Into Antiques?

On ebay you'll find over 100 categories covering the Medieval and Renaissance periods, through Georgian, Regency and Victorian, to Edwardian, Art Nouveau and Art Deco.

Antique Dealers in California

Linda Stamberger

Linda Stamberger, author of "Antiquing In Florida", is a Florida expert and freelance writer of many genres. Visit this site to read her articles - some of which are available for purchase - as is her book.

Brooks Novelty Antiques and Records

Brooks Novelty is an all-vinyl record store. We specialize in: jukeboxes, vintage soda machines, antique slot machines, pin balls, arcade games, neon clocks and signs, rare concert posters, old advertising signs and much more!

The Antique Company

Established in the late 1900's, we occupy a huge corner building with a small garden area that leads to another 1000 sq foot store (called TAC) that contains our Mid Century collection.

Vintage Westclox

Westclox photo identification gallery and history and information of clocks, watches and other timepieces. This site primarily displays American clocks made by Westclox that were made from the early 1900's up to about the 1960's.

Antique Appraisals On-Line

We are one of the country's largest, oldest, most qualified and respected appraisal services. The majority of our appraisals are estate and personal property evaluations for valuation documentation purposes. However, we have evaluated goods and personal property for natural disaster losses (hurricanes), theft, fire, freight and shipping damage after the loss has occurred.

Connoisseur Antiques

Featuring fine antique furniture, Connoisseur Antiques is a Los Angeles Antique Furniture Showroom specializing in antique clocks and mirrors, European and French antiques, Antique Lighting, Chandeliers, Sconces, Armoires and much more.

Liz's Antique Hardware

Antique Hardware is the backbone of our business. We offer a complete selection of door, window and furniture hardware, lighting and accessories circa 1890 to 1970.

San Francisco Antique and Design Mall

San Francisco Antique and Design Mall is the largest antique mall in northern California. We opened our doors in October 1997 with 75 dealers and today we have over 200 of San Francisco's most professional antique specialists.

Ambiance Antiques

Importer of 18th and 19th Century French Antiques

C'est La Vie Antiques

European Antique and Accessories in San Diego, CA.

Lang Antiques

We carry a large selection of fine antique jewelry, antique rings & antique engagement rings. We also have vintage estate jewelry, vintage estate rings & vintage estate engagement rings from the Victorian, Art Nouveau, Edwardian & Art Deco style periods.

Once in a Blue Moon Online Thrift Store

We are an online thrift store featuring new, used, and unusual items.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Black cloth dolls, some dating to before Civil War, growing in popularity with collectors -

Black cloth dolls, some dating to before Civil War, growing in popularity with collectors -
In this Wednesday, July 25, 2012 photo, historic black cloth dolls appear on display in New Orleans. Amid rare antique dolls crafted in porcelain, whimsical Kewpies and homage to contemporary icon Barbie, cloth dolls in the image of African-Americans drew special attention as more than 1,200 collectors gathered in New Orleans for the annual convention of the United Federation of Doll Clubs. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

NEW ORLEANS - Among porcelain antique dolls, whimsical Kewpies, Barbie dolls and even paper dolls, cloth dolls in the image of African-Americans drew special attention among more than 1,200 collectors in New Orleans for the annual convention of the United Federation of Doll Clubs.

The oldest of the black dolls on display was sewn about 1850, said curator Joyce Stamps of Framingham, Mass., who put together the exhibit at the federation's request.

Because cloth is fragile, most surviving black cloth dolls date from about 1870 — during Reconstruction — and on. But records indicate hundreds were sold at bazaars before the Civil War to raise money for the abolitionist newspaper The Liberator, textile historian Roben Campbell said.

Interest in black cloth dolls from the Victorian era and early 20th century has grown in the past decade, she said.

That's because of a 2007 exhibit of dolls made from 1870 to 1930, from the personal collection of antiques dealer Pat Hatch of Harvard, Mass., Stamps said. Campbell curated that exhibit, and Stamps said she and other members of the Black /Gold Doll Club of New England helped with it.

"That was kind of the jumping-off point," she said.

Stamps' exhibit at the convention ranged from antiques to contemporary dolls owned by Hatch, herself, and a half-dozen other collectors.

Some were topsy-turvy dolls dating from the turn of the last century. They have no legs but two heads, one white and one black; a two-sided skirt flips to show one or the other.

The story is that they were made by black women working for white families, and which head was shown would depend on the race of any adults in the room, said Stamps, who is African-American.

"The children, be they black or white, playing with them ... it was like they really weren't supposed to be playing with each other," she said.

She created one of seven special exhibits at the convention this past week.

Others included dolls depicting Britain's Queen Elizabeth II from childhood to her diamond jubilee, as well as her great-grandmother Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee; the artwork of Susan Beatrice Pearse, who often painted little girls playing with dolls; Louisiana history in dolls; and friendship dolls sent from Japan to the United States in 1927.

Campbell said that when she began work on the exhibit in 2005, she had to dig deep for information about black cloth dolls.

The first sold for The Liberator in the early 1840s were made by an African-American woman who taught sewing to young black children in Salem, Mass., where black and white women worked together in a women's anti-slavery society, Campbell said.

As children, the author Louisa May Alcott and her sisters owned such a doll, most likely bought by their fervently abolitionist father, Bronson Alcott, said Campbell, who works at the Fruitlands Museum on the site of Bronson Alcott's short-lived Transcendentalist commune.

Hatch had never even seen such a doll until 1973 and thought it was one of a kind, Campbell said. She said Hatch had collected about 150 by 2005, and sales of the earlier dolls are now more common.

Black cloth dolls from the 1870s to 1890s can bring from hundreds to thousands of dollars, with the deciding factor being whether several people want the same doll, said Stuart Holbrook, president of Theriault's Antique Doll Auctions of Annapolis, Md. The auction house took in $2.5 million at a pair of auctions in New Orleans — $1.2 million for all 900 items from a toy museum in Davos, Switzerland, last Sunday, and $1.3 million for about 300 antique dolls auctioned Monday.

"One which seems wonderful may bring $300, and one which seems equally as wonderful brings $3,000 for no rhyme or reason," he said.

For comparison, a brown-skinned bisque doll made in France about 1890 and elaborately costumed as an opera character sold for about $42,000 in New Orleans, he said.

The doll from about 1850 in Stamps' display is fashioned as a boy. Clothes sewn as part of the body include a pair of knee-length pants. Back then, only a few brave women wore pants, and those bloomers were baggy, ankle-length and widely ridiculed.

Campbell said black cloth dolls differ from typical rag dolls in several ways. Most were made of new cloth, and the earliest ones tended to be firmly stuffed rather than floppy. Those made from about 1870-1890 tended to be more elegantly dressed and durable than the early 20th-century dolls, which were often more "squeezy" and huggable, she said.

Informative quilts, banners and five dolls shown in New Orleans came from the National Black Doll Museum, privately run by Debra Britt and her two sisters in Mansfield, Mass. The museum — one of two devoted to black dolls — owns about 5,000 and has 2,000 on display, Britt said.

Barbara Whiteman, who opened the Philadelphia Doll Museum in 1988, has said that before 1950, most dolls manufactured for black children had exaggerated, stereotypical features, or were white-featured dolls tinted brown. Mass-produced dolls with more realistic images of African-American children weren't made until the 1950s.

Britt said the oldest dolls in her museum have no features at all and aren't easily recognized as dolls. They are "wrap dolls" handed down in her family and made by enslaved children, possibly in the early 18th century. They were made of gourds and vines, and wrapped with cloth and twigs.

"The children would fill those dolls with stones to carry the fear that they had," she said. "And they would hide this doll from the master."



Hatch exhibit catalogue:

Auction catalogues:


High Street Passageway Transformed By Artwork - AboutMyArea

High Street Passageway Transformed By Artwork

High Street Passageway Transformed By ArtworkPassage 101 before makeoverAs part of the heritage regeneration scheme to revitalise Bedford High Street, a well-known passageway has been transformed from a dark and dingy alley to a bright and inviting pedestrian link between the High Street and the Lurke Street car park area. The transformation has taken place as part of the heritage regeneration scheme to revitalise Bedford High Street, and Mayor Dave Hodgson will unveil the new look passageway at the northern end of High Street, nicknamed ‘Passage 101' at 3pm, on Friday 27th July.

The passageway's new appearance is a result of Bedford Borough Council commissioning Bedford College HND Fine Art, and 3D Design students, to produce ideas for heritage inspired artwork, to be displayed on its walls. The work forms part of the Bedford High Street's Townscape Heritage Initiative project, designed to regenerate the High Street and its surrounding areas.

Passage 101 after makeoverPassage 101 after makeover‘Passage 101' has been re-vamped through repairs to the paving, lighting, brickwork, drainage, the installation of CCTV and a deep clean.

Bedford College art students presented their decorative ideas to a panel which included Mayor Dave Hodgson, members of the THI's Partnership Board and Councillor Bagchi, of Castle Ward. After much deliberation, the winning designs by Michelle Crowther were selected.

Passage 101's design taps into Bedford's local newspaper printing history, featuring news print character blocks arranged on panels within the newly-white walls. 

The Mayor of Bedford Borough, Dave Hodgson, said: "The passageway is a well-used link for the town centre, in particular for users of Lurke Street Car Park. I am delighted that it's been transformed into a much more pleasant walkway thanks to the renovation work and, in particular, the artistic talent involved.

The first requirement for us was to give the passageway a thoroughly decent clean and comprehensive repair job.  That's really changed the feel of it, while the artwork makes it a much more appealing, attractive route to use. The brighter, lighter feel and the CCTV installation will also help tackle the anti-social behaviour which in the past has spoilt the pathway for everyone.

Michelle with artworkMichelle with artworkIt was a real pleasure to sit on the panel to help choose the winning design, and I must congratulate the students who took part for the great array of creativity and talent which was on show. Regenerating the High Street is a key element of our efforts to support a vibrant, thriving town centre, and the transformation of this passageway is another positive step in this direction."

Michelle Crowther, student with winning designs, said: "Passageways, like newspapers, are just fleeting diversions from our lives, and once used, they are often discarded. My design will make the public more aware of the space they are using, while creating a permanent reminder of Bedford's newspaper printing history."

Richard Lloyd HNC / HND Fine ART Course Lecturer, said: "Without doubt the definitive appeal with live briefs for students is the potential that they present with an actual process, one that creates responsibility and a chance to impact on a real audience. This brief has been challenging for all concerned and given students something very tangible to measure themselves against. The strength of the degree level HND course at Bedford College is the vocational nature of the project briefs and the emphasis we place on first-class student experience".

(images supplied by BBC)


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