Bicycle Plates and Old Bikes

I was following my wife through a “junk store” several years ago when all of a sudden I found something that peaked my interest. She would take me to several antique stores on weekends and I went along for the ride but never really had any interest in the available items until the day when I saw what appeared to be a miniature license plate. For the first time, I spoke up and asked the store clerk a question. Until that moment, he had to think I was a deaf, dumb mute whose only job was to carry around my wife’s wallet! I asked, “Was this plate for small cars?” That is when he explained to me it was a bicycle license plate.

This peaked my interest because I am an avid road bicyclist. I ride on average 5,000 to 7,000 miles a year and I ride all over the East coast. The first thing that I found funny about this plate was its sheer weight. It was made of metal, was about six inches long and two inches wide and even had a reflector on it. You see, high-end road bikes made today are carbon fiber. You can spend hundreds of dollars more for a gear or a tire just to save a few ounces in weight. Having to bolt a plate to my bike would send me into shock! I bought that plate because it was cheap and intriguing and because I wanted to learn more about it. Little did I know that was the beginning of me becoming a collector.

Read the complete article, written by John Summer, in our Volume 11 magazine.  Check it out at AntiqueBackRoads.com. Use the tab “Back Issues” and look for Volume 11.

 

Hmmm Neon….It makes most grown men weak in the knees

Gentlemen… do you knees get weak then you hear that hum and see the soft glow of a beautiful neon sign? It brings back some great memories of when life was much simpler and gas was cheap!

Neon was first used in 1898 with the discovery of the element Krypton. In the sign industry it was first demonstrated in a sign in 1910.  From gas stations to shoe stores, inside and out, neon became used in every type of advertising.

While the tubes were clear, it is the different color gas discharged through the tubes that gave the sign its color. Signs with the most colors are the most expensive due to the amount of tubing and colored gas.  As the sign industry has changed and modernized, now neon has been replaced with fiberoptics.  Sign companies no longer have the demand for neon and no longer offer it.

Thus the demand for old neon is growing.  Just like everything in life the less of it the more expensive.  From clocks to signs, gotta tell you this would look great anywhere in the house or man cave!  Check out http://www.icollect247.com for a selection of old neon!

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How to enjoy vintage in your home!

Looking to add a little bit of class to your mundane kitchen? How about some vintage counter ware? This great looking Borden’s malted milk glass jar would look great on your counter. You can use it for just about anything you would want. Cookies come to mind…must be close to dinner, lol. But really, cookies, wrapped candy, chores for the kids (too funny), etc., you could use it for lost of things and bring a vintage feel to your home!

For example, a Malted Milk Jar would be perfect to hold breakfast bars or other snacks. The jar is extremely heavy and with a metal, top will not chip the glass.borden

Or how about this late 19th-century wooden rack mounts to a wall and has three tiers that fold up when not in use. The tiers have open bottoms with rungs for hanging drying herbs and milk glass finials on the nail heads that attach the rungs to the end brackets.rackThis decorative copper four cup teapot would dress up a shelf and dates from the nineteenth century. Has unusually ornate brass handle brackets with a dark wood handle.

teapot

My favorite pieces in my kitchen are my Prayer Ladies.  These were made in the late 1950s to early 1960s and come in blue and pink.  Easy to keep clean and are always a reminder that God is there in my kitchen.

prayer lady

Using vintage pieces in your home gives it a warm, fuzzy feeling, as well as useful.  The pieces above as well as fresh to the market pieces are available at the “Only All On-Line All Vintage Marketplace” – icollect247.com.

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Collecting Easter Memories

When I was growing up Easter was a special day of the spring season. I always knew what was important about Easter, which was the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  While church came first, our family would then made a trip to Ocean City, Maryland to walk on the boardwalk with our new Easter outfits. Back in the 1950s, we called it the “Easter Parade” and my dad would sing about our Easter bonnets.  I wore my little white gloves, pink pocketbook and pink hat with flowers.

But as a child, I also knew that the Easter was important as the Easter bunny would be putting candy in my Easter basket.  Back then, I kept that special basket and put it out each year for the bunny.  In fact, it is now over 60 years old and I still have it. Nowadays, the baskets just get thrown away.  As I have shopped antique shops, I have accumulated a lot of old Easter baskets, in all shapes and sizes. I am sure that the size of the basket depended on what the parents could afford to fill.

From postcards to fuzzy chicks there is a lot of collectibles to bring back childhood memories.  From left to right: 1950s Vintage Easter Egg Candy Container Paper Mache; Vintage Easter Decoration Chick On Nest Honeycomb Body; Rosbro Easter Bunny On Wheels Candy Rabbit Container; 1950s Easter Bunny Plastic Bank Knickerbocker; 1940s 1950s Germany Easter Candy Container Pink Duck; Knickerbocker Vintage Easter Bunny Plastic Bank and 1950’s Woven Reed Easter Basket Bamboo Trim Japan.

I often put a few of the baskets around the house and put the milk glass Easter eggs in them. These are just a few of the great Easter pieces you can find online at http://www.icollect247.com.  Come visit our site for all vintage pieces offered by quality sellers. .

 

 

Uniforms in Miniature for Men

Have you ever heard of a salesman’s sample? No, what is it? Well way before the internet, salespeople traveled to sell their companies products and needed a miniature version of what they were selling. The could not carry a huge item with them into different stores to sell the store owner their product. So they made smaller versions of the real deal with working doors and the store owner could see the colors and style in order to decide if he wanted to stock the item.

One of the favorite salesman samples was a Buddy Lee Doll.  The dolls were dressed in everything from Lee Jeans to gas station uniforms and more.  These were carried to large companies to show them exactly what material would be used, how they would be labeled and more. Popular with Gas and Oil Collectors are Buddy Lee dolls dressed in Texaco, Phillips 66 and Shell.  These little guys were made to look exactly like the “Real Deal” even down to the small patches on their hats.  From composition dolls to hard plastic, they are happy little guys with a round head and side glancing eyes. Due to uniforms going out of style, these were discontinued in 1962.

However, when they became a pricey collectible, they were reproduced in the 1990’s. Once you see an original you can quickly tell a reproduction from a mile away.  The real vintage pieces can be priced from $350 for common uniforms to $700 for rarer ones.

Want to see more of the little guys for sale?  Check out http://www.icollect247.com and use the search  – buddy lee.  The website only offers original pieces for sale and all are guaranteed old.

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It’s not just an old Paint Can

Just as any collector, hunting for something to collect is half of the fun of collecting. I was in an old paint store over 20 years ago when I noticed an old can on the shelf with great old graphics.

Being in the billboard business, I used to paint on a daily basis and had never thought of the lowly paint can. I continued to look around the store and noticed an old Sherwin Williams “Cover the Earth Sign”, then another old sign with a boat, advertising Woolsey paint. At this point, I was hooked and thought this is for me.

Going from antique shop to flea market, I would ask for old paint cans, especially gallons. Of course, I got strange looks, as well as laughs, were common.  I quickly found that there was plenty out there and I needed to be more focused on what I purchased. I decided to collect the gallon cans with great graphics and only purchase smaller cans with colorful graphics when I found them.

Paint cans came in all shapes and sizes.  Older shaped cans including cone-shaped, triangular and rectangular are extremely rare.  The graphics on any of the older cans are wonderful with great attention to detail.  Some of the labels were printed on paper, while others were printed directly on the cans.  After collecting paint cans for over 20 years they are now extremely hard to find.

Watch for my other blogs on other paint advertising I collect! Share or like our blog and be sure to sign up when each new great article is posted.

Check out great vintage pieces on the website http://www.icollect247.com.  The site is all vintage with no productions and on limited editions.  Deal with quality sellers who are also collectors!

Sailor’s Valentine

Have you heard the term Sailor’s Valentines and wondered who and what this was? Interesting enough, this is a term that modern-day collectors assigned to what they thought sailors created during their free time. After doing some investigating, it was discovered that the sailors really did not make them, but purchased them for loved ones stateside.

sailor framed

This beautiful and interesting form of folk art came into being during the late 19th and early 20th century.  Hundreds of tiny seashells were glued onto a cotton backing.  Each type of shell was then separated by a partition.   Designs were colorful and creative.  Many had a message, such as “Thinking of You”, “Forget Me Not” and “Home Again” written on the shells.

star shell

Through research and examination, they found that most of the shells came from the same West Indies Island, with similar designs and workmanship.  They also concluded the island of Barbados was often the last port for many whalers, English, and Dutch traders.  Barbados is located to the east of the West Indies Islands in the Atlantic Ocean. So perhaps those sailors did buy these for souvenirs to take home.  They also found that these early turn of the century examples stopped during the time when whaling stopped and steamships came into fashion.

think of me

In the late 1930’s, these folk art shells were rediscovered in attics and collectors begin to see them as beautiful works of art.  From very simple designs to large ornate pieces we still enjoy them from the past as a piece of the “sea”. When you picture a rough and strong sailor, the last thing you think they would purchase is something so delicate, but the men longed for their homes and loved ones and this was a way to show their women how much they missed them.

sailors3

Does collecting sound fun?  Check out over 20,000 vintage pieces from postcards to furniture on http://www.icollect247.com.  If you enjoyed this post, check out our Antique Back Roads magazine, full of articles written by collectors – http://www.AntiqueBackRoads.com.  We enjoy your comments and like us on facebook.