7 Fine Prints That Scream Springtime

As we round the corner into February, we can’t help but feel a natural wistful-ness for sunnier skies, warmer weather, and greenery. Winter is certainly a precious time of year, but one that drags on far too long. Luckily for us, this week’s fine print auction is full of spring-time inspiration from flowers to birds to prints of outdoor scenes. Mixed in with the impressive Keith Haring prints and the unique “Head of a Woman” by Pablo Picasso are elements of the upcoming season.

Find some spring excitement with the below 7 prints.

Wildflowers by Mary Vaux Walcott

This lot of 29 prints wildflower prints stunningly portrays the beauty of spring flowers.

Lot of 29 Wildflower Prints from North American Wildflowers, Volume I by Mary Vaux Walcott, published by Smithsonian Institute, 1925. Estimate: $100-$300

 

Glaucis Lanceoalota (Lanceolate Hermit) by John Gould

Nothing says spring like a chirping bird.

Glaucis Lanceoalota (Lanceolate Hermit) by John Gould, First Edition, Published by London, 1849. Estimate: $900-$1,000

 

Fiery Rosebay Rhododendron by Robert Sweet

Fiery? Yes, please.

‘Fiery Rosebay Rhododendron’ by Robert Sweet, from The British Flower Garden, 1838. Estimate: $350-$450

 

Eye-of-the-Sun Tulip (Tulipa Oculus Solis) by Pancrace Bessa

This hand colored print dazzles with color.

Eye-of-the-Sun Tulip (Tulipa Oculus Solis) by Pancrace Bessa, from Flore des Jardiniers, Amateurs, et Manufacturiers, 1836. Estimate: $400-$600

 

Bass Wood by Pancrace Bessa & J.P. Redoute

We all crave some greenery in springtime after a bare winter of white.

Bass Wood by Pancrace Bessa & J.P. Redoute, published by F.A. Michaux, Philadelphia, 1865. Estimate: $50-$100

 

Yellow Canary by James Bolton

Waking up to the chirps of the canary is so sweet.

Yellow Canary by James Bolton, from Harmonia Ruralis, 1824, framed. Estimate: $400-$600

 

Myrtle Beach Dunes Golf by Mark King

Hurry up, it’s almost tee time!

Myrtle Beach Dunes Golf, XL/CXLV, by Mark King, 1991. Estimate: $800 – $1,000

 

Explore the full catalog of fine prints and register to bid in this weekend’s auction.

How Dust Jackets Play a Key Role in Value of Collectible Books

In this throwaway society it seems ironic that the 19th-century innovation known as a dust jacket is no longer discarded once the book it was designed to protect is brought home. In collector circles, the paper wrapper is regarded as an integral part of a book.

By definition, the dust jacket is a book’s detachable outer cover, usually made of paper and printed with text and illustrations. This outer cover has folded flaps that secure it inside the front and back book covers.

LEFT: One of the most important literary works of the 20th century and Ernest Hemingway’s most difficult first edition to find with its dust jacket is ‘The Sun Also Rises.’ This first edition with the proper first-edition dust jacket sold at a PBA Galleries auction for $42,000 in 2006. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers and PBA Galleries
RIGHT: A first edition of ‘The Sun Also Rises’ without its dust jacket sold at auction in 2006 for only $168. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers and PBA Galleries

Early dust jackets looked much different than they do today. After book publishers began using cloth bindings in the 1820s, they started providing dust wrappers, which protected books while being transported from the merchant to the buyer’s home. Because jackets of this type were torn when opened, they were normally discarded. Since they were not intended to be re-used, few survived.

Publishers’ dust jackets of the modern style, which covered just the binding and left the text block exposed, were in wide use by the 1890s.

After 1900, as bookbindings became less decorative, publishers paid greater attention to dust jackets, adding multiple colors, graphics, information and advertising. As dust jackets became more attractive than the bindings, more people began to keep the jackets on their books.

Today it would be unthinkable to discard a book’s dust jacket. Booksellers and collectors generally consider it essential to the package. A dust jacket on a book can be compared to the original finish on a fine piece of antique furniture.

“Not all dust jackets are created equal. It matters most with books that are avidly collected – that usually means some 20th-century literary first editions and fine press books. It can matter much less where the content is the major factor when purchasing the book,” said Dale A. Sorenson, PhD, ISA AM, a rare book expert and former owner of Waverly Auctions Inc. (now Waverly Rare Books).

“Of course, condition of the book and condition of dust jacket – or lack of a dust jacket – can play an important part in determining value. Recent literary first editions without a dust jacket become very difficult to sell unless priced at a few dollars,” said Sorenson.

In many instances a book with its dust jacket will appeal to collectors, but without it? Not so much. “It matters most where the dust jacket becomes the wide swing factor in value – first editions by Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Faulkner, where depending upon the condition of the dust jacket, the presence of one can raise the price 5, 10, sometimes 20 or more times than one without dust jacket,” said Sorenson.

A dust jacket can also support the distinction of whether or not the book is a first edition. As an example, a short statement by Truman Capote is printed in green on the inside front flap of first-edition dust jackets of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. Such examples are scarce and highly prized.

“On Our way” by Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1934, hardcover with dust jacket. Sold for $1,000 by Jasper52.

Since the mid-20th century, it has become a widespread practice for publishers to print the price of a book on the inside flap on the dust jacket, and for many years it was common for the buyer to clip off the corner of the jacket bearing the price. Most book collectors frown upon this practice. In some cases – one being John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath – the lower inside corner of the dust jacket states “First Edition.” Sorenson says,“If clipped, much of the value is gone, as it becomes unclear if the dust jacket is the one that was actually issued with a first-edition copy.”

Another problematic practice is matching a found dust jacket with a book that lacks one. “It is done, but there could be a subtle difference between the original dust jacket and the one supplied, negating the value hoped for by supplying the dust jacket from another source,” said Sorenson, adding that the marriage should be noted along with the source.

Sorenson said that the subject of just jackets is complicated and that there are many exceptions to be considered. Dust jackets add only nominal monetary value to books in general circulation. They function as intended, i.e., to attract the initial buyer and to protect the book from too much direct handling and wear. “Where they do become important is when the book is a title that attracts collectors as opposed to readers,” Sorenson said.

For more information, Sorenson recommends Book Collecting 2000 by Allen and Patricia Ahearn. The first section contains extensive detail on the various aspects of collecting books. He also recommends Collected Books The Guide to Identification and Values by the same authors. It contains less detail about collecting and is primarily an extensive list of books in various categories, with current market prices.

Check out this week’s book auction for excellent antiquarian book finds.


Dale A. Sorenson, Ph.D., is former owner of Waverly Auctions Inc. and currently an ISA accredited personal property appraiser of used and rare books, maps, prints and autographs.

Key Facts and Tips About Collecting Books by U.S. Presidents

The inauguration of the 45th president of the United States is a fitting time in which to compile a few fascinating facts about books written by presidents of the past and present.

Books authored by presidents are a popular choice with collectors, and for good reason. The depth and diversity of topics addressed in such books is simply staggering. Books penned by American presidents appeal to an immeasurable cross section of people. From die-hard bibliophiles and historians, to educators and even the most casual of readers, there is a shared interest in the memoirs from the Oval Office perspective. Below are a few interesting facts on these presidential books:

Fact #1: The first U.S. president put pen – likely a quill pen – to parchment paper well before he was elected to the nation’s highest office. President George Washington wrote “The Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior In Company and Conversation” before he celebrated his 16th birthday. The “Rules,” of which there are 110, are said to be an extension of a list compiled by French Jesuits in the late 16th century. President Washington reportedly copied the rules as part of a writing assignment. Washington’s version of the “Rules” was first published as a book in 1888, according to an article from The Digital Encyclopedia of George Washington by Katrina Schoorl.

Tip #1: Collecting autobiographies written by presidents, especially modern-era presidents, is often a more affordable option if collecting presidential ephemera is the goal. The investment in a president-written book is often less expensive than presidential signatures, according to Ken Gloss, owner of Brattle Book Shop, in an article in The Journal of Antiques and Collectibles.

The Winning of the West, Daniel Boone Edition, leather-bound four-volume set, Theodore Roosevelt, G.P. Putnam & Sons, New York and London, 1900, sold for $9,000 during a 2013 auction conducted by Wiederseim Associates, Inc.

Fact #2: Many presidents opted to write memoirs or autobiographies, or assist in biographies about them. Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Jimmy Carter both took this approach. In addition, their prolific literary paths also included writing adventure tales or fiction, respectively. Roosevelt, reportedly the author of more than 30 books, wrote about the settlement of the Western U.S. in the multi-volume work “The Winning of the West.” In addition, Carter’s tale “The Hornet’s Nest,” was the first fiction novel written by a U.S. president.

The Winning of the West, Daniel Boone Edition, leather-bound four-volume set, Theodore Roosevelt, G.P. Putnam & Sons, New York and London, 1900, sold for $9,000 during a 2013 auction conducted by Wiederseim Associates, Inc.

Fact#3: Various U.S. presidents’ writings have achieved bestseller status, but only one has garnered a Pulitzer Prize. President John F. Kennedy was awarded the 1957 Pulitzer Prize for Biography for his book Profiles in Courage, although for years there have been rumblings about the book having been written by a ghostwriter.

Tip #2: One way to enhance a collection of works written by U.S. presidents is to consider including books written by first ladies. In the 2015 blog post Collecting Rare Books and Autographs of American Presidents, from Bauman Rare Books’, author Rebecca Romney refers to books by Eleanor Roosevelt and Jackie Kennedy Onassis. Romney states, “Books signed or written by Jackie O. and other first ladies are naturally a rewarding path to explore as well.”

Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant, Ulysses S. Grant, Charles L. Webster & Company, New York, 1885, first edition, two-volume set, sold for $676 through Early American History Auctions in 2015.

Fact #4: Thomas Jefferson, the man credited with authoring the Declaration of Independence, was also a serious bibliophile. At one time, his personal library included nearly 10,000 books. In a letter he wrote to John Adams, Jefferson stated, “I cannot live without books,” according to an article by Endrina Tay appearing on the Encyclopedia Virginia site. In addition to published letters, he completed one full manuscript, “Notes on the State of Virginia.” This work was published in 1785, with an initial run of 200 copies paid for by Jefferson, according to information on the Massachusetts Historical Society site.

A video from the Massachusetts Historical Society about the conservation of Jefferson’s “Notes on the State of Virginia” can be viewed on YouTube.

Interested in viewing rare books by presidents and prolific authors alike? Take a look at this week’s Jasper52 books auction. You’re “bound” to find something to enjoy. 

Discover 19th Century United States in 13 Antiquarian Maps

One interesting way to understand historical picture is through antiquarian maps. Maps can tell stories with a unique geographical, objective perspective in a way no other medium can. And they make great wall art.

Today, we’re traveling back in time through these 13 historical maps of US states from the 19th century:

Florida, 1835

Map of Florida by Illustrator and Cartographer Thomas G. Bradford, First Edition, 1835. Estimate: $200-$250

 

Arkansas, 1841

‘Tanner Map of Arkansas – A New Map of Arkansas with its Canals Roads & Distances,’ Cartographer: Henry S. Tanner, 1841. Estimate: $200-$250

 

Atlas Map of Texas, 1873

Gray’s Atlas Map of Texas, Illustrator: O. W. Gray, 1873. Estimate: $250-$300

 

New York, 1846

A New Map of New York with its Canals, Roads & Distances, Cartographer S. Augustus Mitchell, Illustrator H. Burroughs, First Edition, 1846. Estimate: $150-$200

 

New Jersey, 1814

The State of New Jersey, Compiled from the Most Authentic Information, Cartographer M. Carey, 1814. Estimate: $600-$800

 

Illinois, 1874

Warner Beers Map of Illinois: Political and Geological – Political Map of Illinois / Worthen’s Geological and Climate Map of Illinois, ca 1874. Estimate: $100-$150

 

Indiana, 1846

A New Map of Indiana with Its Roads & Distances, Cartographer: S. Augustus Mitchell, Illustrator H.N. Burroughs, 1846. Estimate: $100-$150

 

Iowa, 1853

A New Map of the State of Iowa, Cartographer: S. Augustus Mitchell, Publisher: Thomas Cowperthwait & Co, 1853. Estimate: $150-$200

 

Nebraska & Kanzas, 1855

Nebraska and Kanzas, Cartographer: J. H. Colton, 1855. Estimate: $200-$250

 

Minnesota, 1882

Rand McNally Map of Minnesota – Rand McNally & Company’s Indexed Atlas of the World, 1882. Estimate: $100-$150

 

Ohio, 1887

J.T. Barker’s Rail Road and Township Map of Ohio, 1887. Estimate: $100-$150

 

California, 1892

New Business Atlas Map of California, Rand McNally, 1892. Estimate: $150-$200

 

Texas, 1883

Texas, Cartographer: George F. Cram, 1883. Estimate: $120-$200

 

Want to explore more of the United States or perhaps jump continents? Check out this week’s Antiquarian Map auction for beautiful map prints.

5 Types of Unusual Americana to Display in Your Home

If you’re looking for a conversation piece for your home that no one else could possibly have, you might want to check out the many subcategories of Americana. You’ll be amazed at the artistry and ingenuity that went into hand-made objects and one-of-a-kind hand-painted signs from the 18th through 20th centuries.

Many of the things modern-day Americana fans covet were never intended to be collectibles of the future; they were meant to be functional items of their own time. Today they’re all part of our cultural history and are charming to us because of their naïveté, including the misspelled words and use of non-traditional materials.

You might choose to display just one piece as an artwork on its own and later find that it becomes the springboard for an entire collection – don’t be surprised if that happens!

Here are five unusual types of Americana you can watch for in online auctions or as you browse through antique shops or flea markets:

Hand-Painted Sleds

Early painted-wood child’s sled with stenciled horse motif and cast-iron rails terminating in figural swan decorations. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers and Milestone Auctions

Early painted-wood child’s sled with stenciled horse motif and cast-iron rails terminating in figural swan decorations. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers and Milestone Auctions

 

Canine Antiques

Antique dog muzzle of metal and leather. Photo by Catherine Saunders-Watson

Antique dog muzzle of metal and leather. Photo by Catherine Saunders-Watson

 

Old Store Displays

Unique circa-1940s sheet metal robot used by a hardware store as a mascot and “trade stimulator.” Note the eyes made from lead marbles and the use of screen to help create the illusion of teeth and nostrils. Photo by Catherine Saunders-Watson

Unique circa-1940s sheet metal robot used by a hardware store as a mascot and “trade stimulator.” Note the eyes made from lead marbles and the use of screen to help create the illusion of teeth and nostrils. Photo by Catherine Saunders-Watson

 

Non-Manufactured Signs

Antique hand-crafted wood trade sign used by a farrier to identify his place of business. Photo by Catherine Saunders-Watson

Antique hand-crafted wood trade sign used by a farrier to identify his place of business. Photo by Catherine Saunders-Watson

 

Hand-Painted Game Boards

Chinese checkers game board, circa 1930, hand-painted plywood. Image courtesy of Jasper52

Chinese checkers game board, circa 1930, hand-painted plywood. Image courtesy of Jasper52

 

Once you venture into the colorful, often whimsical realm of Americana, you’ll find it irresistible. Our ancestors definitely left us a rich supply of objects from which to choose, an best of all, you can start a collection with relatively little money.

Click to view this week’s curated Americana auction hosted on LiveAuctioneers. Bid today.

Lord of the Rings: 7 Viking Rings With Nordic Symbols

Viking tales often recall stories of bloodthirsty behaviors of war and violence, so it may surprise you to learn about the Vikings’ rich history in jewelry-making. The Vikings were masters of metalwork, which ranged from the production of weapons to the crafting of jewelry. From the 8th-15th centuries, the Vikings produced rings, amulets, pendants and more, which all held symbolic meanings to their culture.

Below you’ll find 7 outstanding examples of Viking rings, each with their own unique display of Viking symbols.

Viking Warrior’s Ring

This warrior’s ring features a narrow band flaring to the top, in the form of an eye with rounded stippled edges. The field is decorated with panels of geometry, the central of which enclose small crescents, which are lunar references. As expert navigators, the constellations in the jewelry pieces signified mystery and power to Vikings.

Viking Warrior's Ring, 900 A.D., size 10, gold overlay. Estimate: $400-$500. Jasper52 image

Viking Warrior’s Ring, 900 A.D., size 10, gold overlay. Estimate: $400-$500. Jasper52 image

 

Rare Viking Signet Ring

This narrow band features a large circular bezel incised with four designs. The surface is covered with uniform frosty patina from a burial. This ring has been professionally refurbished with the original gold overlay restored.

Rare Viking signet ring, ca. 900 A.D., gilt bronze, size 8.5. Estimate: $250-$300. Jasper52 image

Rare Viking signet ring, ca. 900 A.D., gilt bronze, size 8.5. Estimate: $250-$300. Jasper52 image

 

Man’s Wedding Ring

This copper ring was a man’s wedding band, circa 850-1050 A.D. The use of unalloyed copper is specific to the Vikings, who were highly skilled metallurgists. Vikings traditionally exchanged wedding rings on the pommel of the groom’s sword.

Viking Man's wedding ring, 850-1050 A.D., size 10 3/4. Estimate: $100-$150. Jasper52 image

Viking Man’s wedding ring, 850-1050 A.D., size 10 3/4. Estimate: $100-$150. Jasper52 image

 

Warrior’s Heart Ring

For Vikings, the heart symbolized bravery, fortitude, loyalty, and integrity – all attributes of the warrior. The warrior’s heart ring defines the very essence of his place in society and the spiritual world.

Viking warrior's heart ring, 850-100 A.D., gilt bronze, size 10 1/2. Estimate: $300-$400. Jasper52 image

Viking warrior’s heart ring, 850-100 A.D., gilt bronze, size 10 1/2. Estimate: $300-$400. Jasper52 image

 

Warrior’s Coil Ring

This gilt bronze coil ring was delicately made with six full rings. The coil is a repeated theme in Viking jewelry and adornment, but few rings survive due to their fragility and finding one this complete form is very rare.

Viking warrior's coil ring, 10th century A.D., size 9. Estimate: $100-$200. Jasper52 image

Viking warrior’s coil ring, 10th century A.D., size 9. Estimate: $100-$200. Jasper52 image

 

Twisted Viking Warrior’s Ring

This traditional 9th century Viking warrior’s ring features an overlapping split band, which was specific to the Vikings. The top features a heavily corded twist form, another signature of Viking design.

Viking warrior's ring, 9th century, size 10 1/4. Estimate: $300-$400. Jasper52 image

Viking warrior’s ring, 9th century, size 10 1/4. Estimate: $300-$400. Jasper52 image

 

Great Plague of London Ring

While not of Viking origin, this medieval piece of jewelry is revolutionary in its construction with the band of rolled brass and bronze, with a pattern imparted by the roller. The bronze flower bud top was cast separately and the two were joined by brazing. The process of rolling was in place in the 15th century.

Child mortality was indigenous to the culture and it was expected – barely half of the population lived to adulthood. Burial in the church brought you close to God, but space was limited and those nearer our hearts had priority over those whose names were forgotten. Graves were periodically dug up, and the bones removed to storage, making space for newcomers. It happened all over Europe, north to south and no jewelry is preserved with the bones. From extensive research of the time period, it is believed this rings were produced in England and recovered from graves of children who perished in the Great Plague of 1655-56 in London.

Great Plague of London ring, 15th-17th century. Estimate: $100-$150. Jasper52 image

Great Plague of London ring, 15th-17th century. Estimate: $100-$150. Jasper52 image

 

View all these rings and more exquisite pieces in this week’s Jasper52 auction of Viking & Medieval Jewelry.

Blowin’ in the Wind – A Brief History of Weather Vanes

“It don’t take a weatherman to see which way the wind blows,” Bob Dylan wrote in his 1965 song Subterranean Homesick Blues. And he was right. For at least a millennium, weather vanes have done the same job as meteorologists with infallible accuracy, while also adding ornamental charm to the rooftops of churches, barns and other buildings.

Weather vanes – also known as wind vanes or weathercocks, in reference to those shaped as cockerels – have been around since Ancient Greece. The Tower of the Winds at the Athens agora, or central meeting place, had on its roof a bronze vane in the form of Triton holding a rod in his outstretched hand. The figure of the Greek god of the sea, dating to 50 B.C., rotated as the wind changed direction. This is likely the earliest recorded example of a weather vane.

The Gallo di Ramperto, held in the Museo di Santa Giulia in Brescia, Italy, it the oldest extant weather vane in the shape of a rooster. Photo by RobyBS89

The Gallo di Ramperto, held in the Museo di Santa Giulia in Brescia, Italy, it the oldest extant weather vane in the shape of a rooster. Photo by RobyBS89

The Ancient Romans employed weather vanes, as well. Pope Gregory I declared the cockerel, or rooster, to be an emblem of Christianity and of St. Peter. This may have led to the practice of a cockerel weather vane being placed atop church steeples in predominantly Roman Catholic nations. In fact, by the 9th century A.D., weathercocks had become a mandatory addition to every church steeple, by decree of Pope Nicholas.

The Vikings used handcrafted bronze weather vanes as directional devices on their ships. Today, vanes of this type can still be seen as decorative elements on churches and other buildings in Scandinavia.

The practice of placing weather vanes on top of barns was widespread in colonial America. While a single weather vane might have been sufficient for a European village, where townsfolk lived in a more communal environment, that was not the case across the Atlantic, where land was abundant and settlers were largely self-sufficient. Every 18th- and 19th-century American farm or homestead had its own weather vane to assist in weather prognostication.

The earliest American weather vanes were either made by metalsmiths, who hand-formed and hammered the shapes from copper or other metals; or crafted by the farmers themselves, from wood.

Gabriel Blowing Horn weather vane, circa 1900-1920, rolled sheet iron on brass stand. Jasper52 image

Gabriel Blowing Horn weather vane, circa 1900-1920, rolled sheet iron on brass stand. Jasper52 image

Weather vanes were a source of pride to wealthy landowners like George Washington, who issued specific instructions to Joseph Rakestraw, the architect who designed Mount Vernon, to create a bird with an olive branch in its mouth instead of the traditional rooster vane. It’s just one example of early American commissioned weather vanes, which might have depicted angels, eagles, furled banners, sea creatures – a particular favorite in coastal New England towns – or after the turn of the 20th century, motor cars or airplanes.

Weather vane of setter dog, copper, circa 1890, made by H.L. Washburn & Co., Massachusetts. Image courtesy of Pook & Pook and LiveAuctioneers

Weather vane of setter dog, copper, circa 1890, made by H.L. Washburn & Co., Massachusetts. Image courtesy of Pook & Pook and LiveAuctioneers

Both metal and painted-wood vanes are considered quintessential Americana and are highly sought after by today’s collectors of folk art and early American relics. Some of the finest examples are in the collections of prestigious museums, including the Shelburne in Vermont, and the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan.

Painted wood and sheet iron codfish weather vane on metal stand. Image courtesy of Skinner Inc. and LiveAuctioneers

Painted wood and sheet iron codfish weather vane on metal stand. Image courtesy of Skinner Inc. and LiveAuctioneers

 

Find unique weather vanes and other Americana finds in our weekly auctions.

7 Vintage Americana Games to Make You Feel Like a Kid Again

Remember when there was nothing more exciting than a new board game? Gathering friends and family with a deck of cards or around game boards to play a strategic game is quite different than gathering around a computer screen and playing against a virtual opponent. These Americana finds will certainly bring you back to a simpler time.

Whether it’s ring toss, or a simple game of checkers, some of the best childhood memories are during game night. See below for some of our favorites:

19th Century Handmade Painted Checkerboard

Handmade Painted Checkerboard, Mid-late 19th century. Estimate: $250-$500

Handmade Painted Checkerboard, Mid-late 19th century. Estimate: $250-$500

 

Parcheesi Game Board, 1900

Parcheesi Game Board, 1900, made of Wood. Sold for $1,200

Parcheesi Game Board, 1900, made of Wood. Sold for $1,200

 

How to Fly Training Cockpit Pre-Flight Course Game

How to Fly Cockpit Pre-Flight Training Course Game, by maker: Einson-Freeman Co., Inc., 1942. Sold for $120

How to Fly Cockpit Pre-Flight Training Course Game, by maker: Einson-Freeman Co., Inc., 1942. Sold for $120

 

Spirit of St. Louis Transcontinental Spinner Game

Spirit of St. Louis Transcontinental Spinner Game, 1925. Estimate: $150 - $300

Spirit of St. Louis Transcontinental Spinner Game, 1925. Estimate: $150 – $300

 

Beanbag Toss Wood Game Board

Wood beanbag game, 1930-1940's, original paint. Sold for $80

Wood beanbag game, 1930-1940’s, original paint. Sold for $80

 

Peg Game Board from 1930

Homemade Peg Game Board, 1930. Sold for $160

Homemade Peg Game Board, 1930. Sold for $160

 

Ring Toss Board

Homemade Ring Toss Game Board, early 20th century. Sold for $65

Homemade Ring Toss Game Board, early 20th century. Sold for $65

 

Are these bringing back fond memories? Find more Americana gems in this week’s specially curated Americana sale on Jasper52.

 

6 Christmas Ornaments to Delight Your Christmas Tree

Your Christmas tree is the center of your home for a few weeks out of the year. Whether decorated with simple lights, popcorn strings, or family heirloom ornaments, the tree sparkles with tradition. German-American families enjoy the tradition of the Christmas pickle. On Christmas Eve, after the children have gone to bed, parents hide a pickle ornament deep in the branches of their decorated tree. On Christmas morning, the first child to locate the pickle receives an extra gift from Santa.

This season is an opportunity to add some extra charm and delight to your tree. Below are 6 Americana ornaments to dazzle your trimmings:

Man in the Moon

When this moon hits your eye, there will definitely be amoré. Enjoy this hand-blown sparkler from the 1940s.

Man in the Moon Hand Blown Christmas Ornament, 1940, 3.5 x 2 inches. Estimate: $75-$120

Man in the Moon Hand Blown Christmas Ornament, 1940, 3.5 x 2 inches. Estimate: $75-$120

 

Christmas Tea Pot

So adorable you almost want to drink tea out of it.

An adorable tea pot Christmas ornament, circa 1940, 3 x 2 inches. Sold: $20

An adorable tea pot Christmas ornament, circa 1940, 3 x 2 inches. Sold: $20

 

Two Fish Ornaments

One fish, two fish. Yellow Fish, gold fish.

2 Fish Hand Blown Christmas Ornament, 1940s, 3.5 x 2 inches each. Estimate: $75-$95

2 Fish Hand Blown Christmas Ornament, 1940s, 3.5 x 2 inches each. Estimate: $75-$95

 

Green Pickle

This is probably the ornament you’ve always wished you had.

Hand Blown Pickle Christmas Ornament, circa 1940, 3.75 x 1.5 inches. Sold: $25

Hand Blown Pickle Christmas Ornament, circa 1940, 3.75 x 1.5 inches. Sold: $25

 

Three Clown Ornaments

These vintage buddies add sparkle and a certain unique charm to your tree.

3 Clowns Hand Blown Christmas Ornaments, circa 1940s, 4.75 x 2 inches. Estimate: $85-$150

3 Clowns Hand Blown Christmas Ornaments, circa 1940s, 4.75 x 2 inches. Estimate: $85-$150

 

Cast Iron Santa Claus 

Ok, this is a doorstop and not an ornament. While you cannot hang it on your tree, adding this to your home holiday decor adds extra flair. Ho ho ho!

Santa Claus Door Stop, Cast iron with original paint, circa 1920, 6.75 x 4.5 x 2.75 inches. Estimate: $100-$150

Santa Claus Door Stop, Cast iron with original paint, circa 1920, 6.75 x 4.5 x 2.75 inches. Estimate: $100-$150

 

Find unique Americana treasures in Jasper52’s weekly auctions. There’s always a delightful find.

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Ernest Hemingway

Novelist, short story writer and journalist Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961) was one of America’s most accomplished and influential writers of the 20th century. His economical and understated style influenced scores of writers who followed, and many of his works are considered literary classics.

'The Sun Also Rise,' one of three early edition books by Ernest Hemingway. Estimate: $50-$150

‘The Sun Also Rise,’ one of three early edition books by Ernest Hemingway. Estimate: $50-$150

It has been said that Hemingway’s work focused on themes of love, war, wilderness and loss. His first novel, The Sun Also Rises, tells the story of a group of American and British expats who traveled from Paris to Pamplona, Spain, to watch the running of the bulls. Although some critics gave it a lukewarm review, the New York Times wrote in 1926, the year of the book’s publication, “No amount of analysis can convey the quality of The Sun Also Rises. It is a truly gripping story, told in a lean, hard, athletic narrative prose that puts more literary English to shame.” The book has never been out of print.

'The Old Man & Sea,' Ernest Hemingway, First Club Edition, 1952. Estimate: $15-$30

‘The Old Man & Sea,’ Ernest Hemingway, First Club Edition, 1952. Estimate: $15-$30

The Old Man and the Sea, Hemingway’s tale of an aging Cuban fisherman’s struggle with a giant marlin off the coast of Florida, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1952. It was the last of Hemingway’s major works of fiction to be published in his lifetime.

Hemingway cultivated a life of adventure, immersing himself in the atmosphere of numerous exotic ports of call, including Africa and the Caribbean islands. During the 1920s, he took up residence in Paris, a place where his American dollars would go a long way and, more importantly, where he would encounter “interesting people” – artists like Picasso, Miro and Gris; and writers such as James Joyce and Gertrude Stein, who became his mentor. Hemingway later maintained permanent homes in Cuba (1930s) and Key West (1940s/’50s). In 1959, he acquired a property in Ketchum, Idaho. It was there that Hemingway died in 1961 of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

'A Portrait of Mister Papa,' by author Malcolm Cowley for Life Magazine, January 10, 1949. Estimate: $15-$30

‘A Portrait of Mister Papa,’ by author Malcolm Cowley for Life Magazine, January 10, 1949. Estimate: $15-$30

Although much has been written about his remarkable life and peerless body of work, here are five things you may not have known about the writer known affectionately as “Papa Hemingway.”

  1. He was a volunteer ambulance driver for the Allied Powers in Italy during World War I.
  2. In 1918 he received the Italian Silver Medal of Bravery for assisting Italian soldiers to safety, even though he had just been seriously wounded by mortar fire while trying to get cigarettes and candy to troops on the front lines.
  3. Hemingway kept dozens of cats at his Cuban property, but it was a white, six-toed cat he received from a ship’s captain that began the many generations of similar six- and seven-toed cats at Hemingway House in Key West. Descendants of the original cats continue to live on the premises.
  4. Hemingway was almost killed in two successive airplane crashes while on safari in Africa in 1952.
  5. There’s a life-size bronze statue of Hemingway inside El Floridita bar in Havana, with a framed photo of the author with Fidel Castro on the wall behind it.

Whether you’re a veteran collector of Hemingway, or just getting started, be sure to bid in this curated Hemingway Book Auction.