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September 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



A bundle of 50 - dollar bills still pinned together.

1800's Ephemera

       Here is a fellow who got hooked by chance and is now engrossed in 1800's ephemera. Believe it or not, he found a metal box in a dumpster, took it home, and discovered it was filled with old papers. Little did he know what would follow, and how much time he would spend on this find. There are over 2,000 pieces of paper, and he is taking the time to scan them and list what he has found on his website.

          In attempting to gather information on the various papers, he discovered to his surprise, that some of the papers were historically important and of interest to local historians and museums. He was helped in his research by many in the internet community and would like to pay back the kindness by listing all the documents with as much information as he can obtain. The website is still growing with more items to be added and more information to be obtained.

          The opening page leads with a definition of ephemera, "Ephemera derived from 'ephemeral' meaning: Lasting for a brief time; short-lived; transitory'" taken from The American Heritage Dictionary. He then posts his opinions on collecting ephemera along with some tips he has learned. The best of his advice is to "Collect what you like, and like what you collect!"

          The site is broken down into sections; first the box tells the story of his find. Then he lists these sub-categories of the ephemera: advertising, banking, baseball, billheads, blotters, broadside, firefighting, insurance, letters, photographs, police, political, railroad, theater, and miscellaneous. There are also some links on this site that are worth exploring.

So remember to check the trash…




A dog's head walking stick.

Antique Canes and Walking Sticks

          This one looks like a good site for the beginner who wants to learn more about antique canes and walking sticks. Included here is information and illustrative images concerning the structure,  art, and history of decorative and gadget canes.

          The web pages are broken down into nine main parts. The first part has excellent definitions of the parts that make up a cane, or as they say, cane anatomy. These parts are the handle, the collar, the eyelet and swivel, the shaft, and the ferrule.

          The second section is an encyclopedia of organic and inorganic materials used in cane manufacture and a discussion of the techniques used in making canes. The third section covers the different types of antique canes, and the fourth part covers the types of cane handles. This section lists more types of handles than I ever imagined existed, most of them illustrated with drawings.

          Part five sends you to commercial, dealer, manufacturer, and auction links. Six lists personal links, and seven, organization links. The eighth part is a gold mine for learning more about canes, listing books, magazines, articles, and catalogues. The ninth link is where you can buy the canes.

          This site is well thought out and has tons of information for those who want to learn about walking sticks. I learned from the site that the terms cane and walking stick are interchangeable. Some of the designs are magnificent and in my opinion are great examples of folk art.


A Victorian pink dress and a close-up of the detail work.

Vintage Dress and Accessories

       Here is a retail site for ladies' items from the 1850's to the 1930's. They specialize in Victorian and Civil War era dresses, Victorian woven hair work, mourning jewelry, Edwardian white lace lawn dresses, Victorian, Art Deco, and costume jewelry, They have purses and beaded bags, vintage clothing and accessories such as boas, fans, shawls, muffs, hats, and shoes.

          They also carry vanity items, like perfume bottles, compacts, picture frames, dresser mirrors, dresser trays, framed porcelain or ivory painted miniatures, and small antique ivory pieces. They have just added antique and vintage linens and needlework implements. They like to say they have elegant and unique ladies' items. Items on the site are sold directly to customers and on EBay.

          In an interesting twist this site sponsors an Antique Sock-Knitting Machine Internet Museum  The museum features knitting machines dating back to the 1860's. The museum has pictures of the actual knitting machines with the dates the machines were manufactured. There is a detailed history of the machines and a picture of the knitting produced by each type of machine. The museum also has sections on the needles, cylinders, and heelsprings - all parts used in the knitting machines. Best of all is a section on how to get your old machine to work. Worth a look if you like knitting.


Eighteenth century faience pipes.


Take the virtual tour Desvres' French faience


          This site is about Desvres' French faience. It is maintained in both the English and the French languages. The owners are especially interested in French faience with Rouen decor. After years of study, they consider themselves to be specialists of Desvres faience. The owners are authors of the book, It's Desvres…on the way to discover the old Rouen which is also in both languages.

          They have opened their virtual museum at:  They invite you to send pictures of your Desvres' French faience to add to the virtual museum. They hope to build a catalogue the world can use.

          The entrance to the museum is a map of the exhibits. You click on the room you wish to enter. There are ten rooms of exhibits and a collectors/collections room.





Animation cell from “Alice in Wonderland” signed by Marc Davis, Frank Thomas & Ollie Johnston.


       Disneyana Exchange says it has the largest collection of Disney collectibles available. They have more than 20,000 rare items all owned by collectors and listed by the exchange. Collectors list their items for sale; the exchange adds a ten percent commission and lists the lowest price available when you search the listings. The exchange keeps all of the transactions confidential.

          The major areas fall into these categories: Walt Disney classics, Disneyana convention pieces, animation art, Disneyana marketplace, watches, enchanted places, and promotional merchandise. It even lets you leave items for which you are searching.

          Those of you who collect Disney will want to utilize the site to check prices. All the collectibles have a short description and an image of the item along with the asking price. The prices do not include the Exchanges ten percent commission or the shipping charge. The Exchange guarantees all items to be in mint condition and says it inspects each item before it is shipped. They claim over one million dollars worth of Disneyana are traded each year.


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