Exceed Her Expectations.

Love Spoons carved by the labor of love.

Welsh Love Spoon.

Welsh Love Spoon.

In the store, we currently have a wonderful example of an antique Welsh Love Spoon. Carved from one piece of wood, this gift of a love spoon is intended for the one you love.

The tradition of love spoons probably began in the mid-1600s in Wales. During the long winter months, a man would carve the spoon and handle and then present it to the girl they were courting. Versions of the love spoon tradition are found across Europe. Sailors also carved love spoons on their journeys.

No two spoons are alike. Each representing the skill of the carver and the symbols he used to demonstrate his affection. Some spoons are simple and others use a variety of carving techniques to showcase the carver’s abilities.

Our spoon was purchased in England and contains several symbols. The heart represents love. The key and keyhole represent home and security. The daffodil and the dragon are symbols of Wales and the dragon also stands for protection. The linked chain shows the carving skills of the gentleman and represents his captured love. The anchor, his wish to settle down with his love. With this spoon, the carver is saying a lot to his chosen girl.

We can’t help but wonder what was her response to the gift of the spoon. Did the couple live happily ever after? What will you give your love this Valentine’s Day?

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Why did we go to Vegas?

Surely not for antiques?!

Paintings rolled and ready to go to the room.

Paintings rolled and ready to go to the room.

We headed out to Las Vegas at the end of January to attend the West Coast Art and Frame Expo and Trade Show. The West Coast Art and Frame Show is the largest trade show in the framing industry and it is happens once a year in Las Vegas. We stayed at the Paris Hotel and Casino where the convention was held. The last few years, we had not been able to attend the expo because of our antiquing travels in Europe and we were long past overdue for updated inventory.

Piles of decorative oil paintings. We found some great dogs!

Piles of decorative oil paintings. We found some great dogs!

The West Coast Art and Frame Show is our go-to market for items for our picture framing gallery. Vendors from all over the globe set up their merchandise in the expo. We spent two and a half days visiting booths and placing orders for the gallery portion of our store. We were hoping to buy some quality oil paintings and complimentary wood carved frames. In addition, we looked for other supplies and took advance of show specials. Vendors showcase their latest merchandise and offered deals on discounted stock. We skipped the classes held throughout the week, because if Philip doesn’t know how to do something after 40 years in the business, chances are he’s not going to try it now.

New frame style: looks like leather. Will look great in a men's club room.

New frame style: looks like leather. Will look great in a men’s club room.

We liked our hotel. The Paris is a typical theme Vegas resort. The Arc de Triomphe and Eiffel Tower aren’t quite the same as the originals that we’ve seen in Paris France while shopping for antiques. But we liked staying close to the convention and the hotel is in a good location on the strip. In addition, there is a mailing facility in the hotel, so we were able to ship home the oversized oil paintings.

It would have been easier to climb to the top of this Arc than the original one we climbed in Paris.

It would have been easier to climb to the top of this Arc than the original one we climbed in Paris.

Our last two days were spent kicking around Vegas, both on the strip and downtown. The weather cooperated and we wore down the traction on our shoes. This was our fifth trip together to Vegas and we noticed a few changes. Food is the entertainment now. Cooking shows have made the chefs celebrities in Vegas. Lounge singers are gone and over-priced restaurants have taken over. Seriously, $200 plus a tip for spaghetti and one meatball??!!!

Not many people go to the downtown area during the day, so that's where we headed.

Not many people go to the downtown area during the day, so that’s where we headed.

Some of the downtown casinos have undergone attempted transformations, none of which were interesting. And the price of a colossal shrimp cocktail has increased from $.99 to $3.99 at the Golden Gate Casino. Our age is starting to show! We did have fun watching two non-English speaking Japanese ladies try to figure out how to play roulette at the California Club. Chances are that dealer took some Advil during her break. We know we did.

Yummy Shrimp Cocktail.

Yummy Shrimp Cocktail.

Best part of the vacation was the Cirque du Soleil’s performance of “Love”, a celebration of the Beatles music. Cool and groovy! Do people still say cool, or groovy? Well, they should! And they would if they saw “Love”.

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5 Days to Snatch a Bargain

Robertson Gallery & Antiques, Springfield Missouri

Robertson Gallery & Antiques, Springfield Missouri

Get excited and grab your Christmas money! Philip has declared everything in the store over $300 is 20% off for 5 days only.

 

Friday, December 26

Saturday, December 27

Monday, December 29

Tuesday, December 30

Wednesday, December 31

 

English antiques included!

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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.

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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

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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.

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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!

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