When my parents were working on this latest estate sale, the found this miniature copper diver’s helmet. Attached to it was a note stating it was from a Rolex watch store display. Ever curious, err, obsessive I had to investigate. (Plus, I do so love a great watch.)
It turns out, Rolex did use small metal divers’ helmets in displaying their waterproof watches, including the Submariner the very first wristwatch for divers (1953); the Deep Sea Special, which was attached to the outside of the bathyscaphe the Trieste during its historic dive (1960); and the Sea-Dweller, Compagnie Maritime d’Expertises (COMEX) watches (1963). This is what the metal diver helmet looked like with its original Rolex dealer display stand.
I’ve no idea how many Rolex stores there are now, let alone how many there were in 1970 when this display piece was used… I’d dare say, in the hundreds. Which makes the helmet, even without the sea-green turquoise display stand relatively rare.
However, as Rolex’s divine diving watches debuted before 1970 when this diver helmet display appeared, there were earlier display stands using a nautical theme, if not the “At One With The Sea” slogan. Here are a few of them:
Rolex diving watches also got some promotion out of popular films. Sean Connery wore a Submariner “Big Crown” in 1962’s Dr. No, for example.
Further confusion is added by the fact that watch collectors refer to the 1974 Rolex Sea-Dweller as the “Great White.” It’s debut certainly was good timing for the movie. But the “Great White” nickname comes from the fact that this version of the Sea-Dweller is in all “white” steel.
So just what watch did Richard Dreyfuss’ Matt Hooper wear in Jaws?
Equally obsessive collectors, with far more watch knowlege than I, did the research. It was published in the February 2010 issue of WatchTime. The conclusion? Dreyfuss wore an Alsta Nautoscaph. …Though, as the article states, that still leaves lots of room for questions. As for me, I’ve spent enough time submerged in all this watch talk.
If you are interested in the Rolex diving helmet display piece, the Milwaukee estate sale begins today, July 27, 2015, at noon. Details here.
The first-ever Auction at Elvis’ Graceland is taking place August 14, at 7:00 p.m. at the Graceland Archive Studio — and online.
While none of the 72 items are from the official Graceland collection (the collection, Graceland Archives, etc. continue to be owned by Lisa Marie Presley and are not for sale), there are some very cool items.
Book lovers as well as Elvis Presley fans will like the library card. This library card from Tupelo has one of the earliest known signatures of Elvis. The signature is so early, that even the Graceland Archives has none pre-dating it — and the auction lot includes a letter from the Graceland Archives stating that the archives has no full Elvis Presley signature pre-dating the one on the library card.
Speaking of kings… This 18-karat gold lion’s head (with two emerald eyes, a ruby mouth, and diamond eyebrows whiskers) was designed specifically for Elvis. It is one of those pendant-brooch jewelry pieces. Elvis wore it as a pendant for his meeting with President Nixon, among other places.
Looking for something bigger? The 1977 burgundy and silver Cadillac Seville V8 automatic being offered was not only the last Cadillac Elvis purchased for his personal use, but the very vehicle driven by Elvis himself on the day prior to his death.
The ONLY hair museum in the world with hundreds of wreaths and thousands of jewelry pieces made from human hair. The Hair jewelry was worn both by men and women of the Victorian period (1800 – 1900) and earlier.
The front page of the Pittsburg Post-Gazette for Tuesday, August 3rd, 1920, brought a mysterious story:
Diamond Merchant’s Sudden Death Closes Pages In Famous ‘Ghost Book’
Chicago, Aug. 5 — The sudden death of Samuel T.A. Loftis, millionaire diamond dealer, after a night of wine and taxis, has closed the pages of a famous “Ghost Book,’ which Loftis has kept up for 14 years.
The book was found in the dead man’s apartment. It’s pages are of glazed paper, which, after being written on, were creased down the middle, causing the writing to blot in a freakish double smear.
Loftis, friends say, gave credence to the significance of “ghost signatures.”
This verse occupies the front page of the “Ghost Book”:
“Shadows form in our ghostly past; Ho! Ho! young man. Ho! Ho! From forgotten graves they will rise at last; It is so, young man, it is so. You may run, you may dodge, you may Twist, you may bend, The flying phantoms win in the end; Ho! Ho! old man, Ho! Ho!”
No further explanation of his death is given, not even why a photograph of his ex-wife was made part of the story.
The late Mr. Loftis held the distinction of inventing a new business model for diamond dealing: selling directly to the public on credit. Loftis Bros. and Company advertised in large metropolitan newspapers, offering low monthly payments for fine diamond jewelry. Owning diamonds was now within the reach of the burgeoning middle-class, but excessive debt was also one facet of the beginnings of the lending crisis that brought on the Great Depression. Loftis’ business was launched shortly after DeBeers began their campaign to push diamonds into the forefront; Loftis’ credit system helped make the diamond the de facto wedding ring stone for people of any income.
A “ghost signature” is produced just as described in the Loftis article. The process was much more effective in the days of fountain pens, with slow-drying India ink and a loose method of depositing the ink. The ‘glazed paper’ helped the process by preventing the ink from soaking in. The book was held sideways and the subject was encouraged to sign the book on half of a page, in their official hand and leaving as much ink as possible. The page was creased in the middle and the page folded back upon itself, creating a Rorschach-like inkblot, something for the mind to interpret in innumerable ways. Faces, bodies, animals, spirits, and monsters all appeared in the squished and smeared John Hancocks of the willing contributors to a Ghost Signature book.
As you might have guessed, the business model of preying on the turn-of-the-century middle-class with a promise of acquiring unaffordable luxury doesn’t spring from the minds of well-balanced, altruistic people. In June of 1907, Samuel Loftis suffered a gunshot wound and a split scalp…caused by his brother, Joseph Loftis — one of the “Loftis Bros.” on the masthead — during a business meeting. Samuel Loftis had read a motion to remove his brother as vice president due to unignorable indiscretions; the secretary of the company, Loftis’ wife, seconded the motion. One dissenting ‘nay’, from the soon-to-be-ousted vice-president, wasn’t enough to overturn the motion. Joseph Loftis was discharged from his position, and in return he emptied all six chambers of his revolver in Samuel Loftis’ direction and then leapt upon the wounded president with the intent of finishing the job by beating him with the butt of the revolver.
Samuel Loftis declined to press charges. Joseph was sent west and was the head of the Loftis Bros.’ Omaha office until Samuel’s death.
In 1910, Clifford Loftis, the other member of the “Bros.”, was arrested, but acquitted, in the murder of Joseph Lafferty in Bakersfield, California. Lafferty had stopped Clifford from beating a horse, which resulted in a fistfight. Clifford wasn’t satisfied with the result and brought a gun along to renew the discussion the next day. The New York Times reported that Clifford, a cowhand at the time, had been sent west and left out of the diamond business “to get him away from the temptations of city life.”
Mark Twain wrote that the “last fad is ‘ghost – autographs.’ You write your name down the crease, then fold & press the paper while the ink is still wet & will blot. It generally makes something resembling a skeleton.” He had made one of his own in 1905 and sent it off to his daughter, Clara. The “fad” enjoyed a brief popularity at a time when autograph books were becoming passe. From the mid 19th century until the early 20th it was a friendly gesture to exchange or collect signatures in a little autograph book as a memento of friendships and other events. The mid-19th century also brought the fun artwork of “klecksographie,” popularized by the poet and artist Justinus Kerner. The “ghost signature” overlap of inkblot art and autograph exchanges wasn’t a lasting fad, but it held enough attraction to spawn custom hardbound books designed specifically for making ghost signatures, like the one owned by Samuel Loftis. At the height of the fad, around 1909, ghost autographs were solicited from presidents, dukes and dutchesses, and other celebrities.
In 1909, Samuel Loftis and his wife, Harmon — the company secretary — dissolved their marriage in a fit of hostility. Harmon cited abuse and neglect, stemming from Samuel publicly striking Harmon in the face at at the South Shore Country Club ballroom. Samuel responded by charging his wife with drunkenness and infidelity. The divorce was granted in 1912, and Harmon moved to California with a $125,000 check in her pocketbook.
Samuel, free of the shackles of marriage, set himself on a path marked by wine, women, and song, and his multi-million-dollar diamond business allowed him to afford all the indiscretions his heart desired. The housekeeper of his Chicago apartment described dozens of women coming and going over the months he resided in the apartment, which would prove to be his final residence. On August 30th, 1920, a drunk Samuel Loftis brought a girl to his apartment, Miss Ruth Woods, the fiancee of a business partner. By the end of the night, the fiancee, furrier Roy Shayne, was at the apartment, and Loftis was dead from a blow to the head. Woods claims she called Shayne for help after Loftis fell and hit his head on the floor. The story the police believed was that Loftis had attempted to ravage Miss Woods by force; she summoned Shayne for assistance, and a liquor bottle to the head ended Loftis’ conquest. An inquest was held, both Woods and Shayne were questioned, and when the inquest ended on August 4th the death was ruled accidental, due to a fall. On August 8th, ten days after Loftis’ death, Shayne and Woods were married in Milwaukee, after receiving a special dispensation to waive the five-day waiting period on Wisconsin marriage licenses.
The original, complete wire story about Loftis’ death included many more details of Woods’ and Shayne’s testimonies, and more information about Loftis’ life. Whether due to sloppy editing or a taste for the bizarre, most newspapers cropped the story down to end just where my quote above finishes: Loftis died, and he had a book of ghost signatures. The sensationalism of the reporter who composed the original wire story appears to have attempted to tie together the reckless life of the Loftis clan to the occultism of the 1920s, and to start a much longer story with an attention-getting zinger. Reporters visited crime scenes, and the book probably caught the eye of a beat reporter looking for something interesting to punch up the article. Loftis was probably just hip to the fads of the time, and used it as a conversation piece, collecting the autographs of friends and marveling at the mysterious shapes. Loftis’ actual life was far more sinister than the so-called “ghost book” of the news reports.
The poem the newspaper quoted from the forward of Loftis’ ghost book helps identify his book as The Ghosts of My Friends, the most common of the preprinted spirit autograph books from the first decade of the 20th century. The poem is by Gerald Villiers-Stuart, and appeared in his book The Soul of Croesus. Ghosts is attributed to Cecil Henland, who had made a name for herself by producing other books of the same format, with some front material and then blank pages for the purchaser to fill in, and in founding the National Society of Day-Nurseries. Henland married Lieut. Col. Arthur Percival at age 38 in 1907, but was widowed in World War I. Heland’s next most popular book was The Christmas Book, which included blank pages for people to write their wish-lists, and additional pages laid out to record the celebrations and events of the Christmas season.
The Ghosts of My Friends is somewhat common in online stores and websites, with the price varying quite wildly, but mostly sells for around $40. In 2009, a copy belonging to Fred Astaire, or someone in his family, was placed for auction and sold for several hundred dollars. Your Hidden Skeleton is less common and tends to bring a little higher price. People who own copies of either book tend to be rather proud of their ghost signatures, frequently posting samples online. If you’d like to make one of your own but without damaging an antique book, there is a company producing ghost autograph books similar to Cecil Henland’s, which can be purchased from Reflections of My Friends.
Wine, for example, needs special care and can spoil. To enjoy it, it must be consumed. Vintage cars need space and maintenance. Real estate fluctuates too wildly. But watches? They take up no space, and servicing—while subject to long waiting times—is less of a problem than, say, restoring a 1930s Delage motor car. In the U.K., investing in antique clocks has been cited as a good way to avoid paying capital-gains tax. Because clocks are deemed a “wasting asset,” they are not taxed on their capital appreciation. But best of all, watch values have been on an upward trajectory for the past 25 years.
However, fine antique watches remained threatened by the high prices for gold, as antique pocket watches and wristwatches continue to be melted down for their weight and value in gold. Those are the grim realities of our times.
The Grimm reality of old timepieces, however, is all about Eddie Monroe. On NBC’s Friday night TV series, Grimm, Silas Weir Mitchell plays Monroe, a Blutbad — a human who can transform into a wolf. He keeps his wolfish nature hidden (and at bay) with his rather nerdy exterior — not just the usual “bookish” sort, Monroe plays chello, performs clock and watch repair, and collects so many antique and vintage things that I often find myself searching the frames of the show to look at all his cool stuff. The home (set?) was even featured in Oregon Home, so I must not be alone in my fascination.
Among the over 800 items of Hollywood memorabilia and historic Americana, the Houston tems up for sale include a pair of earrings and a brown satin vest worn by Whitney in The Bodyguard (1992) as well as a black velvet dress owned by the legendary performer.
Celebrity auctioneer Darren Julien said Sunday the pieces and other Houston items became available after the singer’s unexpected death on Feb. 11 and will be included among a long-planned sale of Hollywood memorabilia such as Charlie Chaplin’s cane, Clark Gable’s jacket from “Gone With the Wind” and Charlton Heston’s staff from “The Ten Commandments.”
Julien said celebrity collectibles often become available after their namesakes die.
“It proves a point that these items, they’re an investment,” Julien said. “You buy items just like a stock. Buy at the right time and sell at the right time, and they just increase in value.”
But could it be too soon to profit from Houston’s passing? She was just buried on Saturday.
“It’s a celebration of her life,” Julien said. “If you hide these things in fear that you’re going to offend someone — her life is to be celebrated. These items are historic now that she passed. They become a part of history. They should be in museums. She’s lived a life and had a career that nobody else has ever had.”
Houston is “someone who’s going to maintain a collectability,” he said. “For people who are fans of Whitney Houston and never would have had a chance to meet her and never got to talk to her, these are items that literally touched a part of her life. They are a way to relate to her or be a part of her life without having known her.”
Accumulating these coveted treasures is often a twofold endeavor; obtaining tangible nostalgia and making a sound investment choice. Acquiring such a collection gives buyers the opportunity to gain intimacy with fond memories anchored in the property. The other reason is based on the steadily increasing prices, which has been recently noted as a solid asset for Wall Street investment bankers and executives around the globe.
If there is any such thing as a cultural rule about the length of time which ought to pass before we profit by selling off items connected to a recently deceased celebrity, it is far less a matter of morbidity and more a matter of our capitalistic nature. The market dictates that we bid as high as our emotions run; and emotions run pretty high when there’s a death.
As my friend and fellow columnist at Collectors Questsaid upon the passing of Michael Jackson, “One’s fame is directly proportional to how fast people will learn the intimate details of your life, or death, as the case may be… Where celebrity meets mortality, there is eBay.”
Celebrities thrive by this very rule — they use our emotions to sell us less than proper things while alive, such as Michael Jackson “Thriller” panties. So why wouldn’t we buy-buy-buy when they die?
Etiquette rarely, if ever, applies to celebrity.
And how can Perez, of all people, complain about this when he’s “beyond tacky” and a “bloodthirsty” parasite living off celebrities himself?
I’m not sure there’s anything inherently wrong with buying Whitney Houston’s movie-worn clothing weeks after her death than there is buying Clark Gable’s jacket from Gone With the Wind decades later. Do you?
These little button easels are a great way to display your vintage and antique buttons on shelves, in shadowboxes and antique printer’s trays, you vanity — anyplace, really! Each is hand made by happyhoarder66, who says that each little wire easel is made of “very workable metal so if you need to bend one slightly to accommodate an unusual shape there should be no problem.”
If you collect vintage fashions, you tend to end up with a lot of heartbreakers — not only items which won’t fit, but garments which are in such poor shape, all you can do is salvage pieces of fabric, buttons and other trims. And if you collect vintage sewing items and notions, you typically end up with a lot of vintage buttons too. You can certainly collect buttons. But if you’re looking for another way to enjoy them, get creative!
The buttons and beads are woven onto heavy duty beading wire, with the last button going through a loop at the end to fasten it. (She also takes custom orders, if you are all thumbs working with suck little bits and bobs.)
We don’t discuss a lot of new things here at Inherited Values, but today we make an exception…
One of my friends is helping a friend with her wedding plans and the subject of wedding gifts came up. Specifically those wedding gifts the bride and groom give to those in the bridal party, the groomsmen, the parents, etc. As lovers of vintage and antiques, we naturally gravitated to the idea of an excuse to scour antique malls and online stores for just the right gifts. But not everyone loves old things.
Since weddings are special occasions, when families grow and joint memories begin, you want to give pieces which will be saved — you want to give things which will become heirlooms.
Heirlooms are those items saved and passed along within a family for generations. They all have to begin somewhere. But in order to become an heirloom, they must be special enough to be saved by the first person they are given to. This means they should be special from the start, carrying not just the weight of the special occasion itself, but the warmth and significance of the relationship itself as well as offering some sort of practicality or use that make the items more than jut dust collectors. (If that “practicality” notion bothers you, please see the history and origins of the word!)
When selecting gifts to mark the occasion of a wedding, consider who the item is for, their role in the special day, and what sentiments are likely to be attached to that day. Drinking glasses and flasks are popular for men because items associated with drinking are reminders of the wedding toasts made. Jewelry and jewelry boxes are popular for female attendants because they are reminders of special days in the past as well as more to come. Personalized teddy bears are great options for children because they are playmates for that day, and toys that sit proudly on display to remind kids of the special day they took part in.
Of course, the more weddings a person has participated in, the more glassware and jewelry they are likely to have, but it just requires a bit more thinking…
There really aren’t any wrong gifts to give, but thinking about the future use of items helps ensure that they will be saved — and on their way to becoming heirlooms!
As a proud feminist, the suffrage movement is near and dear to my heart; as a girlie lover of glam, jewelry with stones, especially sparkly stones, appeals to me. So naturally I am drawn to suffrage jewelry. However, all that glitters in antique suffragette jewelry isn’t gold — or as bought and sold.
There’s a common misperception or two about women’s suffrage items, in terms of color and purpose — which are entwined and lend themselves to myths and ill-informed purchases of these antique collectible items.
While many folks, including uneducated sellers of such proclaimed items, believe and insist that the official colors of the suffrage movement were green, white, and purple (or violet), it simply isn’t true.
It was, in fact, very popular for the jewelry of the time (Edwardian) to be adorned with amethysts, pearls, and demantoid garnets or emeralds — which easily accounts for the colors. And as cute as the symbolism that these colors (green, white and violet) stood for (G)ive (W)omen the (V)ote is, there was no global suffrage color. This is in large part due to the many suffrage organizations in both England and America; there was never one official suffrage organization—there were many. And no agreed upon color scheme.
One of the myths is that jewelry and other items served as a “secret color code” among women to identify themselves as members or indicate support of the movement — while being afraid to reveal their sympathies to their husbands, sons, and society as a whole.
This might be a romantic notion to some… But not only is more romantic and impressive for me to recall these women taking the insults, slights, rebuffs and attacks which a suffragette had to endure head-on, it is historically inaccurate — and insulting all over again!
Can you imagine leaders like Katharine Houghton Hepburn, Katharine Hepburn’s mother and president of the Connecticut Women Suffrage Association, even suggesting such a mousy attitude as wearing colors in secret?!
No. The opposite was true: The women who supported the suffrage movement were insistent, loud & proud.
If you don’t believe me, perhaps you will believe the words of Mrs. Pethick-Lawrence, treasurer and co-editor of the weekly newspaper Votes for Women. In the spring 1908 issue of that paper, she explained the symbolism of the colors used by the most prominent suffrage group in England, the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) — but before you read it, repeat after me: These are the colors & reasoning of one such group!
Purple as everyone knows is the royal colour. It stands for the royal blood that flows in the veins of every suffragette, the instinct of freedom and dignity…white stands for purity in private and public life…green is the colour of hope and the emblem of spring.
The colours enable us to make that appeal to the eye which is so irresistible. The result of our processions is that this movement becomes identified in the mind of the onlooker with colour, gay sound, movement, and beauty.
Again, in this particular case, purple (or violet), white and green were the colors for this group; as you read and learn about the suffrage movement and it’s memorabilia, such as photos, penants, publications etc, it becomes clear that many colors were used. What’s important here to note is that there was no secrecy.
Moreover, there is evidence (Anaconda Standard, Montana, May 3, 1914) that in the US, yellow was a favorite color used by a national women’s suffrage group. There’s obvious evidence of that color as well.
Also, when it comes to jewelry, there’s plenty of evidence that the average “radical” suffragette did not buy jewelry for her cause, but rather sold it for her cause. Evidence from The Washington Post, August 2, 1914:
In Iowa’s Bode Bugle, January, 28, 1916, this tidbit bragging about prosperity in the US also provides a clear picture of the economic times in terms of consumerism:
While her sisters in London, Paris, Berlin and Petrograd are discarding their jewels, giving the gold to the common treasury and selling the gems to swell relief funds and keep the wolf from the door, the New York lady is daily acquiring an increased penchant for the finest jewelry that the world produces.
While I’ve no doubt there were some wealthy women, New York or no, who both supported suffrage and bought jewels, I’m certain the average suffragette was more concerned with melting, selling, jewelry etc. than consumerist “lady” acts.
In any case, between the radical acts of melting jewelry to support the cause, the devastating effects of The Great Depression, and just plain old time itself moving on (loss, less appreciation, the stories lost as the pieces were handed down, etc.), finding suffrage jewelry is even more difficult than finding any piece of antique jewelry.
Jewelry in this purple, white & green color scheme is gorgeous, and if authentic antique pieces, even more so desirable, at least to me; but the color alone does not mean it is a suffragette collectible piece.
If you are interested in buying or collecting such jewelry for reasons other than its own beauty, please research suffrage jewelry. It is better to be safe than sorry!
Even if the information seems to scare you off on a purchase, or make you doubt the ability to find authentic suffrage jewelry, take heart! It also means that while others are scrambling & bidding up fakes or those items in purple, white & green only, you may have better luck on suffrage jewelry & memorabilia of the political movement in other colors.
Here’s a quick snippet to entice you to read the rest:
Camphor Glass pieces started to be made first around 1890 mostly as mourning necklaces or brooches, and were made right up to the early 1940,s…. becoming perhaps most popular in the late 1920’s to mid 1930’s.
Reproduction pieces have been made in the last 20 or 30 years and it is really not easy for the lay man to tell the difference, it’s just a little thing here or there a clasp perhaps…take for instance there were no safety clasps on pins back before 1930 they used C clasps.
I’ve seen this done before, but all the tiers were plates, and it became a nice tidbit tray for serving cookies, etc. Having the tea cup saucer on top makes for an excellent lip for hanging wire earrings!
Wouldn’t this be a fabulous way to share an antique, but incomplete, family heirloom china set? It would make it easier to share the family china with each one of your children!
It’s funny how things become vintage. I remember when my Aunt Alice (my Grandmother’s sister) came to visit me in the hospital and gave me my first pair of dangly earrings. They were not expensive made but they were gold and elegant looking and most of all, when I wore them I could feel them swaying just under my earlobes. It meant a lot to me.
Now here we are, about 30 years later, I still have those earrings tucked away in my jewelry box with all the other stuff I don’t wear. (I never became the girly type to wear make up or jewelry). Now those earrings could be called vintage. It makes me feel older than I really am. My Aunt Alice isn’t here any longer. I miss her but I do think about that day now and then, and many others.
Do you have a special pair of earrings or something other jewelry? Is there something in your jewel box that makes you remember someone else, especially a family member? Even though my earrings aren’t especially valuable I would like to have someone in the family to give them to. It’s a shame that none of the younger generation in the family now will have any memory of my Aunt Alice. So the earrings will never be special to them in the same way they are special to me. That’s kind of sad.
Her whimsical designs in Bakelite, wood and metal were mass-produced by the New England Novelty Company. (Decades later, in the 1970s, Andy Warhol would find and adore her creations, amassing one the largest collections and resurrecting the demand for vintage Bakelite jewelry in general.)
These are snippets on Sleeper’s jewelery from a beauty and fashion column published in the Mansfield News Journal on April 17, 1940:
An ad for Martha Sleeper’s jewelry found in the Racine Journal Times November 10, 1939 — only $1!
Another ad, with an image, of Sleeper jewelry designs; The Salt Lake Tribune, October 10, 1941:
In 1949, Sleeper and her husband sailed on a 40-foot schooner from from New York for a vacation in the Virgin Islands, but when she reached Puerto Rico she fell in love with the island — and stayed. By 1950, Sleeper had given up making jewlery (“too tedious”) for making fashions and had opened “Martha Sleeper Creates,” a boutique at 101 Fortaleza St. in Old San Juan.
The shop began “with two dozen hand-made skirts and three dozen blouses and filled up the gaps in the place with plants. People thought I had a florist shop and for the first year, I couldn’t sell anything but greens .” (Quotes from Cumberland Evening Times, May 27, 1955; below.)
By 1955, her fashions, and accessories such as purses etc., were exported to other islands and the mainland. Below is an article from Billings Gazette, July 1, 1964, on Martha Sleeper’s lace fashions:
By 1964, Sleeper is said to have also opened a shop in Palm Beach, Florida.
This vintage wire photo was sent out to news outlets to promote the Harry Winston “The Court of Jewels” tour, which traveled to major American cities during 1949-1953. The traveling jewels tour showcased the Hope Diamond.
From the back of the photo:
New York: Lovely Margaret Wallace is just displaying her own charm enhanced by a few gadgets worth only $2,500,000. The jewels owned by Harry Winston Inc, rare jewels of the world, are on display at the American National retail Jewelers……8-15-1949
Revolutionary Watches of the Future Indicate It’s Later Than You Think
Watch at left shows time, date — and radioactivity level. Elgin watches (l. below) are experiments in plastic. “Capsule watch (r.) switches from finger to pin, pendant or bracelet. Another not-yet-purchasable marvel at Manhattan jewelry show: watch to tell time every 5 seconds — thanks to a tiny built-in FM radio gives weather report too.
While I want to giggle at the old-fashioned notion of a wrist watch to alert you to the dangers or radiation levels, such things are back in fashion again — like this cell phone app which alerts you to the radiation levels from cell phones. Ironic? Hey, some old watches emit radiation too.
And how annoying would anything that talks every five minutes be?
Anyone have any of these now-vintage wrist watches?
Beautiful to look at and, as Waring says, this offers practical organization too:
Due to the lack of space in my studio, I am constantly forgetting what notions I have packed away in my organizer containers that I keep hidden in a storage closet, or up on my highest shelf. When you don’t know what is in those containers, it is hard to know where to begin, and I am often tempted to just go out and buy more supplies. This DIY project is the solution to that problem, and it seconds as art work on my work-space walls.
…Also, I like to tag each board with a number that will match up with the storage container where you keep your coordinating back-stock, so things are easily located.
Included in the step-by-step project instructions are two of her original 8×10 design templates.
Mary Ann Cade doesn’t only preserve silent film history, she also collects movie and television props: “It is fun to watch the program and see if you can see the item worn on the show by an actor or actress or see the piece as part of the set decoration. It also makes one pay attention to other things going on during a particular scene instead of just the actors. The fact that a famous person or someone I admire or respect held that piece, touched that piece, is also quite exciting.”
Among her recent acquisitions, glamorous jewelry from one of my favorite films, Holiday Inn (1942). (I’ve always preferred it to White Christmas (1954), which was really just a remake — or at least a cannibalized movie “update” that’s not as good as the original.) Here are the brooch and earrings from the classic film that Cade now owns:
As the collector herself point out, “The neat thing about jewelry or wardrobe is that one can wear it too instead of it sitting on a shelf collecting dust and taking up space.”