FEBRUARY 2001

 

 

 

Prior 
Website-ings
Articles

Compiled by Bryan McMullin

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.


http://www.spratlingsilver.com

As far as reference websites go, this should be a model. It works easily and efficiently, with information organized in a clear and concise manner making it easy to use for even the novice website visitor. William Spratling was the American "master" of Mexican Silver in the 20th century, and this site provides not only biographical and historical information, but useful information for dealers and collectors as well.

The various hallmarks found on his work, and their meanings, are explained in detail, along with information about fake hallmarks, but the best part of the site is a seachable catalog of Spratling creation. This catalog offers images and detailed information on over 500 pieces, in one of the best designed and easy to use online catalogs we have encountered to date. Bravo to Webnaster Phyllis Goddard for a job well done!

http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Chamber/9670educational.html

This is the unfortunately long and totally non-descriptive address for the website of the "Button Information Index" which happens to be an excellent visual catalog of the amazing variety of forms, materials and categories included in this popular collecting category. Not a collecting area that we are particularly familiar with, we found that there are numerous button sites but most of them are purely commercial selling sites and are not particularly good for reference.

This site consists primarily of a home page with clickable images representing 17 categories of buttons, most of which we had never heard of. Clicking on each image brings up a page with a number of examples of their respective category. Each category is headed with a brief description and background, but it is primarily a visual resource. Somewhere out there is a really informative site about buttons and collecting them, but we have yet to find it.

http://www.geocities.com/mvhw/page5.html

This is another case of a site with a totally non-descriptive address, which, considering the extensive nature of the site itself and the site owner's apparent familiarity with the technology is quite surprising (the result of the compromises one makes for free web pages). This is the address of Mark Headrick's Horology Page, which must be one of the most comprehensive horological  site on the web and is among the most comprehensive single topic sites we have visited. Mr. Headrick is the owner of the Abbey Clock Clinic in Austin Texas, and he has put together an amazing site offered extremely detailed information about antique and modern mechanical clocks and watches and the repair and maintenance of their movements. In addition, there is an interesting collection of animations created by Mr. Headrick to illustrate the variety of clock escapements that have developed over the centuries, a wide selection of detailed photos of movements in various stages of assembly, an extensive list of clock related links, and a gallery of "cyber' clocks that in itself would be worth a visit to this site. 

Unfortunately, the design of the site is unusual, and awkward to navigate until you get used to it, with lots of "gadgets" that tend to slow things down (Mr Headrick is very fond of Java applets). There is lots of detailed information here though, and for antone with an interest in clocks and watches, from beginner to expert, there is something for you here.

http://www.sundial.net/~gballens/

This is the address of the Goofus Glass Museum and Information Center. Goofus what, you may ask..? Well we didn't know either, but goofus glass is one of those things that we have been seeing in shops and flea markets for years without ever really thinking about it. A precursor of carnival glass, goofus is a molded glass with cold painted decoration, and this site chronicles this collectible history and the variety of explanations of its unusual name.

By its very nature, the painted decoration on this glass was relatively unstable, as the paint did not adhere to the glass particularly well. This site includes an extensive catalog of images showing the enormous variety of forms and styles  of goofus glass with original painted decoration, and information for collectors with an emphasis on warning people away from repainted examples. Not the most sophisticated site we have visited, but an excellent example of how the World Wide Web can provide information on even the most obscure of collectibles.

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