Thursday, March 30, 2017

#collectandstyle - March Monthly Favorite

#collectandstyle, Instagrammer Jesse Lauzon, enamelware pots, floral enamelware pots

As collectors of antique and vintage home wares, we can all relate to that little voice in our heads that we fight with - should I or shouldn't I? Do I need it, or do I just want it? A compulsion that wells up in our minds and lingers, especially if we've seen a particular item and passed it up. We always seem to know later the same day, or maybe by the next day, whether or not we will be going back to see if that particular gem is still there, on the shelf, waiting for us.

Our #collectandstyle Monthly Favorite for the month of March, Jesse Lauzon, feels no shame in sharing these kinds of collecting stories, and he does so with a great amount of humor. You will definitely recognize yourself, and laugh!

Take as an example, the caption he published with the image he took of his colorful vintage enamelware pots, shown above:

"These happy vintage enamelware pots are just the sort of thing that end up in my car when I'm not looking. Sometimes, when I look in the backseat, another one is sitting there - all smiles - and it gives me a little wave...'Hey there. Home please.' It's roadtrip time again and we're off to buy all the antiques. Well, maybe not 'all.' But 'most.' "

And Jesse allows us a glimpse into his own should I/shouldn't I dilemma, as played out in a story he shared more recently about some gorgeous new antique transfer ware plates:

#collectandstyle, #collectandstyle on Instagram, Instagrammer Jesse Lauzon, transfer ware plates, blue and white antique transfer ware plates

"I'm a sucker for a set. (I know. Not news). So when I spied a stack of eight transfer-trimmed plates this past weekend for about the price of a pizza, it was on. In the interest of feigning restraint, I did the whole 'should I / shouldn't I' thing which is an old trick designed to make me think I am reasonable. (Spoiler: I am not). In the end, I bought the plates (shocking). Because 'reasonable' is overrated. And so is restraint. Not overrated? Eight transfer-trimmed plates. Yes. Also not overrated? #IronstoneWednesdays - see you there."

But what really made me laugh was the story Jesse told us about his 'rules' for collecting when he showed us these gorgeous McCoy pottery pieces:

#collectandstyle, #collectandstyle on Instagram, Instagrammer Jesse Lauzon, McCoy vases, white McCoy vases, white floral McCoy vases, antique McCoy vases, vintage McCoy vases

"When I first started collecting vintage McCoy pottery, I made a few rules for myself just so that I wouldn't get carried away. (Spoiler alert: I got carried away)

Rule number one: only aqua green.

Rule number two: no duplicates.
Rule number three: only flower pots.

I quickly discovered that my rules were bad. And boring. And so I broke them. A lot.

These Nelson McCoy Butterfly pieces are exactly why I broke my own rules. I mean please. Those forms, that creamy white - gah. I have broken all three of my McCoy collecting rules in this pic alone.

Also: ask me if I'm sorry."

I'm guessing all of you collectors out there reading this can relate to this amassing-lovable-objects kind of predicament. It's so funny how we can keep moving the goal post on ourselves. It appears that the collecting bug within us is strong and even a bit boisterous or rebellious!

But in all seriousness, just this small glimpse into Jesse's world of beautiful objects from bygone eras has me imagining his home to be a stunningly styled, comfortable place where having a sense of humor is a guiding principle. After all, on Jesse's Instagram account, he states he is "crazy for good finds, good people, good food and the good life." I believe him.

If you'd like to join in on some Instagram fun with Jesse, he hosts not one, not two, but three different hashtag projects. Check out #ViValaVignetteTuesday and, as you may have noticed above, #IronstoneWednesdays, and #thursdaytrays. I just might be joining in also.

Thank you for joining me for another edition of #collectandstyle Monthly Favorite. See you next time!


Thursday, March 9, 2017

Vintage Finds: Napcoware Bird Plaques

Napcoware, vintage Napcoware, Napcoware bird plaques, collecting Napcoware, Napcoware collector

Hi friends, and welcome to another edition of Vintage Finds!

One of the down-sides of collecting vintage is the disappointment one may feel upon discovering a single item that was originally produced as part of a set, but then being unable to locate its mate. The most common examples of this situation are salt and pepper shakers. How many times have you come across just one and then found yourself searching all the shelves in the charity shop, hoping to reunite the pair? Oh, am I the only one that does that?

Since the beginning of this 'Vintage Finds' blog series, my intention was always to show you a somewhat random selection of my latest finds, mainly because that is how real life works, right? You never know what you'll find and part of the fun is sharing the latest discoveries.

But it just so happens that on one of my latest excursions, I was thrilled to discover the two large Napcoware bird plaques pictured to the left and right above. Some months prior, I acquired the smaller Goldfinch plaque (middle, above) and shared it in a post called Vintage Finds: A Touch of Gold!

Upon finding the Goldfinch plaque, I figured it would be an arbitrary purchase, since it was extremely unlikely that I would ever see any other similar plaques. Even though many ceramic knick knacks were mass produced in the 1950s and 1960s, there now seems to exist a sort of random selection of odd pieces in the second hand shops. So when I saw the Bluejay and Cardinal plaques, sitting together on the shelf, it was a complete surprise. Now it feels a bit like a display of rainbow-colored birds!

Napcoware, vintage Napcoware, Napcoware bird plaques, collecting Napcoware, Napcoware collector
Napcoware, vintage Napcoware, Napcoware bird plaques, collecting Napcoware, Napcoware collector
Napcoware, vintage Napcoware, Napcoware bird plaques, collecting Napcoware, Napcoware collector

There isn't a lot of information here on the web about Napco, or National Potteries Corporation. In its humble beginnings, it started in 1938 as a small manufacturing plant located here in the United States, in Bedford, Ohio, specializing in decorative ceramic home wares. In the post World War II era, like so many other manufacturers in America, the company turned to having their designs manufactured in Japan.

These high quality plaques are rich in color and feature extraordinary details such as the intricate layers of feathers, the scaly texture of the birds' legs, and the natural and wild portrayal of the floral embellishments in the backgrounds. Furthermore, the three dimensional relief provides interest, and the plaques' golden edges fall within the current home decor trend of gold accents around the home.

Thank you for reading another edition of Vintage Finds!

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