Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Sister's Paper Doll, c. 1930s

The artwork in this newspaper doll is unusually adult and elegant -- and the figure itself perfectly attired for New Year's Eve.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Hearty New Year Greetings

100 years of Kewpie

2009 is the 100th anniversary of the Kewpies, created by Rose O'Neill.

New Year's calendar and blotter for 1926

From the Chester Thorpe scrapbook, a little calendar and blotter (a necessity with fountain pens, which were still popular when I was in grammar school in the 1960s).

You can see where Mary Englebreit found her inspiration in the little flowers on the calendar cover itself.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Grace Drayton paper dolls

Colleen Gilbert received these excellent cut Grace Drayton paper dolls for Christmas. They all appear to be from the Dolly Dingle series that appeared in Pictorial Review, starting sometime around 1913 and running through the early 1930s.

The back of these paper dolls shows some of the stars popular back then:

Although Colleen marks these last two as unknown, they also appear to be from the Dingle series, albeit the later years, in the early 1930s when fewer colors were used to save money.

Thanks for sharing these with us, Colleen!

Tillie the Toiler paper dolls, c. 1930s

Red Rose by Tuck, 1903

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Lois paper doll

This is actually a wood doll, Whitman, 1941. I believe the artist is Hilda Miloche.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Greetings and all good Wishes

I found this lovely card in an antique store; it was originally trimmed with gold paste, and you can see remnants of it along the hem, collar and sleeve of the coat, also the hat brim.

Yuletide Greeting

This exquisite little card measures 3 1/2 by 4 1/2 inches. The colors on the blockprint illustration are vivid some 80 years later. The paper is a light brown onionskin, still crisp. Inside, after the greeting, there is a logo of a candle with the initials I.F.C. -- perhaps a guild of artists or printmakers? From the Chester Thorpe scrapbook, c. 1926.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

To Auntie Carrie and Uncle Chester from "Little Lilian." From the Chester Thorpe scrapbook.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Jane Arden paper doll

Wishing you big dividends

For reasons too painfully obvious to enumerate, I'm re-reading parts of The Great Crash of 1929 by John Kenneth Galbraith, which has been cited frequently in news stories of late. Chester E. Thorpe's scrapbook, covering the years 1926-1927, was the calm before the storm, the end of an era that Thorpe and his friends could not see, anymore than we could see it in 2006 or 2007. This Christmas card reflects those heady times, when "big dividends" were part of the happy-go-lucky lexicon, suitable for a Christmas wish. Everything seemed possible.

Pink bridge tally, 1927

A classic tally, 81 years old. This is the companion to Carrie Thorpe's tally shown in the blog header. Chester E. Thorpe notes on his tally that the first prize was silk stockings. Was he indicating that he was the winner, or simply recording the prize for his scrapbook memories? Hmmm.

Grace paper doll

Grace, produced by American Colortype, c. 1920. Mary Young reference book shows many in this series; they were included in packages of Bond bread.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas time in the city

Most Christmas cards evoke a long ago, rural past. That's why I was happen to find a bunch of these Christmas cards in an antique store a couple years ago. This walk-up (apt. building without an elevator) resembles the one where I had my first apartment in Greenpoint, Brooklyn nearly 30 years ago.

Squirrels in the snow

This lovely die-cut card has a little stand to pull out in the back, and no doubt stood on a table or mantlepiece before Chester Thorpe pasted it in his scrapbook, c. 1927.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Metropolitan Theatre program, 1926

This Nov. 13, 1926 movie program shows what an event movie-going was in the early days -- there is a newsreel and a stage show before the film gets underway. And what a range presented on stage: opera, waltz and popular music. Also of note is the back page ad for the new Paramount Theatre in Times Square, N.Y., part of the Publix chain. (The Paramount was gutted in the early 1960s; the facade survives, but the insides are now a Hard Rock cafe.)

I had no idea there was an earlier movie version of The Great Gatsby--made during the era that the novel is set in, and when the novel was still a fresh revelation of its talented author, F. Scott Fitzgerald. From the Chester Thorpe scrapbook.

More Etsy paper dolls

Here are some artists that you may already be familiar with who are selling on Just type in their seller name in the etsy search box:

Theresa Borelli, whose work you may have seen in Sew Beautiful magazine.

geckoartist -- who has posted her lovely work on the yahoo paperdollnewsgroup, I think.

judyspapergoodies (Judy Johnson, of course.)

dmartgal (Denise Martinson, another longtime paper doll artist and friend.)

The following artists are new to me:
Little Whippet restored a vintage paper doll.

A lovely whimsical paper doll by Rachael Anderson.

SweetDoll has Sabrina and others for sale.

A punk cut-out by Piroska.

Shannon Gerard. I'll just show the label, to avoid offending anyone. Mature audiences only! I thought it was pretty hilarious.

Friday, December 19, 2008

More vintage Christmas cards

From the Chester Thorpe scrapbook, circa 1926. Interestingly, these rectangular cards are more like postcards, but were evidently hand-delivered or slipped in an envelope -- they're all blank on the back; some have written a personal message there. All have remnants of glue on the back where Thorpe affixed them to his scrapbook.

Gertrude added on the back: "I trust you have not forgotten this champion bridge player--when sober. Lots of good wishes from Gertrude." Quite an admission to put in writing during Prohibition! But that sentence can be read two ways -- was Chester or Gertrude the one who liked to imbibe?

I've never heard the expression "tin Henry" -- it must have been a popular expression back then, but somehow only tin Lizzie lasted over the years. Reading this card and others, I get the sense that people loved to complain about their automobiles, a way to announce their status as car owners, without appearing to brag too much...

I love this card because it shows people in clothing of the era--cloche hats, rising hems, knickers on the boys--and evokes that homecoming feeling of the season.

Christmas Seals for 1932 & 1935

Found in a Boonton, N.J. antique shop a couple of summers ago.