On a barn pick, I got a rather large box of antique wooden roof shingles. Since there are times one just has to put the piles of supplies to use, I began making a series of classic signs, such as “Gone Fishing”, “Welcome”, and the like. Of course, I had to make a few “Gone Antiquing” too. *wink* And I managed to get a number of them done just in time for the Fargo Street Fair too!
Tag: Antiques On Broadway
Few things say “prairie fashion” like the ruffled petticoats made of cotton muslin. They are especially romantic when trimmed with eyelet and lace — and paired with other Victorian underthings, like corset covers and camisoles. But when I placed these pieces on the rack at the shop, next to our selection of vintage military fatigues & camouflage pants, I had an idea…
Really, what can be more “prairie” than combining the femininity of pretty-yet-practical Victorian underthings with military fatigues & camouflage?
These fashion looks combine the history of prairie sod-busting with the patriotism of supporting our troops — including those on North Dakota’s military bases. Plus it’s pretty cool looking, right?
We also have a very cool vintage suede buckskin vest that looks fabulous over the old Victorian cotton shift dress or nightshirt.
And did you know that wearing vintage is good for the environment too? It is!
All these pieces are currently available at Antiques On Broadway in downtown Fargo, on the corner of Broadway and Main. (You should be able to spot these items right when you walk into the shop, but if you don’t see a piece shown here, just describe the time to the shop staff — let them know it is from dealer “EQ”.)
Dealer Notes: These old muslin pieces have pure Victorian styling, but likely date from the 1910s or 1920s. As authentic vintage pieces, they have some repairs and other signs of age — but that only serves to make them more charming and truly one of a kind vintage pieces. Some of the military clothing is actually new old stock (NOS) with their original sales tags. That includes the fine green and white striped shirt with shoulder epaulets.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!)
Our case there also received a holiday touch, including the holiday centerpiece made from an old wooden drawer.
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!)
In other news…
We no longer have a permanent Milwaukee location; so watch for lots of mid-century modern to hit our Etsy shop!
Just some of the old brown glass milk bottles we have available for sale.
Like beer bottles, these bottles were made of brown or amber glass to protect the contents from the deterioration of sunlight.
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.
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.
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.)
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).]
While hubby and I thrill to go pickin’ for antiques in barns, there’s more than a little work involved in dealing with the not-so-nice side of “farm fresh”.
“Farm fresh” really is an oxymoron; for the reality is that these items are typically covered in all sort of “ick” — like bird and animal droppings, spider webs, and other things that make the layer (or two) of good old-fashioned dirt seem heavenly. *wink* Since I’ve just spent the past two days restoring some “farm fresh” finds (and rather spectacular ones at that — antique wooden school desk sets!), I thought it would be a good time to talk about just how to properly clean, care for, and restore antique wooden pieces.
It is important to note that when I say “restore”, I don’t mean “refinishing” these pieces. Like most collectors, we prefer to bring pieces back to life — while maintaining the patina and other signs of their former lives. Whether your antique and vintage furniture and other wooden items are covered in “farm fresh” filth or just need a little clean-up, here’s how you can gently take care of them.
As you can see, these old children’s school desk sets looked like they came out of a barn.
To remove the first layer of “crud”, you’ll want to “power wash” with the lawn hose. Stand a few feet away, and let the water spray away the cobwebs, leaves, dirt, clumps of bird poo, etc. Turn the piece over, so that you can get beneath it. This will remove a lot of the surface dirt, as well as stuff that’s hiding in nooks, crannies, and crevices.
Unfortunately, that’s the easiest part. There’s lots more to do yet. And there’s nothing left to do but do it! *wink*
While the piece is still wet, fill a bucket with warm water, add some Murphy’s Oil Soap, and scrub with a rag. While the manufacturer does not recommend using Murphy’s Oil Soap on unfinished or unsealed wood (and with these old pieces, lots of the original finishes have been stripped or have just plain worn away), we’ve never had any problems. As with anything, test a small area first — especially if you have a painted piece of furniture, or one with decals.
At this point, you’ve probably got a bucket full of mud — and furniture that still isn’t clean. So you’ll need another bucket full of clean warm water and Murphy Oil Soap. Only this time, you’ll want to use one of those cleaning sponges with a non-scratching scrubby-side. (For projects like these, we recycle all the sponges which have been spent cleaning around the house.) Use the sponge to scrub off more stubborn dirt, going with the grain of the wood.
Now, you’ll want to let the pieces dry to be better able to evaluate them. (Plus, your arms will want the rest!)
Once completely dried, we discovered that these desks had been used as tables for painting projects — or at least to hold one of the paint cans, for there was a giant ring of paint and several large splashes of paint too. (Likely lead-based too.) So we had to make a choice and we opted to lightly sand away the offensive paint stains. Then it was one more wash with another bucket of diluted Murphy’s Oil Soap; this time using the soft side of the sponge to go with the wood grain.
After the desks and chairs had completely dried again, we were left with what nearly looked like bone-dry, but spotted, wood that had been left in the desert. Once again, we had to make a choice. While we do adore the charms of worn wood, this was too-worn looking; so we opted to liven it up a bit. But just a bit. While oil can darken or even blacken stained wood, we felt oil was better than wax in this particular case. (With finer pieces, you’ll probably want to use a paste wax. And if you have a lot of different types of antiques you want to treat, Renaissance Wax Polish can be used on lots of other surfaces. And, again, always test in a small, inconspicuous area first.) In the case of these antique school desks, we applied Old English Lemon Oil. Twice. The first coat was rubbed in, left overnight, then another coat was rubbed in the next day. This was the final result:
I think they turned-out quite lovely; even if I do say so myself!
I just love the patina on the one desk with the fancier (older) iron legs — complete with whatever remains of the green stain used and, most charming of all, the old carvings former students had made in the desk top.
And this is how they look in the “back to school” window display at Antiques On Broadway, here in Fargo:
Now let’s talk about taking care of your antique furniture.
Beware the orange oil cleaners, especially for every day use. We can tell you from painful personal experience that those cleaners stripped the finish clear off an antique five-leg table in less than a year. For every day cleaning, use a damp towel with a mild soap — and, with a soft clean cloth, buff dry thoroughly. Wax or oil only when the shine has really left, which is likely once or twice a year.
I don’t like to throw anything out, if I can help it. I suppose that’s true of most lovers of vintage items and antiques… Many of these “old used things” can go on to live another life — if you can only see what they can be!
Sometimes, however, no matter how inspired I am, I just don’t have the time to make the things I see in my mind’s eye; those things we put up for sale. Like these antique wooden organ pieces. Wouldn’t they make great birdhouses? These are available at Exit 55 Antiques (Fergus Falls, MN).
And these old spigots and turn-handles make lovely sculptural flowers — that last long after Summer has come & gone. These can be found in our space at Antiques On Broadway (Fargo, ND). (Another photo of these is also on our Facebook page.)
If you have the inclination to get crafty and repurpose these beauties, contact the stores — or us, and we can get them to you!
Since we collect records ourselves, we buy lots of records. But when you buy large lots of records at auctions and sales, you often end up with vintage records which are so scratched or damaged that they are unplayable. We don’t like to throw anything out. (Who wants to add to landfills?!) So we often try to recycle or upcycle old things to give them new life. We’ve made plenty of bowls and organizers from vintage “ruined” vinly LPs, but we’ve long wanted to make use of the smaller 45 RPM records. Since the annual Fargo Street Fair starts tomorrow, we thought now was the time to get our butts in gear and turn “thinking about it” into “doing it”. So we got out the scroll saw and made some coasters!
Today, I just brought stacks of these coasters (and other items made from vinyl records) into Antiques On Broadway. As we make more, we’ll likely bring some to our other locations as well.
Along with the cool graphics and personal nostalgia tied with music, there are some song titles which seem especially well-suited to their new lives as drink coasters — such as Ed Ames’ My Cup Runneth Over. My personal favorites are the ones with marks from the original owners — like this one marked “I love Paul”. Of course, finding some stacks of wax by The Coasters that are too damaged to play would be the ultimate records to turn into beverage coasters! But still, there’s something for everyone, really, with these charming yet practical recycled vinyl pieces.