Vintage Old Manse & Hazle Atlas Art Deco Preserves Bottle

A few months ago I stumbled into this vintage (nearly antique) glass preservatives bottle or jar. While I love the romantic (and nearly heart-shaped) paper label for Old Manse strawberry preserves (by Oelerich & Berry Company of Chicago), it was the fluid art deco lines of the bottle itself that sealed the deal in terms of purchase. Those same lines led to a real labor of love, because this bottle became quite the cleaning restoration project. (To be honest, the shinning silver with “runs” of golden along the embossed sides were beautiful — had it not been for the incredible stink, I would have left it thus!)

old preserves bottle before after

In my attempts to discover how to clean it, however, I discovered the BLM/SHA Historic Glass Bottle ID & Information Website and Bill Lindsey.

While my email conversations with Lindsey were a bit disjointed (because I was dealing with a bottle soaking in bleach & therefore had forgotten all about looking for any marks on the bottom of the glass jar — sheesh!), Lindsey did confirm my thoughts that this was an authentic art deco food bottle from the 1920s.

Lindsey also added

The lid on the bottle you have is probably not original to the bottle as it appears in the images to be a zinc “Mason’s” jar lid that would have been used on a Mason jar.

The jar itself is a “art deco” style food jar popular in the late 1910s to 1930s (maybe a bit later). It almost certainly would not be of exclusive use to any one company but one of a number of standard designs sold to any purchaser by many different glass companies.

The “5623” is a mold index code and the “8” could be related to a date but we’ve not published our article on that company yet – and I don’t have a copy – so not sure. Still dates as you estimated.

I eagerly await the article!

Meanwhile, other collectors should note that this is a Hazel Atlas piece, marked 5623 – 8, stands about 10 and 1/4 inches tall.  Personally, I’d love to know if anyone else knows anything about this vintage glass bottle or the Oelerich & Berry Company… (UPDATE: Now listed for sale!)

hazel atlas bottle 5623 8

 

Loved To Death Or Irked To Death?

new oddities san francisco

Is anyone else annoyed by this season of Oddities: San Francisco?

Along with a new cast member (Lincoln Smith replaces Korrie Sabatini), the Oddities spin-off (which has fared better than the other spin-off, Odd Folks Home), has been tweaked for season two. Among the tweaks: lots of smirks, fake looks of horror and shock, and, I kid you not, actual “boing” and “doing” noises to emphasize them.

These “shock-pas”, as I like to call them (fake shock that reads like a faux pas), are utterly unnecessary, irritating, and quite rude. Are we to believe for even one second, that the proprietress and “staff” of the store — the females, of which, dress like today’s version of goth witches or vampires, are going to arch their eyebrows and grunt in fear or smirk in the faces of their clientele? No. Are we, the viewers, to be treated as if we are dumb enough to believe it? And the boings-and-doings — why use such corny sound effects to highlight the awful stuff?! We all know reality shows are not real; that the stuff is planned and filmed and edited and whatnot. But why would anyone expect that a woman dressed like a modern-day Morticia Addams, self-dubbed Wednesday Mourning, would actually raise her eyebrows and have a “boing!” reaction to someone looking for a fetish item or a skull?

I’m a fan of the show, and the shop; of imperfect things, misfit collectibles, and the macabre. But seriously, now. Enough with the smirks and “doings” already.

The Black, White and Shades of Grey in Collecting Black Americana

According to Howard Dodson, director of the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, “There are two kinds of collectors of black Americana: those who are interested in collecting as a financial investment and those with a passion for finding ‘the missing pages of history.’”

 

…There is also some concern that part of the drive in purchasing black Americana is pimpin’ black culture.: that this adoption of old images and negative stereotypes is being glamorized in a perverse way. Like hip-hop’s bad ‘rap’ (pun intended), collecting black Americana is sweeping the nation in a concerning way.

 

Deanna Dahlsad‘s insight:

As a white chick, I don’t dare collect this stuff — even if I, as a collector of similar negative sterotypical items about women, understand the desire to document the horrible past.

See on www.collectorsquest.com

Finding Frank Fritz

Frank Fritz may be one-half of the American Pickers (or one-third, if you include Danielle), but Fritz is not partners with on-air partner Mike Wolfe in Antique Archaeology (neither in LeClaire nor Nashville). However, Fritz has his own shop in Savanna, IL, called Frank Fritz Finds.

Frank Fritz Finds

According to Barb Ickes at the Quad-City Times, the store resides in part “nearly an entire city block” owned by Jerry Gendreau. Here’s another photo of the shop, from Shad V.

frank fritz's antique shop

It may or may not amaze you, given how savvy you are about TV show deals, etc., but I personally find the American Pickers branding that down-plays Fritz  and his store to be, well, a bit of a downer.  However unintentional the confusion is regarding the business relationship between Mike & Frank, it certainly is debatable; especially as Danielle constantly refers to Wolf & Fritz as her bosses.

Perhaps the show should make a stop at Frank Fritz’s shop now and then. Even just to drop something off. Even if they do, I might just have to make a road trip there myself. *wink*

If you are a fan of Frankie, check out his Facebook page. (And Frank Fritz Finds has it’s own page too.)

frank fritz in his antique shop

August 17th is National Thrift Shop Day

National Thrift Shop Day: a day to promote the ethical and economic opportunities of shopping at thrift stores. Why should collectors care? Because among the common secondhand goods, lie the uncommon treasures.

See on collectorperspectives.com

About Antique & Collectible Appraisals

With all the work we do in antiques and collectibles, we are often asked about appraisals. Here’s what we know, and what we do.

First of all, it is important to note that there is no such thing as a licensed appraiser in the United States of America.

See on www.wehaveyourcollectibles.com

I Am TOM. I Like to TYPE. Hear That?

For less important doodles in text, the kind that go no farther than your desk or refrigerator door, the tactile pleasure of typing old school is incomparable to what you get from a de rigueur laptop. Computer keyboards make a mousy tappy tap tappy tap like ones you hear in a Starbucks — work may be getting done but it sounds cozy and small, like knitting needles creating a pair of socks. Everything you type on a typewriter sounds grand, the words forming in mini-explosions of SHOOK SHOOK SHOOK. A thank-you note resonates with the same heft as a literary masterpiece.

The sound of typing is one reason to own a vintage manual typewriter — alas, there are only three reasons, and none of them are ease or speed. In addition to sound, there is the sheer physical pleasure of typing; it feels just as good as it sounds, the muscles in your hands control the volume and cadence of the aural assault so that the room echoes with the staccato beat of your synapses.

See on www.nytimes.com

Helping Children Collect

There’s a lot of discussion, sometimes couched as a “panic,” about how there are not enough kids interested in collecting. Whether you are concerned about the collecting industry or not, there are valid reasons to get kids interested in the hobby. Collecting is a self-directed activity about passion, and in our world of (sometimes overly) scheduled activities, the self-motivated journey of collecting builds more than a collection of objects, but skill sets as well.

In my new work as a columnist at Collector Perspectives (sponsored by American Collectors Insurance, the nation’s leading provider of collector insurance), I give a list of 10 things you can do to encourage collecting among the young.

Collector Perspectives Blog Badge

Collecting The Kind Of Molds You Do Want In Your Kitchen

When I saw this jangle of vintage copper molds at the thrift store today, I was reminded of my aunt Vicki.

copper molds at thrift shop

When she was alive, her entire kitchen was decorated with them. It began, I believe, as an inexpensive way to decorate. Back when I was a kid, you could grab these copper molds for just a quarter or so, which meant for a dollar or two you could easily cover your kitchen walls. (They are more expensive now, but still less expensive than other forms of home decor for your kitchen walls.)

I remember how the copper would gleam off the walls and warm the room… Except for the lobster (he creeped me out — still does!)

As their monetary situation improved, even when they moved to a much larger house, my aunt continued to collect the copper molds — but she also began to add more pieces to her collection, like vintage chocolate molds.

I’ve sort of taken up the idea, but for even more practical reasons: space.

I’ve a modest collection of whimsical cake pans and I find that rather than attempting to stuff them into that wee drawer beneath the oven or fail at stacking them neatly next to the pots and pans, that it’s easier and prettier to display them on the wall above the kitchen cabinets.

collectibles above cupboards

Most of them, like the Wilton Scooby-Doo, have a small hole in the top from which to hang them. And cake pans without them can, like my vintage 3-D lamb cake mold, can sit up atop the cupboards. In either case, I’ve ended the clutter and crashes of cake pans that do not stack or nest nicely.

Plus, on display I know where each one is. The kids pick one out, I take it down and wash & dry it while they gather the ingredients. And I think they add charm to my kitchen too.

Another Old Yellow Dog Follows Me Home

When I fist spotted this adorable dog, I thought I’d be adding a new piece to my chalkware collection, but the second I picked him up, I knew better. Sure, I’d be adding him to my collection — who could resist that face?! — but he isn’t made of chalk or plaster.

old yeller composition dog

This vintage dog is made of composition, a mix of sawdust and glue molded into shapes that’s both heavier and denser than paper mache. Composition was used primarily from the late 1870s through the early 1950s. The height of the market for composition toys and home decor pieces was the 1920s (popularity due to novelty of a new material) through 1940s wartime (when rationing limited options for manufacturing). The invention of new, inexpensive and more durable hard plastics in the 40s brought about the end of composition items by the 50s.

I’ve seen (and own) composition dolls, and quite a number of small toy animal toys and figurines (mostly nativity scene pieces), but nothing quite like this charming dog. Outside of the doll world, this golden pup is the largest vintage composition piece I’ve seen. At five inches tall, he seems too large to have been a child’s toy; likely an inexpensive display figurine for the home.

vintage composition dog

The crazing, or cracks in the lacquer or sealing finish caused by changes in humidity and temperature, are common. Thankfully, the worst of the crazing (and resulting loss of color due to damage to the sealer) is limited to the backside and bottom of this vintage piece.

back and bottom of antique composition dog

I call him Old Yeller because I like to imagine I’m saving this yellow lab as I’m making him part of my collection of dogs.

Vintage Paint By Number Metalware

Combining two of my favorite things, vintage metalware wastebaskets and vintage paint by numbers, what’s not to love about this 1950s paint by number Tole Craft Wastebasket!

Vintage Tole Craft Paint It Yourself No 17 Oriental Teahouse

Frankly, I had no idea metalware came in DIY crafting sets…

So I searched, finding a vintage promotional Tole Craft “Paint-It-Yourself” Art Metalware piece at Pine Street Art Works:

tole_craft_brochure_small

And I found an ad from 1958, listing all eight of Tole Craft’s metalware craft kits: Hanging Picture Tray, Waste Basket, Desk Basket, Chippendale Hanging Tray, Snack Trays, Magazine Rack, Planter Plate, and Tissue Box. I need all of those! Especially the magazine rack.

Now that I do know about these vintage paint by number metalware kits, I’ve saved eBay searches for vintage “tole craft”, and vintage metal paint by number — and I purchased/bid on a couple of kits. *wink*

But I did find and leave a few of these kits for you too. Like these six metal paint by number trays. It’s not a set of six, but three different pairs of trays; a pair of equestrian or horse trays, a pair of floral pattern trays, and two Scandinavian themed trays.

vintage paint by number metal trays

Along with kits by Tole Craft, look for kits and finished pieces by the Morilla Company, and even Family Circle. You’ll find wall sconces, book ends, and maybe more — if you patiently keep looking!

PS I just got this completed paint by number bookend with a heron as a gift for my bird-loving, antique addicted parents! (Shhhh! Don’t tell them!)

vintage paint by number bookend with heron and birds

Fashioning standards for industry conduct (Art & Antiques)

Doctors have the American Medical Association; lawyers are represented by the American Bar Association, car dealers, teachers, religions, and even countries have organized representation to promote their best interests to the public and government. Art and antiques dealers, one can categorically say, do not have any form of an umbrella organization that can advocate for its interests.

The many organizations that do attempt to be representatives of the industry are narrow in focus and small in membership. Whether it is the Art and Antiques Dealer’s League of America (AADLA), Antiques Dealers’ Association of American (ADA), National Antiques & Art Dealers Association of American (NAADAA), or the various state and local associations, they all have limited membership, finances, and interests. Individually they are just groups that attempt to create their own exclusivity of membership and can’t look at industry issues, be it a simple standard form of invoice or other business documents that have dealer and customer interests in mind; how about the larger purpose of the public’s image of dealers?

See on art-antiques-design.com

Design Ideas: Auctioning a little house and library chairs

During her lifetime, Mary Griggs Burke, one of the most important private collectors of Japanese art in the world, kept an extra apartment on New York’s Upper East Side, right next door to another where she lived, for her beloved art objects. She died in December at age 96.

But one of her treasures remains at her historic summer estate in Cable, Wisconsin, which was donated to the Chequamegon National Forest. While small, for what it is, the historic cottage is not so portable.

The tiny home had been in Burke’s family since her father bought it in the early 20th century. It was used as a children’s playhouse and remains outfitted with child-sized furnishings. The historic prefabricated cottage will be auctioned by Leslie Hindman Auctioneers in Milwaukee on July 25.

…Also to be auctioned by Hindman on the same date are a selection of chairs designed by Charles and Ray Eames for Herman Miller, which were in use at Milwaukee’s East Side Library until it closed recently.

See on www.jsonline.com

“What’s in Your Collection”: Vintage Picnic Hampers

As summer unfolds, I begin to think about my “picnic entertaining”. I have always loved antique and vintage picnic hampers and would love to have a collection-but alas…no room to store yet another collection!

See on www.kathryngreeleydesigns.com

Antiques Thefts

In the May 27, 21013, issue of Antique Week, Robert Kyle has an article on the dangers of theft of antiques and collectibles coming from contractors and handymen. In fact, Kyle has been doing a series of articles on crimes, scams, etc. in the world of collecting, auctions, etc. and while they are unhappy issues, I highly recommend reading them precisely because there are, unfortunately, negative aspects in our lovely world.

A case in point, this recent case in the UK in which at least one of the parties involved in the thefts took tours of the historical places and homes in order to case them, later returning to burgle them.

What’s This Thing From The Past?

People have asked what the pretty floral fabric item is in this photo of the antique child’s chair:

The long fabric piece which rolls up onto a tube (also wrapped in the fabric) is a part of textile history nearly forgotten.  It’s a doily holder! Ladies would roll their doilies, runners, etc. up in this to store them and keep them clean, back at a time when drawer space was at a premium (and also to accommodate wider textile pieces which would only fit in drawers if folded, which would crease them). So it still serves those who collect doilies and other textiles!

I’ll try to add more photos of the piece alone soon.

Celebrity Skull Collecting

A few weeks ago, Eva Mendes was spotted with a skull in her Kiki de Montparnasse lingerie bag — which sent the celeb-stalking world into a 50-Shades of kink gossip cliche tailspin. But as it turns out, the antique papier-­mâché skull, a ceremonial prop from an Odd Fellows lodge, was purchased at Obscura of Oddities fame. More about Mendes and “her favorite home-décor store” in this article.

Vintage Casino Chips For Framed Wall Art

Are you a heavy collector of weird (as others may perceive) yet cool stuff? Want to try something new to hang on your wall? Usually, it’s a painting, a cross-stitch, a vintage movie poster or a celebrity sketch that would make a sophisticated and noticeable framed wall art. For this year, here is the challenge: why not come up with a framed artwork featuring the oldest casino chips that you can find? One might argue that this is an expensive and a very difficult challenge for hobbyists and collectors like me. Poker chips are unique to every casino. The designs before are so intricate as compared to the latter ones. As opposed to coin collecting, this is not an expensive variety of exonumia for these tokens aren’t made of silver or gold.

If you intend on pursuing the project, you can either collect in person or purchase online. My Vegas Chips online sells poker chips manufactured from 1930s to 1960s at a reasonable price. You can never tell if those vintage chips have been used by artists, musicians or famous poker players who played in the casino. You can also purchase some from your online friends over at Partypoker.com. The largest virtual poker room aside from offering virtual casino games also provides a virtual community and social lounge for members to interact. You might meet someone who’s also a collector or someone who’s a son-of-a-poker-legacy who happened to have an old chip to dispose of.

Below are some of the surprisingly cheap vintage chips (price range from $15 to $35) that you can purchase from My Vegas chips:

ROULETTE SILVER PALACE YERINGTON
This obsolete old vintage casino chip was manufactured in the 1930s. There are plenty of stocks left dedicated for avid collectors. It is available in yellow, brown and navy blue colors. There are no signs of warping and the golden engraved Silver Palace Yerington Nevada is still visible and clear. The size of the chip is 39mm in diameter. A bubble wrap case is included upon delivery for protection.

HARRAH’s CLUB RENO LAKE TAHOE
Harrah’s Club Reno casino is still operational as of date but you can’t purchase this rare poker chip manufactured in the 1960s if you are planning to go to the casino today. Actually, this rare chip is still on stock but the conditions are slightly used. It will still easily stand on edge. Although there is a slight scratch on its body, the golden imprint is still visible against the pink colored chip with four gray spots each side around the chip.

CONTINENTAL LAS VEGAS NEVADA CASINO POKER CHIP
For a price of only $7.00, one can purchase this lime green poker chip with a golden engrave of Continental Hotel Casino in the late 50s. What’s special about this chip? There is a polished detail around the chip which shows a flower, spade, heart and diamond.