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2003 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.
his month’s Website-ings is all about toys and games. If you have a site you would like to share, or a subject category that you would like me to research, let me know. As always, I am interested in your opinions; you can email me at Hope you enjoy...

A Raphael Tuck & Sons Christmas postcard circa

 1904. A non-traditional Santa postcard.

Santa Cards

            Juelie McLean, who is located in Bozeman, Montana, produces this site. She is a retired teacher, a former photographer, and a doll maker. Most of her site is dedicated to Olde World Santa dolls that she makes herself. Many of her dolls are modeled after non-traditional Santas that are designed using the postcards in her collection. Some of those postcards are displayed on the site and I think they might be of interest to you.

            In her bookshop you can order reproductions of the cards you will find on her website. If you want a good reference book concerning postcards, Juelie recommends The Postcard Price Guide: A Comprehensive Reference by J. L. Mashburn. She states that an antique postcard dealer recommended this book to her saying, "If there was only one book to have, this was it."

            Be sure to check her section about the history of Santa. Some things I learned there were that the first "well-known Santa" was an actual person named Nicholas. Nicholas lived in Myra about 300 A.D. He was an only child of a wealthy family, and was orphaned at an early age. He was raised in a monastery. There are many stories of his generosity; he gave away his inheritance to the needy and especially to children. Legends grew about his deeds. He was eventually made a saint. Today's depiction of Santa began in 1823 when Clement C. Moore published A Visit from St. Nicholas. Later Thomas Nast drew a cartoon of Santa each year for the cover of Harper's Weekly and from these images our current idea of a fat jolly man in a red suit was born.

            Be sure to visit the links page as you will find about a hundred links to explore.


A candlestick phone circa 1920.

             Hal Belden of San Jose, California has a nice site about old phones. He states that all of the phones are functional unless he specifically says otherwise. The phones have been fitted with modular connectors so they can be used with current wall sockets. He states the phones are restored "with special effort to keep them as original as possible." He would also like to buy your old phones. If he does not want your phone, he will refer you to someone else who might be interested in purchasing it. A nice aspect of the site is Hal keeps the images of the phones on the site even after they are sold so you can use them for reference.

            On Hal's site you will find cradle phones, wall phones, and candlestick phones. The site is shared by Ekkehart Willms of San Mateo, California. Ekkehart's section deals with Victor and Edison phonographs, microphones, radios, microscopes, assorted antiques, and telephone signs.

            The links on this site will take you to the Antique Telephone Collectors Association, Telephone Collectors International, and Ian's Bakelite Telephone Page. Enjoy and give them a call.



Click Image for larger view

Some of the items you will find on this site.

Prop Me Up

      New Era Antiques specializes in 1920's to 1950's industrial design, art deco, electrical antiques, vintage radios, televisions, world's fair, lighting, chase chrome, and American modern style. They buy, sell, repair, and restore items. Here is something not found everywhere - they rent props for you to use should the need arise. The links go to console radios, art deco, table radios, lighting, telephones, televisions, miscellaneous advertising and ephemera. The links to wanted items lists a lot of material.

            Steven Caiati from Brooklyn, New York is the site owner and offers e-mail registration so you can receive updates when new merchandise is added to the site. Items for sale are first shown with a small picture and brief description. You can click on the picture for a larger image, or on the description for a listing of manufacturer, year, price and condition. It is worth a look.


Click image for larger view

Jeweled necklace.

Sassy Classy

       Sassy has a mission and that mission is to find high quality, unique, showy, unusual vintage costume jewelry, both signed and unsigned. She is in love with her work and the work is to find necklaces and matching jewelry sets. She has quite a bit of jewelry available for sale on the site, illustrated and described in great detail. Clicking on one of the photos will show the piece in even more detail.

            The site is updated 3 to 4 times a week; that's a lot of work. Sassy is headquartered in Pine, Arizona. She does not do appraisals.

            She has her own list of vocabulary words with her own definitions to help you understand about the jewelry that is offered.

            The extensive list of jewelry she has in inventory includes: collectible Alice Caviness, Alice Caviness sterling, Alexis Kirk, Art, Bergere, Boucher, BSK, Bulova, Carnegie, Carole, Coro, Corocraft sterling, DiNicola, Eisenberg sterling, Eugene, Fenichei, Florenza, Gale, Givenchy, Hattie Carnegie, Hobe, JJ, Jomaz, Judy Lee, Kramer, Kramer of NY, Les Bernard, Lisner, Marvella, Matisse, Miriam Haskell, Monet, Napier, Polcini, Renoir, Robert, Tara, Trifari, Vendome, Waltham, Whiting & Davis, Weiss. Also on the site are imported vintage jewelry from Austria, Czechoslovakia, Germany, and Italy. In addition there are vintage costume necklaces, antique necklaces, bracelets, brooches, figurals, rings, watches, earrings, pearls, Victorian Revival, Egyptian Revival, art deco, Bakelite, enameled, sterling, 1920,1930, 1940, retro modern, 1950, pearls, poured glass, rhinestones, and other collectible antique jewelry.

            The web pages are shown in categories such as ladie's watches, broaches, necklaces, etc. Some of her links will teach you about testing bakelite and celluloid. Other links go to sites about jewelry and there are quite a few on her links page. She recommends: Warman's Jewelry by Christie Romero to help you tell the difference between all the different types of plastics.



A painting, brooch and watch fob all made from hair.

Hair Here

       Hair art was often used to make family keepsakes in the 18th and 19th centuries, often as jewelry and ornamental objects. Instructions for making hair ornaments were printed in Godeys Lady’s Book. A common practice was for women to make jewelry or hair flowers to serve as a memento of loved ones.

            There are several different methods of working with hair. For example, table work uses a special table and a weaving or braiding technique with weighted bobbins. This method produces either a hollow tube or solid length of woven hair and was used to make necklaces, bracelets, or watch fobs.

            A second technique is called palette work. This method lays the hairs flat against each other, and then to a base. After drying, shapes are cut from the hair and formed into a pattern. This piece is very delicate and was often placed inside a brooch.

            Sepia hair painting is another technique used with hair. Finely ground hair was used as the coloring agent for paint. Sometimes this was combined with the palette work technique to create paintings.

            Hair art pictures is yet another technique. These pictures were made from of hair, sometimes with some cultured pearls or seeds to add to the effect. Often these paintings were about 6" diameter and were hung on walls.

            Today, hair work is almost a lost art; only a handful of people today practice hair art. All these methods require a great deal of patience and attention to detail.

            The site also has some interesting links to vintage Victorian jewelry sites and a hair working society.


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