Montrose Park’s Memorial Sphere Vandalized

August 12, 2019

The armillary sphere in Montrose Park on R Street NW in Georgetown was vandalized earlier this summer, harkening back to 50 years ago. While the sphere — a model of the heavens with roots in ancient Greece and China — …

Antiques Addict: Buttoned Down With Antique Buttons

June 13, 2019

Through their 3,000-year history, buttons evolved from being merely fasteners connecting through a loop of thread to, for a time, miniature works of art.

Ornate buttoning became fashionable among Europe’s wealthy citizens during the 13th century. In 1250, the first …

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 …

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,

Lots of Variety at Washington Winter Show

January 14, 2019

The Washington Winter Show — benefiting THEARC, the Bishop John T. Walker School for Boys and the Founders Board of St. John’s Community Services — returned to American University’s Katzen Arts Center from Thursday, Jan. 10, preview night, to Sunday, …

Artifacts Hint at Halcyon House’s Past

August 30, 2018

The smallest object can reveal a story, if the person handling the item knows how to decipher the past.

Jennifer Porter-Lupu, a doctoral student in anthropology at Northwestern University, is trying to do just that when it comes to the …

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

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 …

The Auction Block: Asia Week 2018

March 15, 2018


Gilt Copper Alloy Shakyamuni Buddha Figure

Khasa Malla, 13th–14th c.

Estimate: $1.2 million – $1.6 million

Auction Date: March 19

Part of Bonhams’ Indian, Himalayan and Southeast Asian Art sale, this Buddha is one of the …

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 …