A good example of Czechoslovakian pottery

Pottery from the Czechoslovakian area in Europe is a great area to dive into and collect.  You can find great examples starting in the $10 to $15 area, and you can also find examples that are priced much higher.

You can find a wide variety of pieces on the market—cups, saucers, figurines, pitchers, creamers, sugars and even plates are a very small slice of what you can find.

One type of Czechoslovakian pottery (also called Czech pottery, a shortened name of the region it’s from) is this terrific hat pin holder from a company called ROYAL DUX.

royal dux

It was made from 1918 to 1930’s, and it has a cream background and a red trim, and it also has an embossed flower motif with pastel colors.

Royal dux marks

The marks that are on it are the DPM mark with an acorn at the center (this stands for DUXER PORZELLAN-MANUFAKTUR), and it also has an embossed mark that reads 11259 II (these marks help date the hat pin holder from 1918 to the 1930’s).

The hatpin holder is also the perfect size to be used as a small vase (or even a bud vase).  It would also look terrific on any table or even a desk.  It would definitely be the center of attention in any room that it’s in!

The vase can be seen in my Etsy shop here.  Head on over and check it out!


Different names of furniture that you might run across

There are many different names of a certain furniture item (or a certain part of that piece of furniture) that you will run across.  There will be times that it will literally make your head spin on what the word could mean.

Over the years, I’ve noticed that furniture definitely has its own vocabulary.  This is especially true when you are dealing with items from overseas.  There are many places in Europe that have made furniture, so you will run across words that are from another language.

You never know what you may run across, and here are some of the words that you may scratch your head over:

Pietre Dure—this is decorative work that uses inlaid, semi-precious stones to depict scenes.  These scenes are geometric patterns, floral motifs, farm scenes, and many more.  More often than not, you will see this on a table top.

Lit de repos—this is a day-bed.

Gueridon—this is a small, round table. It was made to support a candlestick or even a candelabrum.  It could almost get away as being called a side table.

Gesso—this is made from a composition material, it’s often made with chalk and parchment.  It’s made in a size that is commonly applied to furniture, picture frames and even mirrors.  This is a base upon which gilding (or even silvering) was applied to.

Coquille—this is a seashell or scallop shape.  The shape will often be seen on the top of a table or chair leg.

This is just a small sample of the vocabulary words that you might hear.  What have you heard?

A cross between a cigar humidor and a…FURNACE?!?

There are times when you actually stop and scratch your head when you run across an item, and this is definitely one of those times.  Have you ever seen a cross between a cigar humidor and a furnace?

Yep, you saw that right—this piece is a cross between a cigar humidor and a furnace.



This enamelware piece is made as a cigar humidor and is decorated as a furnace.  You could also say that this is a great salesman’s sample for L’ISLET FURNACE (the company that made the furnaces was based in Quebec, Canada).




The great thing about this item is the fact that you could use it a number of different ways—as a pencil holder, change holder, or even a container for the kitchen.  The uses can go on and on!

You can see the cigar humidor in my Etsy shop here.  Head on over and check it out!


What to remember before you refinish a piece of furniture

You finally found that piece of vintage furniture that would look great in your house or apartment.  There are some things that you need to remember before you refinish the piece.

The first thing to remember is that you could be messing with the value of the piece.  With antique furniture (like items in the Chippendale era for example), there is a sizable chunk of the value of the piece invested in the original finish.  I’ve seen the value drop up to 50% when the piece of furniture was refinished.  A good rule of thumb on valuable pieces of furniture is to refrain from doing anything major yourself (dusting it off is more often the way to go).

The second thing to remember is how much it will cost to refinish and repair the piece.  I have seen furniture at auctions, flea markets and estate sales that need a good amount of repair work to go along with the refinishing.  Replacing legs, chair seats or even table tops could drive up the cost quite a bit.

The last thing to remember is how much time it will take to do the refinishing.  Over the years, I have seen a refinishing project take up to a week because of the number of steps in the process.  If you don’t have much time to begin with, you may want to stick with just stripping the old finish off and putting on some new stain.

What types of furniture have you refinished?


Great Fenton items for any collector!

The Fenton Art Glass Company opened its doors in a rented space in Martins Ferry, Ohio in 1905.  Since then, the company produced quite a variety of items and colors–you could find a piece for just about any part of your house.

It could be a lamp with a cranberry Fenton Shade for the living room, a vase for your favorite type of flowers, or even something for the kitchen table.  One of the items that you an get for the table is this great pair of candle holders.

This pair of amber colored candle holders sports the hobnail pattern, and they date to the 1960’s.  The great thing about them is that they are low enough so you can look over them and see the person on the other side of the table.  You can see them in my Etsy shop here.

Another thing that Fenton did was that they made glass items for other companies, and that’s what they did with this perfume bottle.

The perfume bottle was made for Devilbiss, and it has the Blue Opalescent Coin Dot pattern on it.  The bottle dates to the 1950’s, and it has a replaced replaced atomizer (the bottle is just a decorator piece now).  You can see it in my Etsy shop here.

Fenton also made a wide variety of bells, like this example.

This pink opalescent variety dates to the 1950’s, which can be dated by the paper label on it.  You can see this wonderful example in my Etsy shop here.

As a matter of fact, you can see all of the Fenton pieces in my Etsy shop here.

You never know what shape, pattern or color you could run into while out shopping.  What have you seen?


Here’s some fun facts about PEZ dispensers

One of the things that I remember having around during my childhood is a PEZ dispenser.  The Hulk, Garfield and even Spiderman were some of the dispensers that I had, and nothing could beat that cherry flavored candy.

PEZ candy was first produced in Vienna, Austria in 1927.  The candy was first advertised as a compressed peppermint sweet, and PEZ is actually an abbreviation for PfeffErminZ (that’s German for peppermint).  These candies came in a tin that looks like what Altoids come in today.

When the dispensers came about, they were not always called that.  They were called “regulars”, and they looked a lot like a cigarette lighter.  They dispensed an adult breath mint that were marketed as an alternative to smoking.

When 1955 rolled around, the dispensers started to have character heads on them, and this happened after PEZ was introduced in the United States.  One example of these character heads is this POLICEMAN dispenser.


As you can see, the dispenser should have a police hat on it, but has been lost over time.  Over the years, PEZ has made dispensers with and without feet.


As you can tell from the picture above this great example has no feet, and you can see this dispenser in my Etsy store here.

What kind of PEZ dispensers have you had?


When a piece goes from functional to just plain cool

Pottery and glassware are fun areas to get into and collect, especially since they can be very cool and functional at the same time.  It could be something for the kitchen, the table or even the fireplace mantle!  It always surprises me what I run into, especially when it’s something like this clock.


This very functional electric Royal Oxford Gibraltar clock that dates to the 1920’s.  Not only does it sit pretty close to the wall, it doesn’t take up too much room on the mantle so that you can put a lot of picture frames around it on the mantle.

You can see this great clock in my Etsy store here, and another great item for the mantle is a football shaped clock featuring the Dallas Cowboys.  You can find a post about the lamp on this blog here.  Another still very functional item is this great ice bucket.


It features the TEA ROOM pattern and was made by the Indiana Glass Company from 1926 to 1931.  The great thing about it is that it can double as a flower vase as well.  You can see the terrific ice bucket in my Etsy store here.

What kinds of items have you run across like this?