1. Antique & Vintage Lockets: They range in size from tiny, doll scale to several inches. They contain keepsakes like locks of hair, or small photos, from Daguerreotype to Polaroid. Some have hand painted miniatures inside with two lovers facing each other, and are works of art in themselves.
The most valuable, of course, are gold, but others are gold plate or silver. A few have tiny seed pearls on the cover, embedded in a star shape. Others are studded with precious or semi-precious stones. What could be more romantic than a dainty locket on a chain, draped over a crystal wine glass, anchored with a piece of Godiva chocolate or a truffle?
2. Cupid statues and memorabilia: Cupid cameo earrings set in silver by Robbin’s Roost Antiques, Ruby Lane, are to die for. So is a carved cameo shell featuring cupids and fairies, a grand tour souvenir featured by Antiques and Uncommon Treasures. Estate Treasure Trove has a silver button hook handle featuring Cupid, and there are many wonderful antique plates embellished with his image.
3. Vintage lingerie: Auntie’s Attic sports a wonderful vintage red Bustier by Amelia, once sold at Marshall Field’s. It could pair well with a black silk jacket and pearls to go out on the town. Small, gold Victorian lingerie or scatter pins are great keepsakes, and there are excellent examples of 1950s doll lingerie available, too. Old slips and half slips from the 30s and beyond have wonderful lace, and vintage camisoles in silk and lace are the best of Victoria’s secrets! Perhaps vintage baby doll pajamas or Olga night gowns are more to your taste? Or, maybe you’d prefer a silk quilted vintage robe? No problem, there are lots of fun examples on Ruby Lane.
Pretty acetate lingerie bags trimmed in lace are great for storing your treasures, or maybe you would choose the 1930s or 40s dress form to model your vintage lingerie when you aren’t wearing it! In fact, an old dress from or mannequin would be great for showing off Victorian corsets or hoop skirts. Whether displayed or worn, vintage lingerie items say romance like nothing else can! Slip in a Vintage paperback romance novel or a copy of Wuthering Heights, and the evening is complete.
4. Fans: Everyone has heard of the language of fans, and certainly not all of that language involves love and romance, but fans are popular collectibles and delicate, romantic love objects in their own right!
How about a beautiful vintage Hermes scarf printed in colorful antique fans from Ruby Lane’s Butler and Butler gallery? Some beautiful majolica pitchers are decorated with glazed fans in different colors, and vintage jewelry is often fan-shaped. Be sure to catch a breeze with your favorite fan, and blow a kiss to your Valentine with it!
5. Teddies and stuffed animals: The vintage personality of bears are great presents for any time of year, especially Valentine’s Day. Of course, there are wonderful antique bears, especially old Steiff. By giving an antique or vintage bear, you are upping the ante on something thoughtful and full of personality.
6. Heart shaped candy boxes: These candy boxes are wonderful collectibles, and are affordable, anywhere from a few dollars to around $75 for a woven straw example from the 1920s. Some have beautiful graphics, while others come with a hard plastic vintage doll attached to the top. Discontinued, red velvet Godiva boxes are popular collectibles, too. You could hide a special piece of Valentine’s jewelry inside, or fill it with home made fudge or other candy’s that make for your Sweetheart!
7. Antique Valentines: From postcards to stand alone honeycomb confections, antique and vintage Valentines are a great way to celebrate a holiday based on all kinds of love and friendship. Heart shaped paper lace valentines can be hung carefully from pink Valentine trees. Metallic lace examples can be stunning, as can die-cut examples that include Victorian scrap figures. Dainty ladies grace card shaped examples from the 1870s. Mechanical Valentines feature Googly eyed children whose eyes glance from side to side when a paper lever is pulled. Fun Valentines from the 30s, 40s, and 50s often feature characters popular during those periods and then become crossover collectibles. Vintage Valentine paper or pink and red wall paper can decorate on old crate and with a little decoupage skill, can make the ultimate Valentine box. What a lovely way to relive your childhood Valentine school party!!
8. Kewpie dolls or memorabilia: Rose O’Neill’s impish Kewpies with their little blue wings and red heart labels were simply born for Valentine’s Day! Cameo dolls made Kewpies as interpreted by Joseph Kallus for many years. These vinyl dolls came in all sizes and shapes, including one the size of a toddler. Kewpies can literally be good enough to eat; sometimes they are made as red, white, and pink mini candy dolls. A few show up as chocolate figures; the molds themselves are collectible. Kewpie huggers, especially brides and grooms, seem to have been made just for the big heart day.
9. Diamond rings, of course!! Marilyn Monroe sang it best, “diamonds are a girl’s best friend!” Well, Ruby Lane has plenty of best friends to make your Valentine’s Day sparkle. One drop-dead gorgeous ring is made of diamonds and sapphires with rubies filling a heart shape in its center. It is featured by Tanya’s Treasures. Diamonds set in yellow gold make great earrings and rings, bangle bracelets in gold feature a circle of tiny diamonds to catch the light. Edwardian rings drip the tiny pieces of icy jewels, and retro rings are still the thing! Heart diamond stud earrings pair with Victorian diamond studded heart shaped necklaces, too.
10. Anything red: Martinez Valero Strappy red suede sling back heels make bold, Scarlett statement with a vintage, little red dress. Red-glazed pottery is unusual and festive. Vintage Barbie in her Red Flame outfit lends an air of sophistication to a Valentine’s Day party. Any grouping of red collectibles makes a statement; some favorites include red glass, red bull salt and pepper shakers, or Scarlett O’Hara figurines wearing the famous red dress. Weiss red rhinestone strawberry pins and other strawberry and cherry collectibles look great with Valentine’s. Vintage candles in pink, white, and red are lovely, too. Display red items amid pink tulle and white lacy ribbon, and you have a memorable Valentine’s Day display that no one else will have.
If all else fails, a statue of St. Valentine himself and a copy of Lives of the Saints which contains his biography are unique and thoughtful gifts for Valentine’s Day.
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