Monthly Archives: August 2020

The Sears National Quilt Contest

The flyer for Sears’ Quilt Making Contest featuring the Century of Progress Building reached out to women by asking “You can ‘bake a sweet cake,’ but can you ‘sew a fine seam?’”

An essay from by Merikay Waldvogel   The Sears National Quilt Contest organized by Sears Roebuck & Co. in connection with the Chicago World’s Fair (known officially as “The Century of Progress” Exposition) was announced in the January 1933 Sears Roebuck Catalog. They offered $7,500 in prizes – including a grand prize of $1000. […]

Gavels ‘n’ Paddles: U.S. Grant slot machine, $2,640, Potter & Potter

U.S. Grant slot machine

Recent Auction Results from Near & Far By Ken Hall   A Mills figural Ulysses S. Grant 5-cent slot machine, 72 inches tall, sold for $2,640 at an Eclectible Collectible Auction held June 20 by Potter & Potter Auctions in Chicago, Ill. Also, a jazz, blues, ragtime and African American sheet music collection changed hands […]

Samplers: An Evolution of Purpose & Design

British darning sampler, signed: Frances Boyce/1780, silk on linen, 20 ¹⁄₈ x 20 ¹⁄₈” framed, courtesy

by Melody Amsel-Arieli   Samplers are pieces of fabric worked to demonstrate mastery of ornamental embroidery stitches and motifs. This fine art arose in the late Middle Ages when English nuns and needlework professionals created exquisite, gold and silver-gilt embroidered ecclesiastical and secular textiles. From about 1350, however, their quality declined. Materials became less lavish, […]

Collecting Old & Rare Books: The Not So Gentle Art of Wrapping Books

Recycled cardboard

by James Dawson   Recently I bought a somewhat valuable book from a beginning bookseller who didn’t understand how important it is to make sure books are properly wrapped to protect them from damage when they are being mailed. Here is some of our correspondence: Hello, Jim, The Jones book has shipped! I’m kind of […]

Exploring Antique Technologies: Ancient Art – Unraveling the Art of Knitting

Knitwear was the primary fabric for sporting activities in the 1920s, but with cheaper alternatives such as factory-produced sweatshirts and tracksuits gained traction, knitwear transitioned to the realm of low impact, high-end sports whose users could afford ‘fancier’ knit garments. Knitwear also transitioned to smart casual clothing, which is where we most commonly see it today. Courtesy of HoneyCombPatterns, Etsy.

by Kary Pardy Knitting is everywhere recently. Creating warm hats, scarves, wraps, sweaters, and mittens is currently a fashionable pastime for people of all ages, and skilled knitters can create art with their complex stitches and colors. When you ask people in 2020 what knitting is to them, you’re likely to get answers like “it’s […]

Millennials Moving Antique & Vintage Markets

ASHEFORD INSTITUTE – For many, especially during the time of Covid, it may come as somewhat of a surprise to think of today’s Millennial generation as having a major influence on issues related to economic substance – sans a few Instagram followers, or latte price debates – but a recent international survey of this group’s online […]

Memorial Quilts: Expressions of Remembrance

Civil War Memorial Quilt from the Quilt Index and the Massachusetts project. Each of the white strips and the stars are inscribed with the name of a Massachusetts soldier, his company and the date he enlisted.

Graveyard Quilts for Mourning By Judy Anne Breneman, Before modern medicine the loss of beloved friends and family members was all too familiar. Childbirth was dangerous and it was a rare mother who didn’t lose one or more children. Husbands were lost through war or accident. Bereavement was a part of everyday life. Ways […]

Gavels ‘n’ Paddles: Presentation pipe tomahawk, $664,200, Morphy Auctions

Presentation pipe tomahawk

Recent Auction Results from Near & Far By Ken Hall A silver-mounted and inlaid presentation pipe tomahawk signed “R. (Richard) Butler” and inscribed to “Lt. John Maclellan (sic)” sold for $664,200 at a sale of Extraordinary, Sporting & Collector Firearms held May 22-29 by Morphy Auctions in Denver, Pa. Also, Annie Oakley’s “Little Miss Sure […]