Silent And Early Talkie Film Star MAE W MARSH

Mae W Marsh Was an American actress whose career spanned over 50 years.  Her career started out in silent movies, and then went over into “talkies.”  Her big break came when Mary Pickford refused to play the role of Lily-White in the movie “Man’s Genesis” (Mary Pickford was known for “Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm” and “Cinderella”).

Picture courtesy of Wikipedia.com

Some of the movies that she stared in were “The Dear One,” “The Birth of a Nation,” “The Grapes of Wrath,” “How Green Was My Valley,” and even “When Kings Were the Law.”

She became such a famous actress that her image was featured on several items, including this plate:


The plate was produced in the 1920’s by the STAR PLAYERS PHOTO COMPANY.  This is a part of a series of plates that features other famous actors, like Charlie Chaplin.

The plates that I have seen have considerable wear to them, like they were actually used instead of just being admired.  I also have yet to see one without any chips on them as well (the one in my Etsy shop has a very small chip on the back).

The great thing about it is that it is a cross-collectible.  Pottery, collector plate, movie buffs, and even people who love Mae Marsh would love to have this plate in their collection.  Not only that, you could also display this in a retro kitchen in something like an old Hoosier cabinet.

What was your favorite movie that Mae Marsh was in?

Collecting Tip: Keep Your Eyes Peeled

Without a doubt, the fun of collecting is the hunt.  But don’t ever think that the hunt has to be relegated to thrift stores, antique shops, and auctions.  Sometimes, the hunt even comes to you.

Case in point: I was in high school when my local library retired its card catalog.  In conjunction with closing their catalog, the library offered patrons a giveaway: a free card signed by the author of the book.  The only catch was that you couldn’t request any specific author or book—it was the luck of the draw.

Not one to give up an opportunity for a collectible signature, I signed up.  And this is what I received:

I really did luck out with what I won—I’m a sports fan, and have always followed racing, so to get a card signed by Richard Petty was something of a thrill.

Now, what I have is a cross-collectible: I have a piece of sports memorabilia, a signed autograph from a celebrity, and a piece of library history (the card catalog has now gone the way of the dinosaur). 

Which just goes to show you: always keep your mind open, always be on the lookout.  You never know where you’re going to find those really cheap—or, in this case, absolutely free—pieces to add to your collection.

What about you?  Have you stumbled upon free goodies like this one?

What are some of the parts and pieces of vintage furniture?

Slipper feet, veneer and leafs are a small selection of some of the parts of a piece of vintage furniture that you will run across when you are looking at furniture.  You never know what you might find when you are out at an auction, estate sale or even an antique mall.  Here are a couple of pieces that you may run across:

Top rail—this is the horizontal rail at the very top of a chair back.  There are as many designs of a top rail as there are designer.

This photo is courtesy of Wikipedia.com

Manchette—this is an upholstered arm that is found on a wooden-frame chair.  This portion of the arm will be upholstered with the same material that the seat has.

This photo is courtesy of Wikipedia.com

Stretcher—this is a horizontal support piece that is found on a table, chair or other item of furniture.  This piece ties vertical elements of the piece together.  A stretcher can be seen in the bottom of the photo:

This photo is courtesy of Wikipedia.com

This is only a small portion of what you will run across.  What have you seen?

What exactly is a Capped Bust Coin series from the United States?

When it comes to the designs on United States coins, there are many different designs.  There are the Seated liberty coins and even the Barber coins series.  There are also coins that feature presidents, eagles, and roman numerals—there’s enough to make your head spin!

One of these designs is the Capped Bust series.  There’s one question that comes to mind about this design—what exactly is it?

Picture courtesy of Wikipedia.com

John Reich designed the capped-head concept of Liberty, and it was modified by the United States Chief Engraver of the Mint, William Kneass.

The design proved to be a popular one—it lasted several years on the circulating coins.  The half dollar ran from 1807 to 1839, the quarter’s design ran from 1815 to 1838, the dime ran from 1809 to 1837, and the half dime ran 1829 to 1837.

There was a capped bust design on the gold coins, and it is more popularly known as the “Turban Head”.  This name was because it had an unusual and exotic appearance, and this design ran from 1795 to 1834.

Picture courtesy of Wikipedia.com

The Capped Bust coin series is still very popular today with coin collectors, and this is but one of the designs that you will run across.  What designs have you seen?

What are some things to remember to help pick out a vintage item instead of a reproduction?

We have all been there before at some point—you find an item that you are looking for, and it has a price that you can afford.  The only problem is is that it’s a reproduction.  What are some tips that you can use to help you identify a real item instead a reproduction?

The first thing to remember is that age and wear can be faked.  One example is that linens can be soaked in coffee or tea to age them.  Another is that furniture can have wear added to it by hitting it with a heavy item over and over (like a chain) or using a sander to help add wear.

There are also times when reproduction Depression glass will have a different color than the real deal—I have seen reproduction pink have a kind of orange hue to it and a reproduction green that is too light.  I have also seen a pattern made in a color that it was ever issued originally (like the pattern ADAM by Jeanette Glass in Forest Green).

The Second thing to remember is to look at your surroundings and ask yourself a couple of questions.  Is there a large amount of the same item in one booth?  Is there plenty of the same item throughout the place you are shopping?  Is the item that you are looking for that is rare suddenly become plentiful?  All of these questions will help aid you in determining if the item you are interested in is the real deal.

The third thing to remember is to arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible.  One thing to do is to read as many reference guides as possible.  Another is to look at auction catalogs if possible—I have seen some tell a brief description on what makes the item for sale the real deal.  I also have seen vintage ads for items that I am interested in (this helps me determine a real item from a reproduction because the company used a photo of the item in the ad so I could compare the ad to the item).

This is just a couple of things to remember when I am trying to pick out the reproduction.  What tricks or tips have you heard of?

How do you start a collection?

When it comes to collecting, there are so many areas to start a collection in.  It could be baseball items, Roseville pottery, Fenton art glass or even stamps.  There are so many that it can literally make your head spin completely off.

Not only that, it can also be pretty daunting when you are new to the vintage and collectibles market.  What are some things to remember when you start out?

The first thing to consider is you need to decide what you want to collect. You might want to consider what your interests are weather it be coins, advertising items, glassware or even pottery.

The second thing to do is to do some research for your collection.  Before you buy the first piece, you need to know what to look for—when it was made, what it was made from and if there are reproductions are a good starting place.

While looking this up, look to see what the pieces you are interested in are selling for.  This will help give you a good idea on what to pay when you run across an item for your collection.

The third thing to do is to focus your collection.  Once you’ve made your choice, you need to narrow it down to the best that you can find.

Also, you need to remember to be patient!  When you are collecting, it’s a marathon and not a sprint.  You don’t need to rush out and buy all the pieces you can find.  Instead, slow down and enjoy the journey.

This is just some of the things to keep in mind when you start a collection.  What tips did you run across when you started a collection?

Vintage furniture pieces that can still be found being made today

There are designs of vintage furniture pieces that are still being made today.  I know this might sound weird, but it could be that the item is an extremely popular form or that it has found a new use.  Here are some of the designs that you might find:

Tuffet—this is a piece of furniture that’s used as a footstool or even as a low seat. It can be distinguished from a stool in that it is completely covered in cloth so that no legs are visible.  It is essentially a large hard cushion that could have been made with an internal wooden frame for rigidity.

Picture courtesy of Wikipedia.com

Cheval mirror—this is a large full-length mirror that is usually standing on the floor on its own.

Picture courtesy of Wikipedia.com

Writing desk—this acts as a kind of compact office. Traditionally, a writing desk is for writing letters by hand. It usually has a top that folds to hide current work (it also makes the room containing it look tidy).  The closing top may contain several joints so that it can roll closed or even fold closed.  They often have small drawers that are called “pigeon holes”.  Modern writing desks are designed for laptop computers (they are typically too small for most desktop computers or a printer).

Picture courtesy of Wikipedia.com

This is only a few of the pieces that you will run across.  What other kinds have you run across?

What are some of the different types of marbles that you will run across?

Marbles are a fun area to dive into and collect.  There are plenty of different types of marbles that you can find—cat’s eyes, steelies and even Latticinio core are just a few of what you will find.  Here are some more that you will come across:

Gooseberries – this is an example of a colored glass marble.  Gooseberries have numerous thin white threads of glass that are distributed evenly around the surface of the marble.

gooseberry marble photo ciurtesy of imarbles.com

Sulphides –this type of marble consists of clear glass spheres that have a white or silvery figure suspended in their center.  The figures consist of animals, birds, people, numbers or even letters.

Sulphide marble photo ciurtesy of imarbles.com

Corkscrews—this type of marble was made with 2 or more colors that have a spiral design.  In corkscrews marbles, the spiral design rotates around the marble from one pole to the other, but the design does not meet.

Corkscrew marble photo ciurtesy of imarbles.com

Clouds—this is an End of day marble that came with colored flecks of glass that aren’t stretched.  The flakes look like clouds that are floating over the core.

Cloud marble photo ciurtesy of imarbles.com

This is just a small sample of all of the different types of marbles that you can find.  Which ones have you run across?

What are some glassware serving pieces that you might run across?

When shopping at your favorite flea market, antique mall or thrift store, it will not take long for you to run across a serving piece.  They come in all shapes like platters, punch bowls or even a cup.  Not only that, there are a wide variety of materials that they are made of.

Here are a few of the glassware pieces you might run across when you are out and about:

Berry set—this consists of a large bowl with matching smaller bowls.  They are used for serving items like fruit and some desserts.

Salt, saltcellar—this is a small bowl used at the table to hold salt.  This type of container is also called a “master salt”.

Celery vase—this is a tall and narrow vase that is used on the table to hold celery.

Compote—this is a dish that usually comes with a stem and a base that is used for serving compote (a fruit that is cooked in syrup).  There is a smaller dish that has a similar form used for a serving for one person.

This is only a small handful of what you will run across.  What types of serving pieces have you run across?

There is such a thing as a Malt Nutrine serving tray?

Advertising is a fun area to collect—you never know what kinds of pieces you will run across.  You might find a piggy bank advertising a local bank, a ruler advertising a grocery store or even a baseball program advertising Spalding baseballs.

Another area that advertising collectors buy are serving trays.  There are quite a few advertisements that you will find on a tray—they range anywhere from Coca Cola to Budweiser.

Did you know that Anheuser Bush made a serving tray for a product they made that was called Malt Nutrine?

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Malt Nutrine was made by Anheuser Bush in 1905, and it was a non-alcoholic beverage.  Not only that, it was thought that Malt Nutrine could help cure insomnia.

This would be a killer piece to display with fountain drink collectibles.  You can see this terrific serving tray in my Etsy shop here.  Head on over and check it out!