This Month

The Wallace Nutting Library

Ask Granny

Antiques Shopping Guide


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 bgventer@bcn.net

Something for Nutting


Recognize anyone? The Wallace Nutting Library
is trying to identify these workers for Wallace Nutting


One of Nuttings chairs.

Author Wallace Nutting produced fine crafted furniture and hand painted photographs; now he even has his own collectors club. Wallace Nutting employed as many as two hundred girls to color his black and white photographs. The workers followed instructions from Nutting as to which colors to apply. The Wallace Nutting Library is trying to identify the women Nutting employed as colorists.

The Wallace Nutting Furniture Company was very proud of its craft work. Hung in the workshop was a sign saying "Let nothing leave your hands til you are proud of it."

This site is very well-illustrated with photographs of Nutting's furniture, photographs, and books. It offers many examples of Nutting's signature and furniture markings for you to compare. You can learn much here.

And if that's not enough...


An example of an authentic Nutting signature

Here is another site dedicated to Nutting. This one offers a chat room, event listings, and links to other Nutting sites. This site has almost 200 pictures by Nutting and offers writings from Nutting's journals. Many other companies copied Nutting's photographs and sold them to the public. Some sold the photographs as their own; others gave Nutting the credit.

Wallace Nutting (1861-1941) attempted to record "that old life in America, which is rapidly passing away." He published many books on the subject. Complete book listings can be found on both of these sites.

  Ask Granny


Granny, the sites logo

This is a good, general collectible site that offers articles, tips, and auction information. The articles are informative and include these subjects: the world of ANRI, Aunt Jemima, Schroeder's Medalta (art pottery), Dragonware, Thomas Murphy Companies calendars from Red Oaks, Iowa, Palmer Cox's Brownies, C.M. Russell (the cowboy artist), and Punkinhead.

On the site you will find tips such as: "To test if an item is Bakelite, try rubbing with a cotton swab dipped in a glass cleaner containing ammonia. Bakelite will stain the swab a bright orange/yellow color. Be sure to rinse piece afterwards." Or this one: "If people tape prices, etc. on glass/ceramic items, the residue can often be removed with peanut butter. Rub on with your finger, remove with a paper towel and wipe."

Also provided are tips on auctions, along with links to auctions and other collecting sites. Granny provides a pay for appraisal service too. Unfortunately, Granny is in the hosptial right now, so this service is temporarily suspended. Get well soon, Granny.

Want to shop and need a guide?


This site offers listings by shop and specialties. Small listings are free, but paid ads are accepted as well. The shop locator provides a geographical shopping guide to antiques and collectibles shops, malls, centers, co-ops, galleries, and other antiques/collectibles-related businesses. You can click on an image map of the United States or choose the state or country you want to go to.

The specialties cover everything from advertising collectibles to world's fair collectibles and much in between. You are sure to find your interest here.

The site provides an events calendar and a link to another site for collectors called http://www.whaticollect.com/ This site is set up as a community for collectors. You can choose the category of collectibles you want to join, or start your own. The down side to this collectors site is that it has those annoying pop-up windows.

Is it real?


A genuine Staffordshire piece, sold at Sotheby's


Genuine Staffordshire piece, for sale by dealer John Read

The home page offers a choice of frames or no frames, but only the framed version works right now. A great site with tons of information, the most interesting of which are the articles on fakes and forgeries. The articles offer insights into how to tell whether the item is real or fake. Collectors should find this very useful.

Another feature of this site is the searchable art prices database. The search engine has over 16,000 art prices. The prices are gathered from pieces sold at auction houses and searches can be by artist, title, or subject.

Other offerings at this site include: searchable auction calendars, searchable fairs calendars, auction news, dealers news, fairs news, talking to the trade, a bookstore, auction reports, a buy & sell antiques section and dealer and fair directories. I think you will find this site useful for your research.