1. Antique compasses and instruments: Midnight walks along a beach drenched in starlight are the highlight of any nautical vacation; don’t get lost by not having a great compass. Forget Me Not Flowers has a gorgeous Edwardian example of a compass that reminds us of a vintage pocket watch. You could never get lost with these unusual instruments.
Vintage globes, maps, antique pirate memorabilia, fishermen’s nets and lobster traps can decorate your vacation beach house and make you feel like the captain of your ship.
2. Trader Vic’s Memorabilia: Of course, you’ll want to host beach parties on the white sands of your lovely beach house. Kit out those parties with memorabilia from the historic Trader Vic’s Restaurant chain, founded in California. Trader Vic’s was in operation from 1902-84, and its owner, Victor Jules Bergeron, Jr., is one of two men who claimed to have invented the Mai Tai cocktail. Vintage “bongo bongo” soup bowls and salt & pepper shakers are popular on Ruby Lane. Especially great is a pair of Tiki shakers by Bonsai Otto. Tapestry Collectors Books and Jewelry offers a 1972 Trader Vic’s Bartender’s Guide, always useful at a party. Don’t forget the variety of Tiki glasses, some with Hula Girl motifs; others made to resemble giant Easter Island heads.
3. Hawaiian Shirts and Clothing: Hawaiian prints and beach vacations go together like coconut and chocolate. Vintage examples for men and women are popular, and beautiful dresses in all styles are available on Ruby Lane. Escape to Elegance features 1940s silk rayon KAMEHAMEHA label Hawaiian long dress with long sleeves in a terrific print. Don’t forget the leis and vintage sandals.
4. Cruise Wear: This blogger’s mother sailed to meet her future husband on The Olympia, a ship manufactured by The White Star Line, home of the Titanic. Nautical print scarves, sweaters, blazers, and outfits, along with sailor dresses and blouses, make perfect outfits to wear on beach vacations. Other good choices are vintage Ked’s tennis shoes, sandals, striped cotton T-shirts, white shorts and bell-bottomed slacks, and thick, knitted fishermen’s sweaters for cold nights lit by campfires out on the beach or under the boardwalk.
5. Shells, ocean flora and fauna: Sally sells seashells down by the seashore, and there are lots of them on Ruby Lane for her to collect. Actor Edward Asner is a treat collector, and the novel Remarkable Creatures is about two women who devoted their lives to ammonites or shell fossils and other prehistoric animals of the deep. Shell prints appear on towels, swimming suits, dishware, T-shirts, dresses, men’s shirts, skirts, robes, and more.
Very large shells can be valuable museum pieces, but cowries and tiny snail varieties make wonderful jewelry and often decorate tiny boxes and coin purses.
Finding shells along the beach is still a favorite pastime for many, and finding them is a wonderful activity for family vacations and honeymoons alike. Jars of shells lined on a shelf make lovely accessories to a cabin on the beach, too. Putting a conch shell to a child’s ear and letting her hear the sea is a mysterious rite that should be passed down to each generation. Don’t overlook coral, examples of preserved starfish and sea horses, sea glass, rocks from the sea, and other vintage collectibles responsibly gathered and sold. Ruby Lane has many great examples of shells and related items to enhance your beach vacation experience.
About the Author: Ellen Tsagaris has collected dolls since she was three years old. She has made dolls, priced dolls, repaired, dressed, and studied dolls. Besides dolls, she has studied other antiques and collectibles at museums, antiques shows, auctions, and flea markets since she was in grade school. She has set up at craft shows and presented papers on dolls and their history at the Midwest Modern Language Association. She is the author of several articles on dolls that have appeared in Doll Reader, National Doll World, Doll Designs, International Doll World, Hope and Glory, Doll News, Adventures, and The Western Doll Collector. She is the author of two books about dolls, Bibliography of Doll and Toy Sources and With Love from Tin Lizzie; A History of Metal Heads, Metal Dolls, Mechanical Dolls, and Automatons. An active blogger, she features two blogs about dolls, Dr. E’s Doll Museum, and Doll Museum. She lectures on dolls for various organizations and has displayed part of her collection in museums.
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