Admit it, you collect something right? Some women collect jewelry, or clothes or shoes. I don't claim any of these as my pets, well, maybe the shoe part. ( I just found the BEST little red MaryJanes!) But when it comes to antiques... therein lies my weakness. I aquired this " habit" at around age 12, when my love of horses seemed to ride off into the sunset along with the Barbie dolls. ( YES, I was one of those little girls with a room full of plastic horse models, horse portraits, and every rendition of "Black Beauty" ever printed. I even had a bridle, even though I never actually had a horse).
But having a mother with a penchant for the OLDE, led me to a life of addiction... yes ADDICTION... to the 19th century. If you would be so kind as to accompany me around the house. may I share with you a few of my favorite collections?
The graphics on late 19th century games are simply delightful.
The games of Tiddly winks, Jack Straws and Lotto seem to have been very popular in the early 190o's.
The boxes alone, are reason enough to collect these, but when the contents are still in the box, that is REALLY fun.
Directions are a must, since many of these games are as foreign to us as the games of MARBLES and JACKS are, to today's youngsters.I love showing these to children, many of whom have never even played a board game! (We grew up on Monopoly)
Displaying your collections properly and to best advantage is really important. In our house we use a lot of these long colonial style shelves with pegs.
Antique ABC blocks, ( which also have great graphics) are displayed in the old printers box.
The vintage storybooks are hanging off the wall in an old wire card rack.
All these are in my studio ( which I recently moved from my tiny room, to a guest room twice as large) I am constantly inspired by the artwork on these items. Maybe it is one reason I love creating story books in an old world style.
Now, here are the old crocks. Long before glass jars came into use, crocks held everything from preserves to whiskey. The crocks beneath are made by Heinz and contained not only pickles but preserves of every kind.
As I always say, presentation is everything, and don't those images of fresh fruits on the labels make you want to purchase a 5 gallon crock of strawberry preserves?
I look for antique canning labels with fabulous artwork on them. I just paste them on my existing crocks.
Crockery was also used for butter churns, as seen here amongst the glass churn and the metal churn and butter molds. The cow is actually an antique cast iron doorstop.
I don't know how many crocks are around this house, but I do try to put most to use, hiding non-vintage items like "sweet n low" packs, baggies, scouring pads, and the like. Since our house was built around 1890, we try to stay in that era, or earlier, with decor.
And here, to show you that some things never change, they just get older... one of my favorite collections. HORSES.!!... but not like the ones I had as a girl!
These are made of plaster over wood. You could buy them in the 1910 Sears catalog for 49 cents and up, but they were imported from Germany. The Germans made marvelous toys back in the day, think Steiff.
This guy was in dreadful condition when I bought him, he was ready for the dog food factory. But I restored him well. He is actually made of some kind of animal skin (ICK) which was stretched and stitched along his body. All his stitching had to be replaced along with his eyes, tail and mane, which I replaced with dyed flax. Now, he is ready for the Kentucky Derby!
This was my first little horse on wheels. He is covered in a felt-like fabric and I paid $75 for him long ago when I really couldn't afford it. (Gee I hope you are not bored yet, because we have to trot over to view the rest of the horse show!)
These charming little work horses are made of flat wood with paper lithograph atop.
And this lithographed horse pulling the workable wagon is joined by a metal WWI horse and a cast iron horse from 1890.
Where would we be without George Washington riding in on his trusyt steed?
And here is the head of a STICK horse, minus the stick, MY FAVORITE.
I could go on and on.... show you the cows, donkeys and sheep, but I don't want to BORE YOU TO DEATH! Let's face it, half the fun of collecting, is showing your STUFF to other people- who like your STUFF as much as you do!
And this is how this collection is displayed, in our Front Parlor, on the way to the Keeping Room.
Next time we do a show and tell... I will bring along my Southern Belles,
and all the wooden birds and pewter teapots.
What do you collect and HOW do you display it? Do you have a blog post showing your ideas? Let us know!