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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:

 

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/savvycentral/2013/09/09/patricia-st-john-foremost-nonverbal-communication-expert

 

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!

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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 http://enchantedenvironments.wordpress.com/ 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.

Thanks!

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.

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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!

 

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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.:

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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.

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

 

They keep me from heading to the door too early.

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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”.

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“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.

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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.

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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.

Thanks!

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.