Thursday, December 30, 2010


This 1950's vintage paper Christmas card holder sits on our diningroom table. My partner Eric's mother Polly would have loved seeing it there.

Monday, December 13, 2010


Christmas Tree #3 is up and decorated in the livingroom with vintage beaded/sequined fruit adorning the mantel. I love Christmas!

Sunday, December 12, 2010


Here's nice addition to my collection - a vintage (1940-50) Fenton peach crest hand vase! Unlike the reproduction crest vases Fenton is now making, the exterior white glass is not iridescent.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Tree #2

   Here's Christmas tree #2 - the small one in the library. It features Old World Christmas ornaments (yes another one of my collections), many which I purchased from Putti on Yonge Street north of Roxborough Street - one of my favourite decorating shops in Toronto.

Even in the Bathroom!

Yes, I even have hand vases in the bathroom! These fine Victorian hand vases are hand painted circa 1885 and were acquired several years ago from Cynthia Findlay Antiques here in Toronto. If you are familiar with Cynthia's shop, you know these did not come at a bargain price. But then, neither did this elegant bathroom - one of my favourite rooms in our home.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


           Yellow is not a common colour of hand vases. I sure wouldn't mind more to add to these eight!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

More Than Just Vases...

The hand motif is not just limited to vases. Here's an unusual Victorian oil lamp (circa 1885) that we bought at an Antique Show quite a few years ago. The hand holding a pinecone (very Canadian) appears to be made from metal and was hand painted. It is still in terrific condition considering its age and fragility.

Monday, November 29, 2010

FENTON vs. DUNCAN Cornucopia Hand Vases

"Daisy and button" hand vases are often referred to as Fenton, but only the three on the left (in the pictures above) were made by Fenton in the 1930's. The two on the right were made by George Duncan and Sons in the 1880's & 1890's. How does one tell the difference? Fenton cornucopia vases have "buttons" i.e. small round designs between the geometric "daisies". Duncan vases do not.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I'm not sure of the age of these particular cased-glass hand vases (according to Marinka Bozzec they could be Victorian) but I love them for their vibrant colours and tightly crimped rims.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Little Chunky

According to the world's number one hand vase expert, Australia's Marinka Bozzec, these three Bohemian vases are known as "chunky hand vases" due to the thickness of the fingers and the inclusion of a puffy Victorian shirt sleeve as the base. I find the smallest of the three, the little chunky, particularly charming.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Green Thumbs?

When it comes to hand vases, I don't have much of a "green thumb" - with only six green hand vases in my entire collection.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Let the Christmas Decorating Begin!

Feather trees were the first artificial Christmas trees. Made in Germany to resemble the white pines of the German forestland, they have wide spaces between their branches that make them great for showing off Christmas ornaments -particularly vintage ornaments. Still today, goose feathers are the feather of choice for feather trees. Goose feathers are wrapped around stiff wire to become the branches of the trees. These branches are then attached to a wooden rod, the trunk of the tree. The trunk is then inserted into a stable base for support. Red or white berries (pearls on my tree) are placed at the tips of the branches.

I was feeling in the spirit today and decorated the feather tree in the bedroom. It features an array of vintage ornaments purchased at antique shows, markets and malls.

Doesn't the beaded fruit on the dresser next to the tree go well with the ornaments?

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Left handed hand vases are extremely rare. This is the only large left handed vase in my collection. It is a green glass Victorian vase - almost translucent in some parts.

Several of my miniature hand vases (see yesterday's photos) are lefties. In the case of hand vases, being left handed is a good thing!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Miniature Hand Vases

                      Above is a photo of my small collection of miniature hand vases.

           These vases (above) were produced by the L.E. Smith glass company.
                       - often mistakened on ebay for candle holders.

                             These charming vases (above 2 photos) were made by Fenton.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Hobnail Hand Vases

 Hobnail (a pattern of raised "knobs" like the old fashion hobnail studs on boot soles) is a popular pattern. I have fond memories of the hobnail collection of a family friend, and so I really treasure the few hobnail hand vases in my collection. The Fenton and Westmoreland Glass companies were the most popular manufacturers of hobnail. Hobnail is still produced today.