Wednesday, February 29, 2012

COLLECTION #175: Vintage Doll Crazy Quilt

I call this a vintage doll quilt, but  I'm not sure if this was made for a doll, or was actually a doily or wall decoration. But I like to think of it as a doll quilt. This little piece is tied to the antique doll dresser I shared with you two weeks ago, it was given to me by the same elderly lady, and was also owned (and in this case, made) by her mother. As I was photographing this quiltlet, I became curious if it actually was made by Florence's mother. I only had a year (1885) and initials (CDS- at least I think it's an 'S'). So, I fired up, and quickly learned that it was indeed made by Florence's mom. And how did I do this? Since Florence never married, I was able to search quite a ways back to discover her as a child living with her parents in the 1900 census. (She was living in a small town in Upstate New York).  To make a long story short, I discovered that Florence's mother's name was Cora D. Allen. That's her married name, not maiden name. I'm still working on discovering that little factoid. But at least I now know that she did indeed make this little piece.

Isn't it cute? I love crazy quilt piece work, and this one is really pretty. Lots of velvet, lace, embroidery and applique, plus the sweet added embroidery of date and initials. Some of the fabric has disintegrated, revealing some interesting fabrics underneath. I say it's a keeper!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

COLLECTION #174: Vintage Photos of Children Going Places

It's Toy Tuesday! I have in my collection of vintage photos, a few cute ones of kids and their 'big toys', or riding toys. Wagons, pedal vehicles, sleds, velocipedes. I even have a couple from our own family, so I'll add those too!  Sorry, I really don't know much about these photos, except what might have been written on the backs... which isn't much! I'll just let you enjoy the fun!

Love this li'l guy's bloomers, and straw hat!

I don't think I've ever seen a sled wagon, but looks like this one was from Canada!

He must have been the envy of every kid on his block!

I wonder why so unhappy? Maybe it's because they're dressed alike?

Don't let cold weather keep you from having a nice excursion!
According to a note on the back, this car was built by the little girl's grandpa
(Excuse the filter) This is my Mom & her sisters & neighbors, 1918 (Mom is on the left)
They must have just hopped off their tricycle to pose for this photo! These are my sisters.

Monday, February 27, 2012

COLLECTION #173: Early 45 Record Albums

I remember the time, when as a small child, there were 3 types of records available: 78s, 45s, and 33s (which were also known as LPs, or long-playing). 78s were the older types of records, which had been around for about 50 years, and were phased out by the early 1950s. The numbers denote the record speed: 78 was 78 RPM, or revolutions per minute. The turntable spun around quite fast on a 78! These 78 records generally consisted of one song per side, and so since many recording artists wanted to record more than a couple of songs, multiple records were placed in 'albums'. This was generally a bound cardboard book of sorts, with paper sleeves for the records. You can see an earlier post of a few of my old 78s here.

In the late 1940s, a new type of record, and new speed was developed. These records were recorded and played at 45 RPM speed, and were much smaller. They had a large hole in the center, and required new record playing equipment, that could accommodate the slower speed. New players were developed that could play both 78s and 45s, but the new 45s had a larger hole in the center. So, these players had to either add a removable insert onto the spindle, or the purchaser had to acquire some little adapters that they could put into the hole to make them fit onto the spindle. 45s were 7" in diameter.

My two favorites: Porgy and Bess, and An American in Paris, from 1949.

Like the original 78s, these 45s were also a single song per side. At the beginning, the manufacturers sold them in albums, just like the 78s. But as time went on, and new recording artists came along who were trying to get established and sell records, they began to be sold alone, or as 'singles'. The name stuck, and consumers, especially teenagers, went wild for the inexpensive, practical 'single'. When I was a teen, we used to go to Dolly's Records after school, to buy the latest Beatles singles. I had dozens of records of Herman's Hermits, Petula Clark, Chad & Jeremy, Peter & Gordon, the Turtles, and countless others '60s greats. At that time, I recall, the singles cost a dollar. (Hmmmm, isn't that what they cost on iTunes today? The only difference is a single actually had two songs on it, one on each side, so it was a real bargain!)
Isn't this red record awesome? An American in Paris.

Porgy and Bess. Note the insert inside the hole
Back to the 45s. These early 1949-1950 45 albums, were actually sold in small boxes, rather than the format of the bound album of the 78s. Mine belonged to my husband's grandparents, and we inherited them with my late Mother-in-law's estate. I don't know if these are particularly valuable or rare, I honestly haven't done my homework on them, but I'm sure the Porgy and Bess, and An American in Paris are sought after. I thought you would enjoy seeing this little slice of recording history.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

THE WEEKEND COLLECTOR: Dave's American Clocks

I just love old clocks... and Dave Weisbart does too. He got into collecting antique 19th century clocks by accident, you can read all about it in Collector's Weekly, here.  Dave has his own site, called Dave's American Clocks. His site is full of photos and information about these fascinating clocks of years gone by. Some ornate, some simple. All awesome!

Here are a few images from his website:

Friday, February 24, 2012

COLLECTION #172: Children of Foreign Lands

I love a good mystery! And these little books are not mysterious at all on their face, but I think I've found a little mystery anyway. 

Sometimes I don't realize exactly what I have until I start researching. These adorable children's books, from the 1930s, got me scratching my head a little bit. Although these books about children from other lands aren't specifically school books, they were often used in the classroom as supplemental reading material, and were considered educational. Published by Platt & Munk, with copyright dates from 1935 to 1942, they were  illustrated by Roger Vernam and Ninon MacNight. There are two hard-bound books: Children of Foreign Lands, written by Elizabeth F. McCrady, and Eight Little Indians, written by Josephine Lovell.

 The Children of Foreign Lands hardbound book contains 8 stories of different children from, you guessed it, many lands! I also have a sweet boxed set, which contains soft bound individual books of the exact same stories. The boxed set and hardbound book were not sold together.  The stories are: Abdul of Arabia, Ching Ling and Ting Ling, Wilhelmina of Holland, Maria and Carlos of Spain, Olga of Norway, Chula of Siam, Manuel of Mexico, and Kala of Hawaii. It's interesting how much geography has changed in just the past 70 years or so- at that time Hawaii was not a state of the US (it was a territory),  there was a country called Arabia, and Thailand was called Siam.
From Ching Ling and Ting Ling

From Wilhelmina of Holland

The Eight Little Indians book, also has 8 stories (which is a play on the old children's rote song "Ten Little Indians"), each story is about a different Indian child of North America, representing different tribes. I also have a soft bound book called Morning Star, A Little Pueblo Girl.  There must also have been a boxed set of these books too, but I have yet to find them. I have found all eight volumes of the small books online, just not the actual boxed set.
From Gray Bird- A Little Plains Indian
When I opened my box today to photograph and document the volumes, I discovered that there were actually 9 books inside. (The original 8, plus the Morning Star volume). So I went online to see what I could figure out about these books, and I discovered that there was a boxed set available that included one book that mine did not. But what was it? Obviously Morning Star didn't belong, but that still left 8. The box says 8. I was a bit puzzled. So what was this mystery book? I discovered that one volume was titled Matsu and Taro of Japan. Hmmmm. So which was the extra one? It seems that the earliest editions of this boxed set included Matsu & Taro, and did not have Manuel of Mexico. But why would this have been? The copyright date on the Manuel volume was 1942, while the other ones were 1935, 1936 and 1937. Well, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to surmise that what had changed was in 1942, the United States was at war with Japan. Perhaps during those years, they substituted Manuel for Matsu due to sensitivity to American's feelings toward Japan.
From Manuel of Mexico
The one thing that puzzles me, is that the hardbound book of Children of Foreign Lands has a copyright of 1936 and 1936, and contains the Manuel story. This was long before the War, so I can't see why Matsu and Taro was not included.  The other thing about the Manuel book, is that it is poorly illustrated, and no signature can be found on the illustrations, unlike all the other books. Perhaps this book was hastily added to the set and hardbound book, without changing the copyright date of the book. It's a little mystery to me. Not earthshattering, but curious.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

COLLECTION #171: Blue and White Plates

 I love blue and white dishes of all kinds, and you might have noticed in past posts here, here, here, and here. But today, I thought it would be fantabulous to feature just my plates. Each one is a little different, and together they look wonderful, if I do say so myself!

I have two Christmas plates from the early '70s: a Royal Copenhagen from 1973, and a Bing & Grondahl from 1972. I have another B&G from 1973 but it is packed away. (There's just not room, if you can believe it!)  I also have a cute souvenir plate from Washington DC, a fun heart shaped plate, a calico plate, a souvenir plate from Texas, a reproduction souvenir plate from Nauvoo, a fun snowman plate, a sweet little white plate with a blue and white flowered border, and a vintage looking Currier and Ives scene plate, that is part of my very first china I purchased for myself in 1976.

You might also like to see where they live (most of them), here you go:

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

COLLECTION #170: Vintage Craftsman Sideboard

It's Orphan Wednesday!

I'm not a furniture collector, although I wish I were. Generally, beautiful antique pieces of furniture are out of my price range, and the more affordable shabby pieces, require restoration skills I do not have. (Some day!)

A few years ago, one of my favorite antique malls closed, and had a huge sale- everything 50% off. I didn't go there with the idea that I would buy any furniture, I wasn't looking for large things at all. But then I spotted this lovely small Arts & Crafts style sideboard for only $100, I snapped it up in a minute!

It didn't require anything more than a little dusting and polishing. When I removed the lower drawer to clean the interior, I spotted a handwritten signature and date. It said, it lovely swirly pencil: "Alex Stevenson GPO" and the date, "5th June 1914". I have no idea who Alex Stevenson is, what GPO means, or anything else about him. I don't know the origins or designer of the hutch. It doesn't seem to have been made by one of the established Arts & Crafts furniture manufacturers. My guess it might have been made from a kit.
The drawer pulls are wonderful. They are a rising sun design, and the patina is marvelous. There's a small little drawer in the top (where I keep my vintage matchbooks). It makes a nice platform for some small pots and photos I like to display.  Isn't it beautiful?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

COLLECTION #169: Wind-Up Toys

I just LOVE wind-up toys! I love the noise they make when they jump, shimmy, spin, hop, bang, clang, and shake! I have quite a variety of wind-up items of every type and variety. Some old. Some reproduction. Some US made. Some Japanese. At least one German. Many of these have been shown in previous collections here and here!

I only included a few robots from my much larger collection, because I didn't want the photo to become too cluttered. This gives you an idea of the types of wind-ups I have.  Most of these are tin,  a few have fabric on a metal frame, and one is entirely plastic except for the mechanism. (The harness racing jockey).

I love my Unique Art Li'l Abner Dogpatch Band. It's from the late '40s, and is probably the oldest item in this collection. It's not in great condition, but it's one of my favorite antique toys.  It still works: Li'l Abner clogs, Mammy Yocum leads the band, Pappy Yocum plays the drum (without his drumsticks), Daisy Mae vigorously plays the piano.

Dogpatch Band by Unique Art

Here are some more photos of my fun wind-up toys:

Japanese repro plane
Hopping birds
German Schuco violin-playing clown from the late '40s or early '50s.
Fun twirling airplane carousel
Hopping Dog