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Children's Mugs

November 13, 2014  |  By Katharine Morrison McClinton; originally published in September 1950.

From time to time Mrs. McClinton contributes a note to ANTIQUES on some intriguing bypath of collecting interest. This one, which offers an appealing approach to nineteenth-century ceramics, will be incorporated in expanded form, in her forthcoming book on antiques, to be published next year by McGraw-Hill.

Nineteenth-century children's mugs have long attracted collectors, but few are perhaps aware of the wide variety of patterns in which these mugs may be found. The collection of pottery mugs formed by Margaret H. Jewell, now on display at the Harrison Gray Otis House in Boston, includes no less than 1200 examples, with hardly a duplicate.

Among the earliest, made before 1840, are mugs decorated simply with a name and inscription, sometimes adding a wreath of leaves. Today these mugs are rare. They were made in canary as well as cream color, with transfer decoration most commonly in black, though other…» More

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From the Archives | By Archived articles

Children's toys: The New-York Historical Society, 200 years

October 31, 2014  |  By Amy a. Weinstein; originally published in January 2005.

Appealing to the imagination of children of all ages, the toy collection of the New-York Historical Society offers a miniature window into nineteenth-century American family life. The approximately three thousand objects that constitute the collection are made of wood, metal, paper, ceramic, and cloth and trace the social, economic, political, and military history of the nation. The collection documents how new toys were created in response to great events and as new materials and technologies were adapted by the European and American toy industries.1 Although the collection most clearly illuminates the leisure pursuits of wealthy and middle-class children, simpler versions of expensive toys made it possible for children living in less privileged circumstances to own toys of their own.

The growing presence of toys in the United States was in part an outgrowth of the emerging recognition of childhood as a special phase…» More

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Eighteenth-Century Jewelry

April 1, 2013  |  By JOHN HAYWARD; from The Magazine ANTIQUES, April 1955.

Most aspects of eighteenth-century arts and crafts have been the subject of detailed and exhaustive research in the course of the past fifty years. The jewelry of the period, however, has been somewhat neglected in favor of Renaissance jewelry (so called, though much of it dates from the first half of the seventeenth century), the very name of which has romantic appeal.

 

Jewelry set with rose-cut paste brilliants: (left) gold and silver turban ornament, Turkish, c. 1730; and one of a pair of silver pendants, French, eighteenth century. Cooper Union Museum for the Arts of Decoration. 

Renaissance jewelry is clearly the creation of the goldsmith, the worker in precious metals. Precious stones, though they may be imposing in both size and quality, are introduced to add splendor to a composition which would be complete without them: they may decorate the costume of a figure, or enrich the body of a monster but they can…» More

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How America found its face: Portrait miniatures in the New Republic

April 1, 2009  |  By Elle Shushan; from The Magazine ANTIQUES, April 2009.

The stunning events of July 1804 were almost unfathomable for the citizens of the new American republic. One Founding Father had fatally wounded another. Alexander Hamilton was dead and Aaron Burr  would be indicted for murder. The duel and its aftermath marked a turning point in American culture.

Five days before the Burr-Hamilton duel, Edward Greene Malbone arrived for a week's stay in NewYork. Considered the finest miniaturist in the United States, Malbone was attractive, popular, already exceedingly successful, and only twenty-six years old. As Hamilton's massive funeral snaked up Broadway on July 14, he was meeting twenty-five year-old Anson Dickinson for the first time. A fledgling artist, Dickinson had commissioned Malbone to paint his miniature, hoping to learn by watching the more experienced artist at work (Fig. 1).1 So absorbed was Malbone in the painting "that he neither paused himself to view the pagea…» More

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Chinese botanical paintings for the export market

June 1, 2004  |  By Karina H. Corrigan; from The Magazine ANTIQUES, June 2004.

A single stem of chrysanthemum explodes off the page shown in Plate I. This exquisite Chinese export painting was executed abut 1823, two years after this variety of chrysanthemum, the so-called quilled orange, had been introduced into English gardens.1 Chinese plants were first brought to Europe in the late seventeenth century, but ready access to new varieties of Asian species was not widely feasible until the last years of the eighteenth century. Although he never visited  China, Georg Joseph Camel 91661 - 1706), a Moravian Jesuit missionary stationed in the Philippines, collected plants from the Chinese community in Manila to dry and send back to Europe. In honor of Camel's early efforts on behalf of Asian botanical studies, the Swedish naturalist Carolus Linnaeus 9(1707 - 1778) named the Camellia after him. James Cunningham 9d. 1709?), a Scottish East India Company surgeon stationed in Amoy in 1698, became the …» More

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NYG 2013

[Compiled by Bill Stern, Executive Director at the Museum of California Design, Los Angeles. Originally published in "Curator's Eye" in Modern Magazi

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