Rinker On Collectibles: Questions and Answers

QUESTION: I have a woolen blanket made by the Horner Woolen Company of Eaton Rapids, Michigan that is similar to the ones sold by L.L.Bean. The label suggests the company was founded in 1836. The blanket has stripes at the top and bottom and is in brand new-like condition (no moth holes, no problems). I bought it at the Salvation Army for $9.99. What is its history and worth? – E-mail, LC, Jim Thorpe, PA


Season Greetings from Ruby Lane!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO All! Ruby Lane and Notes from the Lane would like to take this opportunity to wish all of our readers, contributors, shoppers, and shop owners, the happiest of holidays! Have a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year and may all your holidays be merry and bright!


Quick Fact: If Not Marked, How Do I Know A Jewelry Piece Is Made Of A Precious Metal?

Many fine jewelry items of karat gold and sterling silver are not marked, either because of their small size or because they were made prior to 1906, when karat marking became mandatory in the US. In some instances, you may even find contemporary artist-made jewelry pieces that are unmarked for metal fineness.


Rinker: What I Do Not Want from Santa This Christmas

While I tell people I collect everything, the honest truth is that I do not. I discriminate, not a lot but some. I have a bad habit of not turning down anything offered for free. Free is free, and I assume I am free to discard it if I have no use for it or desire to keep it, a rare occurrence.


What's This? Mystery Item - Do you know?

I need help with this. It is a primitive appearing rattle made of cane wrapped round and round and secured with string. The bottom of the rattle is braided red string or raffia. Something is making a rattle sound inside. The handle is bent and also appears to be heavier than the cane. It is 6 1/2 long and 2" wide. I was going to list it as a baby rattle, but then I thought that was stupid--babies always put things in their mouths and no one would want this in a baby's mouth.


Last Minute Gifts for the Women in Your Life

Christmas always brings with it the decision of what to buy for people that you know and love. Many people deal with this by getting a job lot of gift vouchers but I tend to think that is rather unimaginative and dull. This year why not find something a bit different for your friends that they will be able to use and enjoy and also that gives them that extra bit of sparkle which is always important at this time of year.


Dear Santa: Of Course, a Horse!

The lineage of rocking horses can be traced back at least as far as herds of play stick ‘hobby horses’ roaming Europe at large in the 15th century. By the Middle Ages, men of noble birth trained for the joust while seated on mechanical contraptions that simulated the movement of a real horse beneath them.


The History of Christmas Ornaments

History of Ornaments

In A.D. 336, an early Roman calendar first mentions December 25 as he date of Jesus’ birth. This date was likely influenced by the year-end pagan festivals to celebrate the harvest. Celebrations included specially prepared meals, decorating of homes, gift-giving and singing. Gradually, pagan traditions became a part of the Christian celebrations. Most Christmas traditions such as the Christmas tree and ornaments came from central Europe. The earliest German Christmas trees were decorated with food; apples, onions, pears, nuts, candies, and fruits were placed on a tree.


Fact Check: Pseudo Hallmarks on Silver

With a new Lane now dedicated to items made of silver (other than jewelry) we thought addressing the issue of puzzling or easily misconstrued maker's marks on silver might be of interest to anyone who offers antique and vintage silver in today's marketplace.

A Bit of History


The Jewelry Diva: Vintage Jewelry and Jewelry Boxes

One of a Kind - Not One of a Million - Reminiscing of past Christmas Holidays brings us such joy and all of all our special decorations, lovely holiday dishes and most of all - our treasured Family Christmas Traditions add to the celebration. This is the time of year when we re-discover our Christmas Jewelry too, which also brings back wonderful memories.


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