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.
Probably the most useful part of the site for many visitors will be the art sales price section, where an excellent, searchable database offers a free and efficient source of information on post auction sales results. While it is not as complete and up to date as some of the pay for info sites are, it does provide at least a guideline of what an artists work has brought at auction. For the artist we selected it provided the results of 22 sales, but the most recent of them was in 1996 (a traditional library search yielded sales results as recent as 1999).
Another very enjoyable and possibly quite useful part of this site is Art On The Net , a search engine providing links to millions of sites throughout the world. Here, one could spend hours exploring the sites of museums and galleries large and small from around the globe (the site is generally is very UK focused).
While icollector's online auctions are fairly sparse (as most of them seem to be even if they are still around), there are numerous on-line catalogs (both current and archived), for traditional sales offered by their member auctioneers. Unfortunately, those we checked out were not extensively illustrated and thus not particularly interesting, but that would appear to be the fault of the auction houses involved rather than the site itself.
There are of course listings of Galleries and dealers as there are on virtually all sites of this type, but a unique and enjoyable addition here, included under the entertainment portion, were "slide shows" of current museum and gallery art exhibitions.
Did you know that the stapler was conceived of over 200 years ago.? We didn't! But that and lots of other obscure stapler facts are at the core of this simply designed, but fun and informative site. Billed as the first (and we assume the only) web page dedicated to antique staplers, The Stapler Exchange offers all but the most ardent stapler collector more than they ever needed, or wanted, to know about the history of this everyday item.
Another site dedicated to souvenir spoons? Well, that is part of the magic of the Internet ; there is plenty of room for everybody.
While the souvenir spoon site we wrote about last time was very focused on photographic images, this site seems to be more focused on the background information behind the topics of the spoons themselves. While primarily the commercial site of spoon collector, dealer and writer John Caron, there is quite a bit of reference material to be found here.
One section focuses on the stories behind historic souvenir spoons, while another section focused on the various state seals, which are often part of the various travel souvenirs. Probably most useful is an extensive guide to maker's marks, and for the novice collector the glossary of terms would come in handy in learning about the varied materials and techniques involved in the making of these popular collectibles.
The long term future of on-line publications is yet to be resolved, but Retro, (which suspended publication in June of 1999 but plans to come back in limited form in 2001) is a sign that despite quality and content , cyber publishing is not as easy as it might first have seemed. We are including this site here because , despite having suspended publication, they maintain an archive of past issues with a number of very interesting and well illustrated features on 20th century design and culture. You can spend hours here browsing, and reading about everything from The Casino de Paris, to one persons experience updating a vintage kitchen without ruining the vintage atmosphere.
For puzzle lovers there are over two dozen vintage related crossword puzzles written by Joe DiPietro of the New York Times. There is also a great archive of vintage images as cyber postcards, perfect for sending to your fellow vintage buffs. We look forward to seeing what happens when Retro resumes publication this January.
This is a gallery of images of women spanning roughly the years 1869-1930. There are funny ones, cute ones, ones that are of interest for the fashions or occasionally the lack thereof. The images are drawn primarily from photographs and post cards, and, if followed chronologically, portray in a very graphic sense the evolution of the role and status of women.