Category Archives: Features

Antimacassars: Then and Now

Single example from one of two pairs of lace chair arm covers. Rectangular with lightly scalloped side and back edges and larger scalloped front edge. Inner rectangle with foliate decoration. Original to Castle Tucker (Wiscasset, ME). photo: Historic New England

Erica Lome, Ph.D. “Necessity is the mother of invention.” This adage certainly applied to many of the domestic objects produced in the nineteenth century that served as creative solutions to everyday problems; and for some women, one of those problems happened to be their husbands’ hair. Avoiding Disaster In 1783, a London barber named Alexander […]

Wallace Nutting: Come Into The Parlor

At Nuttinghame, Comfort and a Cat

by Mike Ivankovich   The parlor was traditionally a gathering room where family members and friends would meet, eat, socialize, and relax. Smaller and less affluent homes had the Kitchen, Dining Room, and parlor all merged-together in a single room. Larger and wealthier homes often had a separate parlor where people gathered for formal occasions […]

Charmed, I’m Sure: Big Dreams, Love, and Luck Come in Small Packages

This gold charm bracelet of Elizabeth Taylor’s charts the milestones of her extraordinary life and sold at Christie’s for $326,500 in 2011

by Judy Gonyeau, managing editor   Evidence has been brought to light that charms were perhaps first formed as far back as 75,000 years ago according to the discovery in Africa of shells being used for adornments. Moving forward to 30,000 years ago, intricately carved mammoth tusk charms were found in Germany. Back in 10,000 […]

Eisenberg Originals

Eisenberg Originals gold-plated Sinbad figural fur clip with turbaned head with pave and enamel detailing and multi-colored teardrop framed rhinestone dangles, circa 1940. Sold for $1,250

by Ken Hall   Eisenberg Originals are the most beautiful and brilliant pieces of costume jewelry no one’s ever heard of. The massive collection of someone who literally wrote the book on Eisenbergs was recently auctioned off to many lucky buyers who, thanks to her, know what the excitement is all about. A Collection—and Specialty—Begins […]

Cameos – Wearable Sculpture in Relief

Cameos come in all sizes, forms, materials, subjects, and colors. This is an example of a carnelian shell cameo brooch

by Maxine Carter-Lome, publisher   Cameos are one of the most widely recognized types of jewelry. Many of us may even own a piece, most probably handed down from a family member. These miniature relief sculptures have a history that pre-dates the birth of Christ by 300 years, with origins in the ancient carving traditions […]

O Christmas Tree: And the Inspired Collectible Christmas Tree Pins

Art tree with sweeping branches, $20-30

Story & Photos by Donald-Brian Johnson       What do you do on the day after Thanksgiving? Some folks start baking Christmas cookies (or eating them). Others begin unraveling myriad strings of Christmas lights in preparation for the annual holiday decorating marathon. And then there are those who don their first Christmas tree pins […]

Horns of Plenty: Decorated Military Powder Horns in Colonial America

William Williams Jr. Powder Horn attributed to the carver John Bush. Historic Deerfield, 2005.20.6

by Erica Lome, Ph.D.     On a cool April morning in 1775, Amos Barrett readied his musket and prepared for combat. Earlier that day, 23-year-old Barrett had awoken to the news that 700 British Regulars were marching from Boston to Concord. They were planning to seize and destroy military supplies stockpiled by “rebellious” Provincial colonists […]

Two Collectors, One Passion: Pawprints on Paper

The Game of Black Cat

By Margaret Carpenter and Alice Muncaster   Is it possible for cats to spark a friendship between two people miles (and states) apart? Absolutely! Thanks to the Antique Advertising Association of America (AAAA), we (Margaret Carpenter and Alice Muncaster) discovered a mutual interest that started an online friendship of purrfect proportions: the use of cats […]

Beswick: A Special Breed of Porcelain Animals

Rare Beswick model of a girl on grey pony 1499 with light green jacket – top auction estimate was $1,000, sold for $1,600 in 2018.

by Maxine Carter Lome, Publisher From 1896 when James Wright Beswick and his sons John and Gilbert first established their earthenware pottery business, “J. W. Beswick,” at the Gold Street works in Longton, England, until the early 1970s, when it became part of Royal Doulton, Beswick (pronounced BESS-ick – Beswick is a surname in the […]

The Horse Fair: A Celebration of Rosa Bonheur’s Equestrian Masterpiece

Rosa Bonheur (1822-1899) The Horse Fair, 1852–55, Oil on canvas, Metropolitan Museum of Art

By Erica Lome, Ph. D. Rosa Bonheur (1822-1899) The Horse Fair, 1852–55, Oil on canvas, Metropolitan Museum of Art   If you took a stroll through the European Paintings galleries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, you’d undoubtedly encounter Rosa Bonheur’s Le Marché aux Chevaux, or The Horse Fair, one of the finest achievements of […]