D is for Decorated Tumblers ~ Selling Vintage A to Z

Welcome back to the fourth installment of our Selling Vintage A to Z series. To see previous posts in the series, click on the page at the top (or dropdown on mobile) where all the A to Z posts are handily gathered together! Today’s letter is the letter D and we’re discussing Decorated Tumblers.
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DisforDecoratedTumblersLet’s face it. Vintage kitchenware is hot. It’s a fun category but can also be a fairly broad one so many collectors and resellers niche down. Vintage glassware is one way to go…specifically the decorated tumblers that started coming on the scene in the 1920s and 30s.
These are some of the decorated tumblers I spotted in a recent trip to an antique mall.

DecoratedTumblersSome of the companies that produced these fun and colorful pieces were:
Anchor Hocking, Bartlett Collins, Federal, Hazel Atlas, Jeannette, Libbey, West Virginia and more. In the early days, decorations were done by hand but during the 1930s, various automated methods were developed. The silkscreening method was perfected and is still the main way of decorating tumblers today. The stage was set for the production of the decorated tumbler to take off!

DecoratedTumbler2Green and white leaf tumblers by Federal Glass offered by Nanosdollectibles on Etsy (a great shop to see more examples of decorated glassware)

And the demand was there to meet it. The decorated tumblers were now more affordable because they were mass produced and they were colorful!! Such fun. People were eating them up.

Bartlett-Collins Rhythm Tumblers by AmbassadorGrooviness on Etsy

Kraft Foods had the inspiration in 1933 to offer their cheese spread with a “premium”: reusable 5 oz. glass “party glasses” in a variety of colors and designs. We know them as Swankyswigs. They continued being produced until 1958, first by Hazel Atlas, then by Bartlett-Collins. People loved having them to collect.

SwankySwig1Swankyswigs Kiddie Kup Set by Sidetracked Vintage on Etsy


SwankySwig2

Swankyswigs Tulip Set by RobertaGrove on Etsy

And people still do. Scouring thrift stores, antique shops and the internet, they look for that last one to complete their set.

A while back in one of my thrifting adventures, I found this book, “The Decorated Tumbler“.

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What a bunch of eye candy!! And a very helpful reference book. The author, Hazel Marie Weatherman, has compiled full color reproductions of actual catalog pages from the different makers, so we can see pattern names as well as glassware names assigned by that maker. It includes not just tumblers, but other items produced with these designs, such as pitchers and canisters.
Here is an example from page 52.

DSC_0112My book landed in my reference library but you can check ebay and Amazon for your own copy.

Just a few researching/collecting tips: If you’re interested in this niche for collecting or reselling, I’d suggest doing your research. Develop your eye to spot the more popular themes or subjects…anything atomic is a yes right now. Browse the book I mention above. Browse Etsy  listings. Search “Swankyswigs” and “Swanky swigs”. Use “Decorated glassware”. Search by makers. Go check out an antique mall.
Condition will be fairly important. Super faded pieces should probably be given a pass.

Let me know! Do you collect decorated tumblers? Have you sold any? Are you going to be on the lookout for them now? Leave a comment below.

A Vintage Glimpse ~ Fad of the Month Club

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But first, an apology. I disappeared! I shouldn’t just disappear like that. I always tend to think I need to do a big, beautiful blog post and if I don’t have time, I just stay silent. But I should have at least touched base.

Now, you know we had our epic 5 week road trip. Then we got back right before school started. My 5 year old started kindergarten. So I have both boys in school full days now. I should have more time, right? Not so far, lol. I also upped my involvement in some volunteer work and many days I’m out of the house the same hours my kids are. Then when I’m home, it’s housework, homework, cooking, laundry, etc…and then of course…listing! So the blog was on the back burner a bit.

As of yesterday at 10pm…2 hours before the deadline…I finished my taxes for 2016 that I had filed an extension on. Woot! Procrastinators unite! So now I am rewarding myself by writing a blog post and reconnecting with y’all!

Okay..onward and upward!

Today’s Vintage Glimpse is about a new-to-me club called the Fad of the Month Club. This was one of my MIL’s thrifting finds that she graciously let me have.

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Even the envelope is gorgeous! The date on this is 1963. From what I gather, you would subscribe to this club and every month they would send you a small craft to complete. You could pay in advance or pay month by month ($1 per month).

DSC_0139This particular one I found was from January of 1963 and was a “Garden Party” apron. Inside the envelope were instructions and material to complete the apron.

DSC_0141-001There was also an order form to re-order past months’ Fads as well as some bonus kits for the current month that were generally less than $1. Here’s a picture of what was available in February 1963.

DSC_0144Members were encouraged to sign up other members and doing so could earn them prizes.

DSC_0143

I looked at other Fad of the Month Club listings on Etsy and some were much bigger and involved. Looks like fun!

What about you? Have you heard of the Fad of the Month Club? Do you remember it? Were you in it? Feel free to leave a comment below!

This Fad of the Month club Garden Party apron kit is listed now in my Pish Posh Notions Etsy shop!

B is for….Brutalist ~ Selling Vintage A to Z

I hope you enjoyed the first post in my new Selling Vintage A to Z series:  A is for…..Anthropomorphic. For this second post, I’m covering another topic that I touched on in the blog years ago: Brutalism or Brutalist style.
(This post contains affiliate links)

B-Selling Vintage

I’d seen the word “Brutalist” here and there on Etsy and it seemed to get a lot of attention. I decided to do research to make sure that A) I could identify the style myself and B) that I would be using the keyword correctly.
Brutalism began as an architectural style.

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(All photos above are from brutalism.online as shown in the watermark.) The buildings are: (clockwise from top) 1. Habitat 67 from the 1967 World’s Fair in Montreal, Quebec, Canada 2. One Police Plaza in NYC and 3. Freeway Park in Seattle, WA.

The Brutalist architectural movement was a spin-off from the modernist movement of the first half of the 20th century and had its heydey from the 1950s to 1970s. The style had its fans…and its detractors. It was controversial.

Concrete was used a lot, often revealing the texture of the boards that were used in the forms. Le Corbusier used the French phrase “beton-brut” or ‘raw concrete’ to describe his work…and from this French phrase, the term “Brutalist” was coined.
There is much, much more to the architectural style and history. If this interests you, I found a great website called BRUTALISM:ONLINE

What fascinated me was how this style spilled over to smaller objects of the time. I’ve seen the word “brutalist” applied to jewelry, wall decor, furniture, sculptures and other home decor items. And this is where it gets interesting for us sellers of vintage.

Examples of Brutalist style

Let’s look at some examples because this is how I learned. Brutalism may be hard to describe in just a few sentences but you will soon begin to recognize it when you see it. Think repeated geometric forms yet often asymmetric and abstract. Rough texture. Earth tones. More organic and natural vs machine produced precision.

We’ll start big with furniture and then go smaller.

BrutalistCredenzaLane Brutalist style credenza or dresser from QuinnCASA on Etsy

BrutalistDiningTableSkyscraper Dining Table by Pasadena Antiques on Etsy

As you can see, there can be some big bucks involved if you find Brutalist style furniture, especially if there are designer names attached. But that top credenza or dresser is by Lane..a popular mid century furniture maker whose pieces are not ultra rare.

See more Brutalist style furniture here.

Wall decor, tabletop sculptures, lamps and clocks were also influenced by the movement.

BrutalistWallBrutalist Torch Cut Sailboat wall sculpture by VieuxFaireGoods on Etsy

BrutalistTreeBrutalist tabletop tree sculpture by ModHouseCA on Etsy

And this clock below is one of my favorites…I would die to find one in the wild. It’s by Syroco and it’s PLASTIC!
BrutalistClockSyroco Brutalist style wall clock by Vintage by Viola on Etsy

See more Brutalist style home decor here. Take a note of the prices.

One of my favorite categories that showcases the Brutalist style is jewelry. I have only found a handful of pieces myself. This was the most recent one. This pendant is not a high ticket item but it is signed by Napier and it definitely has that Brutalist influence. It went into my own jewelry box. 🙂

DSC_0015There are so many great Brutalist jewelry pieces. *sigh* Names to look for are Robert Larin and Guy Vidal. There are also many Scandinavian pieces.

BrutalistPendantBrutalist Pewter and Moss Agate Pendant by Vintage in Bloom (a familiar face!) on Etsy

BrutalistLarinRobert Larin Brutalist jewelry set by JanEleven on Etsy

BrutalistVidalGuy Vidal Statement Necklace by My New Discoveries on Etsy

See more Brutalist style jewelry here. Take a note of the prices.

Selling Tips

Okay, so keywords associated with this style would be:
brutalist, modernist, mid century, organic, torch cut, abstract, asymmetric, textured, burnished
You may have noticed that some sellers use Robert Larin-style or Guy Vidal-style. I don’t recommend that if the pieces are not signed by those makers. Technically it’s keyword spamming. And it’s not necessary. The word “brutalist” alone will get you the views and buyers you need if the style fits.


Now, I do understand this style is not for everyone. You may look at these pieces of decor or jewelry and think to yourself “who would pay that kind of money for that piece of ugly??”. But that’s the point of a vintage education.
You take the time to look at different styles and niches and you train your eye. You stop dismissing things as “ugly” and start seeing the value in them.

What do you think of the ‘brutalist’ style? Have you thrifted anything brutalist? Is it a new keyword for you?


Thanks for joining us on the latest installment of our series. Stay tuned for the Letter C!!

TIKI TALK – An Upcoming Webinar to Teach You All Things Tiki

(This post contains affiliate links)
Tiki culture in the United States began in the 1930s with the opening of Polynesian themed bars and restaurants such as Don the Beachcomber and Trader Vics. It gained popularity in the mid century and is still going strong today.
Collectors are serious and they know what they want and need for their collections and will pay for it. 🙂

Do you know a lot about Tiki culture? Can you identify what qualifies as Tiki and what doesn’t? Do you know what to look for at thrift stores or yard sales that is worth flipping on Ebay or Etsy? Do you know what the holy grails of Tiki mugs are? Or which ones are worth nothing?

Well, Jason T. Smith (formerly of the Spike show Thrift Hunters) does. As you can see from the picture below, he is a Tiki Collector Extraordinaire.
And he is having a webinar next week to share what he knows!

Click here to sign up for TIKI TALK – The Ultimate TIKI Master Class! This class is very reasonably priced for the amount of knowledge you’ll receive.
Let’s let Jason T. Smith explain for himself what he will be covering…it is extensive!

Did you see the EIGHT different categories he’ll be covering? So much information. You won’t want to miss it!
Again, you can sign up here!

A is for…. Anthropomorphic ~ Selling Vintage A to Z

I thought I’d start the series off with a word we’ve discussed on the blog before, although it was about 2 years ago. But it’s still a good one!! Anthropomorphic collectibles are still very popular.
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A-Selling Vintage

Anthropomorphic collectibles are all those fun things you’ve seen for years but maybe didn’t know the name for. Now you do.

According to the dictionary “anthropomorphism” means “ascribing human characteristics to nonhuman things”.

It’s all around you. Really. Anything by Walt Disney. Yup. Mickey…he’s anthropomorphic.
Thomas the train? You got it.
Mr. Peanut? An anthropomorphic classic!

I will hold the teabag tea rests (Anthropomorphic tea rests from my personal collection.)

But really, anthropomorphic items are quite collectible! Kitschy and cute, these salt and pepper shakers, tea bag rests, planters, teapots, jam pots…the list goes on…were found in your local Five and Dime in the 40s and 50s. They were also given out as prizes for games such as Bingo.
Most of these novelty items took the form of vegetables, fruit, animals or utensils with smiling faces.

Anthropomorphic Planter

Or…maybe not so smiley. I think I narrowed this planter down to a turnip…but I’m still not sure if the headscarf is for a particular purpose, like a toothache. I was imagining this planter being given with a cheery plant as a Get Well gift. Hmm. I listed this cutie awhile back and she sold the same day for $24.
As shown earlier with the example of Mr. Peanut, sometimes the anthropomorphic item was for advertising purposes.

Handy Flame Salt and Pepper Shakers

These salt and pepper shakers depict “Handy Flame” and were used by the Indianapolis Gas Company (other companies, too, I believe) to promote and spread the word about cooking with Natural Gas. I had the creamer that matched the set but a buyer asked me to separate it out so they could buy it on its own. They sold for a combined total of $26.

So why is this good to know if you sell vintage? Well, because vintage anthropomorphic items sell..and sell quickly. Plus you’ll want to use “anthropomorphic” as a keyword in your listing or as a hashtag in your social media promoting. I’ve also seen #foodwithfaces as a tag on Instagram.
For kicks, I took a look at some of the highest priced kitschy anthropomorphic items and it seems that the maker to look out for is Py / Miyao. There is even a collectible guide I found that may be a bit hard to track down but I found a few copies on Google. The author is Belinda Evans.

PY-MiyaoSometimes the pieces are just marked “Japan” and may originally have had a Miyao sticker, so it pays to do your research. As you can see on that book cover above, one of the telltale signs of Py seems to be the shape of the eyes, with that triangular cutout in the black. Just a tip. Py made other designs as well and distributed to companies like UCAGCO and Lefton. You can read a bit more about them here.

Let’s finish up with a look at some items on Etsy that show the range of products that fit under the “anthropomorphic” umbrella.

AnthroWinkingCat

Enesco Winking Cat teapot by Bob’s Good Junk on Etsy. (One of the biggest shops on Etsy for anthropomorphic items!! Great stuff!)

AnthroLemonPlatesSnack Plate Set by Brooklyn Street Vintage on Etsy

Not just for the kitchen, anthropomorphic items can also be found in jewelry.

AnthroCatPin

Cat Playing the Accordion pin by Green Kitten Vintage on Etsy

And the anthropormorphic theme also extended to linens and tea towels.

AnthroTowelEmbroidered Tea Towel by Upswing Vintage on Etsy

And of course, you can DIY your own anthropomorphic items!

 

AnthroTransfer

Happy Fruits Transfer Pattern by Atomic Dog 67 on Etsy

So the next time you’re strolling the thrift store aisles or scanning the tables at a yard sale and you feel like someone is watching you…you might want to take a closer look!


What about you? Have you collected anthropomorphic items before? Have you bought and sold them? Any favorites?

Thanks for joining me on my first installment of Selling Vintage A to Z. Next up will be another term we’ve discussed here…although again, it was awhile ago.
B is for…..Brutalist