Saturday, October 27, 2012

It's A Small World After All...

While surfing the internet I did a search on miniature art. There are some pretty cool and amazing things to behold. Here are just a few:

Can you believe the realistic detail on these tiny creations? Made by
Sharlet Bartholomew of BalooHallow, Sharlet sculpts these babies and baby elves that measure 1-1/2 to 2-1/4 inches long. You can custom order yours on Etsy, specifying baby or elf, gender and other details. Absolutely sweet!

Wondering what to get that Barbie lover on your list? How about a retro 
style handmade steel bed? Visit Etsy seller bonnieblue2 for more information.

How about this miniature scene in a jar - love the airstream! These charming vignettes in a jar can be seen at Etsy seller's CleverLittleton.

Artist Dalton Ghetti hand carved the alphabet onto the tips of the pencils above. Aside from the skill involved in doing that, I also like the graphic (no pun intended) look of the pencils. To see other interesting items Ghetti carved out of pencil lead, click here.

Nikolai Syadristy is a 64- year-old Ukrainian who crafts some of the tiniest art in the world. His work is incredibly tiny - the windmill above is placed inside half of a poppy seed! (Is that possible?) To read more about Nikolai, click here

Friday, October 26, 2012

Antique Cast Iron Animal Figurines

Cast iron animal figurines have a charm all their own. Even though my tastes lean towards modern, I am smitten. These sturdy beauties can serve many purposes other than figural. They run the gamut as bookends, candle holders, door stops, key holders, boot scrapers, door knockers, banks and more. These type of figures can be made of other metal, cast iron being the most durable. How to know for sure if it's cast iron or not? A magnet will hold to it. 

The most reasonably priced of the bunch are figurines alone and the most expensive seem to be the banks, which can fetch a pretty hefty price.

I have the Spaniel below and paid around $10 for it several years ago. Since then the popularity has grown for cast iron figures and I would expect to pay more for it now, maybe $20.00 or more.

Spaniel Figurine, image via Jewels of Yesteryear

This particular pig is a cigar cutter! I'm not quite sure how it works, but I think that tail plays a part. (Perhaps the cigar goes in the snout of the pig and the tail is a lever to cut it?)

Snail Boot Jack, image via Skinner Auctioneers and Appraisers

Owl Andirons, image via estateroadshow

Swan Ashtray, image via Factory 20

image via Rubylane

A collector would like the way this bear bank has most of it's original paint and that would certainly add to it's value. I however, prefer them without paint and like the aged patina of the iron. 

Dachshund Boot Scraper, image via Aileen Minor

Image via Z & k Antiques

This mechanical frog bank would be a coup for a collector or dealer, and comes with a pretty hefty price.

Turtle String Holder, image via anythinggoeshere

Turtle Hotel Bell, image via Ruby Lane

I love this crab! (Wish it was in the budget)

To read about the history of cast iron toys: Antique Antiques

To read about collectible animal figures: lovetoknow antiques

To read about cast iron banks: squidoo or TribStar

To read an informative review by Jay Kerch, Owner of an antique gallery in Vermont: eBay Guide

These smaller cast iron figurines are just a small part of what's out there for cast iron antiques. Expect to find them occasionally in the behind glass cases of a thrift store. You can also find them at estate sales or auctions. Otherwise, look to eBay where you can expect to pay much more and most expensively at an antique store.

My apologies for not posting for awhile, I've had much going on and will try to not have such lapses in between posts.