Friday, January 30, 2009

This is why you should always check your child's homework..

Dear Mrs. Jones,

I wish to clarify that I am not now, nor have I ever been, an exotic dancer. I work at Home Depot and I told my daughter how hectic it was last week before the blizzard hit. I told her we sold out every single shovel we had, and then I found one more in the back room, and that several people were fighting over who would get it. Her picture doesn't show me dancing around a pole. It's supposed to depict me selling the last snow shovel we had at Home Depot. From now on I will remember to check her homework more thoroughly before she turns it in.

Mrs. Smith

Thursday, January 29, 2009

You wouldn't let your pet eat from this 100+ year old bowl...

Nope, you probably won't find anyone with a bowl such as this one being used for their pet's dining. That's because this bowl is over 100 years old and was made by a working potter in Middle Tennessee during the 19th century. Commonly referred to as a dog bowl, that was not its only purpose. Bowls such as these were also used as a rabbit feeding bowl, cat bowl, etc. It has a beautiful salt glaze with drippings - I love to see that on old pottery. Pretty hefty in weight the bowl was durable and still is after all these years. It is a highly desirable piece and sought after by southern pottery collectors. It's value is approximately $130.00.

The blue gray circle that you see here happened as a result of the piece being stacked beneath another piece of pottery in the firing process.

We found lots of great things, such as this bowl, on our buying trip this past week-end. We'll talk about some of our finds throughout the week-end and next week and will be adding some of our finds to our website.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Where in the world are we going?.?.?.?.?

Photo credit killer.bee.sting
I wish he/she would start posting again.

We're doing something we LOVE this week-end. We're going "looking", "hunting", "junkin", "antiquing" - whatever you want to call it. Check back on Monday to see what we found - (that is if we find anything). We want something really great to sell!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Hug For Barack Obama

Unbelievably, we convinced our 3 year old granddaughter to bump Dora the Explorer to watch the Inauguration of Barack Obama with us. We told her she was witnessing an historical event that one day she would tell her children about. David got out the camera to take pictures so she would have something as a reminder in the future. We were all on the sofa watching the speech and she seemed to be really listening. She has talked about Barack Obama on several occasions throughout his campaign, as they have discussed the election in her pre-school class. At the end of the speech, as President Obama was greeting the crowd around him, Lila jumps up (this was not prompted) and said, "I'm going to give "Rock" (as she calls him) Obama a hug." She runs over to the TV and hugs him from the screen. Luckily David was still holding the camera, so he captured a great "Kodak moment".

Whether we agree, or disagree with the outcome of this election, I hope that we all, will come together and give a new voice and a new leadership a chance. Let's all embrace (hug) our new president in hope, love, and a better tomorrow.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Three Cheers For the Red, White, & Blue & the Art of Improvisation...

Improvisation, manifested in the form of cultural objects, has long been a favorite of collectors of the folk art genre. It is the maker's interpretation of a response to his immediate environment that provokes the interest. The object takes on the maker's abilities and surroundings, their feelings, and often times, simply the necessity to create out of need. The flag shown here, made in 1900, was likely created for use as a parade flag - its size and the fact that it is mounted to a stick suggests this (perhaps for a Presidential parade - it was an election year). The beauty of the object here, is the makers interpretation of the American flag - completely hand sewn, the maker has included in its construction 2 blue bars, which obviously isn't correct. We have no way of knowing if the maker simply couldn't recall the correct inclusion of the bars or if it was her/his own desire to create a unique work. The fact that the bars are not evenly spaced adds to its folky, make-do appeal.

Dated 1900 Improvisational Make-do American Flag
Constructed of period flag bunting, stars are embroidered
with wool yarn and twine - entirely hand sewn.

Primitive chain stitch dated 1900

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A reminder why spell check is important....

Don't you just love it?!?! Oh... the words of babes.
If only the words we mistakenly use could be taken so lightly.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Interview with Willow at Willow Manor

One of my favorite bloggers, Willow over at Willow Manor seems to have had a tremendous response to her interview requests. I too, think it is a great way to learn more about our bloggie friends. I've only been blogging for a very short time - but it is a great experience. The rules for continuing on with the online "meet and greet" can be found at the end of the interview. I'm looking forward to hearing from you. Here we go....

1. How did you and David meet and also, how did you get started as antique dealers?

David and I met in our hometown, Dyersburg, Tennessee, although neither of us lived there at the time. We were introduced by my cousin - and it was love at first sight - literally. I commented to her (my cousin) that he would be my next husband. I have 2 children by a previous marriage, David had none. So, inheriting a family might have seemed pretty scary for most men. But, David has been the perfect stepfather. My children, and especially my grandchildren, adore him - who wouldn't? As it turned out we actually lived down the street from each other all of our lives but being that David is 7 years younger, I never noticed him. Yep - I'm a cradle robber. David is a saint - I have all these crazy ideas, constantly. He usually goes along with them - great that he does - he has to make them work out - like the time I had him turn a truck bed toolbox into a bathroom vanity. It's amazing - I'll post a pic.

I have been a collector of antiques since I was a child when my grandmother and aunt would drag me along to country auctions. As I grew tired of things that I had collected I would sell them. I opened a small antique shop the year before we were married and afterwards I convinced David to quit his job so that we could open a 32,000 square foot antique mall. We had 125 dealers. It was a Kroger grocery store in its previous life. We ended up opening 4 more stores before we moved back to West Tennessee to be closer to our grandchildren.

2. What is your personal favorite vintage possession?

Over the years as antique dealers, and seeing so much, we often find ourselves loving something only for the moment - there's always something better that we run upon. Of course, there have been times that we insisted that we would never sell some great piece that we had found - but we always did and still do. We don't sell our black & white vernacular snapshots though. We have a wonderful collection and have never talked about selling those.

3. What is your greatest accomplishment?

I am fortunate to have had several accomplishments that I consider great opportunities. Before I was an antique dealer, I was a toy designer. I designed a doll called, The Kool-aid Kid which was a great seller and through the use of that doll I created a program for General Foods to get their Kool-Aid product into non-traditional outlets such as Wal-mart. I also designed a toy called Frog Ball - it was a small round ball - about golf ball size - with legs like a frog. When you bounced it, it hopped like a frog. There were other toy spin offs such as Frogball Baseball, Frogball Stickmitt, etc. At one time it was one of the top ten selling toys in the country. Then David and I wrote a book about antiquing across the U.S. - Leggett's Antiques Atlas which we self published for a couple of years and then Random House published it for a couple of years. I have 2 beautiful children, a boy and a girl. But, my greatest accomplishment is yet to come. When my grandchildren become adults, if I can look at them and see that they are outstanding citizens, respectful of the people and the world around them, and knowledgeable and happy - then that will be the greatest accomplishment of my life. Knowing that I played a part in all that.

4. If you could have dinner with a historical figure, who would it be and why?

God - because I have lots of questions that I need to ask Him about this world.

5. Before blogging, what, if any, was your mode of personal expression?

For 3 long years David and I completely transformed an 1890s Victorian farmhouse. This house was a mess when we bought it. There was plenty of opportunity for personal expression. We opened up rooms, painted the plank floors high gloss black, added some unusual elements to the fireplace hearths, included some non-traditional lighting, planted over 150 plants and blooming trees, the list goes on and on. See the post - December, 2008 - the rescripted house.


1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. (I get to pick the
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview
someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will receive five questions.

(please send me an email when your interview is posted, along with your blog name and URL...thanks!)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

A Found Photograph

For those of you who are just learning a little about us, we thought you might like to know that we collect vintage vernacular snapshots. Of course, the quirky, mysterious ones always catch our eye. We have a rather large collection. We'll post a few over the next few weeks. Below is a spirit photograph probably 1950s that is one of our favorites. I especially love the text that was written on the back.

Even though Gwendolyn had passed away seven years before, she was often seen drifting in and out of her old sedan where her body had been found. (text written in pencil on back of photo), collection of David & Kim Leggett

To see and learn more about spirit photographs, view the amazing online exhibit at Luminous Lint Ghosts, Apparitions, Angels, Spiritual Visitations and Views of the Future, curated by Alan Griffiths. Please take time to read the intro - fascinating information.

Friday, January 9, 2009

A confession... the only time I ever told David a lie..

Betsey Bates, 1956
Paper Doll Illustrator, Painted in 3-D, Oil on Masonite

By now, those who have been reading my posts have come to know that I like things that are a little out of the ordinary. A couple of years ago in Brimfield, Mass., I spotted these portraits amongst the wares of a dealer that I had come to know through many shows - a dealer who always had unique and intriguing things. I was sitting in my booth minding my own business, (David would say that was a rare moment in time or not to be believed) when ... oh... about 100 yards away - give or take alot (I have no sense of distance) I saw these portraits propped up against Mike's van. They sure looked like something I should check out. They seemed rather curious and after contemplating as to whether I should continue this unusual act of minding my own business or being nosey, I .... well you can imagine what happened. I was only going to look, had no intention of buying anything, and besides I really needed to go down and say "hello" to Mike - wouldn't want him to think I was being unfriendly and what would it hurt if I just happened to take a look at his "stuff" while I was there. After all, if I hadn't of looked, it might have caused him to have some kinda weird image complex - like he might think that he had nothing interesting to look at - and I sure wouldn't want him to feel that way, being the great dealer that he is. So, just to be nice - I looked at the portraits. He smiled when he saw my face, he knew I had to have them, and he knew he was about to make a sale! About that time, David, aka party pooper, walks up. I showed him the portraits, explained how much I loved them and wanted to buy them. Can you believe he actually thought I was joking? He reminded me that we had come to sell, not to buy, and particularly not to buy anything to keep. I was just devastated - well maybe that's a little too much drama - but it was close. Well, all afternoon I thought about those portraits. I kept looking at them, longing for them, lusting (well maybe not lusting) for them. David kept a watchful eye. He refused to go to the bathroom or get something to eat for fear that when he came back he would be the proud owner of a pair of portraits. I convinced him that I had to go tell Mike that I wasn't going to take them, I couldn't just leave him hanging. Now here comes the confession.... I told Mike I would take the portraits - but I needed for him to take them home, then I would send a check, and then he could mail them to me. I would figure out what to tell David when the portraits arrived. That gave me about a week to convince him that we should call Mike back and buy the portraits. Of course, when I got home I immediately mailed the check - I was working hard on David at this point because I knew those portraits were coming when Mike got that check. He just would not budge. Weeeeellll... Mike got the check and sent me an email that he had shipped the paintings. I had been checking my email every five seconds for several days after I had mailed the check. You see, we have a blackberry and David has it. If I don't catch the emails on the computer before they come in on the blackberry then David gets them first. I was sweating it - I mean really sweating it. Now, I had to somehow convince him we should buy those paintings or I was just going to have to tell him. One afternoon, about a day before they were to arrive, while sitting out on the front porch I decided to just tell him the truth - so I did. I had never lied to him before in the 13 years - no 14 - is it 13 or 14 - 1995 - 14 this April, since we have been married - except for the teeny tiny one when a tie down strap blew up out of the back of the truck and got wrapped around the drive shaft. When it broke, it flew up and dented the side of the truck. My mother was with me and we acted like we didn't know what happened. But, somehow he knew what had happened. It was my mother who told me to lie about it and it was tiny so it doesn't count - right LOL? I felt terrible telling him how I had gone behind his back and bought these portraits and how I was sorry that I had not told him, and I was just going on and on about it. He started laughing - here I was pouring out my heart to him about how horrible I felt and he was laughing. Can you believe it? When I asked him what he found so humorous about all this, he pulled out the blackberry and said, "I got the email days ago that they are on the way." He never let on that he knew, he loved watching me sweat it out. He really is a wonderful husband, even though he has no appreciation for great art (just kidding about the art thing). I am so laughing right now just thinking about this!

Betsey was a famous paper doll illustrator for McCall's & other
popular publications. Remember the paper dolls that you cut out
of magazines as a child? I'm not sure if these portraits are her own
self expression or if they were a part of her illustrative work. They
are painted in 3-D. Perhaps they were her children.

Monday, January 5, 2009

One of those days.......

Ever had one of those days?
At least we can laugh about it!
Richard C. Bray, Hudson, NY 1973 - From the study - "Found"

Friday, January 2, 2009

IMAGINE - A song of peace ... or is it?

If you were watching the ball drop on Times Square this New Year's Eve you probably heard one of the most popular songs ever written, Imagine by John Lennon. In fact, the song has been heard at Times Square every New Year's Eve since 2006. It is often played as an inspiration of peace. But, was the song really penned to inspire the hope of a more peaceful world? In the book Lennon In America, written by Geoffrey Giuliano, Lennon commented that the song was "an anti-religious, anti-nationalistic, anti-conventional, anti-capitalistic song, but because it's sugar-coated, it's accepted." While Lennon's lyric for peace may never be certain, cultural America has accepted and adapted the words as a symbol of peace by those who interpreted the words to fit their own emotion or cause. Cultural Art Form Circa 1970's interpretation of the popular John Lennon song "Imagine". Used at a Vietnam protest rally in Ohio. Words have been altered to fit sentiments of protester.
Oil on Plywood Board - Vernacular Lettering - 5' 11" tall x 1' 10" wide. Collection of David & Kim Leggett