A few weeks ago, I was on the phone with Gwen of Something Special Antiques (my favorite antiques store!!!) and she said, "Remind me next time you are in to give you the stuff Laurel left for you."
Instantly, my excitement was piqued!! You see, Laurel is the owner and keeper of some pretty phenomenal things. Things that I would literally give my eye teeth to see! She has acquired over the years some things from the Silver City Hotel in Silver City, Idaho (* yes, all things were acquired legally!!!*) and this time, she was gifting me with some of those things! I was over the moon thrilled for two reasons...
1) I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE antiques with a passion!!!
2) I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE any and all antiques that come from historical places, especially if those places are in Idaho!
It was all I could do to keep myself from getting in my car and driving to the store and insisting that Gwen open it up just for me after hours!
My patience paid off when I retrieved the gifts from Laurel. I still cannot believe how generous she was!!!
The first item I pulled of the bag was this button shell. You know those "Mother of Pearl" buttons that were used on garments from the Victorian to the 1950s and even now? Well, they come from shells!! Hence: Mother of Pearl buttons. I had seen images of these shells online and in museums and there I was, in my car holding one!
Of course I did my geeky research thing and found this Etsy Blog Post on button shells. How one of these found its way to the Owyhee mountains of Idaho I may never know, but there is where it was rescued from!
As I am a seamstress, I am constantly on the look out for sweet, antique items to add to a collection of antique and vintage sewing items I have. I had seen ribbon chatelaines on several internet sites and had seen one in a private collection and really wanted to have one. The next item that I pulled out of the bag turned out to be a ribbon chatelaine. Mine has red silk ribbon and metal rings instead of bone rings. I am sure it is homemade, perhaps an arts and crafts project. It has a needle holder that has been embroidered with a feather stitch, and a thimble holder! I LOVE it!!
Here is another example of a ribbon chatelaine: Home Farm Antiques
Again, being a seamstress, I am seriously obsessed with hooks and eyes, because I use them so much. So, I was pleasantly pleased when I pulled out a box containing 3 cards of black hooks and eyes. The box is 2" x 4". I have purchased vintage cards of hooks and eyes to actually use, but these babies will stay on the card! There were two "loose" cards of hooks and eyes, the the h&s are quite large! I wonder if these were part of the stock from an in hotel store!
This was a seriously fun item to discover in the bag. Being a milliner who uses straw, I found this most entertaining! Especially the "(Non-Poisonous)" part! Good to know! The box is 1.5" x 3" and there are 4 packets in the box which again leads me to wonder if this was from an in hotel shop or maybe the mercantile that was in town.
Some truly lovely Alpaca wool braid came forth next. The other sides of the label read,
"Manufactured by S.B.&B.W. Fleisher, Inc. Philadelphia"
"Shrunk ready for use, Dyed in the Wool"
LOVE it!!! It is much more vibrant that this picture. Would love to know it would have been used on!
An unopened box of 144 suspender buttons and a packet of Hibbard's Polishing Powder! One of the things I loved about the items in the bag is the fact that all of the packaging was in this brown color and the printing (font) is so lovely. It's interesting that something so "banal" and ordinary by today's standards could be so beautiful!
Next came a beautiful brass button, a glove button hook and an advertising shirt button hook from Garrick Shirt Co., Chicago. I have longed for a glove button hook for a long time, and this one is so delicate and beautiful!! And I had no idea there was such a thing as a shirt button hook! Learn something new every day!!
Now, imagine if you will, me sitting in my car (no, I was not driving) pulling out these wonderful, lovely, beautiful artifacts from years gone by, smiling and cooing and exclaiming at all the things that were used and loved in the past.
Now imagine me pulling out the last item...
Are my eyes telling me what my brain is telling me my eyes are seeing?
Holy Mother of Pearl. They are.
I could not believe what I was holding in my hands! I knew instantly what the little pieces of black things in the small, 1.5" container were. French beauty mark patches! Heaven have mercy! Years ago I had purchased a Victorian Beauty Patch holder at a local antiques store and never thought that one day I would have the actual patches that would have gone inside it!!
I have done some research and have only come across one example on-line of the same "Mouches Pour Bal, L'Panafieu Paris" container and that is on Etsy. I don't know how old they are. I don't know where they could have been ordered from. I am pretty sure they would have been used by one of the many soiled doves that worked in Silver City. What I do know is to hold that little round box in my hand just fills me with awe.
There are moons, hearts, stars, diamonds, small/medium/large circles, and squares in the box!! Way too fun!!! The box is made of paper mache, metal banding and glass and the patches are cushioned by wool!
It truly amazing how small some of the patches are!!
This is the patch container that I purchased years ago. I knew instantly what it was even though it was labeled "old box". It has a loop as though it could have been attached to a chatelaine or something like that.
The mirror inside the patch box. Way too fun!
Anyhoo, I just wanted to share with you the wonderful pieces of Idaho history that were gifted to me by a very lovely lady! I shall take very good care of these things and treasure them always!
Thank you Laurel!!