In This Issue:

  • Pirates: A Collector Finds Buried Treasure
  • California Art Pottery
  • The Beauty of Belleek Porcelain
  • The 1719 Hans Herr House

And much more…

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In My Opinion

Out There

John Fiske 

IMOJuly16-1Lisa and I have just returned from eight wonderful days in a string of places with no McDonald’s, no middle class history and no antiques. The Outer Hebrides lie off the northwest coast of Scotland, a three-hour ferry ride from Ullapool which is an umpteen hour drive from anywhere. They are the edge of the British Isles and feel like the edge of the world. The islanders have survived a harsh climate, a harsh geography and an even harsher history.

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July16-2Pirates
A collector finds buried treasure

Barbara Miller Beem
Images by Barbara Miller Beem

Eye patches and peg legs, the overuse of the utterance “Arrr!” and parrots with insatiable appetites for crackers: There can be little doubt that a romanticized portrayal of pirates piques the imagination of many. But behind the cartoon figures and heroes of Disney movies and boys’ adventure books are real-life men and women who committed horrible crimes. Details of their atrocious acts, as well as society’s response, have been duly documented in books and newspapers, trial transcripts and contemporary letters.

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cp1From Chic to Cheerful
California Art Pottery

Melody Amsel-Arieli

California, with its informal life style, sunny climate and abundance of unique clay combinations, has long attracted the potting industry. Through the 1920s, commercial potteries manufactured agricultural and architectural products like poultry feeders, floor and roof tiles, sewer pipes and bricks. During the Great Depression, however, when the housing boom faded, many turned to creating inexpensive, solid color kitchen and tableware for the mass market instead.

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belleck5An Irish Tradition
The beauty of Belleek porcelain

Melody Amsel-Ariel
All photos courtesy of Bonhams. All sale prices are from www.bonhams.com
and include buyer’s premium.

During Ireland’s Great Potato Famine (1845-52), John Caldwell Bloomfield, an amateur mineralogist, inherited an estate that included the village of Belleek in County Fermanagh, Ireland. Distressed at the plight of his tenants, he resolved to ease their lot by providing them employment. The opportunity arose when his acreage was found to contain substantial deposits of kaolin, flint and feldspar – materials essential for pottery production.

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H-2The 1719 Hans Herr House
Meeting the needs of the Mennonites

Barbara Miller Beem
Images by Barbara Miller Beem

The exquisite hand-wrought linen towels, carefully stitched by an anonymous woman taught by her mother or grandmother; the simple pieces of furniture, the chests, the benches, the tables, doors, mantels and cabinets. Once belonging to those who settled in what has come to be called “Pennsylvania Dutch country,” these humble objects have been elevated from everyday items to museum pieces. But there is more to the story: For those hoping to understand more fully the lives of those European settlers who made Lancaster, Penn., their home, a visit to the 1719 Hans Herr House is in order.

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Yours Sincerely

John Fiske

YSJuly-2The exquisite hand-wrought linen towels, carefully stitched by an anonymous woman taught by her mother or grandmother; the simple pieces of furniture, the chests, the benches, the tables, doors, mantels and cabinets. Once belonging to those who settled in what has come to be called “Pennsylvania Dutch country,” these humble objects have been elevated from everyday items to museum pieces. But there is more to the story: For those hoping to understand more fully the lives of those European settlers who made Lancaster, Penn., their home, a visit to the 1719 Hans Herr House is in order.

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