Tuesday, December 30, 2014

New year's resolutions ...

On courtesy of :

What is Antique? What is Vintage? What is a Collectible?

I have always wondered where to draw the line in the sand. Beach joke.

What is an antique?
Antique as something made over 100 years ago.
This was established by the US Customs Office in the 1930s
Collectors and dealers use this guideline date to separate an antique from a collectible.
What is vintage?
Vintage is something that is 20 years old or more.
It is recognizable to be of a particular era.
What are collectibles?  There are 3 types of collectibles.
All are less than 100 years old.
Historical & Artistic [i.e.Tiffany lamps, Weiss Jewelry]
Mass Produced [i.e. Beanie Babies]
Collectible by Association [i.e. Memorabilia from Elvis Presley’s Estate]

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Milk glass

Milk glass is an opaque or translucent, milky white or colored glass, blown or pressed into a wide variety of shapes. First made in Venice in the 16th century, colors include blue, pink, yellow, brown, black, and the white that led to its popular name.

Milk glass contains dispersion of particles with refractive index significantly different from the glass matrix, which scatter light by theTyndall scattering mechanism.

The Tyndall effect in opalescent glass: It appears blue from the side, but orange light shines through.

The particles are produced via addition of opacifiers to the melt
The opacifiers can be e.g. bone ash, or tin dioxide and arsenic and antimony compounds. They are also added to ceramic glazes, which can be chemically considered to be a specific kind of milk glass.

First made in Venice in the 16th century, colors include blue, pink, yellow, brown, black, and white. 19th-century glass makers called milky white opaque glass "opal glass". The name milk glass is relatively recent
Made into decorative dinnerware, lamps, vases, and costume jewelry, milk glass was highly popular during the fin de siecle. Pieces made for the wealthy of the Gilded Age (1870-1900 ) are known for their delicacy and beauty in color and design, while Depression glass pieces of the 1930s and '40s are less so.
Milk glass is often used for architectural decoration when one of the underlying purposes is the display of graphic information. The original milk glass marquee of the Chicago Theatre has been donated to the Smithsonian Institution. Perhaps one of the most famous uses of opal glass (or at least the most viewed example) is for the four faces of the information booth clock at Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan.

Antique White Milk Glass Compote Dish


Exquisite White Milk glass

Green Stripe Milk Glass Brooch Earrings 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Vogueteam shop of the week

It is almost a year to our team of vintage sellers "Vintage vogue team"
on Etsy.
One of our team leaders,since the start is Lynne from bohemiantrading an amazing shop of true vintage jewelry ,of any kind you could think of.
Lynn is this week "The shop of the week", a promotion thread she is running for the team.

This is bohemiantrading shop icon


Here are some of her shop's beautiful jewelry:

Vintage Coro Flower Necklace 1939 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Czech (Bohemian ) Glass

Bohemian glass sometimes referred to as Bohemia crystal, is glass produced in the regions of Bohemia and Silesia, now parts of the Czech Republic. It has a centuries long history of being internationally recognised for its high quality, craftsmanship, beauty and often innovative designs. Hand-cut, engraved, blown and painted decorative glassware ranging from champagne flutes to enormous chandeliers, ornaments, figurines and other glass items are among the best known Czech exports and immensely popular as tourist souvenirs. The Czech Republic is home to numerous glass studios and schools attended by local and foreign students.
Oldest archaeological excavations of glass-making sites date to around 1250 and are located in the Lusatian Mountains of Northern Bohemia.
Jug in Bohemia, Karlsbad (Karlovy Vary) by L. Moser & Sohne

Crystal vs. glass

 In the Czech Republic, the term "crystal" is used for any exquisite, high quality glass. Leaded crystal means crystal containing more than 24% lead oxide.
In the European Union, only glass products containing at least 24% of lead oxide may be referred to as "lead crystal".
In the USA it is the opposite - glass is defined as "crystal" if it contains only 1% lead.


Bohemia, a part of the Czech Republic , became famous for its beautiful and colourful glass during the Renaissance
Bohemian glass-workers discovered potash combined with chalk created a clear colourless glass that was more stable than glass from Italy.
 During the era, the Czech lands became the dominant producer of decorative glassware and the local manufacture of glass earned international reputation in high Baroque style from 1685 to 1750.
Czech glassware became as prestigious as jewellery and was sought-after by the wealthy and the aristocracy of the time. 
Today, Czech crystal chandeliers hang, for example, in Milan's La Scala, in Rome's Teatro dell'Opera, in Versailles, in the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg or in the royal palace in Riyadh. Various sorts of glassware, art glass, ornaments, figurines, costume jewellery, beads and others also remain internationally valued.

Reverse glass painting was also a Czech specialty

Czech costume jewelry
It was in glass center of Gablonz, at the end of the Victorian Era, that Austrian jeweler Daniel Swarovski introduced the first cut-glass crystals to successfully imitate the look of diamondsrubiessapphires, and emeralds. In 1892, Swarovski patented a mechanical glass cutter so his crystals could be mass-produced to meet the high demand.
Bohemian costume jewelers also pioneered a technique for replicating the look of pearls, which were enormously popular at the beginning of the 20th century.But glass remains the Bohemia region’s most important contribution to costume jewelry.

Amethyst Czech Glass Bracelet 1920s 

Art Deco Bracelet Amber Glass

One of the glass items for which the Czech nation is still well known is the production of "druk" beads. Druks are small (3mm-18mm) round glass beads with small threading holes produced in a wide variety of colors and finishes and used mainly as spacers among beaded jewellery makers.

6mm Czech Glass Druk Bead 

For more czech glass:


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Cultural Shifts: How World War II Brought Us the Poodle Skirt

What?  A link between crinolines, wiggle dresses and the oversexed, over-the-top 1950s and World War II?  Well, yes.  In a pretty straightforward manner.  We are all familiar with Rosie the Riveter, the icon of women's contribution to the war effort.  Women moved into the workplace en masse as the men went to Europe to fight.  War needs machinery, and machinery needs to be built by someone. Women worked in factories and took on many jobs that were ordinarily open only to men. They dressed in dungarees, work shirts. Or work uniforms. They also worked in more traditional jobs such as stenographers, secretaries and the like. Their beaus, brothers and husbands were mostly on the battlefield.  The Great Depression brought privation and WWII brought even more.  Silk hose was gone.  Old dresses were taken in, let out, repurposed (yes, repurposing isn't a new phenomenon -- we just rediscovered what was a way of life in previous decades!) All the material that could be used for the war effort was not available for clothing and accessories.  And this was just in America. European privation was on another scale all together, as was what was expected of women.  Everyone sacrificed.  The war years were exceedingly difficult.
Sewing Pattern courtesy of www.etsy.com/shop/ALadiesShop

But with the war won and over, along with the grinding Depression that preceded it, the economy revved up into a full roar. It was time to party a little bit!   The closed well of  flirty femininity reopened as a gusher. (Although Rosie would never be put back into the box again, that is a different story.) Flouncy, frilly and frou frou were in!  Full skirts, held out by crinolines, red, red lips, sexy, form fitting "wiggle" dresses and bright, sparkling costume jewelry became the silhouette of the 1950s.  Yves St. Laurent, who startled the fashion world with what became known as The New Look in 1947, led the way, just as Coco Chanel had led in the 1920s. The New Look was also about sophistication.  The Whole Look -- full parures or matching sets of necklace, bracelet, brooch and earrings were worn, along with hats, gloves and the right shoes.  We may think of this as so much excess today, but looking at old Vogue Magazine shots from that time, one is struck by the elegance and great beauty of the best designs that incorporated all the accessories into one seamless package.

Dress courtesy of www.etsy.com/shop/DaisyandStella
The one thread that carries through the vintage clothing and jewelry  we so love is that of presentation. Both men and women saw it as normal, and right, to present themselves in public put together.  It was a cultural norm that began to unravel with the upheavals of the late 1960s.  But we are still in the well-coiffed 1950s for this article.  No amount of beautiful clothing could hide the isolation of so many women tucked away in their new suburban homes with new refrigerators and vacuums.  It may have been only June Cleaver who vacuumed in high heels. It was the attempt to keep women in the kitchen after the relative freedom of the war years that led to the visceral reaction that became the women's movement in the early 1970s.  Ah, but we are writing about clothing and jewelry.  Except that fashion always is about a statement of some sort.  It is not separate from the cultural milieu in which it finds its expression.
Pattern Courtesy of www.etsy.com/shop/CloesCloset

So were women completely reduced to sexual objects and dutiful housewives in the 1950s?

One only has to review old black and white photographs of Dovima and other powerful women in fashion and the public eye in the 1950s to feel the power and magnetization that the clothes of that era could bestow on a woman. Rockabilly and great elegance and sophistication existed together. Sexy, feminine and even frivolous?  Perhaps. Grease and Audrey Hepburn!   But there were an awful lot of very strong women wearing those clothes.

Jewelry courtesy of www.etsy.com/shop/MartiniMermaid

Monday, October 20, 2014

Tectonic Shift: The Roaring Twenties and Art Deco Design

We who so love the fashions, jewelry and Art Deco design of the 1920s sometimes forget what it must have been like to live through a period when so much changed so quickly.  Just a decade before hemlines rose to the knee in 1925 many women were confined to the "S" shape corset and to so many layers of restrictive clothing that movement was not easy. The stultifying routines that culture and fashion dictated have left us with a treasure of incredibly intricate, delightful and astonishing array of dresses, robes, coats and under garments of the upper class Edwardian female in aristocratic England, Europe and upper class America, as well as the simpler garments of the middle classes.  As World War I swept away millions of men and the empires of 19th century Europe, it also swept in huge cultural changes for women. Just as with World War II, women moved into the workforce in Europe to fill the vacancies left by so many young men fighting.  The vote for women in America was only a few years away.  The war also led to vast shifts in wealth, as a true middle class took hold in Europe and America --  there was a market for the "costume" jewelry that was designed to accompany the loosely structured, free flowing outfits of the 1920s. Coco Chanel saw this and led the way!  It is said that Chanel even coined the term "costume jewelry" as she designed it to be worn with her outfits.  
Evening Dress Jeanne Hallee 1910-1914

Dress courtesy of www.etsy.com/shop/LetThemEatCakeLA

And so a young aristocratic woman who was raised with the strict social and fashion mores of the 1910s found herself with a bob haircut, a loose flowing chemise and very little in the way of undergarments just ten years later!  Her less wealthy sisters could afford to wear the beautiful faux jewelry that was common place by the 1920s.  The bob hair cuts made long dangle earrings a staple of the era. The flat front chemises were embellished with layers of  pearls and other long "flapper" necklaces. Bare arms were covered with rows of bangles.   After the International Exposition of Modern Industrial and Decorative Arts from April to October of 1925 in Paris, what we now know as the Art Deco Design era exploded. The exhibition epitomized a "modern" style characterized by a streamlined classicism, geometric and symmetric compositions and a sleek, machine age look. (Wikipedia).  We now recognize these clean designs and wonderful 
geometric patterns in  designs from jewelry to architecture.  

The forces of these movements -- of women gaining some control over their own lives -- and of the spectacular explosion of creativity that followed the 1925 Paris Exhibition -- came to define what we now call "The Roaring Twenties."  The fashions and jewelry of this decade, and even with the Great Depression, the 1930s, are the lovely artifacts of tectonic shifts in Western culture. Sadly, the Art Deco era came to an abrupt end in 1939 when yet another war would again bring about jarring changes to Western culture.  It falls to another article to discuss the changes in fashion that followed the cultural upheavals after the  Second World War.
Set courtesy of www.etsy.com/shop/LynnHislopJewels

Rhinestone Clip courtesy of www.etsy.com/shop/KatsCache

Laubner, Ellie, Fashions of the Roaring '20s (A Schiffer Book for Collectors)
Wikipedia page on the 1925 Paris International Exposition of Modern Industrial and Decorative Arts

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Majolica (Delftware,Faience)

Majolica may refer to
Tin-glazed pottery, decorated earthenware pottery with an opaque white glaze.
Maiolica, a type of tin-glazed pottery made in Italy.
Victorian majolica, brightly coloured earthenware pottery with a clear lead glaze

Tin-glazed pottery is pottery covered in glaze containing tin oxide which is white, shiny and opaque. (See tin-glazing.) The pottery body is usually made of red or buff colored earthenware and the white glaze was often used to imitate Chinese porcelain. Tin-glazed pottery is usually decorated, the decoration applied to the unfired glaze surface by brush as metallic oxides, commonly cobalt oxide, copper oxide, iron oxide, manganese dioxide and antimony oxide. The makers of Italian tin-glazed pottery from the lateRenaissance blended oxides to produce detailed and realistic polychrome paintings.
The earliest tin-glazed pottery appears to have been made in Iraq in the 9th century, the oldest fragments having been excavated during the First World War from the palace of Samarra about fifty miles north of Baghdad. From there it spread to Egypt, Persia and Spain before reaching Italy in the Renaissance, Holland in the 16th century and England, France and other European countries shortly after.
Tin-glazed (Majolica) plate fromFaenza, Italy

The development of white, or near white, firing bodies in Europe from the late 18th century, such as Creamware by Josiah Wedgwood and porcelain, reduced the demand for Delftware (Holland), faience (France) and majolica.
The rise in the cost of tin oxide during the First World War led to its partial substitution by zirconium compounds in the glaze.

Maiolica is Italian tin-glazed pottery dating from the Renaissance. It is decorated in bright colours on a white background, frequently depicting historical and legendary scenes
The name is thought to come from the medieval Italian word for Majorca, an island on the route for ships bringing Hispano-Moresque wares from Valencia to Italy. Moorish potters from Majorca are reputed to have worked in Sicily and it has been suggested that their wares reached the Italian mainland from Caltagirone.An alternative explanation of the name is that it comes from the Spanish term obra de Malaga, denoting “[imported] wares from Malaga”.orobra de mélequa, the Spanish name for lustre.
A Hispano-Moresque dish, approx 32cm diameter, with Christian monogram "IHS", decorated in cobalt blue and gold luster. Valencia, c.1430-1500. Burrell Collection

Victorian majolica is earthenware pottery made in 19th century Britain, Europe and the USA with molded surfaces and colorful clear lead glazes.
Victorian majolica was originated by Mintons Ltd, who exhibited it at the Great Exhibition of 1851 under the name Palissy ware
The public came to call Minton's Palissy Ware majolica warePalissy ware dropped out of use and majolicastuck. In the 1880s, the curators of the South Kensington Museum (now the V&A) tried to clear up the confusion by reviving the Italian pronunciation maiolica for Italian tin-glaze. 
Minton majolica swan vase

For more majolica:

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Make black cat o'lanterns for halloween

Tutorial on courtesy of:
On courtesy of: http://www.sunset.com/home/weekend-projects/make-black-cat-o-lanterns

Create a spooky trio of glossy black cats to watch over trick-or-treaters at your door. 
All you need are a few pumpkins in feline shapes ― long or pear-shaped for the body, small and round for the face.
 Look for body shapes with character and a stable base. They can lean to one side  but shouldn't wobble.
Choose a tall one for an elegant cat, or a squat orange heirloom for a chubby cat curled on its paws. Test a few "heads" until you find a good match.                                                                                                                                                         
This twist on the traditional jack-o'-lantern cuts down on some of the usual pumpkin cleaning: No need to hollow out the body. Just clean out and carve the head, then add mini pumpkin paws, curvy cucumber tails, and ears from stiffened felt or black card stock from the craft store. Then, light the candle, get the candy, and watch your Halloween cats come to life.

Things you need

  • Knife or carving kit
  • Pumpkins
  • Pen
  • Scissors
  • Stiff felt or paper for ears
  • Newspaper
  • Curved cucumber or skinny gourd for tail
  • Mini pumpkins for paws(or small pebbles)
  • Black floral spray
  • Wood floral picks (5 or 6 per pumpkin; optional)
  • Mallet or hammer for attaching picks to base pumpkin (optional)
  • Tea-light candle in flat dish or jar lid
  • Clay polymer or poster putty

Carve a cat pumpkin

Step 1: Cut out top of small pumpkin and scoop the inside clean. Place it upside down on the base pumpkin, turning to find a good fit. If necessary, carve opening slightly to adjust.
Step 2: Set head on the base to decide placement of eyes, then carve them out. You can draw them on first .
Step 3: Cut pointy ears out of felt or card stock and mark their positions on the head with a pen. Carve two shallow grooves into the head to hold the ears. Avoid cutting all the way through the pumpkin. (For more realistic ears, carve crescent-shaped grooves.)
Step 4: Prep an outside work area for spray painting. Stuff the head with loosely crumpled newspaper.
Cover pumpkins, mini pumpkins, and cucumber with one or two thin coats of black spray paint. Allow to dry. Remove stuffing and insert the ears.
Step 5: If the head is wobbly, gently pound a few floral picks into the body with the mallet or hammer. Measure the opening of the head, then position the picks to fit just inside.
Step 6: Put a short tea light on a lid or dish to catch any drips. Stick to the top of the big pumpkin with a small ball of clay polymer or poster putty. Attach the head. Position cat and arrange tail and paws next to body.


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Things I Have Learned Since Opening A Vintage Shop

             On courtesy of :Niki patterson

 Being stupid at a thrift store....

I love thrift stores! I found an old Pyrex gravy boat at one for .49 and just had an Ah-Ha moment. Can I find more treasures? Can I find them new homes? This should be easy right? The answers are yes, yes, NO! Here is a list of my top lessons learned and maybe they might help out a fellow vintage collector.
On courtesy of:http://passion8mag.org/

1. Bring your own supply of wrapping material and wrap items yourself

I had found one of the greatest finds of my life. A set of 8 mint Waterford crystal goblets in the Lismore pattern for .99 each. I'm sure a lot of you are familiar with Waterford crystal. I looked them up while in the store because my heart was racing a million miles an hour. Yeah, they only sell for about $400. No biggie. So I carefully took them to the register to check out. The checkout girl was kind of in a bad mood and a bit rude. As I was putting them on the counter I noticed a small chip in one. I was so excited I didn't even inspect them. I asked the girl if I could go see if they had another why she was checking me out. She just shrugged. I ran over and actually found one more. This made me think there was more than an 8 piece set. They don't put all their items out at once so I was going back the next day to see if I could score more. ( I didn't ) I came back, paid and headed to my car. My cart hit a tiny bump and I heard the most awful noise in the world, CRRRUUUUOOOOSSHHH!! (That's what I think it sounded like. Never been good at onomatopoeias)  That crystal just shattered, and so did my heart. I inspected the bags and come to find she stacked them on top of each other and put a piece of newspaper over the top. ARE YOU F*&#ING KIDDING ME!! I was able to salvage 2 without damage but I have not been that furious in a long time. I was going to go yell at her but came to my senses. That store was a major source of my items. I don't want to make a scene and possibly jeopardize my treasure trove.

Lesson Learned- DO NOT leave the register and always bring your own wrapping supplies. You may get weird looks but don't let that deter you. I bring a box full of newspaper and bubble wrap.This way they don't rattle if you carry them in bags.

2. Always inspect items inside out and backwards

This was a big rookie mistake I made. I would get so wrapped up by labels and marks I would just squee and put them in my cart. If I saw Noritake in it went. Limoges, you bet! I would be hyped up pay good money to only be disappointed when I got home because it was damaged in some way and could not be sold.

Lesson Learned- Always, always check for damages. I carry a small fold up magnifying glass with 3 magnifications to check for marks but it is a great tool for checking chips on crystal or small cracks that could make a piece worthless. Always inspect your items in full light, next to a window is perfect. Hold up kitchen ware and check for cracks, chips and scratches. Lay clothing and accessories out and look for tears, holes and stains. Especially in the armpit and crotch. Even if the item is perfect outside no one wants a pit stain!

3. Never tell the employees what you do

When I first started the employees would ask why I buy so much stuff. I would proudly say "I have a vintage shop. This place has such great valuable items. They don't even know what they have here!" Big mistake. I don't find much there anymore and they tend to keep an eye on me when I am. Let's just say I don't go there anymore. If people who work there ask me why I buy so much stuff. I just shrug and say it's pretty. I don't want to make up a whole story about how so and so had this and stuff and things. It detracts from your shopping and tends to make the employees kind of suspicious. The less you say the more they ignore you. They probably just think I'm a hoarder. I'm ok with that.

Lesson Learned- Don't bring attention to yourself. When you find awesome items don't yell "WHOO HOO YEAH!" and try to high five the old lady next to you. Try to be a bit stealthy when you examine items. You don't need to crouch in a corner like Gollum and his precious, but don't stand in the middle of the store with a huge magnifying glass like Sherlock Holmes.

4. Never pass up an item that could potentially be valuable

I'm not saying that if you see something old and think to yourself  "Hey, that's old. It must be valuable and I will pay $10 for it" just to find out it's a piece of worthless junk. If you pick something up and it feels right, maybe has an older mark or is a shape or pattern you have never seen before think about it. Is the price worth the risk? If it ends up not being worth much can you re-purpose it or use it for yourself? That's up to you. I found a little bisque plaque at a thrift store with a Greek scene and an old mark on the back. It was .49 so I said what the hell, I'm not really out anything and if it's not worth much my mom would like it. I got it home and wouldn't you know it, it was a 19th century piece made by Royal Copenhagen before they used there standard mark. From a collection called The Four Seasons. It was worth around $90. A great find! I never pass up on something that feels right even if it's filthy. I found a crystal candle holder that was covered in dust and was all dingy. It felt like it weighed 100 pounds so for the price of $1 I figured I would give it a go. I got home and placed all my treasures gently in the sink for a bath (always lay a towel in the bottom so they don't clink against the sink). After removing all the gunk and grime it was a gorgeous sparkling piece. I turned it over and actually yelled out and scared my husband. The mark read Tiffany an Co. Yeah, that happened.

Lesson Learned- Go with your gut. If the price is right and you just have a 'feeling' about it go for it! If you are new to picking, you will soon get the 'feeling' I promise. Try it out. You never know what you might find.

5. Lastly: Be prepared!

Download the Etsy app and keep it open why you shop. If you find something you think is great, do a quick search and see what its going for. Of course this only works for items clearly labeled but it certainly helps.
Do your research and find out what's trending. Think like the buyer not about what you like. I do love crystal but it's on it's way out. The new generation is moving in and they prefer the kitschy cute collectables and  vintage clothing from the 80's and *cough* 90's. (should have kept my wardrobe) There are pages on Etsy that show you what's trending and you can always get ideas from current fashion magazines or pictures of recent runway shows. Fashion designers tend to model new fashions from vintage stuff. Who would have ever thought neon windbreakers and high-waist pleated denim would be the new fashion trend?
Know your store. If you frequent a certain store know where items are located. Be cheerful with the staff and ask when new inventory is put out. Ask about discounts or days they have specials. These few things can score you some great items.
Always have a game plan. Know what you are after and set a budget and a time limit. If you want collectibles to stock your shop stay in that section. Don't wander because youwill get distracted and spend too much money and and be there way too long. Trust me, I know. You can end up with too much stuff to list or items that you really didn't need. Plus you probably missed lunch and are starving.

Lesson Learned- Think like a business, not about you. Find out what's selling and try to target a specific market. Manage your time and your cash. Make a game plan and stick to it. Don't put in more than you are making, you just end up with piles of stuff and an empty wallet.

I really hope that all of my bad mistakes can keep other sellers from unneeded heartaches and headaches. Practice makes perfect. You will make mistakes but learn from them. I sure as hell did!

I have to give credit to my friends from my Etsy team Vintage Vertigo! They really helped me out and gave me some of this good advice. Thanks guys! You're awesome!