Thursday, May 30, 2013

What’s in a maker’s mark on pottery?

There’s a ton of pottery out on the market, but how do you know what’s what?  And how do you read the mark on the bottom of the piece to know what you have in your hands?

A Sussex Homeland By Frank Beardmore And Co Creamer Made 1903 To 1914

Here are a few things to keep in mind when you are looking at a mark:

*Maker’s marks run a wide variety.  It could be just the name of the company, or it could be loaded with info like the Frank Beardmore piece pictured above.  Since 1891, any and all pottery that was made to be exported (especially into the United States) had to be stamped with a country of origin near the maker’s label.

*With artists being hired on by the pottery companies to hand-paint some items; the artist would sign their name to the bottom as well.  Collectors not only collect certain pottery lines, they also could look for a certain artist.

*Sometimes the name of the pattern is on the bottom as well.  The Frank Beardmore creamer’s pattern is called “A Sussex Homeland,” and the pattern is listed at the top of the mark on this piece. 

The marks on pottery are not that hard to decipher; it just takes a minute to figure out how the maker wrote it on the mark.  What kinds of pottery have you found something out by looking at the mark?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

What is it? It’s a Malt Nutrine Tray made by Anheuser Bush!

It all makes sense now!  The picture that was shown with last week’s post was for a Malt Nutrine tray made by the Anheuser Bush company in 1905.

Anheuser Bush created Malt Nutrine in 1905, and was marketed to help with an assortment of health issues.  It was marketed to help with insomnia, was given to new mothers, and was a nerve-quieting tonic.

This tray could have been used in a bar, or even at a soda fountain to deliver the drinks that someone had ordered.  The thing to remember about something like this is that since it was in a place like a bar, it would get a lot of wear to both the top and bottom.  When a tray gets a ton of wear, the paint starts to flake away to the point where there is nothing left but the metal tray.

So if you happen to find a tray with a ton of the paint left (and not a lot of damage either), it helps retain the value of the piece.

The Malt Nutrine tray can be seen in my Etsy store here.

Utilitarian pieces like this tray often do become advertising pieces.  What kinds of utilitarian pieces like this do you have in your collection?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Why that’s a… what is that exactly?

Why, that’s a simple guess!  Oh wait; it’s not a Stanley plane?  What is it, then?

Well, its round, that’s for sure.  It’s also a cross-collectible.  Anyone who’s into barware, portraits, anything metal or advertising would love this item.

Do you have any guesses on what this could be?

Thursday, May 9, 2013

They really made a porcelain license plate?

In days gone by, car ownership was a mark of wealth.  But it was often hard to distinguish one car from another.  So the license plate was born.

Originally, license plates were handmade out of any object on hand—leather, wood, etc—using the number issued by the state.  Many felt, though, that handmade plates detracted from the overall appearance of a car.  Starting in 1903, both cities and states issued porcelain plates.  Porcelain manufacturing for kitchenware had been around since the previous century, and the states began to use it for standardized plates as car ownership increased.

One of the companies that produced this style of plates was the Brilliant Manufacturing Company.  The Brilliant Manufacturing Co out of Philadelphia Pennsylvania produced porcelain license plate for the state of New Jersey. Brilliant was one of the more prolific porcelain license plate manufacturers on the scene, but they got a late start on making plates when they started in 1911.

This license plate was made by Brilliant Manufacturing and is dated 1915, which is the end of when the porcelain license plates were made.

One area of importance is where the plate is mounted to the car; this area often gets damaged and rusts to the point where the mounting holes look like craters.  This plate is also missing the round badge that was mounted above the date on the right hand side.  Since this was held on with pop rivets, the rivets often got rusted or worked their way loose to the point where the badge fell off.

Even though this type of plate is no longer used, this makes the perfect item to display on the wall.  You could even have a collection of plates for your own hometown or for the state you live in.

The porcelain license plate can be seen in my Etsy store here.
Wouldn’t this look great on a vintage Model T?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Whoa, hijacked yet again!

Hello, it’s Jake again.  With springtime rolling around, John has gone to yet another estate sale, so I have decided to stay here and do a blog post for him.

As I was sitting by the front door and watching out for the squirrels, I realized that this is the time of year that you could get very sick, very quick.  It’s too warm for that heavy winter coat and it’s too cold to be running around in shorts and a short sleeve t-shirt.

So what do you do?  Make sure that you plan ahead and wear a sweatshirt, and even possibly take a lightweight jacket with you in case the temperature drops even more.

 And remember—it’s always easier to take off, or even throw on, an extra pair of socks than it is to take care of a nasty cold down the line.  I wouldn’t want to miss a walk because of it!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The perfect dress for any spring wedding

Just in time for the wedding season: a beautiful 1940s-era wedding dress!  This handmade dress features delicate lace detailing around the neck, as well as a feminine ruffled collar and pretty tapered sleeves.

The veil and long sleeves are reminiscent of the gown Queen Elizabeth wore in her own wedding—but the real show-stopper is the lovely, elegant train!

Being handmade, there is no tag on the dress to tell who made this dress.  But the unknown seamstress put some great details on it, like hiding the zipper under the arm.

The wedding dress can be seen in my Etsy store here.

Now all you need is something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue.