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Victorian Art Nouveau Door Knocker, Gilt Bronze Lion

Catalogue: Archives: Furnishings: Architectural: Exterior: Pre 1900   item# 594072

Victorian  Art Nouveau Door Knocker, Gilt Bronze Lion
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


Sold; thank you! $235.  

Truly the King of Beasts, this lion is one of the most magnificent I've seen. Artistic detail has been lavished on his facial features and ornately scrolling mane. Probable dating would be 1885-1895, the height of the Victorian Art Nouveau period in Europe, but an amazing amount of gilding remains present.

From an English dealer near Cambridge, the knocker measures a bit more than 4.5 inches from top to bottom and almost 3.5 inches at its widest. Highly dimensional, it rises about 1.5 from the back to the lion's snout. A sturdy ring knocks on a dimpled plate below his chin, not on the lovely face itself, which is another plus. Interestingly, lion knockers have been so associated with England throughout history that they were all but banned in the U.S. in Revolutionary and early Federal times. Thus, good old ones are rarities on our side of the Pond.

Our price for this treasure represents an excellent value, since you'd have to pay nearly as much for a good reproduction with patina artifically applied. Thanks for looking!



Early 19th c Lincoln Imp Handmade Wooden Candlesticks

Catalogue: Archives: Furnishings: Accessories: Pre 1837 VR   item# 552349

Early 19th c Lincoln Imp Handmade Wooden Candlesticks
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


Sold; thank you! 

These are very old candlesticks, most likely pre-Victorian. The pair show variations in size and form and they have wood-pegged bases, plus the rich patina that only great age can impart to wood. Their whimsical ornaments identify them as souvenirs of a visit to Lincoln, county town of Lincolnshire and home to a famous cathedral, which was actually the world's tallest building from around 1300 to 1549 but is better known for a piece of stonework called the Lincoln Imp. The little demon, according to legend, was sent by Satan to make mischief in medieval England and outdid himself here -- dancing on the altar, tripping up a Bishop, knocking over the Dean, smashing furniture and tormenting the choir. It's said he paused to gloat atop a column, whereupon the fed-up angels turned him to stone.

For centuries, Lincoln's imp has been adored and replicated to make keepsakes for pilgrims and tourists. Although candlesticks like these are rare, all-metal tems like door knockers, bells, tea caddy spoons and toasting forks are found more commonly. (We have a door knocker now, so be sure to see that, if you're an imp fan.) While the majority of antique souvenirs date from the Victoria era, when rail travel made touring widely affordable, those of greater means toured Britain extensively when they couldn't visit the Continent due to late 18th and early 19th century wars. Everything about these candlesticks convinces me they date from that period. For instance, their dimensions are inexact, one being about 6.5 inches tall and and 4 inches across the base, while the other is a little taller and wider. Further, one had a narrower top and lip, even before incurring an old burn and chip at the rear. The most telling detail of all, of course, is the pegged construction evident on the bases. These 3-inch imp castings are also slightly different from later versions. (Compare faces and hair patterns with our mid-Victorian imp knocker and you'll see what I mean.) Of course each maker of souvenir goods would have produced his own model for casting, but these additionally show greater depth of patina. Interestingly, the imps are attached with small button-head screws of considerable age but not hand-made. I took one imp off and the wood color is much lighter behind it and on the roughly chiseled niche created for the left leg. Similarly, no patina is present on the imp's reverse, so I can conclude only that they began life together and the present screws are replacements. (The first machine-threaded screws were made in 1797, but they weren't in common use or machine-slotted until the 1850s and it took a little longer than that for button heads to come along.)

There's no charge for insured U.S. Priority shipping and gift-wrap is always free when desired. Thanks for looking!



Rare Victorian Tall Ship Seascape in Shell Art Anchor

Catalogue: Archives: Furnishings: Accessories: Pre 1900   item# 517386

Rare Victorian Tall Ship Seascape in Shell Art Anchor
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


Sold; thank you!
Free U.S. Priority Shipping
(& Gift Wrap if Desired) 

Recent movies about the sea, such as "Pirates of the Caribbean," have called attention to maritime history, creating a wave of renewed interest in nautical antiques. The octagonal shell boxes called Sailor's Valentines sell for as much as $35,000 these days (with modern repros fetching several hundred) and demand is also surging for Victorian shell art frames and seascapes. A pair of medium-sized, empty shell frames is offered elsewhere online for $5,500.

You can enjoy this remarkable piece for a great deal less. It combines both intricate shellwork framing and a delightful seascape, even tossing in some mosswork for good measure. Beneath domed glass, we find a very appealing image of a tall ship under sail -- given extra depth in its round shadow box by a foreground of moss and shells, as well as a deep inner rim painted blue to intensify colors. Showcasing this image perfectly, there's a frame fully surfaced with mixed seashells, styled in the anchor shape that symbolized faith in the 19th century. The shells appear to be cowries, cockles, scallops, augurs, nutmegs, luminous moon snails and more -- all intact and arranged with exquisite symmetry on carved wood or perhaps papier-mache. Even the backing paper, grained like wood, and brass hanging hook are in fabulous original condition. This is clearly a professional creation, not something assembled at home as a memento of a beach holiday (although those can be lovely, too). Overall size is substantial: 11 inches tall, 8 1/2 wide and about an inch deep. The old convex glass gives it considerable weight, naturally. The thickness and shape of the glass make it impossible to tell whether the image is an original watercolor or a print (which ordinarily would show a dot transfer pattern). Either way, it's mesmerizing -- wonderfully detailed, down to a white froth of waves stirred as the ship advances in heavy winds.

Probable dating would be circa 1850 and provenance is an English estate. We acquired it at an East Anglian auction sale.

There's no charge for insured U.S. Priority shipping and gift-wrap is always free when desired. Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos. Thanks for looking!



Antique 49-inch Oak, Copper & Etched Brass Warming Pan

Catalogue: Archives: Furnishings: Accessories: Pre 1900   item# 308860

Antique 49-inch Oak, Copper & Etched Brass Warming Pan
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


Sold; thank you! $255. 

Among the most interesting articles for collectors of historic metalware are the warming pans in which hot coals were carried to warm bedsheets on cold nights. They're also known as bed warmers and ember pans. Highly functional before central heating, they now cast a warm glow as hearthside ornaments - and are also prized by museums for the folkloric art that often adorns their lids.

This example comes from England and can be dated broadly circa 1780 - 1880. The pan's construction closely resembles one offered elsewhere online as Georgian, but we like to be conservative in dating so are calling it Victorian.

The turned wood of bed warmer handles is customarily oak or elm and the pans are generally made either of copper or brass. Some, however, were made with a combination of the two metals, such as a copper bottom with a brass lid. This one is of that type. Some of its pattern has, of course, worn away with time, but you can still see a charming pattern of swirls and posies that resembles paisley. It's unusual to find a pull ring still attached, and it's absent from this one. There's also a bit of customary looseness at the joint between the handle and pan, although they're still firmly attached. Both wood and metal have inevitable dings, but this is a gorgeous object that will display beautifully beside your fireplace or in a country kitchen. It measures an exceptionally long 49 inches, with a large pan 13 inches in diameter and about 3 1/2 inches deep.

Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos of this and perhaps all three antique warming pans we now have in stock. Thanks for looking!


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