• 12 Jan
    2010

North American Hooked Rugs: The Indigenous Folk Art

Since the middle of the 19th century, the practice of making hooked rugs have come in and out of fashion several times. Each time hooked rugs came back, the advancements in technology—the backing fabric, the yarn, the colors, commercial patterns—gave the finished rugs a definite period look. Today, hooked rugs have a large collectible following. […]

Read More
  • 5 Jan
    2010

Circus Toys Delight Collectors as well as Children

The circus has always been a popular theme for children’s toys, but these toys are seldom sought after by circus collectors. The exceptions are toys that have a direct link to actual traveling shows or circus exhibits. Often, these toys are licensed by the show. For more information on licensed items, see my story titled“The […]

Read More
  • 5 Jan
    2010

The Qings’ Little Masterpieces: Snuff Bottles

Contact with the West greatly influenced Chinese applied arts, none more so than the culture pertaining to tobacco-related habits. But while smoking was officially castigated, the taking of snuff became extremely popular, and culminated in a miniature new art form: the snuff bottle. When smoking was introduced into China by Portuguese traders in the early […]

Read More
  • 27 Dec
    2009

Horology in the Movies: ‘The Hudsucker Proxy’

Time, horology and the looming presence of an enormous tower clock take center stage in the classic 1994 romantic comedy “The Hudsucker Proxy.” Directed by Joel and Ethan Coen (“Fargo,” “No Country For Old Men”) and co-written by Sam Raimi (“Spiderman”), “The Hudsucker Proxy” is a witty, Capra-esque morality tale about fresh-faced Norville Barnes (Tim […]

Read More
  • 21 Dec
    2009

Dillinger Connection Sets $41,000 Price for $150 Hamilton Watch

It’s not often that the belongings of someone as infamous as John Dillinger come up for sale. This month Heritage Auctions listed 11 items attributed to Dillinger, including two pocket watches and a wristwatch—one a gift from his father, the other an Art Deco Hamilton actually carried by Dillinger when he was gunned down by […]

Read More
  • 21 Dec
    2009

Barkcloth: The Quintessential Mid-Century Modern Fabric

For many of us, it doesn’t seem that long ago that we couldn’t wait to get rid of those heavy floral drapes that our parents and grandparents had. Now, if only we had them back! Barkcloth fabric, which was all the rage for drapes, upholstery and other interior decorating from the 1930s to the 1960s, […]

Read More
  • 15 Dec
    2009

All Knotted Up – Tatting Laces All Sorts of Antique Linens

Tatting is a unique type of knotted lace that was popular from the 19th century through the middle of the 20th century. It is now enjoying a resurgence in popularity, as needle workers are forming groups, sharing patterns and creating tatted doilies and trim. Tatting, which is considered a lace, is done with a tatting […]

Read More
  • 15 Dec
    2009

Familiar But Obscure Furniture Forms – A Primer

This entry deals with furniture forms which are probably familiar visually but whose original appellations may escape you at the moment. Instead of resorting to more colloquial expressions such as “X-chair” and “tall buffet,” the following traditional names for familiar objects may come in handy. CELLARETTE – Originally, this was the very deep drawer found […]

Read More
  • 14 Dec
    2009

Preserving Holiday Decorations: Proper Storage is the Key

Many of us have antique Christmas ornaments and decorations that were passed down by mothers and grandmothers. Hopefully, yours are in good condition, considering their age, but if you have some that have suffered damage from handling and storage, there are ways to return them to their original lustrous look. But you can take steps […]

Read More
  • 7 Dec
    2009

Unhappy Trails: Cowboy Heroes Fade Away as Fans Head to that Great Corral in the Sky

“My heroes have always been cowboys, And, they still are, it seems. Sadly, in search of, but one step in back of, Themselves and their slow-movin’ dreams” —Lyrics by Sharon Vaughn My heroes are cowboys, but not the real-life cowboys who rode the western plains. My partners are on the silver-screen; B-movie cowboys and 1950s […]

Read More