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Newsletter Archives

Madame Alexander Dolls

Beatrice Alexander grew up in the ghettos of Brooklyn, New York of Russian parents.  In 1923, she started what was to become the Alexander Doll Company.  Initially, Beatrice was influenced by the Lenci Dolls and their creator Elena Scavini.  It is believed that she was so much taken with Elena and her dolls that Mrs. Alexander took on the name of Madame because Elena tended to call herself Madame Lenci.


Dumb Mikey and the Chain Saw

Mikey bought some property recently that he wanted to develop.  The land however was full of trees and had to be cut down.  Being Mikey, he decided he would save a few bucks if he cut the trees down himself.  So he goes out to the local big box hardware store to buy a saw.  At the store Mikey asks the advice of the salesperson and is told, “We have a lot of models, but why don’t you save yourself a lot of time and aggravation and buy the top of the line.  This chainsaw will cut a hundred cords of wood in one day for you.”  So Mikey buys the saw and off he goes.


Stolen Antique Weather Vanes Sell for Record Money

If you have a weather vane on the top of your home or barn . . . look out . . . thieves may be looking for you.  According to Kathy Greer, senior editor of Unravel the Gavel, a 15-year-old New Hampshire-based antiques and auction newspaper that monitors antique thefts across New England and New York, said she has noticed a discernible bump in reports of weather vane pilfering in the last year.  For those that do not know, a weather vane is a primitive wind gauge and they can come in many different shapes to include roosters, horses, cows and many other animals.

Damien Hirst - Arts Most Powerful Figure for 2005

Art Review Magazine is set to publish its annual ranking of the 100 most powerful figures in the art world.  Coming in at the number one ranking is Damien Hirst a British artist born in Bristol, England in 1965. Mr. Hirst was listed at number 78 last year.


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November 3, 2005
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Upcoming Antique Shows & Flea Markets

NOVA-Antiques.com provides the most comprehensive antiques show and flea market calendar for the Mid Atlantic region.

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Vintage Lithographs from Currier & Ives

Among the many publishers of Civil War scenes was the lithography firm of Currier & Ives, which produced 200 images of the conflict. In fact, demand for the prints became so great that the firm developed coloring stencils to speed up production and distribution of the images. Most of the prints depicted famous battles and heroic soldiers.


It seems these weather vanes are garnering much money on the antiques and collectibles markets and auctions.  The copper, horse shaped weather vane pictured on the left was recently sold on eBay for about $700.  However, some of these things have been selling in the $3000 to $5000 range.  On January 22, 2005 a rare 19th century weathervane depicting a horse and sleigh was sold at Stanton Auctions in Hampden, Massachusetts for $25,300.

Newsletter 06-09-2005
Newsletter 06-23-2005
Newsletter 07-07-2005
Newsletter 07-20-2005
Newsletter 08-04-2005
Newsletter 08-18-2005
Newsletter 09-01-2005
Newsletter 09-15-2005
Newsletter 09-29-2005
Newsletter 10-13-2005
Newsletter 11-03-2005
Newsletter 11-17-2005
Newsletter 12-01-2005
Newsletter 12-22-2005
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Fenton Glass
Murano Art Glass
Blenko Glass
Anchor Hocking Glass
Amberina  Glass

In the 1920’s, Madame Alexander’s husband Philip took over the operation of the business so that Madame could concentrate mainly on the designing and accessorizing of the dolls.  Toy store operator FAO Schwartz was one of Madame Alexander’s first customers and remains one today.  If you look up FAO Schwartz on the Internet today, you will notice that they have a whole section devoted exclusively for Madame Alexander Dolls.

Madame Alexander borrowed many of her designs from movies of the period such as Alice in Wonderland, Little Women and later Gone with the Wind.  In fact, Disney and Madame Alexander Doll Company are still partners to this day. However, Madame also based some of her dolls on her own family.  One of her most popular lines, the Wendy Ann, was named after her granddaughter and the William was named after grandson William Birnbaum.

The first day Mikey starts cutting down trees and after several hours, he only has two cords cut.  He thinks there is something wrong with the saw, but he tells himself, “I will start earlier tomorrow and see what happens.”  The next morning he gets up at 4 am and cuts wood all day long and into nightfall.  However, he had only managed to cut 5 cords of woods.

Damien Hirst according to Wikipedia, is “probably the most famous of the group that has been dubbed Young British Artists (or YBA’s).” He is probably most famous for his Natural History series which featured dead animals in formaldehyde.  Mr. Hirst grew up in Leeds and studied at the College of Art, Goldsmith’s College and the University of London.  In 1988, Mr. Hirst organized an exhibition titled Freeze in London.  This show was seen as the defining moment for the YBA group, most of who attended Goldsmith’s College.


Currier & Ives occasionally altered the progress of a battle to favor the North, where most of their customers were located. Among the images in this exhibition are graphic scenes of the Battle of Bull Run and the bombardment of Island "Number Ten" in the Mississippi River. The exhibit also includes portraits of President Abraham Lincoln and General Ulysses S. Grant.

Mikey is now convinced that the saw is bad and heads back to the hardware store where he sees the same dealer.  The dealer is baffled by Mikey’s claim, takes the saw out of the box and inspects it and everything looks fine.  He then starts the chainsaw up and Dumb Mikey looks at him and says, “What the heck is that noise?”