Welcome to the NOVA-Antiques Blog
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
We stumbled upon a website by a man named Kevin in Portland, Oregon. He has accumulated over 200 different cigarette lighters of different makes and models. His favorites, not to our surprise, seem to be the Art Deco style lighters from the mid-1930’s, like the one pictured. This Ronson lighter features a Rondelight Babyball lighter being held by a Ballerina dancer in chrome.
NOVA-Antiques Newsletter Archive – December 22, 2005 . . . .
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
NAPCO has made much merchandise over the years including decorative glass, figurines, wall planters, ashtrays and even cookie jars, but their claim to fame and their most popular product even today is the Lady Head vase. Lady Head vases were originally designed to be used by florists but became very popular collectibles. The Head Vase was usually in the shape of beautiful, famous women including Jackie Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe and Lucille Ball. Lady Head vases can be purchased by collectors for as little as $50 with some of the more expensive examples going for thousands.
Monday, July 28, 2008
Opalescent glass is a semi-opaque pressed or hand blown colored glass that has a milky haze to it. Adding arsenic to the glass in its molten state makes it opalescent, although not poisonous. Opalescent glass became very popular and many companies, including Fenton, Northwood, and Hobbs, started producing a lot of merchandise in different styles and patterns. Other companies in different parts of the world also started producing the glass including Davidson and Sowerby Glass in England.
It is easy to collect opalescent glass because it can range in price from inexpensive to moderately priced. The blue opalescent glass bowl pictured at the top of this page was made by the Jefferson Glass Company in the many loops pattern and usually sells at antiques and collectibles shows for between $30 and $40. The blue opalescent vase pictured on the here was made at the turn of the century by Sowerby Glass of England in the Piasa Bird pattern and retails for about $120 to $160. In either case, both are very beautiful pieces of antique and vintage collectible art glass that would be attractive in any home or office.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Mr. Vlosich has taken Etch a Sketch drawing to a higher level and it all started in 1989 when on a trip to Washington D.C., he started drawing the U.S. Capitol on his Etch a Sketch. He has now been perfecting his method of art and has been featured on many television programs to include, Inside Edition and American Journal as well on many news programs on all the major networks. He has created portraits of many different celebrities to include, President Clinton, Elvis Presley and the cast of the Andy Griffith Show. His works, which can take anywhere from 50 to 70 hours to produce, are just unbelievable. Click on the picture above to view his amazing work . . . .
NOVA-Antiques Newsletter Archive December 1, 2005 . . . .
Saturday, July 26, 2008
James Joseph Brown who had the distinction of many titles, including The Godfather of Soul was also known as the Hardest Working Man in Show Business. He was born in Barnwell, South Carolina. His professional career began in 1953 and he quickly ascended the popular music charts to become one of the most influential figures of the genre with hit songs like “Papas Got a Brand New Bag” and “I Got You (I Feel Good).” James Brown died at in 2006 at the age of 73 but the mystique of this legendary performer will live on through his music and now through his memorabilia as well.
Friday, July 25, 2008
People that collect matchboxes, matchbooks and matchbox labels are called Phillumenists and their hobby is referred to as Phillumeny, a word which was first coined in 1943 by British collector Marjorie S. Evans. Many people in different areas of the world collect all manner of covers and matchboxes, but most stick to what they know best and that is generally what was common for their particular area of the world. An example being matchbook covers which are more collectible here in the U.S. than in say Europe or the Middle East.
In the 1830’s match safes were invented for the sole purpose of keeping matches safe from moisture and to have a handy friction surface where the match could be struck. They were very popular during the Victorian Era and were made of many different materials and many were intricately designed and ornately decorated. Some are so beautiful they are nothing less than a priceless piece of art. The pictured match safe in the shape of a grass hut, measures 1.5” x 2.5” and was recently sold on eBay for $585.
In the early 1500’s many German municipalities had passed laws governing the covering of food and drink, thus the hinged lid on what was once a mug. In addition, German beer halls also began to flourish at about the same time and people began buying personal steins that they would take to these halls. The practice of keeping a stein at your local tavern is still done in certain parts of Germany. This brought about the ornate and beautiful steins we collect today.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
For those who don’t know, The Albright-Knox Art Gallery has the most “modern important collection of modern and contemporary art outside of the Museum of Modern Art,” according to Charles Banta, president of the gallery board. The building, which was started in 1890 by John J. Albright and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is impressive on its own, but the collections donated by philanthropists A. Conger Goodyear, Seymour Knox and now Count Giuseppe Panza di Biumo make it one of the most impressive galleries in the world with one of the most impressive collections of modern and contemporary art in the world.
Reportedly, Panza came to Buffalo last fall under the pretense of supervising the installation and display of his private collection of modern art at the Museum. The exhibit of his artwork, which is both large and impressive, was to have been from November to this past February. This past week his true intentions became known when 71 paintings, installations and sculptures became a partial gift to the museum. This exhibition spans a 40 year period leading up to the 1960’s and meshes well with the museums primary holdings which include much post 1960 modern abstract art. The worth of the partial Panza collection is valued at more than $3 million.
In the second piece of good news coming from the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Heather Pesanti was hired as assistant curator of contemporary art. Ms. Pesanti has a lengthy resume and was most recently with the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh and before that was with the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art. According to reports, she will be focusing her skills and abilities on the museum’s collection of modern and contemporary art, which means she will probably be working closely with the Panza collection that was just acquired.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
This ancient piece of art is actually an ornament called an acroterion which normally decorates a sarcophagi. Sarcophagi were most often designed to remain above ground, and thus were often ornately carved, decorated or elaborately constructed. Some were built to be freestanding, as a part of an elaborate tomb or series of tombs, while others were intended for placement in crypts. Some experts claim that this particular piece may be from about 400 BC and may bring in more than $50,000 at auction.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
In the 1920’s, Madame Alexander’s husband Philip took over the operation of the business so that Madame could concentrate mainly on the designing and accessorizing of the dolls. Toy store operator FAO Schwartz was one of Madame Alexander’s first customers and remains one today. If you look up FAO Schwartz on the Internet today, you will notice that they have a whole section devoted exclusively to Madame Alexander Dolls.
Madame Alexander borrowed many of her designs from movies of the period such as Alice in Wonderland, Little Women and later Gone With The Wind. In fact, Disney and Madame Alexander Doll Company are still partners to this day. However, Madame also based some of her dolls on her own family. One of her most popular lines, the Wendy Ann, was named after her granddaughter and the William was named after grandson William Birnbaum.
NOVA-Antiques Newsletter Archive November 3, 2005 . . . .
Monday, July 21, 2008
Sunday, July 20, 2008
The Lefton China Company produced many things over the years including cookie jars, figurines, head vases and teapots that are highly prized by collectors. The quality of the goods that this company has produced over the years has been generally accepted as good. Lefton China continued to import porcelain products from Japan until the mid-1970’s, after which they started importing from Taiwan and Malaysia. In 2005, OMT enterprises purchased the company but Lefton products live on for the collector.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
According to bobbleheads.com, the first figurines that resembled bobble head dolls came from Germany and were called “nodders.” These “nodders” were usually 6 to 8 inches tall and their names come from the fact that a spring allows the head to bob or nod atop the body. Although bobble head popularity has ebbed and tide in the past, the current bobble head craze that has sprung within the past ten years was fueled by a San Francisco Giants marketing promotion in 1999. However, as I see it, if they can capture her good looks, no bobble head doll in the past or future will be as beautiful as the Lindsay Czarniak bobble head.
Friday, July 18, 2008
In 1941, Charles married Ray Kaiser, another student at Cranbrook and moved to Los Angeles, California. Together this team went on to design more chairs and other furniture, but are more renowned for designing and building the Eames House, which was constructed on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The house was constructed of prefabricated steel parts and is still considered a milestone of modern architecture. Charles died in St. Louis in 1978 and Ray continued their work until she passed in 1989.
NOVA-Antiques Newsletter Archives, September 29, 2005 . . . .
Thursday, July 17, 2008
The Georgia O’Keefe Museum located in Santa Fe, New Mexico is probably the best place to get the full effect of her great artwork. It is steward to over fifty percent of all her collection. The museum website also has slideshows of many of her works, which is as close as I will probably ever get to the southwest. Closer to home and an exhibition that I am sure to attend, “Georgia O’Keefe and Ansel Adams: American Affinities” will be at the Smithsonian American Art Museum from September 26 through January 4, 2009. This exhibit will also travel to the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco. In addition, “Georgia O’Keefe and the Camera: The Art of Identity” is currently on exhibit at the Portland Maine Museum of Art.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
His sons joined the business and Mr. Thonet passed away in 1871, but by 1900, the Thonet Family had production factories all over Europe. The patent for the process expired in 1869 and many imitations flooded the market. However, it is nice to know that most original Thonet chairs are labeled and marked.
NOVA-Antiques Newsletter Archives September 15, 2005 . . . .
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
A bat also belonging to the Sultan of Swat, as Ruth was known, also sold for $195,000. The bat was personally signed for former Broadway star Tessa Kosta. Before this, Babe Ruth memorabilia that has sold at auction include the bat he used to hit his first home run at Yankee stadium. This bat brought in more than $1.26 million in 2004 at a Sotheby’s auction.
Monday, July 14, 2008
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Clarice had much ambition to become a designer and in 1928 launched the Bizarre line of pottery. The pottery resembled its name, with its bold and exuberant designs, but they were stamped with her name and quickly became popular. Now collectors clamor to discover one of her works. One of her decorative platters recently sold at auction $72,000. The Designer, Clarice Cliff, passed away in 1972.
NOVA-Antiques Newsletter Archives - September 1, 2005 . . . .
Saturday, July 12, 2008
I can hear the jokes already, “Buffalo? . . . only thing they have up there is snow and cold.” But the jokesters would be wrong. People who have never visited Buffalo do not know what they are missing. For starters, Buffalo has Buffalo Wings. You can get chicken wings anywhere around the country, but you can only get the authentic Buffalo Wings in the city of their birth. You have not had chicken wings until you have eaten them at Duff’s or from LaNova Pizzeria.
And speaking of pizzerias, there is no place like home for the most delicious mouth watering pizza pie. People would argue that New York and Chicago have the best pizzas but if you have ever visited or lived in the Queen City, you know that Buffalo’s pizzas are the best. Trust me when I tell you, I have been around the country and in a lot of other countries and you will never find the same taste that you would get from a Mr. Pizza or Just Pizza. Mr. Pizza has been around for a long time and I remember we ordered from them when I was a kid and the cheese would just pull away from the crust as you bit into it.
But, I digress. The Taste of Buffalo is the second largest “taste” in the country, second only to Chicago and it attracts close to half a million people every July. It was originally started in 1984 and part of the proceeds benefit a local charity. The Taste of Buffalo is held in downtown Buffalo along Delaware Avenue in the Chippewa entertainment district and over 50 restaurants, mostly local, participate. There are usually more than 150 food types to sample from including, Caribbean jerk chicken, sweet potato fries and my favorite pastelillos.
In addition to all the food, The Taste of Buffalo also has many family centered events including face painting and clowns for the kids as well as two stages with live music and local entertainment. It also hosts a large contingent of local wineries for those with that type of palate. And so as I sit here in our nation’s capital today, thinking of things I need or want to do this weekend, the one thing that that I want to do is too far away to do.
While all of my brother and sister Buffalonians are enjoying their food festival, the best I can do is close my eyes and think back at all the good times and good food that I had at past Taste of Buffalo events. I can smell the grills and the Italian sausages, the ovens and the three cheese steak pizzas and I can hear the corks as they come off bottle with McCarthyizm playing in the background.
Friday, July 11, 2008
Parrish prints are a hot commodity even today. The print on the left titled, “Boy on a Swing,” in its original frame was recently sold on eBay for just over $182. Other collectible works by this artist include the calendars that he created for Edison Mazda and illustrations that he created for different publications in his younger days. Mr. Parrish was born in 1870 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, retired in 1960, and passed away in 1966.
NOVA-Antiques Newsletter Archives August 18, 2005 . . . .
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Christie’s of London reported some record breaking sales yesterday for art that had been long lost. First, three sketches by the Spanish master Francisco Goya sold for more than $8 million. The sketches had been “lost” for about 130 years. I don’t believe lost is the right word, these sketches were last auctioned off in 1877 and were sold yesterday by a private Swiss collection. The term lost probably means that they were kept in the same family for all those years. The sketches were in exceptional condition and were part of the Goya’s private albums.Of the three sketches, the one titled Down They Come brought in the most money at about $4.5 million, which is a record for a Goya work on paper. Repentance came in second with about $1.9 million and The Constable Lampinos Stitched Inside a Dead Horse came in at about $1.5 million. Pre-sale estimates had all three bringing in a total of $2 million; imagine everyone’s surprise when just one brought in more than double that amount.
Later yesterday, a painting by French artist Jean Antoine Watteau, which had been missing of for about 200 years, sold for a record $12.4 million. The painting titled La Surprise is an oil on panel measuring about 14 inches. This painting was truly lost in the sense that the owners did not know that it was the original. They were stunned to find out that the painting they thought was a copy was the real thing.
The painting, which was done in 1718, was found by a Christie’s specialist in the corner of cottage room. as he was going through the contents of the cottage for auction estimates. The record price was three times what the experts expected to get for the painting that featured a musician with a guitar and two lovers. The last documented auction for this painting had been in 1801 and was bequeathed in 1848.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
The Highway 127 Corridor Sale, which is headquartered in Jamestown, Tennessee, has been around since 1987 when a county executive named Mike Walker had an idea bring tens of thousands of visitors off of the main highways and into the heartlands of the states of Kentucky and Tennessee. This event continues to grow not only in the number of collectors attracted to it, but with the number of vendors and sellers.
Monday, July 7, 2008
A recent Satsuma plate that we acquired from my mother featured a beautiful pair of peacocks; however a lot of the Satsuma pieces have gorgeous floral designs. Satsuma pottery was later mass produced and the style copied not only by other areas of Japan, but in England as well. For this reason, prices of Satsuma pottery can vary greatly from ten or fifteen dollars to many thousands of dollars.
NOVA-Antiques Newsletter Archives July 20, 2005 . . . .
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Of course, my brother and I could not clear enough space on the floor in the family room that evening to set up the track and play with my present so we had to wait until the next morning. I can still see us pushing the Hot Wheels cars thru the garage portion of the track that also housed “the engine.” It was nothing more than two large rubber bands spinning the cars our other side with what was hopefully enough force to send it around the singe track one complete time. If it did, the car would theoretically continue to spin around the track. Unfortunately, in most cases the cars would either stop short of the garage entrance or would careen off the side of the track onto the carpeted floor.
I’m sure that Hot Wheels, which are die cast toy cars, brought many children happiness in those times where things seemed simpler; we didn’t have video games or computers to complicate our lives. Hot Wheels were simple toys where kids had to use their imagination and creativity and were introduced in 1968 by Mattel Toys. The first car ever produced was a custom Volkswagen along with 15 other different models. Its top competitor at the time was Match Box, of which my brother and I owned some, but nothing compared to the designs of the Hot Wheels, that were designed by Harry Bentley Bradley.
Mattel will hold a kickoff ceremony at its El Segundo, California headquarters followed by a countrywide tour of life sized versions of their famous cars. You can look at the cars and join the festivities at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on August 30th, Detroit’s Automotive Hall of Fame on September 1st and at Watkins Glen Grand Prix Festival on September 5th. The celebrations will also include Hot Wheels memorabilia, autograph sessions with different designers and many other things, including the display of a one of a kind diamond encrusted Hot Wheels car created as a memento to their four billionth car.
Saturday, July 5, 2008
Friday, July 4, 2008
America was written by Samuel Francis Smith in 1831 and was first heard at a church in Newton, Massachusetts. Later, the song was sung by all school students, so much so, that as I was reading the article, the song became stuck in my head and I started to sing out loud. The flea market shopper sold the manuscript to Keya Morgan who is an art collector and handwriting expert.
The vintage firecracker paper label pictured on the left is from the 1930’s and depicts Tarzan on a tree branch with a knife and vine. This was a “registered brand of Li & Fung of Hong Kong.” It measures approximately 3” x 5.5” and sold at Hakes Americana and Collectibles Auctions of York, Pennsylvania for about $172 in 2007.
HAPPY JULY 4TH!!!
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Once America moved to power driven automobiles and aircraft, so did the cast iron toys. One of the best known cast iron toy collectors was a man name F.H. Griffith, whose collection was sold at Sotheby’s in 2000. His collection of 126 lots of cast iron toys brought in more than $600,000.
NOVA-Antiques Newsletter Archives July 7, 2005 . . . .