Furniture terms that could make you think they mean something else

Like pretty much every area in the vintage and collectible world, furniture has its own vocabulary.  There are even words and phrases out there that would make you think they mean something completely different.  Here’s a few of them:

Dovetail—this is a term in wood working that’s used to designate a method of joinery. This is used a lot to join corners of drawers and cabinets.  It’s a series of cuts to make a tenon or tongue that looks the shape of a dove’s tail that interlocks with alternating similar cuts piece of wood.

Vitrine—this is a French term for display or china cabinet.  This type of cabinet has large sections made out of glass so that you can show off the items stored inside.

Escutcheon—this is an ornament plate that surrounds a keyhole on a piece of furniture or a door.  These plates come in a wide variety of motifs.

This is only a tiny amount of what is out there.  What have you heard?

What are some tips to tell a first edition from a book club?

For several years now, I have been picking up first edition books at just about every place that I shop.  One of the things that I look at is if the book is a book club edition or not.  I quickly learned a few tricks to tell the difference between a book club edition and even a first edition.

The first trick that I found is to look at the bottom corner of the dust jacket behind the front cover.  This is one place that they will put the phrase BOOK CLUB EDITION.

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Another thing that will happen is that if a book is a book club edition, it may be slightly smaller than the real first edition.

Another trick to use on a book club edition is to find the price of the book.  When a book club edition is made, the price of the book might not be present.  I’ve seen the price of the book by the bar code and on the dust jacket (it’s usually on the top corner of the dust jacket behind the front cover).

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These are only a few tricks to identify a book club edition book.  How do you identify a book club book?

Getting out of your comfort zone can be a good thing

When you are buying items to sell either online or in your shop, getting a little out of your comfort zone can be a good thing.

What do I exactly mean by this?  This could be considering an item when you know absolutely nothing about it.  If it’s cheap enough, you could go ahead and buy it so that you can learn something and earn a little of a profit when you sell it.

It could be anything, really.  It could be a book, a piece of Fiesta pottery, a Fenton glassware piece or even an advertising piece.

When I started to sell items, I knew absolutely nothing about clothing (except for what I found at Walmart).  After a while, I had a decent working knowledge of what brand names are out on the market.  Not only that, I now offer a wide variety of clothing from earrings and necklaces to prom dresses and even designer shoes.

So keep an eye out—you may find something today that you can learn from!  What kinds of items have you run across like this?

There’s a cookbook for just about any occasion!

I was walking through a used book store this weekend and stopped in their cookbook section.  While there, I realized that there is a cookbook for just about any occasion.

Salads, Asian cuisine, Barbeque, Southern and even dessert cookbooks are a small sample of what you can find.  One of the cookbooks that would be fun is this one titled BEST LOVED HERSHEY’S RECEIPES.

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What makes it fun is that it’s full of recipes for dessert, and you can see it in my abebooks shop here.  Another terrific cookbook that you can find is this one titled TASTING GOOD—THE INTERNATIONAL SALT-FREE DIET COOKBOOK.

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This cookbook is literally packed full of great recipes that are salt-free.  You can see it in my abebooks shop here.  There is even a cookbook for drinks, and it’s titled THE ART OF THE COCKTAIL.

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The cookbook was written by Ben Reed and can be seen in my abebooks shop here.  As a matter of fact, you can see all of my cookbooks in my abebooks shop here.

What kind of cookbooks have you run across?

A little Depression glass history

The term “Depression Glass” is a common term that is used by just about everyone, but what exactly is Depression Glass?

Depression Glass was an inexpensive household glassware that became very popular starting in the 1920’s through the 1940’s.  Depression glass came in a wide variety of colors including light to medium green, pink, amber, amethyst, yellow (also called canary), cobalt blue, jadeite (an opaque green) milk glass and even red.

This type of glassware was also given away as premiums (a marketing idea to help increase sales of a product).  I’ve heard of small saucers or tumblers that were included inside a box of oatmeal and items given away at a gas station with a gasoline fill-up.

Due to its popularity as a collectible, Depression Glass has been reproduced.  I’ve seen quite a few of these reproductions come out of China, and you can tell the reproductions from the real deal.  The colors are a little off—there are green colors that almost border a forest green, and even the pink is different (it looks more orange than the old pink).  I would suggest that you familiarize yourself with what the colors each individual pattern came in.

Another thing to look at is the pattern itself.  There are going to be obvious flaws with the reproduction’s pattern that the real pattern wouldn’t have.  I’ve also seen patterns on reproductions that are missing portions of the pattern.

The wonderful thing with Depression Glass is that it can be very affordable.  There are pieces that sell for a few dollars to a few hundred dollars, so you can find some great items to either collect or even use around the house!

There are some great Depression Glass pieces in my Etsy shop here.  I also have another blog post on Depression Glass on this site, and it can be seen here.

What kinds of Depression Glass items have you run across?

There are many different types of tables to consider decorating with

Dinner tables, coffee tables and even side tables can be seen in pretty much every house nowadays.  Did you know there are many, many different types of tables that you can decorate your house or apartment with?  Here’s a few for you to consider:

Flip-top table—This is a table that has two leaves, and the leaves are one on top of the other.

Pie-crust table—This is a small, round table having a top with its edge carved or molded in scallops. This type of table is common in 18th-century English furniture.

Gate-leg table—A gate-leg table is a type of table that was first introduced in England in the 16th century. The table top has a fixed section and one or two hinged leaves on the sides.  This type of table also has two legs that swing out to hold the leaves up.  When the leaves are not in use, the legs fold in and the leaves fold down below the fixed section and hang vertically.

This is just a small sampling of what’s out there.  What kinds of tables have you run across or have used?

What style is that?

When I started to sell vintage and antique items, I immediately heard some names of the styles of design that have been used over the years.  The first area that I found out that this applies to is furniture.  Here’s a brief explanation of some of the styles:

Queen Anne—this is a period in English furniture design that dates from 1702 to 1714.  This style is characterized by the adaptation of the Baroque style and the extensive use of the cabriole leg.  Walnut was the dominant wood used by furniture makers.

Renaissance—this is a revival of interest in classical design.  This style had it’s beginning in Italy during the 14th century, and it continued to spread throughout Europe until the 17th century.  The design is simple in structure—it has a generous use of classical ornament (such as the acanthus leaf, animal forms, and pilasters).

Georgian—this is a period of design in English furniture that was used right after the Queen Anne style, and it ran from 1714 to 1795.  Some of the better-known designers were Hepplewhite, Sheraton, Chippendale, and even the Adams Brothers.  Mahogany and walnut were the chief woods used by furniture makers (but other woods have been known to be used).

This is only a small sample of the styles that are out there.  What types of styles have you heard about?

Storage ideas for your collection

Where and how do I store my collection?  This can be a tough question to answer, especially if you are new to the collecting world.  Here are some ideas for you to consider for storage.

The first one to consider is what type of collection that you have.  If you are trying to put a set of dishes together, you can get a china hutch or cabinet.  These are more than big enough to store a set of dishes, and the great thing is that you can show it off as well.

If you have an advertising collection, it all depends on how big the pieces are.  If it’s signs, you can display them either leaning against or on the wall itself.  If the pieces are smaller, you could have them on something like a book shelf.

If the collection is something like trading cards (like baseball or football), you can get some pages that hold them and store them in a three-ring binder.  If you had the cards graded and they are encapsulated, there are storage boxes that can hold them.  You could even get a vintage box that’s made of metal or wood to put them in as well.

There are many ways to store your collection.  How do you store yours?

Some things to consider when you start a collection

So you’ve decided to start collecting vintage items.  There are so many ways to go about it—you could restore the items you collect, or it even could be a collection of something like folk art or even pottery.  The real question is where do you start?

Whenever you start a collection, there are some things that you need to consider before you dive head first into it.  The first thing that I would do is to decide on an area that interests me and I would love to collect.  It could be McCoy pottery, depression glass, clocks, advertising items or even lunch boxes.

There is a phrase in coin collecting that goes “buy the book before you buy the coin.”  That applies to just about any area of collection, really.  More often than not, you can find a value guide at a book store or even an antique mall.  This gives you a good idea on what’s out in the market and even a price range on the items.

Once you have settled on an area to collect and have picked up a value guide, you need to figure out a budget on what you can spend on your collection.  What I do is I figure out what I can spend every month and I set aside some spending money for my collection.

After all of this, head on out and see what you can find.  You never know where you will find pieces—it could be at an antique mall, flea market, thrift store or even at a swap meet or a garage sale.  It’s fun for me to see where these items turn up.

Here’s a little piece of advice for you: I would create a checklist (either a physical one or one on something like your smartphone) and carry it around with you.  This way you know what you are looking for when you are out shopping.

Happy hunting and I hope that you find many treasures for your collection!

Antique furniture parts and pieces

There are many different parts and pieces of furniture, and it can get confusing (especially when you first start to buy and sell it).  Here are some parts and pieces of what I have run across over the years:

Cabriole—This is a double-curved form used in legs (and even feet). The upper portion of the leg curves outward while the lower part curves inward.  This makes an S shape on the legs and is very distinctive.

Bombé—This is a French term for the outwardly curving shape of a piece of furniture.  The most thought of form is that of a chest.

Armoire—This is a clothes cupboard, and this can be a pretty sizable piece of furniture.  In most cases, an Armoire is a type of wardrobe.

Marquetry—This is a decorative technique in which different woods are inlaid into the body of a piece to create an image.  Flowers are a common motif; other images are used though.  Most of the time the inlay work is done with various woods—other materials like mother-of-pearl, ivory, and even tortoiseshell, have been used.

What types of parts and pieces terms have you run across?