Thursday, December 11, 2014

Madame Alexander Doll Collecting

When I was very young, Madame Alexander dolls had already been established as a highly coveted collectible.  My mom admired the dolls and let me know that they were very expensive and not to expect one.  Well, when I was about 8 years old, I was surprised to receive a Madame Alexander France doll of my very own.  She stayed on a shelf in my bedroom for many years.  Alas, when I was in my early 20s, I sold my doll (and two early Shirley Temples) to a collector in order to pay my phone bill:(  When I think of how high the phone bill was in comparison to my paycheck, it's a wonder I didn't sell everything I own!

Through the years I've come to admire these dolls, not just because of their popularity and high quality, but also because the dolls celebrated women in so many different areas.  For example, the women of opera or authors, or famous women of art.  This is so commendable in this age when celebrities are used to sell toys and dolls.  Hopefully you are able to enjoy these dolls as a collector, but given the nice secondary market, also children have an opportunity to play with them.

Here are some websites to learn more about this very popular doll manufacturer:

Vintage Madame Alexander dolls in my Etsy Shop:

Monday, November 17, 2014

Whiting and Davis Mesh Purses

If you've never touched a Whiting and Davis purse, you won't understand.  The fluidity of the mesh is amazing, the bags shine and yet are incredibly light.

Whiting and Davis has been making mesh handbags since 1892!  The bags have been manufactured in Plainville, Massachusetts; a little ways down the road from Boston.  The original bags were introduced in the Victorian era and were quite elaborate.  The company enjoyed success through out the decades, capturing the eye of hollywood in the 1920s and 1930s.  Whiting and Davis is still creating wonderful pieces today continually innovating the mesh process and incorporating the mesh into current design.

To read more about the company and learn about its history, please visit their website at

Given the incredibly long history of making purses, it is not difficult to find wonderful vintage pieces to enjoy today.  The styles have proven timeless and given the high quality of manufacture, it is not uncommon to find bags in pristine condition.

Reference sites:

I've been fortunate enough to find several purses recently and have them offered on Etsy here:

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Fenton Art Glass - Roses on Ruby

I've developed a fairly recent fondness to Fenton Glass due to seeing a couple of Christmas mice in a shop last summer.  It was love at first site.  I now have a small collection and have really come to appreciate the beauty of the glass and the hand painting.

While researching the company, I had learned that they had stopped production in 2011, an over 100 year history as the company started in 1905.  There is extensive research and pages devoted to their loyal fans and collectors have loved their wares for a century.  The items that are in my Etsy shop are from the late 1970's, a collection call Roses on Ruby.  Ruby red glassware was introduced by Fenton in the 1920s and remained a very popular color.  The hand painting on the two pieces I acquired is wonderful, each artist had a unique flair.  Some collect Fenton by artist, there is that much creativity in each piece.  I found a site that includes signature information by artist which I'll include below. The company has re-emerged selling jewelry and glass beads.

Etsy Shop Listing

Etsy Shop Listing

Suggested Reading:
Fenton Art Glass  Their site has a nice history of the company

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Plymouth, Massachusetts Staffordshire Pitcher

This is an appropriate subject for my first post.  Up for sale in my Etsy shop,, I have listed this pitcher:

This Staffordshire pitcher was imported from England by A.S. Burbank of Plymouth, Massachusetts.

In his Pilgrim Bookshop, Alfred S. Burbank (1856-1946) sold souvenirs and pictures by the the artist, George Boughton (1833-1905), who painted famous scenes of the Pilgrims.  Mr. Boughton's depictions of the Pilgrims was adopted by popular culture and distributed nationally.  Mr. Burbank had a lengthy career, his bookshop was in operation from 1872-1932.

In 1920, Mr. Burbank published one of his several books on the subject, "A Brief History of the Pilgrims", which was taken from William Bradford's "History of Plimoth Plantation".

Mr. Burbank was quite the marketer, his souvenirs are highly collectible and continue to raise in value.

John and Priscilla's Images
publisher:"Plymouth, Mass., AS Burbank" - Internet Archive

Romantic Story of the Mayflower Pilgrims - Project Gutenberg