Sunday, January 31, 2010

At Least There Was an Auction

There has been a long freeze on auctions here on the tundra. Its been almost two weeks since I have been to one. Now that doesn't sound like much to most of you but during prime auction season I have been known to attend as many as 5 auctions in a week and I even have been to 5 on a busy weekend.

Dave Miller had an auction in St. Cloud yesterday. I like to go to his auctions so I am a regular. Well it seems that yesterday's auction was the only auction in the entire upper Midwest. I usually know more than 1/2 of the people at a Miller auction and have seen most of the others. Well we forgot to close the doors and get the security checks in place yesterday. The parking lot was full and there were even trucks with South Dakota and Wisconsin plates. All these strangers were at my auction. And they apparently didn't know that they weren't suppose to bring too much money with them. Prices were terrible (for me, excellent for the seller). I just couldn't bid more than retail on most of the items.

I took some random photos of the merchandise and the auction.

I bought these two New Home cast iron pieces. I think that I'll mount them on the wall at Gypsy Lea's for the next sale. Maybe someone will need a house warming gift.
Mr. Flannery's tracks. I had to put down my can of Diet Coke to take this photo.
Dave & Eric extolling the virtues of a railroad lantern. It was marked NYC which they could not decipher. Its from the New York Central Railroad.
This was one of my two favorite items. A wire shopping basket with coffee advertising. One of my fellow dealers bid on it, so I let her have it. I'm just too much of a softie.
Kris really liked this bird cage and the pin ball game next to it. See bought the game but the cage flew the coop.
This is my favorite piece. A Setchell-Carlson radio. I quit bidding at $100. It sold to some stranger for $110.
Kris bought these books in a lot with some other cool items. The red fire helmet is one of hers too. I was on the other side of the room bidding on it and Dave, the auctioneer, said that I may want to look at the other bidder. I let Kris buy the helmet.

Overall it was fun to get out of the house. It was fun to attend an auction. It was fun to get a few fun items. And it was unfun to have all these monied strangers goofing up my auction.
Mr. Flannery

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Views at Flannery Bay

My house on Flannery Bay is frozen into the -10* tundra tonight. I have a sunroom with 24 foot ceilings and 46 windows, including 2 huge stained glass windows from a seafarers' Methodist Church in Duluth, facing the lake. Here are three almost random views from the sunroom showing features of the house.

I use this table as a sofa table. It is solid oak with barley twist legs. The neat thing about it is that the top opens up and slides to the center. It becomes a regular size dining table. Perfect when I need more seating for a 24 person formal sit down dinner that I will never have.

There is a walkway across to the guest bedroom between and above the small dining room and the large sunroom. The rail on one side has to be solid because it covers the truss that supports the walkway and attached bedroom. I put a real horse blanket on it in a decorating binge many years ago. Sometime later I put an old saddle on the blanket. Some of my jardinieres frame the horse motif.

The bedroom at the other end of the horse blanket walkway has three stained glass windows that open like French doors. The stained glass windows are from the now demolished 1905 girl's dormitory at St. Theresa's College in Winona, Minnesota. There are three more windows that match these at other points nearby.

I really liked rebuilding my house. I was able to incorporate a number of antique stained glass windows and other architectural antiques into the design. I will do similar incorporations if I ever build another place.

Mr. Flannery

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Peters & Reed Standard Glaze Pottery

I have collected pottery for years. Right after the gigantic Victorian carved walnut bedroom suite overfilled the one bedroom apartment I decided that something smaller and more portable would be a better collection. Somehow I decided on pottery with an emphasis on Arts & Crafts period American art pottery.

One of my favorite potteries is Peters & Reed of South Zanesville, Ohio. Part of the famous Zanesville area Ohio potteries of the early 1900's that included Weller, Roseville, Owens, McCoy, Robinson-Ransbottom and Zanesville, Peters and Reed (later Zanes Pottery after both Peters and Reed retired) produced a number of very handsome lines of art pottery. I like the looks and the obscurity of the lines. It is good pottery, but mostly unmarked. Many collectors have ignored it because you actually have to work at identification. Peters & Reed used a redware clay which gives most of its wares a subtle red hue.

Rookwood, 1888

Around 1900, standard glaze pottery was the fashion. The above mentioned potteries in addition to Rookwood in Cincinnati and a few other potteries from West Virginia to Denver made these pieces. Most have brownish to greenish backgrounds with subtle floral or even figural designs on top. The Rookwood pieces are the most valued and the figural designs, especially those featuring Indians, are the most desired.

Peters & Reed made line of pottery featuring its variation of standard glaze. It has a high gloss with a brown,beige, green blended glaze and is often called sprigware because of the use of laurel wreath-like multi-colored applied designs.

One of my favorite pieces of Peters & Reed is this huge jardiniere. It has applied lions and a fabulous blended glaze.

The pottery continued into the early 1930's disappearing in the dust of the Great Depression. The standard glaze pieces were produced from about 1900 to 1910 when other designs became more popular.

Mr. Flannery

Monday, January 25, 2010

Some of My Heroes

I used "some" instead of "two" because these are representative of entire generations of women. The first is a magazine dated 1918, women of the Great War generation. The second is the famous Rosie the Riveter representing the World War II generation. My grandmother made wings for B-25's at a plant in St. Paul.

Mr. Flannery

P.S. After reading RNC's comment concerning gramma giving wings to so many I was reminded of the James Magee poem "High Flight". Magee was an American volunteer flying with the Royal Canadian Air Force defending England in WWII before the US entered the war. He composed his poem after testing a new Spitfire Mark V to 30,000 feet. Part of the poem was quoted by President Reagan while memorializing the Challenger astronauts.

Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
. . .
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Visit to the Clip Joint

I ventured out into the crumby weather today to get a haircut. It was 34* with rain, sleet, snow and other crud falling from the sky. The front stairs were glazed over and threatening to act more like a ski jump than steps. I needed to get food into the house before Sunday's football game and decided a haircut would be nice too.

I have a full head of hair. It is mostly grey, but thick enough to go outside at -5* without a hat. I have often said that all I need to do to kick start a diet with an 8 pound loss, is get a haircut. Its been 2 1/2 months since my last buzz so I had a bunch to shed.

I walked into the shop and the woman actually asked what she could do for me. A haircut, maybe. Duh. Forty minutes and 8 pounds later, there was a pile of hair on the floor and she was looking for the bulldozer to clear the floor. Now I can run faster and jump higher.

I have a long history of big spaces between cuts. My father was on his way to Korea on an all expense paid, not completely voluntary trip funded by the U.S. Army. My mother decided that she liked my curly blond hair too much to get it cut.

This is my aunt's dog, Sparky and 3 y.o. Master Flannery (on the right). I kept the butter colored curls until I was 4 and Dad returned to Minnesota. My friend, Patsy O'Reilly, dragged me around the neighborhood after the buzz, showing everyone that "I was really a boy". My mother bagged the ringlets from the floor. When my grandma died many years later in her stuff we found a small box with a Shirley Temple like ringlet of hair in it marked "Peter's curl". I still have that box in my stuff.

Mr. Flannery

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Crisis, Mr. Flannery, Crisis

Here she is. Isn't she beautiful? One of my few vices in life. An ice cold Diet Coke.

There was a crisis here at Flannery Bay today relating to my Diet Coke. A Diet Coke Crisis! I was out. The last can was sitting empty on my desk.

The 12 pack of Diet Cherry Coke was gone. Only its rumpled coat lying in the trash.

The empties were overflowing the recycle bag.

I quickly searched my stash for one more can of the object of my desire. There was a can from the truck. All distended from freezing in the -20* weather.

There was the frozen half full bottle from the beverage tray in the truck, but that will take hours to defrost.

A friend was coming to visit. The owner of the 5 guest cats was coming to change the cat litter boxes. I called. PLEASE bring me a fix. Stop at the corner and buy me a 24 pack. And then I waited. Hours (or 15 minutes) later she arrived. A fresh 24 pack of the necessary elixir. I tore it open. I popped the tab.

I took a long cool blast. AHHHHHHHHHHH!. Crisis averted.

Mr. Flannery

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

But its from a Bar in Wisconsin

I do not have a significant interest in primitive or even shabby furniture for my house. This is a good thing because there is less desire to keep these things and much easier to put them up for sale. Now, after saying that I must admit that I have a primitive table dead center in the middle of my house. It sits in front of the fireplace in the space connecting the open kitchen area to the sunroom with 46 windows facing the lake. It is a bar/game table with battered top and yellow chippy painted legs.

Why does this battered and out of character piece warrant such a place of honor? The table is from a saloon in Alma, Wisconsin. My great grandfather and his father ran a boarding house and saloon in Alma, Wisconsin before they moved to St. Paul. When I heard the history of the table I knew I had to own it.

There is no proof that the table came from my family's bar. In fact, because it is from small town Wisconsin, where there were at least two bars for every intersection and a bar for every 10 people, it statistically probably isn't related. However, I have decided it is my birthright. Why? Because it feels like it is.

So this wreck of a table has a place of honor, on the oriental rug on the primary flow of traffic. I have surrounded it with 4 1930's chrome and plastic bar chairs. I have capped it with a battered Red Wing mixing bowl. It is my homage to family and my only concession to primitive furniture.

Mr. Flannery

Monday, January 18, 2010

Gracie & Willy Aren't Vikings Fans

The home team pulled a surprise and instead of its usual choke in the face of the much hated Dallas Cowboys, it won without any nail biting by the fans. I watched the game, but it is clear that Gracie and Willy are not football fans.

Maybe they would be more interested if the Lions or Jaguars or Bengals or Panthers were playing.

Mr. Flannery
(Damn, there are a lot of Cat teams in the NFL).

Friday, January 15, 2010

A Day at Gypsy Lea's

I spent all day Thursday working at Gypsy Lea's. I remembered my camera so I got a bunch of shots of the merchandise in its initial set up form.

These photos are for Annemarie:

Mr. Flannery