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Friday, April 25, 2014


                            Have you ever heard of the Kentucky Derby? Of course you have.
                                              The greatest two minutes in sports!

Here is some information on the Traditions of the Kentucky Derby.
First established as part of the Derby celebration when they were presented to all the ladies attending a fashionable Louisville Derby party, the Garland of Roses was such a sensation, that the president of Churchill Downs, Col. Lewis Clark, adopted the rose as the race's official flower. The rose garland, now synonymous with the Kentucky Derby, first appeared in the 1896 when winner Ben Brush received a floral arrangement of white and pink roses.
Throughout the world, the Twin Spires are a recognized landmark and have become visual symbols of Churchill Downs and its most famous race, the Kentucky Derby.
Constructed in 1895, the Twin Spires were the creation of a 24-year-old draftsman, Joseph Dominic Baldez, who was asked to draw the blueprints for Churchill Downs' new grandstand. Originally the plans did not include the Twin Spires atop Churchill Downs’ roofline, but as the young Baldez continued work on his design, he felt the structure needed something to give it a striking appearance.
Described as towers in the original drawing, the hexagonal spires exemplify late 19th century architecture, in which symmetry and balance took precedence over function. Although Baldez designed many other structures in Louisville, the Twin Spires remain as an everlasting monument to his memory.
                                       MY OLD KENTUCKY HOME
In the world of sports, there is not a more moving moment than when the horses step onto the track for the Kentucky Derby post parade and the band strikes up “My Old Kentucky Home.”
Although there is no definitive history on the playing of the Stephen Foster ballad as a Derby Day tradition, it is believed to have originated in 1921 for the 47th running of the classic. The Louisville Courier-Journal in its May 8, 1921, edition reported, "To the strains of 'My Old Kentucky Home,' Kentuckians gave vent their delight. For Kentucky triumphed in the Derby." The story refers to the popular victory of the Kentucky-owned and bred Behave Yourself.
The actual year the song was played as the horses were led onto the track to begin the Derby post parade is also unclear. A 1929 news account written by the legendary Damon Runyon reported that the song was played periodically throughout Derby Day. A report by the former Philadelphia Public Ledger provides evidence that 1930 may have been the first year the song was played as the horses were led to the post parade - "When the horses began to leave the paddock and the song 'My Old Kentucky Home' was coming from the radio, the cheering started."

                                                               MINT JULEP
The Mint Julep has been the traditional beverage of Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby for nearly a century. Early Times Kentucky Whisky has been privileged and honored to be a part of that tradition. The Early Times Mint Julep Ready-to-Serve Cocktail has been "The Official Mint Julep of the Kentucky Derby" for more than 18 years.

As for the crowd attending the the Kentucky Derby an all important item is of course a stylish, memorable, practical, and sometimes comical HAT to be worn.



Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Tips and Helpful Information

These are all small posts I have made in the past on our facebook page. Thought it might be beneficial to share again.

Tips--Hanging Pictures
May 9, 2011 at 10:08am

How To Hang Pictures Along a Staircase.
Create a staggered group of medium-sized pictures on a staircase wall. Use pictures with similar frames. Hang one every three steps starting from the first bottom step. Stand on the stairs and hang the picture so it's 60 inches from the top of the step to the center of the picture. This will line them up perfectly. If you are hanging a group of pictures of different sizes, put a large one in the center, then hang the others to follow the line of the stair railing
Hanging Pictures Over a Sofa.
According to decorators, when hanging pictures over a sofa, the bottom of the picture frames should be 10 inches from the top of the sofa. The reason they say is because you can better view from other areas in room, also the height is right for most people to view sitting or standing, and you don't have to worry about them being bumped when seated on sofa. If hanging in a group, hang the lowest row first, and leave at least 2 inches between each row.
Personally I prefer to hang my groupings in odd numbers, they appeal better to my sight than even numbers.
I previously made a note about decorating with collectibles in odd numbers called "Tip of the Week--The Magic # 7". You can read that note or any previous note written by going to my notes tab.

For Your Info---The Magic # 7
by Antiques Attic on Friday, April 9, 2010 at 10:29am

Put seven objects on a table and then ask someone "How many items are there".
You will get the correct answer most of the time very quickly without them counting out. Try again with eight items and most people will start counting "1,2,3..." before answering.
This has been tested many times and an immediate answer usually comes at 7 or any uneven number less (example 3,5). This means the best list for people to grasp quickly is not a "Top Ten", but should be a "Top Seven" list.
Another way to take advantage of odd numbers is in decorating. Place an odd number of things on a table or shelf and they stand out best to ones eye. Same for hanging a grouping on a wall. Try this and see for yourself, first arrange an even number of things, and really look at its appeal. Then try with an odd number and stand back and look. Great way to show off your knick knacks and collectibles !!!
Another tip before hanging or putting nails in wall to hang pictures etc: I lay the frame on a piece of paper and outline. I then cutout along the outline. Tape these cutouts on the wall to arrange and step back to see how it will look and fit. I have numbered each cutout to match each frame. The sticky note on the framed picture matches the # I placed on the cutout. You can also determine where to place nail by these same cutouts while still on the wall.

Tip of the Week--Wrapping-Storing Antiques & Collectibles

August 9, 2010 at 9:38am
PLEASE do not use Newspaper to wrap and store items. The ink on the newpapers can stain or adhere permanantly!!! It is fine for a temporary form of protection or padding, but never for an extended time.
The best wraps we have found to protect are of course bubble wrap or unused disposable diapers.
Trust and believe us on this issue----we have seen to many wonderful things stored in newspaper destroyed.

Tip of The Week---Removing Hardware on Painted Furniture

July 26, 2010 at 11:43am
Want to remove and restore the hardware on a piece of furniture that you want to leave painted but the hardware is kinda stuck by the paint? The answer is to use an exacto knife and carefully trace around the hardware to release the bond and remove. It should fit right back into place without disturbing the painted finish. Just be sure to number each piece so it will be replaced to the right spot.

Tip of The Week----Cleaning/Restoring Painted Brass Hardware

July 19, 2010 at 8:11am
One of our fans shared this info--Thanks Stephen
To remove layers of paint off of brass you might want to try this 1st before restoring with any harsh chemical removers. The reason you ask: so that you return the brass to an old patina and not have a shiny patina on an old piece or take the chance that a harsh chemical could cause pitting. Never forget also, old paint has lead. Use percautions, below are safe instructions for this process and disposal. This process can be used also on door knobs,knob plates and hinges.

Place the brass items in a can of soapy water(Dawn works well) on the stove (in double boiler but **no boiling**) to steep for an hour or so. The paint should slide off and WALA the old patina!!

DO NOT let it BOIL and vaporize into the air---just let it SIMMER down.
Now you have contaminated lead water and chips to properly dispose of--DO NOT pour down drain or throw on ground--go outside and pour onto towels, wear good disposable gloves to double bag and throw in regular trash.
DO NOT do this if you are messy,pregnant, or have children 6yrs or longer staying or visiting for more than six hours a week

Tip of the Week--Dishwashers & Collectibles

May 17, 2010 at 8:38am
Think before putting your treaures in a dishwasher,because of the heat of the water or drying cycle and harsh detergent. You could possibly cause breakage and/or discoloration.
Examples: Pottery,Fine Crystal,Gold Decorated Glassware or China,Silver(especially hollow-handled flatware),Enameled Items, and anything with an Overglaze Decoration(also called cold paint: painted on top of fired glaze)
I have also found that kitchenware such as Pyrex mix bowls,Character glasses,or anything prior to the 1980's will fade with repeated dishwashing. I have had success with clear glass and crystal when able to turn down the heat but it is always a gamble.

Tip of the Week---Glass Care

June 7, 2010 at 8:27am
Never Never Never put a hot glass item into cold water or cold glass into hot!!!!
The drastic temperature change can and will cause the glass to crack. Also if putting a hot food, and especially hot liquid into a room temperature bowl first put a large metal serving spoon in, then pour/place liquid/food. The metal serving piece will absorb alot of the initial heat.

Tip Of The Week---Chlorine Bleach---A BIG NO NO

April 26, 2010 at 9:31am
Do not use bleach or bleach like products on Pottery,China,or Linens. The bleach with be absorbed and cause immediate or long term damage, it will crystalize and break down the piece, causing disintegration. This is true no matter how often you rinse or rewash the item.
Instead soak/wash the piece in a solution of white vinegar and water. Always rinse several times. Sometimes this also can be done to a piece recently cleaned improperly to stop the disintegration. The vinegar helps to neutralize the bleach effect.
Another option is to soak in hydogen peroxide, the kind they sell at beauty stores for bleaching hair.
Whatever you use it is best to rinse/soak afterwards in distilled water.

Tip of the Week---Removing stains from Old Fabrics/Linens

May 3, 2010 at 12:46pm
Mix color-safe bleaching powder (not CHLORINE LIQUID BLEACH) 1/4 cup with dishwasher powder 1/8 cup and warm (not HOT) water 1/2 gallon. Let soak in mixture overnight and then wash by hand or in gentle cycle in warm water. Also best to rinse out in distilled water. AIR DRY, do not put in dryer, the heat is to much no matter how low it is.
Stain still there - try process again and good luck. This does work but not always. Never use harsh detergents for cleaning vintage fabrics/linens because it causes deteriation. If colors on material it is also a good thing to test a small area first for color fastness

Tip of the Week---Furniture Cleaning

April 19, 2010 at 5:57pm
Recently many newspaper articles and magazines have advised going "Green" when cleaning furniture. They have suggested using olive or cooking oils with lemon juice. Some have even said it feeds or hydrates the wood. Guess what---the wood is dead and can not be feed!!! The oil will leave a glossy layer of oil which temporarily might look good, but it helps to attract insects, dust & grime, and eventually will hide the grain and make the wood darken quicker than the natural process. The oil can also become Rancid and begin to smell. Please do not follow the train of belief for this method you will ruin the furniture and devalue it drastically.
The best polishes for furniture, especially Antique, are made of pure wax. It is even a gamble to use spray polishes on the market today whether "green" or not. Some have silicone and other products that will harm the piece. The old fashion way of paste wax and hand buff is the best way and today can not be improved upon yet.

For You Yard Sales Enthusiast's

April 17, 2010 at 8:23am
Its that time of year where the great yard sales etc start happening. If you are not into spiders and such here is a tip for you.
Examine your purchases from yard sales, garage sales, etc. Look on bottom of furniture, between layers on linens or papergoods. Those white fluffy balls are spider eggs. They will hatch in the warmth and comfort of your home. Do not let them detour you from a purchase. Just wipe off and dispose of outside the home. Do the same with any found tiny brown balls or spider webs.




Monday, March 31, 2014


Yep it's that time of year again. Myself, I do not go to many yard sales, not a morning person. If I happen to wake up earlier than normal and have enough time before opening the store I will consider checking out a few. I have found a few good things to buy that I can resell but usually not enough to account for the gas used.
Many people do love to go and find lots of goodies at a bargain as far as everyday type items that are wanted or needed. The good worthwhile stuff (Antiques/Collectibles) are usually priced a little high for resell, and I have found many items even priced higher than true retail. Having said that, there are a few, and I mean very few, that find that once in a lifetime deal.
Here are some photos and stories to showcase those few lucky individuals that have found the once in a lifetime treasure.

A British businessman bought five pieces of art for $5 at a garage sale in Las Vegas. It turns out that the yard sale was thrown by a man whose aunt had been a care taker for Andy Warhol, and this signed drawing was probably completed by Andy Warhol when he was only 10 years old. The sketch is worth upwards of $2 Million. 

This huge folk art jug in the Pennsylvania / Ohio style was acquired at a Shriner's yard sale for less than $50. It's marked with roman numerals to indicate it's capacity -- 20 gallons! It's from the 19th-century and has a current appraised value of $100K-$150K.

This 18th century mahogany card table was snagged at a garage sale for $25 and sold at a Sotheby's auction 30 years later for $541,500. It was one of only six intricate tables made by legendary Boston furniture makers John Seymour and Son.

A man bought two boxes at a garage sale for $45 after bickering the seller down from $70. He kept them under his pool table for several years before opening them up to find he had acquired 65 glass plate negatives from Ansel Adams' early days of nature photography. The collection of mostly Yosemite photos is worth $200 Million.

This record was snagged from the bottom of a heap of vinyls for only 75 cents at a Manhattan flea market in 2002. It turned out to be an in-studio acetate made during Velvet Underground's first recording session. The lucky finder put it on eBay and ended up fetching $155,401 for this rare 12-inch LP. Now that's what we call super groovy.

This beautiful antique mirror was purchased at a yard sale in New Mexico for only $2. It's an intricate piece made by Tiffany Studios in 1905 with an original Tiffany's glass inset and an appraised value of $25,000. What a find!

A retired truck driver bought this abstract painting for $5 (down from a listing price of $7) from a thrift shop in San Bernardino, California in the early 1990s. It turns out it could be a real Jackson Pollock piece with a value of nearly $50 Million. The owner more recently inspired and starred in a documentary about the painting called "Who the #$&% is Jackson Pollock".

When an Ohio woman bought this sparkly piece at a yard sale for $5, she thought it was costume jewelry. She later had the pendant appraised and found out it's worth nearly $10,000. 

This might be the best return on a $3 garage sale investment... ever. This 5-inch bowl that a family bought back in 2007 was appraised by Sotheby's at $200K-$300K, but a London dealer ended up buying the 1000 year old bowl for $2.225 Million. It's one of only two known pieces of it's same design and size made by the Northern Song Dynasty. The other bowl is displayed in the British Museum's collection.
WELL maybe I should reconsider the wee hours of mornings and hit the trail a running.


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Springerle Cookies

The first day of spring and what do I think of, the tools used for making springerle cookies. These cookies are a favorite for making at Christmas time. So why do I think on this on the first day of spring? Well, no logical reason other than I just added some of these tools to the inventory and decided to share some history and photos of such.

Springerle are molded cookies with often intricate pictures. They are popular around Christmas and other holidays. Most often flavored with anise(licorice), sometimes with lemon.
Some history;  No one can pinpoint the exact historical origins of Springerle so here is what we do know.

Anise Cookies North of the Alps

Anisgebäck (anise - flavored baked goods) are hundreds of years old. "Aniskringel" were one of the early sacrificial foods after anise became available north of the Alps . Anise itself was prized as a spice and a medicine and grown in cloister gardens. This links anise to "Bildergebäck" or baked goods with pictures, which have been around even longer than Christianity. Church hosts (the bread the church gives out at communion) were a type of "Bildergebäck" in monasteries where Springerle possibly developed.


Springerle became popular in the 16th century, when white sugar became affordable due to European sugar plantations in the New World. The models were made from clay or stone and were already used for hundreds of years for decorating Lebkuchen, marzipan and objects such as beeswax candles and a type of salt dough decoration.

The name, Springerle possibly stems from the way the cookies rise in the oven - to spring is to jump, the same as in English.

"Änisbrötli" (Anise cookies) or "Springerle" have been baked in southern Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the Alsace ever since, with the molds most often cut from pear wood.

In the late 16th ceentury the molds were often self-portraits or portraits of royalty. City and family coat's-of-arms were also popular. Also biblical scenes became popular, Christmas scenes especially. These scenes were often round and surrounded by a wreath of leaves. This was again divided into four parts by flowers, a grid of some sort, or pomegranates. This created panels for telling a story.
The period was a time where picture cookies and molds really expanded. To own beautiful models meant that a family could present their guests with beautiful baked goods, which may have helped their community standing. Competition developed whereby the families in a neighborhood tried to have the best cookies and molds.

This one-upmanship drifted over to governmental offices. Guild officers and administrative officials commissioned wooden molds for anise cookies, in order to properly represent their office or country. These models were highly decorated and had many details.

Other subjects were richly dressed women with fans and headdresses, cavalry officers in full regalia and pairs of lovers. Everyday events were also being depicted: woman with a spinning wheel, woman with her hens, maid with basket, hunter with game, animals and flowers. Some of these models were meant only to be fun and stylish.

Love motifs became popular: hearts, lovers, wedding coaches, babies in swaddling, fecundity symbols. They were given as presents to godparents and fathers.

1800s through Modern Era Motifs
Meanwhile, Springerle were baked year-round for every feast. Accordingly, molds were carved to show all kinds of events. The late Barock, known as Rokoko (ca. 1715-1789), was a time where a lot of decoration on every surface seemed to occur. More intricate molds were created, with rounded corners and graceful lines. The molds became smaller and daintier. Lovebirds, garlands of flowers and cupids also stem from this era.

During the Biedermeier period (ca, 1800 - 1850), household happiness became a theme. Simple and dainty motifs, friendship, love and naïveté were used. Because more people were using them, uncomplicated molds and less expensive production methods were needed. The molds depicting several motifs at once were created, with a simple frame as a guide for cutting. Manual laborers were also depicted.

Around 1849, new technology was used as inspiration. Steam engines and ships, and hot air balloons were popular motifs. But soon after, the handwork production of the cookies started to lag behind industrially produced sweets and chocolate products. It wasn't until the 1970s and the first plastic molds that Springerle made a comeback. Many of these molds are perfectly formed reproductions of the old, pear wood models.
Photos are Springerle Boards and Rolling Pins we currently have available.

Link for Springerle Cookie recipe:

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


Can you ever have too many collections? 
Some might think so, but I am constantly looking and finding things that speak to me. But as we all know, we have limited space to display past colletions and then add new collections, so how is it possible?

Well somehow, if you are like me, you move one item and it starts a domino effect and new vignettes are created. Plus I sometimes just need to rearrange things around the house for my own viewing pleasures. Amazing how some of the goodies have a totally new look and feel when placed in a different location or way.

Then you discover that a new goodie that was just found seems to belong in this new display, and of course where the item was before now needs a refreshing and affords more opportunity there also. 
An example, find some inexpensive old frames of various sizes and make a new vignette. Or how about several identical frames in varying sizes hung inside of each other.

Then again you could hang a frame on the wall and hang a fancy plate inside.
Perhaps you have been looking thru some magazines and  saw where
 a small grouping of trophies are displayed and you love the feel and look so now you have the desire for a small display in your home. Have you convinced yourself yet that it won't take up to much space?

Never ever ever be afraid to mix different collections together for an interesting vignette either. Items that normally wouldn't be combined can make a thought provoking moment for the viewer and a good walk down memory lane perhaps.

Not sure if items will look good together, than do a trial run and step back to inspect.
unframed Oil Painting, Mini Oil Lamps, IronGrate used as a shelf, and a Mini Pot filled with Beaded Flowers etc

Minnow Bucket, Wire Basket, and Marble Eggs. Normally not related but warm together. Maybe memories to the owner of growing up on the farm doing chores and fishing with Grandpa?

Just have an open mind, display family heirlooms, be creative, re purpose, enjoy change, make a personal statement, or just fill your home with what speaks to you. 



Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Apothecary/Drugstore Show Globes

Throughout history, professionals have searched for recognizable signs and symbols to represent their occupation. These symbols serve not only to call attention to businesses, specifically in times of low literacy, but also to distinguish a career field among the rest. Much like the mortar and pestle as a sign of apothecaries, show globes, glass vessels of varying sizes and shapes, hold a significant and intriguing history as a symbol of early pharmacists.
             The show globe -- an elegant symbol of the
                            profession of pharmacy.
Explanations of how they became pharmacy's "barber pole" are as varied as the colored water they contain. Their mystery is due, in part, to the many legends of their origin.

When in Rome--The oldest and perhaps most colorful story posits that when Julius Caesar and his army were invading Ireland, he needed a marker on the beachhead to guide his troops. A nearby apothecary served the purpose. Caesar allegedly promised not to kill the shopkeeper if he would illuminate the show globes in his store window to serve as a "light house."

 Another legend describes the globes as derived from urns used by pharmacists in the Middle East to store their wares. According to this story, travelers from Western Europe so admired the urns that they imitated them at home. If this were the case, however, show globes would have appeared all over Europe; in fact, they are almost exclusively Anglo-American.


Along similar lines is the theory that show globes are close cousins to maceration vessels, in which organic material is steeped in liquid in sunlight, just as "sun tea" can be made on sunny days. Although show globes could potentially be used for this purpose, it does not explain the use of brightly colored water in globes -- not to mention that England is not famous for its sunny days.

Many experts believe show globes were used by apothecaries during the Great Plague of London in 1665 to direct the sick to their shops, after healthy citizens and doctors had fled the city. The steadfast apothecaries, it is said, used the bright liquid to communicate to the frightened public that medical attention was still available.
There is also disagreement about the colors used in the first show globes. Some believe that early apothecaries used red and blue liquid in the globes to represent arterial and venous blood, while others, such as the Richardsons, postulate that show globes first appeared in apothecary shop windows along coastal regions in England, "where they were filled with red and green liquid, copying the running lights of ships to show sailors where to go when they needed medical attention."

There is also the "stoplight" theory of show globe colors, which says that after the globes had made it to Colonial America in the early 1600s, red and green were standard colors: red indicating that the town had some kind of illness or quarantine (as a warning to travelers), and green representing a healthy welcome.

Enter George Griffenhagen-- During the 1950s, the work of pharmacist George Griffenhagen, one-time acting curator of the Smithsonian Institution's division of medicine and health, laid to rest some of the stories swirling around the origin of the show globe. In fact, the November 5, 1956 issue of American Druggist called his efforts "the most thorough investigation into the evolution of the show globe, based on personal research in Europe."

Borrowed from Alchemists?  The most commonly accepted origin of the show globe as pharmacy's trademark took place during the merger of apothecaries and alchemists some time during the mid-16th to mid-17th centuries. At the time, apothecaries (or druggists) sold medicinal products derived from natural and organic substances, while alchemists (or chymists) dealt with medicinal products made from raw chemicals. Many historians believe the globes originated with alchemists and that their strange aura was representative of the secretive and mysterious group. 

With the growing success of chemical therapies, apothecaries adapted by gradually adding chemical remedies to their stocks -- while adopting the globe as a way to bring in more customers. For a largely illiterate public, the globe was an intriguing and simple symbol to recognize.

All of the theories seem to agree that [the globe] does date back to at least 1665," which would bracket the range between the mid-16th to mid-17th centuries.

The first written account of the show globe as a specific symbol of pharmacy occurred in 1775 by a German visitor to London, who wrote in a letter: "The street looks as though it were illuminated for some festivity; the apothecaries and druggists display glasses filled with gay-colored spirit . . . [which] suffuse many a wide space with a purple, yellow, or azure light." Griffenhagen found another written account from 1788 in a reference to the Argand Lamp, which had been invented in 1782 and was used by English chemists to keep their show globes illuminated at night. According to Griffenhagen, this would indicate that show globes were not common in pharmacies until about the middle of the 18th century.

Show globes became increasingly less common in the early part of this century as old pharmacies went out of business and new pharmacies chose not to display them. But renewed support for globes in the 1930s (particularly by American Druggist) moved the Owens-Illinois Glass Co. to introduce a new style, with an electric bulb inside to illuminate the globe. Through the 1950s, American Druggist continued to urge pharmacists to bring back the show globe, terming it "the greatest trademark ever invented."


Sunday, October 6, 2013

#2 HALLOWEEN COLLECTIBLEs -- Noise Makers, Die Cut Decorations, Plastic Lollipop & Candy Containers

Here is the link to #1 Halloween Collectibles which gives some background information about Halloween and Jack O Lanterns.

Now time to showcase some more of the Halloween collectibles that we have available for sale in our shop. We have much more than photographed in these two posts so stop by and get your spook on!


Collecting retro Halloween items takes patience and money as Halloween antiques and collectibles are more scarce than Christmas, Thanksgiving, Valentines and Easter collectibles.

Noisemakers and Die Cut Decorations

Tin Litho Halloween noisemakers, clackers, rattles horns and tambourines were mostly made in the USA.
Halloween die cut paper (light cardboard) decorations are also very collectible. The most common themes are pumpkin heads, skeletons, witches, devils, black cats and owls. Some will have crepe paper fold out legs or other embellishments and some have moveable jointed parts.

Other vintage Halloween paper items include all types of party goods, such as paper plates, cups, napkins, tablecloths, nut cups and table decorations. Also,look for the small paper sacks that candy or other treats were placed into before they were given out. Games for Halloween parties are very rare.

Another type of paper collectible is the Halloween postcard which is valued according to age and condition, but many times the price depends on the postcard publisher and the artist who created the graphics.

Late 1950's-60's Costume in original box,
Cat&Witches paper Tablecloth, 1950's German Cat Candy Container.

Candy Containers

Old plastic candy containers such as the 1950s lollipop holders by Rosbro are highly collectible, but even more rare are paper mache candy containers from the 1930s.


Thursday, October 3, 2013


Notice background--paper mache Jack 0 Lanterns
Collecting retro Halloween items takes patience and money as Halloween antiques and collectibles are more scarce than Christmas, Thanksgiving, Valentines and Easter collectibles. That said, collecting Halloween items and decorating with them for Halloween has become bigger every year.

All photos below are just some of what we have currently available, we have much more available than shown, because we buy and sell all the holidays collectibles year round.

How Halloween began and where its traditions began is open for dispute, but many believe it is rooted in the Christian tradition of All Hallows Eve (All souls, All saints) on October 31st when the departed souls would be honored. Others believe that Halloween began with Celtic roots as a day of harvest and summer's end which began the "dark" half of the year. On October 31st, it was believed that a portal was opened for the departed souls to return to earth and seek revenge. In some societies, it was believed that harmful spirits, ghosts and fairies could roam the earth. To ward off the harmful spirits, masks could be worn by the living to confuse the spirits, and giant bonfires were lighted to repel creatures of the dark. Later, lighted candles would replace bonfires. The early Catholic church recognized All Saints Eve as the time to time to pray for restless souls in Purgatory (a place between Heaven and Hell) to pass into the peace of Heaven. The practice of carving turnips that represented souls began in Ireland and Scotland. In America the Puritan immigrants from England did not allow any celebration of Halloween as it was considered pagan; however, as immigrants from Ireland and Scotland arrived in America the practice of carving pumpkins and placing a candle in them began.

Knowing a little about the history of Halloween, prepares a collector for the types of items to collect, how to date them, and their historical significance. While the practice of disguising oneself on Halloween was centuries old, the practice of wearing a costume and trick-or-treating in America seems to be traced to the 1930s when costumes began to be mass produced and references to trick-or-treating can be found in advertising and literature.

Children in the early 1930s, wore a simple homemade costume and it was common to go to a few neighbor's homes for a treat of homemade fudge, a popcorn ball or an apple. Sometimes children carried a real carved pumpkin with a lighted candle which resulted in a number of children being burned, so carrying pumpkins made of light weight paper mache with a wire handle to put candy into became popular. Constructed out of egg crate molded pulp and finished with bright, festive Halloween colors, they came with a wire handle with painted features and some had a removable paper insert for the eyes and mouth.


Paper mache pumpkins or Jack-o-Lanterns or Halloween Lanterns are very collectible, circa late 1930's until the early 1950's, their value is determined by size, condition, if the paper eyes and mouth are in tact and if they have retained their wire handle. Most have orange and green paint. Also some were made as cats, skulls, devils, or witches, which these are the hardest to find and the most expensive. Most were just tossed afterwards making them scarce, plus the inside paper liner got tore up by little hands reaching in to get the goodies and some were used with candles inside and ended up burning.

This one is two faced, same on both sides, plus this one has opening at the bottom and top so it could be placed over a light or candle. Was not intended as a candy container. See the photo above to see actual face, it is the largest in the photo.

These are two smaller versions, the one on top has a paper liner,
 while the one on the bottom has painted features. 

This Devil is early 1950's and made of cardboard and has a paper insert.

1950's Metal Jack O Lantern

During the early 1940′s, sugar rationing was a big issue in the U.S. due to World War II and delayed the overall spread and popularity of trick-or-treating amongst children. Historians believe the mass popularity of trick-or-treating accumulated in the early 1950′s with cartoons such as Disney’s ‘Trick or Treat’ (1952) and Peanuts by Charles Schultz (1951).

I will make additional posts later covering other Halloween
collectibles following this post. 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Change of Season

Strange title huh. Just something I have noticed through the years. I will try to not ramble on but I make no promises. September every year is one of our slowest months for business. Starting in mid to late August traffic starts to slow down and by September really really slow. The only reasons behind this that I can find are, parents getting ready for back to school, spending alot of hard earned cash for back to school and then adjusting during September to their new busy schedules. For those that are not affected by back to school I believe they are in the first stages of hibernation. Let me explain, we start having cooler mornings and nights, great for bonfires and some outdoor activities but also a good time to relax with a good book, movie, and maybe marshmallows on the fire. Not a very scientific observation, but an observation none the less
       This photo of a vintage iron settee is what started this train of thought for me. 
      Stange? Maybe.
      So let me explain.

Since I purchased this item I have been placing it outdoors in front of the shop upon opening each and every morning. It has been for sale and many an individual have been spotted sitting on it and enjoying a moment or two. You usually find vintage iron chairs but not these settees as often. So of course I thought I wouldn't have it very long. Well it lasted longer than I thought and probably because I got it late in the season for those whom are looking for outdoor furniture. Then again there are those who also use this type of furniture indoors. Sorry I seem to be rambling on, back on point
If I have a slow spell in the shop, which can be relaxing if not too often, and the weather is good you just might see me sitting outdoors watching the world go by or reflecting on life in general. Some very interesting things are to be seen and heard sometimes here in downtown New Albany so it can also be entertaining.

Yesterday was a beautiful day outside and things were very slow business wise soooooo I spent alot of time sitting on this settee. Then a loyal and regular customer stopped by and we chatted for a while. Then she decided she had to have this settee and asked if she could leave it here and pick up in a few days. Of course I said sure, but I advised I would still put out each morning until she came to get it. I mean after all, where or what will I sit on now while the weather is good and business is slow.  Am I Right?

I will miss it when it is gone but at least I know it is going to a good home where it will be appreciated. I should have asked how she was planning to use it, indoors or outdoors. People love to share how an item fits into their home if you think to ask. I guess my daydreaming, relaxing outfront of the shop, my slow progress into hibernation for the coming winter, and concern about not being able to sit on it much longer threw me off balance.

Fall is my favorite time of year so while I am not busy you just may see me out front sitting on something. Wave as you drive by or stop and chat awhile. Start the coming hibernation slow and easy, enjoying all the good things in life, and maybe some reflection.

Friday, September 6, 2013

The Golden Glow

Before electricity and after, a home could be seen with a warm glow from their windows.      The Golden Glow of Oil Lamps. 

This is an Aladdin "Washington Drape" Oil Lamp and has been converted for electricity.

You may find this information as a surprise, even until the 1940's many rural or remote areas still used oil lamps for their lighting needs, and of course today Amish communities still use oil lamps.

These antiques, oil lamps, are still very useful today, just experience a blackout for a period of time and you will agree.

Even when not actually needed they provide a wonderful soft glowing light, especially on a cold winters night. Cozy up, turn off the lights and light up an oil lamp or two, maybe even put a log in the fireplace, you will be amazed how warm, cozy, and soothing it can be.

Since so many continued using oil lamps past the availability of electricity in their home many have survived and thankfully so. Some people loved their old oil lamps so much they converted them into electric lamps, plus many found this as practical and did not desire to throw useful items away. You see recycling or repurposing as they call it today, has always been around.

Oil lamps were made using just about any material you can think of, glass, metals, cast iron, animal bone, yes even wood, and many improvements were made in the types of oil used. Originally whale oil was used and even a dangerous and potentially explosive mixture of turpentine and alcohol.


In England in 1850 and the United States in 1852 a Scotsman, James Young, obtained a patent for a fuel which he called Paraffin Oil. It was essentially the same product patented again in 1854 but called Kerosene. Kerosene became the means to a bright, portable and less expensive light which could be available to every home, and which would bring about a dramatic change in the habits and lives to all.

Just take a moment and reflect upon those changes in the pattern of family life as they acquired lights, thus enabling them to continue their tasks, or enjoy reading or writing and playing games after dark.

At first the availability was limited until the development of the first dug well in Ontario in 1858, and the first drilled well in Pennsylvania in 1859 which produced the quanities needed for widespread use. Among the first advertisements for coal oil was the Parson Bros.,Coal Oil and Lamp Agency in 1858    

The Cheapest and most Brillant Light ever intoduced
       ***GAS NOT EXCEPTED***

Thankfully today the oil available for these have improved to the point of being available as smokeless and some are even scented for our pleasure. Many oil lamps were designed to be a work of beauty and remain that way today, even miniatures were made and could be used. 

All of the photos included in this post are of original and converted oil lamps that we have available.  Let us help illuminate your home and share the history.