What style is that?

When I started to sell vintage and antique items, I immediately heard some names of the styles of design that have been used over the years.  The first area that I found out that this applies to is furniture.  Here’s a brief explanation of some of the styles:

Queen Anne—this is a period in English furniture design that dates from 1702 to 1714.  This style is characterized by the adaptation of the Baroque style and the extensive use of the cabriole leg.  Walnut was the dominant wood used by furniture makers.

Renaissance—this is a revival of interest in classical design.  This style had it’s beginning in Italy during the 14th century, and it continued to spread throughout Europe until the 17th century.  The design is simple in structure—it has a generous use of classical ornament (such as the acanthus leaf, animal forms, and pilasters).

Georgian—this is a period of design in English furniture that was used right after the Queen Anne style, and it ran from 1714 to 1795.  Some of the better-known designers were Hepplewhite, Sheraton, Chippendale, and even the Adams Brothers.  Mahogany and walnut were the chief woods used by furniture makers (but other woods have been known to be used).

This is only a small sample of the styles that are out there.  What types of styles have you heard about?

Two Cents worth? Yep.

Did you know that there was actually a 2 cent coin that was produced by the United States mint?

2 cent coin
Photo is courtesy of Wikipedia.com

The Two Cent piece officially ran from 1864 to 1872, but there was a copy made for collectors in 1873.

The economic turmoil of the American Civil War caused any and all government-issued coins to vanish from circulation, they were hoarded very heavily by the public. Even the Indian Head cent—which was made of bronze—was pretty much gone from circulation.  The Coinage Act Of 1864 authorized the cent to switch to a bronze composition and the production of the Two Cent coin.

Even though there were other mints actively producing coins at the time, this coin was only produced at the mint based in Philadelphia.  What this means is that there will not be a mint mark anywhere–which is the way this mint was marking the coins until 1980.

Two of the more famous die varieties happened in 1864.  One is called the “large motto,” and the other is called the “small motto.”  These two varieties deal with the motto, “In God We Trust.”  The words IN, GOD, and TRUST has some small differences, while the word WE has the most differences.  It all hinges on the size of it, and it is very noticeable.  The WE on “large motto” is larger than the WE on the “small motto.”

 

2 cent coin large motto
This is the LARGE MOTTO variety, the photo is courtesy of Wikipedia.com
2 cent coin small motto
This is the SMALL MOTTO variety, the photo is courtesy of Wikipedia.com

The “small motto” is much scarcer than the “large motto.”  The best idea is to keep an eye out for it in case you might walk across a case full of coins at a mall, or happen to be at a coin shop or show.

Have you seen one of these really cool coins?

Etsy Vintage Team Store Highlight: Starfish Collectibles

This week’s Etsy Vintage Team Store Highlight is Starfish Collectibles that’s run by Gwen.

Gwen has always been a collector of unique things. Her love affair with household vintage items began in her 30’s when she started shopping in second hand stores to supply stuff for her home. She discovered a whole new world that had existed before she was even born- the 1950’s and earlier! Gwen loved looking, finding, and fitting new found treasures into her home. She loves things that are cute, have character and a bit of a history.

One of the great things that Gwen has found is this terrific Whirligig.

Wood Hand Made Whirligig Man Saw Wood Folk Art Propeller Garden Outdoor Decoration Wind Toy

I love that it looks like a man sawing a piece of wood.  You can see it in Gwen’s shop here.  Another great item in the Starfish Collectibles shop is this great book by Winston S. Churchill.

Winston S. Churchill

The book is titled PAINTING AS A PASTIME and dates to the 1960’s.  You can see this great book in their shop here.

As a matter of fact, you can check out everything in the Starfish Collectibles shop here.  Head on over and check them out!

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?

Etsy Vintage Team Store Highlight: WhimZies

This week’s Etsy Vintage Team Store Highlight is the WhimZies store that’s run by Bev.  Bev has been a folk artist for over 30 years and finally realized that she has many more supplies than she can ever use so she decided to set up a whimzical shop on Etsy.

This way she can share some of her interesting and unusual finds. Her collection of “stuff” includes ephemera, vintage lace, patterns, books, photos, postcards, aprons and unique bits and pieces.  All of the items in her shop is perfect for altered artists.

One of these great items is this book from 1912.

tennyson-book

This book is a vintage copy of “English Readings” of Tennyson’s Idylls of the King published in 1912.  Idylls of the King, originally published between 1859 and 1885, is a cycle of twelve narrative poems by the English poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson.  You can see this terrific book in Bev’s shop here.

Another great item in the WhimZies shop is this terrific paper road map.

road-map

This fun mid-century road map is for Fulton county Ohio.  This is perfect to frame for your wall or to give as a gift, especially is someone lives in Ohio!  You can see this great conversation piece in the WhimZies shop here.

As a matter of fact, you can check out everything in the WhimZies shop here.  Head on over and check them out!

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!