Sunday, April 19, 2015

Collection #265: Dog Figurines

When I was a little girl, in the late 1950s, early '60s, I began to collect poodles of one kind or another. Poodles were all the rage, and they represented sophistication! Paris! Coolness and aloofness! I had all the kinds of poodles that a little girl might have, stuffed poodles, poodle knicknacks, poodle themed notebooks, etc. There was an adorable cafe in Pasadena where my Mom often took me for an after-shopping snack. It was called the French Villa, and it was chock-full of poodle themed 'stuff'. I drooled over all of the poodle toys and figurines every time we went there.
(Postcard from

My favorite poodle collectible, was a black 'spaghetti' poodle figurine, sitting in a gray fancy chair. Of course, I had never heard the term 'spaghetti' art figure, but I could easily imagine how they were made: covered with minute strands of clay, then glazed and fired. That figurine is long gone now, but occasionally I look for its twin online, thinking if the price is right, I'll buy it. I did find it once, on an auction site, but it was already sold, and I've been unable to find the exact same one again.

I have recently acquired a little collection of dog figurines here at our apartment in New Jersey. For those of you who haven't followed this blog, I kept a daily Monday-through-Friday blog for a year, featuring one of my collections every week day from July 1, 2011, to June 30, 2012.  On weekends, I featured other peoples' collections. It was fun, but shortly after the year ended, in September of 2012, we moved to New Jersey. All of my precious collections were either sold or put into storage. We now live in a small apartment, and in the 2 1/2 years that we've been here, I've managed to squirrel away a few little collections. It's hard to stop wanting to share them, so I've decided to reactivate this blog a little more often, to just tell you about a few of my things. I hope you'll stop by again!

This cute little French Bulldog caught my eye at an antique mall. He's a little banged up, but I love him!

This is my most precious dog figure. He belonged to my Mom, and when she passed away recently at age 102, I acquired it. She bought it when she had her first "real" job back in the early 1930s, and treasured it always. I plan on taking good care of him!

Not a dog, but this Siamese beauty also belonged to my Mom. She bought her in the mid-50s when we moved to South Pasadena, and went modern. Don't you love her?

Saturday, March 1, 2014

COLLECTION #264: Souvenirs of Salt Lake City/ Temple Square

Hey! I'm back! I haven't posted a collection on my blog for over 18 months, and a lot has happened in that time. We moved from California to New Jersey in September of 2012, and either sold, or put into storage, my precious collections.

But out here in our small apartment in New Jersey, I have managed to keep a collection or two, and this is a favorite that never ended up on my blog. So I'll share it with you now.

I collect Salt Lake City/ Temple Square related souvenirs. Love them! Love the awesome images of the Salt Lake City Mormon Temple (I'm a Mormon myself),
the spires and shape are just so iconic. I have postcards from the late 1800s and early 1900s, plates from the early 20th century, and even an awesome leather photo album from around that same time.  I've never lived in Salt Lake City, but it's kind of a center point for our family. We have relatives living there and nearby, and our family settled in Utah in the mid-1800s as Mormon pioneers. So, it's very symbolic of family for me. I hope you enjoy my treasures!

Three souvenir plates, the large one in the back and the pink one are Staffordshire.

Love that bronze Temple.

Souvenir booklets

Souvenir postcards and folders. The card on the bottom right is from the late 1800s. The temple took 40 years to build- it was begun in 1853, and dedicated in 1893.

I love the souvenir book of Salt Lake- there's no publication date, but from the looks of the ads, photos and text, it appears to be from around 1910.

These are missionaries' 'calling cards'. Up until about the 1980s, missionaries gave out these small cards with a photo of their favorite temple, as calling cards. The one on the bottom is my Aunt Elinor, who served a mission to New England in 1940-42.

Gotta love the copper ash tray, with the temple prominently displayed on the upper right. 

Saturday, June 30, 2012

THE WEEKEND COLLECTOR: Best of the Copycat Collector

Well, this is it, folks, the last regular daily/ weekend collector feature for the Copycat Collector. I am officially pulling the plug on the blog as a daily entity. I started this blog exactly one year ago, and I was bound and determined that I could keep it up for at least a year. It's been a lot of work!  But that doesn't mean I'll be going away, just taking a breather, and posting whenever I feel like it, rather than every weekday and once a weekend.

To commemorate the end, I decided that since most of you really haven't gone through every single collection I have (Yawn),  I'm going to pick some of my favorite collections to share with you. Today I'm going to pick only five. That leaves it much more likely that I'll come back and pick five more, and so on.

These aren't necessarily the most popular of my collections. You can see those on the right side of the blog, and those entries are based on sheer numbers of views. These are things that I think are fun and interesting. I'd love it if you'd leave a comment, and perhaps tell me what you liked here on the Copycat Collector.

Five favorite collections in no particular order: (Click on the link provided, to read more).

Blue & White Plates
Toy Kaleidoscopes
Alice and Jerry Readers
Green Depression Glass
Until next time, I'll catch you later!

Friday, June 29, 2012

COLLECTION #263: Classic Children's Books

I haven't mentioned it before today, but this is going to be my last regular daily entry on my collector blog. As of tomorrow, my full year of posting all of my fun collections is coming to an end. I never announced that the blog would go for a year, because I never really knew how long I could keep it up. Although I have many more things in my vast collections, the daily uploading and posting has been fun, but very stressful. Rather than starting off complicated, and getting more simplified as the year went by, I found the reverse. When I first started, I posted a photo or two, wrote a nice little paragraph, and that was it. Now I find myself taking many more photos and working a lot harder to make my daily entries more interesting.

What I am going to do is post a special weekend feature tomorrow, June 30. That will be the last Weekend Collector feature. Then, as energy, time, and interest dictates, I will add entries as the spirit moves me. There are still many things that I have, but just haven't gotten the energy to dig them out, clean them off, organize them, and photograph them. So, although I won't be adding to my blog daily, I hope you'll stop by from time to time, to see what I have added. Also, if you subscribe to my blog, you can get notices when I update.

Now, back to the show! Today's collection are some of my children's books, specifically children's classics. Many of these books are award winners: Caldecott, Newbery, Honor Books, etc. Some are just great books that every library should have.  I have one or two from the 19th century, but most of mine date from 1900-1960. A small handful are later. This is just a small portion of my children's library, I picked these because they are especially, well, classic!

From the Biggest Bear, Caldecott Award book from 1953

Two Newbery Award books: Island of the Blue Dolphins (1961), Invincible Louisa (1934)

Other Newbery books: Rascal (Honor book,1964), Caddie Woodlawn (1936), Charlotte's Web (Honor book, 1953) 

Exquisite illustrations: Snow White, illustrated by Nancy Ekholm Burkert, and Kimo, illustrated by Lucille Holling

Late 19th century edition of Swiss Family Robinson

Snow White won a Caldecott Honor Book Award in 1973.

Caldecott Award winning book, Song of the Swallows (1950) and children's classic, James and the Giant Peach.

Captivating illustrations by Robert McClosky, in Homer Price

Adorable illustration from Caldecott Honor Book award winner Wee Gillis, illustrated by Robert Lawson (1939)

These books were all originally published before 1930. (Although most of these are much later editions) You can't get any more 'classic' than many of these books!

Classic book, A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett, charming illustrations by Tasha Tudor. Rascal won a Newbery Honor Book Award in 1964.

The Biggest Bear, and classic, Little House in the Big Woods. Laura Ingalls Wilder won many Newbery Awards for her books, but not for this, her first in the Little House series. I have most of them, including at least one first edition from the 1940s. (The Long Winter, which won a Newbery Honor Book award for 1941) 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

COLLECTION #262: Vintage Crates

I've been using crates to decorate and display my stuff since my college days, and I still have a few hanging around, that I use regularly. Of course, crates aren't something I really look for today, but they are so fun and useful, I'm glad I still have some old ones left.

The advantages of crates are obvious: they are sturdy and practical, they often have fun graphics of popular beverages or other products, they have holes or handles for easy carrying, and they hold up a lot better than cardboard boxes for long-term storage. They add a lot of character to a display of vintage items, and they add a bit of nostalgia and atmosphere to any decor. In essence, they are practically perfect in every way!

Fun 'shorties'.... crates from Coca Cola and Squirt

A California produce crate, and one from Sparkeeta Beverages, probably from the 1940s.

I've had the Seven-Up crate since about 1971.

This isn't exactly a crate, but is a small wooden box, lined with metal. Probably used for milk bottles or other perishables.

The box above, with the lid closed.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

COLLECTION #261: Little Brown Koko

When I was a very little girl, before I learned to read, our family owned this book. I remember it from our years in Oregon, but I don't ever remember it after we moved to South Pasadena when I was five.  But somehow, I could never get it out of my mind. For years, in my memory, there was a book I loved about a little black boy, that had a title that looked like it was made from old wood pieces nailed together. As I grew up and started paying attention to reliving those childhood memories, I wanted to find that book again. But, I couldn't remember the title. Since I couldn't read when I had last seen it, I couldn't picture anything in my mind other than those title letters looking like wood. Of course, I knew it was a book about a little black boy, but none of the more famous titles were right. This was before the internet, and so my searching was limited. At one time, in the late '80s, early '90s, I remember being particularly obsessed with finding the book. Every time I went to an antique store, flea market or thrift shop, I would pore through all the bookshelves, looking for this elusive book.

In about 1994, we were living in East Aurora, New York. I went to an outdoor antique fair held at the Fireman's Field, and lo and behold, sitting right on the first table I saw, was a familiar blue and red book, with the title Little Brown Koko.  I couldn't believe my eyes!  I stared and stared! All of those memories came flooding back as I thumbed through the beloved volume. The price seemed steep to me- $55, but I gladly paid it, because I didn't know if I would ever see it again. It seems kind of funny now, because with internet auctions and the easy availability of information about antiques, I have run across the book dozens of times. But at that moment, it seemed like time stopped, and I was able to relive some happy memories of my young childhood, sharing some fun (if politically incorrect) moments with my friend, Little Brown Koko.

Today this book sits proudly in my antique cabinet, a near-mint edition of Black Americana, and a happy reminder of the power of perseverance and a pretty good memory.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

COLLECTION #260: Vintage Fisher-Price Toys

I've shared some of my F-P toys in past posts, but I haven't posted all of my vintage ones. Ok, there aren't that many, but they are definitely fun and colorful, and worth looking at! (You can see my other F-P toys here and here.)

My oldest toy is from the 1930s, the Dizzy Donkey Pop-up toy. Simple premise: pull the string ring, donkey moves around on the little paddle.

The rest of my collection are from the 1950s and 1960s.  None of these were my own toys as a child, they are playthings that I've acquired through the years. They are all in well-worn, and well-loved condition, and are by no means valuable or rare. Just fun!  Enjoy!

Jalopy Clown from the mid-1960s

F-P Clacking Hen, started production in 1958

Snoopy Sniffer & Cookie Pig, with the Music Box Teaching Clock in the background. 1960s. 

Fisher-Price Circus, 1962

Dizzy Donkey Pop-up, 1939-1942