Wednesday, March 31, 2010

All done up

A painted photo of Louise Margelith(?) from Marion, Ohio, taken in May 1934.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Grover's game board

A 19th century game using wooden pegs, from New Hampshire. The owner's name is carved into the top.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The visitor at the door

I like this warm, summer day photo, shot in the 50s or 60s when, unlike now, everyday attire was a dress or a skirt, because it raises so many questions. Two obvious ones are, who is that person at the door and what is that handoff about? Curiously, the white-haired observer chooses to remain mostly hidden from the visitor, connoting wariness. Is the visitor, dressed like a neighbor rather than an official, a friend or a stranger? Another question is, why was this encounter photographed? Was a youngster with a new camera simply shooting indiscriminately? Or is this an exchange of some consequence? The blurriness suggests the photographer acted hastily to record the moment. I'm glad he or she did.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

McKinley memorial plate

William McKinley, the 25th president, was standing in a receiving line at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, N.Y., when a gunman fatally shot him. This glass plate notes the years of his birth, 1843, and death, 1901. Four presidents have been assassinated -- one Democrat and three Republicans, including McKinley, the third to fall. A new invention, the x-ray machine, was displayed at the exposition but it was not used to try to find a bullet lodged in McKinley because of fear it might harm him. McKinley died eight days after being shot. He served during the florid Art Nouveau period. The message on the plate here, featuring an appropriately restrained wreath design, is that God had a reason for allowing the killing.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Antique serpent andirons

These hand-forged snake andirons came out of an Atlanta estate. They are similar but not identical. They're slightly different in size and one is more rounded than the other. The collars on the vertical sections -- old axles? -- are also different. Did the maker intend to make male, female snakes?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Meyers Make

This is a countertop display for a glove-making company, Louis Meyers and Son, which operated in Gloversville, N.Y., until 1963. Meyers was one of dozens of glove manufacturers in Gloversville and adjacent Johnstown, N.Y. In the early 20th century, the "Glove Cities" were the epicenter of the world's glove making. Today, most gloves are made outside the U.S. According to a November 1963 article in the Schenectady Gazette, Meyers went bankrupt and its president and a bank were indicted on charges of misusing health insurance premiums belonging to about 100 employees. This composition display has a 1940s-1950s look to me. I particularly like the peach or light orange nails.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Altered photo

This tintype sold on eBay last month. The seller was upperlevelantiques, good folks. I also like this one by the same seller. Is that mop top real?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Sculpture in the form of a whirligig

What's the old saw? Everything improves with time? Not necessarily so, I'd say, but in the case of this weathered whirligig from the Midwest, the old saw holds true.

Monday, March 8, 2010

A place of outdoor worship

Set Free Atlanta/Sanctuary Shelter provides homeless families with housing, meals, counseling, etc. It says its purpose is to "love the unwanted and unaccepted, such as drug addicts, prostitutes and alcoholics."

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Unusual printer blocks

At top are two old zinc face blocks, one showing the back of a man's head, the other a man's profile. They were inked and used in a printing press. The block showing chicks is from a neat Web site, Damosel's Printers Blocks.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Binoculars view

An airbrush painting of horse racing, viewed through binoculars, on a 3/4-inch board. Airbrush painting seems modern, perhaps because it's cousin to spray-painted graffiti, but it dates back to the late 19th century. I would date this painting mid-20th century, maybe earlier.