Some of the other primitive antiques currently in our window space at Antiques On Broadway (along with the antique glass chandelier). Shown here, along with the doll in the rocking chair, a pair of very worn horse hames, an antique seed planter, and a four-piece cobblers shoe last set. (Not visible in this photo is a piece of logging history, which I wrote about, an antique logging stamp hammer.)

we have your collectibles fair oaks antiques primitives

There’s also this rusty relic from Brooks Bros. dairy of Hendrum, Minnesota, complete with “In case of loss notify Blue Valley Creamery Co.” label.

antique milk can

blue vallery creamery can label

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Along with our booth space at Exit 55 Antiques we have a shelf in one of the cases near the wrap desk. For the holiday, we filled it with vintage valentines, antique candy boxes, vintage cameras, and a few other bits and bobs…

vintage cameras and valentines for sale

antique valentines candy boxes fair oaks antiques

Here are two of the antique mechanical valentines in action!

We also have some old valentines for sale in our Etsy shop.

You can look at, and learn more about, these and other antique and vintage Valentines we’ve shared here, here, here, and here.

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This is one of our latest — and grandest finds: An antique venetian glass chandelier. This antique fixture is entirely glass (not acrylic), including the arms, the original clear crystal prism drops (with an amazing round crystal ball drop hanging from the center of the bottom), and the hand-blown globes or chimneys are hand-etched with a fine grapes and vines motif.

antique venetian glass chandelier vintage glass chandelier all glass chandelier crystal prism drops antique hand blown hand etched lamp chimney

We were so thrilled to find this antique venetian glass chandelier that we almost kept it! But, as we already have three antique chandeliers waiting to go into the house we are restoring, hubby put his foot down and one had to go up for sale. (Sometimes men have the silliest rules!) It is now available for viewing and purchase at Antiques On Broadway.

Once I got over my broken heart by imagining how delighted someone else will be to have this all glass beauty, the question became, “How do we best display it so that its beauty can safely be seen?” Hubby knew right away: Make a chandelier crate.

Since this was the same week our furnace died (during sub-zero temperatures here in Fargo,ND!), we quickly put together this wooden crate in our living room. (I enjoyed holding onto the freshly-sawed wood parts for their warmth!)

This last photo is what it looks like sitting in the window at Antiques On Broadway — as seen from the street.

antique venetian glass chandelier in crate fargo antiques on broadway

UPDATE: On September 7th (2014), we moved this beauty to our new space at Exit 55 Antiques. Here’s a photo of it on display!

venetianglasschandelierexit55

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Because we have the window to decorate and display at Antiques On Broadway, I feel like we share a lot of those photos — but don’t share enough photos of our space at Exit 55 Antiques. So here’s a few photos to rectify that.

This photo of our booth shows our nice (if we do say so ourselves!) holiday display. Among the findings, a vintage wooden sled, one of those fabulous vintage framed Christmas trees made from vintage costume jewelry, vintage Christmas cookbooks (featuring several from the Otter Tail Power Company), more of those old primitive yet industrial cream separators to use as candle holders (soooo cool with ribbon wound through them and set on the mantel; change the ribbons to match the season!), and a festive soda pop bottle collection all decked-out for the holidays.

fair oaks antiques christmas display

We also have a shelf in a case in the antique shop and there you’ll find these antique German clips which held candles on the tree, circa 1920. Candles are not as safe as electric lights, of course, so we advocate other ways to use and display these antique metal Christmas tree clips here.

fair oaks antiques german christmas tree candle clips

Also in our space at the Minnesota antique mall is a antique washstand displaying collectibles with a holiday theme — check it out!

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A few weeks ago, we changed our window display at Antiques On Broadway (from the back to school theme) to reflect the seasonal changes. Now the window features items to create a vintage and nostalgic holiday season, with a heavy emphasis on the kitchen, cooking, and baking. (Because no matter which holidays you celebrate, food is a part of it!)

vintage kitchen window fair oaks antiques

Our case there also received a holiday touch, including the holiday centerpiece made from an old wooden drawer.

rustic holiday centerpiece

At Exit 55 Antiques, we’ve brought in a lot of vintage holiday Christmas ornaments. Some decorate the little tree in our booth space; lots more can be found in our case display too. (Keep an eye on our Facebook page for more as well!)

vintage ornaments from fair oaks antiques

In other news…

We continue to update at Inherited Values and Deanna’s been writing about “odd” collectibles (Part One, Part Two) for Collector Perspectives.

We no longer have a permanent Milwaukee location; so watch for lots of mid-century modern to hit our Etsy shop!

vintage and retro christmas ornaments on tree

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Just some of the old brown glass milk bottles we have available for sale.

vintage borden's and devine's dairy brown glass milk bottles

Like beer bottles, these bottles were made of brown or amber glass to protect the contents from the deterioration of sunlight.

vintage brown glass milk bottle

Glass milk bottles are not too common; and these amber ones are even more rare. They have neat old dairy advertising too.

Currently, the collection of these (and many other glass bottles) is at Antiques On Broadway.

vintage glass milk bottles advertisng collectibles

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I’ve been busy with articles again this month, including Collecting Halloween: The history of Halloween postcards and costumes at Collector Perspectives. UPDATE: Article is now here. I’ve also written a four-part series on Sewing Pattern History: Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four. Meeting in the middle, there’s also a brief note on antique costume pattern auction news.

I also write regularly for the Dolls By Diane newsletter. UPDATE: Business was sold; article now posted here! This month it was all about wax dolls — from their history to some spook-tacular antique wax dolls, including 17th century wax anatomical models (like those by Anna Morandi Manzolini) and effigy dolls:

Some of you may have heard of the many Victorian mourning practices, or mourning memori, such as postmortem photography and mourning hair art. These may seem morbid, but they were deeply valued traditions involving keepsakes to remember lost loved ones by. Another common practice in mourning at the turn of that last century was that of the effigy or burial doll.

GRAVE DOLL WAX EFFIGY 1860 WITH BOOK

When a child had passed away, it was traditional for families who could afford it to have a lifesize wax effigy of the child made for the funeral. The wax doll would be dressed in the infant or child’s own clothing. Most often the deceased child’s own hair would be used to make the doll even more realistic. These wax dolls usually show the deceased in repose, eyes closed, as if sleeping. The backsides of the heads were made flat so that the doll would lay nicely when laid out to rest.

The effigy doll would be put on display at the wake. Often the doll would then be left by the gravesite. But we do know, from the effigy dolls which still exist today, that in some cases these wax effigy dolls were kept. Wax effigies of infants would be placed in a crib, their clothes would be changed, and otherwise treated like a real baby. The bodies of these wax dolls would be cloth, weighted with sand to give it a more realistic feel when being held. Othertimes, the effigy itself would be framed. For older children, just the head and shoulders were created in wax effigy, also with the flat backsides, so that they could be placed in a picture frame. They were the ultimate way to attempt to reject the finality of death of a loved little one.

If you’d like to read the entire article, go here.

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One of the rather spectacular items in our Back To School window display at Antiques On Broadway is this vintage set of Science Charts by A. J. Nystrom & Company of Chicago.

vintage science wall chart set back to school window history

Consisting of 16 double-sided flip charts (bound in a metal mounting), each page is heavily illustrated with a different science lesson for classroom instruction. (Like those pull-down wall maps most of us have seen in school; only this is a multi-page flip-chart style educational piece.)

vintage A J Nystrom & Co Science charts

The authors of this Science Chart series are: Ira C. Davis, Professor in The Teaching of Science, University of Wisconsin, and Head of the Science Department, University of Wisconsin High School, and Leroy E. Smith, Head of the Science Department, South High School, Omaha, Nebraska.

Each lithographed page measures roughly 38 by 50 inches.

If interested, please contact us or the shop directly at (701) 451-9111 as we will ship in the USA. [See also: vintage Hammond’s Clear-Relief Wall Atlas and our vintage W. & A. K. Johnston’s Unrivaled Series pull-down school wall map of the eastern hemisphere (circa 1925 – 1935).]

vintage educational school wall science charts

vintage properties of air school science chart

UPDATE 12/2/2013: Since revamping our window at Antiques On Broadway for the holidays, the maps have moved to our Etsy shop (and the links updated too).

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Sometimes I fall in love with things — to the point of obsession, or, as the hubby would say, to the point of stupidity. *wink* Today’s example is an old preserves jar.

vintage old manse preserves bottle jar

I knew that whatever was in this old glass jar was not a “good thing,” but somehow the metallic silver tone still sparkled and beckoned from behind the decorative molded glass. Look how the caramel-colored whatever-it-is seemed to flow along the inside of the smooth art deco lines! And who doesn’t love the dear Old Manse paper label on the front?! So I snapped it up.

old manse jar bottle before

But as soon as we got it to the van — and I do mean that it literally began after I bought it and brought it to the van — something really funky happened…

There was a strong odor — like that of gasoline. And there was some icky-sticky stuff beginning to bubble and ooze from a tiny rotted puncture in the jar’s lid…

leaking lid on vintage preserves bottle

Hubby once again admonished the purchase, saying we should toss it out in the garbage. As if! I was too smitten.

So I took the old glass jar home and proceeded to clean it out.

First, I tried to remove the lid. But it was firmly adhered to the red rubber seal — and the red rubber seal to the glass. So I proceeded to gently but firmly tear along the rotting edge of the jar’s lid with an old house key. Just a bit a first, so I could pour out the stinking liquid. It didn’t drain this old bottle as much as I’d thought. Thinking the more solid pieces were preventing proper drainage, I went back to continuing to tear at the old lid. It was pretty soft with the rot, but when I hit an area which was too tough I did enlist the husband’s help to finish prying the lid top all the way off. Eventually we effectively scalped it, leaving the red rubber seal and rim of the lid intact. This fully released the Kraken of smell. Ugh.

removing the stuck lid on the preserves jar

pried zinc lid off old jar

There still was not a lot of liquid to pour out. In fact, most of the whateveritwas was as stubborn and stuck to the glass as the seal and lid.

Given the approximate 2 and 1/2 inch opening of the jar, I had to be careful working with the ripped-off lid and what remained of the rough, sharp edges. We used a pliers to peel off sections of the old zinc lid and rubber seal.

Next, I had to try several different things to try to dislodge the gunk. I tried a pair of tongs, but whatever was in the center was as strong as a human tongue — and had roughly the same texture. Only it, and the entire jar, was covered in that metallic silver stuff too. Silver stuff that just didn’t scrape off. Not even with the business end of a steak knife.

I stabbed a few holes and slits in the center “tongue” and filled the jar with a mixture of bleach & water and let it sit. Several hours later, no change; so I repeated filling the jar with bleach water and let it sit over night.

Still nothing budged.

While hubby and I had initially thought that was that this was just a bottle of rotting preserves, the silver stuff a result of some sort of rotting chemical reaction with the old zinc jar lid; but after a few attempts to dislodge the stuff it became clear this was unlike anything I (or you!) could imagine.

I turned to the Internet.

Eventually, I came across the BLM/SHA Historic Glass Bottle ID & Information Website. I figured that among all the archaeologists and collectors of old glass bottles someone must have run into whatever it was I was stuck with. There were no articles or advice to be found on the subject of cleaning old bottles; so I sent an email, crossed my fingers, and waited. I didn’t have to wait long for a response. Bill Lindsey was quick to reply. Unfortunately, Lindsey had “no ideas at all” on how to clean this Old Manse jar. “Sorry,” he wrote, “I’m into the bottles and their history, not the contents very much.”

Well, I too was not so much interested in the smelly gunk as I was the old glass bottle. But, unfortunately, this was a mess I had to deal with — if I wanted to salvage the bottle. And I did!

Over the next few days, I continued to literally chip & tear away at the physical problem.

What makes this vintage glass jar or bottle so beautiful is exactly what makes it so hard to clean! The art deco lines, the rounded shoulders, the way the glass bottle narrows to the bottom — these were all difficult to clean. I sat for hours, wedging my hand into the mouth of the jar, carefully chipping, scraping, tearing, and cutting at the stuff inside. I used steak knives, tongs, and an old bread knife. (The bread knife, while it unable to cut anything anymore, had a long, slightly curved blade with a wide, rounded, blunt end which could reach areas of the molded class that other things could not). I alternated between the “tools” and using the “tools” to employ the power of Chore Boy scrubbers by leveraging the scrubbing pads into the glass. And, boy, were my hands sore from all the unusual dexterity! I had a very small space to work in, to apply pressure in, while my other hand held the bottle securely. In between scraping sessions, there were soaking sessions too. I made progress. But it was far from clean.

At this point, hubby was convinced that what was in this old glass bottle was old model paint. That would explain the large quantities of metallic silver, if not the hard waxy stuff. So I began to apply mineral spirits. It helped. But it sure was not the quick fix one hoped for, not even after I had manged to tear-out, chunk by chunk, that thing I called “the tongue”.

removed clumps of the tounge of junk in jar

I continued to alternate scraping with soaks and rinses. Not only using the mineral spirits, but with other cleaning products (including dish soap, standard kitchen spray cleaners, and CLR), and, of course, lots of hot water. Often I would fill the bottle about half-way with my fluid of choice and, with my hand over the mouth of the bottle, swish and swirl the liquid around. Sometimes I left the Chore Boy in for a bit more help. I hoped. It may surprise you, but that swishing actually did break off some of the stuff that lay at the bottom of the jar (in the crease where the bottom joined the sides of the jar was especially hard to fiddle any “tool” into).

cleaning old preserves jar bottle

stuff in bottom of old glass bottle jar

Oelerich & Berry Co Chicago bottle

All the chemicals aggravated my skin, of course; but I didn’t trust gloves to hold the glass securely. And there was no way I was going to break this jar! Not after all of this! Plus, I had to do all this while trying to preserve the old paper label.

When I took much-needed breaks, I corresponded with Lindsey about my thoughts on dating the glass preserves jar. (Details of that are here.)

Eventually, bit by stinking bit, I did get the jar clean. Probably not clean enough to preserve any food in, mind you; but good enough to meet collector standards. And without any chips to the glass itself, and minimal wear on that beautiful label. Isn’t she a beauty?! I just knew she would be!

vintage Oelerich & Berry Co Old Manse bottle

Now, the only question hubby has for me is, am I going to sell it? UPDATE: I am selling it here.

old preserves bottle before after

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Just a darling little vintage (nearly antique; circa 1930s) carved wooden cuckoo clock from Germany (or Austria) — just look at the the clock face framed by a pair of gnomes!

1930s cuckoo clock

old german austrian cuckoo clock with gnomes

Measures 10 inches tall; 9 inches wide (at the widest point of the roof), 5 inches deep.

And, as you will see & hear, it sure does work!

This old cuckoo clock is for sale, with a price of $200. It is currently on the wall in our booth space at Exit 55 Antiques in Fergus Falls, MN. We *will* ship! If you are interested, contact us or call the antique shop at 218.998.3088. (The shop is open daily between 10 am and 5 pm, central time.)

vintage antique cuckoo clock

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