You never know what the day will bring. We hit the road on Tuesday to look at a record collection that was part of an estate in Massachusetts. The record collection was vast but in poor condition. However, as is often the case, we found other treasures! Stepping into this house was like a visit to the 1600s. A run-down but fascinating two story home circa 1680. The ceilings were so low, Don could barely stand up. Amongst the animal poop and the stacks of debris, we found a beautiful trencher, 2 antique leather hassocks, and a cobbler’s bench. Then, thanks to our iphone flashlights, I crawled into the eaves and found period clothing including a man’s wool suit & vest wrapped in paper and a wedding dress wrapped in a sheet (circa 1810). It’s always amazing to me to find textiles that have survived in attics and eaves for centuries but it really does happen! Unfortunately, the wedding dress had been a home to some mice but there were lots of other beautiful articles of early ladies clothing in excellent condition. The executor of the estate gifted the wedding dress to me because he couldn’t bare to toss it in the dumpster. So I’ll see what I can do with it!
Don and I spend our Tuesdays and Saturdays on the road picking. Yesterday was spent in an old house in Nashua where we dug out an industrial cart, old metal locker baskets, hardware, lighting, vintage clothing, vintage jewelry, old sports paper (Red Sox programs, sports cards), record albums…and lots more. But the coolest find of all? A vintage Wayne Lynch surfboard! This week, we are off schedule with a Friday house call in New London. (Hopefully we’ll get all of yesterday’s finds sorted and priced before Friday, but this time of year inventory tends to come in faster than we can manage!) So when we say “new inventory daily,” we’re not kidding! Hope to see you soon.
Do you remember the first record you bought? The first concert you attended? Don sure does! His first record: The Beach Boys picture sleeve 45 “Surfin’ Safari” b/w “409” Capitol 1962. His first concert: The Beach Boys with Buffalo Springfield & Strawberry Alarm Clock at the Back Bay Theatre in Boston 1967. Both made such an impression that Don still has the record sleeve and newspaper clipping hanging on his bulletin board!
These cardboard signs were given to customers of ice companies to facilitate order & delivery. The numbers around the edges referred to the pounds of ice needed. Customers simply hung the sign in their window with their requested delivery weight at the top. Based on the direction of the sign in this photo, the delivery man would leave 20 pounds of ice. (Based on the four digit phone number, this sign is probably from the 1920s.)
How did France help us win the American Revolution? By providing the colonists with weapons! Angry with Great Britain after the loss of territory during the French & Indian War, the French Ambassador met with Benjamin Franklin in 1778 to sign The Treaty of Alliance. France provided colonial soldiers with more than 100,000 guns (like the Charleville Musket pictured here). These front-loading muskets took in excess of 2 minutes to load resulting in multiple lines of rotating shooters.
Until you find a broken concrete statue or urn, you might not realize that cement statuary & planters are actual very breakable. Over time, weather can affect the stability of your cement garden antiques making them more susceptible to damage. Prevention is the best approach. If your garden pieces are too big to store for the winter, tip your urns upside down so water & snow can’t accumulate inside and cover your statuary with shrub covers or tarps. But if it’s too late for prevention and you find yourself with broken cement, take heart and head to the hardware store!
Pre-mixed concrete patch comes in ready-to-use tubes. This convenient patch mix can be used as a crack filler or as an adhesive to reattached broken pieces. Over the years, I’ve used this simple mix to fix all kinds of cement garden antiques. As a glue, apply it to both surfaces and brace the area until it dries. As a filler, I use my fingers to blend it–if the color isn’t an exact match, I add dirt or moss and feather the patch out into the rest of the piece.
One of my favorite fixes for furniture scratches is Old English Scratch Oil. As you can see by the photo, I use mine all the time! Essentially, it’s furniture oil with a little bit of stain in it. It comes in several different shades and you just rub it on the surface. If you’re doing a table top, rub it over the entire surface–the oil with color the scratches while cleaning and polishing the entire surface. A great quick fix!
Forget the fancy, expensive, record cleaning products! Here’s an easy and economical way to clean your vinyl (Wingo has been cleaning his records this way for years). Get yourself a can of denatured alcohol at your local hardware store. Put the denatured alcohol, undiluted, into a spray bottle. Spray your record lightly and, using a soft cotton rag (old t-shirts are perfect), wipe in a circular motion with the grooves of the record. Denatured alcohol cuts through the grime without damaging the vinyl.
With gratitude to Tim Sullivan & The Secret Agency of Rollinsford NH, we are happy to welcome you to our new web site! This has been on our “to do” list for a number of years but between construction projects, renovations, the constant flow of new inventory, and our commitment to being open 7 days a week/365 days a year, the web site project has always take a back seat. But no longer! Tim was able to take my “chicken scratch” and turn it into a working web site that represents our esthetic & our vision. And beyond that, he is teaching me how to do it myself! So welcome to the virtual version of RS Butlers! And thank you, Tim!