Saturday, December 9, 2017

Merry Christmas

Here are some lovely postcards from the 1900's to wish you a joyous Christmas.

Happy Holiday from Reuzeit Emporium.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Memorial Day was called Decoration Day

                                     Remember when Memorial Day was called Decoration Day?

 Our whole family would go to the cemetery with buckets full of flowers that we picked in our garden.  Sometimes only the lilacs would be blooming and other years the peonies, irises, honeysuckle or mock orange would fill the car with their sweet perfume.

We would bring our shovel, broom, a little soap, and some rags along with the jars to hold the flowers.  My father would lift the sunken tombstones up and level them with a little sand always making sure each stone was free of overgrown grass and weeds.  My mother would sweep the gravestones and arrange the flowers in the jars.

Then it was our turn to wash the stones clean and help place the jars of flowers  on each grave.  Sometimes we would bring a picnic lunch and eat under the large shade tree near the water pump. It was a family day that include our loved ones that were gone but not forgotten.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Tussie-Mussie, Nosegay, Porte Bouquets or Posy Holders

              Folding tripod holders for conversion to table use first appeared in 1840

In earlier times, it was fashionable for women to carry a small bouquet of flowers.  These small bouquets had several different charming and endearing names. The term tussie-mussie was used as early as the 1400's to mean a small bouquet of flowers and herbs carried by woman that often conveyed a hidden or symbolic meaning.  The term nosegay was used in the sixteenth century to mean an ornament or scent that appealed to the nose. The term posy was used in the Victorian era and Victorian women of fashion carried these small bouquets in elaborate exquisitely designed holders.  Posy holders were made in a variety of shapes using precious metals, ivory, mother-of-pearl and semi-precious stones.

 Garnets, bloodstones, amethysts, sardonyx, moonstones, opals and turquoise semi-precious stones,  silver and gold and ivory handles

Bouquet holders were usually one of four shapes; a short cup with a pencil thin stem, a trumpet shaped funnel tapering to a terminal loop, a cornucopia, and a variety with a folding tripod to permit the holder to stand up on a table.  A strong pin running across the mouth of the cup through perforations drilled in the sides kept the bouquet in place.  This design allowed the flower arrangement to be worn at the waist, in the hair or secured to the bodice with a brooch. 

Left to right: gold, pearls with mother-of-pearl handle, gold filagree with mirror and mother-of-pearl handle, miniature portrait of bride and groom (one on each side) with  mother-of-pearl handle, gold breads with ivory dance cards and mother-of-pearl   handle, painted porcelain funnel with mother-of-pearl handle

Most often the bouquet holders were carried attached to a finger ring by a chain, this allowed the bouquet to dangle at the wrist while  its wearer danced.  Sometimes the holder contained a tiny mirror, this allowed the wearer to look inconspicuously at a prospective beau.  The flowers contained in the bouquet held symbolic significance. A red rose centered in a bouquet was a declaration of true love while ivy in bouquet might indicate that the wearer was looking for a platonic friendship only. There were many books written in the Victorian era to help decipher these symbolic meanings.  Today a tussie-mussie holder is difficult to find and usually demands a high price.

From left to right:  Russian silver cornucopia, Chinese filigree silver , hollow handle carved ivory, Victorian silver repossee, Victorian silver with bird etching, English silver funnel shape 1833, 2 1/2" silver cornucopia

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Rose O'Neill, Kewpies and the Gibson Art Company

Rose O'Neill was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania on June 25, 1874, the second oldest child with six siblings.  The family moved to rural Nebraska when she was three years old and she lived there during the remainder of her childhood.  Rose loved the arts; writing, poetry, painting, sculpture and drawing.  When she was thirteen years old, she entered a drawing competition for children sponsored by the Omaha Herald Newspaper and won the first prize. Not long after  that she started working doing illustration for various magazines.  In 1893, Rose's father took her to New York to visit publishers in the hopes of selling some of her sixty drawings.  She sold all of her drawing and took orders for many others.  Soon she was a well known in demand illustrator and was being paid a substantial wage.  Rose was the first woman cartoonist and she had her own comic strip.
Rose's father bought some land in the Ozarks in southern Missouri and Rose moved from New York back to her family.  In Missouri she created her loveable Kewpie characters that she is famous for to this day.  She also became very rich. Rose copyrighted the Kewpie characters and many products were produced including Kewpie dolls, books and postcards.

Around 1912, Rose and the Gibson Art Company began to produce Kewpie postcards for all occasions

Gibson Greetings, Inc was started around 1850 by George Gibson and his family. They brought a French made lithography press with them when they immigrated to the United states from Scotland. The brothers printed anything that needed to be printed; bonds, checks, cards and novelties.  By 1870, the brothers were designing their own greeting cards for Christmas, Easter and Valentine's Day.  In 1895, the business was incorporated as The Gibson Art Company. Over the years, The Gibson Art Company had many changes becoming the third largest greeting card company in the United States.

Happy Valentine's Day

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