Perhaps some distant race with their own Hubble Telescope is gazing now at a small blue planet in a Galaxy looking like a Milky Way. Gazing with wonderment.
Below are some of hundreds of Antique Talk weekly columns covering a wide range of topics. Click on the title to link to the column or use the site search feature to look for a column on a particular topic.
When it comes making prudent antique purchases and improving your odds of making that historic "hit" while bargain hunting at flea markets, tag sales, auctions and shops, it's important for you to take a fresh new look at what an antique really is.
People began collecting objects associated to Abraham Lincoln while he was serving as President. After his assassination, interest and production of items having to do with Lincoln and his name (Lincoln prints and statues, Lincoln Insurance pamphlets, Lincoln Logs etc.) increased exponentially. That interest remains strong today.
I was at the end of one of those busy weeks when I needed "fun" on Saturday night... The Canton Barn auction is a low-key country auction, with easy to understand affordable antiques and thick homemade pies that are as famous in North Farmington Valley, as Phillip's Diner donuts are in Southern Litchfield County.
Political activists have long promoted their personal passions on the back bumpers of cars. With this in mind, I came up with a few new bumper stickers for antiques enthusiasts.
If you have an interest in baseball or American folk art, you might consider an excursion to 45 West 53rd street. The newly opened American Folk Art Museum is running a show called, "The Perfect Game – America Looks at Baseball. The exhibition includes baseball: trade figures, prints, weathervanes, signs, arcade toys, presentation bats, andirons and textiles like tiny samplers and magnificent quilts, all with baseball themes.
In Connecticut's Naugatuck River Valley: clock makers, brass workers and machinists were instrumental toward improving this situation. In first half of the 19th century, under the freedom and competitive environment of Yankee capitalism, they invented and produced clocks average citizens could afford.
Religious Antiques May Have Little Worldly Value
The tremendous popularity of "The Da Vinci Code" and the blockbuster success of "The Passion of the Christ" are indicative of a renewed interest in religion and religious symbolism. Titled "Religious Antiques May Have Little Worldly Value", this column chronicles the disparity in market value of religious heirlooms and points out that investing in religious antiques today might provide tremendous payoff tomorrow.
Empowered slightly by societal change, and mostly by society's obsession for change itself, furniture and art movements have historically swept from country to country. Sometimes, the "Period" or "Style" titles in those various lands are much more differing and confusing than the inspiration behind them. This week, Antique Talk tries to tidy things up a bit by use of a chart we drew up and a few succinct definitions.
The important antique category most commonly described, as Black Collectibles are those objects reflecting and strongly influencing the cultural history of black men, women and children in Western society. Many such objects can be construed as offensive for they commonly depict blacks in a prejudicial demeaning light, or in a heartbreaking but factual reflection of those unjust days.
This week, Antique Talk ponders that which would best be left unpondered. What if, Old Mother Goose was an antique enthusiast?
The most recognized name in vintage ties, Countess Mara started her artistic tie business in New York focusing on the posh crowd. By 1940, her bold new style of ties with unusual subjects including animals, athletes, dancing girls, astrological signs, etc., with her characteristic logo of "CM" and a crown, became the rage in wealthy society circles.
Old Perfume and Scent Bottles - Parts 1 & 2
If you want to be a successful antiques collector or investor, be open to throwing your hat into new arenas rating high on the "collectibility scale." Early scent bottles constitute such a category.
Extraordinary cereal boxes can fetch hundreds of dollars each. Values are determined according to age, condition, sentimentality, rarity, graphic interest, and crossover and promotional interest. Like old lunch boxes, in addition to being a great antique hobby and investment, cereal boxes can be part of an imaginative decorative scheme.
In June 14, 1777 Continental Congress decreed, "The flag of the United States shall be 13 stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field representing a new constellation." As is true today, Old Glory has been produced officially and privately in a variety of materials, methods and sizes. As you begin your search for American heirlooms that will certainly soar in value, here's some historical facts concerning old flags you may find interesting.
He painted the sea and he painted the American character. His work is a meditation on life and nearness of death.
The work of Lambert Hitchcock will be appreciated not only for its functional design and intrinsic beauty, but as a product from one of America's pioneer industrialists.
This week, Antique Talk is proud to present our own, "if any thing can go wrong it will," look at antiques
Improve your antique handicap by learning about old golfing antiques!
and other things having to do with old day fire-fighting
Your Old School Lunchbox could be worth hundreds of dollars! Find out more as Wayne Mattox relives unhappy childhood memories associated with his "practical" tartan lunchbox.
Shaker furnishings and accessories are kin to that which was part of sprouting America herself -- religious persecution
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In partnership with his son, William, Franz Detleff Goebel founded a German porcelain factory in 1871. Their first figurines were introduced in the 1890's. Around 1930, the company began looking for a fresh identity from which they could model their wares. Their prayers would be answered by artistic hands of a young nun.
Perhaps the only way to disentangle, for yourself, the real Vincent Van Gogh from the creation of so many others, is to study the great mass of work he has left behind.
Can a person's decorating style reveal clues to their personality type? Yes!
"My fundamental purpose is to interpret the typical American. I guess I am a story teller."
Antique Talk presents 30 sure-fire indications to let you know if have graduated to antique status.
"For me," John said, "the radios were like warm and wonderful blocks of color in an infinite variety of shapes to be played with and put together in various combinations. It was incidental that they were radios."
The father of American Christmas cards was award-winning Boston lithographer/inventor Louis Prang, who, in 1873, reproduced a holiday card autographed by Christmas Carol author, Charles Dickens.
Josiah Wedgwood (1730-1795) is the most influential figure in the history of Western civilization ceramics. When his father Thomas, a relatively unsuccessful potter, died in 1739, the nine year old boy from Staffordshire, England was put to learn the "art, mistery and imployment of throwing and turning" in the family business. Forthwith, he developed exceptional skills.
It was biggest antique week of the year. My goal was to lay eyes on one of the world's greatest, fresh-to-the-market, newly discovered antiques. Even if could not afford it, I wanted to experience it.
When news of the California Gold Rush reached Loeb "Levi" Strauss he wisely deduced that a fortune could be made by expanding his family dry good business, selling to cash-rich, merchandise-starved miners.
For Calder, like most artists to whom history anoints the title of Master, did much more than skillfully follow in the footprints of his forebears and contemporaries. He blazed new trails.
Few experiences can compare with those feelings so many of us have shared exiting a triumphant play: awe, joy, spent emotion and humility. ...One piece of tangible evidence is carefully preserved so that you don't forget this night – the Playbill®.
As a fun way of looking at basketball antiques, we look in on Michael Jordan and Spike Lee's famous "it's the shoes," bike-messenger character, Mars Blackmon.
A house unlived in week after week, month after month, takes on an uneasy presence; like a life-sized scary dollhouse. Furniture, candlesticks, curtains, rugs, clothes and other objects remain behind like weeping abandoned children. Decorations and heirlooms will be neat, save a gathering of dust that clings to itself like spider webs. Yet, unmoving objects perfectly placed, seldom stay that way.
Who are the thirty most influential American visual artists of the 20th Century? Who made it to #1? List a few of your favorites then compare notes with our picks.
One of the best things about Baseball collectibles is that they don't have to be that old to be valuable. People covet baseball antiques because the sport is surrounded with good memories: playing catch with dad, hitting a homerun, going to the stadium, that great leathery smell of a baseball glove, and following our favorite players and teams in the newspaper.
Artisans have recreated the eagle on the façade of the Great Seal ever since her birth. Carved onto the sterns of ships, represented on currency and stamps, incised into stoneware, inlaid within furniture and emblazoned onto every type of well-wrought object as an emblem of Freedom and Strength. For those who think that America's peace-loving founding fathers intended that she should cower under the sword of her enemies, remember the Great American Seal and Congress's careful consideration of just what it represents. The words and intentions of our forefathers still ring loud and clear today.
Some ordinary guy or gal forks over a few bucks for an old trinket. Later they discover they've found an antique treasure. Although you've been entertained by such tales on Oprah and Cable Channels, they don't take place on television. They happen frequently in your community.
The only cabinetmaker in America whose name is coupled to various styles of furniture.
As many of my long-time readers know, my column sometimes reflects my secret desire to write for Mad Magazine! This one is about an intrepid visitor to an Antiques Roadshow event, sung to the classic Allan Sherman tune "Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh".
Today, as a fun way of learning more about the courtship of American highboys let's look in on noted antique dealer, Elmer P. Thinkwhile, who is joined by a friend taking an afternoon stroll through New York City's Bryant Park.
Antique Coverlets – An American Heirloom
America's large variety of early woven blankets represents a sophisticated, decorative and much sought after remembrance of her past.
America's Most Valuable Antique
Inspired by American patriots, written by Jefferson, edited by Franklin and Adams, and endorsed by 56 members of the Continental Congress; it is stronger than its historical associations, and more beautiful and powerful than its poetry. The Declaration of Independence's greatness comes from its timeless universality.
As one of the few indigious American weapons, few collections of American antiques can be called complete until a handsome "Kentucky rifle" is found to hang on a favorite wall.
Stroll New York City's Central Park with Antique Talk's famous dealer, Elmer P. Thinkwhile, as he and his assistant, Professor Livingston, lose their marbles to a tot named Farm Boy.