Barbara Hanrahan was a printmaker, an artist and a writer. She explored the relationships between men, women, and society, drawing on her acute observations of the people surrounding her as she grew up in the suburbs of Adelaide. In particular, the influence of her all-female household coloured her experiences and her artwork. She fought for equal rights and opportunities for men and women, yet her writing and art was personal, romantic and expressive. Almost ten years after her death, members of the award-winning Barbara Hanrahan Community Tapestry project began creating striking woven images based on her prints. This seems to be an elegant memorial for a fine artist.
George Whinnen was an Australian Impressionist & Modern painter. He painted many still life pictures of flowers in vases, and some of them have beautiful colour schemes. He had a special flair for showing zinnias in rich detail. George also painted an almost equal number of seascapes and landscapes as well as producing fine prints and etchings with fine lines. His portraits won prizes and his landscapes are also of interest. George has left us with a collection of particularly fine still life studies of flowers, where he let the flowers show themselves in all their natural grace and beauty.
The telephone allows one to communicate with another as though they were talking face to face even if they are continents apart. Communication allows people to let others know what they were thinking or feeling, as well as what happened to them. Like many things, communication has evolved and continues to do so. Telephones also come in unusual styles and shapes. Some come in the form of animals and cartoon characters. Before buying an antique phone, one must know how to identify an original from a reproduction or fake. Research plays an important part in acquiring the model antique phone that one wants.
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni is best known as simply Michelangelo. He is known best for being a sculptor and a painter, but he was also an architect and a poet, and a contemporary of one of the other greatest artists of the time, Leonardo da Vinci. Cardinal Riario invited Michelangelo to Rome in 1496, where he was commissioned to create one of his two greatest pieces, The Pieta. Michelangelo was a private man, preferring solitude to company, and was a staunch Catholic. He continues to be revered today as ‘the father and master of all the arts’.
Our sense of smell is 10,000 times more sensitive than each of our other senses. They can detect thousands of different senses. And the connections from these sensors go directly to our most primitive brain centres. In order to preserve the expensive perfumes, the Egyptians designed containers for the precious oils and unguents. And some of the elaborate bottles and jars may be more valuable than the scent itself, and this sometimes continues to this day. Collecting scent bottles can appeal to all ages, experience and fortune. They can be a fascinating glimpse into our past history as well as visually attractive and transportable.
The story of Poole Pottery is a microcosm of the history of England during the last 120 years. It also follows the pattern that many potteries took, upturns to their fortunes and then falling demand as the patterns of life changed. Like many potteries, it has suffered from takeovers, merges, and economic problems. The pottery produced by Poole Pottery is full of vibrant colour, deep reds and many shades of blue together with lively designs. It is good to know that the fine quality of work continues up in Stoke-on-Trent and that you can find both new and old pieces of Poole Pottery to enjoy or add to your collections.
Hieronymus Bosch was born Jheronimus van Aken. There is negligible information available on his early life. As Bosch only signed some seven of his works and generally did not date his art, only twenty-four paintings and twenty-one drawings have been definitely attributed to him. These can be found in 26 museums and private collections around the world, including many European countries. His work was mostly impasto, leaving visible, textured brush strokes. His most famous work, The Garden of Earthly Delights, was completed during his middle period. It is now housed in the Museo del Prado in Madrid, where it still attracts thousands of visitors.
Mintons spanned the years 1793-1968. During this 200-year span, they produced a wide-ranging variety of different styles and techniques in ceramic manufacture, some are extremely pretty, some are extravagant. New techniques were introduced and some very fine and innovative artists and designers collaborated and worked at the company. In fact, the spirit of collaboration certainly helped them to attain both commercial value for their customers as well as a wider customer base. The story of Mintons is primarily a story of the main characters who lived and worked there. They shaped the development of the company just as surely as they shaped the pots the company made.
Piero della Francesca was born Piero di Benedetto de’ Franceschi. His parents were both of noble lineage. His early learning of mathematics would stand him in good stead for his art, notable for his use of geometry and accurate perspective. At the precocious age of twelve, Piero worked as a painting assistant. He was awarded a commission on 27 May 1430 for “painting the poles of the candles”. Completed in 1466, with a break from 1458-1459, The Legend of the True Cross is considered by many to be Piero’s greatest achievement. Another of Piero’s most important works is his Flagellation of Christ, probably executed between 1468-1470.
Clarice Cliff is renowned for her skill in designing both the painted pattern and the shape of her pieces. She favoured bold colours and strong designs and unusual, sometimes bizarre shapes. Cliff was different from most young women in the pottery industry. She wanted to learn everything and she quite soon became skilled in modelling, gilding, hand painting, enamelling and banding. Cliff’s work was popular and much in demand during the 1920s but then interest declined. However, the Brighton exhibition started a revival in interest. The interest peaked in the 1980s and 1990s. Although the prices have fallen since then, rare combinations of paint and shape can still command high prices at auction.
El Greco, or The Greek, was the nickname adopted by Spanish Renaissance artist Domenikos Theotokopoulos. In 1563, at the age of twenty-two, El Greco had been described as maestro (master) Domenigo and probably ran his own workplace. He would have trained as a painter of icons at the Cretan Renaissance which thrived from the 15th to the 17th century. El Greco is viewed as the most successful graduate to create an art career in Western Europe in the Cretan style. His style is viewed as unique in the art world, with his elongated figures and combination of Byzantine and Western conventions. His work is sometimes described as pre-dating both Expressionism and Cubism.
The first use of pipes for smoking was by the Native Americans. Tobacco was valuable to them. It was considered to have medicinal properties, and smoking was believed to help alleviate pains and cure illnesses. Tobacco and smoking pipes reached Europe when explorers returned to their country in the 1500s. Some early European pipes were made out of a type of clay used to make fine china. Some pipes were made of wood such as walnut and cherry. Aside from their wooden pipes, Germany was also known for its excellent porcelain pipes. Pipe shapes changed as time passed until it evolved into the pipes we recognise today.
Barsony lamps are Barsony Ceramics’s most popular collector’s items. What separates these from other lamps are their black colour scheme and carefully crafted figurine bases in graceful poses. Some have a hidden light bulb, while other pieces don’t even have one. Despite the latter, Barsony lamps are beautiful enough to be displayed as works of art. They were quite in demand. But as the times changed, so did tastes. Fortunately, these exquisite lamps have seen a resurgence in popularity, especially for collectors. Though this cannot be completely explained, and whatever the reason, Barsony lamps are quite unique decorative pieces that captivated a generation and may continue to do so for years to come.
Movie posters have always served as an effective tool in promoting films. The first movie poster was believed to be produced by Jules Cheret. He developed a printing method that also gave birth to many visual advertising materials. As cinema style evolved, so did movie posters. Technology has, of course, brought about this evolution. Movie posters became collectable pieces for their art or because of the movie they promote. However, they are not just advertising materials nor are they just art collectables. They can be seen as a reflection of the sentiments of the era they come from, just as much as the films they promote.
Artisans began crafting beautiful containers for which to store snuff. Snuff boxes were made to keep the precious powder dry in between uses. Snuff boxes are considered very personal items. Like jewellery, they can be passed down as heirlooms. Artisans used a variety of materials in creating these boxes. Fine metals such as silver and gold were often used, as well as horns, tortoiseshell, porcelain and ivory. The materials used to craft these particular collectables make them valuable pieces. Add in the level of craftsmanship, a well-known place of origin or craftsman, the type and quality of ornamentation, and you’ve got yourself a highly coveted antique with a price that might cost an arm or a leg.
For some, collecting corkscrews may seem quite peculiar. Some would even note that these items look pretty much the same, while some would even say that corkscrews do not even possess aesthetical appeal. Anyone can be an avid corkscrew collector. As with any other collectable, one collector’s preference might differ from another. One could decide to collect corkscrews with a particular mechanism, while others might look at the place of origin or age of a particular corkscrew. Peculiar or not, collecting these curiosities may be a means of preserving a small part of the history of humankind and its tools.
Postcards, as we know them today, could have been inspired by the picture envelopes in which cards were sent. These envelopes would have comics, pictures of the season or holidays, patriotic pictures and even musical notes. John P. Charlton was the first person to copyright a postcard in the United States in 1861. Hymen L. Lipman bought Charlton’s copyright and began reissuing these postcards in 1870. Postcard collecting or deltiology came about shortly after the first picture postcards appeared. People bought postcards not only to send messages but also to add to their collection. One could also visit museums that feature postcards or find them in auction houses and antique stores.
Toys have always been integral to the development of children. This is true today as it was in the countless generations before us. For as long as there are children, there would be playing and, by extension, toys. Toys, however, are not the exclusive province of children. Even as adults, people still find them fascinating, perhaps no longer as playthings but as tokens from childhood, nostalgia pieces, memorabilia, and even collectables. In fact, toys from bygone days can command very hefty prices. While people did collect toys before, the toy market now actively markets to adult buyers. Plus, this century saw an increasing demand for antique and vintage toys.