Sunday, January 17, 2010

Fun things we've encounted...just by looking.

In our upcoming column, we talk about how important it is to just look and pay attention. If you spend any time in an antiques shop, show, or auction, and you're paying attention, you will find all kinds of nifty things. And it's this sense of wonder that makes this business so much fun.

So, without further are some of our favorite curiosities:

1. Andrew Clemens sand bottles. If you haven't heard of Andrew Clemens, then Google him. He was a deaf-mute in late 19th-century Iowa that created phenomenal pictures from colored sand. Look closely folks...these things were created grain by grain, with NO glue.

2. The Pugilistic Sheep of Ferdinand Brader. Brader was a German immigrant who roamed the Ohio and Pennsylvania countryside drawing "portraits" of farms. Immensely detailed and oh-so-charming. And if you look closely (really closely in this example, in the upper right corner), you'll find a couple of sheep, up on their hind legs, duking it out.

3. Mouseman furniture. A quirky British furniture maker who included a teeny tiny mouse carved on his work. Can you find it here?

What have you found just by looking? What nifty things have your sharp and observant eyes discovered?

We need to inject this kind of whimsy and fun back into this business. Let's move past the dollars and cents and just have some fun.

After all, collecting is suppose to be a hobby.

1 comment: said...

Great to see young collectors taking an interest in Mouseman furniture. Did you know that there is an arts and crafts movement called the "Yorkshire Critters"? All Mouseman apprentices or followers of Robert "Mouseman" Thompson (1876 - 1955). Each Yorkshire craftsman has their own carved signature such as a Rabbit, Fox, Squirrel etc. See how many "Yorkshire Critters" you can find at