Posted in Antiques & Art, Top 5 & 10

by Ruby Lane

For many of us who love Kentucky Derby glasses, horses, and Mint Julep cups, May is a crucial month of collecting.  Derby enthusiasts get to talk the talk, and ride the ride, if only through watching the historical race on TV.  Even the Queen is a fan!  For those who want to have a party to celebrate their day at the races, here are the top five party must haves, straight from Ruby Lane!  Try not to whinny too loudly!

Ruby Lane Vintage Kentucky Derby

1.    Kentucky Derby Glasses:  What fun it would be to set the table with original Derby glasses!   The Daisy Chain, Ogee’s Antiques, Forty Fifty Sixty, and Annie’s Antique Avenue feature wonderful examples; some sold in sets.  Each has the famed Derby jockey, and the year the glass commemorates.  It would be fun to find glasses that coincide with guest’s birthdays or wedding anniversaries, but any mix of these glasses would make a festive and fun table.

1985 Kentucky Derby Glass - Vintage Churchill Downs Advertising

2.    Mint Julep Cups:  Sterling Derby cups often are decorated with a horse’s head, a horseshoe, and the year of the race they represent.   They are lovely, and even one would be a treasured collectible that might serve as a centerpiece.  Or, splurge, and buy a whole set!   Even the lovely Tiffany set offered by Park Avenue Antiques could grace a lovely Derby table set for buffet.  Pair these with other vintage silver pieces, and you will indeed have a table set for The Queen herself!  Don’t forget the fine linen cloths, finger sandwiches, fresh lobster, and caviar.  Of course, dig up your best mint julep recipes in a vintage cocktail book, and serve them with a spring of fresh mint from your herb garden.

Mint Julep
Refreshing Cold Mint Julep for the Derby

Refreshing Cold Mint Julep for the Derby

1929. Chicago Tribune historical photo. The Illinois Athletic Club boards the Derby Special the night before the Kentucky Derby held on May 18, 1929, in Louisville, Ky. via Monovisions

1929. Chicago Tribune historical photo. The Illinois Athletic Club boards the Derby Special the night before the Kentucky Derby held on May 18, 1929, in Louisville, Ky. via Monovisions

3.    Derby and Triple Crown Memorabilia: There are lots of great souvenirs connected with the Derby and The Triple Crown in general that would make wonderful displays, centerpieces, prizes, or favors for your guests.  For instances, Treasures from Miisa on Ruby Lane is selling a Sixty First Kentucky Derby Official Program.  Several dealers offer grand hats that guests could wear to a viewing of the races, or to the races themselves.  Keep them on for the party to follow!   Vintage postcards of race horses and Derby winners like those offered by Pearl’s Parlor are great choices.   Vintage pins and pendants featuring horses and horseshoes in both costume and fine jewelry would enhance any Derby ensemble.  Gentlemen can wear tie pins and stick pins in their cravats, or cufflinks with their vintage linen shirts.

Vintage Retro French 18k Gold Cufflinks by Mecan, Equestrian
https://www.rubylane.com/item/509933-RLM0001484/Six78ty-First-Kentucky-Derby-Official-Program?search=1
Neiman Marcus Set of Four Equestrian Drinking Glasses. 1980's.
18th Century Georgian Hand Colored Horse Racing Print Starling Duke of Ancaster Thomas Spencer Circa 1750English Equestrian Engraving
1936. Chicago Tribune historical photo. On May 2, 1936, Bold Venture, ridden by Ira “Babe” Hanford, won the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. Hanford was an 18-year-old apprentice jockey who had never competed in the Kentucky Derby. via Monovisions

1936. Chicago Tribune historical photo. On May 2, 1936, Bold Venture, ridden by Ira “Babe” Hanford, won the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. Hanford was an 18-year-old apprentice jockey who had never competed in the Kentucky Derby. via Monovisions

4.    Horses:  Many of us have never outgrown our love of horses or our love of horse collections.  For example, actress Elizabeth Montgomery collected little horse statues.  Shirley Temple had a fine saddle in her collections, and Caroline Kennedy’s pony, Macaroni, was so famous, it even had a song dedicated to it. Breyer horses are still beloved collectibles, but there are many more choices for those who love the equestrian life.   Displays of these pretty little ponies would look great as Derby part décor or centerpieces.  Vintage, tiny rubber and china horses make awesome party favors, and horse decorated china can serve guests, act as flower vases, or even nut cups and appetizer trays. Don’t forget toys of all types, including folk art wooden horse-drawn wagons and carriages, Corgi toy horse trailers, Barbie horses and toys, antique rocking horses, vintage Christmas ornaments, vintage My Little Pony dolls, Steiff, and more.

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Vintage Horse Themed Collectibles on Ruby Lane
1929. Chicago Tribune historical photo. Many Chicagoans took off by plane May 18, 1929, for Churchill Downs to witness the 55th annual Kentucky Derby.

1929. Chicago Tribune historical photo. Many Chicagoans took off by plane May 18, 1929, for Churchill Downs to witness the 55th annual Kentucky Derby.

5.    Jockey themed everything! There are dozens of classics about horses including Black Beauty, Sea Biscuit, War Horse, and Mustang. No one, however, has brought more literary fame to the world of horse racing than Dick Francis. Other books include The Horse, featured by Ruby Lane’s Collectibles by Leeds, a miniature book that will entertain your guests over snacks, and Flutterby, a children’s book about a Pegasus-type character.   Jockeys find their niche in a vintage handbag by Annacat that portrays a jockey racing his horse to victory.  Market Square Jewelers has an amazing silver charm of a jockey jumping a fence that bears the phrase, “And They’re Off!”   If gold is your thing, Sophia Jane displays a terrific 14K gold pendant of a jockey on a horse.

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https://www.rubylane.com/item/1236696-SP107/vintage-lithograph-for-horse-lover?search=1
https://www.rubylane.com/shop/annacat

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