Category Archives: Features

Crafting a Legacy: The Life and Work of Olof Althin

Dressing table made by Althin, 1900-1913 photo: private collection

by Erica Lome, Ph.D. Today, few people outside of the antiques trade recognize the name Olof Althin (1859-1920), a Swedish-born cabinetmaker active in Boston at the turn of the twentieth century. Known primarily for his beautiful carved furniture and his accurate reproductions of antiques, Althin was also responsible for restoring two of the great collections […]

The Power of Pitkins: An American Classic Uncorked

Rare Pitkin reverse swirl inkwell and flask

by Kary Pardy If patterned antique glass has ever caught your eye, you’ve likely appreciated the flowing lines and swirling, ribbed decoration of a “Pitkin” flask. The term “Pitkin” is a more recent collector’s designation that references Connecticut’s Pitkin Glass Works and their famous production of ribbed, pattern glass in the late 18th and early […]

Millifiore Glass Beads Glass: Gardens of “A Thousand Flowers”

West African peoples have adorned themselves with Venetian millefiori beads, intermixed with locally-made jewelry (left to right): blue-and-white “sand beads” made from powdered glass Vicks and Milk of Magnesia jars (Krobo and southern Ghana groups); reddish-brown bauxite, or aluminum ore, beads (Ghana); cast bronze bracelet (Baule); and cast bronze beads (Ashante).

by Sarah Turnbaugh Millefiori beads made in Venice, Italy, reached lofty technical and aesthetic heights in the late 1800s to early 1900s. The colorful, stunning-looking beads seem almost magical – then we learn that they were handmade using laborious, time-consuming methods in small factories and lone artisans’ homes. Glassworkers aptly called these seductive creations “millefiori,” […]

A World of Weaving

A carpet loom by Carl Engel with a Jacquard machine on top, ca. 1860. Photo by Dmm2va7; CC BY-SA 3.0

by Mike McLeod Just imagine a world—if you can—in which the process of weaving was never discovered. Without weaving, people from the beginning would have been wearing leather all year long or grass skirts or fig leaves, probably until cardboard or plastic was discovered. Early Stages of Weaving Throughout the ages, weaving has been used […]

Vinyl Laughter

Reality … What a Concept, 1979 At the age of 27, Robin Williams was already considered comedy’s darling. He had just finished season 1 of Mork & Mindy and was on the cover of TIME magazine.

by Maxine Carter-Lome   Some of the earliest albums recorded for commercial distribution were comedy albums. Various collections of humorous short stories recited by vaudeville comedian Cal Stewart were released by Edison Records as early as 1898, according to Ronald L. Smith, author of Comedy on Record: The Complete Critical Discography. Cal Stewart recorded monologues […]

Writing With Images: The Creation of THE NEW YORKER Humor

The first cover by Rea Irvin (Feb. 21, 1925) establishing the personification of the New Yorker as Eustas Tilly

by Judy Gonyeau with heavy reference from Defining New Yorker Humor by Judith Yaross Lee   Launched in 1925, The New Yorker is a mostly-weekly magazine dispersing information through a myriad of journalistic articles, commentary, satire, fiction, criticism, its famous cartoon comments, and poetry. It continues to be renowned for its journalism covering everything from […]

Wowie Kazowee! It’s BOZO the CLOWN!


by Maxine Carter-Lome In 1946, Capitol Records writer/producer Alan Livingston introduced Bozo the Clown to the world via a children’s record entitled Bozo at the Circus – a first-of-its-kind record album with an illustrative read-along book set. It lasted an astounding 200 weeks on Billboard’s “Best Selling Children’s Records” chart and sold over one million […]