Friday, September 30, 2016

Handcrafted Ornaments Made to Order

For many years now Susan has been making these solder pendants, charms and ornaments. She has largely done her own designs ... using vintage images, her own artwork, inspirational words, initials and names. Every year Susan also does up a selection of 2" x 3" ornaments for Holidays ... Easter, Halloween and Christmas.

Above are a Selection of Halloween Ornaments ... Double-Sided 2x3 ... $19.95 each

These are Christmas Holiday Ornaments ... Double-Sided 2x3 ... $19.95 each

Susan has also created custom pieces for our customers ... special words, personal photos or images, names, dates, etc. During the Holidays a customized ornament makes a perfect gift for the host/hostess, presents at the dinner table instead of place cards, tags for you beautifully wrapped gift.
These are the 1-1/8" Bubble Glass Pendants ... $19.95 each

These are the 3/4" Bubble Glass Pendants ... $12.95 each

Custom pendants, charms or ornament are the same price as Susan's own designs, but there can be a $2 to $4 graphics charge. The solder pieces come in a number of sizes 2"x3", 1"x3", 1"x1.5" which are all double-sided and cost $19.95. There are also single-sided round bubble glass pieces at 3/4" for $12.95 and 1-1/8" for $19.95. All come with a co-ordinating ribbon or cord and placed in an organza bag or white jewelry box ... ready for presentation
This is one of the small Bubble Glass Pieces in the Organza Bag
Come in and talk to us about custom pieces, call 408-399-9090, or send Susan an email. You may also find something just right in the pieces Susan has already made.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

BOO! Halloween is Just a Month Away ... Are you ready?

How time flies! Halloween is almost here. Are you ready? Vintages is! Don't be afraid ... come in and check out our terror-ific and boo-tiful collection!

These great wooden signs are created and hand painted by a mother daughter team in Modesto.

This wooden raven is watching over a neat selection of Halloween Specialties

Eek and Ike ... our last couple on sale!

Hats, Masks, Paper Plates and Treat Bags

Have a Purrfectly Horrible Halloween!!!

Need some table decor? We got it!

Houses, Boxes, Hats and more ...

Don't loose your head over it ... come in and we will help

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Calligraphy Supplies and Accessories

We have always admired beautiful handwriting and calligraphy. Love the scrolls ... the flourishes ... the beautifully crafted script. We were inspired by a wonderful shop in Paris at 10 Rue du Pont Louis-Philippe ... Melodies Graphiques. The owners are both calligraphy artists.

So we have had some vintage calligraphy pens and nibs in our shop for some time now. Recently we added some new offerings of calligraphy pens and inks, as well as a couple of sets to get you started. Come on in and check them out.

High Quality Higgins Black Ink $6.50 / 1oz btl

Speedball Calligraphy Nibs $2.50 each
Vintage Calligraphy Pens $9.95 each
9-piece Speedball Calligraphy Kit $29.95 per kit
Speedball Calligraphy Pen Sets: Pen only $5.95; Pen w/ink $6.95; Pen with 2 inks $13.95
 We also have some useful accessories:
Wax Seals $9.95 - $11.95 each; Sealing Wax $3.00 each
Assorted Packages of Cardstock $16.95 per pad
Artist Papers and Watercolors $8.95 each
Vintage Artist Brushes $3.00 each and Rulers $10.00 each

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Bakery Fire ...

I just had to pass on this little newspaper article from 1894. It's about a bakery fire in New York City and the response from the policeman when asked about it ... and the added comment about a fire in San Francisco which is just as quote worthy.

ER ... that's all folks ...

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Bronze Opium Weights from Southeast Asia

A Variety of Antique Bird Opium Weights
We recently found a fascinating little bronze bird. In researching it we learned about "opium weights." Opium weight? Why were special weights used for measuring opium? Well here is the story ... in short form ... as told by Sylvia Fraser-Lu in Arts of Asia magazine (January/February 1982 Issue): 

They are referred to as "opium" weights. The term immediately conjures up visions of dingy secluded rooms off dark winding alleys, where frail trans-parent Orientals with glazed unseeing eyes lie lethargically on platform beds puffing intermittently at long clay pipes packed with a wad of opium which has been carefully measured using one of these weights. It is indeed tempting to contemplate that a notorious substance such as opium, the reliever of pain on the one hand and the cause of untold suffering to many on the other, should have its own distinctive and special set of weights and measures.

This, alas, seems to be but a myth. The term "opium" weight for these measures was probably coined by a foreigner with a vivid imagination and a fascination for the forbidden.

While some of the mountain tribes of the Burma, Laos and Thailand used the smallest sizes for weighing opium, these weights were actually made for everyday use, including all sorts of commerce, and were used on scales to weigh all sorts of foods, raw materials and metals. The weights were graded by a measure of ticals … one tical equals 10-12 grams … and have been found in weights from 1/50 tical to tens of ticals.
Hintha Bird Weight Set in Graduated Sizes
Most common antique opium weights are made of bronze in the form of a Hintha (bird or chicken) or Brahmani (duck). There are also more rare weights in different shapes as lions or other animals. The earliest Hintha weights found are thought to date from around the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. These early ones  are set on a pumpkin-shaped base. When the British occupied Burma in 1885, they introduced round and flat iron weights and from that time officially no more bronze weights were cast.
Early Antique Animal Form Opium Weights
(See the discussion of "Opium Weights" on The Eclectic Museum website for more details on weights; or this brief history of opium curiously titled The Plant of Joy.)

So back to our little bird. It turns out to be a 19th century bronze 16 tical Hintha opium weight. Pretty cool. This is now on our antique sales site priced at $69.00.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Victorian Slide Chain Necklaces ... to Wear or Collect

Slide chain necklaces were originally worn by Victorian women as a way to carry their pocket watches or glasses (lorgnettes). These chains, which are generally quite long, came in solid gold, gold-filled and occasionally silver. Victorians were known for mixing form and function in jewelry, so slide chains were very versatile and worn in a number of ways. To keep the length under control, the end piece can be tucked into a pocket or clipped onto a belt or sash. The slide can be used to adjust the length slightly. 

These are some Victorian ladies wearing long chains in the 1880s or so. (Photos from our store inventory of Victorian Cartes d'Visite and tintypes.)

Slide chains had a brief resurgence in the mid-1900s. Today bib or festoon necklaces are quite popular. The chain can be worn doubled up and clipped in the center to create a festoon style look. A pendant can be added to the clip. Another simple way to wear your slide chain is to double it up, adjusting the length of the loops to give a layered look.

When the craze for these long chains diminished at the turn of the century many slides were gathered and worn as bracelets or shorter watch chains. It’s a nice look … old but new.

Bracelet made from Vintage Slides (not in stock)
Slide chains in their various incarnations have been a popular jewelry collectible for many years and the popularity remains today.

Above is a Slide Choker ... a variant because it is a short necklace. 14K Gold, Swiss Enamel with a Gold-filled Chain $695.00

These are some of the Gold-Filled Slide Chains ... 36" to 50" Chains ... all $95.00 each

Mid-century Slide Necklace Lavaliere ... 14K Gold ... $155.00

This is another variant ... a Watch Chain with a Slide for Men ... Gold-Filled ... $95.00

Still another variant where the slide is on a bracelet. (not in stock)
Most of these are available on our Antique Site. All are available in our Los Gatos Shop.
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