Saturday, November 21, 2009

19th English Treen and Glass Specimen Display Domes

These exquisite small 19th century English specimen display domes with treen bases and glass covers are akin to the examples that still line glass cabinet shelves in Victorian-era natural history museums and -perhaps as I imagine them to be- filled with exotic beetles and other insects. They’re beautifully made –the bases are turned from woods such as oak, mahogany and boxwood and each possesses a beautiful, naturally aged patina. The glass domes are hand blown -each with an applied knob handle that is press molded and faceted. And at heights that range between 2 ½” and 5”, they are truly diminutive!
Whilst these antique objects have become superfluous over time, they can be given a new purpose; they make a magnificent display when used to showcase small personal treasures such as favorite pieces of jewelry, interesting artifacts or colorful sea shells – merely a variation on their original function.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Antique English Shop Display Stands - Meredith and Drew's CHOCOLATE Wafers and Wright and Son's CAKES

These are two examples of antique British shop display stands for cakes – a Meredith and Drew’s Chocolate Wafers and a Wright and Son’s Noted Cakes display stand -each with an ironstone base and glass dome cover, c.1900 -20. Originally used to lure customers to the shop counter to purchase baked goods, these days they’re a rare find, particularly the Wright and Son’s stand. The base advertises the brand -“Wright and Son’s Noted Cakes” or “Meredith and Drew’s Chocolate Wafers” around the rim in black lettering and sometimes, as in the case of the Meredith and Drew’s stand, the advertising also appears on the glass dome cover in acid-etched lettering. The design was also a practical one – bases often had thumb grips on the back for easier handling and three perforations on the top to draw moisture away and keep the cakes fresh. Today these nostalgic pieces continue to appeal to our sweet senses in much the same way as they did nearly one 100 years ago –they continue to be enticing objects worthy of display on a kitchen sideboard or counter and filled with small iced cupcakes, handmade chocolates or petite fours.

Antique French Mannequin of Boy / Child - Vintage Parisian Shop Dummy

RARE and lovely early 20th century French plaster mannequin of a boy. No doubt modeled on a real child – this beautiful partial mannequin depicts a young boy with his head mischievously tilted back.He has small pouting lips, raven black hair, sincere blue eyes and fine pixie features. The facial expression is arresting drawing the onlooker in with a gaze that “follows” them around the room – perhaps this affect was partly achieved by the hollowed out, or recessed pupils. Clearly an example worthy of preservation, it has undergone sympathetic paint restoration over the years to the face and head –most of which is old, mellow and well blended. There has been no attempt to conceal the restoration just simply to preserve the beautiful features this mannequin possesses. It is signed at the back “Saubou (or Soubau ?), Paris” with a partial serial number “ 3098-356-“. Maximum height is 12 ½”.