Montrose Park’s Memorial Sphere Vandalized

August 12, 2019

The sphere was installed in 1956 by the Georgetown Garden Club as a memorial to Sarah Louisa Rittenhouse, who lobbied Congress from 1904 to 1911 to buy the Montrose estate for a public park.

Antiques Addict: Buttoned Down With Antique Buttons

June 13, 2019

A perk of collecting buttons is that they can be found everywhere, from garage sales to flea markets and trade shows. They are relatively inexpensive historic artifacts, combining artistic merit and quotidian use.

Trivets Are Hot Collectibles

March 26, 2019

Picture a romantic, snowy evening: fireside, burning logs, shining brass firedogs and a hot iron trivet on the hearth. But, you may ask, what, exactly, is the trivet in that picture? Simply put, a trivet is a metal stand that stood in the fireplace or on the hearth, upon which a kettle or a pot […]

Windsor Chairs: The Democratic Seat

January 25, 2019

Wherever the first Windsor chair came from, in the 18th-century American colonies it became known as the “democratic chair” of the independent American nation. The legend about its beginnings has it that King George II, seeking shelter from a storm, arrived at a peasant cottage and was given a multi-spindled chair to sit on. Its […]

Lots of Variety at Washington Winter Show

January 14, 2019

Like other antiques shows (many of which have deemphasized the word “antiques”), the Washington Winter Show is no longer dominated by brown furniture and folk and fine art.

Artifacts Hint at Halcyon House’s Past

August 30, 2018

On Aug. 21, at the Georgetown Public Library, Jennifer Porter-Lupu, a doctoral student in anthropology at Northwestern University, presented a portion of what she had uncovered.

Samplers: The Artwork of Children

July 11, 2018

In 18th- and 19th-century America, samplers were used as an educational tool for girls from all social backgrounds, but the function of the finished product would differ. The proud parents of a girl from an affluent family might put her sampler in a wooden frame and hang it on the wall to show her skill […]

Match Safes: Hot Items for Collectors

April 18, 2018

From around the 1830s through the 1920s, almost everyone carried the newfangled “strike anywhere” matches to light lanterns, stoves and candles. Proceeded by old-fashioned wood splints — which were dipped into melted sulphur and primarily used to light candles after being ignited from burning tinder — these novel friction matches burst into flame when rubbed […]

The Auction Block: Asia Week 2018

March 15, 2018

Here are several choice lots coming up during Asia Week auctions in New York on March 19 and 22-23.

Salesman Samples: Small Scale, High Value

March 7, 2018

Peddlers hold a special place in early American culture. During the late 1800s and early 1900s, when there were few stores around, the peddler, with his horse and buggy, became a common sight across the United States. Most rural towns had a single general store that typically carried a very limited variety of merchandise. Since many farm […]