Monday, October 13, 2014

Introducing Cottone Auctions-Great Antiques Besides Toys

Monday, October 13, 2014
Sunny and colder

Introducing Cotton Auctions:
Great Antiques Besides Toys

   I'm always looking for new sources to help me with my writing. I'm sure I haver enough people who have helped me out to continue writing four the next 5 years, but I always an looking. An analogy (comparison) to my quest could be what they say about food here in Montreal- There are enough restaurants here in Montreal  to allow you to eat out day and night for 10 years and never  get tired of finding great food and eating somewhere else all of the time.

  What caught my eye the other day was not a toy but one of my favourite other antique categories - the salesman sample. A salesman sample is an accurate scaled-done (smaller) version of a real item that salesmen would take around a state in the USA or province as in Canada to show potential customers. What I find fascinating about this unique category of antiques is that  they present how an item actually worked  looked. And what is especially alluring to me is the fact that you could actually touch and handle these items and see how they functioned - a real model !  I would call these "real toys for adults".

   What is so fascinating to me is that the salesman's sample represents the great ideas and machines of a country's past and how it helped develop the country. I'm talking mostly about the USA (and Canada), but I'm sure every country around the world has these treasures.

 I am going to add another post just about Cottone Auctions website because it's very well designed for antique searchers. Of course I did find some toys! Items are presented well, there is a clarity and ease of viewing items on the web pages, and the type (writing) is well-sized to read the material. I had written to Cottone Auctions earlier in the week,and received a nice and friendly reply from 
Mr. Matte Cottone  allowing me to use the nice photos on his website. WHen I finish writing today's post, I'll be sending  Matte a thank you, and ask him to read the post and see if there is anything that needs to be chafed or corrected.

  What stood out when I went to Liveauctioneers, then to Matt's company was the first item that you see below - a salesman's sample of an early diving suit. I would like to be able to travel back in time ad see a salesman demonstrating this item in a swimming pool and how the item worked! I am assuming (hopefully correctly) that this special item had to be demonstrated, because it involves the safety of a person under the water.

If you read the description below, you will see that Cottone Auction is auctioning this item on behalf of the Strong.  I have had the pleasure of being able to write about  The Strong, and it's a great resource for any writer of toys.

"The Strong houses the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of historical materials related to play and is home to the International Center for the History of Electronic Games, the National Toy Hall of Fame, the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play, the Woodbury School, and the American Journal of Play. Together, these enable a multifaceted array of research, exhibition, and other interpretive and educational activities that serve a diverse audience of adults, families, children, students, teachers, scholars, collectors, and others around the globe."*
* Description Courtesy of  THE STRONG.

Cottone Auctions was selected to auction items from The Strong. Museums always are buying and selling items in order to update and enlarge their fine collections.I like the head and face of the man inside the helmet of the diving suit.  The diver and his moustache certainly look look like a person from that time period. 

The diving suit and pump are both a salesman's sample, as well as an actual patent model that would be sent to the patent office .

A close up of the diver and the helmet.
This looks very similar to the movie that was made and remade again -
10,000 Leagues Under The Sea by of course, Jules Verne.

 The detail is quite accurate and had to be since the item 
does represent an actual functioning device.

The photo below illustrates the  pumping system that would be used by a person about they water level. Pumpin the levers up and down would send air down to the diver and allow him to breather below the surface of the water.

The item below is also a salesman's sample and a patent model.
Samples such as this would have to be sent to the patent office, along with a special document that was written to illustrate unique designs and parts of the new item, as well as a written description of the item. This was done in order for the Patent Office (USA) personnel to read why the item presented was unique and merited a patent.

At the time of this invention and patent, the world's older cities and newer ones were growing at never before seen rates and sizes. Laws and regulations to protect people living in homes and apartments were behind the development of the cities. there were not yet regulations to provide for the safety of dwellers in their homes for such things as what the the structure was made of, the time that it would take for supporting beams to burn, fire escapes, fire sprinklers,  
and of course fire escapes.

What's fascinating about these antiques is that they are working models.
I would like to be a museum curator in order to be able to "inspect" the diving suit and the portable fire escape model. I use the word "inspect" in a very broad manner.

I like to look at art, but what I like is what I can see and understand. I,m not one to have to read a 10 page narrative explaining what a piece of art that I don't understand is such a treasure to a museum.

The two posters below are great pieces of art and art history. 
they present to the viewer 2 example of transportation that of course were once available. The train of course was used much more at the time, and imagine taking 16 hours to travel from New York to Chicago. Today, you can travel halfway around the world in that time.

It must have been a great experience to have travelled in a Zeppelin at the time.

The material  Bakelite was the precursor (came before) plastics. It was a strong and versatile material that was used in the manufacture of many different products at the time.

What's also interesting is the fact that many common things that we readily have today were in those days beautifully designed by designers. The Sparton (with the letter "O") was designed by 
Walter Teague - a famous designer at the time.

Below is another nicely-desined ratio for that era.
I had trouble getting the 2 composite photos to match up in colour, so please excuse this.
I like the simp[licity and colour of the ratio, as well as the beautiful marbleizing within gut deep blue casing of the radio.

Of course I couldn't add a post without some toys, and  of course I did find some very nice examples at Cottone Auctions.

MANY any toys back then were simpler then that they are today. Of course the times were different. Nevertheless, children did enjoy playing with them, as they do today. What I like about the toy below is that it was hand-made!

I  just realized that I forgot to add the written description 
to the photo below of the 2 toys, so here it is:

Two Clockwork Toys
Paper mache (Papier Mache`) heads. 
Lady with cart, very good. Height 11"  279 mm
Boy on tricycle, spring unwound. Height 10 1/2"   267  mm

Today's photos can be viewed at a much larger size in Blogger's slide view mode.
The detail in the lady's dress is exceptional and must be viewed in a much larger size to appreciate the fine detail and the transparency of the material at the bottom hem.

Once again, the detail in the dress of the lady is most noteworthy. It certainly was hand sewn, and the undergarments of that era would certainly interesting for the time! Of course,the small detail for such a toy in interesting for any collector,and doll collecting a a very big area that people enjoy.

Thanks for dropping by to visit,
and as always,
have a great part of the day or night
wherever you may be,

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