Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Before and After: "The Sameness" - "So You're FOR Buttercups"

Before and After:  "The Sameness"

"So you're FOR Buttercups"

Seven years ago I started this antiquarian ‘writing down’ with a five post block presenting the antique New England pickle bottle.  I presented it as it is to me... now, then, back then, before, generations before, these days, those days and in my days... now. Where, when, how, who.  Too.  And... the constituent antique pickle bottle collectors, including their ‘must have – go to’ reference book... too.
            I have ‘gone back’ and read over the posts and so may anyone by pursuing the labels ‘old bottle’, ‘pickle bottle’ and ‘pickles’.  I did not change (edit) anything.  That I did not need... or want... to do.  I found the error that I had ‘occurred to me’ that caused me all this retro reading right away and then, too, found it to be a solid ‘error’ throughout all five posts.  The error is simple enough:  I never serve notice that the reason I choose old New England pickle bottles as the subject is because... it is easy.
            I felt then
            And feel now...
            I feel...
            That they (the antique New England pickle bottle) captures and encompasses all of what I have been writing down ‘ever since’ about New England antiques.  Their collectors, dealers and pickers.  The old New England homes, houses, homesteads, sheds, barns, outbuildings.  Stonewalls, ‘dumps’ and ‘hoard’.  Attics, cellars and summer kitchens.  Back stairs, windowsills, cellar stairs, woodshed windows, dirty barn windows.  Boys and girls playing in barns, sheds.  Wells and their well houses.  Old women and their preference for old pickle bottles in their windows.  Old men who tied bailing twine around a ‘pickle’s’ neck and ‘hung it’ in the center of a barn’s window.
             Dirty wooden boxes...and old cardboard paper boxes full of old dirty pickle bottles in the back of old rusted pickup trucks... hauling them to my yard to “SELL”

            I never said why I picked that topic.  The old New England pickle bottle, when it is applied to my ‘subjects at hand’; the core directives of this blog; it is a very fine and easy choice...
            For it ‘covers all of it’ and
            “Never changes” too.
            In the original five posts I did, ‘pretty much’ cover... the all of it (about ‘pickles’)... without saying that; that ‘pickle bottle’ is an easy choice that covers.  The ‘never changes’ I bring in today.  To ‘bring in today’ I graciously say... in a reversing way... that the old New England pickle bottle
            Is not
            It stays where it is and that ‘stay’ comes from where it... was.

            As a candidate for exemplifying old New England decorative taste (“good taste”) of objects, designs, places, settings, inclusions, exclusions and... ‘sending the right message from the corners of the room’, the old New England pickle bottle ‘is that’.  In the posts, I notice the difference between the ‘cathedral’ pickle bottle and the plain pickle bottle as decorative preference and clout.  None the less... “BOTH” are “PICKLE  BOTTLES”.  Choose a ‘one’ or the other... or one ‘may have’ a ‘both’.  TOO.  Dirty in boxes in a picker’s truck.  Washed and “windowsilled” or “Manteled”.  The top of refrigerator is a popular spot too.  And there is too... the  old back stair’s hoard that I ‘grew up with’ in my grandmother’s home.  “That long ago” still stands today... and ‘started’ in the
            Civil War.
            Old New England pickle bottles were used as window decoration in the Civil War.  They were not ‘thrown out’.  They are a solid benchmark of ‘not trending’ ‘old New England’ decorative ‘taste’.
            The old pickle bottle is a shelter of old New England we may all ‘get to’.

            Today, all old pickle bottles and their various etiquettes are unchanged.  They are a little more ‘scarce’, a little more ‘hidden away’ in homes and collections, a little more expensive, a little more “not (for sale) today”.  A little bit more.
            Not a lot more.  No... everything there (“with pickles”) is ‘just fine’.  And no one ‘with pickles’ notices the ‘nots’.  No one brings their old pickle bottle that ‘came from my grandmother’ to ‘display’ at the Historical Society’s annual ‘Discovery night’.  The pickle bottle stays home... and guards the home.  They are still there when a ‘you’ gets back.  They are still there after an “I” (an antiques dealer) leaves the home... after a ‘visit’.  ONLY now and then when the inheritance is declared and the distributions ‘made’ do they falter and, briefly, ‘go in motion’.  I am always around to ‘catch them’ if they ‘fall’.

            The plain pickle may be the best ‘starter’ for the ‘home’.  It is a little less of a dollars and cents commitment... though that price gap has narrowed... so that ‘good ones’ ‘shadow’ the price of the cathedral pickle bottles.  These days.  I remember being ‘undone’ by a sixty dollar price on a ‘plain pickle’.  Now I encounter ‘one (hundred) twenty-five’ “stickered can you believe it?”.  Yes I can believe it.  That is cheap for a true ‘shelter of old New England’.  And it is too... a shelter that may be ‘passed down’ for generations.  One may count on doing that.  I already stated:  Old New England pickle bottles are not trending.  Neither is old New England.  In case you haven’t noticed.  Old New England is just as crouched down behind its stonewalls and Indian (chimney) stairs... as ever.  Old New England continues to ‘escape capture’.  I know because I fight in this war everyday
            Of my whole life.  I notice lots of old pickle bottles in this war.

            A strip mall based mowing – landscape ‘lawn care’ (weed whacking, leaf blowing, [“bark”] mulching and round-up defoliation) services with “HEY GUYS” guys riding the mowers, whacking, blowing, dozing the mulch, and squirting the ‘killer’ pose as the semblance of order standard for the
            New New England .  Semblance of order.  Pose.  Taste.  Declaration of taste.  Demonstration of taste.  Etiquette of taste.
            “If it runs on gasoline they have to have one”.
            “We just don’t do any of that”.
            “So your FOR buttercups?”

            That does not seem to have a lot to do with an old pickle bottle hanging by its neck in a shed window?  This is right.  It does not.  An old pickle bottle hung by its neck in a barn window is an old way of old New England decorative use of an old pickle bottle.  MOST ALL of those old pickle bottles have been taken down from their window and sold.  It is very rare to encounter ‘one hanging’ ‘anymore’.  But the “LAWN” is “PERFECT”.
            In old New England
            So to speak.
            And so is the pickle bottle.  If there is a ‘stoic’ and a ‘suggestion’... the old pickle bottles make them.  Are them.  Welcome to the eye and only ‘spotted’.  If one sees one then one is ‘a message from the corner of the room’ receiving.  If you do not see it... it is not there.  One must look for a ‘better spot’ and ‘try again’.  All this will make sense when one does see one ‘in the (old New England) wild’.  Stop and compare it to the ‘one’s I have at home’.

            If everything I do (with old pickle bottles) is done over and over... then I never have to do it ‘again’.  Over and over I have ‘old pickle bottle’ my life.  Fours years old.  Seven years old.  Thirteen years old.
            Now over six decades have passed.  Pickle bottles have not passed.
            Or changed.
            Not even slightly.  They are an absolute of old New England ‘sameness’.  No:  Not even ‘utterance’ has come from them.  To me.  Simple only... ‘sameness’.  Ever even where they are; on a windowsill... a china cabinet’s top.  A box in a truck.  Tied by its neck and hung in a window.  “LET ME WASH THEM FOR YOU.”
            I want them dirty with their old dust dirty bailing twine nooses.  Soldiers in a war hung until dead from
            From their barn window on every caller greeted at the front door.  Caller greeted at the shed door.  Even the barn’s door.  “USUALLY WE KEEP THE DOOR OPEN BUT THE NEIGHBORS CAT’S BEEN CATCHING THE
            Didn’t think there was going to be a tomorrow did they.  I was going to take them down and let them breath again?  No... “NO... NOT TODAY I GUESS.  I WOULD MISS THEM YOU KNOW”.
            “How long do you think they’ve been (hanging) there?”
            “Oh those were there when I was a boy”.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Posterior - Part Four (B) - "Highborn"


Part Four (B)


            Let us just stop:
            This ‘all’ of the posterior market is not that easy.
            The object itself; the ‘antique’
            Is not that easy
            Particularly when one stands
            With it in hand
            Within the designated buttock
            Of the antiquarian market.

            More lustre?
            Less bluster.
            Less accomplished (sophisticated).
            Less astute.
            Less art-design sword play.

            More... potato racer
            And sunscreen smell (Part Four [A]).  Yes;
            More of that.  A lot more of that

            It is a malignant taste, traditionally celebrated, currently celebrated, always a ‘there’ and commonly
            “Bad”... “Taste”
            A lot of flea market adventurers have that, especially for (in regard of) the ‘highborn’ ‘antique”.
            If I say so?

            Well just look at the board game.  Everyone loves playing board games... at the summer cottage... on a rainy day... when the (out of doors) flea market is closed.  “Chutes and Ladders”.  Playing that... ‘again’.
            How about playing Chutes and Ladders with antique English Lustre Ware; an “OLD”... “CHINA”.  “Oh yes:  It IS a little raw out today.”

            Very few of the very highborn had ‘gold’ to eat off of.  Out of.  “SILVER”, by lay terms is adequate for the mind’s eye of what “RICH PEOPLE” “EAT WITH”.   If one wants to be ‘of’ ‘highborn’ say “old plate” (18th century silver plated copper serving vessels) (“Old” “Sheffield” “Plate”).  And all the ever-after imitations of ‘old plate’ that get crummier with each passed decade (250 years as I write).  Yes:  Make me look at your crummy ‘silver plate’ and the skimpy inclusions of “STERLING” that, well... you never use except for an ‘it’s SPECIAL’.  For the record, that is what the ‘IS THE’... is the... commercial buy and sell at flea market’s “SILVER” “MARKET”.  The ‘is the’ of these two IS “Sterling”.  I am shown objects simply because they are “STERLING” “SILVER”.

            Yes it is.  But that is not Lustre ...Ware.  And the sterling does not care.  I recover Lustre Ware from the common (posterior) markets.  There is silver lustre, canary lustre, strawberry lustre, copper lustre, pink lustre.  Today is a pink lustre... day. 
            The shiny pink hand painted decoration upon SIGHTLY off white mold cast ‘pearlware’ forms (pitchers, teapots, cups and saucers, et al) with the mold cast form ‘slightly (decoratively) embellished’... are, also, enhanced to the eye with popular practice of applying black transferware decals... too.  All and only ‘just (pink lustre) brushwork’ is scarcer.  The two; pink brushstroke and black transfer, “MIX” well to the eye when displayed.  Assembled, the arranged convey a certain ‘Regency’.  As they are from the English Regency period (1790-1825)... that... then...  ‘makes sense’.
            If that... then... makes sense and does this to your eye... perhaps... “HAVING” that “LOOK” is something... you “MIGHT”.  And yes it does “LOOK” ‘highborn’.
            Perhaps just starting with one... good... specimen of pink lustre... sort of feel your way in.  SEE if it TAKES with you; highborn (good) taste.  Take the crummy dishes out of the cupboard and put in ONE piece; preferably a ‘better one’, of pink lustre to “TRY”.  Put the tawdry silver plated metal and assemblage of “STERLING” away too:  OUT OF SIGHT.  Live... with your eye... in English Regency.
            “Oh don’t bother”.  But feel how much fun one may have visiting posterior markets and knowingly recovering the highborn of English Lustre Ware.  Made two hundred ago for a demanding, exclusive and design sensitive eye... the fragile china has... passed through Hell... to be at the posterior market for... I... to recover.
            It is a gas doing that; recovering pink lustre.  I get the pitcher.  You smell like sun screen.  (Part Four [A])  We are worlds that never meet.  Pink lustre is hardly the only ‘design form’ I ‘practice’ with.  No...;  Looking glasses.  Seating furniture.  Old silver plate.  Paintings and rare books.
            English glassware?  Of course.
            “Did you know some people collect old dog collars?”.

            Once one crosses over the footbridge of Lustre Ware... and leaves behind the fore noticed ‘I know’ of ‘doesn’t sell’ ‘no one wants it’... and arrives at a self directed private collection (gathering?  Accumulation?) of recovered highborn antique English earthenware... “CHINA” (‘old paste’);  Once one... well... within the current state of affairs... I have it all to myself.  And it is costing ‘no money’ too.
            This is “Why?” I am at the posterior markets; to recover highborn antiques?  Yes.

            This essay seems to be going ‘on and on’?  It is not.  I am looking at three different things here; the posterior markets of ‘antiques’,  highborn design antiques that may be recovered at the posterior markets and... how a .’you and I’ are best suited to do that (recover antiques) there (at the posterior markets).  The weave of these three.

            The first features I bring to a posterior market are... “I am there” and “I care”.  This is buttressed by a splendid dash of “I know”:  I am more than rather well informed of highborn antiquarian design and this is ‘prepared’ for active usage amongst ALL of the those who are ‘not’ (the sun screen ‘smell of’ set, et al).  So all of those are in a defensive poise before I start... noticing... for recovery... ‘old lustre’.  And I noticing them.  Too.  That is my recognition that ‘they’ have ‘bad taste’.  And I can bet on that to my advantage.  “They do not know” (highborn) antique (design).  They... walk right by and that includes MY eye walking right by the crud THEY ‘I know’ in their own domestic setting (design squalor?).  If it is a ‘them’ like that at the posterior market, “of course”... think then... of what... it is like... “at (their) home”.  Oh that’s nasty... I know... but its foundation is solid.  Just go look for yourself.  Most will actually (act to) ‘show you’.  And again I notice that it is not just ‘old lustre ware’ I am ‘doing this with’.  The posterior market place is full of all sorts of highborn design specimens available for ‘recovery’.  What I see ... actually see... is ‘no one’ ‘doing that’.
            Oh I see a few ‘sniffs’; a pick-it-up and look over.  A ‘touch’. An ‘inspect’.  An ‘ask someone’.  (If you ask me and you do have a ‘I found’ of merit but have not ‘recovered’ (purchased it) I have no qualms about ‘being mute’, waiting for you to ‘set it down’ and then.. ah...  buying it... “MYSELF”.  YOU have to ‘decide’ (the antiquarian design merits of “THINGS”... YOUR... SELF.  Or put more sunscreen on the tip
            Of your nose.

            The cumulative effect of multiple decades of ‘doing this’ recovering highborn antique design at posterior (buttock) markets... is disturbing when ‘how much is’ recovered by I (eye).  Probably even more ‘of bother’ is the expansive array of ‘dealers’ I recover from who willfully articulate that I “AM” the “ONLY ONE” who “KNOWS”:
            “That’s the oldest thing on the field”, etc., et al.  Yes; the ‘my free range’ is so cavalier midst the “I KNOW” bad taste that it is freely spoken (joked) of AT THE TIME of recovery.  The “I KNOW” are “still going around looking”.
            For what?  And I do not want to know that.  Chutes and ladders.  A board game of  the recovery of highborn antiquarian design played on a posterior market field.  The game starts with YOU... for the antiques are already there on the game’s board.  YOU... need to KNOW...

            And set aside your personal... ah... “tastes” and... rebuild one’s taste using an educated eye.  Brutally, I say that you are not really suited to shop at ‘flea markets’ unless you’ve, at least, visited several museum collections to ‘find out about’ what you are looking for (what it, for example, “looks like”)  To get to the buttock in the market you have to ...go to art school... yourself...  Otherwise...:  “So sunscreen”.  And let your dog out before you... leave... so it can ‘pee’.

            Oh don’t hurry... or worry.  The actual antiques in quest (here today being pink lustre) will actually ‘still be there’.  Especially at the little lost flea markets.  A ‘really great antique’ may actually be “FOR SALE” for a very long time (like ‘two summers’) simply because the ‘no one knows’.  Until I ‘go through’, of course.  I stop.  Park.  I ‘go through’.  An then ‘that’s that’ until I ‘come back’.  The biggest ‘wild cards’ I find?  The classics; paintings, furniture and rugs.  The biggest antiquarian markets are the biggest ‘find’ markets:  I FIND old paintings, furniture and (‘oriental’) rugs.  I don’t use sunscreen.  Just pants, long sleeves and a hat.  And ‘proper foot gear’.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Posterior - Part Four (A) - "Highborn"


Part Four (A)


            If a flea market is a posterior
            Of both the antiquarian interest
            And the antiquarian commercial realms. (Part One)
            If it is a posterior
            Then “Why?”
            Should I.

            First I ‘habitat’ using a duck, duck, goose of three old chairs (Part one).  Classic ‘antique’ chairs they were... at a posterior marketplace.  Then I turned snide and vended an old looking glass while promoting philosophy and humanity at the
            Posterior marketplace. (Part Two)
            “Chippendale” I said of that... looking glass.
            Did you look in it (“Mirror, mirror on the wall”)
            Or through it,
            Yes... to that word; “Chippendale”
            It is a little ‘highborn’?

            Following that smooth spread, I angled crass and commercial (Part Three) by frontal declaration that the actual selling of a better thing (antiques) is well accomplished at the posterior marketplace using the skullduggery of ‘sleight of hand’ (sight and hand).  I used a true rare book and a never technically described old painting as passive commercial examples.  I did not mention then that these; rare books and old paintings, may be ‘of highborn’.  A smaller circle I am showing?
            This is the greater key to the posterior market; this smaller circle
            Of the highborn

            It didn’t ‘used to be that way’; this crass and crude marketing of scrapings and leavings turning out to be ‘of flea’.
            Scrapings and leavings served to me at an antiquarian food court designated a ‘posterior’ of a ‘marketplace’ prefixed ‘flea’.  It is the highborn?
            “When they don’t know... they don’t know.”
            When you do not know then you do not know.
            In spite of that they all show up, all the time and
            Speak very well of a... that... they... well... “do know”.  Vendors, guests, walking couples, collectors from New Jersey, family vacations, professional decorators and... a good dozen or two of people who all though well intentioned, could not explain what they are doing ‘here’ and how they, too, ‘got here’.  There’s a certain charm to those of the last group.  Really; there is.  Just watch them for a few minutes.
            All need warning to:
            “Look out for the dog poop.” with that warning including the ‘that’ from their own dog.
            So... ‘highborn’ anything
            “Is not”?
            That levels a playing field doesn’t it.  Or does that give someone like me ‘advantage’?  And that advantage becomes a ‘biggest reason of all’?

            If an antique is highborn... there are less of them ‘around’.  There are so ‘less of them’; so few... that one may not ever sight one.  Or... more likely, one may actually ‘see one’ (a highborn specimen of a design medium) ‘once’ in a lifetime (twenty to thirty years but better considered ‘in a lifetime’ of fifty years).  Sight one.  Not find one.  Not buy one.  Not collect one.  Not seek, study, know of, learn about or... no.  Just ‘see one’.
            Looking at that from my trained and traveled antiquarian eye, I... with my eye... learned a long time ago that I may (and do) carry a smidgeon of ‘highborn I know’ ‘that’ with me for decades before suddenly ‘using it’ on a ‘that’ and.... that-that being too... ‘highborn’; a highborn antique.
            “Oh now that’s just” especially at a posterior marketplace called flea... a fish in a barrel... to someone like me.
            I always stop at them.  I promise.

            It is a dirty business; pursuing highborn antiques at a posterior.  A buttock of the market?  Dirty business whose setting is cleaned up for me by the partner:  Mr. Know-Not Know.  You’ve met him?  I doubt it.  He says to me “Well what about THAT over THERE”.  What he speaks of is so far away.  I do not hurry.  No need to scamper.  Everything is in slow motion.  It has taken me fifty years to ‘find one of those’... so it should be ‘in slow motion’.  I walk over.  The ‘in the mind’.. design... rat race has already taken place in my head as these steps are taken.  I don’t just grab ANYTHING:  ‘People’ are watching.  No... everything is in slow motion.  I have the entire posterior of the flea market field to myself.  No one is going to swoop in.  Not even you.

            I will try to levitate:  Clustered on a folding plastic card table and among the table top’s hoard of rubble are six specimens of an... English ceramic design form titled commonly ‘copper lustre’; a form of  ‘English’ ‘Lustre Ware’.  So... already the chess piece titled highborn may be moved:  Yes... isn’t that... so there we go with that ...quite early on.  But that is not critical highborn.  No; that is commoner... highborn.  And I am still walking over.
            When I do touch, I touch the common by conscious choice.  ‘People’ are watching’.  Touch and price this clump of ‘old copper lustre’ ‘ware’.  Copper lustre, in the current antiquarian... interest... and market... is, at the most, a “zero” if not actually a ‘negative’.  Everyone ‘knows’ what it is they will tell you; the ‘I know’ from above.  Then they just add for clarity that ‘it doesn’t sell’ and... move on past my dismembered body they, the ‘I know’ just
            “I know” to “death”.

            Well I know all that too but am, shall I say, born again... of the English design forms titled ‘lustre ware’.  Yes:  I ‘looked into it’ (studied it) a long time ago; its art, history, heritage and... all that applied TOO to its (lustre ware) antiquarian collector and that market.  Notice that is TWO fields of survey and study.  That is, then, ‘a lot’ of informed ‘I know’ that I “bring to this” (the six or seven old lustre ware vessels... sitting on a folding plastic card table in the sun at an out of doors antiquarian posterior called ‘flea market’).  That is a lot more than anyone else ‘around’ “brings”.  Valuable seconds of my life are ticking away (wasting).  Or are they?  You may not tell me.  I will tell you.  I am in the moment of ‘finding’ a ‘highborn’ antique.  Is that wasting time?  You, for example, are next to the table inspecting an old metal ‘potato racer’ that is “JUST LIKE MY MOTHER USED” you speak to your friend as you, idly, put it back.  You smell like sun screen.
            You do.
            And I don’t care.  I am busy.  I am at work.  I am at my job... working.
            So... the cluster
            Of Lustre

            All have little slips of paper inside each vessel pricing that vessel.  And:  One vessel has no price slip in it.  That vessel, I noticed... ten feet away... is notably different as lustre ware when an ‘I know’ eye races ‘over it’.  Copper lustre is a shiny copper glazed ground with decorative design hand painted upon this copper... lustre.  Form, too, is important.  Copper lustre is an ‘Empire Style’ form (1825-1845); the ‘style’ of a, for example, table pitcher (“jug”).  The Empire Style is ‘credited’ to Josephine, Napoleon’s wife.  I do not need to get into that.  In this moment the copper lustre (with price slips) are clear-to-my-eye “copper lustre” “Perfect condition”.  “Oh.”
            “But what about THAT?”  A forlorn hope in the midst of Empire Copper?  Yes.  In the midst is a white glazed clay body with vigorous PINK lustre hand painted decoration all over it and TOO this pink lustre being a ‘jug’ of ‘different form’ (earlier)
            How different?  The lines are stern; not flamboyant.  The lines ‘hold’ the form.  To a lay... USA... eye, the ‘stern’ looks a little toward... American Federal... style.  But it is not American Federal style.  It is, actually, the English ceramic form that American Federal form
            Comes from;
            An English

            So I see all of this ten feet away in seconds; the this one ‘jug’ is, as design, heads and tails above the Empire copper lustre; that it is classic ‘pink lustre’ decoration on classic English Hepplewhite ‘jug’ form.  I, too, see that the jug is age tone ‘browned’, has pleasing and concise usage wear on the bottom, three minor spout edge old usage flakes and... “Otherwise perfect” and “don’t have to worry:  “It’s real” (not a recent ‘reproduction’).  But.  No price.
            “How much?”
            “Five (dollars).  See the chips?”
            “I hand over five dollars and say, only, “Thank you”.
            “Really”:  It’s the best pink lustre I’ve found in years.  The form is perfect.  The painting full fledge.  Somebody cared... about “that”.  They certainly cared when they made it.  And it is, as an object, so fragile;
            So highborn.