Friday, October 24, 2008

Vintage souvenir plates

I've been collecting old souvenir plates for many years, so I thought I'd share a few here.
I especially love the look of the old transferware plates. They're really wonderful--I think.

Does anyone else collect them? They're an item you find all over the place in thrift shops and garage sales, and of course some are way better than others. Here are a few I have in my collection. (I've also put some up for sale in my shop if you're interested.)

This polychrome plate from the Grand Canyon is unmarked, but judging from the design and the rim, it's probably from the 1940s.

I love this green transferware plate. Even the edges are fabulous.

Brown transferware is a special love of mine. I live in the North Woods of Michigan, so the pine cone and pine needle rim caught my eye.

This is from the 1940 Golden Gate Expo in San Francisco. I love the deco look of this plate and I was thrilled when I found it at a garage sale. It'll be in my collection for a long time!

This is a closeup of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Love these Deco buildings and the purple elephants!

I especially look for plates from Vernon Kilns or Jonroth. Jonroth plates are the oldest, and were made in England for the US trade. Here's one:

This blue transferware is a smaller 8 inch plate. The others are the size of dinner plates.

This mauve and pastel transferware Luray Caverns plate is rare, I think (Or as rare as mass-produced souvenir plates can be.) I've never seen another one with colors like these.

I've written an article on English transferware here If you have any info to add to it, leave a comment there. I'm always happy to learn more about the things I love.

And if you have plates you would like to show here, I'm always happy to see them.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

What is "Vintage"?

There's been a whole lot of discussion on the Etsy forums about what "vintage" really means. Some of the writers seem to think it shouldn't be used for anything except wine. They have a point. The word "vintage" comes from "vintner", which means "winemaker". You can see from the following reference on that they stress the wine connection, too:


1.the wine from a particular harvest or crop.
2.the annual produce of the grape harvest, esp. with reference to the wine obtained. exceptionally fine wine from the crop of a good year.
4.the time of gathering grapes, or of winemaking.
5.the act or process of producing wine; winemaking.
6.the class of a dated object with reference to era of production or use: a hat of last year's vintage.
7.of or pertaining to wines or winemaking.
8.being of a specified vintage: Vintage wines are usually more expensive than nonvintage wines.
9.representing the high quality of a past time: vintage cars; vintage movies.
10.old-fashioned or obsolete: vintage jokes.
11.being the best of its kind: They praised the play as vintage O'Neill.
–verb (used with object) gather or harvest (grapes) for wine-making: The muscats were vintaged too early. make (wine) from grapes: a region that vintages a truly great champagne.
–verb (used without object) harvest grapes for wine-making.

For most of us vintage sellers, Numbers 9 and 11 fit what we do best, I think. I personally was happy when "Vintage" became the catch-all word for the things I collect and sell. I never was completely comfortable with "Antiques and collectibles". Not all of it is antique, and not all of it is collectible. Most of my things are what I call "useful". Kitchen and dining goods, linens and laces, quilts, etc. When I think of "collectibles", I think of Franklin Mint or Bradford Exchange or Ashton Drake. It used to be that anything called "collectible" was something that might add to somebody's collection, whatever that was. But now there is an entire industry created to produce "collectibles". (And most of them now are essentially worthless, much to the dismay of the people who bought them thinking they were making an investment.)

At Etsy, "Vintage" is anything 20 years old or more. While I'm happy to go along with it, mainly so that I can post more listings on Etsy, I'm having a hard time thinking of anything from, say, 1988 as "Vintage". But the other thing that bothers me about that "Vintage" designation is that it has the potential to open the door for all kinds of junk. As long as it's older than 20 years, it's okay by Etsy. That's wrong, in my opinion.

"Vintage", as the dictionary says, should be "representing the high quality of the past" and "being the best of its kind". I think most Etsy Vintage sellers take pride in what they sell and use those thoughts as a guideline, so I don't see Etsy being inundated with junk any time soon, but I would love to see something about quality in their vintage guidelines. What do you think?

(Please note: My signature on this post is "Mona at Cabin and Camp". This is because I lack even a smidgen of technosavvy. I have two blogs on Blogspot, and I didn't realize I had to sign out of one in order to post on the other. It let me create the post, but now it won't let me change to my "Deer Path Vintage" name! I've worked on this for about an hour now, trying to change it, and apparently I can't. Boo Hoo. . .so here it is anyway, and from now on I'll try to get it right! Either way, it's me.)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Welcome to Deer Path Vintage

Hello and welcome! This will be the place where I'll talk about my vintage finds and share any info I come across about all things vintage. I dearly love American Pottery from the 20s to the 50s, but I'm thrilled to find any kind of wonderful pottery, ceramics and glass. I love vintage clothing, too, as well as dolls and toys and souvenirs and ephemera, and. . . okay, yes, I love it all.

I have a store on where everything is at least 20 years old or more. I must admit I have a hard time thinking of anything from 1988 as "vintage", but that's where Etsy draws the line, and because of that, I often will, too. But most of my things are much older. Some have been weeded from my own collections, and some have come from antique stores, thrift stores and garage sales.

I live in a small cottage in the north woods, and I just can't keep it all--as much as I would like to! Small spaces and pack rats just don't mix. I swear I'm just going to look every time I go through the doors of those places, but somehow there are always things I just can't leave behind. So now I'm finding that I love being a seller. Researching my finds and writing the descriptions is just so much fun! And meeting new people, if only through emails and convos, is simply icing on the cake.

So please feel free to comme
nt on anything on these pages. I would love to hear from you.