Welcome to the NOVA-Antiques Blog

NOVA-Antiques is the Mid Atlantic website for all things antique and collectible. Our website features antique & collectibles dealers, shops & malls; Flea Market Directory & Reviews; Monthly Antiques Show Calendar; Estate & Tag Sales Page; and our NOVA-Antiques Newsletter, which contains news, articles and information about the antiques & collectibles market. NOVA-Antiques Blog is an extension of our Newsletters.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Nostalgic and Beautiful Hood Ornaments

As has become a tradition in our family, we made our annual trip to the Historic Sully Plantation Father’s Day Car Show.  And as we have quickly learned over the past few years, this is one show that never disappoints.  The weather was great, lots of sunshine and not  a lot of humidity; many friendly people anxious to talk about their classics; and the cars themselves are just amazing to see.  Aside from the cars themselves though, I am also a fanatic of the old hood ornaments that adorn these old classics. 

Originally, these hood ornaments had a purpose; to hide the ugly piece of functional equipment called a radiator cap.  In the early years, cars had a motometer on the gas cap, which told the driver the temperature of the engine.  Later, when the temperature guage was moved inside to the dashboard, what was left was an ugly radiator cap that needed to be “prettied up.”  And thus, the hood ornament or a mascot as they are called in England, was born.

Hood ornaments, used from the 1920s to the 1950s, came in a variety of shapes and sizes.  From flying ducks to Goddesses and archers.  In the past, these hood ornaments were very elaborately done and designers and artists, such as Rene Lalique, were commissioned to produce some of the most beautiful examples.  Many were and still are associated to certain car models.  As an example, the British Jaguar automobile has a very distinct hood ornament; of course a jaguar.  This like the others has become quite a collectors’ item.

There are many people, like me, that are fascinated by these wonderful and nostalgic pieces of art.  Many collectors will pay top price for rare and hard to find hood ornaments.  A bronze ArtDeco hood ornament in the shape of a bison and signed by Alfredo Biagini recently sold on eBay for over $2000.  Lalique hood ornaments command record prices upwards of $200,000.  More common hood ornaments, which are easy to find sell for $50 to $150.

No comments: