As staff members at Kovels, we are exposed to thousands of books and catalogs filled with all manner of vintage and antique treasures. We are often asked what we like to hunt for, buy, organize and display and we thought we’d share some of the things we are enthusiastic about.
Terry Kovel is interested in everything antique and vintage but loves finding Holt-Howard pixie pieces for the kitchen; vintage food can labels, banana stickers, and advertising things for the “country store;” and useable flower vases for everywhere else.
Kim Kovel collects lady’s head vases, mainly from California potteries, Russel Wright spun aluminum and Eva Zeisel dishes.
Gay, the “mother of Kovels’ annual price guide,” travels a lot and is always hunting for Christmas ornaments that evoke great memories of many locations in the U.S., Europe, Africa and Asia as well as family events.
Danielle, Kovels’ newsletter editor, has always been fascinated by glass. When she was about 6 years old, her mother took her to see glass being blown. A glassblower gave her a goblet with a dragon stem. She thought it was magical and was hooked. A glass elephant about the size of her pinky finger was next. Her collection consists of a variety of glass – pressed glass from the 1930s along with carnival glass. But she’s most drawn to contemporary functional forms. She says that while her budget is small, she has some great pieces of blown and cased glass. She would someday love to own a piece by Harvey Littleton or Dominick Labino.
Lauren is Kovels’ graphic designer and enjoys lots of collectibles. She loves finding framed images of dogs. Fiesta ware, milk glass and old Pyrex pieces, as well as vinyl records can be found around her home.
Hamsy, our marketing expert, loves everything midcentury modern and Scandinavian in design – furniture, art, ceramics, etc. She owns a few pieces, like a Lane Perception dresser that she uses as a credenza and a knockoff of the “Wishbone Chair” by Hans Wegner. But the pieces she would like to add are the Adrian Pearsall “Jacks” coffee table, and a bookcase and credenza from the Broyhill “Brasilia” collection.
Cherrie looks for old stoneware jugs with cobalt blue designs. She would like to add some Dedham Pottery to her collection.
Erika has a collection of Herend porcelain, the pottery made in Herend, Hungary. She has figurines, as well as a tea set, trinket boxes and trays that her parents brought home after each yearly trip back to Hungary. Herend has sparked her interest in other figurines and she also hunts for Hollohaza figurines – the older ones, she says – at estate sales and online marketplaces, and she now has over 50 pieces.
Tina is drawn to vintage cookbooks and costume jewelry. She loves art glass by contemporary artists like Toots Zynsky and would be happy to start collecting a few pieces.
Renee collects the “City Scenes” mugs from Starbucks whenever she visits a new place. She can pour morning coffee into mugs from Detroit, Indianapolis, various cities in Ohio and Michigan, and even the Bahamas and Spain.
Beverly also collects Starbucks mugs from their international cities series. She would like to collect African-American garden statuary like angels, fairies, gnomes, fisher boys and suns (not mammy or sambo, etc. images) and sends a reach-out to readers – if you find any, “let me know.”
Liz also enjoys Christmas ornaments as well as vintage dishes with winter images like Spode “Christmas Tree,” Johnson Bros. “Friendly Village” scenes with snow, Adams China “Winter Scenes,” and Block “Poinsettia.” She is also always on the lookout for serving pieces that add patterns and splashes of muted red, “Moon and Star” pattern glass, old images of nurses because of her mother, slide rules because of her father, pieces with forget-me-nots because of her mother-in-law, and some pieces of antique Longwy for their pop of turquoise. But what she oohs and ahhs over is beautiful silver from the Arts and Crafts period.
Let us know what you collect!