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2003 Issue

Compiled by
Bruce Gventer

Here we go! This time we'll start with a reader's suggestion. Next, we'll check out some topics that you requested. Finally, we'll explore a few sites I thought you might find entertaining. If you have a site you would like to share, or a subject category that you would like me to research, let me know. I think the best sites are the ones you wish to share. As always, I am interested in your opinions; you can email me at  Hope you learn something and enjoy this month's column too...

Joe and Shirley.

Print of this E.T. Paull piece.

E.T. Paull Sheet Music 

Dear Bruce Gventer:

            I visited the website of Joe Feenstra, and I would like to share it with you and your readers who are collectors of E.T. Paull published sheet music. Mr. Paull published very colorful lithographed sheet music from 1894 to 1924, and his music sheets today are very collectible. I hope you find it as interesting and helpful as I do. Mr. Feenstra's site has lots of useful information: 5 pages of photos of Paull published sheet music covers, some of which are very difficult to find; a Forward with a history of Mr. E.T. Paull and his publishing company written by the foremost collector and authority of Paull music, Mr. Wayland Bunnell; a Variations page; midis of much of the music, and a list of known titles. There are eight pages in all with information that is difficult to find anywhere else and that would be especially helpful to the beginner collector."                      Sincerely, Sandra Kotrba

            Collector of E.T. Paull sheet music.

            I couldn't say it any better, Sandra. Not only do we get an incredible array of images of E.T. Paull sheet music, but the benefit of Joe and Shirley's travels to the Antarctic, South Pacific, and their Nile River trip.

            In Joe's own words "Hanging on the walls in the movie room is our collection of E.T. Paull sheet music. We have (I lost count) different ones, plus a bunch of variations, which is not a complete set by any means. I hear from the "king" of E.T. Paull collectors, Wayland Bunnell, that there are around 210 different titles. With the variations in these titles, i.e., size 11x14 or 8-1/2x11, different arrangements with different prices, reissues, and even different lithograph houses..."


A Seth Thomas Clock (No. 3)

Antique Clocks Automatic/Mechanical Music Devices

           The "Antique Clock Guy" considers himself to be America's brokerage for antique clocks and automatic/mechanical music devices. The site has a section for his antique clocks for sale and another section for your antique clocks for sale. The Clock Guy offers free advice and free appraisals, but does not sell clock parts, so please don't ask. There are pages for items he is looking to buy and a place to tell him what you are trying to buy or sell.

            I enjoyed seeing the antique mechanical music pieces that were for sale, like the Molinari monkey organ, circa 1915, pictured above. At one time the monkey organ was in a museum, but now it is back on the market. The Clock Guy says that the mechanical music part of his site will be growing strong.

            The Clock Guy site is operated by Richard and Margie Oliver. They live in rural northern San Diego County with their cockatiel, cat, and dogs. Richard bought their first antique clock in 1971. They offer you this advice: "Important fact about collecting American clocks: If it is Seth Thomas, hangs from the wall, and is in half-way decent condition, buy it. End of discussion. Never have we seen the continued spiral of values as with Seth Thomas clocks over the past four or five years. If we had only..."

            The site starts with new listings and is then followed by listings in these categories: American antique clocks, major American clockmakers including Seth Thomas, self winding clocks, banjo clocks, jeweler's regulators, ship and military clocks, English antique clocks, major European clockmakers and styles, Astro regulators, longcase, pub, and bracket clocks, Boulle, carriage, swinger, and figural clocks, and bronze and porcelain clocks. These are only some of the categories listed. The novelty clocks and barometers category is their "catch-all" section.

            The descriptions are long and detailed, and a good overall photo is presented. Additionally, you can click on photos showing different perspectives of the clock, such as upper, base, dial, pendulum, etc. This site is very well illustrated with a lot of time spent on research.


Maryland, possibly Anne Arundel County, 1770-1800

Furniture of the American South: The Colonial Williamsburg Collection 

           Colonial Williamsburg has the largest collection of early southern furniture in the United States. There are about 700 items from five different states and the District of Columbia. Now the furniture is shown in a new book and at the same time in an online exhibition.

            This is your chance to view a remarkable selection of early American furniture while surfing the net. The site is extremely well illustrated with photographs and gives detailed explanations about the furniture and those who made it. The downside of this site is the text is in a very small font and is sometimes difficult to read.  If you're like me and have trouble reading the small font, try copying the text into your word processor, selecting it all, and enlarge the font for easier reading. If you are on a dial up modem as I am, the site also takes time to load all of the pictures.

            Each piece is described in great detail, so you will be able to learn much here. For example, the site explains why southern furniture is so rare. Southern furniture's survival of the warm, damp climate, fluctuating temperatures and high humidity has left few examples for us today. Additionally, many pieces were destroyed during the Civil War.

            Much detail is covered as to who made the furniture and about the different influences that came into play in furniture design. Among the national influences were British, Irish, Scottish, French Huguenot, Germanic, and even influences from the northern colonies. There is much to be learned from this new online exhibition so be sure to take a look.


A hand-painted, Italian credenza with top painted to resemble marble found in Sienna. 18th century.

Painted Furniture Plus

            Here is a site that specializes in French and Italian furniture made from the 17th through 19th centuries. They have a nice selection of painted furniture as well. In their antique library section you will find some valuable resources to explore, including a glossary of terms, short articles they have written, some recommended readings, links to antique web rings, and their own links page with lots of links to explore.

            Check out the online gallery to get a feel for the types of furniture you will find. There are three pages of painted furniture for you to examine. You can view the antiques by type (i.e., armoires, and beds); style (i.e., Art Deco, Art Nouveau, and Baroque); century they were made; country of origin; exterior surface characteristics (i.e., chinoiserie, gilt, and marquetry); or the material they are made from (i.e., beech, cane, and elm). You can also search their inventory using a keyword search. You can look at just their latest furniture, or you can see their entire inventory on a single page. If that is not enough, you can also request something special, or add your email address to their free mailing list to be notified when new shipments arrive.

            Be sure to take a peek at the facts section for some quick simple answers about their antiques. For example, do you know the difference between period and style? They say, "Period furniture was produced during the period in which the style evolved. Furniture that is of a certain style was made later."

            Unfortunately, none of the furniture comes with pricing information. They do offer a description of the furniture that includes the type of furniture, special parts (such as swan-neck pediment, ogee feet), the height, width, and depth of each item, and usually more than one photograph of the piece. To find out the price, you have to call their toll free number, or fill out an inquiry form. Even without the prices, this is a good overall site to learn about French and Italian furniture.


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