Mr. Jack Meets the Mummy

25 08 2014

This 1906 postcard features a clever illustration of Mr. Jack, then-famous cartoon character created by Jimmy Swinnerton – a cartoonist whose history you can read about here; during the Mr. Jack years, he worked for the New York Journal. Here, Mr. Jack is shown with an animated mummy case and the witty phrase, “Should auld acquaintance be forgot?”

Mr. Jack postcard

Rest Your Bones

18 08 2014

This vintage postcard shows the striking interior of the Egyptian Room Sun Parlor on the roof promenade of Craig Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Although at first glance the styling looks like any other room from that time period (c. 1920), there are numerous Egyptianizing accents, including the stenciled wall designs and cobra mantle lamps. A lovely place to recuperate after enjoying the boardwalk.

Atlantic City


Arm Candy

5 08 2014

Not all products manufactured in China these days are bad for you. This purse, a souvenir gifted to me by a college friend in 2000, adds pizzazz to any outfit, regardless of lead content. The bronzed plastic exterior is embossed with Pharaohs, chariots, and hieroglyphs that perhaps spell out an incantation against would-be purse snatchers.

purse China  purse China-detail

Refurbish Your Finery

29 07 2014

Barretts trade card“Send your feathers, kid gloves & laces to Barrett’s Dye House, 52 Temple Place, Boston” announces this trade card lavishly ornamented with polychromed Egyptian temple ruins (c. 1900).  Perhaps that is what the Pharaoh in the chariot is doing; he seems in an awful hurry, and willing to slay any who impede his progress, so one can only assume his haste is fueled by a nagging wife in a tizzy to freshen up some crucial wardrobe items prior to an important social event.


Picnic in the Desert

22 07 2014

Have you ever seen an old movie where people are attending an elegant picnic, complete with china, crystal, and servants?  Basically, everything you would have in your dining room (if you were wealthy) except outside?  That’s what this petite plate reminds me of.  Manufactured in the 1920s or 30s, it features a silhouetted scene of camel and pyramid on a rosy purple background, with gilt accents and a glorious overlay of lustre worthy of the most fantastic soap bubble you have ever seen.  The perfect size for a pyramid of petit-fours or macarons, served under the shade of a tent at your favorite watering hole.


2000+ Candles

14 07 2014

133_smallHere is a fabulous birthday card (exterior and interior views) from the 1960s (post Liz Taylor’s depiction of Cleopatra) – I assume sent from brother to sister, as opposed to boyfriend-with-the-unfortunate-nickname-of-Bud to his gal pal.  Appropriately, late.  But at least he remembered to get a card.



The Happy Housewife

3 07 2014

Blu White-smallYou really have to love how manipulative advertising can be.  Exhibit A: this 1940s ad for laundry bluing.  Laundry what, you query?  Nevermind – it was a special extra ingredient that pre-dates Ultra Tide.  Back to the ad – the ‘wow’ factor is bit overused, and one can imagine the harried housewife flipping through her magazine on a long-overdue coffee (or bourbon) break, and perking up in stages as she reads through the extensive laundry list (pun most heartily intended) of promises and perks that this ad claims.  “Makes clothes dazzling, sparkling, with no extra bluing rinse.”  WOW!  “Safe for finest lingerie, even precious nylons” – (remember, there was a war going on and nylon was used solely for war materials – and even after the war, production of consumer goods took about a year to satisfy demand).”  But if superior product performance wasn’t enough of a carrot, the bit of bling you could buy for 25¢ and a box top was sure to do the trick.  “For your very own! A replica of the stunning jewel-piece Vivien Leigh wears in “Caesar and Cleopatra”…replica of actual jewelry given Cleopatra by Caesar to signify his love and devotion. Your Love Token of hope for married happiness, romance, love.”  “Huge, dramatic – over 2 ¼ inches long – it’s breathtaking in its two-tone antique gold-colored finish.”  YAY!  Just the thing for wearing on the night shift at the munitions factory.


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