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Fifty Thousand Years Of Carved Ivory
The little ivory Venus of Lespugue, carved from a mammoth tusk by a French caveman some 50,000 years ago, still holds her slim shoulders erect above the heavy curves of her fecund body.
Fairy Wands Of Filigree
Many an American bride wed in the family parlor at the turn of the century wore a heart shaped silver filigree locket filled with a pink cake of perfume. The big church wedding bride often pinned on a Tiffany filigree brooch.
Jade, Ancient Jewel And Good Luck Stone
In Chinese palaces long ago dainty girls, with fingers as tender as peach blossoms, played a game by putting various jades in a bowl of water and identifying each by the feel of their fingers.
The Whittler And His Art
About fifty years ago a land owner in an inlet off the fjord at Christiana (medieval Vik) spaded down in a clay hill and found a Viking Queen's "How" or land burial in her ship, beached by her men - a thousand year old treasure of Scandinavian wood carving.
Cameos, The Portraits Of The Ancients
Queen Elizabeth pledged her affection to the Duke of Essex with her portrait carved on a turquoise and set in a ring. But Elizabeth had her French cameo artist cut her likeness or some scenic design for all her favorite cavaliers on turquoise, the choice cameo stone of late medieval Europe.
Amber, The Sea Gold Of The Baltic
Amber-"sunshine caught and transmuted to gold" by the Baltic, and thrown ashore in the storms, was traded over the ancient world.
Glass, An Ancient Eastern Art
The maniac in the British Museum who shattered the Portland vase with his cane almost cost the world a great art treasure.
Venetian Glass, The Cinderella Of The Glass World
When the armies of Attila the Hun chased the Roman glass artists to the marshy islands of Venetia off the coast of Italy, Venetian glass got its start. Those displaced persons, looking for a way to make a living, took the sand and marsh kali or wild spinach, and by experiment and artistry, created a new glass as delicate as apple blossoms and airy and fanciful as thread lace.
Color And Brilliance In Bohemian Glass
Bohemian glass has been made since the glory days of Greece. But about the fourteenth century the glass of the little village factories that "followed the wood" which fired the furnaces began trickling out to the world markets.
England's Lead Glass Called Flint
Phoenician ships loading the lead and tin of Cornwall must have traded "aggry" glass beads to British chiefs. Through the years, Roman generals landing their thousands of soldiers, brought drinking glasses and glass blowers.
American Glass Giants
Three giants took the sand and forests of early America and founded a giant business, looking first to windows for our houses and bottles for our medicines and liquors, but adding household glass for their womenfolk.
Pottery, History's Most Widely Used Plastic
In the Mesopotamian valley where Arabian desert, sea, and the Two Rivers met, the great trading city of Ur once gathered its gold and precious stones. Recently archaeologists, digging down through the accumulated soil of the centuries, found the old city, including a kiln full of pottery, fired for people Noah may have known.
Tiles Brightened The Biblical Cities
Even when Nebuchadnezzar's charioteers slowed their four horse teams atop the 300 foot high outer wall of Babylon to look at scenes of war and hunt on the painted and glazed tiles facing the inner walls, the rich colored tiles of Erech lay buried under the dust of centuries.
English Luster Had Royal Ancestors
To most Americans luster means the English cottage luster which came to America during the 18th and 19th centuries. But luster, a thin iridescent somewhat 'transparent metallic coating or decoration on pottery or porcelain, originated in the ancient East.
Staffordshire Carries The History of America
On a warm June day in 1850 a man drove out on old Table Rock at Niagara Falls which the Indians had told Champlain were "higher than the tallest pine tree." The man unhooked his horses and started to wash his omnibus.
Porcelain Or "China Ware"
Eggshell or "bodiless" porcelain trickled from China into early Renaissance Europe where it was treasured almost above rubies.
Meissen Called Dresden
The Tailor and His Wife who rode their King of Poland, would never have been goats on the royal table of Augustus III, ffiere except for John Bottger, alchemist.
American Piecing', Patchin' And Quiltin'
The pioneer bride's announcement party was often a "quiltin'." Long stored quilt tops were set into frames, marked with plain or fancy quilting patterns, and quilted by neighborhood women taking turns.
Shaker Furniture
Chairs were among the very earliest items of furniture constructed ub Shaker workshops. And thye, with the oval boxes, continued to be made long after the making of furniture had ceased.
Embroidery - Painting With The Needle
It is said the Crusaders left home in metal armor and returned in embroidered silks. But more than twenty centuries earlier Tutankhamen was buried with richly embroidered clothing much like priests' vestments of today.
The Fabulous Shawls Of Kashmir
When the rays of the setting sun strike against the flower decked palace walls in the rose pink city of Jaipur, it is trading time for the shawls of Kashmir and the Punjab. Shawl merchants know those oblique light rays penetrate most deeply into the yarns, bringing to vivid life the leashed dye colors.
Charm And History In Rag Rugs
When it comes to the Home Arts our great grandmoc'hers were no slouches. With their needles and know how, their home made dye baths and their worn out but hoarded cloth from garments and household, they made rugs and carpets that collectors today grab up both for their charm and for their historical part in America's past.
The Lure Of Handmade Lace
In 1665 in the old Chateau of Lonrai near lace making Alencon a famous lace was born. Every iota of it was made by needle and thread.
Hooked Rugs And Clipper Ships
It wasn't alone the tall Maine masts and stout timbers that fetched the clippers and whalers back to home port, but men and women with know-how in their fingers.
The Shawl - Man's Oldest Garment
When the Little Corporal became Emperor of France it is said he affected white soft leather trousers, a new pair every day. So the story of Josephine and her 400 Kashmir shawls is likely true. After she had appeared several times in the same Kashmir shawl, Napoleon snatched it from her shoulders and threw it into the fireplace.
Caucasus Rugs Are As Geometric As Geometry
About 1500 B.C. Egypt's Sesostris with his wagons of loot and his captives from Asia and India, galloped back through the Caspian Gates near present Teheran, turned north, and side-swiped the Caucasus.
Decorative Metal Curtain Fixtures
THE Spanish vogue, coupled with growing interest in the artistic possibilities of wrought iron, seems to be responsible for the decorative metal curtain fixtures now appearing.
As a decorative accessory, articles of tole-the painted tin and iron of other days-provide a quaint note for the modern interior.
Roundabout Chairs
BECAUSE Of its oddity of form, the Colonial roundabout chair is sought by furnishers. Known also as a corner chair ;(in the old days it was called a half-round chair and a three-corner chair), the roundabout is one of the less frequently encountered forms of old-time furniture.
IN the decoration or rooms the accessories of a period are almost as important as are the main pieces of furniture.
Furniture Brasses
AN important industry created by the interest in early American furniture is the gathering up for sale of old-time handles and key hole plates for use in restorations.
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