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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

It's a box! I think? Wait. What is this?

By Guest Blogger Candice lee Conner

Last week, my friend sent me this photo of a very interesting box that had bellows on the side, asking me what in the world this thing was. Surely it's some type of accordion, I thought. But where are the keys to play the music? And why are there a bunch of circles? I consulted the most knowledgeable data base I have in my arsenal - my musical Facebook friends with You Tube as confirmation. 

This, my friends, is Shruti box. The Shruti box's creation was based off the Harmonium, a keyboard instrument in which the sound is produced through reeds and bellows. The more humble shruti box is keyless and was invented so that one could create a perfect droning sound. Pitch controls are on the top or on side.

Today shrutiboxes, or shruti petti, are electronic and have recently been making a come back throughout the world.

There's even an app for that

If you are looking for that unusual gift for a musician friend, the boxes are affordable. You can find older ones on Ebay for $50-$300. Electronic boxes go for $30-$200. 
This one in particular was made by Music International

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Hen on a Nest: Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?

Why did the chicken cross the road? 
To look pretty sitting on a nest!

By Guest Blogger Candice Lee Conner

If you have ever attended a venue that involves the sale of second hand goods, you've probably see a "Hen on a Nest" covered dish. Prices range from a buck to hundreds of dollars, depending on which piece you find. 

And these chickens come in every shape, size, color, and theme. You can get one that matches your table, your carnival glass collection, your kitchen, your...mood. The chickens are everywhere! 

Hen on a nest covered dishes came about as cheaper alternatives to the glass menageries that were being made in China, and later by Staffordshire and Dresden in Europe. The original maker could have been the Westmoreland Glass Company as early as the 1860s. They were often made from a more fragile milk glass than the more common thicker milk glass we see today. 

From there, the chicken craze flew the coop! During the late 1800s, several makers made these collectibles. Known names included Atterbury, Challinor, Sandwich, Central and McKee. Eventually Fenton and Anchor Hocking joined the party. And thus the reason why you can buy a hen on nest for $400 or $5. 

Feel like the hen on a nest covered dish is an item you want to collect? Watch out for replicas and married pieces. And make sure to collect the pieces you like. This is true for all antiques, but because of the sheer volume of chickens, there will always be opportunity to add another one to your collection. 

Marks: A good bit of hens aren't marked, but those that are will probably have one of the markings you will see on the links below. Look for these indicators to make sure your hen on a nest is the real thing. 

Glass Bottle Marks: http://www.glassbottlemarks.com/indiana-glass-company-hen-on-nest-dishes/

Also visit The National Milk Glass Collector's Society: http://nmgcs.org/ 
Two chickens at Wolff's Flea Market. White one is Westmoreland.
(PHOTO: Candice Lee Conner)

Monday, October 17, 2016

Guest Blogger: Candice Conner- The Boot Pipe

By Guest Blogger Candice Lee Conner

Not so fast! A Boot Pipe?
PHOTO: Candice Lee Conner

It's not everyday you come across a metal pipe with a boot bowl. I stumbled upon it, pun intended, at Wolff's Flea Market and purchased it for my mother in law. I loved the long stem and the Chinese drawings that were pressed onto the pipe. 

What I didn't know at the time was that I had an antique opium pipe! Opium has been a popular drug throughout history, especially in China. This was until the 1950s when, through social reform, the selling and use of opium decreased significantly - which is why I believe it's rare to find pipes like these. 

This pipe, like many pipes still out there, are more for decoration these days. For the boot pipe in particular, the second stem is missing from the top - note the hole on the left. There are also lots of cracks in the boot, which indicate that this item was crudely made. However, the artwork is intact and beautiful, and the pipe cleaned up quite well with a bit of toothpaste

Antiques opium pipes may range from $20 to $200.

Read here for more information on the history of opium pipes:


Wolff's Flea Market Note:
We do not allow the sales of new/current drug paraphernalia such as pipes, rolling paper, bongs, etc. This rare antique boot pipe is an example of an item bought and sold for its collectibility, and not for use.

Guest Blogger Candice Conner: School Box

By Candice Lee Conner
Graphic Designer, Photographer and Urban Archaeologist 

When I was a kid, I loved going back to school for one reason - new school supplies. Notebooks, pencils, pens, HIGHLIGHTERS, crayons and markers. And to be perfectly honest, I still buy new supplies during the back to school sale, even though the last time I visited a classroom was in 2008. 

All of my goodies would be thrown into my school box. I eventually went for the "cooler" neon plastic style. But until fourth grade, I had a cardboard crayon box. There's just something about an actual paper box that makes you want to hold all of your school essentials and tiny treasures. 

The school box's ancestor is the noble cigar box. Kids would run to cigar establishments every summer to get a nice box for their treasures. Back then cigar boxes were free. Now...not so much. As cigar box school boxes became popular, two companies latched onto the idea and made their own kind of school box - one that literally said "School Box" so that you couldn't mistake it for anything else. The companies, General Box and the Jacksonville Ginger Box Company produced their school boxes from the 1960s to the early 1990s. 

Today, the original boxes can be found at all places vintage - including Wolff's Flea Market of course. They have also made a resurgence in the DIY community. Just type in "school box" on Pinterest, and commence  the nostalgia!

 
PHOTO: Candice Lee Conner

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

What is Live Edge Wood?

Do you know about this hot repurposing trend? 

Live edge wood is a vertical length slice. Sizes vary and include the natural edge, bark and beautiful imperfections. Now you can buy precut slices of Live Edge Wood at Wolff's Flea Market Palatine for your own DIY imagination. Pictured here is our first project sitting atop our reclaimed wood side table.

Cedar was sanded, scraped and coated with semi gloss to bring out the amazing natural grain. Fast and easy project! More to come! Questions? Just ask us!