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A couple was strolling through the flea market when they found a cell phone. Anxious to do the right thing and find its owner, the wife scrolled through the saved numbers and stopped at Mikey’s number; she called and explained to him that she had found the cell phone. Mikey told her he was glad that she called and that the cell phone belonged to his wife. They agreed that the couple would wait there until his wife came to retrieve the phone.
The woman looked strangely at the cell phone a few minutes later when it began to ring and she answered it. On the other end, Mikey said, “Honey, this nice woman found your phone at the flea market . . .”
The Greater Long Branch Chamber of Commerce will present its 13th AnnualLong Branch Antiques & Collectibles Show, on December 1-2, 2012 at the Middle School in Long Branch, New Jersey. This show which attracts many quality dealers and thousands of visitors features Christmas ornaments, vintage advertising, pottery, art glass, toys and quilts as well as linens, jewelry and Victorian furniture.
December 1-2, 2012, Christmas Antiques Show, Turnpike Road School on Route 517, Oldwick, New Jersey
December 1-2, 2012, Colonial Christmas Antiques & Artisan’s Show, Holiday Inn & Suites, Williamsburg, Virginia
December 1-2, 2012, Purcellville Heritage Antiques Show, Roller Skating Pavilion, Purcellville, Virginia
December 2, 2012, Leesport Antiques Flea Market, Gernants Church Road, Leesport, Pennsylvania
The Christmas tree has its origins in Germany in the mid-16th Century when Christians first brought them into their homes. Some historians credit Martin Luther, the Protestant reformer with being the first to put lit candles on the tree. As time went on most trees were decorated with cookies, fruits and silver tinsel. It would take almost 200 years before the Christmas tree was adopted in America.
It wasn’t until later in the Victorian Era that the people of America started placing decorated Christmas trees into their home. They decorated their floor to ceiling trees with homemade ornaments, fruits and candles until the beginning of the 20th Century when they started using imported, mostly from Germany, hand-blown glass ornaments. These ornaments are highly sought after by collectors today. The first hand-blown ornaments came from Lauscha, Germany. These ornaments were silvered and hand painted by small family owned businesses.
Lighting up a Christmas tree is believed to go back to mid-1600s but it wasn’t until the Germans started attaching candles to the tree that it really took off across Europe. The early 1700s saw European people gluing candles to their Christmas trees with melted wax or by pinning them to the tree. In the 1890s, the invention of candleholders made it easier to light up the tree and the tradition continued to spread, but only among the well to do; candles were quite expensive at the time.
It should be no surprise that Thomas Edison, the inventor or the light bulb, would have a hand in Christmas tree lighting. The first light bulbs strung together for use on a Christmas tree were designed and created by Edward Johnson in 1882. Mr. Johnson was an inventor that worked for what is known today as Con Edison, the electric company started by Thomas Edison. Mr. Johnson decorated a tree in his home and by 1900 many of the large department stores of the day began lighting up their trees.
Christmas tree lights were also quite expensive at the time and so lighting trees with candles continued to be a tradition for most families. It wasn’t until the 1930s that electric lights started to become the preferred method of lighting the average Christmas tree in the U.S. Early Christmas tree light strings were produced first by GE and then later by the NOMA Electric Company. In the 1960s, prices for electric lights were driven down by foreign imports and more people were able to afford to not only light up their tree, but the outside of their homes as well.
An Emile Galle carved cameo glass table lamp recently sold at an A.B. Levy Auction in Palm Beach, Florida for more than $235,000. The lamp which had a shade that measured 20 inches in diameter stood about 31 inches high and both pieces were signed by Galle.
Emile Galle was a French Art Nouveau artist whose medium was glass. His beginning came in his father’s factory, where he produced clear glass pieces decorated with enamel. However, his most sought after pieces today are his original opaque glass pieces with carvings or etchings of plant motifs in two or more colors; known as cameo glass. Some of his vases and lamps are very elaborately designed and very expensive but he also produced what some call “Industrial Galle” pieces; which is relatively less expensive art glass.
Quinn’s Auction Galleries in Fall Church, Virginia will hold a Fine & Decorative Arts Auction on Saturday, December 8, 2012; Including Estate Jewelry & Watches
On Saturday December 15, 2012, Richard Opfer Auctioneering will hold a Historic Baltimore Ephemera and Advertising Auction
December 16, 2012, Antique Stocking Stuffer Show & Sale, John Jay High School, Cross River, New York
As demand grew, more ornaments had to be mass produced. By 1935 more than 250 million ornaments were being shipped to the U.S. A few things you should check to determine whether an ornament is authentic; first check the stem for a country of origin. Newer, cheaper or fakes may not have a marking. Also, remove the stem and look at the base; if the base is smooth, the ornament is probably mass produced. Hand-blown ornaments usually have an uneven base. And of course, the earliest ones were hand painted, so look for paint that is distressed or faded.
It has been reported that this past Cyber Monday, more than $1.5 billion dollars were spent on the Internet by people looking to buy that perfect gift for their special someone. According to the Washington Post, that is up more 28.4% more than it was a year ago. And what are people buying online? They are buying everything from large screen high definition televisions to sexy lingerie for their significant other; and yes antique and vintage items.
Gifting antiques and vintage collectibles is a smart idea because not only are most items of bygone years beautiful, but many were handcrafted and made in America as well. Additionally, antiques and vintage collectibles have the potential of increasing invalue, unlike a lot of the mass produced items you would find being made today in foreign countries for export to the United States. Lastly, gifting antiques and collectibles makes sense because you are helping the environment. Many of you have heard me lament before; recycle buy vintage.
Vintage collectibles that would make terrific gifts include glass or glassware items. Last month, I wrote about Mad Men and their liquor glasses made by Dorothy Thorpe; picture those same Rolly Polly glasses adorning someone’s bar at Christmas; or a table centerpiece created with a large Royal Ruby bowl filled with chestnuts and fruits on the Christmas dinner table and surrounded by festive vintage salt and pepper shakers which often cost less than their new cousins sitting on grocery shelves. Who wouldn’t want vintage glass; it’s beautiful and affordable.
If vintage glass is not your style, there are many other vintage collectibles that would suit the gift giving purpose; who doesn’t like Norman Rockwell? A great gift for those newlyweds living in their first home would be a nice vintage lithograph or advertising print. For the kid in all of us, there are vintage toys that bring back nostalgic memories and for the cook there are vintage cookbooks and kitchenware. And lastly for the manly man, there are vintage tools . . . handsaws, drills, hammers and woohoo wood planes with beautiful angles.