Thursday, October 25, 2012

1788 Invitation from an Ephemera Collection

I am in the midst of planning my daughter's wedding.  Being the collector of everything antique, I really wanted something unusual for her wedding announcements.  I've started out by using an old invitation from 1788 for her "save the date" card.

When I first heard the word "ephemera", I didn't really know what it meant.  I had to look it up--it means documents that are intended to be thrown away after use.   I am so glad that ephemera has survived.  There are people who collect all kinds of ephemera.  I seem to be drawn to the English trade cards used in the 1700's. However, trade cards really weren't large enough to adapt to this use, so this card seemed to be a perfect starting point.

 The card was tough to clean up, took me hours. However I did work on it, and then I modified it to match the couple, and appropriateness for the SAVE THE DATE announcement.

The end result below. I tried to block out some information so my poor family can have some privacy.

If you are on the hunt for announcements, there are tons of options available to you thanks to the internet.  You can find many things on Etsy, but I had an idea and I couldn't find anything that satisfied me.

I wanted a colorful envelope liner, but didn't want a plain color.   The photoshopped flowers below reflect the joyful excitement I feel about the wedding.  I also love the juxtaposition of the old graphic against the colorful flowers.  So I to a photograph and made color copies, cut and glued them in myself.  You can find Martha Stewart Youtube how-to instructions.

The envelope liners look great!
Below I made a custom flap for the envelope.  The rabbits in the invitation are a whimsical touch, because we live on "the bunny farm" according to my daughter.  We're overrun with jack rabbits, and you can always see a half dozen when you look outside. The shield has an early german woodcut of a couple in the regency style known as "the proposal".

I love the pop of the colored liners against the black and white print. The letterpress work really looks nice.  It made a beautiful flap on the envelope, and the card was superb.

Below is a sample of an envelope using computer calligraphy.

The address above is fake, but thought you'd like to see the beautiful script I purchased online.  I decided to cut cost by printing the envelopes myself, and they look GREAT!   I am very happy with the printing, it is hard to tell that it is not calligraphy, which can easily cost $4 each.  The custom stamp matches the envelope liner.

OK, now I'm happy!  Feel free to email me if you have any questions about the project.   I've been working on this for a few months and am happy to check something off the list.  I toyed with edging the announcement in a fuchsia pink.  We decided against it, thinking it would be just a bit too modern.  The reaction from the recipients has been great.   My brother said that the postman hand carried his to the front door to make sure he got his beautiful envelope!

The next project is the invitation.  It is even more awesome -- everyone expects it to outdo this card.   I must find a DL or monarch size envelope.  Ideally I need an 7.5" x 3.75" card.  I can find the envelope, but I'm out of luck getting an inner AND outer envelope.   Help!   Anyone have any suggestions?

Monday, October 22, 2012

My Sideboard

I was looking at my sideboard this morning, thinking I want to change things out for the upcoming Thanksgiving.   Before I do that, I'd like to share a photo of what it looks like right now.  
Colonial Williamsburg Sideboard

The oval mirror over the sideboard came from an estate sale (surprise).  It was a bargain price of $50.  I found an old eagle that used to be on a federal mirror, it looks nice watching over the activities in the dining room.

Mirror fragment of an eagle
I have alot of items that have eagles on them.  They always catch my eye, and I'm delighted to find them in any form, but wood carved are the favorites.

On each side of the mirror, I have 19th century plates, a Royal Crown Derby Imari pattern called "Kings", and two Imari vases.

I like the little wall brackets with oromlu "ribbon" swagged.  They are the perfect size for the Imari vases.   Imari has wonderful colors that look so great.  The coral and the blue complement each other perfectly.  The plates are older, probably 1850's.

I don't have alot of Imari, but I do enjoy it.  You can find lots of Imari on ebay for really great prices compared to the high end shows around the country.

The American Brilliant cut glass pieces, made from 1880-1910, are a Hawkes flower center, Pairpoint candlesticks, and a Libbey water set.
They are all engraved.  The water set is cut and engraved cherries, the flower center has carnations and the candlesticks have daisies and swirls.

The last statue is something I've always liked.  I have no clue as to its age or who they are.  I just like the look of them on the sideboard!

That's the story on the sideboard.  I hope to come up with a fall-scape in time for Thanksgiving.  Moving on, weekend antiquing was fun.  I found a wonderful piece of embroidery, with gilt metallic thread.

 I left the photo large so you could see the detailed work.   What would you do:  hang it up as is, or cut it up and make pillows?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Barge Ware Teapot

My friend Beverly had a Barge Ware teapot sitting in the center of her kitchen table.   It had an Alice In Wonderland look to it.  I love the lid finial--another teapot.  I have other pieces of brown pottery called Rockingham ware.   There are U.S. versions, made in Bennington factories.

The teapot was produced at Measham in England.  They were produced from 1870 to 1914.   It is called barge ware because people would bring their boats past Measham to the factory and order these.  These teapots were produced by William Mason, a South Derbyshire potter near Church Gresley.  They are referred to as Measham Ware, barge ware, and motto ware.  The lid is quite secure, I can see why they were popular to use on a barge.

Barge ware teapot
Living on a barge must have been tough.  I can see where a teapot that says "HOME SWEET HOME" would be popular.  I love the brown  teapot on my ugly granite counters.  It also feels like fall to me.   It was time to change my lavender wreaths for acorns.  I think the teapot is the perfect addition to my fall "island-scape".

The teapot is 12" tall to the top of the final.  It may not look too giant, but it really is.  I'll have to find my brown Rockingham dogs.  It would be a great match!  

It is always amazing to me to find something 100 + years old, and find it in good condition.  I'm not sure that I'll collect a lot of barge ware, but this is definitely my favorite form.  Do you have any barge ware?