There are so many different types of collectibles, historical objects, vintage furniture, etc in our shop, we put together this handy blog where we'll post brief but interesting and informative blog posts to help you get learn more about this amazing array of goodies that come into our shop every day. If there's a particular topic you'd like to know about, email us!
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Cloisonné is a an ancient enamelling handcraft and art. Each piece is given individual attention and is unique. The word cloisonne is French. The word for cloisonne in Japanese is shippo, which means "seven treasured ware". In Sanskrit it's Sutha Ratha meaning emerald, agate, crystal and pearl. The original craft was often enrusted with precious gems.
Here's how cloisonne pieces are made:
The Italian meaning of "millefiori" is a thousand flowers. This type of beautifully patterned glass has been made for centuries.
This unique process produces distinctive patterns on glass when the glass is blown. Visit an antique shop and look at the vintage lamps. You may see a great example of colorful millefiori glass shades. Another great example of millefiori is in paperweights. They were often made with a distinctive pattern that looks like cut flowers made by cutting rolled glass rods into beads and placed into clear glass forms. Glass beads, too can be made from these glass rods, for jewelry.
The Murano Glass company in Venice, Italy is famous for its millefiori glass.
The Morimuro brothers started importing and selling "Asian China" in New York in the late 1800’s. Since not much was available to them, they decided to produce their own high quality China pieces. And so, the Noritake China factory was started in 1904 in Noritake, Aichi, Japan, thus the name.
Their variety of pieces were hand painted and colorful. The pieces ranged from vases, teapots, cigarette sets, pin dishes and dinnerware. They can be found in antique shops, at collectibles shows, even in thrift stores, if you’re lucky.
The age of the pieces is dated by the type of mark that is backstamped on it. A piece is considered to be "antique" if it is 100 years old, or "collectible / vintage" if it is 25 to 50 years old. The Noritake maker's mark has changed over the years. Most often it is a letter M inside a wreath. The later mark changed to the letter N in the wreath.
On modern pieces, the company produces several patterns of dinnerware currently, the full name "Noritake" and "made in Japan" is found.
Do a quick internet search for Noritake mark and click Images to see their various makers marks.
Have you seen any of Wallace Nutting's hand colored photographs?
Most people know Lenox as pretty ivory bowls, vases and other giftware with gold trim, but Lenox makes many other patterns of dinnerware, too.
Walter Scott Lenox, after working for other potters, started his own business in 1889 in Trenton, NJ. He was successful in producing a high quality, lustrous ivory China. He was honored in 1918 to be asked by President and Mrs Wilson to design a dinnerware set for the White House. Other presidents also sought out the Lenox Co to make dinnerware - the Roosevelt’s in 1932, Truman in 1951, Reagan in 1981, Clinton in 2000 and Bush in 2008.
This Danish company was started in 1853 to produce figurines and dinnerware near Copenhagen.
In 1895 they produced the first Christmas plate in traditional blue and white with a winter scene. They have been produced annually for 100 years. It turned out to be a large portion of its business.
In 1987 they merged with Royal Porcelain to become Royal Copenhagen.
Bill Sydenstricker started this glass company in the mid 1960’s on Cape Cod. He had experimented with this process while at MIT.
The process starts with a sheet of clear glass, a stencil is placed on it and powdered glass of various colors is sifted over it. Several stencils May be used to complete the pattern. When the design is complete a second sheet of clear glass is placed on top. It is placed in a terra-cotta mold in a kiln at 1500f until it fuses together. It is beautiful glass made in various shapes.
Flow Blue is the name given to antique dinnerware made with cobalt blue transfer patterns that "flowed" at the edges. Developed in the mid-18th century in England to compete with expensive hand painted dinnerware, it is thought by some that, at first, it was a mistake. However, the hazy quality of the patterns was popular. It is still quite collectible.
"Depression glass" was manufactured mainly between 1929-1940's. It was (and is, if you can find it) an inexpensively made glass turned out by machine in a variety of colors. There are probably 100 different patterns. It was originally sold inexpensively or given free at the movies or in retail boxes of food or soap as an incentive To purchase a product during hard times. Pretty pinks, greens, blues and yellows are among the colors made.
Wedgwood is a famous name in pottery. Josiah Wedgwood started making pottery in 1759 in Burslem England. He invented many types of pottery but his most famous include Queens Ware, a bone China dinnerware, Black Basalt, and well known Jasper Ware. His dinnerware was made especially for Queen Charlotte, thus the name Queens Ware. The royals loved his dinnerware and a set was also commissioned by President Theodore Roosevelt. Black Basalt was used for medallions and vases Jasper Ware, mainly the blue color, is known for the applied white classical designs.
Hitchcock Chair Co was started in 1811 in Riverton, CT (known as Hitchcocksville at that time) by Lambert Hitchcock. He made simple, affordable chairs that looked expensive. He used a new technique of stenciling instead of hand painting the designs. Although he was a great craftsman, he was financially inept. Sadly he died in debt in 1852. The company basically ceased to exist until 1946 when John Kenny ran across the abandoned factory and decided to revive the company. He used the same style and painting. Many chairs were also made as special orders for events or depicting historic buildings. The company again closed in 2006.