Ebay Acquisitions

January 3rd, 2011

I returned to work today, after a long, lovely week of Christmas vacation. So if my posts are a bit less frequent in the coming weeks, or perhaps a little less florid, just put it down to the return of my usual schedule.

I had a particularly enjoyable evening, pow-wowing with the ever-fascinating Zoh and the founder of Tsirkus Fotografika. We looked at some amazing and beautiful photographs, and discussed all sorts of collaborative possibilities. Sorry you missed the fun? You can have some vicarious thrills by “liking” Tsirkus Fotografika on Facebook.

Shamelessly changing the subject, I will ramble on to tell you that my generous mate is always encouraging me to buy things from Ebay, and this week, I complied.

Enoch Wood Tiny Plate

Yes, it’s another Enoch Wood plate, part of the same pattern as the one I found in the thrift store last week. Again, I managed to pay a mere 99 cents for this little darling (plus $5 for shipping since it was an Ebay find). It’s really quite small — much more “wee” than I was expecting. For comparison, here it is on top of my first, saucer-size plate:

Enoch Wood Plates

After learning that one of my friends already collects English Scenery red transferware, I have decided to focus my own newly-awakened collecting impulse more generally on the work of Enoch Wood, so as not to offer her direct competition. I should hate to lose an antiquing companion for fear that we’d come to blows over a red floral plate! So these two starter pieces will one day be joined by any manner of Enoch Wood, the older the better of course.

Also from the mecca of online auctions, more dip pens for my growing arsenal.

Mahogany Pens

These three are plain wooden pen holders, made of polished mahogany.

Cherry Pen

And I splurged on an elegant fluted cherry wood pen holder with a metal tip.

Which of course means I will soon be needing lots more nibs — I’m still in the early stages, sticking to Speedball 512′s from my local Dick Blick. There are many vintage nibs available on Ebay, but I don’t know enough about them yet to choose intelligently. I picked up another pack tonight, along with another bottle of Bombay India Ink for my desk at work.

Ink & Nibs

I’ve hinted that an appropriate remembrance on Valentine’s Day this year will come in the form of a blotter, with some spare papers. I also plan to make myself a stash of pen wipers. Mid-19th century magazines abound with patterns for such items in every possible design and device. Did I mention ink wells? And there is the most charming wooden writing box for sale…

What a Find!

December 29th, 2010

After lunch this afternoon, my dashing darling took me for an amble up 23rd Street, stopping in at some of the classiest thrift stores I’ve ever seen. In one of the more modest establishments, my eye was drawn to a shelf of assorted china and glassware, perhaps seeking reassurance after the painted tea set that caught my fancy at City Opera Thrift turned out to bear a price tag of $650.

Like most women with a yen for history, I have a soft-spot for transferware. There were a few stacks of modern collectible blue and white transferware plates on the shelf, but the only one that was even vaguely interesting was priced at $12.99 — a testament to the continued popularity of this style. (It was the height of fashion in the 18th century, but declined to the status of “everyday” by the middle of the 19th, before achieving the status of collectible around the time of the American bi-centennial.)

Then I noticed a few small red and white transferware plates off to the side. The first two were pretty ordinary, with a roundness to their form that belied anything earlier than 1970. They were simply marked Japan on the reverse. But hiding at the bottom of the stack, I was delighted to find this:

Enoch Wood Plate

Read on…