Sunday, January 31, 2010

Danish Modern Sculpture Perfect Accent Piece

Today's Garage Sale Archeology find is a HUGE Mid-century crane sculpture. When it comes to Danish Modern less is more. A few accent pieces will finish your room nicely and this piece is perfect! Obviously it's not meant to set on a table. It's photographed this way so people can get a feel for just how tall this piece is. It's a beautiful honey color that would stand out in any room, especially on a hardwood floor. The wood is from a large leguminous tropical rain tree (Albizia saman or Samanea saman) of tropical America belonging to the family Leguminosae. It is best known as monkeypod. I can see this piece next to a fireplace, on a pedestal, entry way or in a bare corner. This must have piece is available on ebay!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Ode' To Harvest Gold and Mom

As we begin to get closer to February I begin to think of my Mom and her birthday. For most people February 14th means Valentine's Day but growing up in my family it meant Mom's birthday. My Mother survived personal tragedy, an orphanage, the Great Depression, World War II, my Father, 4 children, rebellious teenagers, college tuition, a son in Viet Nam, a recession, retirement and grandchildren. Through it all she cooked for us. I have just a few things from her kitchen. Each one a memory, a story. I use each and every one of these items, still. I treasure them for their stories. Harvest gold may not fit into today's modern stainless steel kitchen but I keep them as a reminder of the days I learned to cook as a child with my Mother's guidance.

This Valentine's Day I will make one of her recipes compiled in our family cookbook, Orange Juice Cake. It's not from scratch but it's a recipe born of the 70's for the modern housewife.

1 box Lemon Pudding Cake Mix
4 eggs
3/4 cup oil
1 can coconut (this will not go over well with my hubby & sons)
  • Beat above ingredients together about 4 minutes.
  • Pour into ungreased 12x14x1 1/2" pan.
  • When cake is done poke holes in the top with meat fork.
  • Pour glaze over cake while warm.
Glaze: 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 cup oil, 1/3 cup orange juice

Beat until well mixed!

Serves 12-16

I purchased this harvest gold mixer at a garage sale 2 summers ago. I needed a mixer and the color reminded me of my Mom. I found the owner and asked if it worked. She told me she was downsizing and moving in with her daughter and their family. She shared that the mixer had made many batches of mashed potatoes since the early 70's when it was purchased. Her daughter came over and said the mixer was out for every holiday and worked just as good as it did when it was new. So for $10.00 I purchased this mixer. As I reached out to take the mixer from the owner she paused. How many memories where attached to this mixer? I assured her that many more batches of mashed potatoes would be made using this mixer. She smiled and said "thank you".

Monday, January 18, 2010

Oh Atomic!

Today's garage sale finds were all about the ATOMIC ERA! According Wikipedia in the 50's, "the phrase gained popularity as a feeling of nuclear optimism emerged in the 1950s in which it was believed that all power generators in the future would be atomic in nature. The atomic bomb would render all conventional explosives obsolete and nuclear power plants would do the same for power sources such as coal and oil. There was a general feeling that everything would use a nuclear power source of some sort, in a positive and productive way, from irradiating food to preserve it, to the development of nuclear medicine."

All of the items purchased today come from those glorious carefree 1950's and since we all know I am a certified lampaholic this little plastic tripod lamp was a fab find. Perfect for any Mid-century, Danish Modern or Atomic room. Not a bad find at the local consignment shop.

Who could resist this sweet little plastic orange watering can? It's almost a sculpture in its own right and it works. The color was sure to brighten any indoor gardeners life in the 50's.

Lastly this a complete set of 8 tumblers or highball glasses. They are absolutely stunning with classic Atomic designs over the surface. It took a little digging to find all of these treasures but in the end it was worth it. And the price???? :) Check all of these items out on ebay because the prices were that good: Atomic Lamp, Atomic Pitcher and Atomic Tumblers!


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Danish Modern Fireplace Tool Set A Classic Find!

Nothing like stoking that fire during the winter and this set is sure to do that! The wood on this set is in very good condition with just a small amount of wear on the metal! It's available on Ebay HERE! Happy bidding!


Saturday, January 9, 2010

Is T. Victor Hall American Illustrator Thomas Victor Hall?

A few years ago I picked up an old sketchbook dating 1899-1900 by a Donald Gilbert in an Allen, MI antique shop. Tucked inside was a guoache painting/illustration signed T. Victor Hall, 00 (1900). There was a well known American artist/illustrator from 1879-1965 named Thomas Victor Hall and was born in Rising Sun, Indiana. Hall attended the Cincinnati Art Academy at about the same time this guoache was dated and later moved to New York. He wrote a book titled, First Steps in Pictorial Composition, published in or around 1934. I did a check for signatures but the only one I found was some 47 years after this painting was done and in script. I would like to know if this is an early Thomas Victor Hall. Could Donald Gilbert have been a classmate at the Cincinnati Art Academy? It's not unusual for students to exchange sketches while in school.

A 1921 article from the New York Times, Art Exhibitions of Paintings shares the following:

"Among other interesting canvases are T. Victor Hall's little nude girl on a sofa, very beautiful in color".

To the right is an early illustration by T. Victor Hall from 1909. There seems to be some similarities between my little Pierrot painting and the August cover of The Argosy. The monochromatic color scheme using blues and oranges is very similar to the painting I found. The Argosy was an American pulp magazine, published by Frank Munsey. It is generally considered to be the first American pulp magazine. The magazine began as a general information periodical entitled The Golden Argosy, targeted at the boys adventure market.

T. Victor Hall was a regular contributor to several magazines but my favorite is his work in the St. Nicholas magazine. I purchased a copy of the magazine in my quest for more information on this artist. The St. Nicholas Magazine (1873-1941) was a successful American children's magazine, published by Scribner's beginning in November 1873, and designed for children five to eighteen. The magazine was edited by Mary Mapes Dodge—remembered for Hans Brinker or The Silver Skates.

Just another great archeology find! For some people it's just old stuff but for me it's a story that needs discovery. What a great find. To my knowledge this is the first publication of this illustration. It only took 110 years.

========= UPDATE 1-24-10 ============

At long last! After 10 years of searching for the artist who painted the little Pierrot painting tucked inside Donald Gilbert's sketchbook I have a face. A portrait of an American illustrator whose contributions to the arts are vast. Now I would like to know more about Louis C. Pedlar, Inc.

Below are links to a variety of illustrations bearing his signature.

Pearson's magazine, Volume 21, Issue 2

Iturbide, a soldier of Mexico, By John Lewin McLeish

Munsey's magazine, Volume 38

Pierrot wounded: and other poems, By Walter Adolphe Roberts

Printers' ink, Volume 107/ Photograph of T. Victor Hall