There are many different types of tables to consider decorating with

Dinner tables, coffee tables and even side tables can be seen in pretty much every house nowadays.  Did you know there are many, many different types of tables that you can decorate your house or apartment with?  Here’s a few for you to consider:

Flip-top table—This is a table that has two leaves, and the leaves are one on top of the other.

Pie-crust table—This is a small, round table having a top with its edge carved or molded in scallops. This type of table is common in 18th-century English furniture.

Gate-leg table—A gate-leg table is a type of table that was first introduced in England in the 16th century. The table top has a fixed section and one or two hinged leaves on the sides.  This type of table also has two legs that swing out to hold the leaves up.  When the leaves are not in use, the legs fold in and the leaves fold down below the fixed section and hang vertically.

This is just a small sampling of what’s out there.  What kinds of tables have you run across or have used?

Sulfide marbles—what exactly are they?

Cats Eye, Steelies, and Latticino Core are all different types of marbles that you’ll run across.  One of my favorite type of marble is what’s called a sulfide.

Sulfide marbles were made from the late 1800’s into the early 1900’s.  More often than not, they are the size of a shooter.  This type of marble is made of glass with a chalk inside–and that piece comes in a wide variety of shapes from an animals, buildings, people, flowers and even numbers.

Sulphide Shooter Marble With Lamb

The most common type of glass that you’ll see is clear, but different colors like green and blue have been found.

There are some things that you need to remember when you are either starting to collect these.  Since this was a shooter (and sulfides were actually played with), there is a very good chance that there will be some surface chips or cracks in the marble.

Another thing to remember is that the chalk piece was inserted into molten glass when these were made.  The chalk piece stands a good chance of breaking in half when the marble is made.

Beware though—there are modern varieties of sulfides out on the market.  It’s easy to tell the old from the new marbles when you are looking at them.  The quality of the glass and chalk figure are of a better quality on the new marbles.  Pay attention to the chalk piece itself—it’s almost always painted on the new ones too.

What kinds of Sulfide marbles have you run across?

Sometimes directions help out with collecting paper money

Directions play a part in quite a few different ways in collecting, and this definitely includes collecting paper money from the early 1800’s.  During this time, it was up to the banks to produce paper money–they would file for a charter with the United States government, and this would allow the bank to produce their own paper money.

Collectors often look for paper money in a couple of ways for their collections.  They will look for a certain bank, city, or even state that the money was produced in.

If there was a major metropolitan area like Boston or Philadelphia, the more banks were likely to be there.  The east coast of the United States has quite a few different banks that offered paper money.  This was true going west to just past the Mississippi river.  The farther west you went, the fewer banks you would run into.

The gold rush in California that started in 1848 was what helped bring some banks (and eventually a United States mint in San Francisco) that far west.

When you travel up north (in places like North Dakota, Washington State, and even Alaska) they have very few banks at all.  There have been a few bills (collectors also call them “notes”) turn up for a few banks in these states, and are highly sought after.

You need to be careful when you are looking for paper money from the early 1800’s to add to your collection—there are quite a few outright counterfeit bills out there.  Not only that, there were also a lot of bills in circulation in the 1800’s that were counterfeit.  One reason was that there were many different designs that were made by the different banks out there making it harder for you to know if it was real or not when the bills were new.

Another reason is because there were a ton of banks that failed for one reason or another in the 1800’s (the money from these banks are also called “broken bank notes”).

What counterfeiters would do is to produce a piece of paper money with a bogus design or money that was from a bank that either was out of business or didn’t even exist.

There were lists for shut down banks and fake bills that circulated to merchants or vendors, but the lists were often out dated after a while.  It also took a while to get these lists circulated since mail had to go by stage coach, train or horse.

What fun direction can your collection go?

Reader’s help needed in identifying this mystery Razorback!

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Help!  We need some reader’s help with identifying this really cool piece of pottery!

This really cool razorback belongs to Etsy Vintage Team member Kultur (they also have a  shop on Etsy, which can be seen here).

What they need help with is who made this really cool pottery piece.  There is a maker’s mark on the back leg, but they could not find anything about it either in a book or online.  You can see the mark in the photo above, and you can also see the photo on Flikr here.

This looks pretty close to Jaru pottery, McCoy, Bauer, and even Gladding Mcbean, but nothing has turned up to confirm who made this terrific piece of pottery.

If you also know when this great piece was made would also be a terrific help as well.

Any help is greatly appreciated!

 

Ever see a Victorian Red Tomato Server?

At a local flea market, I ran across a box of spoons not too long ago.  When I started looking through them, I found quite a few utensils that really got my interest.  The Victorian Era was pretty interesting when it came to the serving pieces that were made, and one of those serving pieces was in that box I bought.

That piece is a red tomato server and is marked WM ROGERS MFG ORIGINAL ROGERS.  The server has the LA FRANCE pattern and dates to the early 1900’s.

tomato server

Here’s the kicker—there are two different types of tomato servers.  There’s one for red tomatoes and for green.

There’s a big difference to the server, and it’s that the spade on the green tomato server is not perforated. The red tomatoes can be juicy, so the perforations lets the juice drip through.  Green tomatoes are not nearly as messy so you don’t have to worry as much about spilling tomato juice on the table cloth.

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A modern twist on this type of server is that you could use the green tomato server to serve fried green tomatoes.  You can see the red tomato server in my Etsy store here.

What kinds of Victorian serving pieces have you run across?

Early Vintage Tea Towels

GUEST AUTHOR, CINDY FUNK FROM NEATOKEEN

When I began collecting vintage towels, I was drawn to the beautifully colored, intricate designs of the 1950s and 60s, when the screen printing process was very sophisticated and elaborate designs were the norm.  As my foray into collecting continued, I discovered that I was equally attracted to the simple one and two-color designs of the 1920s and 30s from the Art Deco period.  Their charm is in their simplicity and ability to paint a complete picture with little color.
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Linen tea towels made their appearance in Victorian England in the second half of the 19th century in service of tea, hence the name “tea towel”. They were used as tray liners, covers to keep tea hot and, of course, utilized to dry precious ceramic teapots without scratching or leaving behind lint.  Often these towels were elaborately embroidered by ladies of the household, becoming an integral part of the tea service itself which was passed down through generations.
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When household linens began to be mass produced, block printing by hand was utilized to decorate towels.  The monochromatic nature of these early printed tea towels often created striking designs.  One-color, tonal variations of one color and then two-color towels were produced with successful results.  They have a lot of character and depth even with the lack of detail and simple color scheme.
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As time went on, towel designs were machine printed using more sophisticated methods producing multicolored and intricate designs. However, I’ve discovered that early printed tea towels deserve as much attention as their fancy successors.
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If I had to choose a favorite, I would pick the lanky maid in yellow.
Which one do you like best?

Books with Library Bindings

Guest author, Amy from Pistilbooks

In the bookselling world, ex-library books are often maligned and scorned as being worthless or beneath the highfalutin standards of many antiquarian booksellers.  While it’s true ex-library books are marked by the library (some would say defaced) – with stamps, stickers, bar codes, pockets, and the like, I find these very markings and institutional traces to be charming and sometimes beautiful.

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I’m talking mostly about older, specially bound,  library books in this regard.  (Modern library books are often simply regular books straight from the publisher with the dust jacket encased or laminated in a plastic cover, taped to the boards, with stamps and a pocket for the due-date card added, though now even the pockets are obsolete and absent.   These do not particularly appeal to me unless the dust jacket itself is a nice example of vintage dust jacket art.)

Many library books have been specially bound in a library binding of sturdy buckram cloth.  These are the books that are often embellished with  the binder’s metallic label inside the front or back cover.  Buckram is a sturdy, shiny coated cotton or part-cotton cloth that is used for library bindings.  The cloth can be a solid color or a multi-colored pattern and is easy to wipe clean after marred by borrowers’ dirty hands with a damp cloth.  Often children’s library books previous to the seventies had an illustration printed on the buckram cover.

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Some even older library books I’ve come across have cloth or leather spines and corners, but decorated  paper covered boards – perhaps marbelized paper, or paper printed to look like wood.

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Some of the library markings that have their own special appeal are the perforated stamp, spelling out the library name in tiny holes, the stickers from the maker of library bindings – often in a metallic paper, with cool names like “Bound to Stay Bound,” notices and warnings of fines to the library borrower, and instructions on the proper treatment of books.

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Cool date-due card from the 1940s amd ugly bar code