November 2004

  Compiled by Mike McLeod...This month Mike McLeod takes a look at Beer Coasters Around the World, Antique & Vintage Dress Gallery, KISS, HGTV (Home and Garden Television). Readers who would like to share interesting websites with Mike may contact him via email at

Click Images for large Vu

 Beer coasters from
Iraq, Mongolia, and Switzerland.
Beer Coasters Around the World

           From Algeria to Yemen and from just about all continents (none from Antarctica), this website showcases a beer coaster collection that spans about 126 countries. How this collection was acquired, the website doesn’t say. (One can only imagine.) In fact, the website doesn’t say much of anything – leaving the coaster collection to do all the talking. But then, there isn’t much to be said about beer coasters.

Click Images for large Vu
Circa 1905 Gibson Girl black chiffon hat, designed to be worn on top of the head for that tall look, black silk chiffon, completely gathered on top and under the brim, along with pleating at the top and bows, $665.
Antique & Vintage Dress Gallery

           Virtually and visually a catalog of vintage, antique and contemporary clothing from the 1800s through the 1980s, is fun to window shop, at the very least. The depth and breadth of finery includes Regency gowns, Victorian ensembles, Edwardian whites, 1920’s flapper dresses, vintage hats, celebrity gowns, “fancy undergarments” and much more.

Deborah Burke owns the website, and when I contacted her for some professional tips on collecting vintage and antique clothing, here is the advice she gave me: Always buy what you like.

Always try to buy the best clothing/items you can afford (purchasing on layaway is great if available) and in the best condition you can find.

There are three “camps” for antique/vintage clothing buyers: those who want to collect and preserve; those who want to wear; and those who “remake,” or restore. If you are a purist, when purchasing, always ask if the item has been restored or altered. A professional seller will know. I personally don’t alter, repair, or restore any items, but other websites/sellers do.

Deborah vividly describes all the items featured on the website, such as this description of a circa 1908 white lace lingerie gown with peach/pink silk mull lining: “Now ... take your time looking at this amazing lace gown! Details include: Irish lace, appliqués, dripping crochet balls at bell sleeves, high neck, ruffled hem, chevron lace design, etc. Just look. Excellent condition except for two small age marks and small tears in the silk mull lining. If you decide to wear this gown, you will want to remove the lining and store away.” is a great collection well worth taking a look at—for fun or for collecting.



          File this under the now-I’ve-seen-everything category. Recently, I received an official price guide on KISS collectibles by Ingo Floren (House of Collectibles, pub.) and was astonished that there were enough collectibles to fill 400+ pages. But then I was never a fan of this face-painted singing group from the ‘70s characterized by Gene Simmons’ tongue.

Seeing this prodigious volume, I surmised that there must be lots of collectors and webpages on the Internet about KISS collectibles. Found just one – from Switzerland. There are fan sites, but no other real collector sites. Which is either a golden opportunity for collectors … or not.

Anyway, KISS fans are pretty global, as the collection at reflects: albums, photos, concert programs, clothes with KISS logos and so on from Japan, Korea, Mexico, Portugal, Turkey, Argentina, Australia, Bolivia and Chile.

Not being an aficionado of KISS, I did gain a somewhat greater respect for the band when I read that it won 64 awards from the Recording Industry Association of America. The website points out how they stack up against other famous singers in awards:

  • Elvis:                            292

  • The Beatles:                  170

  • Madonna:                      118

  • The Rolling Stones:           95

  • Metallica:                        90

  • Michael Jackson:             75

      It just goes to prove, once again, that there is something for everyone in collecting.

James Bond memorabilia, just one of the topics on HGTV’s website.

HGTV (Home and Garden Television)

           The slick monthly magazine has its own network these days focused on the home, and of course, antiques play a part in fine homes across America. It is not surprising then that HGTV would devote space on its website to antiques. It features 60 Q&A columns by Helaine Fendelman and Joe Rosson, authors of Price It Yourself. Each column answers one question, and the questions cover a nice spectrum: Zia Pueblo pottery, a Mexican blanket, racing memorabilia, James Bond memorabilia, school days collectibles, flamingo collectibles, R.S. Prussia, Satsuma pottery, America Brilliant Period Cut Glass, Stickley, Coke, Hopalong Cassidy, several on furniture, etc. I particularly liked the column on a biscuit table with a limestone top found in an abandoned cabin in a valley about to be flooded by the TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority), valued at $800 to $1,000 ($1,200-$1,500+ if it had the hood).

           To reach the antiques section of the website, click on “At Home” on the brown index bar at the top of the page. Then click on “Antiques/Collectibles” in the left column under “At Home.” The columns are under the “Appraisals” heading. Click on “More” to see the full listing. There’s something interesting to read here for everyone.

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