Monday, November 7, 2011
So, we have a choice of two possibilities for this two-sided pendant ... The scene on one side is of an Eagle holding 2 flags, and a banner that says: E PLURIBUS UNUM (sound familiar?). The other side is what seems to be a mountain scene within a frame and flanked by red, yellow and green ribbons. I don't know what's perched on top. A bird? The eagle is made of feathers, as are the ribbons and flags. The banner and other elements are paper. The pendant measures 1 1/4" in diameter.
Which would you say is correct ... A or B?
A. Commemorative victory piece made during or right after the Spanish-American War dating 1898-1900. The use of feathers and foil confetti is consistent with the post Victorian era. The flag on the right is the Havana flag, signifying victory over that Spanish force, and the flag on the left is Mexican, reminding Americans of our victory in the Mexican-American war of 1848.
B. A piece commemorating the Organization of American States (Pan-American Treaty) which occurred during the late 19thC.
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
One doesn't have to be Einstein to figure out that "Necessaire" is somehow related to the word "necessary." A Necessaire (French) is a small case that contains all the tools NECESSARY to get a job done. For instance, a sewing necessaire would contain the basic tools for mending something, and a writing necessaire would have a pencil/pen, paper, and often other little accessories.
Monday, May 3, 2010
From the German for "sea foam," Meerschaum is a soft white mineral found mainly in Turkey, but also in lesser quantities in France, Spain, Morocco, and in some U.S. states. Used mainly for making smoking pipes and cigarette holders (in Vienna and other European manufacturing centers), it was often intricately carved, with figural heads forming the bowl of the pipe. It was also used, to a much lesser extent for carving decorative figurines. In the 1970s, Turkey banned the export of Meerschaum, and today, Meerschaum products not made in Turkey are usually made of pressed Meerschaum and are of inferior quality. With use, Meerschaum pipes gradually change color, and turn yellow, orange, or a reddish brown.
Saturday, May 1, 2010
The Animaliers (Les Animaliers) is the name bestowed upon the mid-19th century group of French sculptors who specialized in creating naturalistic sculptures of animals in bronze. Leader of the school was Antoine-Louis Barye, and one of the most well-known among the Animaliers was Pierre-Jules Mene.
Friday, April 30, 2010
A brush pot is exactly what you might think it would be. A pot (well, actually a cylindrical, unlidded container) for holding Chinese and Japanese artists' and calligraphers' pens and brushes. Most often they are of made of either pottery, or bamboo. Dating to around the 16th century, they are still being made for use today.