Best Interview EVER

I recently did a web interview with Christina Nitschmann for Savy Central Radio. It covered all aspects of my multifaceted career and life and it was literally the best interview I have ever had – or done – and believe me, I have done too many to count.


I truly appreciate Christina’s talents and gifts for bringing out the best in her interviews. You can get to the location for blogtalkradio by going here:


I found myself revealing information I’d kept secret for so many years, while also sharing many of my still all too revolutionary ideas.


Thank you, Christina, for your gentle persistence in tracking me down, and your intelligent and graceful professionalism!

Only Two Hands and 24 Hours In A Day

I have NOT disappeared from this blog or website. But Spring has finally arrived and I have 14 shows to do with my Enchanted Environments and I have been working on making new items for the bowls – and so much more,

In the meantime, I am acquiring more antiques every week, and will put some up for sale soon, while others will wait for the Fall – winter season. Please come by and check here for more news, but for the most current information, check out the Enchanted Environments location.


The Annual Blowout Sale Is On For One Week Only

This is it! The once only, annual blowout sale where almost everything (except for what has been listed for the first time tonight) start at ninety-nine cents! The sale will end next Sunday night, March 10th, beginning at 11 PM EST. None of the sale items will be relisted again.

I do this only once a year, because I am bringing in more things and I have almost no space to store them.

Come by and take a look, and take advantage of amazing deals, really expensive, and great things.

The Joys Of Too Much Snow

I live in Connecticut. We have just endured yet another huge weather debacle. We were hit with Super Storm Sandy at the end of October, 2012, and then this past week with a record breaking Nor’easter that turned into a blizzard.

Our snow blower, new last year, took one look at the 5 foot high snow drifts and died! We didn’t dig out for four days.

Fortunately we didn’t lose power or heat, but between digging paths for the five dogs, and trying to make sure the roof was clear, there has been little time left for the joys of blogging. But hopefully things will improve and I’ll be back to writing more soon!

Time Passes So Quickly

I try to get something up in the blog almost every day, but my work schedule doesn’t always allow for it. Next thing I know, so much time has flown by.

Here’s a quick look at my typical week.

Saturday – We go to sales, auctions, and tag sales. That night I take photos to get ready to list things on Sunday morning. That can take at least 5 hours, and I can take, correct, and upload more than 120 photos.

Sunday – If I need to do more photos, then I’m up at 6 A. M. By 9 I try to tune in to CBS and Sunday morning. Then I listen to Bob Schieffer right after that. From there, I put on a movie that I know by heart so I won’t have to think or listen to it, which fills the sound space while I do the listings. I list, nonstop, until 7 P. M.. and get the listings up for a 7 day length. When the auctions begin to close at 11 P. M., which is the best time to accommodate as many buyers as are interested, I’m working both closing and opening ones. As the new listings go up, the previous ones from the last week listings end. I send invoices, print them out, and then keep checking the new listings to make sure they are up and correct. I hit the bed around 1 A. M., or even later!

Monday – I get up and immediately begin to pack, label boxes, and get things ready to go to the Post Office. Then I go about the “must-do’s:” of the day. 8 P. M. Is Antiques Roadshow, which is a fun resource and educational tool. Sometimes I even know more than the appraisers, which is like being on Jeopardy! I try to watch Market Warriors, but these people are terrible pickers. In the real world they would starve. One person, and she will remain nameless, sets the advance of women back a hundred years. How embarrassing is she? I cringe every time she cuddles up to dealers. Perhaps they should add people who sell on eBay and know what they are doing! Hint, hint.

Tuesday – When possible, I write more listings to go up that night, after 11, for a 5 day auction. Yet another trip to P. O. (this happens as soon as a payment is made), and other work related things.

Wednesday – Write on this blog, the one for Enchanted Environments, and on my newest book. Go to previews, early sales, and so on.

Thursday – See Wednesday.

Friday – Sales, auctions, writing, Clean things I’ve acquired, do research on them.

Every day, between 3 and 4, I am ORDERED to feed the five dogs by the dogs. They let me know if I am not quick enough to suit them.

Then there are the days when I spend hours helping to appraise items for other dealers and auctioneers. To me, this is like being on a terrific treasure hunt. You never know what you’ll find.

Ahh, the fabulous, fun filled, action packed life of an antiques dealer.

Help, Please!

I have decided that I can’t do everything all by myself. I have been holding onto a large number of items which I can’t quite identify to my satisfaction.

I actually just acquired even more, and I no longer have the patience to wait years to discover the information, or the room in which to store it all.

I sure could use some help with this, which is why I came up with the idea of asking YOU to help me out.

I will be taking photos of the items and will put them up on the Help Me page as often as possible. Here’s your opportunity to not only solve a mystery, identify something, and give it a name, but to also show off what you know. If you email me with your suggestions about the item, I will do the intensive research to support it, and then will also publish a thank you to YOU for your help.

As a version of the saying goes: So many things to learn, so little time to do the research!

History In Your Hands

The online Free Dictionary defines Psychometry in this way:  (Psychology) (Spirituality, New Age, Astrology & Self-help / Alternative Belief Systems) (in parapsychology) the supposed ability to deduce facts about events by touching objects related to them.

Well, this may be true, or not, but I love antiques because so often when I hold them in my hands I get a feeling of being connected to the past in some special way.

I can appreciate the artistry that went into creating an object, and feel a certain sympathy with those who had owned it before it came to me. It’s why I do so much research into many of the things I acquire and sell. I can’t always get a good history of an item, but I can usually track down something about who made them, and when I get to speak with the families of the original owners, I can also track down how they came into their possession.


Rare personal, pocket diary, including entry for April 15, 1865, when President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated.

I once visited a behind the scenes display in the American section of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in Manhattan. There were so many items similar to what I have sold over the years (not to them, but some did go to other museums.) There were thick alarmed walls of glass separating me from them, and I could feel my hands just itching to pick them up, turn them over, and then get a good look at the marks on the bottom.

It was frustrating to have the barriers there, especially because my own home is filled with a huge array of items for sale that were in even better condition than what the museum had on display.

I receive high praise for how I pack things for shipping. I wrap extremely well because I am aware of how special everything is, and how irreplaceable each item is. As I wrap each piece, I like to imagine the pleasure the new owner will have once they receive the “new” treasure, and then hold it in their own hands!



Antique Limoges Art Nouveau, hand painted pitcher.

Good Luck And Not So Good

I was able to acquire many wonderful antique items today. Unfortunately I was unable to get the main lot that I wanted – more than a dozen antique cold painted Vienna bronze figures. I didn’t want to pay almost $1,000.00 for them. I’d have had to pass the cost on to my customers, and I didn’t want to do that. But I still wish I had been able to get them!

I will be able to list the other items once they arrive here next week, but until then I will be looking forward to their coming here.

There are a few physical auctions I will be attending, too, so I look forward to seeing what I can bring back. Some of my favorite ones no longer exist, so I have to work much harder to find those special things. But when I do, it’s worth all the effort, travel, awful food, and long times waiting for the things I want to bid on to come up. Thank goodness I’ll almost never alone. My DH, comes with me as often as he can, and then there are the other members of our family.

This is from the Antiques and The Arts newspaper. Obviously the Pugs were more interesting than me, the one with the arm on the left side.:


They are now known as “The Auction Dogs”.

Since then we have added Pixie (3) and Sadie (9 and a Silky Terrier) into the mix. Because there are five dogs, all rescues, we usually only bring one or two along. Woody is now 12, Aimee is 10, and Bessie is 7 and only Woody, of the original three Pugs, still likes being there.


Pixie always wants to know when you are going to come pet her!


They keep me from heading to the door too early.


Sadie says hello to everyone.

What The Heck Is Frances On EAPG Glass?

There is an Early American Pressed Pattern Glass,  also called EAPG, that has a special addition to the rim edge. It was an amber yellow, wide border, that was most often ruffled in appearance, although it could also be flat. The glass was made by the company Hobbs, Brockunier & Co, and they made many highly collectible patterns, including Hobnail, which they called “Dewdrop”.


“Frances” On Acid Washed Dewdrop (Hobnail)



I had learned that the yellow border was known as, “Frances”, but could not find out why. It literally took me years to finally discover the origins of the name.

In June, 1886, 49 year old American President Grover Cleveland, a lifelong bachelor, married his ward, 21 year old Frances Folsom in the White House, and eventually had five children.


Close up view of the annealed, hand crimped Frances border

In my endless research, I finally came across two references that spoke of the company as having created the hand crimped, annealed on yellow border and having named it “Frances”, as in “Dewdrop With Frances” in honor of the First Lady Frances Cleveland.

Now I know and understand that learning about this is of no true importance, but as I’ve often said, I love mysteries, and hate unsolved history. So now you, too, know that when anything refers to having a Frances border, it is an annealed, amber yellow, wide glass border, named for the wife of an American President!

OK, I Finally Did It

I HATE writing or talking about myself. But I see there have been so many “hits” on the “ABOUT ME” page, which was empty, that I finally spent the entire day, and even some of the evening, writing enough (more than enough, in my opinion) to fill up the page.


Two Inia geofrenisis (Amazon River) dolphins with whom I worked at the Duisbirg Zoo, in Duisburg, Germany

I actually have a done a few things that were unrelated to antiques or Enchanted bowls.

If you have a minute, please drop by and have a look.


A Very Painful Time

In Memorium
We live In Bridgewater, CT. My husband works in Newtown, CT, and Sandy Hook is part of Newtown. The Sandy Hook Elementary School is literally 10 miles from us.

We are all in shock and deeply sorrowful for the children and adults who lost their lives yesterday. I have always felt the terrible emotional pains of those who have experienced such mass tragedies. But this is so very close to where we live, and the hurt in our hearts is literally a physical pain.

It is of small consequence that we send our sympathies to the relatives of the twenty children who were massacred, and to the families of the adults who died trying to protect and save the students.

Extra Rare – Ouija Board – Part Two

I don’t know about other folks who sell antiques, but I do know what I do. I not only check things out for condition (chips, niks, fliks, hairlines, cracks, repairs, and so on) I also look for anything that might be unusual, or of historical importance. Should I find something, then, like a dog worrying a bone, I have to track it down until I’m thoroughly satisfied with what I’ve learned (see the Napoleon Fan Leaf blog).

When I looked closely at the back side of the board. The construction was very different from even the other older ones I’d seen; more primitive in look and feel. Then I used a magnifier to get a better look at the impressed mark(s) on the wood. There were two, something that was very unusual, because one was directly on top of the other.


No word “TRADEMARK” on the front

The first one read: PatP – for Patent Pending. But on top of that there was a completely different mark, and while the first had been made using a precut die stamp, the second one clearly was done using individual letters and numbers to create the mark. On the front, it was missing the word, “TRADEMARK”, that later boards carried.
This meant that the information was too new for a die stamp to have been created, and it meant that the information had to have arrived just after the PatP stamp had been used. In other words, this was the very Ouija board that had been under construction at the exact moment that the news of their having been granted a patent had been received.


The back side of the Ouija board with two vertical strips of wood

Double checking the information in the Museum of the Talking Board website, I saw that the date of February 10, 1891, which they said the company had received the patent, matched the date on the hand made die stamp mark. As a shortcut, they had hand stamped it FEB’Y 10, 1891, but they had used individual letters and numbers, rather than a single stamp that said everything.


Close up View Of Double Backstamp. Hard To See In Photo, But Very Clear Beneath A Magnfier

This meant that this was THE ONE board that existed which showed the time when, at first, it did not have a patent, and then it did. It may not have been of earthshaking importance, but as a former history teacher and a former researcher in communication, I was well aware of how significant this would be to someone who was interested in such things.

It sold for an amazing amount, one I would never forget – $1,234.56 – 1,2,3,4,5,6! But even better, it was restored into the world as being exactly what it was. I have always felt that there was a reason it came to me, rather than someone else. Clearly I was the one person who would have, and who could have figured out its true history.

Extra Rare – Ouija Board – Part One

I love to find hidden treasures. When I did research in communication with dolphins for 19 years I was a professional scuba diver (P.A.D.I. Divemaster).

I occasionally joined in with other organizations to help on projects that were associated with underwater archaeology, so dissevering rare things on dry land is quite consistent for a researcher such as myself.

The story of this Ouija board is rather long, so I will break it into two blogs, just so you won’t feel like you’re reading a book.


Kennard Ouija Board

I was at an auction in northern Connecticut. Although I usually only have eyes for porcelain and glass, I actually tripped over a large board of wood. When I bent over to pick it up, I was surprised to see a huge Ouija board in a style and shape I’d never seen before. I couldn’t resist, and even though the auction was an hour and a half away from my home, we stayed until 11 P.M. just to bid on it.

There was little competition, because most people were creeped out that it was a mystical item. On the other hand, I saw it as something so unique that I was sure it had to have an interesting history and story behind it. The story I never found out about, but the history, well that was the most fascinating part of everything.

I am a patient person. I will hold onto an item and do research until I can correctly identify it, or until a website on the Internet finally adds information that I can use. As I checked throughout the Internet, I eventually came across a fascinating place, called The Museum Of The Talking Board.  It’s a really fun site, and they even use a planchette as a pointer. You might want to take a “walk” through it when you have a few extra minutes to spend.

If you go here, to the history of the board, you will see information about Charles Kennard and when he received the first patent for the Ouija board:

It was there that I was able to identify the exact board I had, and why it was significant to the history of the game! This might be a hint: “The first patent for “improvements,” filed on May 28, 1890 and granted on February 10, 1891, lists Elijah J. Bond as the inventor and the assignees as Charles W. Kennard and William H. A. Maupin of Baltimore, Maryland.”

Can you guess what it is?

One Of A Kind Rare

Every know and then I’m fortunate enough to acquire something extremely rare, and of undoubted museum quality. When this happens I do extensive and in-depth research to make certain that what I’m saying about the item is accurate. This silk fan leaf is one of those amazing acquisitions that makes the life of an antiques dealer terribly exciting. I loved doing the research into its history, and here’s what I discovered.


Silk Leaf Fan

This silk fan leaf is all hand painted and is signed C. G. Bastien on the lower right of the leaf. Other than the two coats of arms, and part of them, and the full color cameo in the center, everything is hand painted in gold paint, with VERY fine strokes. All of the little paillettes (sequins) are very tiny and in the right light, they display in a gold color. They have been hand applied, and are spaced so that when the fabric is folded, they wouldn’t be on the creases. The painted designs and the paillettes form an extremely intricate pattern, one that only an expert would have created.


Close Up O Cameo

In the center in a cameo of a little boy, wearing a sash with a medal of state and rank. To the left is a coat of arms, which would have belonged to the father. To the right is a coat of arms that would have belonged to the mother. When I began doing the research on this I started with the one on the right side, that of the mother, because the double headed eagle would have been easier to identify. I discovered that this one belonged to the house of Francis I, Emperor of Austria, and a Habsburg.

From there I was able to identify that this was also an indication that the mother had to have been the daughter of Austrian Emperor Francis I, Empress Marie-Louise, a former Archduchess of Austria. Then I was able to quickly identify the father from the coat of arms on the left. It belonged to none other than Emperor Napoleon I, of France, and Marie Louise had been his second wife. With this, it was easy to then pinpoint the child as being his son, Napoleon II. What made the identification even easier was that in my search, I discovered a colored print of a child sitting in a baby coach that was drawn by two sheep. This was none other than Napoleon II, and it was a version of the cameo in the center of the fan. Bingo! As the child in the cameo was about two years of age, then it was also simple to come up with a date. Because the coats of arms were done by hand, they are only slightly different from the actual ones, but this can be credited to the artist taking artistic license to create this work of art. There is absolutely no doubt what the coats of arms are and who they represent.


Original Cartoon Of Napoleon II In A Child Carriage

About Napoleon II:


Napoleon II As A Young Man

Napoleon II led a short and unhappy life. If you go online I’m sure you will be able to find out as much about his as I did, so I won’t repeat the in-depth information here. He was born on March 20, 1811, and died from tuberculosis on July 22, 1832. He never married. His full name was Napoléon François Joseph Charles Bonaparte, and he bore the titles, Emperor Napoléon II Of France, King Of Rome, Prince Imperial, and Duke Of Reichstadt. His mother couldn’t have cared less about him, but he was adored by his father and his maternal grandfather.

A fan carrying both coats of arms would NOT have been in the possession of, or been used by anyone other than a close member of the family, and from the exceptionally fine details, I’m thinking that it was almost surely owned by his mother. Regardless of this, the leaf speaks for itself, and is not only a one of a kind piece, but is of museum quality!

Price available upon request

Hidden Treasure – Celtic Design Vase

Sorry for not getting something new up sooner. I have been working on the Enchanted Environments to get things right, so they will look great here.

I promise I will add some great new content for you this week.


Hand picked out lid, hand painted gold accents on this Grainger bowl.

This Grainger bowl (made between 1870 to 1879) goes up this week starting on 12-9-2012, and it’s stunning. The company was eventually acquired by Royal Worcester. The lid was all hand picked out (pierced, also called reticulated!) It was almost surely done by Alfred Barry, who did most of the reticulation work for Grainger.

I’ve had it for some time, originally thinking it was Lenox, which is why I waited to list it. Lenox is a mass produced American porcelain. But when I saw the impressed mark on the bottom of the foot, I did a lot of research and discovered it was a very fine antique treasure, made over a very limited period of time.

The creamy ivory colored lid was first hand inscribed when the porcelain was still wet and unfired. The Celtic design is made up of thorny vines that intertwine to create the pattern. Then it was fired in a kiln, and hand painted with gold accents.

The side of the bowl has a raised running border of flowers (another reason why I believe this is a vase with a frog) while the lower area has raised grasses. They just don’t make things like this anymore!

Some call it a potpourri, but because of how open the lid work is, and the raised designs, I truly believe it’s a low vase with a flower frog. Either way, it’s a beauty!


All hand cut out when the porcelain was still wet. Then painted by hand.

Thanks for dropping by.


Sorry, but this is no longer available as if was purchased.

Outstandingantiques On eBay

Rare Antique Cold Painted Vienna Bronze of a Pug and a Cat on a Conch Shell

A rare and very unusual antique cold painted Vienna bronze figurine of a cat on a conch shell with a Pug dog barking at it.

This is the photo I use on eBay for my store site, outstandingantiques.

I chose to show off this enormously charming, little figurine of a Pug barking at a cat on top of a conch shell because it reflects so much of my own interests and background. But more on that later on.

Although my formal business name is actually “Patricia St. John Fine Antiques”, that’s too long for an eBay title, which is why I chose to use “outstandingantiques” in its place. I wanted to have a name that described the fact that I look for unusual, interesting, and outstanding antiques to offer to my customers, many of whom have been private collectors, museums, well-known public figures, and people looking for just that right “something special”.

I’m located in Litchfield County, in the Northwest Hills of Connecticut, which is actually a mere 65 miles north of New York City. I have access to fascinating, fabulous, remarkable items, many that have been in families for multiple generations. As a professional appraiser of fine antique and vintage glass and porcelain, I provide information for auction houses and other antiques dealers. My expertise is wide and quite varied, and I am frequently called upon to identify, date, and value a wide variety of items. Getting up before the sun rises, I am most often first in line at estate sales, even in the nastiest of weather conditions, and will sit for hours in auctions in order to purchase pieces to sell on my eBay site.

I have acquired so many wonderful things; such as the very first American made Ouija board that had a double mark on the back side, one for Patent Pending, and one for the very first day it received its patent, or the extremely rare “Ripley Marriage” or Wedding oil lamp, or a bronze box with clear provenance, that had once been owned by the last Tzar of Russia. I have sold, and continue to offer, many fine pieces of Meissen, Minton, Sevres, other high quality porcelains, an antique bronze nodder bell, fabulous antique Majolica made by Ginori, and other highly regarded companies, a very rare glass tent form inkwell, Bohemian Art glass, made by Moser and by Loetz, Early American Pressed Pattern Glass (EAPG), and too many more to list.

Mt. Washington Art Glass Tomato Form Powder Shaker Sterling Silver Cap

A gorgeous antique Mt. Washington Art Glass “muffineer”, in the tomato shape, with Sterling Silver cap.

My customers literally span the world, and I have shipped to almost every continent. I am constantly looking for those very special pieces which I know will appeal to buyers, and especially for those folks who have made specific requests.

I offer a truly wide and eclectic range of items, always with an eye towards serving the very diverse needs and desires of my customers. As one of the very first sellers on eBay, since its infancy, I have expanded my inventory even as I continue to broaden my knowledge, and have become aware of what people are seeking. As financial times shift, I’ve also changed my pricing structures and the items I offer in order to meet the needs of my clients.

Rare Antique Minton Enameled Plate

Stunning antique Minton plate with intricate floral artwork done by Dr. Christopher Dresser.

I hope you will visit my eBay auctions, my website, and my blog often. I’m always hunting for, and discovering special things, and I want to share my extensive knowledge of antiques with you, as well as tell you more about those outstanding antiques I’ve sold over the years!

What Do I Mean By RARE?

What Do I Mean By RARE?

I never use the word “RARE” lightly. The item really has to be hard, or even impossible to find elsewhere.

Before I give the adjective RARE to an item, I first look throughout the Internet, staring with a Google search, then I look on eBay for both current and closed listings, other auction sites, and on Ruby Lane. If I don’t find another item referencing the one I am researching, I frequently will wait several weeks, months, and in some cases years before I place it up for sale. I do a huge amount of research, because that is in my very basic Nature.

I may find a similar, but not exactly the same, item, or none at all. That’s when it gets the coveted “RARE” identification.

Here’s a terrific example. I acquired six sets of absolutely unique cups and saucers and listed each set as: EXCEPTIONALLY RARE ANTIQUE SANG DE BOEUF GOLD GROS POINTE DE VENICE QUATREFOIL CUP SAUCER SET.

Exceptionally Rare Antique Sang De Boeuf & Gold Pointe De Venice Cup & Saucer Set

This rare set was made in Venice, Italy, for a famous American Captain of Industry (Robber Baron) of the late 1800’s. Gorgeous color, and so elegant!

(White spots are reflections from the strong lights I use to take my photographs.)

They came from the estate of a very famous person who had been called a Robber Baron, also a Captain of Industry, in the late 1800’s. They were made in Venice, Italy, expressly for his use, had been handed down over the years through the family, and finally came up for auction at a limited location.

The moment I saw them I knew how unusual they were. The color is a deep Oxblood red, also known by the French term “Sang De Boeuf”. It requires great skill and artistry to get this color to come through, and real gold is used to achieve the depth of red.

Then there are the gold lace pieces on both the cups and saucers. It is what is known as “Pointe De Venice”, made by the nuns, with great care and difficulty. Although you won’t see them here, one of the hallmarks of this lace is the tiny drops of blood from the needles used to make the pieces by hand. This lace was carefully cut into pieces, covered in real gold, positioned on the sets, encased in a clear glaze, and then fired. WOW! Elegance beyond description.

 ImageHand made, gold covered, applied Pointe De Venice Lace

Close up of the Pointe De Venice Lace that was hand made and then dipped in real gold, covered in clear glaze, and fired to a high glossy sheen.

Red and gold make a statement any time of the year, but particularly at holiday times and when entertaining. You won’t see these anywhere else, and that’s why I labeled them as being Exceptionally Rare!

No longer available.
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