Squirrely Crossover

Black Forest Squirrel Pincushion

Black Forest Squirrel Pincushion

A crossover in antiques implies that there will be two or more collectors interested in an antique for different reasons. This Black Forest pincushion from Martha’s Vineyard is a prime example.

First, it is a Black Forest piece, meaning it is hand-carved from the late 1800s. It was probably made for the Victorian tourist trade that visited the lakes region in Switzerland, Germany and France. Black Forest pieces are highly collectable worldwide.

Second, it’s a squirrel. Animal collectors are usually focused on their favorite type of animal. Remember when your mom collected owls and everyone gave her one for Christmas?

Third, it’s a pincushion. Antique collecting may be focused on a handicraft or trade. This would be highly collectable for someone who was interested in sewing.

Fourth, it came from Martha’s Vineyard. It has a history. In this case, the collector is looking for a treasure that will remind them of a favorite location.

Come see this little guy at our store in Springfield Missouri.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Exhibition of Printed British Pottery and Porcelain.

One of our collection of Enoch Wood Grapevine Border Series, Lismore.

One of our collection of Enoch Wood Grapevine Border Series, Lismore.

 

Back in the spring, we were pleased to assist with an international team project to produce an online exhibition of Printed British Pottery and Porcelain. Through much trial and error on our part, we photographed our vast collection of Enoch Wood Grapevine Border Series for the exhibition. Photography is not something we score high marks on, but luckily, the grapevine border series has wonderful shades of blue and scenes that masked our feeble attempts.

Transferware is one of our passions, as is history. We were honored to be a part of this team effort where our passions combined. This exhibition does a great job of explaining the importance of this specialized industry to Great Britain. If you are interested in printed pottery, we recommend you take a look at the website.

Here is the official press release and a link to the exhibition.

A new online exhibition of Printed British Pottery and Porcelain was launched on October 17, 2014, during a special day-long visit to the Winterthur Museum as part of the Transferware Collectors Club annual meeting. The exhibit, a joint project of the Northern Ceramic Society and the Transferware Collectors Club, relates the remarkable story of the production of printed pottery and porcelain in Great Britain from 1750 to 1900. Designed for the enjoyment of a broad audience from the ceramic novice to the advanced collector and researcher of printed British wares, the exhibition introduces visitors to all aspects of Great Britain’s proud and vibrant industry.

Visitors to the site are invited to travel through the history of printed pottery and porcelain, learn about the factories that produced it, explore the various methods used to print designs on wares and view the more than 1,000 items carefully selected for the exhibition catalog. The site’s exhibition curators have endeavored to select items that represent all methods of printing used by a wide variety of factories producing printed ceramics: Included are examples of overglaze and underglaze printing–both bat and hot-press printed– in single, multi- color printed, as well as printed and painted items. A wide variety of shapes including rare and unique items are presented. Items selected for the exhibition were provided by individual contributors and auctioneers as well as museums including Winterthur.

The new exhibition follows the success of two other online exhibitions— spodeceramics.com, presenting the history and products of the first Spode factory, co-developed with the Winterthur Museum, the Potteries Museum and the Transferware Collectors Club (TCC), and a second, americanhistoricalstaffordshire.com, featuring English pottery made between 1818 and 1835 decorated with American themed dark blue transfer prints, co- sponsored by the Winterthur Museum, Historic New England and the TCC.

These exhibitions showcase the benefits of organizations with similar interests, from both sides of the Atlantic, that are willing to commit funding and the efforts of many volunteers to create a meaningful and educational experience for people interested in printed pottery and porcelain. As with the previous online exhibitions, Printed British Pottery and Porcelain will welcome visitors from around the world 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Visit the exhibition at www.printedbritishpotteryandporcelain.com

Leave a comment

Filed under Knowledge/History of Antique Item

Six Easy Steps to a Customized, Framed Oil Painting.

 Upgrade your artwork before the holidays.Upgrade your artwork before the holidays.

Are you ready to raise the level of refinement of your home? If so, a decorative, framed oil painting may be just what your home needs. Regardless of your style preference, an oil painting can give your room an essential decorating element.

Customizing art for your home isn’t as hard. At Robertson Gallery & Antiques, we’re outlining these six steps to help you have confidence in your purchase.

We have a large selection of decorative oil paintings and antique oil paintings.

We have a large selection of decorative oil paintings and antique oil paintings.

  1. Know the size you need for your space. We offer a variety of oil painting sizes from 8×10 to 36×48. Do you want a vertical or horizontal painting? Keep in mind that the frame will add to the overall size.
  1. Browse our large selection of oil paintings. Look for your room’s colors and theme. Will the art work be a focal point or something to blend and layer in your room?
  1. Discuss your frame ideas. New or antique? Modern or formal? Gold or silver or wood? Wood or composition? Dark or light? Keep in mind the hanging location. How will the area be lit?
  1. Choose a frame that compliments the style and color of your oil painting choice. We’ll show you several frames to match your ideas. We’ll offer advice, based on 40 years in the business.
  1. Once your choice has been made, we’ll professionally finish your artwork by stretching it with stretcher bars and place it into the frame.
  1. Hang your oil painting with the correct size of hooks, which we will provide to you at no cost.

 

Our frames come in standard sizes to fit your painting selection.

Our frames come in standard sizes to fit your painting selection.

Notice that we haven’t discussed mat board or glass. That’s because oil paintings on canvas do not need this type of protection.

Leave a comment

Filed under Shopping Tips

A Gift from a Castle.

Would you like a gift purchased at an English castle?

A lovely cruet.

A lovely cruet.

On our last buying trip to England, we stopped in at Sudeley Castle and Gardens. Sudeley Castle lies beside the town of Winchcombe, Gloucestershire, England, deep in the Cotswolds. The present castle was built in the 15th century. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit and even had the opportunity to shop for antiques.

After parking, we headed to the visitors centre and ticketing area. Inside the centre, a corner is devoted to vintage and antiques. Lucky us! Elizabeth, Lady Ashcombe, handpicks the unique items that are sold to benefit the Winchcombe Youth Team Project. We were told that she either brings in items from her own collection or she shops in the town’s antique stores for the shop. We purchased a small well-made lined jewelry box and an etched cruet to bring home to the store.

Sudeley has a long history and it was well worth the visit. We decided to include it in our trip because it is the last home and burial ground for King Henry XIII’s last wife, Queen Catherine Parr. She survived Henry. Upon his death, his son Edward VI gave Sudeley Castle to his uncle, Thomas Seymour. Thomas married Catherine and he renovated the castle for his new bride in 1547. Catherine was pregnant when she moved into the castle. Here, the story takes a turn for the worse. Catherine gave birth to a daughter on August 30, 1548, but she died on September 5. Catherine was buried in the chapel. We visited her elaborate tomb.

This cruet would make a special gift for any anglophile, especially if they were also given this blog entry!

Leave a comment

Filed under Knowledge/History of Antique Item

Antiquing in Hog Country.

Three Cheers for The Junk Ranch.

Great fall decor, using shovel heads.

Last weekend, we did some antiquing in NW Arkansas. We headed south on Interstate 49, from Joplin Mo down into Razorback country. Interstate 49 crosses the state line at Bella Vista and continues south through Fayetteville. It’s hard to tell one town from the next and we visited them all. Bella Vista, Bentonville (home of Walmart), Rogers, Lowell, Tontitown, Springdale and Fayetteville (home of the University of Arkansas). All together, we visited 26 antique malls and shops over a three day weekend.

We would like to report that we found tons of treasures in NW Arkansas, but, alas, that was not the case. Treasures were hard to find. There are two uber-expensive French antique stores in Fayetteville, but the rest were lousy and loosely classified as antiques. The majority were garage sale junk malls featuring classics from the 1980s. There were a few exceptions, such as the Somewhere in Time in Rogers, Tontitown Flea Market and the Bella Vista Flea Market.

Behind the house at Junk Ranch, Prairie Grove, Arkansas.

All was not lost! The best portion of the trip was not any mall or market. A tip from a fellow shopper led us to the Junk Ranch. This made our trip. The Junk Ranch is held twice a year, on a Friday and Saturday, on a farm south of Prairie Grove (southwest of Fayetteville). It’s an outdoor antiques/vintage fair. Fairly new on the antiques fair calendar, this promises to get better and better.

Philip working the fields at Junk Ranch.

The Junk Ranch dealers presented worthy items to browse and shop. You can find antiques, vintage, industrial, crafts and enjoy live music and concessions. There is an old farm house, a good sized barn, and many tents around the property. We wondered if this is how the Round Top Texas antique festivals got their start. If so, Junk Ranch may give them a run for their money soon.

Good stuff at Junk Ranch, Prairie Grove, Arkansas.

We arrived at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday and were hauling items to the van by 9:10. Cars and trucks filed into the farm, bumper to bumper. There is no fee to park, but the entry fee is $4 on Saturday. It was well run and the dealers were friendly and willing to negotiate. We took a look at all the booths and filled our van with fresh stock for the store. Because of the crowd on Saturday, we figured we should have gone on Friday, thinking we could have found even more.

The barn at Junk Ranch.

Our weekend away wasn’t just about antiquing. We managed to squeeze in a visit to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Nestled in the Ozark hills, the museum is a breath of fresh air for any American. From the landscapes of the American movement west to Mary Cassatt’s impressionistic paintings to Andy Warhol, the focus is on America, in all its breathtaking glory and resplendent talent.

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas.

We enjoyed our weekend get-away and we’re ready for the Christmas rush in November and December. Come see us soon!

New stock from our NW Arkansas trip.

Leave a comment

Filed under Trips

Fall is just around the corner!

Pick your favorite before they're all gone!

Pick your favorite before they’re all gone!

It is the perfect time to come see our latest container items.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Focused on the English Antique Market.

IACF Newark

IACF Newark

This is the last of our blogs on our 2014 antiquing trip to the Cotswolds and beyond.

Flea and antique market shopping is different than shopping for antiques in clean, cozy buildings. Spending the entire day, usually outside, moving from booth to booth may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but you can’t beat the selection or the prices.

Cool model of spiral staircase at IACF Newark.

Cool model of spiral staircase at IACF Newark.

Cheltenham Boot Sale.

Cheltenham Boot Sale.

We buy most of our inventory of smalls at flea/antique markets in England and Europe. It’s our sport of choice. It’s all about finding a great bargain that we can pass onto our customers. Something new or different is just what we are looking forward to finding. We cover as much ground as possible, at all sorts of venues.

This ice cream truck seemed to follow Philip to several fairs.

This ice cream truck seemed to follow Philip to several fairs.

It’s fun but this is kind of shopping is not for the faint of heart. It’s not comfortable, nor clean. Portable toilets are the rule. Food is purchased from trucks. Often, the weather will not be perfect, so you are working against time. If the weather turns, the dealers are gone in a flash. We are up early, moving fast and staying until the dealers pack up. As the day comes to a close, you can find the real bargains, as dealers prefer not to lug their items back home.

Griffins ready to go into the shopping trolley.

Griffins ready to go into the shopping trolley.

Trio shopping at Arthur Swallow Lincolnshire Fair.

Trio shopping at Arthur Swallow Lincolnshire Fair.

On our last trip to England in 2014, we visited more fairs than we normally do and because of that, we’ve have some awesome bargains coming in the next container. Here are the fairs we visited:

  1. Stow on the Wold Flea and Collectors Fair
  2. Cheltenham Boot Sale
  3. Malvern Flea and Collectors Fair
  4. Great Wetherby Racecourse Antique Fair
  5. Magnes Antique Fair
  6. Swinderby Village Hall Antique Fair
  7. Winthorpe Antique Fair
  8. Pride of Lincoln Antique Fair
  9. Arthur Swallow Lincolnshire Fair
  10. IACF Newark Fair
The gang's all here!

The gang’s all here!

Here are some of our survival tips for flea market shopping.

  • Start early. We hate to be late; Philip always feels like he has missed something of value if we aren’t there when it opens.
  • Wear comfortable all-weather shoes. You may be stomping in mud puddles and standing all day.
  • Carry more than one collapsible tote bag. If it’s a good fair, you may need to unload several times during the day and it’s a long walk back to the car.
  • Bring a small note pad and pen to track your purchases. At the end of the day, you won’t remember how much you paid for which item.
  • Bring cash, in small bills. Don’t count on the presence of an ATM.
  • Dig for items. Scanning a booth from the aisle won’t cut it. Look under tables and through boxes.
  • Travel in light layers, adding or shedding as the sun plays peekaboo.
  • Buy quickly and keep hold of the item until you finish the sale.
  • It’s ok to haggle, but only if you are serious about making a purchase. If the dealer can’t come down to your price, make sure you still thank them.

 Magna Carta Pub in Lincoln with Stephanie, Suzanne, Peter, and Philip.

Magna Carta Pub in Lincoln with Stephanie, Suzanne, Peter, and Philip.

At the end of the day, it’s great to settle around a table at the neighborhood pub and share our stories and finds with friends.

Leave a comment

Filed under Antique Shows