Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Deathly white tintype portrait

Full plate painted tintype, 8.6 inches by 6.6 inches, found in a multidealer shop in rural Florida. Good chance she's a northern transplant.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Strawberry harvest

While driving near Plant City, Fla., this past weekend I came upon a group of migrant workers picking strawberries. All day long they are bent over as they pluck the berries and put them in plastic trays. By day's end, their backs must be pretty sore. Without these workers who travel great distances the fruit would rot in the fields and I wouldn't have easy pickings at the supermarket. But in my home state, Georgia, and in neighboring Alabama, elected officials have passed strict anti-immigration laws that could be devastating to agriculture, the green industry (landscaping), and Atlanta's convention business, which pumps millions of dollars into the local economy. The ugly truth is the folks who passed these laws are not a diverse group; they're white and mostly male. If the field workers were caucasians from Canada rather than brown Mexicans, none of those politicians would care. A federal court will decide next year whether portions of both states' laws are legal. Let's hope the court recognizes the discrimination that's scaring away these valuable workers and hurting our country, and strikes parts of those laws.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Shriners parade

A UPI press photo from 1954 showing people watching a Shriners parade where the marchers are wearing lights. Because of the camera's time exposure, the marchers themselves are invisible and the viewers look like they just rose from the dead. This strangely beautiful photo sold for more than $200 on eBay (soxphotos).

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Nelson Mandela in sawdust

Two years ago this month, the U.N. honored Nelson Mandela by designating July 18 as Nelson Mandela International Day. I don't know if the artist Archie Byron (d. 2005) ever met Mandela, but he was certainly inspired by him. Nineteen years before the U.N. bestowed its honor, Byron made this sawdust portrait of the great South African leader, now 93. The year was 1990 when Mandela's 27 years of imprisonment came to an end. Byron owned a gun shop and was a local leader, serving on the Atlanta City Council. But it turns out his greatest gift to the public is what he did with the gunstock waste on the floor of his shop. A brief YouTube video shows the artist at work.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Bird dogs

These fluffy guys are for sale on eBay (audee17), and I suspect they will fetch quite a bit of money.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Hurry, closes Saturday

White Columns gallery in New York is showing the work of Prophet Royal Robertson, who lived in Louisiana and made wildly emotional, othewordly posters, many of which attack his former wife, Adell. The show, called No Proud Bastards, closes Saturday. The New York Times published a short review. I'm fortunate to own the Royal Robertson pictured here.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Big doughboy cookie cutter

Doughboys were American soldiers who fought in World War I. In WWII they were G.I.'s. This cookie cutter, slightly taller than 16 inches, obviously plays with the word. The dough this soldier cut made a cookie big enough to feed more than one doughboy.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Broad shouldered man

Tintype showing a man whose smallish head and biggish torso don't seem to go together.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Friday, November 11, 2011

Bisque doll in her old dress

This doll is tiny, just 2.6 inches tall. Its arms move. The dress is pretty drab, but I wonder if at one time it had some color.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


I'll bet these outfits have remained in storage for as long as the couple has been married, maybe longer. A snapshot that recently sold on eBay (reeneeq).

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Outsider erotic totems

The story I was told is that these strange, stylized carvings came out of a lodge or club in Pennsylvania. Some club. The taller one (12 inches) has brads for nipples.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Cartoony molds

The second one looks to me like it might be a gorilla or an angry dog. They're from a New York factory.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011