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  • 08 Feb 2017
    Folks you have to check this out. I was so intrigued when I saw this “thing” I had to know what it was and where it came from. After lots of research, turns out it comes from an amazing plant called Devil’s Claw. Many believe it was first cultivated by the Hohokams a thousand years ago. The name came about because the inner woody capsule splits open at one end and produces two curved claws. It’s a perennial plant and grows wild throughout the Sonoran Desert into Texas and parts of Mexico. It has been cultivated for food, medicinal purposesand for making baskets. A cluster of devil's claw seed capsules provide the black designs you see in Native American made baskets. To preserve the black color of the claws for basket making, it is stored in a dark area and treated with ashes. The dried claws are sharp but when soaked in water and striped into long strands it provides a strong pliant fiber.  It's a very time-consuming which was very utilitarian for any years.  Now these baskets are a highly-prized art form.  The history of Devil’s Claw is such an interesting piece of Native American life.              
    437 Posted by Betty Jean Shearin
  • Folks you have to check this out. I was so intrigued when I saw this “thing” I had to know what it was and where it came from. After lots of research, turns out it comes from an amazing plant called Devil’s Claw. Many believe it was first cultivated by the Hohokams a thousand years ago. The name came about because the inner woody capsule splits open at one end and produces two curved claws. It’s a perennial plant and grows wild throughout the Sonoran Desert into Texas and parts of Mexico. It has been cultivated for food, medicinal purposesand for making baskets. A cluster of devil's claw seed capsules provide the black designs you see in Native American made baskets. To preserve the black color of the claws for basket making, it is stored in a dark area and treated with ashes. The dried claws are sharp but when soaked in water and striped into long strands it provides a strong pliant fiber.  It's a very time-consuming which was very utilitarian for any years.  Now these baskets are a highly-prized art form.  The history of Devil’s Claw is such an interesting piece of Native American life.              
    Feb 08, 2017 437
  • 17 Mar 2015
    By Brucha Junovitch For many book collectors, the value of their antique books is more than a specific monetary value. Often these collectors search out antique books to add to their collections based on their love for a particular subject, author or style of literature. For these individuals, the intrinsic worth of an antique book lies in the special meaning the book holds for them. 1. Dust Jackets, Spines and Covers If there is one single thing that can raise or lower the value of a book, it is the dust jacket. The value of a first edition copy of Bram Stoker’s Dracula can diminish by as much as 5% the full value. The price drop of books can often times be solely due to the dust jacket having been destroyed or heavily damaged, either deliberately or due to their fragile nature. If you have one on a good book, treasure it. Also, be sure to protect it with a plastic sleeve. 2. Who is the Author? A book is more likely to appeal to collectors, and therefore be worth more, if you have actually heard of the book or its author. Additionally, some books by famous authors are better than others. A first edition of John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath in good condition is worth far more than say his Travels with Charley. 3. Where was it Published? The location of publication is an often overlooked but important detail in a list of information about a collection of books. Many titles were published virtually simultaneously in two places; for example, London and New York. Whichever hits the shops first is the “true” first edition while the other becomes the “first American edition” or “first English edition.” The value of a “true” first is typically always greater. 4. Publishing Mistakes When certain books are evaluated, the number of “mistakes” that occur in the printing process will elevate their value. Thrifty printers will not throw out a batch of sheets simply because there was a mistake on the page. They will correct it and move on. Those first sheets now form an “issue point” that collectors use to determine how early in the printing process the sheet was printed. Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has over seven documented (and corrected) mistakes during the printing process. If you have all of them (or many of them) in your copy, it can greatly raise the value of the book. Other copies with a few mistakes are usually much less. These “issue points” can be found in online references to bibliographical information gathered on each book. 5. Missing Pages Completeness in a book is critical. Even simple pages that have no printing on them, called blanks, are critical to the value of the book. Make certain that there are no loose pages or gatherings of leaves that have come out or are in danger of falling out. One lost page can be devastating to a rare book’s value. 6. Ownership Look for ownership inscriptions on books. With luck, they will not be on the title-page, as this diminishes value; they should ideally be located on blank pages before the title page. An owner inscription or signature from a member of your own family is always interesting to find, and if he or she was a well-known person, could add to value. 7. Signed Copies Always look for author signed books. An author signature can mean an increase in value of ten times or more the ordinary value of the book in most cases. 8. Decorative Appeal Decorative visual appeal can increase a book’s value. A beautifully leather bound book or one with a pictorial gold leaf cover can form the basis for a really eye-catching shelf; these antique books are usually quite collectible. Simple beauty in a cover or binding can raise its value depending upon the complexity and execution of the design.  
    1494 Posted by Brucha Junovitch
  • By Brucha Junovitch For many book collectors, the value of their antique books is more than a specific monetary value. Often these collectors search out antique books to add to their collections based on their love for a particular subject, author or style of literature. For these individuals, the intrinsic worth of an antique book lies in the special meaning the book holds for them. 1. Dust Jackets, Spines and Covers If there is one single thing that can raise or lower the value of a book, it is the dust jacket. The value of a first edition copy of Bram Stoker’s Dracula can diminish by as much as 5% the full value. The price drop of books can often times be solely due to the dust jacket having been destroyed or heavily damaged, either deliberately or due to their fragile nature. If you have one on a good book, treasure it. Also, be sure to protect it with a plastic sleeve. 2. Who is the Author? A book is more likely to appeal to collectors, and therefore be worth more, if you have actually heard of the book or its author. Additionally, some books by famous authors are better than others. A first edition of John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath in good condition is worth far more than say his Travels with Charley. 3. Where was it Published? The location of publication is an often overlooked but important detail in a list of information about a collection of books. Many titles were published virtually simultaneously in two places; for example, London and New York. Whichever hits the shops first is the “true” first edition while the other becomes the “first American edition” or “first English edition.” The value of a “true” first is typically always greater. 4. Publishing Mistakes When certain books are evaluated, the number of “mistakes” that occur in the printing process will elevate their value. Thrifty printers will not throw out a batch of sheets simply because there was a mistake on the page. They will correct it and move on. Those first sheets now form an “issue point” that collectors use to determine how early in the printing process the sheet was printed. Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has over seven documented (and corrected) mistakes during the printing process. If you have all of them (or many of them) in your copy, it can greatly raise the value of the book. Other copies with a few mistakes are usually much less. These “issue points” can be found in online references to bibliographical information gathered on each book. 5. Missing Pages Completeness in a book is critical. Even simple pages that have no printing on them, called blanks, are critical to the value of the book. Make certain that there are no loose pages or gatherings of leaves that have come out or are in danger of falling out. One lost page can be devastating to a rare book’s value. 6. Ownership Look for ownership inscriptions on books. With luck, they will not be on the title-page, as this diminishes value; they should ideally be located on blank pages before the title page. An owner inscription or signature from a member of your own family is always interesting to find, and if he or she was a well-known person, could add to value. 7. Signed Copies Always look for author signed books. An author signature can mean an increase in value of ten times or more the ordinary value of the book in most cases. 8. Decorative Appeal Decorative visual appeal can increase a book’s value. A beautifully leather bound book or one with a pictorial gold leaf cover can form the basis for a really eye-catching shelf; these antique books are usually quite collectible. Simple beauty in a cover or binding can raise its value depending upon the complexity and execution of the design.  
    Mar 17, 2015 1494
  • 13 Mar 2015
    By Brucha Junovitch American furniture is a mix of various styles that resulted from the blending of furniture brought to America by it many immigrant populations over the years. The earliest style brought to its shores came with the Pilgrims in 1620 and most were crafted in the style now known as the Jacobean style. Of course, this was little more than the most meager of possessions at first – oh, perhaps an armchair, a small table, a desk.   Jacobean furniture came from the English Renaissance architecture begun in the Elizabethan age. Early Jacobean furniture was somewhat inward-looking, not fully embracing exotic influences. A similar style brought to the Americas was the William and Mary style, also known as early Baroque in museum circles, of antique furniture dates from about 1690 through the mid-1720s. It is named for the king and queen who reigned together over England, Scotland, and Ireland from 1689-1694. Jacobean and William and Mary furniture tended to be heavy, almost ponderous. It was made in both England and this country of solid wood, especially oak, although walnut became quite fashionable for William and Mary pieces. Simplicity of structure, straight lines, and squat proportions were typical, and legs were firmly braced with stretchers. Carving was preferred to inlay and veneer for decoration. Many a Jacobean piece appeared weighted down by its carving. Typical additions were panels, as on the doors of chests, carved in geometric designs. A variation was strap-work consisting of thin, flat pieces of wood. The backs of chairs were often of solid wood and carved. However, seats might be upholstered with leather or woven pads in England. In this country, rush seats were more common. Early American beds were monstrous, although how much of this effect was due to the bedstead and how much to the hangings is a debated question. Never before or since were beds so high as between 1600 and 1660. Hangings were important, and could be drawn to cover the four sides of a bed. Their purpose was to shut out the cold. Truckle, or trundle beds, which were low and on wheels so they could be pushed under a bedstead, were made for children and servants. Daybeds were quite another thing and were the forerunners of reclining couches.  Tables were often long in size and length. The trestle, which is the oldest style of table and goes back to Medieval times, began to have some competition. The gate-leg table, a style still popular today, was made first during the Jacobean period. Cricket tables with three legs were also new to the period. Stools were even more common than chairs in early American furniture. They were made in great numbers and doubled as seats and tables. They were about the height of a chair seat. Side chairs and armchairs, which were really side chairs with wood arms attached, offered little choice when it came to comfort. In addition to solid-backs, there were slat-back chairs, which had three or more wide and usually shaped wooden pieces horizontally across the back. The banister-back chair had fairly wide vertical slats surmounted by a crest or top rail. Some of these top rails, as well as the banisters, were more richly carved than others. The latter part of the seventeenth century, technically known as the Restoration period in England, followed by William and Mary, brought lighter and more adaptable furniture. Special turnings, scrolled and more elaborate stretchers, became fashionable. Decorations were later expanded to include lacquer, marquetry, and some inlay.  
    1071 Posted by Brucha Junovitch
  • By Brucha Junovitch American furniture is a mix of various styles that resulted from the blending of furniture brought to America by it many immigrant populations over the years. The earliest style brought to its shores came with the Pilgrims in 1620 and most were crafted in the style now known as the Jacobean style. Of course, this was little more than the most meager of possessions at first – oh, perhaps an armchair, a small table, a desk.   Jacobean furniture came from the English Renaissance architecture begun in the Elizabethan age. Early Jacobean furniture was somewhat inward-looking, not fully embracing exotic influences. A similar style brought to the Americas was the William and Mary style, also known as early Baroque in museum circles, of antique furniture dates from about 1690 through the mid-1720s. It is named for the king and queen who reigned together over England, Scotland, and Ireland from 1689-1694. Jacobean and William and Mary furniture tended to be heavy, almost ponderous. It was made in both England and this country of solid wood, especially oak, although walnut became quite fashionable for William and Mary pieces. Simplicity of structure, straight lines, and squat proportions were typical, and legs were firmly braced with stretchers. Carving was preferred to inlay and veneer for decoration. Many a Jacobean piece appeared weighted down by its carving. Typical additions were panels, as on the doors of chests, carved in geometric designs. A variation was strap-work consisting of thin, flat pieces of wood. The backs of chairs were often of solid wood and carved. However, seats might be upholstered with leather or woven pads in England. In this country, rush seats were more common. Early American beds were monstrous, although how much of this effect was due to the bedstead and how much to the hangings is a debated question. Never before or since were beds so high as between 1600 and 1660. Hangings were important, and could be drawn to cover the four sides of a bed. Their purpose was to shut out the cold. Truckle, or trundle beds, which were low and on wheels so they could be pushed under a bedstead, were made for children and servants. Daybeds were quite another thing and were the forerunners of reclining couches.  Tables were often long in size and length. The trestle, which is the oldest style of table and goes back to Medieval times, began to have some competition. The gate-leg table, a style still popular today, was made first during the Jacobean period. Cricket tables with three legs were also new to the period. Stools were even more common than chairs in early American furniture. They were made in great numbers and doubled as seats and tables. They were about the height of a chair seat. Side chairs and armchairs, which were really side chairs with wood arms attached, offered little choice when it came to comfort. In addition to solid-backs, there were slat-back chairs, which had three or more wide and usually shaped wooden pieces horizontally across the back. The banister-back chair had fairly wide vertical slats surmounted by a crest or top rail. Some of these top rails, as well as the banisters, were more richly carved than others. The latter part of the seventeenth century, technically known as the Restoration period in England, followed by William and Mary, brought lighter and more adaptable furniture. Special turnings, scrolled and more elaborate stretchers, became fashionable. Decorations were later expanded to include lacquer, marquetry, and some inlay.  
    Mar 13, 2015 1071
  • 31 Aug 2011
    Large sculptures of four famous composers were an extraordinary find at auction for Dana Jensen, Vender 1, at the Brass Armadillo Antique Mall in Denver.  They measure up to 27 inches tall and weigh as much as 90 lbs.  These sculptures were created by sculptor & pianist Wee Wuone Park, a Korean student at the University of Wyoming, and unveiled at a classical music concert in 1959.  Along with the original sculptures, Mr. Jensen also purchased hundreds of classical vinyl records.  Taped to the front of one of the record sleeves was a program of the concert with a photograph of Wee Park sitting at his piano and three of the four busts in the background.  Inside the sleeve was an LP record of that concert/unveiling in 1959.  In reviewing the program, Mr. Jensen made a discovery that helped him to realize how extraordinary his find was.   Printed within the program is a dedication by Wee Park to Robert Russin, "Distinguised Sculptor and Inspiring Teacher".  Robert Russin was not only a University of Wyoming professor where he taught Wee Park, but he was also an American sculptor and artist known for a number of public sculptures including the giant bust of Abraham Lincoln located near Laramie, Wyoming.  The bust of Lincoln and Park's busts were created in 1959.  The similarities of the work of teacher and student are remarkable.   The sculpted busts of Rachmaninoff, Bach and Beethoven have now found a resting place on display in what was referred to by another vender as the Denver Brass Armadillo's very own "Culture Corner".  This "Culture Corner" comes complete with beautiful display boxes created by the General Manager, Scott Gottula, and the music of the composers playing in the background.    The Beethoven bust, originally sculpted with terra-cotta clay, has been cast in bronze by the world famous foundry, Broze Services Inc., in Loveland, Colorado.  Rachmaninoff, Bach and Brahms have not yet been cast.  The Beethoven bronze is currently for sale.  For more information on this piece or for future castings of the other three originals, please contact Dana Jensen at 720-878-2893 or the Brass Armadillo Antique Mall in Denver at 1-877-403-1677. 
    18357 Posted by Amie Martin
  • Large sculptures of four famous composers were an extraordinary find at auction for Dana Jensen, Vender 1, at the Brass Armadillo Antique Mall in Denver.  They measure up to 27 inches tall and weigh as much as 90 lbs.  These sculptures were created by sculptor & pianist Wee Wuone Park, a Korean student at the University of Wyoming, and unveiled at a classical music concert in 1959.  Along with the original sculptures, Mr. Jensen also purchased hundreds of classical vinyl records.  Taped to the front of one of the record sleeves was a program of the concert with a photograph of Wee Park sitting at his piano and three of the four busts in the background.  Inside the sleeve was an LP record of that concert/unveiling in 1959.  In reviewing the program, Mr. Jensen made a discovery that helped him to realize how extraordinary his find was.   Printed within the program is a dedication by Wee Park to Robert Russin, "Distinguised Sculptor and Inspiring Teacher".  Robert Russin was not only a University of Wyoming professor where he taught Wee Park, but he was also an American sculptor and artist known for a number of public sculptures including the giant bust of Abraham Lincoln located near Laramie, Wyoming.  The bust of Lincoln and Park's busts were created in 1959.  The similarities of the work of teacher and student are remarkable.   The sculpted busts of Rachmaninoff, Bach and Beethoven have now found a resting place on display in what was referred to by another vender as the Denver Brass Armadillo's very own "Culture Corner".  This "Culture Corner" comes complete with beautiful display boxes created by the General Manager, Scott Gottula, and the music of the composers playing in the background.    The Beethoven bust, originally sculpted with terra-cotta clay, has been cast in bronze by the world famous foundry, Broze Services Inc., in Loveland, Colorado.  Rachmaninoff, Bach and Brahms have not yet been cast.  The Beethoven bronze is currently for sale.  For more information on this piece or for future castings of the other three originals, please contact Dana Jensen at 720-878-2893 or the Brass Armadillo Antique Mall in Denver at 1-877-403-1677. 
    Aug 31, 2011 18357