Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Odd black face image

An old snapshot that sold on eBay today. If the black mask isn't weird enough, how about that stance? The picture apparently was taken at a college.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Book learnin'

A photograph of an elementary school class probably from Long Island, 1930s. Their names are written on the back. What they are holding are forerunners of the tablets we use today -- called books.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Gift for a new parent?

Just a guess but maybe this carved box was a gift for a new mother. It's the size of a cigar box. Maybe it was a cigar box. The inside is covered with satin fabric.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A second Uncle Louie

In November 2009 I blogged about a beautiful carving of a woman wearing a necklace that was made by an Uncle Louie. Recently I found a second Uncle Louie carving, a portrait of Isabel Atwell. Same great details from an outstanding carver.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


Recently made a quick trip to Sarasota on the Sunshine State's west coast, where the days are high beam. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Swing and sway with Bobbi Mae

This is a mechanical display advertising the Bobbi Mae doll, which was created due to the popularity of "swing and sway" big band leader Sammy Kaye. It's really an early bobble head doll that moves back and forth when plugged in. And amazingly after some 70 years Bobbi Mae still swings and sways, although noisily.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Mother's shrouded

A neat photo dated Sept. 8, 1942 that's for sale on Etsy. According to the seller, mothers often covered themselves to calm their babies during photo shoots. I did not know that.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Found behind a wall

A silk thread portrait found behind the wall of a dwelling in Friendship, Wisc., circa 1900. Not sure the intent of the projectiles above the head, but they look to me like flames. 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

1000 and 57 paintings

Howard Finster, the famous preacher/artist from Summerville, Ga., supposedly made more than 46,000 works of art before leaving Paradise Garden for Paradise in 2001. Most of his paintings are numbered. This one, "tractor enamel" on wood, #1,057, completed in December 1979, would be considered fairly early. The frame is funky, with butterflies in the corners and dot decoration. Plenty of preaching on the clouds and on the back (second photo).

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

She hikes her skirt, a little

A little carving from Winston Salem, N.C. The label underneath says Arch Ray, 1918. The woman looks like she might be fording a shallow stream or stepping out after a rain.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Arnold loves his lollipop

Rhesus monkeys are being fattened and forced to live a couch potato lifestyle so researchers can learn more about the effects of obesity, according to a recent New York Times story. Like humans, the monkeys will stuff themselves simply out of boredom. One noteworthy discovery: Mr. Potato Head scares the bejesus out of infant monkeys born to fat mothers. That's a sign of apparent increased anxiety among those babies. I'd like to know how the researchers chose Mr. Potato Head to scare the monkeys. Mr. Potato, couch potato? Those researchers, they are funny. Pictured here is an old painting on slate of a monkey with candy, signed Tamara Kaser. Was Arnold a pet, a zoo animal or a junk food junkie for science?

Friday, March 4, 2011

Angels on the doors

Atlanta's sometimes notorious megachurches grab the headlines, but to me far more interesting, at least architecturally, are the humble neighborhood places of worship. Recently, I came across these two buildings while driving in a northwest section of town. The stylized angels on the doors of the first church caused me to pull over and grab my camera. When I left I took a route I had not taken before and off to the right, partially hidden on a rise, was the second church, more fortress-like. I drove up the curving driveway to get a full view and was taken with the rich blue color and the blocky glass cross. Neighborhood churches -- they do their own thing without fanfare. Makes for a more interesting world.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A signature pillow -- no, signatures pillow -- 1901

This was described to me as a friendship pillow. Signatures, in all sorts of colors and heading in every direction, cover one side of this 110-year-old pillow from the Midwest. What's neat is the handwriting is different for each one. I guess the friends would sign the pillow and then a person or persons handy with needle and thread  would sew the signatures to match what was written.