Tuesday, April 30, 2013

English Canalware Bread Bin

Color.  I like my antiques and vintage to have COLOR.

So many magazines are showing that color is not dead--and encouraging vintage and antiques buyers not to be afraid of it.
For so long the trend has been browns creams whites whites and more tan and more white.

We love color.  Dear Husbola and I have chosen to paint our walls very neutral--and let our "stuff" add the color and the pop.  I don't feel so boring when we paint a wall with the fabulously named colors that you can get nowadays.  No more "white"  Now it is "Old Prairie"  Thank you Benjamin Moore.

This crusty blue bit is vintage canalware.  In England--on the canals--there are flat bottomed long houseboats--and many people live on them year round.  They can be really dolled up with lights and decorations--and a folk art way of painting metal ware like coffee pots and water pitcher and bread bins.  Beware--it is now being reproduced.  Once you have held an old piece and a chinese made piece of dreck--you will always know the difference.  Even with your eyes closed.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

French Bed Drape--Toile de Jouy

I have a weakness for old fabrics.  Specifically old french fabrics.

In our travels over the years--we have come across old toile--and I have bought some, sold some and kept some.
This is a highlight of a french bed curtain that I picked up at the fabulous Shepton Mallet market in the UK a few years ago.  It is a great cream background, with delightful country scenes of frolicking children and milkmaids and farmers.  Everybody is happy.
This particular piece is hand stitched and dates from the early 19th century.  The patterns were meant to idealize country living and the free spirits of the french countryside.  From the folklore stories we have heard about milkmaids and the farmer's son-- I guess there was alot of frolicking going on.
This was a scallopped edge drape for the top of a bed I think.  The reverse is also covered in fabric--and not faded--which leads me to believe it was not hung in a window but in a bed.
Nowadays--these can be draped on the back of a sofa, or over a window or on a headboard.
Toile comes in a multitude of colors--and my favorites are red, blue and a sort of mulberry color.  Every good textile fair in England has some stall holder who takes fragments of toile and fashions them into pillows. 

The happy country life is still the ideal isn't it??

Monday, April 22, 2013

Vintage English Ham Stand

Don't ask me what caught my eye about these--and why I wanted to have one.
I guess because they are so quintessentially English.  A bone china ham stand.  At one time--in every UK grocery or butcher shop--you would see one of these--about 13 inches tall and HEAVY--sitting on a counter.  The big old leg bone of the ham would be jammed into the hole-leaving the meat sticking out the top.  The butcher could easily slice off the meat--and the piece displayed the meat attractively. (as attractive as a big old joint of meat can be)

I would see these periodically at English antiques fairs and markets.  Mine was purchased at that "Used To Be Fabulous Does Not Exist Anymore What a Pity" antiques fair in London--Alexander Palace. (the collective sigh you hear is from all American dealers who shopped there.)  Mine advertised Parnall and Sons Ltd.  West Smithfield London EC1  Then it also says Works Fishponds Bristol.
Then I also saw a vintage metal ham marker--and had to have that too.  I remember in my youth--that butchers used to have the metal prickly thing with the price of meat that actually was stuck in the meat product in the counter.  When you bought meat--they would remove the marker and take out your purchase--and stick the marker further toward the customer in the displace window in another piece of meat..  I imagine health code frowned upon metal meat prickie things being in the cabinet in the first place--let alone going from piece to piece.  But then--we all lived through it didn't we??
Next time you are in the "Who Cares About You The Customer" mega grocery store--give a quiet nod to when grocery shopping had STYLE.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Vaudeville Scrapbook

Continuing my cleaning out and sorting inventory phase reacquainted me with a scrapbook I bought at auction.  This scrapbook was assembled and owned by a northern Illinois vaudeville star Pearl Terry who at times was based in Aurora and Quincy Illinois.  What a story this scrapbook tells.
At various times in her life, Pearl worked with a male partner, ran a diner, operated a popcorn wagon and in her later life, performed with a very odd collection of life sized dolls that she dressed in various costumes.

The scrapbook is filled with family and professional snapshots that tell the story of a real entrepreneur whose career started in the very early 1900s.

I am not sure how this scrapbook made it to a northern Illinois farm auction-but I am glad it did.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Nothing About Antiques

Just a quick little posting to call your attention to Dear Husbola's blog called www.waterlawg.blogspot.com
He usually writes about professional issues related to his career in water and waste water law.  Don't tell him I said so--but to the law novice they can be rather--well--DRY.  (although he would be the first to tell you they were WET!)

We are so eager for spring to spring in northern Illinois--this has prompted him to write a posting that I found particularly good--and of more general interest. Thought provoking on nature and our childhoods and how delicate our natural balance is. It is the posting called The Pond from April 8.  Let me brag a bit--he is a wonderful writer and quite a softie at heart.

Oh--maybe this does have an antique element to it.  Dear Husbola drafts his postings first on a paper pad with a #2 Ticonderoga.  Remember those????

Friday, April 12, 2013

Odana Antiques Madison--Next Phase

One of our earlier posts introduced you to our selling space at Odana Antiques on Odana Road on the west side of Madison Wisconsin.  This has become the premier selling location in Madison since many of the other shops have gone out of business or have turned into dreck filled storehouses.  We have been selling there for several years now--and last winter the opportunity came up for a fabulous prime spot--and we jumped at it.

My parents live in Madison--so we are there often--and it is not a hardship to sell antiques in that city.  We have never had the luxury of selling in a shop local to our home--and to sell in this fine shop felt like a good fit.

Our space is large.  Wide and narrowish--a gallery space--which is just what we love.  The space has lots of wall space and much natural as well as spot lighting.  Perfect.

Dear Husbola is a mighty smart man.  He has actually developed quite an eye for layout--and frequently designs our show selling spaces.  He very quietly but repeatedly spoke to me about our new space--and suggested we go for the "spare" look.  Not the "jammed within an inch of its life" look that so many antique center spaces have.  He suggested that we go for several vignettes, including art work spaced sparely so that people could really see the forest from the trees of each piece.  He designed an idea where art work could be walked up to as well as furniture pairings and color coordination in the vignettes.  As a compromise--I requested a "garden area" where I would put an ever changing collections of furniture and smalls suitable for a cottage look or garden room or porch.  Then we set about putting it into motion.

Oh my.  We have had the space for one month.  We have made three trips to Madison in one month.  Knock on wood--we are sellinglikecrazy.  We have sold more in one month than in any time I can remember.  Now--antique dealers among you--yes, we are familiar with the "honeymoon syndrome" that all dealers get when they are new to a shop or space.  That would hold here--IF--we were not also selling things we have had for a long time--as well as some new things.

So says Crow Eating Beth to Dear Husbola--it is working.  Spare is more.  A table by itself--WITH NOTHING ON TOP OF IT is not a crime.  A wall with one large piece of artwork--not 50 little bits of whatever--sells the one piece of artwork.  A birdbath "we have had forever" sells when you fill it with old doorknobs and it is standing by itself.

If truth be told--we had a gangbusters show in February at the Northern Illinois Antique Dealers Association show is Rockford when we did the spare look.

Time will tell if the trend continues.  NO trend in the antiques trade continues forever.  To be continued...

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Girls Are Back In Town

I don't collect much.  Many of you already have read in this blog that I am culling out some things around our house-and they are finding new homes elsewhere.

Our indoor house projects are now over--it is time for "the girls" to be back in their places.  The girls are really forty or so vintage Hall China Company teapots.  And the girls are back in town.

Several years ago, the master woodworking husband of a dearest friend built wonderful shelves to ring our kitchen near the ceiling.  Matt made and installed gorgeous shelves to house my colorful and varied collection of hall teapots.  I collected these in the days before ebay--when you could readily find them in shops and at shows.  My first purchase at the Kane County fleamarket in 1983 was a piece of Hall China.  Love it.  Primary colors, clean lines, the kind of look that just makes you smile.

The Girls have been in storage since last summer.  They are now washed and sitting back in their spots.  I did cull out about five pieces of the more common ones that I did not love as much.  Hall made some great colors and then they made some more Blah colors.
Our kitchen is put back together. Cleaner-neater and freshly painted.  The Girls are happy to be back.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Easiest Gooey Pecan Rolls in the World

I wish I had a picture to share.  The cardinal rule of recipes on blogs is pictures.  I have no pictures.  Just a gooey empty serving dish.

Vintage recipes are great.  Just like antiques, a recipe from yesteryear can evoke memories from times past.  This past Easter--I served two vintage recipes.  One for a ham loaf with mustard-tomato horseradish sauce and this one for The Easiest Gooey Pecan Rolls in the World.

I don't "do" yeast dough.  I have no interest in mastering it it--although I have never met a warm yeast carbohydrate I did not like to eat.  So--here is my recipe--from a 1960s magazine--I can't attribute it--but certainly would give credit where credit is due if source is located.  Best part of this recipe-you make it the night before.

Mystery Vintage Magazine Make Ahead Easy Pecan Rolls

Spray a bundt pan thoroughly with non stick spray.

In bottom of bundt pan--liberally sprinkle with pecan halves.  I use 6 ounces.  More if you like.

On top of pecans place 16 frozen dough balls.  I use Rhodes frozen white dinner roll dough balls.  They will be stacking a bit on each other.

Sprinkle straight from package over the dough balls  3/4s package dry NOT INSTANT -use COOK AND SERVE butterscotch pudding mix.  Jello makes it.  Small package.

In a sauce pan over low heat-- melt 1 stick butter and 1 cup light brown sugar.  Heat till dissolved and thoroughly mix.

Pour that warm concoction over the dough balls.

That's it.  Cover with  cloth.  Leave on your counter overnight.
(Assemble the night before.  In the morning, preheat oven to 350 degreens and bake for 30 minutes on middle rack.  Run a knife around the edges and turn over on a plate.  Gorgeous presentation and Guests will be in heaven!  Use a fork and spoon to pull apart)

Easy peesy.

No More Concrete or Cast Iron Please

Dear One  and I spend many good hours wandering around looking for quirky things to sell.  There is nothing that makes a dealer smile more t...