Archive for ‘Things’

April 23, 2013

Portland Hipster Coffee Mug

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I hate to admit it but parodies of Right Said Fred have been running through my brain lately.

Please bear with this momentary foolishness and we’ll return to regularly scheduled sardonicism shortly.

I’m too hip
For this thing that’s
On my lip

It’s Portland
My pants are too tight
and I need a belt
Of artisan whiskey

I like sand
I fly a kite
I’m a friend of smelt
And I’m feeling frisky

I’m too hip
For this thing that’s
On my lip

Great mustaches coffee mug. About 12 ounce size. We’d like $4

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April 22, 2013

Enquiring Owls Want To Know Who (Or What) Is Wisely

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Is Wisely the name of a Spotted Owl? Is the small size of the bank and choice of phrasing a snide commentary upon the decay of the dollar? Is this some sort of retro pop Portland cooler than Coolio inside joke about saving Wesley and given the sad state of the schools they misspelled Wesley?

This much we know: The owls are not what they seem.

About 4 inches tall. It is in perfect condition excepting the lack of contents.

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April 22, 2013

More Le Cruset

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Oddly this piece is in the same finish as another one* we had recently, but from a different source. It measures approximately 10 inches by 14 1/2 inches and it is 3 inches deep.

It seems like it should have had a lid but it doesn’t currently. A bit of foil ought to do the job anyway and then you won’t be limited by western Cartesian worldviews of what will and will not fit in lidded cookware.

In excellent condition.

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* In retrospect I totally botched that one. What I thought were just bits of paper from a label were in fact spots where the non-stick lining had been ripped out by the glue used to attach the original label.  Besides the obvious question of how got by our quality control folks one has to ask what kind of glue did they use? And where do we get some?

April 21, 2013

Du Pont Does Ivory But Not French Ivory

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1920’s era Ivory Pyralin (celluloid plastic*) ‘toilet set’ pieces. These were probably part of a larger set but all that remain are a brush and a tray. The are in good condition with no signs of shrinkage, warping or other age related degradation of the materials. The tray measures 8 3/4 inches across. The brush is about 9 inches long and has 11 rows of bristles suggesting that it is the No. 610 hairbursh or a close relative (p. 29).

Given the passage of time and the loss of pieces we’re willing to split the set.

*Once upon a time in millenia long gone great herds of Ivory Buffalo wandered the plains of France.  At the close of the 19th century scions of industry discovered their ancient preserved remains and created an industry selling the modified ivory as toilet sets, picture frames and novelty souvenirs.

They called the material from which these things were made from ‘French Ivory’.

Of course the great herds never existed and the Ivory Buffalo never had ivory at all and French Ivory was neither French nor Ivory. It was instead an early celluloid plastic.

Not unexpectedly in an era of plain speaking certain people were upset at this possible misrepresentation and so Vigilance Committees were formed to protect “Truth In Advertising”  and a backlash erupted against French Ivory and other similarly named materials (Parisian Ivory, English Ivory), wherein the naming was viewed as deceptive and efforts were made to bring the scions of industrial capitalism to heed.

The Du Pont Companies, being Du Pont companies, found a work around. They named their product Pyralin and used Ivory as a descriptive term for the color. Hence, Ivory Pyralin was born. It was soon followed by Amber Pyralin, Shell Pyralin and their half siblings Ivorytone and Shelltone Pyralin.   Upon coining this clever use of Ivory as a color descriptor, without the overt insinuation that it was actually Ivory (of any sort) the media marketing types entered into a whole-hearted defense of the product.

No one knows for sure if they won or lost as the rise of more modern thermo-plastics made the outcome irrelevant.

April 21, 2013

Mid-Century Modern China Cabinet

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With some pretty awesome glass doors too. The doors are curved and molded/etched into the glass are neat handles. Inside are three fixed shelves. Below are two drawers (one of which is a bit sticky but not too bad) with curved fronts of a slightly larger radius than the glass doors above. The lower part is a large open cabinet with a fixed shelf which can be accessed via three doors.

Atop the piece the edges are sculpted into a fin which runs along the sides and back. The legs are sort of splayed and there is a curved stretcher echoing the curvature of the doors and drawers. The legs are finished with brass ferules and although it appears to be raising one leg or levitating slightly in the picture above that is a by-product of our wonky floors, not of the china cabinet.

It is in good shape and measures about 48 inches wide, 16 inches deep and 64 inches tall.

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April 20, 2013

Great Mid-Century Modern Credenza


This is a really quite fine Rosewood (Palisander) credenza. It was made in Denmark* and measures 71 inches wide, 33 inches tall and 17 inches deep.

It is in very good but not quite perfect condition. The major flaw is a dark-colored water ring on the right side towards the back that is about 4 inches in diameter. This is shown in the slide show below.  There are a couple other minor defects but nothing serious. The left door track is a little off so the upper right corner has a bit of wear although the door still works smoothly. There is a small veneer chip on the back edge of the right side and there is a stain inside one of the cabinets.

These are the slings and arrows of age, the whips and scorns of time but these are far outweighed by bearing these small ills and reveling in the rest of the piece.

Like the sculptural door handles. And the figurative pattern of the doors. And the elegance of the legs.

It is a fine example of the interface of beauty and utility that Scandinavian modern furniture is known for.

Inside the right door there are four shallow drawers with storage space below. Just to the left is another storage cabinet with a fixed shelf. Behind the left door is a large storage cabinet with an adjustable shelf.

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This is at least the second piece in recent weeks for which I have been unable to divine the designer. Not for lack of trying but for lack of luck or skill. I’ve looked at thousands of images in the usual places but with no result. If you know who designed it I’d love to know too.

April 20, 2013

Rustic Farm Dining Table

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Recently made somewhere overseas where labor and old wood is cheap this is another in our long line of rustic reclaimed wood dining tables.

The timbers from which these are made from are reclaimed building materials and recycled wood which is re-milled, made into a table and sealed with a whitewash like finish.

It measures 36 inches wide and 72 inches long. It is in good condition and we got it due a minor defect. In this case there is a little warping and one of the corners had lifted slightly. There is a picture of this in the slide show below.

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April 19, 2013

Measure First, Deliver Second

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The wonderful thing about units of measurement is that they are easily transferred from one place to another, they are generally comparable across space and time.

Sofas . . .not so easily.

Especially when there is no way the sofa will ever fit through the door into the back room of ones old Portland house.

As you may recall from its recent appearance it is approximately 7 1/2 feet long and it is in good condition. To facilitate not moving this piece unnecessarily it measures about 35 1/2 inches tall and 42 inches deep.

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April 19, 2013

Cool Old Desk Lamp

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Great old Flexo desk lamp with vaguely Art Deco or ‘machine age’ lines. It takes two fluorescent bulbs but is currently outfitted with only one bulb. It works well and throws a great pool of light across ones workspace; perfect for illuminating copy of ones plans to try take over the world.

The lamp head is about 19 inches wide. The light arm is comprised of two sections, the lower one is 18 inches long and the upper is 13 in inches long. At what seems like the maximum useable height it is about 32 inches tall, as shown in the picture above it is about 22 inches tall.


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April 19, 2013

Occupied Japan Luncheon Plate

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Made in Occupied Japan (1945 to 1952) featuring bright flowers, gold trimmed edges and moriage trailed slip texture decorations.

This plate is in excellent condition and is marked Chubu China. Chubu is a region in the central area of Honshu. It is 8 inches in diameter.

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