NewslettersRuby Lane's newsletters are designed to celebrate the antiques and art, vintage collectibles and jewelry communities around the world. Our Past Times newsletter focuses on antiques and collectibles. Our Creative Hands newsletter celebrates fine art and handcrafted jewelry on Ruby Lane. Our shop owners are frequent article contributors, sharing their expertise and their passions for the items they collect and create. Enjoy!
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Ruby Lane Past Times Newsletter for January 2004
Past Times __________________________________________________________________ Marion Steinbrunner of Tea Rose Antiques offers a wonderful __________________________________________________________________ Telephones have been manufactured all over the world and there __________________________________________________________________ Just last Saturday I thought I had struck gold! I found the __________________________________________________________________ We are one of the largest Internet sites for collectors, with an
The monthly newsletter from Ruby Lane Antiques, Collectibles,
Fine Art, and Artisans
Welcome to Past Times!
IN THIS ISSUE:
o January HOT SHOP: Welcome to Tea Rose Antiques!
o Collecting American Telephones by Terry Elliott of Echoes From The Past
o Collecting Antique Clocks by Chris Marinello of Esquire
selection of antiques and fine collectibles from the parlour and
the nursery. Her offering includes childhood collectibles,
toys, dolls, baby items; fine ladies' antiques and front parlour
treasures. Marion shops in London and Paris as well as across
America to locate pieces she would be proud to add to her own
collections. Look for such fine items as a Bisque Half
Doll-wig, arms away ($295), a Blue Graniteware Toy Tea Set
w/original box ($650), a Jumeau doll - rare B.L. model ($3,950),
and a Satsuma Brooch c. 1900 ($370) to name just a few examples.
We invite you to visit Tea Rose Antiques.
OF ECHOES FROM THE PAST
are now books, clubs, newsletters, Web sites, and conventions
devoted to the instrument. There are so many variations that no
one can collect them all. However, a telephone appropriate to
the period of your home looks great in the telephone alcove, on
your desk, telephone bench, table, bedside, family room, or even
on the wall in the garage or utility room.
People love old telephones and over the last 128 years many
types have been produced. Western Electric was the manufacturing
arm of AT&T until 1983, and made some of the best most reliable
telephones, many still in service today. Automatic Electric,
Stromberg Carlson, North Electric, Kellogg, and Licht were
among many competitors.
Automation of the entire telephone system, which initially had
to rely on an operator at the telephone exchange building
plugging in each call, led to the invention of the rotary dial
in the 1890's.
The first telephones used wooden cabinets to house the various
components. In the 1890's nickel plated brass and then black
painted brass cases came into use in order to allow the
telephone to become a desk top appliance while the ringer was
housed in a wall mounted subset. In 1927, the combined hand set
was introduced. The manufacturers began using steel cases,
having learned how to bend steel. Western Electric introduced
the 202, with a Bakelite cradle handset and steel case. Later a
few 202's were made in colors with plastic cases.
In the late 1930's Henry Dreyfus, an art deco design engineer,
designed the Western Electric 302 with a Bakelite handset, metal
case, and internal ringer. The 302 is now displayed at the
Museum of Modern Art. In 1946, the cases were made of black
plastic. In the late 1940's the 302 was produced with colored
plastic cases in several colors and are highly prized
The 302 ruled until the 1950's when the major telephone
producers entered into a technology sharing agreement with
Western Electric which produced the 500 telephones and its many
branded identical twins with their multicolored plastic cases.
In 1959 Princess Telephones were introduced. When AT&T was
broken up in 1983 the era of telephone companies providing
equipment ended and the reliable company owned equipment rapidly
disappeared, replaced with the myriad throw away telephones sold
by retailers continuing today.
Finding the worthwhile collectible telephone can be a challenge
but there are some rules: 1. No cracks or chips in the case are
acceptable as they cannot be repaired. 2. On rotary dial
telephones, is the dial timed? If the dial doesn't pulse ten
times per second with a 65% break, it won't work. 3. Does the
telephone have the same brand parts inside? 4. Who was the
maker? 5. Is this telephone authentic or a reproduction? 6.
Was the telephone highly regarded when introduced or a design
and reliability dud with built in problems? 7. Can I use this
While on line auctions are a source, they can also be a great
disappointment when you find a shelf sitter in your mailbox.
There are several dealers on the Internet with an earned
reputation delivering worthwhile working telephones with a
Of course there is required reading and one of the best books is
Telephone Collecting by Kate E. Dooner. Many others can be
found with a simple search.
Enjoy the hunt! We invite you to visit Terry's shop: Echoes From The Past.
special antique clock I had been looking for in an auction house
in the middle of nowhere. Surely it would be a bargain
especially when 3 feet of snow fell in the small community on
auction day! Not a chance. Five thousand hard earned dollars
later, the clock was mine and I finally realized that the
antique clock market is back.
Reaching its height in the late 1980's the market for antique
clocks has been in a slump for the last 10 years. Dealers have
been scratching their heads over price guides written ten years
ago and wondering why they cannot achieve those prices today.
Well, scratch no more. Everything of quality is being snatched
up rapidly as collectors are realizing that (excuse the pun) now
is the time to buy time.
American clocks, French clocks, wall clocks, art deco clocks,
etc. there is something for everyone and in every style
imaginable. Whether you are buying one antique clock for the
mantel or building a collection, clock collecting can be fun and
My advice is to buy what you like. Buy quality pieces in as
original condition as possible. If you are handy, don't be
afraid of a little restoration work. Parts are readily
available from various sources on the internet. You just might
make a 1000 dollar clock out of that ugly 10 dollar yard sale
Or, find a clock dealer you can trust and never let them go! I
can tell you stories of being stuck by some of the biggest clock
dealers in the country. It is amazing to me how some of these
guys who after 30 years in the business will still tell you,
"oh, I didn't realize that the pendulum was wrong!" or "maybe it
was a special clock that the maker made as a prototype!" Don't
The place to start is easy. Hit the books. There are countless
publications on clock styles and buyers guides. These are
crucial, invaluable tools for identifying and verifying
authenticity. How else will you know whether that clock you are
considering is missing its finials or if that rare clock at one
of the major auction houses is truly original? Look it up
yourself or risk getting stuck! Auction house terms contain
enough legal mumbo jumbo to protect themselves in the event that
they sell you a "Continental, Empire Style Timepiece" that turns
out to be from Southeast Asia. "Asia is a continent, you know."
The popularity of internet auction sites has enabled clock
collectors from all over the world to have access to fine pieces
that would otherwise remain hidden for years. However, this
same source has also been the haven of disreputable clock
"dealers" who unload their garbage on unsuspecting folks.
Again, go to the books, study the pictures, and ask questions.
Don't be afraid to pass on the clock that is listed as "all
original except for the dial, hands, face, finials, and
My favourite source of online clock information is the Antique
Clocks Identification & Price Guide at
www.antiqueclockspriceguide.com. I am just a subscriber, but
this is a fantastic database of information and pricing. The
folks who started it will let you take a free tour.
I invite you to visit my shop Esquire Antiques. Feel free to
drop me a line anytime. I am happy to answer questions about
clocks you may have or are looking to purchase. I also buy
clocks for my collection, whether you have one clock or a
active community of hundreds of shops from all over the world
offering antiques, fine art, arts & crafts, and collectibles.
Ruby Lane displays quality inventory in over 2,000 categories.
Visit us at www.rubylane.com
Marion Steinbrunner of Tea Rose Antiques offers a wonderful
Telephones have been manufactured all over the world and there
Just last Saturday I thought I had struck gold! I found the
We are one of the largest Internet sites for collectors, with an
Subscribe Now to our Newsletters
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