I recently joined the collector club Golden Glow of Christmas Past, a club for collecting all things Christmas. To say the members are enthusiastic is an understatement. As I was looking for a papier-mache restorer for some of my antique toys, Golden Glow member Jerry Arnold was recommended to me, and this past weekend at a Ohio Golden Glow event I was fortunate to finally meet (and spend quality time with) Jerry and his wife, Darla. Jerry and Darla are long-time members who collect Christmas and Halloween with a passion. When I asked Darla how many trees they've put up for Christmas this year, it took her a while to give me an accurate count and then said, "17." Jerry and Darla's ornament collection and knowledge of antique ornaments has not gone unnoticed . . . even Martha Stewart had Jerry on for a segment on antique paper ornaments, while Darla spent her time waiting for Jerry to finish taping in a room "with the Emmys."
(See the video of Jerry's segment with Martha here: http://www.marthastewart.com/909540/jerry-arnolds-paper-christmas-ornaments)
But Jerry and Darla weren't satisfied collecting just the antique ornaments which fill their home. Both having a background in art, Jerry and Darla began creating spun cotton ornaments about seven years ago. Darla creates the spun cotton bodies to Jerry's specifications, and then Jerry takes over creating one-of-a-kind pieces painted, dressed and trimmed wherever his imagination takes him. Golden Glow members are the bulk of his customers, and I wanted to share their spun cotton pieces with you so you can enjoy them (and begin collecting them if you like).
Jerry's talent shines in these two ornaments. The detail is amazing. His extraordinary handpainted papier-mache faces are flawless. The figure on the left is based on an antique piece he once restored. It is a telescoping ornament, meaning the legs fit into the body, the body into the head and the head into the hat, 10 inches tall when hanging.
Halloween Veggie figure of spun cotton . . . this time on candy container.
German Baker Ornament
Girl on Horseback Ornament
Pumpkin Boy on Firefly . . . for your Halloween Tree!
Owl ready to eat her mouse . . . incorporating Dresden and crepe paper trim
Santa with Babies Ornament . . . with die cut faces and Dresden buttons
In the end, I couldn't resist. Who could? Take a look at that face! I brought home this telescoping witch ornament. Just one of many more to come, I'm sure.
You can contact Jerry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By now you may be familiar with the boxes I collect painted in the Sonneberg area of Thuringia, Germany. You can't imagine my surprise (and my German collector friends as well) when I found this large (8-long) top ca. 1840-1850 in the northeast US. Up until now we had only seen the typical "house" motif on boxes from this area, and we were quite shocked when I found this beautifully painted top with lovely bands of vibrant colors of paint "topped" with the Sonneberg houses. Tops like this were a typical wooden toy produced in this area during the 1850 time period, and every Musterbuch (sample book) that the salesmen carried with them always included tops usually painted with flowers . . . but nowhere does one show painting such as this!
And if the top weren't enough, several days later I found another Sonneberg box -- this being the first one with a flat lid in my collection -- also in the northeast US. The colors are vibrant on all sides and one of the most beautiful I've found thus far. The northeast United States is rich in early German toys (early German anything really), as in the mid-1850s our German ancestors were immigrating to the United States by the tens of thousands, bringing along whatever they could in their trunks to start a new life, and the bulk of them remained in the New York/Pennsylvania/northeastern US area. That makes that region of the country #1 for antique collectors like me. My Christmas came a little early this year. These are the best gifts I can imagine!
Welcome to Living Tastefully’s “Antique of the Week” page. Our love of antiques is reflected in every aspect of our everyday lives. We are passionate about collecting and also love functional antiques that can actually be used and not only admired. Hopefully we can inspire you to incorporate antiques in your home and your life to add charm and beauty to your surroundings.