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American Antique Weather Vanes
by A. B. & W. T. Westervelt

The weather vane found a welcome home in the expanding America of the 18th and 19th centuries. It served an important function, but also had humorous and homespun motifs, bold and vigorous design, and spirited air of American individualism and independence.
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AN-TIQUE (an-teek) An object having special value because of its age, especially a domestic item, piece of furniture or decorative arts object esteemed for its artistry, beauty, or period of origin.

The Antiques Almanac, a five-edition-per-year ezine for beginning and intermediate collectors and those just interested in finding out about old things, is your first stop on the Web in your search for information about antiques and collectibles. Here, you’ll find articles on a variety of American and international antiques, including furniture, china, glass, silver, and other decorative arts from the Colonial, Empire, Victorian, Art Nouveau, and Art Deco Periods, plus vintage and modern collectibles, interesting historical facts, antique tips, and recommendations for caring for your collections. Come back often to see what's new. And be sure to tell your friends about us.

This issue's theme: "Americana"


Weathering the Test of Time
For the last 150 or so years, weather vanes have become a symbol of America. In the 18th and 19th centuries the weather governed the lives of both seafarers and farmers, thus making the weathervane more practical than ornamental. These ubiquitous objects topped many a building in the 19th century. And while there aren’t as many today, they can still be seen here and there, especially in the rural landscape.

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The Lure of Native American Memorabilia
Native American arrowheads have long been collected by scavengers at known settlement and battle sites. But since the turn of the 20th Century, collectors desire to obtain just about any object made and used by the tribes that lived throughout North America. And with the inauguration of the National Museum to the American Indian in Washington, DC., awareness of these objects is at an all-time high.
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Scuplture on the High Seas
Sometimes referred to as "Neptune's wooden angels," ships’ figureheads have been in use since antiquity. As the popularity of wooden boats waned in the 19th century, so too did the popularity of wooden figureheads. New forms of transportation and ornamentation replaced wooden ships and figureheads began to appear in galleries and museums.

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A Salute to Uncle Sam
Everyone has heard of Uncle Sam. And while this name may not roll off the tongues of most people today, it was very popular from the early 19th century to the mid-20th century. But who was this character and where did he come from?
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An Editorial on Antiques

One Person's Trash is Another's Treasure NEW!

Bob discusses garage sales—how to get ready for them, how to find bargains, and how to conduct yourself courteously.

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The Nation's Attic
by Bob Brooke

Where do all of the United States’ important historical artifacts—plus thousands of art works and everyday items—end up? At the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., sometimes referred to as “the nation’s attic.” Its shear size has forced it to expand to 20 museums and art galleries, plus the National Zoo, all open free to the public and open every day except Christmas.
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The Mail Must Go Through
by Bob Brooke

On April 3, 1860, the Pony Express began operations when riders left simultaneously from St. Joseph, Missouri, and Sacramento, California. On this first trip westward from St. Joseph, on the edge of the frontier, the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad delivered mail from the East which the Pony Express would carry to California. Up to this time, the mail had been going to St. Joseph by boat. The westbound rider made the trip in 9 days and 23 hours while the eastbound one made it in 11days and 12 hours.
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How to Recognize and Refinish Antiques for Pleasure and Profit

Book: How to Recognizing and Refinishing Antiques for Pleasure and Profit

Have you ever bought an antique or collectible that was less than perfect and needed some TLC? Bob's book offers tips and step-by- step instructions for simple maintenance and restoration of common antiques.
                Read an Excerpt


Bruce Museum Offers Exhibit of Alfred Sisley's Works

The Bruce Museum and the Hôtel de Caumont Centre d’Art in Aix-en-Provence, France, have mounted a major exhibition of Sisley’s paintings, the first retrospective in over 20 years of this major Impressionists. The exhibit, “Alfred Sisley: Impressionist Master,” spotlights about 50 of Sisley’s paintings, which have come from private collections and major museums in North America and Europe. The Bruce Museum is now showing the exhibition until May 21 and is the only venue in the United States.

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