Friday, February 26, 2010

Folk Cloth Animals

My development must be arrested, because I'm a sucker for primitive cloth animals. A faded, worn, turn-of-the-century flannel puppy just arrived in the mail for me, prompting my husband to ask, simply: WHY?

He just doesn't get the stuffed animals. But I'm sure you do. You're here, aren't you? Then let's get to them.

Cat Lady Antiques offers an entire zoo of old cloth animals, many of Shaker or Mennonite origin. Their simplicity is absolutely charming -- and sometimes even stunningly modern!

Tell me you don't love this old black kitty, still with her original bone button eyes:

And this 19th-Century velvet rabbit is begging for a snuggle:

Baker & Co. Antiques also sells several wonderful examples of cloth animals. I love the home-made, whimsmical quality of this sock cat. The stripes take the cake!

Finally, this Amish elephant (who knew elephants could be Amish?) from J. Compton Gallery is TO. DIE. FOR. The straw boater hat is a brilliant touch.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Folksy Valentines Part II: Sailor's Valentines

There's something so moving about sailor's valentines. Part of it's the meticulous effort it took to collect and arrange all those shells -- talk about devotion! But also, there's the sense of longing from a distance, the image of a sailor pining away at sea for his loved one back home.

It. Kills. Me.

Of all the sailor's valentines I've found on the web, the ones offered by Diana H. Bittel Antiques are the most beautiful. She states that her inventory comes predominantly from Barbados and are circa 1860-1880. Tell me this one doesn't make your heart swell:

Sailors were also known to carve love tokens for their sweethearts. Helen Warren Spector showcases this lovely emblem, which appears to have been carved from bone:

I also love that sailor's valentines often had a functional use. This shell-encrusted jewelry box from Antiques at 30b would make a beautiful centerpiece for an occasional table or buffet:

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Folksy Valentines Part I: Scherenschnittes for your Sweetie

Valentine's Day is around the corner, and I'd like to kick things off by posting a weekly round-up of some delightful hand-crafted and home-made tokens of affection.

Let's start by taking a look at some cut-paper love tokens.

Barbara Ardizone offers this breathtaking scherenschnitte heart with watercolor details. The intricacy is astounding and the darkness of the period frame sets off the silhouette so nicely.

How sweet is this set of cut-paper lovebird love tokens? Too sweet for words. Seller Peggy McClard estimates them to be circa 1840 -- a miracle that they've lasted so long!

Carlson and Stevenson offer a number of lovely and unusual antique Valentines and love tokens. My favorites are the woven pairs of hearts, such as this beauty:

I wouldn't mind a bit if my Valentine gave me one of these antique love tokens . . . but 10-1, I get the same ol' Whitman's sampler I get every year.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

For Goodness Sake

Then as now, "good" children are often rewarded with gifts -- although I'm afraid my kids wouldn't appreciate any of these fantastic antiques. They'd prefer a Wii (fat chance!).

The Shakers gave obedient children who did their chores a handcrafted, painted pail -- all the better for . . . umm . . . doing even MORE chores! These are incredibly hard to find, but Barbara Ardizone offers one of the best:

The English rewarded their children with -- what else? Mugs for drinking tea! Hanes and Ruskin currently showcase two beautiful canaryware examples.

Finally, the truly model child deserves a chair all his own. I've used a time-out chair, but Ken and Susan Scott Antiques offers a delightful "Good Boy" chair:

I love the utility of all these rewards . . . especially when I look at all the stray Legos and Pokemon characters littering my house.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

. . . Calling All Santos Seekers

Ballard Designs currently offers a pair of nice repro caged santos dolls on its website.

Since originals are often prohibitively priced, these have the added charm of being affordable!

Hooked on Folk Art Rugs

Forgive me the lame post title. Sometimes puns are all this girl's got.

I've been doing my share of online perusing of late, looking for a cozy, folksy, antique hooked rug. Here are three amazing contenders.

The first, from Olde Hope Antiques, is a house with plenty of country charm:

The second, from Greg Kramer and Company, is as warm and inviting a hearth scene as you'll ever hope to see. This would be fab in front of a fireplace.

Finally, Antique Associates at West Townsend offers these three little kittens:

I'd love to see those kitties parked in front of a nice Windsor chair.

Trouble is -- how do you choose from the three?