Saturday, January 11, 2014

Paris World's Fair

Oil Painting by A. Liviy

Mesmerizing. That is how I'll describe it.

It is a mystery how this mid century depiction of the Paris World's Fair ended up in a small antique store in Martinez, California covered in cob webs. For those who have never set foot in Martinez, it is not known for its art collections. Or world travelers for that matter. But then again, folklore (aka. Wikipedia) suggests that the Martini drink was invented in this sleepy town so perhaps I am wrong.

A. Liviy
What I do know is that the artist of this beauty, A. Liviy, is unknown. I found one mention of his/her/their name on an auction website for a Parisian scene of the Seine that had no biographical information attached. As often with mid century cityscapes, I suspect that ours was originally purchased as a souvenir for someone who wanted to bring a piece of Paris' romantic lifestyle home. And for all I know, that could have been Martinez. Perhaps this same individual also enjoyed their martini shaken not stirred.

It now hangs above our living room couch.

Close Up
I have spent many lazy afternoons dreaming up stories about the subjects in the painting. The colors are so vibrant yet, at the same time, weary as if one was growing fatigued from exploring the fair. The individuals walking through the fair add to its intrigue while the ride in the distance provides a sense of thrill. It has become one of my favorite pieces.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Star Gazing

When David and I decided to decorate our apartment with mid century decor, we knew immediately that we needed to purchase a starburst clock. The problem is that we couldn't stop at just one.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

TV Today From A World of Tomorrow

Needing a gimmick to boost sales, Philco came out with a line of televisions that embraced the atomic age. With its round semi-flat screen and petite but fashionable base, this electronic miracle was advertised as 'TV today from a world of tomorrow'.

Philco's 1958 commercial claimed that you'll feel like you're looking at 1965 when you watch a Predicta. Oh, so futuristic! Don Draper would have been proud.

So of course we had to have one.

Our chance came when David purchased a 1959 model at a local flea market after haggling with the seller about its poor condition. Filthy is too flattering of a word to describe the condition this Philco was in. Entombed in grime is more like it.

As found
With some elbow grease and an arsenal of cleaning products our Philco transformed back to its original atomic shine. Well, at least on the outside. Despite a few tubes lighting up when we turned it on it does absolutely nothing. No noise, no static. Just a pretty reminder of once was. Ironically, I do feel like I am looking at 1965 whenever I watch it.

Philco Predicta 1959

Dorothy Thorpe vs Queen's Lusterware

I almost kissed the seller when he quoted $3 as the price of this martini pitcher at a garage sale in my hood. Could he have been the only person on the planet who was unfamiliar with Mad Men? Had he not heard of Dorothy Thorpe? I walked away proud for my amazingly cheap find. My bubble burst when I cruised a local vintage collective and found the same pitcher on a shelf. Of course my motive was to determine the retail value of my find but something else caught my attention other than the price. The words Queen Lusterware.

What the f*ck was Queen Lusterware? The novice in me assumed that all 60s era barware with a chrome stripe had to be a Dorothy Thorpe concoction. I was so wrong.

Vitreon Queen’s Lusterware, Ltd. was started by Sidney Sigety in Broolyn, NY around the same time as Dorothy Thorpe's reign.  The design difference is subtle. Where Dorothy Thorpe's design has a solid silver stripe at the rim, Queen’s Lusterware features the signature ‘silver fade’ effect on glassware. Frankly, it looks like the silver stripe was smudged.

Regardless of who designed my new pitcher, I am still thrilled to own it.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Raunchy Covers

Somethings are just so vulgar you end up buying them. Enough said.


My name is Rebecca and I am an Instagram addict. It started innocently. A few pictures taken here and there of everyday subjects. My meals. My feet. Cute animals.  Then I started doing themes. Old signs. Old buildings. Anything rusty.

Then it dawned on me. I could use Instagram to document our ever expanding collection of all things vintage.

A cool thing happened. People started following me. And not just my sister.

Majestic Table Lamp

Philco Town & Country

Vintage Games

My Love Continues...

The goal was to buy a birthday gift for David. I looked high and low for a vintage toy that he had not yet acquired. You think this would be simple enough but I live with a toy collector whose sole purpose is to buy back all the toys he played with in his youth. Since I did not know him then, I am usually at a loss.

Then I spotted it.

A mint condition Pyrex promotional balloon Cinderella bowl set.

Pyrex Promotional Balloon Cinderella Bowl Set

It was perfect. Well, for me that is.  I have been on the hunt for this puppy for years. The one time I ever stumbled up on it the bowl looked as if it survived a war with a dishwasher. You could barely make out the balloon print. Adding salt to the wound, the dealer wanted a fortune for it claiming its rarity as justification. I assumed he just smoked something he shouldn't have and walked away.

My heart skipped a beat when I saw this on Etsy. This beauty was imported from Canada. I paid a pretty price and waited a month for it to arrive in the mail before I was able to hold it in my own arms.  It was love at first sight.

As for David's birthday gift, I cheated and had him select something for me to bid online. Luckily no one else really did so it was mine....well, his.

Type 1 Mego Batman

Type 1 Mego Batman action figure with metal joints. It is a cute little guy with original everything. Now I just need Robin.