Saturday, November 30, 2013

Vintage Christmas Treasures at Vintages of Los Gatos

Christmas Bell Ornaments in Original 1950s Box ($69 set - just sold!)
Every year we search out special vintage Christmas decorations. We have a fantastic selection, so come on in and check them out. These are all in limited supply.
Handmade Vintage Beaded Ornaments c1960s ($9.95 each)

1930s Vintage Village Houses and Churches (from $18 each)

Old Fashioned Fold-out Santa Card ($24 each -- 2 available)

1960s Lawn Lights ($69 each)

1960 Vintage Candle 10-Light Sets ($19.95 each)

Vintage Christmas Pins (from $29 each)

Vintage Santa Claus Figures (from $29 each)

Vintages Christmas Decorations

Vintages Christmas Decorations

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Memories of Christmas at Grandma's and Her Lapinha

The holidays at my Grandparent’s house in Hawai'i were always the highlight of the season – except of course for Christmas day itself. The whole family would be there. The Christmas tree was a tall Norfolk Island pine, cut from the tree along side the house. It was decorated from top to bottom with loads of ornaments and those “magic” bubbling lights. Grandma would set out a massive Nativity on the dining room buffet – the traditional Madeiran Lapinha. It was layered on a few terraced shelves that were covered with one of her favorite linen table clothes and the stable was always right in the middle with a single star light above the Baby Jesus at the top. The holiday dinner spread included traditional and “modern” dishes … always a treat.

Grandma was from Madeira, where there is a tradition of creating an elaborate nativity scene, terraced with the Menino Jesus, the Christ Child, at the top.  The Lapinha was brought to Hawai’i by our Portuguese ancestors who immigrated from Madeira to the Islands to work on the Sugar Plantations. Today, a few Portuguese families continue to put up a Lapinha in the traditional manner.

The following description is from an article by Sandy Sakai in 1999:

Although each Lapinha is composed a bit differently, they all share certain elements. The “stage” upon which the Nativity scene is displayed may consist of up to seven or more tiers. It can be free standing, placed on a table or built into the corner of a room. The tiers are covered with a cloth giving it the appearance of an altar.

The uppermost tier is reserved for the Christ Child, the Menino Jesus (often large and outsized versus the rest of the display). Arranged on the tiers below are houses (casas), candles (velas), angels (anjos), and an assortment of farm animals including cows (vacas) and roosters (galos), the symbol of Portugal. The animals remind us not only of the original Nativity scene but also the strong relationship the Lapinha has to the Portuguese farming and peasant communities.

The Lapinha is completed by decorating it with flowers to give it more color. Small bowls of sprouted wheat (trigo) are placed on the tiers along with offerings of fruits (apples and oranges -- porca and laranja) and nuts (maçã).

By tradition, the Lapinha is begun several days before Christmas and the Lapinha is usually displayed until the Feast of the Three Kings (the Epiphany) which is celebrated on January 6th, after which it is dismantled and stored until the following Christmas.

I wish I had a photo of Grandma's Lapinha to show you, but alas I do not. Her's was beautiful, elegant and simple. Quietly proclaiming the birth and glory of the newborn Christ. Simple and quiet just like Grandma was. Here are some photos I found online. While these are all traditional and beautiful, Grandma's will always be my favorite Lapinha ever. Have a Merry Christmas.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Hawaii Christmas 1914!

I came across this ad for Christmas shopping in Lihue, on the Island of Kauai, Hawaii. It is dated Dec 15, 1914! Ninety-nine years ago. Mele Kalikimaka!

Click on the image to get a larger, readable version.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Holiday Hours at Vintages of Los Gatos

We will be
Open on Sundays (from 11am to 5pm)
through the rest of the Holidays. 

Expanded hours on Thursday nights 
are coming as well. 
On December 5th, 12th and 19th, 
Vintages will be open until 9pm 
for your shopping convenience.

Note: We will be closed on Thanksgiving Day. So have a Happy and fun Thanksgiving. See you in the shop.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Jewelry of Bulgari: La Dolce Vita & Beyond

The history of Bulgari jewelry begins with the patriarch of the Bulgari family, Sotirios, who moved with his father from Greece to Italy in 1877. He started his own jewelry company in Rome in 1884, where he sold silver objects, antiques and archaeological-revival jewelry. Today the company he founded has a global presence and is run by the fourth generation of Bulgaris as a part of the ultra luxury firm LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy).


 The Art of Bulgari: LaDolce Vita & Beyond, 1950–1990 showcases creations that range from classic Greco-Roman inspired designs to modern geometric creations. The focal point of the exhibition is really the 1960s to 1990s, when the jewelry is known for bold and colorful pieces, mixing semiprecious stones with diamonds, mounting ancient coins in gold jewelry and creating easy-to-wear accessories made with unusual color combinations.

As it has been with so many successful luxury houses, Bulgari’s cultivation of prominent patrons and movie stars like Sophia Loren, Ingrid Bergman, and perhaps most notably, Elizabeth Taylor, has been a key aspect of the jeweler’s reputation.

Possibly the most famous set of jewelry was the emerald and diamond sautoir given by Richard Burton to Elizabeth Taylor. He presented her with the pendant for their engagement, and followed with the necklace for their wedding.

Color is a key to the most spectacular and bold designs. Sautoirs, which are long necklaces terminated with pendants, were extremely popular in the 1960s.

Our favorites are the brooches. Beautiful flowers encrusted with diamonds and crowned with brilliant yellow diamonds, cabochon emeralds or rubies. Bulgari was also well-known for the use of tremblers, jewelry where parts of the piece were set onto gold springs and would move, wiggle or tremble when the wearer moved.

In the 1970s, Bulgari produced a line of more casual pieces featuring red, white and blue, partially in commemoration of America’s bicentennial. They also brought out whimsical pieces featuring birds and playing cards.

While Bulgari’s jewelry is spectacular, so are some of the accessories like mirrors, clocks, desk sets and handbags.

Some of the current offering from Bulgari continue with the design motifs of the past.

The exhibit is well worth the hour or so it takes to view it and the de Young is a fabulous museum, so take the time to explore. The Art of Bulgari: La Dolce Vita & Beyond, 1950–1990 will be on display at the de Young Museum in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park through February 17, 2014.

(NOTE: Photos courtesy of the de Young Museum and from the Bulgari website.)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Vintages' Annual Holiday Open House

Join us for 
fun, refreshments, prizes,
store-wide specials,
 and the introduction of our 
2013 Holiday Collection

Saturday, November 9th 
10 am to 6 pm
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