Monday, August 25, 2008

Dewey Like Dewey? Who Wouldn't?

Downtown Dewey, Oklahoma, where they made the most of their small-town atmosphere

Last week I visited my mother and sister in Oklahoma. My sis and I traditionally tour Dewey's modest cluster of antique shops, where the town fathers of Dewey made the most of their old-style downtown, and the result is easy on the eyes compared to the big-box-store strip-mall look of nearby Bartlesville. I counted six antique stores in Dewey, though there could be a few more. We only had time to stop at three.

At the Linger Longer mall, named after a beloved old local manmade swimming hole that was wiped out in a storm in the 1920s, there's an old fashioned marble-top soda fountain, where Pat, the owner, served up an excellent chocolate ice cream soda. That's my sister Judy about to partake. My favorite find at LL was a display of chintz and transferware, and I bemoaned the need to travel light when I saw a couple of pieces I'd have loved to take home.

I also found some old advertising tins, including one for Lacto-Dextrin, a food supplement that promised to adjust one's intestinal flora.

Next we stopped at Mimi's, another mall near the town square, where we looked for something cat-themed for Mother, an avid feline fan...

I liked the small white-painted furniture, shelving and curios in this booth.

Finally, we stopped at Bar-Dew Antique Mall on our way out of town, where I found... old oak baby chair that could be converted into a stroller, a rocker or a high chair...

a wonderful oak kitchen cupboard full of drawers and bins... elegant old dressing table...

...three Roseville pedestals...

...a genuine trademarked Hoosier...

...a Mission-style rocker and secretary...

...and a white-painted metal cabinet from a doctor's or dentist's office.

Bill, the owner of Bar-Dew, told me he's low on stock (though the place looked packed to me) because he's been doing well in Dewey this summer. Furniture has been moving out the door at a smart pace, and he'll soon have to start looking for more.
This old spatter-patterned porcelain wood cookstove with warming ovens stands outside JandW Antiques on Don Tyler St. in Dewey. How I'd have loved to take it home! Wouldn't it look sweet next to Bar-Dew's Hoosier?

But, of course, we don't have a huge supply of firewood here in the desert.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Railroad Trains and Pretty Porcelain

August has always been the longest month for me, probably because I've had about all the summer heat I can stand and I'm starting to long for a nip of autumn chill in the air. My friend Sue in Oregon is already enjoying fall, with 53-degree mornings, but it doesn't happen here in San Carlos until October 15, when a miraculous annual change takes place (ask anybody if you doubt me). But this August I'm traveling, making one trip to Arizona, another to Oklahoma, and so the time seems to be flying. And blogging time is dwindling, especially when I'm on the road and away from Internet access.

Google map of the Niles District of Fremont, site of the historic train depot and the famous Niles antique row and the 44th Annual Antique Faire and Flea Market

But while we swelter through the month, the last Sunday in August is a date to look forward to in Northern California. The Niles Main Street Association is getting ready for their 44th Annual Antique Faire and Flea Market on the 31st. It's a big attraction for railroad buffs who can see the historic train depot and take a train ride, and antique shoppers who want a big selection in walking distance (200 vendors at the fair, plus more than a dozen shops).

If you go to Niles, you can also see one of the biggest fine porcelain collections outside of a museum, at A Moment in Time Antiques on Niles Blvd. Arlyne Meyer and her daughter Michelle have obtained a huge collection of Meissen, RS Prussia, Limoges and Nippon in complete sets and individual pieces...everything from chocolate pots to collector plates to oyster plates to full dinner sets. More than 2000 items, adorned not only with flower, fruit and berry motifs but the more rare and valuable portrait examples, beautifully handpainted on fine, translucently thin kaolin porcelain. Ornate forms, lavished in gold, signed by the artists and dating from the 1800s. Plus graceful figurines, lady head vases and retired Hummel. While it's been a slow summer at many antique stores, Arlyne reports record sales in June and July, which indicates a lot of people are finding their way to Niles, and that owner-operated antique stores with specialties like high-end porcelain are still doing well in this goofy economy.

Photos: just a few examples of the fabulous collection of RS Prussia, Meissen, Limoges and Nippon porcelain at A Moment in Time on Niles Boulevard, Fremont, CA

Friday, August 1, 2008

The Work of That Turk

I've found and added to my bloglist a new blog on appraising, aimed at not only serious appraisers but anyone interested in learning more about evaluating art and old stuff. Appraiser Workshops had an interesting post today about a novice collector who bought two paintings for $14,000, signed by impressionist Guy Carleton Wiggins (1883-1962), and then took them be authenticated by Wiggins' son, Guy A., who denounced them as fakes. The point of the post is that you're supposed to do it the other way around: authenticate, then buy. Duh.

Apparently they were done by a notorious Turk named Ethem Tune "Adam" Ulge, who's considered "a bad artist, but he has a style," according to Wiggins, Jr. Obviously, not $14K worth of style.

Shown: "A Winter Night in New York," by the real Guy Carleton Wiggins, Rehs Gallery