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Daily Archives: July 19, 2011

This kitty likes vintage wall fish!

So, funny story…..I was hanging one of a hundred fish for Mel when one fell, shattered and stabbed me in the leg while on the ladder. I fell off the ladder and crawled to the nearest first aid kit and put a tourniquet on. I texted Mel while I was bleeding out and advised her that one of her fish had mortally wounded me. Her concerned response was “which fish broke?”.

The first time Mel saw a ceramic fish it was at a thrift store. At that very moment she fell in love with those little ceramic pieces of joy! From this point on Mel has spent every waking moment searching on Ebay and antique stores for the little critters. She must have almost 100 of these sea creatures by now. She decided to use our large wall space in the bathroom as her canvas to express herself. It is really hard to find ceramic fish that are not busted and glued because so many of them have fallen and ended up destroyed. Ceramic fish can run between $15-$300+ depending on the rarity of the fish. A word of advice to anyone thinking of hanging these little guys, when nailing them to the wall make sure you also use wall putty to adhere them to the surface. Mel’s favorite maker is Deforest but she also likes Freeman, Lefton, Bradley and Ceramicraft. We both agree that the chalkware fish are not as well detailed or as nice.

Ceramic fish were really big in the 40’s & 50’s for those folks who wanted to accessorize their bathrooms with something unique. Mel has a really great book that shows a lot of different kinds of ceramic fish and also different makers. It gives you pricing and also ideas on how to stage your fish (Ceramic Fish, Mermaids & Seahorses: Bathroom Decorations of the 1940s & 1950s). It is really amazing how many of the people we run into in the antique shops collect these. I am not sure when enough will be enough but if wall space is any indicator then we have a long road ahead of us.

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Television of tomorrow!

I love these old cartoons by Tex Avery & Fred Quimby, I hope you do too.

Very Rare 1950’s Philco Miss America Model F4626M Television

When we purchased this, it really did not require any special restoration. I touched up the cabinet and cleaned it but other than that it is in great shape. This Philco model was the first television model able to pivot side to side so you can turn the viewing direction . It has a really nice cabinet that had a lot of style. The great thing is that it works. Of course the antenna is not an option anymore (just for looks), but I did connect a DVD player and it works great (Some like it hot is playing). I am sorry but the quality of what was made then compared to today is incomparable. This television is over 60-70 years old and it works! Who ever owned it sure took great care of it.

What Mel and I like to do is once a month we plan for a 50’s tv night, usually on a weekend. What we do is hang out in our ultra 50’s living room, put in a 50’s movie and just experience what it was like. I can tell you there is something to the overall feel you get sitting there watching a classic movie on an original television from the period. We love it.

This will be a cherished item in our house for a long time.

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1950’s National Candy Vending Machine

Mel and I saw this in S.F. and had to have it.

We shot right down to the bay area and gladly purchased it. It weighed a TON! Once we got it home and I got to look at it we noticed that there was suppose to be a mirror in the front and that we needed a vending key. The paint wasn’t in too bad of shape but the sides of the unit were scraped up and there was some rust. I decided that I was not going to be able to salvage the paint on the sides so I purchased black appliance paint from Lowes and refinished it. The original paint in the middle is in pretty good shape so I left that alone. Once I purchased a replacement vending key I was surprised to find out the coin unit was still in it and it worked!
Next I went to a glass shop and purchased a replacement mirror for the front. It seemed kind of plain so I went by an automotive store and purchased a pewter colored pinstripe. I really think it makes the piece look soo much better.  While I was out I also had to buy some candy to fill it up and that was like $50-$60 on candy! We moved it into our diner/bar after I finished the restoration. It is a really cool piece.

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