halloween.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Holiday Open House • November 3rd

It's time for our Annual Holiday Open House.  
Join us on Saturday, November 3rd. 

We will introduce our 2012 Holiday lines, including some wonderful vintage and handmade items. There will be specials throughout the store. Plus refreshments and prize drawings. 

Our Holiday selection this year is loaded with beautiful ornaments, a forest of trees, advent calendars (both traditional and whimsical fabric ones),  a variety of figures and dolls, and, of course, decorations galore!

On the vintage side we have collected a number of treasures for you. Fantastic, old Christmas cards, die-cuts and ephemera, a couple of "Noel" candle holder figurines, some vintage holiday candles in their original boxes, ornaments from bygone days, old Santas, village houses and a large selection of Christmas tree pins. There's more, but you'll have to come on in to see it all.

This is a great time to start your Holiday gift shopping as well. We have a broad selection of crafting treasures for the creative people, unique antiques for your collecting friends, beautiful vintage and handmade jewelry for the ladies, distinctive gifts for the men in your life, and wonderful stocking-stuffers, hostess and office gifts as well.

Don't miss out. Sign up for the prize drawing when you are in the shop. The fun and savings begin at 10am and go on 'til we close at 6pm.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

St. Francis Hotel for $2 a Day!

I came across this ad for the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco in the July 31, 1917, issue of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. $2 a day! Turkish baths! Times were different ... and so were paychecks.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Halloween On Sale

Halloween decorative and gift items 
will be on sale from
October 16th through November 2nd
Offer NOT valid on online or prior purchases, special or custom orders, 
shipping, gift certificates or layaways.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Happy Halloween Treats • No Tricks!

We have a ghoulishly delicious selection of Halloween treats, decorations and gifts. Check out this gallery then come on in.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Anatomy of a Marriage Book

The Christian Minister's Affectionate Advice to a New Married Couple
We found this marvelous little book in New England. At first, we thought it was just another religious miniature book. Then we looked inside and found a certificate of marriage, filled out in beautiful penmanship, with a date of March 21st 1858. We just had to have it!

For me, what makes an antique or old book so wonderful is not just the object, but the story behind it. The book got me to thinking. Who was this minister that wrote this little book with the ponderous title: The Christian Minister's Affectionate Advice to a New Married Couple. And what did he have to say about marriage? The author, Reverend James Bean, was Assistant Minister of Welbeck Chapel and one of the Librarians of the British Museum. His church Welbeck Chapel was located in the parish of Saint Mary-le-bone, in the County of Middlesex, in central London near Regent’s Park. Records are rather scant about this minister who authored several texts expounding on Parochial Instruction, Evidences of Christianity and Family Worship. I did find a simple reference to his death in the Theological Review and Ecclesiastical Review of London 1826:

Diocese of London – Durham… DECEASED… In the 74th year of his age, the Rev. James Bean, of Welbeck Chapel, Mary-le-bonne, and one of the Librarians of the British Museum. (circa Nov 1825)

Our American Tract Society edition is from the mid-1800s
The little book of advice was originally published in London in 1793. The American edition was revised and published quite a few years later. The book has had remarkable staying power, for it was republished again in 2006! The contents are quite dated, but give an insight into expectations and mores of the world in the 19th century.

Chapter I: Important Nature Of The Marriage Union.
Chapter II: The importance of a kind and amiable Temper and Deportment.
Chapter III: The Influence of Christian Piety on the Happiness of Married Life.
Chapter IV: The effects of Christian Piety on a household.
Chapter V: Short account of Evander and Theodosia.

In 1858, Reverend Edward Royce performed a marriage ceremony where he gave our little book to the newly married couple. Rev. Royce was the Pastor at the Baptist Church in Altay, Schuyler County, New York. Born in Clinton, New York, in 1815, Royce completed his studies at Madison University and was ordained in 1843. He traveled a bit, being a pastor at churches in Michigan and Ohio before taking on the pastor role at the Altay Baptist Church from 1854 to 1860. Health issues, both his and his wife Clara’s, forced him out of preaching by 1868. Obliged to give up hope of being pastor again, Royce entered into the book business. He passed away in the 1890s.

Certificate of Marriage included in our copy of this book
The couple who married on March 21st 1858 at the Altay Baptist Church were Mr. Miles Perkins and Miss Sarah Jane Simonson. Perkins was born at Cuylerville, a hamlet in Livingston County, New York, near the Genesee River. He was one of (at least) six sons and three daughters of John H. Perkins, one of the pioneer settlers of that locality, who lived to be 100 years of age, a remarkable feat back in the 1800s. For most of his 83 years, Miles Perkins lived in the town of Leicester, his father having located there when he was young.  

The Perkins’ farm, where Miles was born, skirts the Genesee River on the opposite side from where Miles was reared. No man knew "The Valley" better than he. Every bend in the river was familiar to him, for in his younger days he hunted much along the river and shot otter, mink and muskrat; also quail, woodcock and snipe. He was an expert hunter and marksman, and for years loved the sport. (Oct. 16, 1915, obituary in The Livingston Republican - Geneseo, NY.)

ASIDE: Miles Perkins brother, Warren Perkins, died in Andersonville prison during the Civil War.

Miles Perkins married Sarah Jane Simonson of Steuben County, New York, in 1858, as shown on the certificate included in our little book. Both Miles and Jane were 27 years old at the time. They had one child, Walter Perkins. Unfortunately, Jane passed away only a few years into the marriage. Walter was raised by his grandparents and Miles remarried in 1875. Miles himself passed in 1915, outliving both of his wives and his only son.

We have this little book for sale in the shop ($95.00).

Friday, October 5, 2012

Exclusive Paris and Los Gatos Notepads from Vintages


We have designed several notepads and have had them printed locally. There are two Los Gatos pads, two Paris pads and a cute little "Heartman" pad. These have 50 pages each and come in three sizes -- large 8.5x5.5", medium 5.5x4.25" and small 4.25x2.75".

Large & Medium Los Gatos Notepads ($10.95 & $5.95 each)
Large & Medium Paris Notepads ($10.95 & $5.95 each)
Small Heartman Notepad ($3.50 each)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Collection: Fraternal Items

Fraternities have been around since ancient Greece and Rome. The term “fraternity” denotes a brotherhood, an organization of men who band together for a common cause and for camaraderie. The earliest fraternities were mystical groups that were quite secretive and intellectual. In medieval times, lay organizations (“confraternities”) allied with the Catholic Church formed so that the members could involve themselves more completely in prayers and the activities of the church. Other groups were tradesmen that formed guilds, a forerunner to the labor unions of the 20th century.
Logos of some of the most familiar fraternal groups. Clockwise from top left: Masons, Shriners, Knights Templar, Odd Fellows, Knights of Columbus, Knights of Pythias.

Some of these early fraternal organizations still exist – the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine in the Catholic Church and the Mason’s are a couple. Others grew out of the Mason’s, such as the Shriners and Knights Templar. While the religious fraternities were quite open and encompassing, the secular fraternities were often very secretive and had rigid membership rituals and requirements. Fraternities may be divided into groups: social, service, professional and honorary.

Kappa Alpha Society
A major subset of these organizations is the student fraternities on American college campuses. College campus fraternities date back to the 1770s, but the oldest active Greek fraternity on American campuses is the Kappa Alpha Society, established in 1825. Sororities are the equivalent societies for women, and while they have not been around as long as the fraternal groups, they have their own rich history.

Because of their long history, secretiveness and colorful ceremonial traditions, fraternal items are quite collectible. Ephemera and lodge related items are a large part of what is collected. Photographs, programs, certificates and more can be found quite easily. Medals, badges and jewelry are a bit harder to find and are thus quite desirable. Most of these items are very colorful and have distinct connections to lodges or regional groups. The highest end of collectibles from fraternal groups is the jewelry. While some medals and jewelry are gold-filled or silver, the high carat gold pieces are the most valuable.

We currently have a nice selection of fraternal items in the shop and online. These range from ephemera to medals and jewelry. Some of the groups represented in our selection are the Masons, Shriners, Knights Templar, Knights of Pythias, college fraternities and sororities, the American Legion and a few more.

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