Friday, November 30, 2012

1954 Mexico Lucky Charm Bracelet

Here's a souvenir charm bracelet from Mexico that features five cent coins from 1954 that each have a lucky symbol on one side.. You have a horseshoe, elephant with the trunk up, a wishbone, a four leaf clover, and the number seven. The chain is copper with a silver wash and measures 7" long. What a great gift idea for that lucky person.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

1970s Tooled Leather Mexico Briefcase

This is for a briefcase that was made in Mexico in the 1970s as a souvenir piece. It is beautifully tooled with the mayan calendar on the back. The signed Cheney lock no longer has a key, but it does open without a problem. Most of the wear is on the handle and the straps. The inside is a trifold and has the mfg. label. Measurements are 15" x 12".

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Mid-Century Japan Stoneware Vase

Here's a finely executed earthen colored Mid-Century Modern vase that is labeled "Japan" on the bottom. I found this poking around in an absolutely overstuffed consignment shop where one had to step over piles of clothing, bedding, etc. It was perched on a shelf of kitchenware, a wonderful foil for the chaos that surrounded it. Measurement for this piece is 7" high. It's a very dense piece that is bereft of flaws.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Pr. Vintage Oaxaca Mexico Angel Candlestick Holders

Here's a nicely crafted pair of barro negro (black clay) candlestick holders in the shape of Mexican angels. These were purchased from an estate owned by a woman who spent the 1950s to the late 1970s touring Central and South America extensively. This pair is from the Oaxaca region and probably dates back to the late 60s or early 70s. The figures each house two candlesticks. They stand approximately 15" high. One of the figures has a chunk missing from the candleholder, but as you can see from the picture, it still holds the candle.

Monday, November 26, 2012

1970s Brutalist Spain Wooden Candlestick Holders

Here's a nice pair of heavy, dark and brutalistic 11" pillars for candles that were made in Spain in the 1970s. These still bear the original Made in Spain paper labels on the bottom. They are cleverly made as the "wick" you see is actually a spike to hold a candle and what appears to be leftover wax is actually plastic to give the appearance that a candle has burned down. One can choose to leave them as they are or put new candles on them. Some chipping on the edge of one candle and one of the "wicks" is burnt. Very nice masculine accents for a fireplace mantle.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

John Deere Green Stool

Rescued from a cellar clean out, this primitive old stool was found with a split seat and painted a minty 90s green. I repaired the seat and added tacks to the legs and edge of seat to create a bit of texture to the piece and then painted with John Deere tractor green spray paint. This is one of several pieces from my "tacky" collection. It measures 24" high and the seat is approximately 13" in diameter. Perfect for the kitchen island or as a plant stand or any place you need an extra seat!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

19th Century Bird Brooch

Here's a beautifully executed silver wash brooch of a pheasant. I purchased this several years ago at the Rhinebeck Antique Show, well known for its Hudson River Valley paintings. According to the dealer, it had been part of an estate of an established and wealthy nearby family. I suspect it might be European. The safety clasp on the back tells me that it was done by an accomplished jeweler. At some point, the hinge pin came off and was cleverly replaced with a regular straight pin. What a beautiful piece when displayed on a dark blazer or dress. Measurements are 1 1/2" x 2 1/4".

Friday, November 23, 2012

Western Germany Dahlia Pin

This is an absolutely stunning pin that was created in West Germany, a powerhouse for mass produced costume jewelry after WWII. It is a lightweight and molded hard plastic dahlia. Unike Japanese imports from the same time period, who made these types of pins with celluloid, this creation is more lightweight and precise in its imagery. It's the perfect gift for a gardener or somebody who just appreciates simple beauty. Diameter is 2 1/4" and signed Western Germany on back.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Mid-Century Shell TV Lamp

Many years ago I frequented an indoor flea market where a young seller from Connecticut used to sell his wares. He was hip to the Mid-Century scene and always had fabulous smalls. One Sunday just before the place closed, I hurried to his space and found a Royal Haeger fan-tailed goldfish TV lamp with the original tags as well as this shell lamp that had no wiring. I begged him for his best price and got him to accept a check as I didn't have enough cash. I eventually sold the goldfish lamp and had this one rewired, where it sat for many years on my old TV. These lamps were very popular in the 50s and generally did set atop the TV for an extra bit of light during the evening hours. They came in all shapes and sizes, the most common being of the cougar variety. This one is a stylized shell glazed in a glossy black. It's an American made piece and works perfectly, a unique gift for that special person in your life.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

1968 Wheldon England Pitcher

Here's a later Mid-Century Modern pitcher that was created in 1968. This ceramic piece is hand painted and signed by the artist. A nice example of modern art, the colors and patterns are vibrant and eye catching. It measures 10" high and is free from chips and cracks, though the glazing has a "chippy" appeal to it.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Sarah Coventry at Her Finest

On my 16th birthday, I received a birthstone ring and post earrings made by Sarah Coventry. The Coventry jewelry house was a staple in the Middle-American female diet for several decades in the latter half of the 20th Century. This necklace is a fantastic example of Coventry work in the 1960s. One can still find a plethora of her kick ass selections. Style and class and made in the good old U.S. of A.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Silver & Bone Otter Pendant Pin

This is an absolutely adorable pin that is wonderfully crafted in high relief and features an otter holding onto what appears to be a shell of some sort. The bone carving is whimsical, displaying the mischievous personality of this little otter. The back is signed K in a circle and 925. Maker is unknown, but judging from the workmanship, I believe it to be from the Northwest, possibly done by a Native American. Pin measures 1 3/8" in diameter. There is a loop for a pendant or one may wear it as a pin. There are no cracks or chips to the bone carving. The sterling is somewhat oxidized with some slight denting on the edges.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Made in the USA No More

This is for a wall hanging entitled "Made in USA No More #1". It consists of a black gloss ply board base and 1970s plastic plate holders arranged in a geometric shape. This is the first in a series being developed that include vintage USA plastic items from the 60s and 70s. Each repurposed plastic piece is marked Made in USA. The measurements for this piece are 2 feet by 2 feet. Here's an unusual way to add pop to a room as well as display some of America's mass produced items from a bygone era.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

French Majolica Vase

This is an absolutely stunning Arte Noveau vase made by St. Clement, France. The majolica colors are vibrant and eye catching. Measuring 10 3/4" high and in excellent vintage condition expect for one small flake on the rim, this vase makes a statement wherever it is placed.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Odd Knutsen Luna Chairs

Here's a pair of stellar Scandinavian designed Luna chairs by Odd Knutsen* or Knudsen (I've seen it spelled both ways) and produced by Hjellegjarde Mobler of Norway in the late 70s to 80s as an import to California. These are extremely durable, having weathered several decades of kids, dogs and frequent seating in a gaming room. The leather seats are soft and virtually blemish free. The wood frames are completely intact. They do show some paint loss wear. All hardware is intact. They can hold a very big man and when you sit in one, you don't want to get back up they are so comfortable. If you have been reading my blogs at all, you will see that I am all about the very unique, no matter the age. These definitely rock! *See blog comment about spelling.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Charming Chalkware Cherubs

Here's a sweet vintage chalkware cast cherubs wall hanging, a perfect accent piece for a hallway, bathroom or any place you want to add just a bit more classical elegance to a space. It measures 7" long and 4" wide. The paint is chipped and worn in some places, but the piece itself is not chipped or cracked. The back has a loop for easy hanging.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Child's Tin Drum

Many years ago I frequently visited the aunt of a friend who lived outside of Palmyra, New York and who owned dilapidated property next to her house that she had inherited from a spinster relative. The place had originally been a gas station with a little motor court in back where tiny cabins sat, overnight sleepers for those traveling the roads in the 1930s and 40s. My friend and I spent many hours picking through the ruins of the property, searching for unique treasures, such as this adorable tin drum I found in a corner of the oil station garage. I was never able to find the little drum sticks that went with it, but my children spent many happy hours playing upon it with utensils, sticks or little hands. Thus, this drum has more beat marks than it originally had when I found it. Stored in my attic for a number of years now, I've decided it's time to find it a new home, where it can be appreciated once more. Diameter of this piece is 6 3/4" and height is 3 1/4". It is stamped "Made in U.S.A." and judging from the little children on it, it was probably meant for a 4th of July celebration in the late 1920s to early 30s. What a sweet display piece this would make in a nursery or child's room.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Alida Walsh Functional Sculpture

Here's a funky and phenomenal piece of art that is functional as well! This is a table or cabinet base that was designed by Alida Walsh (1933-2006), a feminist artist, filmmaker, and Art Professor who died in Schenectady, New York after a lengthy and noteable career in sculpture, mixed media and film. The piece consists of fiberglass cast legs with a top that measures 13 1/2" wide, 22" across and it stands 20" high. Please note that I have added a separate black laquer tray to the top in order to show what it would look like as a table. Just know that the base could be used in any number of ways. It's a favorite conversation piece in my shop right now.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Louis Pelky Oil on Canvas -- Seascape

Here's an especially beautiful seascape signed Louis Pelky, a known seascape artist who taught oil painting classes in the 1970s and 80s in Upstate New York. He vacationed in Maine for many of his summers and found much inspiration for his work there. Age of this oil is unknown, but judging from the frame and painting style, I believe it was done between the '60s and '70s. It is oil on canvas without a frame and measures 28" x 22". There is no damage to the canvas. It just needs a good frame. This alluring scene belongs in a charming seaside cottage. SOLD 1/12. Thanks for all the inquiries.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Steubenville Bird Plates

Steubenville Pottery Company out of Steubenville, Ohio produced these plates starting in 1941. The pattern is called Woodfield and the color is Dove Gray. This particular pattern has many followers, but what makes this collection special is the handpainted birds on each. You have a cardinal, a blue jay and an oriole. Lummis Studios of Owings Mills, Maryland produced these. Each 9" plate is free from chips and cracks. There is, however, some paint loss on the paintings themselves, especially on the body of the cardinal. I have chosen to keep them together and sell them as a collection. These are unsigned by the artist, but wonderfully executed. They belong in a country, woodsy setting, perhaps hanging in the kitchen of a little bungalow at the foot of a mountain, a tribute to the birds which grace us with their presence on a daily basis.
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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Bronze Tribal Face Pendant

Here's a very nicely executed cast bronze pendant featuring the face of an indigenous person. More a miniature sculpture than a piece of jewelry, it is signed MPMG 20 on the back. It measures 2 1/4" x 1 1/4.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Art Deco Peruvian Tourist Pin of Man in Traditional Costume

This is for a phenomenal piece of metalworking done in the 1930s to 40s that features a Peruvian man in traditional costume. It is an unsigned piece, probably made in Peru, that is more of a sculpture than a pin. This measures 3 1/4" long and 3" at its widest point. Detail and whimsy are simply amazing.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Beauty of Bakelite

Bakelite, or plastic gold as I like to refer to it, has been around since the early 20th Century. One can find plenty of books out there that discuss its origins through chemist Leo Baekeland, his accidental discovery of the product and how it evolved into "the material of a thousand uses" (Romero 2002). One can also learn of its rediscovery by Andy Warhol in the late 1970s and early 1980s. On December 16, 2009, Bonham's Auctions featured an extensive private collection of Susan Kelner Freeman's bakelite and celluloid jewelry, proving once again the appeal and beauty of this versatile plastic. One can find bakelite not only in jewelry, but in other products as well, such as kitchen utensils and appliances, umbrella handles, radio and clock cases, pen and pencil cases, and much more. Whether carved, swirled, laminated or injected, the appeal of bakelite is universal and oxidation over time only adds to its beauty. Hence, the reason for my pen name "Bakelite Buffoon."

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Czechoslovakian Glass Pendant

Here's another wonderful piece of Czech glass that I found many years ago in a thrift shop at the foothills of the Helderbergs in Upstate New York. It was lying amongst piles of loud '80s costume jewelry, a bit of pink without a setting. The scene on the glass is reminiscent of a Maxfield Parrish work of a nude bather circa 1920s. These glass cameos were almost always found in a white metal filigree setting, but I knew it would be impossible to find a replacement, so I collaborated with a jeweler I dubbed "Turtle" and we decided upon a contemporary sterling silver pendant setting, which complimented the piece quite nicely. The sterling has since oxidized, which adds a certain richness to the piece. Measurements are 1 1/2" long and 1 1/4" wide. The back of the cameo shows age stress marks, but there are no chips or cracks. What a unique and lovely statement this will make depending from a silver chain.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Late 1800s Hardware Store Cabinet

In 1997 I was selling my wares at a little weekend flea market across from an elderly couple who had been picking since the early 1960s. I would often visit their booth and gaze at amazement at all of the one of a kind tins, car parts, pottery, glass and jewelry that was heaped in piles on old dressers and even on the floor. Charlie and Annie were the consummate pickers, though she walked with a cane and he had trouble standing straight. Charlie was always good for a pickin' story and such is the case with this cabinet which he hauled in one weekend. It had been sitting in his cellar since being rescued before the building it was stored in was torn down in the 1970s, a relic from the industrial era of the late 1800s and used to house screws, bushings and whatever else the little cubbies might hold. I fell in love with the piece as did several other dealers in the place. I must confess that I emptied my coffers to purchase it and my affable partner and his son struggled up three flights of stairs to get it into my living room. I later found product still inside amongst the cubbies and a partial label that confirmed where Charlie had picked it up at 62 Mohawk Street, Cohoes, New York, the former site of Mohawk Mill Supplies & Hardware. The hefty case is oak with the original paint and is strong, completely intact front and back. All cubbies marked with a measurement are present as are the original porcelain knobs. It is meant to sit on a counter, I'm sure. Size of this cabinet is 40" high, 36" wide and 14" deep. It's a true piece of Americana if ever there was one.

Monday, November 5, 2012

19th Century Cottage Dresser Upcycled in the 1960s

When I was a kid in the '60s my mother became a master at "antiquing" furniture and was able to develop a small business that ran out of our country home in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Here we have a piece that brings back my fond memories of Mom, hard at work rejuvenating tired dressers and stands with blue, avocado green and barn red updates. This one is painted in two shades of green and rather than being "antiqued" with thinned black laquer, it was embellished with decals, those affordable accents one could buy (usually made by Meyercord) and apply to just about any surface. These particular decals are a fleur de lis pattern. The dresser itself is a sturdy country or cottage piece that dates back to the late 1800s. The paint job and decals have held up well through the years with some wear, just another added feature to this unique piece. Measurements are 36" high, 39 1/2" wide and 17" deep.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Gothic Throne Chair

Like many worn out items I am drawn to when scouting out new finds, I thought this would be an easy fix, and after all, it had great bones. When I realized this was not going to be so easy, my affable partner once again came to my rescue and helped me with the reupholstery after driving truck all day. He worried that I didn't have enough fabric, and I thought there was plenty. In exasperation he said to me "the material has to go in the same direction front and back. Do you want this to look cheap?" Luckily, I did have just enough and for over a week he fitted and cursed and told me not to bring home another thing in this kind of condition as he had so many times in the past. This is a piece from the Gothic Revival movement of the 1920s. It has a nice paisley variation fabric and is ready for you to recline in next to the fireside after a hard day's work. Measurements are 49" at the highest point of the back and the arm width is a roomy 24" across. Depth of the seat is 23", a very comfortable foam seat that once you sink into, you don't want to leave. The solid frame is in the original finish. The feet could use new caps, but other than that, it's in fine vintage shape. Most importantly my vision came to fruition at the hands of my partner, a good man indeed.