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Tag Archives: Vintage Ceramic FIsh

Autumn’s Under the Sea Nursery

 

Ever since Mel and I found out we’re having a baby girl, we have worked hard at getting the nursery in order. We decided to name her Autumn, but we didn’t want to use a predictable Autumn theme such as owls, leaves, foxes, etc.  We had an excess of Mel’s fifties ceramic wall fish and mermaids, and we couldn’t find a place for our mid-century Reglor fish lamps, so we decided to do an under the sea theme. This was not easy to carry out considering most sea themed nursery items are geared towards boys.

What would our baby nursery be if we didn’t add a Carlo of Hollywood watercolor trio? This trio offered a unique challenge because the two smaller Carlo paintings have chartreuse colored frames. This required me to introduce that color throughout the room to tie it all together.

We were more comfortable with using modern MCM style pieces in her room rather than vintage children’s furniture because we had concerns about safety and lead paint. We chose the Babyletto Bingo 3-in-1 convertible crib and storage combo. What drew us to this crib is the mid-century style and splash of sea-foam green accent. For seating, we needed something comfortable for the long nights ahead and we knew a wooden rocking chair wouldn’t cut it. Searching online, we came across this blush colored swivel rocking chair by Delta Children. We vintaged up the rocking chair by adding an original atomic barkcloth throw pillow that pulls colors from the room.

Believe it or not, the dressers are from Ikea. They are the Busunge style and come in either pink or white. When you purchase them, each dresser comes in two boxes. One box has the frame, and the other has the drawers. So, we got creative and mixed pink drawers with a white frame. We think it compliments the room nicely.

On top of the dressers we have our 1951 Reglor fish lamps. I restored them about five years ago and we absolutely love them. Vintage fish lamps are very hard to find. Continental Art Company made a fish lamp that we’re still looking for. I’ve linked it here.

Because we wanted to make the room as atomic as possible, we pulled in some vintage shadowboxes. The first shadowbox on the left has a similar shape to a Carlo of Hollywood frame. It’s a reversed forced perspective style. Inside the shadowbox are vintage ceramic mermaids and fish by Lefton, Bradley, Gilner & Relco. The bowtie shadowboxes have vintage fish and mermaids by Lefton, Josef Originals and Nameth Enterprises. The amoeba shaped shadowboxes contain vintage mermaids by Bradley. We filled in the open spaces above the figurines in each shadowbox with vintage ceramic bubbles. We used museum max to secure them in place so we didn’t have to nail into the shadowboxes.

Instead of just hanging Autumn’s vintage ceramic fish on a blank canvas, I decided to paint under the sea murals with mountain silhouettes as the backdrop. The first photo showcases vintage fish and mermaids by Deforest, Norecrest, and Freeman McFarlin. The vintage wall fish in the center photo are all by Freeman McFarlin. The vintage shell in the center photo is just marked Japan. The last photo has vintage fish by Deforest, Ceramicraft and a vintage shell marked Japan.

The vintage mermaids on the left are by Freeman McFarlin. The center school of fish are by Lefton. The last photo of the vintage seahorses are by Nameth.

All the above vintage ceramic fish are by Deforest.

The upper left photo showcases our favorite pink vintage wall fish made by Freeman McFarlin. The blue swordfish is also by Freeman McFarlin, and the two small green fish are by Ceramicraft. The vintage angel fish on the upper right are by Deforest. The last photo is a really large mural made up of many vintage ceramic fish by Freeman McFarlin, Deforest and Ceramicraft.

We’re really happy with how the room came together. Unfortunately, we don’t think that the photos do the murals justice. Here are some additional photos of the finished room.

This vintage pendant light was designed by Heiftez Rotaflex.

Milo and Kozmo have taken to Autumn’s new room. We find them sleeping on her bean bag all the time.

 

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Alameda Point Antiques Faire Small Haul

Alameda Point Antiques Faire Small Haul

Alameda Haul

Today, we hit the Alameda Point Antiques Faire.  Mel and I were up around 2:30am to get ready and head out for the faire.  The Alameda Point Antiques Faire opens at 6:00am, and there is usually a line eagerly awaiting to get in.  We were third in line and managed to score a few items for our collection.  Here are our trophies for the day!

Holt Howard Pixieware

Mel was able to snatch up these two pieces of Holt Howard.  These little pixieware jars can get pricey!

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We have tried to kitsch up our kitchen even more than it already is.  When I saw these Holt Howard scarecrow salt and pepper shakers I knew they would look fantastic on our Big Chill cooktop.

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This kitschy ceramic cow bank will look great on top of our fridge!

Cow creamer, S&P

Here are more kitschy cows.

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This is a metal doggie bank.  He is so cute!

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We already have a set of these, but one of them was repaired.  This is a flawless set that will be a great replacement.  These are so atomic!

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Though we do not smoke cigarettes, we love the colors in this set of ashtrays made by Eagle.

Coral Fiberglass Shade

This is a great coral fiberglass barrel lamp shade.

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Mel was able to pick up these fifties wall fish as well.  Ceramicraft produced the fish on the right.  Although we’ve seen the set on the left before, we’re unsure of the maker.

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These vintage hanging seahorses were a great find.  They were produced by Nameth Enterprises.

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These of course will end up in our Tiki room.  They are vintage Bali Tiki headhunter salt and pepper shakers.

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We are always on the hunt for vintage barkcloth, so we knew we had to get this bolt of fabric.

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This is an awesome small pink ceramic bullet planter.  Something that is crazy in the bullet planter world is that sometimes the smaller ones are more valuable than the larger ones.

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Mel and I have really enjoyed staging our rooms such as the kitchen, laundry room and bathrooms.  This set of vintage products will end up in our master bathroom.  We love all the little starbursts!

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I love this novelty shot glass set, it’s fantastic!  The imagery on the original box is so cool.

IMG_0398Mel scored this fantastic large vintage plastic aqua and white purse.

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These speakers look like UFO’s!  They were made by National Home Speaker (model SPT-501) and were mainly used as external speakers for small radios.

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For me, this was the find of the day.  This little record player is in fantastic original condition.  The unit still works, but needs some minor adjustments to fine tune it.

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The green felt on the platter is still soft and the fabric on the front is flawless.

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The cabinet needs a little touch up, but I am so lovin’ this little guy!

Some Cool Things We Recently Picked Up

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The first thing we will showcase are these Sexton cats. We already have a set of these but I think we can manage to have two sets. I need to strip them and repaint them.

Mel managed to acquire a rare set of Freeman McFarlin ceramic fish.

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We managed to pick up two of these really cool Dazor saucer lamps. This one is a greenish color.

This Dazor is a tan/brownish color.

This is a fantastic hanging light. This will look good next to one of our jukeboxes because it has musical notes on it. The cool thing about this lamp is that it has an aqua colored interior, so it looks really cool when lit.

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This Duo Aire fan is a trip! it is both a fan and an ottoman.

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This is a keeper!!!

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This is a really simple rotating ottoman with a magazine rack underneath.

Here is a cool starburst shadowbox.

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Mel and I found this Zombie Village menu at a thrift store for $2! This was a Tiki style restaurant in Oakland, California. I love the image on the front of this menu.

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Not sure how old it is but the prices are soo unbelievable!

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They really knew how to sell the enchantment of the place.

This is a cool bullet planter with a nice stand.

I wish these planters were as cheap as the ad states.

These outdoor speakers are going to be great with our mid-century backyard. I am slowly furnishing our future backyard

The speaker cabinets are made from redwood which handles weather very well.

These speakers have the installation instructions and the original boxes!

These cool 60’s lights will be a hot item in our booth for sure!

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Here are a few pieces made by Mirro Medallion. A complete set of this line is hard to find and expensive. I don’t know if Mel and I are up to the challenge so this may end up in our booth.

This is a set of zodiac glasses. There are a total of 12 glasses with a different zodiac symbol on each glass with a brief description on the back of each glass explaining the traits of that symbol.

Here are just a couple of examples of what each glass looks like. I have never seen glasses like these. It appears that there are also 6 shot glasses but we are missing them from this set.

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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.

Click Images to Enlarge

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