It’s a new year and a new president has been elected. During the months leading up to Election Day, there was a lot of talk about patriotism. One of the patriotic symbols of our country is the eagle. The Bald Eagle is our national bird. The eagle is not exclusively associated with the United States; many other nations have also chosen the eagle as a symbol of religious power and martial strength, including the Persians, Egyptians, and Assyrians. Thinking beyond the vision of our red, white, and blue flag of stars and stripes, we often envision the proud eagle perched on a rocky cliff and surveying the wide expanse of our 50 states.
One of my favorite but poignant Hans Christian Andersen tales is The Steadfast Tin Soldier, written in 1838. The fairy tale begins, “There were once five-and-twenty tin soldiers. They were all brothers, born of the same old tin spoon. They shouldered their muskets and looked straight ahead of them, splendid in their uniforms, all red and blue.”
Officers of the Continental Army fighting for independence during the Revolutionary War needed maps to help direct troop movements. The British fighting on foreign soil were even more in need of maps to determine where they were and to plot their next move. Both the Continental and British officers used the American Military Pocket Atlas published by the British firm of Sayer and Bennett. It was called a holster atlas because the half-dozen maps were bound in covers, fit into a leather case, and strapped to the pommel of a saddle. A map from the Revolutionary War era is a rarity, but military maps in general are relatively common.
As the air is growing refreshingly crisp and chilly, and the leaves are changing into their brilliant colors of orange, red, and gold, it’s a great time of year to enjoy apples. And speaking of America’s signature fruit, there are many antique items associated with apples.
Ginger Cove resident Kathy McGilvrey was just two years old when her father, Howard Lewis, left the employment of Niloak Pottery. Years later, McGilvrey and her sister still have the pieces her father kept with him through the years, examples of the many wares he created. A number of the Niloak pieces in her collection are marked with his signature.
It’s an adventure that takes place once a year for Kristi Bleyer Johnson and Natalie Hucke. The two friends started their tradition nine years ago. They gather approximately 25 friends to spend a weekend outside Salisbury. “The impetus,” explains Johnson, “was a girls’ getaway weekend for antiquing, wine, and fun. We start with a day of antiquing, then stay overnight together for food and wine.” The women’s destination is Hucke’s summer house, an 1800s former schoolhouse, and the home of friend Karen Akam who lives next door to Hucke.
Since the addition of a golden retriever to our family almost six years ago (a Christmas gift to my daughter), I have developed a hitherto latent affection for dogs. I’m not at the point where I place a photo of our dog on the mantel, but I slow my step whenever I see a gift display or store devoted to dog paraphernalia. Thus I can easily understand how folks can become devoted to collecting dog-related antiques, particularly when it relates to their favorite breed. If you’re out antiquing this summer and you’ve left your dog behind in the care of a boarder or friends, you might just be attracted to purchasing a dog-related antique.
As a young girl infatuated with life in the 18th century, I used to fantasize about what it would be like growing up during the 1700s, learning how to sew fine stitches, make lace tatting, speak French, and play proficiently on the piano. Part of every young lady’s education during the 18th century to the mid 19th century was completion of a sampler demonstrating her knowledge of the alphabet and embroidery skills. Perhaps an interest in the early education of women is what draws some people toward collecting, admiring, and reading about samplers.
Mention the term “Oriental rug” and one person may think of colorful birds, trailing vines, and stylized flowers while another may picture dramatic geometric shapes and rich earth tones.