Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Consul the Educated Monkey

The graphics on this toy are just wonderful. And it's educational. Move the feet to the two numbers you wish to multiply and the answer shows up between the fingers. From about 1910 and with its original sleeve.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Lay Figure

Okay, here's the story. A few years ago we were at an antique show when we saw this this guy sitting in the booth of a doll dealer. The best lay figure (artists' model mannequin, whatever) that we'd ever seen. About two feet tall with a real face and glass eyes. And a bald head. Had to have him.

The dealer gave us this info for background: he came from a Montreal Doll Museum that had gone out of business. But wait, there's more. This private museum was the home of a collector who was a midget and who shared her house and life with a giant. Retired carny folk, the home was constructed to fit both their needs; scaled for her, scaled for him. There's even a NFB documentary about them.

Except that I can't find said film listed with the NFB. Google search shows nothing similar, I'm still trying.

A friend of ours, an ex curator at the Art Gallery of Ontario, swears he's modeled after one of the Tsars Peter. Personally, I don't see it.

Never mind, it's still a good story.

spotted at...

Spotted yesterday at the Sunday Antique Market:

After much debate the consensus seemed to be that these were dental students' aids. Wax jaws inset with teeth to allow the students to practice doing whatever it is that dental students practice doing. As pieces of sculpture I just loved the look of them but just couldn't talk myself into buying them. Since I was set up just across the aisle from them I did get to stare at them all day, and then just at the end of the day, they were sold. To a dealer. Who's also an accomplished artist. And he is going to display them as sculpture.

About twenty years ago at the Annex Market in Manhattan I bought something similar: Nineteenth century wax jaw inset with teeth and with a cutaway showing the nerves and veins rendered with fine wires. It was a French model set on a stand and all under a glass dome. I cradled this in my lap on the flight home. Sold it about eight years ago.

Friday, June 26, 2009

shelf shots

Just a few shelf shots. The purple polka dotted book on the left is James Harvey's In Bohemia in a wonderful suede binding.

Other than that the books speak for themselves.

The portrait below is just a guy who keeps me company in the mancave. It's dated 1924, I think, but I can't quite make out the artist's signature. All things in good time.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Pith Helmet

Probably the finest pith helmet we've ever had with an unusual quilted cover but sadly no labels or anything else to indicate where it was made. We found this in an antique mall in Lake Worth, Florida.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Here's lookin' at you kid

Just making up for not posting yesterday. We've had a number of prosthetic eyes in the past including a salesman's box of four dozen. All gone now. I do like things that come in their own little boxes.

Theatrical Make-up

No story, just one of a number of theatrical make-up and cold cream tins I seem to have amassed.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Mini Stetson Cowboy Hat

A very small Stetson felt hat and box. Many people are under the impression that these were salesmen's samples. Don't think so; more likely they were used as gift certificates. I've heard a couple of different versions, one being that a particular mini hat represented all the hats in that price range which the lucky recipient would then redeem for a hat of their choice in that range. More likely there was a paper certificate involved and that's what was redeemed allowing for the mini to be kept as a souvenir or plaything for the kids.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Top o' the bookcase

Living on top of this case are from left to right: a 19th century wire fencing mask from the Royal Military College at Kingston; a papier maché monkey mask found at a yard sale in Northumberland County; a wicker covered seltz-o-gene, so I can make my own seltzer if I ever have to; and a pair of diamond lozenge pattern polychrome Indian clubs.

If you look carefully you can also see a pair of embroidered plush velvet slippers on the the books. Too bad, they don't fit me.

Things found under the floor

While removing the old bathroom floor to put in a new one I found this. I'm guessing that it's a mouse skull. These was no body, no skeleton no other remains.

That was over thirty years ago. Since then it lives on my desk.
Next to the beaver skull. But that's another post.