Thursday, August 18, 2016

Come Visit Our Farm Kitchen!

Each quarter, the staff, vendors and owner of South End Antique Mall plan a new theme for our entryway.  This quarter it is "Farm Kitchen".  They all go out of their way to find special treasures just for this area.  We love it when you walk in the door and are "wowed" by the new decor!  This quarter is no different.  You need to come and check out the treasures that have arrived for our "Farm Kitchen"!  Many of these things are still usable today and are fun to have around.  Some are fun to have around but I am sure were not fun to use!   I am not sure I would have liked having to get my water by using a hand pump!  Be sure to stop by and leave some feedback about the change!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Aurora Colony Days "Hits The Streets"!!

If you are planning your weekend activities, don't forget to take in the Aurora Colony Days  celebration in Aurora on Saturday.  Merchandise spills out from the different stores into the streets for this day long celebration.  There is a parade, a 1k/5k run walk, an art show, an artisan farmer's market, etc., just to name a few activities.  South End Antique Mall "spills out" into the parking lot and field along side the mall for a two day celebration on both Saturday and Sunday!  The tents have been going up for the past few days and today the vendors are busy filling the parking lot and field with treasures just for this weekend.  The entire store is 10% off with many vendors offering deeper discounts.  This is our last parking lot sale of the year so don't miss out on the fun.  Here are a few "teasers" for you to check out!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Sweetest "Pie Birds" Ever!!

Have you ever wanted to start a collection for yourself but did not have the funds or space to house

one??  This is the collectible for you!! Pie birds take up small amounts of space and bring huge returns in the delight you get from the different kinds.  Pie birds have been around since the Victorian era.  They started out life as "pie funnels" and were a chimney shaped contraption that you placed in the center of a pie to allow steam to escape, thus keeping the pie from boiling over in the oven.  They later morphed into bird shapes and were called Pie Birds.  Same concept as the funnel but more fun to collect because of the imagination of so many different artists.  You can identify a pie bird by a couple of different characteristics.  The first is they will always have some type of a hole in the top somewhere; either the top of
the piece or the mouth as you see in the one to the right.  Secondly, they will usually have a slight elevation to the bottom edge of the base.  This is to allow the juices to flow through.  You may occasionally find one without this indention but not too often.  In that case, just know that if you turn it upside down, you should see a completely hollow space.  If you see a small hole that a cork would fit into, you have a shaker and not a pie bird.  There are so many wonderful artists out there it is difficult to say where to start collecting!  Usually, you can pick up a common pie bird for about $10 - $20 or so.  The prices will go steeper if they are quality vintage or a well known artist.  For example, Stuart Bass is one of my favorite pie bird designers.  He hand paints his birds and uses a wonderful glaze that gives them real depth.  He has retired as of June of 2015 so his pie birds have sky rocketed in value. You can expect to pay
anywhere from $70 and up for his.  An example of his work is "Bill the Waiter" to your left.  He did a lot of "series" work with different occupations, animals, senior citizens, etc. You will find his pieces signed "S. Bass".  Not all pie birds are signed by their designer but many are.   A few more that I am partial to are Babbacombe, Adrian, Sammie Roberts, Rachel Bass (Stuart Bass's daughter who is a wonderful artist in her own right), etc. Start looking for them and you will be pleasantly surprised at how many are out there!  Just a side note, if you are busy planning your weekend, make sure you take time to visit Aurora!  This weekend is the Aurora Colony Days celebration (August 13, 2016).  The antique dealers in this town all set up sidewalk and street canopies with tons of wonderful merchandise.  We at South End Antique mall also bring the sale outside!  We have vendors who are already setting up their canopies for special items for the sale. Prices are 10% off store wide and many vendors offer even deeper cuts.  Aurora Colony Days is Saturday only but we keep the fun going by staying open for the sale both Saturday and Sunday (Aug 13th & 14th).  While you are here, check out our collection of pie birds!!        

The little bird on the left is called the 'Pillsbury Pie Bird" and is vintage.  The blackbirds coming out of a pie on the right are Stuart Bass.  Pictured
below are some more Bass, Roberts and an Adrian.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Bring On The Bling!

There is really something special about that vintage costume jewelry from the early to mid 20th century.  Women's magazines were full of beautiful pieces of jewelry that could be purchased at a reasonable price.  Women saw stars wearing these designer pieces and wanted some for themselves!  The jewelry was well made and set in the same types of settings as the more expensive pieces that contained precious jewels. Starting in 1955, they began making stones called "Aurora Borealis" and they are just stunning!  This was a process whereby stones were coated with layers of metal giving a rainbow brilliance to the piece.  It is easy to fall in love with these old pieces with their eye catching colors and elegant style (pictures just do not do them justice). There was something special about these early designers.  Miriam Haskell (her pieces were actually designed by Frank Hess but released under the Haskell name), Eisenberg, Hobe, Weiss, Renior, etc.  This is just a few!! These early pieces of jewelry were not always signed, but do make sure you check the back of the necklace clasp or earring clips for designer names.  If the back of the piece is too shiny and new looking or the stones are not set in prong settings, it may not be vintage so inspect your pieces carefully. Do enjoy collecting and wearing these beautiful works of art!  Don't forget to visit South End Antique Mall Saturday and Sunday, August 13th & 14th for the Aurora Colony Days sale!  We are opening our parking lot again with some fabulous buys!
Aurora Borealis earrings and pin
Beautiful enameled pin with rhinestone center

These beautiful enameled pieces are timeless!
Aurora Borealis necklace 
Look at the beautiful Petit Point center on this pin!


                                                              I love the lacy look and dangling chain on this piece

Monday, July 25, 2016

The Melmac Era of Kitchenware Is Still With Us Today

Sometime in the late 1930's, the American Cyanamid Company began using a raw material called Melamine to produce kitchenware.  This was a prewar time and a lot of resources were being diverted towards the war effort. A push was in place to find alternate materials for kitchenware.
Suddenly, plastic became the wave of the future!  The Melamine product was extremely cheap to obtain thus  the birth of "Melmac" kitchenware.  They were very picky about who could use the name "Melmac" and who could not; it all had to do with the molds that were used.  At any rate, we benefited greatly from all their effort!  We had dinnerware that could withstand heat and would not break easily.  Aside from the practical side of things, there is the aesthetic value  that still excites us today.  They made these dishes in a full range of beautiful colors from the 1930's through the 1970's.  I think my favorite era for these dishes was the 1940's - 1950's.  Those great mid century colors were
prevalent and they show up everywhere in these dishes.  Yellows, coral, turquoise, pink and white.  Not only did they produce beautiful colors but they created dishes with real style.  Check out this lowly divided vegetable dish.  Way too cute!  Because they made so much of this stuff, it can easily be found today.  Times have changed though!  Don't put one of these little gems in the microwave as it will shatter.  Enjoy collecting and using them daily.  One of the big manufacturers of this dinnerware was TexasWare.  You still see a lot of this around and they are still very collectible. Choose a color or manufacturer and collect their full line.  You will find slight shade difference in colors between different manufacturers so be careful if you are focused on a particular shade.   I found examples of solid color pieces, but there is a huge variety of printed patterns as well. You can set a really cute breakfast or lunch table with a variety of these colors.  Use vintage linens to tie the theme together!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Oh Those Sweet Old Cookbooks!!

Vintage cookbooks are one of my favorite things to find and browse through!  You always find
the recipes all marked up and notations made as to what was good and what was not.  Those thin little pamphlet style cookbooks, and cookbooks in general, have become a hot collectible.  Not just to own an "old" cookbook, but to actually use the recipes they contain.  Until the 1800's, most cookbooks were written by chefs to be used by chefs.  The first all American cookbook published was written by Amelia Simmons and was titled "American Cookery".  This one contained recipes for ingredients that were common to America.  Up until that time, cookbooks were written and published in England.  The recipes contained "a pinch" of that or a "sprinkle" of that until Fanny Farmer standardized measurements.  In the 1800's, these cookbooks also contained information about how to keep your house, set the table, how to make soap and home remedies, how to clean and skin wild game, etc.  I think I love the little pamphlet style and spiral bound cookbooks best.  They tend to have wonderful graphics on the front!  There are the ones that were printed specifically for a certain ingredient such as those pictured below for Eagle Brand Condensed Milk, Baker's Chocolate and Blue Ribbon Malt Extract.  Now I can see me using the Eagle Brand or Baker's chocolate cookbooks, but I had to look up what Malt Extract was.  Apparently it is a heavy syrup used in both baking and beer making.  The lady on the front of this cookbook made some amazing looking biscuits with it!  Notice how sweet and proficient they made her look with her hair all pinned up and a perky outfit topped with an apron. Again, the graphics really caught my eye.

Cookbooks from extension services, fraternal organizations, church's, schools, etc., began to pop up.  These were usually a compilation of recipes that were the "favorite" of those members of that particular organization.  They were used as fund raisers so were sold to the general public.  These really are treasure trove's of favorite recipes and are great collectibles to have on hand and to use.  

Take some time to browse through the cookbook sections in antique mall's.  You will find a terrific selection of these great old cookbooks that can still be used and enjoyed for both their recipes and their artwork.