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This French Empire-style mantel clock is an example of an elaborately decorated mantel clock made in France during the Napoleonic Empire between 1804 and 1814/15, although clockmakers continued to produce this style of clock well into the 19th century. By the end of the 18th century, French clocks began to be designed in the Neoclassic style, partly due to the popularity of the excavations at ancient Herculaneum and Pompeii in Italy. Clockmakers employed classical designs, allegories and motifs to create their clocks. In the case of the Louis XVI timepieces, they combined white marble or alabaster with gilded and/or patinated bronze. Some models were more architectural with no figures while others displayed classical-style figurines. The fine modeling, gilt, and patina finishes used in these silk-thread pendulum clocks were superb. 
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Manufactured by the Seneca Camera Mfg. Co. of Rochester, New York, this folding Seneca view camera, called the Black Beauty, was one of the firm’s top models. Founded at the end of the 19th century, the company’s management included Frank Day, the former superintendent of the Kodak Camera Works, president, William C. Whitlock, vice-president, and Lorin E. Mason. Seneca managed to get a larger share of the American camera market by producing a series of simpler cameras for everyone, mainly the Scout series of box cameras and rollfilm folders. But serious photographers liked to use its larger view cameras like the Seneca View and Competitor. 
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This Equatorial disk dial, dating from 1800, is a pole-style sundial with a gnomon, the part of a sundial that casts a shadow, inclined so that it is parallel to the Earth's axis and points to the north celestial pole. It’s called an equatorial dial because the dial plate—the surface used to receive the shadow—is a flat disc in the plane of the celestial equator. Equatorial dials can be used at any latitude because the gnomon can be set parallel to the Earth's axis with some adjustments. It features two disks because the Sun is north of the celestial equator half the year and south of the celestial equator the other half. Each dial face, which is parallel to the celestial equator, will only receive sunlight for half the year.

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During Victorian times, people attending country fairs would purchase or receive as prizes little porcelain firgures, called fairings. These ranged from three to five inches tall and depicted a variety of scenes, either domestic, humorous, or political. The figures usually stood on a base on which was inscribed a caption describing the scene or making some point about the figure. Although the majority of fairings were simply decorative, some took the form of useful objects like pinboxes, matchstrikers, or holders for watches or small mirrors. Though most fairings showed one figure doing something, some came in pairs, for example two separate figures a small boy and girl, each dressed in adults' clothing.

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During the mid-18th century, furniture was handmade and expensive, so each piece had to serve multiple uses. This English, large period 18th-century Chippendale drop-leaf table is one such piece. While dining tables usually stand in the center of the dining room today, those in the 18th century stood along the walls or even out in the hall. When a formal dinner occurred, the dining table was brought into the dining room or even the parlor, its drop leaves raised and set for dinner. If only one or two guests were expected, only one leaf would be raised. Wealthier households had two of these tables which could be erected side by side with their leaves open, thus accommodating 10-12 people.
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My Google+ Collection now has 43 posts. Each day I post a photograph of a different antique and tell you something about it. What an easy way to learn about antiques. 
Toleware is a form of decorative metalware that was popular in American kitchens during the 18th and 19th centuries. The craft spread from Europe to the United States during the 18th century. The term tôle comes from the French phrase tôle peinte, meaning "painted sheet metal." In Europe and the United States, this became known as “japanning,” since the process imitated Japanese wares, lacquered black with gold detailing. The British did their toleware on a black background, often with Asian scenes painted in gold. Later, the French began making toleware in other colors with varied themes like flowers. . 
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Toleware is a form of decorative metalware that was popular in American kitchens during the 18th and 19th centuries. The craft spread from Europe to the United States during the 18th century. The term tôle comes from the French phrase tôle peinte, meaning "painted sheet metal." In Europe and the United States, this became known as “japanning,” since the process imitated Japanese wares, lacquered black with gold detailing. The British did their toleware on a black background, often with Asian scenes painted in gold. Later, the French began making toleware in other colors with varied themes like flowers. . 
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Tramp art is a form of folk art made since the Civil War. Using pocketknives, factory workers, farmers, and laborers whittled small pieces of wood, primarily from discarded cigar boxes and shipping crates, into layers of geometric shapes having the outside edges of each layer notch carved, or in the technique of a Crown of Thorns. The art form’s popularity extended from the 1870s to the 1940s. Boxes and frames were the most common items made, although there were no rules or patterns and pieces included objects of every shape and size, including full-sized furniture and whimsical objects. The name "tramp art" didn’t appear until the 1950s, when Francis Lichten coined the term in her book Pennsylvania Folklife, Volume 10 Spring 1959. It had nothing to do with the so-called tramps and hoboes of the Depression years.

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To the untrained eye, this beautiful Wedgwood piece looks like a cake saver, but it’s actually a nine-inch around, six-inch high cheese keep, or cheese stand, in traditional Wedgewood powder blue with cream-colored classical decoration, dating from 1895. Today, most of us keep our cheese in the refrigerator, but before refrigeration, people kept their cheeses in covered containers in the kitchen or dining room. English Victorians loved blue-veined Stilton cheese. Their dinner parties often included cheese in accompaniment of a salad course just before serving dessert. It was important to keep the cheese covered not only to reduce drying, but also to prevent its pungent aroma from permeating the house. Wedgwood was the first to produce a tall cylindrical cover with matching stand that could hold an entire round of Stilton cheese.

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Old cash registers did more than tally up the day’s sales. They were works of art—something sitting on the counter that customers could admire. A saloon owner named James Ritty invented the cash register in the years following the Civil War as a way of preventing his employees from dipping into his profits. And business owners today use similar machines—actually electronically locked cash drawers—for the same reason. Ritty invented the Ritty Model I in 1879 after seeing a tool that counted the revolutions of the propeller on a steamship. With the help of his brother, John Ritty, he patented it in 1883. To learn more about antique cash registers, read my antiques blog, “Ka-Ching!” at http://antiquesqa.blogspot.com/2013/08/ka-ching.html, now in its 8th year.
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