Journal Home Page     Contents Page     Brimfield FleaMarkets.Com     Brimfield Country Store     Subscribe

August 2002 Issue
Compiled by
Bruce Gventer

What follows is a random assortment of art and antiques related websites that we have visited and enjoyed in the last few weeks. Your discoveries and suggestions are always welcome. Send them to



Lunch Time

           Metal lunchbox production ended in 1985. Legend has it that in the early 1970's a well-organized group of Florida mothers began a campaign against the metal lunchboxes. "They claimed the boxes were a potential lethal weapon, and argued that school kids were whacking each other with them and causing permanent damage." The Rambo lunchbox was the last metal lunchbox produced.

          Some of the metal lunchboxes have reached high collector's prices. Prices mentioned on this site refer to the assigned value in the Encyclopedia Guide of Lunchboxes, published in 1992 by Allen Woodall and Sean Brickell.

          Domes - This site thinks the decorated domed lunchbox is the height of design. The Jetson's lunchbox from 1963 is rare and has a high price tag. Valued at $1400, it has sold for as much as $3,000. The Star Trek box is one of the most collectible boxes and possibly one of the finest ever produced. The vivid graphics and perfect rendition of Captain Kirk makes it a great collectible. The Star Trek box is worth about $600 and first appeared in 1967. Can you guess which was the best selling lunchbox kit of all times? It was the Disney School Bus lunchbox produced between 1961 and 1973.

          Vinyl Lunchboxes - The idea of vinyl lunchboxes came from Standard Plastic Products, a New Jersey manufacturer. These vinyl boxes, hit the stores in 1959. These early vinyl lunchboxes were made in pastels for girls and earth tones for boys.

          To find your lunchbox and see its value visit the lunchbox price list. There are plenty of photos on the site which make the site very useful. The site has those very annoying pop-up windows, otherwise a great site to visit at lunchtime. 




Owls Head Transportation Museum

           The Owls Head Transportation Museum, located in Maine, is a non-profit organization. They state their purpose to be the collection, preservation, and exhibition of pioneer aircraft, ground vehicles, and engines. The pioneer period is from the first attempts at manned flight and motorized wheeled transport to approximately 1920.

          The Museum holds many special events featuring their planes, in air shows and their cars in motion. At these events, exhibitors bring their antique, classic, and special interest auto, motorcycles, aircraft, engines, and bicycles. Combined with the Museum's own collections, these exhibitions must be a wonder to behold.

          There are over 150 items in the collection. Be sure to visit these links to see pictures and informative text from the museum's collection. There are 28 examples of aircraft from 1804 to 1946, 50 examples of automobiles from 1885 to 1980, 9 examples of motorcycles from 1913 to 1953, 13 examples of carriages from 1849 to 1910, 14 examples of bicycles from ca. 1868 to 1935, and 25 examples of engines from 1880 to 1946.

          The Museum draws between 75,000 and 80,000 visitors annually and has one of the finest collections of pioneer aircraft. Now on exhibit is the evolution of the wheel . I never knew there was so much to know about the wheel.

          They even have a restoration workshop so you can learn the skills and techniques of maintaining, restoring, conserving, and constructing antique aircraft, autos, engines, and trucks. If you are in the market to purchase, visit the Museum Barn where they sell vehicles.


Art Deco

           Art Deco - described as "an art movement involving a mix of modern decorative art styles, largely of the 1920s and 1930s." The main characteristics were derived from avant-garde painting styles of the early twentieth century. The name Art Deco itself came from the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs Industriels et Modernes, held in Paris. This elegant style was used in both architecture and in the applied arts.

          You are sure to recognize many of the names of the artists and architects whose works are displayed in pictures on this site. Included are illustrations of Rockwell Kent, Grant Wood, and many others.

          There are good definitions here too, just click on one of the underlined words in the text to be taken to the word's meaning. Clicking on the links page will bring up a listing of Yahoo links for art deco. There are some annoying pop-up windows here, but a good site to start learning about Art Deco. Perhaps in future columns we will deal with Art Deco in more detail.


Price It

           The well-respected Kovel's price guide is now online. There is a very large searchable database for you to query, or, if you prefer, you can choose from an alphabetical index. They claim to list prices for more than 300,000 antiques and collectibles in their database.

          They prefer you to register once, but it appears that much of the information is available even if you choose not to sign up. Included in this site are articles, prices and marks, a directory of sources, information about fakes, and analyses of the marketplace, and answers to collectors' questions.

          A new feature is the yellow pages, where you can find appraisals, auctions, clubs, publications, and information on repairing your object. However, the most useful information is the pricing they provide for free. Heinz advertising crock.


French Country Architecture

           An architectural firm that specializes in French Country architecture produced this site. There are some nice photos to help you identify this style of architecture. "The French Country style features steep roof elements, window shutters, and rock veneer."

          The product links page lists product manufacturers commonly used in custom home construction. What makes this site worthy of your interest is the innovative 3D modeling which allows you to virtually tour the homes. You will have to download and install some free software to enable you to take this 3D tour. Instructions for downloading and installing the software are right on the site. Be sure to follow the directions. If you are daring and try this new virtual reality tour, let me know how you like it.

Journal Home Page     Contents Page     Brimfield FleaMarkets.Com     Brimfield Country Store     Subscribe