Category Archives: Features

Native American Red Stone Pipes

Native American Red Stone Pipes

By William A. Turnbaugh, Ph.D. Native American traditions and mythology highlight the regard that the New World’s people have long held for their smoking pipes. Links between the tobacco pipe, the gods and the tribe stand forth in the belief systems of many American Indian societies. For most, their pipes symbolized group identification and cosmic […]

Cigar Tip Cutters and Lighters of the Late 19th Century and Early 20th Century

Cigar Tip Cutters and Lighters of the Late 19th Century and Early 20th Century

By Michael Eckles Preparing to smoke a fine cigar can be a long and luxurious process that involves a series of steps and accessories to ensure it will smoke as intended. Two of the most important tools for the cigar aficionado, and for today’s collector, are the cigar cutter and lighter. From the end of […]

The Early History of Cigarettes in America

The Early History of Cigarettes in America

By Richard Elliot When Christopher Columbus reached the West Indies in 1492, the natives greeted him with fruit, wooden spears and “certain dried leaves which gave off a distinct fragrance.” The Spanish sailors in Columbus’ crew appreciated the fruit but threw away the dried leaves not knowing what they were for. A few weeks later, […]

White House China

White House China

Excerpted with permission from Official White House China From the 18th to the 21st Centuries by William G. Allman The house in which the President of the United States lives has always had a great fascination for American citizens who have come to feel they share in the ownership of the Executive Mansion. Throughout its […]

The Royal Connection

The Royal Connection

By Judy Gonyeau When Queen Elizabeth was preparing to celebrate her 90th birthday, a beautiful set of china was commissioned by the Royal Collection Trust, which is dedicated to preserving European royal art collections. But how does one go about creating exquisite tableware fit for a Queen? With regard to commemorating key events, the final […]

What is China?

What is China?

Ceramics, in its broadest term, defines the art of making any object from clay by baking it. Just as the term “vehicle” can mean car, airplane, or spaceship, the term “ceramics” includes a like number of variations, either in design or materials. Basically, the chemical composition of china is a combination of clay, kaolin, feldspar, […]

The Well-Dressed Window: Curtains at Winterthur

The Well-Dressed Window: Curtains at Winterthur

“I feel very strongly that the curtains, bed hangings, etc. will make all the difference in the house. If you knew the many hours I spent trying to get just the right folds etc. in the different curtains in my house, I think you would appreciate that they can only be made by the best […]

History and Care: The Importance of Provenance and Condition in Today's Quilt Market

History and Care: The Importance of Provenance and Condition in Today's Quilt Market

By Brenda Hornsby Heindl On the night my grandmother passed away, I learned that she had been trying to finish a quilt for me which she started when I was born. I will never sell it, and it always brings me an emotional tie to a family member who is no longer alive. The market […]

Printed Fashions: Textiles for Clothing and Home

Printed Fashions: Textiles for Clothing and Home

by Kim Ivey Senior curator of textiles and historic interiors Colonial Williamsburg Foundation Exhibit Introduction The exhibition Printed Fashions: Textiles for Clothing and Home at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, one of the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg, showcases a century of printed textiles from India, Great Britain, and Continental Europe, dating from the […]

Ocean Liners: Glamour, Speed, and Style

Ocean Liners: Glamour, Speed, Style

by Daniel Finamore and George Schwartz In July 1840, RMS Britannia departed Liverpool for the voyage that would initiate transatlantic steamship service on a regular schedule. On arrival in Boston, owner Samuel Cunard and the ship’s captain made a point of heading up to Salem for a visit to the museum of the East India […]