The Art of the Collection: Vintage Desk Bells

As all collections do—the gathering begins with one. Often unbeknownst to the person at the time, the item enters their life and for some unknown reason—gives birth—to the collection.

You attempt to deny the yearning—as you coyly place the item of your new found interest in the verrrrrrry back of the cabinet. Committing yourself to forget about it or quite simply to view the obtainment as a single, independent action—never to be repeated again.

And then there were two.

Rationalization follows. The pieces are vassssstly different—one evokes simplicity in clean lines set in brass. The other is a work of artistry—mother of pearl insets, ornate carved bronze, a delicately feminine design.

The questions begin…

“How may I announce my arrival at the front desk?”

How kind and welcoming to offer me a sweet! Your world begins to expand—a candy dish and desk bell combined? Who knew?

Someplace between the quantity of four or five, you sigh, as you softly say to yourself, “It looks as though we have begun a new collection.”

Your taste evolves as it travels with you as you embark upon the discovery of style, function, form, material and size.

Last Sunday while at an antique show I was party to a conversation with a seller advising a “beginner collector” the appropriate way to collect. They explained a collection should begin with a size and a style in mind and to only collect those pieces that fell within that description. The seller further explained, in proceeding in that manner, the collector would be assured that the gathering would display well.

I respectfully kept my opinion to myself. Upon reflection of the conversation (my personal curse) I realized—I believe the precise opposite of those instructions!

Collect what you love, what moves you—inspires you, causes you to wonder, dream or ponder!

Allow yourself the freedom to evolve in your collection! In doing this you will grant your collection it’s very own history and story line. When the collection began and with which piece. Where you were and what you were thinking at the time.

By including varying designs, scale and form into your collection an interesting and unique presentation will be created!

After all—collecting is about love!

Art Lives!


The Art of the Collection: Vintage Plummets

Juxtaposed to yesterday’s article; Linear Thinking…Prohibited! with the fullest intent of irony at it’s core, we wish to share the ultimate in linear thought…The Art of the Collection: Vintage Plummets!

A plumb-bob or a plummet is a weight, usually with a pointed tip on the bottom, that is suspended from a string and used as a vertical reference line, or plumb-line. Truly…it doesn’t get any more linear than that!

In our first article discussing collecting; The Art of the Collection: Vintage Soda Bottles we spoke of the myriad of reasons that one begins to collect. Artistic appreciation—the lines (pun intended,) shape, form or material. Historical perspective—it’s original function, history and the rich stories as we attempt to answer the who, what, when and where.  Other times it is the simple beauty of something or what it evokes in us—at times, it is our memories that becomes the fuel that propels us.

A memory was the key-note in the collection of Vintage Plumb-bobs at Rooster Ridge. With Steven’s original brass plummet that once had belonged to his Dad having spent decades in a toolbox it was at long last brought indoors. The comfort and warm emotions had created the stir to collect more, and so it began—A Collection of Vintage Plummets. Who would have guessed?

Research ensued and the hunt began! It is interesting to see the various shapes and sizes of the multitude of plummets. The variations seem to be dependent upon different factors; the particular use, the age and the country of origin. We have recently added a retro-top-style plummet which came to us from England. Another plummet came from Greece; in order to increase its’ weight while limiting additional expensive brass, lead bearings had been placed inside. We were able to unscrew the top to discover the source of the metallic rattling noise. Yes, they spilled out everywhere…along with some antique Greek dust!

How elaborate the design is, the uniqueness of the shape and the level of sophistication of engineering all became part of our education and discovery.

Some collectors choose to display their collections behind glass, in a fixed and stationary presentation. At Rooster Ridge most of our collections are out, sitting on shelves—and yes, often rolling off them as well! The plummet was held in the hand—cupped by the craftsman and in the case of vintage plummets they have been used for decades. We have found, quite charmingly, our visitors are compelled to do the same, often asking if they can hold them! While experiencing the solid weight one cannot help imagine the particular task at hand when the plummet was utilized. I would venture to guess if one were so inclined, a story could be written for each and every one of them…if only plummets could speak!

Our collections are also used! They have survived to current day and we see no reason to retire them! At times, they carry on in the tradition of their original function. Other times they are used in decorative displays; on mantles and in table settings. Discreetly nestling a row of plumb-bobs amidst beautiful ceramic dishes, flowers and cloth napkins can be an interesting conversation starter! Questions often begin meekly with the obvious direction, as to the beginning of the collection—we have found the transgression to personal stories and memories of people and wonderful things being built follow shortly thereafter.

At Rooster Ridge we find the richness of life often comes in the depth of character of what surrounds us—and always from the beauty that comes to our door—through the hearts and stories of our visitors…or from the stories of those, who at one time, visited us—we miss you Sid!

Art Lives!


The Art of the Collection: Vintage Soda Bottles

The American Heritage College Dictionary, Fourth Edition, defines collection as: 1. The act or process of collecting. 2. A group of objects or works to be seen or kept together. You can stop laughing—yes, I have my daughter’s college dictionary, a physical relic of the past, nonetheless, I choose to perceive utilizing this book as an organic experience of seeking words and definitions. Mind you, I do have spell-check! It’s about balance, yes?!

There are few things more striking than a display of similar objects placed together for viewing. Something about a mass of something, of anything—that calls for, even demands—our attention. Perhaps it’s the representation of the idea of togetherness or the comfort of orderly categories that resonates with both the viewer and the collector. Or possibly, depending on certain circumstances, the oddity or obscurity of the collection!

The attraction to collecting and collections might be found in the common questions a collector often hears; “Why do you collect those/that/them?” “How long has it taken?” Are you still collecting or have are completed your collection?”

We have found that the answers are as varied as the people and the collections! All the more reason to inquire! Please note, it is rare to hear a collector consider their collection “completed.”

History or memories, wishes—even dreams—can play a part in the joy and artistry of collecting. Often, it is more than the just the form or design that attracts a person to a collection. Not all collections are vintage or antique, many collections take place in current day form.

At Rooster Ridge we love The Art of the Collection. Our collections do serve to fulfill an aspect of the need we have to feel comforted by what surrounds us. Interesting items, beautiful colors, textures, design and history all resonating the emotions that bring richness, beauty and joy to our lives.

Art Lives!