Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Masculine Motifs

I promised a masculine vignette this post and I've been sure to deliver- 2 images in fact! As you can see in the background of both, I am a book collector. My favorite are Victorian children's picture books but anything 19th c. or older will do (and early 20th c. isn't too bad either!)...

The ivory miniature painting was a gift from my dear friend Beth, the owner of my favorite antique bookstore, Osiris Books. Osiris is located in Kensington, MD. I worked over a year at her shop but never seemed to bring any money home- I always spent it with her! She also gave me the Elizabethan Miniatures book pictured.

Alongside the painting is a small wood carving from Germany. Though not an antique, this little figure is a treasure. The detail is exquisite. A pair of old glasses in their case as well as a painted rock are additional objects.

One item deserves its very own paragraph- the carved coquilla nut snuff box. The fabulous design on top intricately combines arrows, hearts, a quiver, bow, and tassels. I often wonder who made this item- Perhaps a sailor longing for home? Or a soldier thinking of his bonnie lass?

The next photograph has a humorous label which states the rules for the library; I'll include a few lines: "No scholar shall select more than one book at a time, and having made the selection, must keep the same one week." ... "No scholar shall be allowed to go to the Library during the session of the school." Very different from today!

The dapper young fellow in the postcard is H.R.H. The Prince of Wales. I sold a number of cards from this same Royal series but couldn't part with this particular piece ... The Prince just looks so suave!

The stereoscope view is another humorous little item- the title states: The "New Woman." At a close inspection, you'll see a liberated female complete with her bicycle, stripped stockings, and morning newspaper. Behind her, a gentleman looks awkwardly at the wash board and laundry in front of him!

A friend gave me the calling card for "Elise and Joan, Exclusive Costume Designers / New York". I don't know who they are (which I should research) but I thought the card was an intriguing piece of history.

The velvet green case holds some of my tiny treasures. A Catholic medallion, an antique monk button, a WWII pair of wings, an owl stick pin, my mother's high school lapel pin and a skull and key fraternity tac. This last item is one of my most fascinating! My friend Laura, co-owner of the Lady and the Librarian (http://www.rubylane.com/shops/ladyandlibrarian), found the pin. Its forehead has "ONE" written on it; the eyes are green cabochon stones. Keys are crisscrossed beneath the skull chin. "T.N.Webb / '98." is inscribed on the back. The mystery of this object is palpable - Who was Webb? What organization is this affiliated with? What secrets lie behind the skull's sinister grin? Sounds like the premise to a murder mystery novel perfect for reading on the beach:)

As you can tell from these last two posts, objects are my passion. I love to consider the history behind- their "past life" shall we say. I plan on continuing this foray into my love of treasures, and I'd love to know what you're passionate about in the world of antiques and collectibles.