Thursday, September 15, 2016

A little bit of this, A little bit of that.

Elvis in a hot rod. This pressed steel toy was one of the first vintage collectibles I bought. A little research revealed that the plastic Elvis head actually came from a liquor decanter from, I'm guessing the 70s. At some point someone stuck the thing on.

This heavy steel hot rod has just the right patina. I don't know the manufacturer, maybe Buddy L? It's definitely not a repop, I guess it's from the early 60's. I found it last year at the Goat Hill Antique Fair, at the Santa Cruz County fairgrounds. Generally these shows usually feature the kind of stuff that interests my wife, foo foo stuff, but since I'm there I always take a look around. I know that collectible Tonka trucks now carry a pretty hefty price tag. When I saw this, and it was priced at a reasonable 25.00, I snapped it up. The prime rule of vintage hunting: If you find something you love and you can afford it, Buy it! Chances are someone else will come by and get it while you" think it over."

There's nothing wrong with repops, at least in my opinion. As long as you don't confuse them with an authentic piece and pay the authentic price. The Route 66 signpost is a little different than the usual highway shield marker. These came from Hobby Lobby and are nicely done. Unfortunately unscrupulous dealers will often misrepresent repops as originals. Not so much in an active way but in a more passive manner. When asked, they "don't know" if it's vintage or not. My wife has a friend up in Idaho that produces a vintage show called "Funky Junk". We were up there and I found what I thought was a handcrafted "We don't call 911" sign. It was metal with barbed wire and I thought it would be a cool gift for my brother. The vendor was asking 95.00 for it. I thought that was kind of high but assumed it was an artist's one of a kind piece. On the second day, just before closing I approached the vendor and they agreed to sell it to me for 65.00. Wasn't that nice of them. At the time I was pretty satisfied. On the way home we stopped in a gift/ decor store near Park City Utah.

 Hanging on the wall, this is what I saw. With a price tag of 24.00. I had been " Hobby Lobbied!"

Now when we see a repop piece selling at a vintage show my wife and I say "You've been Hobby Lobbied!"

That little aluminum airplane model is similar to models that were very popular in the 1940s. These usually sell for around 300.00. I passed one up for 175.00 at one time, since I wasn't aware of how expensive they usually are. I found this a couple of years ago at the Petaluma Antique Fair offered at 30.00. I bought it with no complaints. This will do for now, until I stumble upon another bargain.

More gifts from my kids. My Son gave me this set of engraved copper bookends which are from the 1934 World's Fair held in Chicago and the 1938 Radio Almanac. I found a copy of the guidebook for that Fair at Goat Hill a couple of years back. It is visible next to the aluminium airplane model in the photo above. Held in the bookends is a copy of the Radio Industry Yearbook for 1938. There used to be a nationwide radio convention held every year. These books contained all the call signs for every radio station in the U.S. and articles about the convention.

This is an embossed leather shield with a helmeted Castilian looking fellow surrounded by miniature swords and a lance/hatchet thing. As a group, contemporary Mexican Americans do not usually pay any notice or tribute to the Spanish component of our heritage. However like any other unpopular relative, that doesn't negate their existence or influence. I have become very interested in the Colonial period of California history. I've been reading books and visiting Missions and other historical sites. I found this great copper tray that depicts  all three characters of the Early Californio period: The Spaniard and the Mexican gentry on horse back with the Indio riding in an ox cart. There are traces of many cultures in all our pasts. I find all this to be very interesting.  Not to get too political, but suffice it to say that as an American, I feel that I can lay claim to the heritage of all of Western Civilization.

I keep a look out for these little figures when out and about. It seems that they used to quite a bit more common. That little rusty coupe came from Funky Junk in Idaho. My older Brother found that old license plate in Wyoming.

I'll finish up with one last item. I found this cool Jaguar tapestry at the Alameda Antique fair just last week. I immediately fell in love with it. I don't mind kitsch if it's good kitsch.

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