Victorian Inspired Vintage Pale Yellow Princess Phone (Rotary)

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Crazy about retro & vintage phones? I sure am!

Earlier in the year I found this Victorian Inspired Vintage Pale Yellow Princess Phone (Rotary) at the Rockland garage sale.

Even though I use a cell-phone more these days there is still nothing like a real traditional dial phone.

This same princess phone [as pictured] is being sold in different colours online for between $45-$60.

For the circa 1970’s (some are early 80’s) age this phone is in pretty good condition. It’s all about if it is working condition for me unless it is being used as a prop.

You may see some of these replicated princess phones created in the later days (90’s onwards) in touch-tone (full push button) version.

To my surprise the debut of the push button (touch-tone) telephone actually took place in November 1963. The replacement of the rotary dial phone came before I would of guessed by a long shot. Read more about the rise of the touch-tone.

What I look for when buying an old telephone:

  • How aged is the color?
  • Do the ascent metal surfaces have patina?
  • To look for the age and location made I always looks for a sticker/identifier for some phones it will say Made in Japan (or Made in wherever) and may include a serial number and a label that suggests a date inspected on the bottom.
  • Check to see if the locking pin on the wall plug is loose.
  • Ensure the cord fits nicely into a modern phone jack.

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Find of the week: Vintage (1987) Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus King Tusk Elephant Plush Stuffed Animal (April 28, 2014)

IMG_1909A little background on a Wednesday evening…

I came across this Vintage (1987) Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus King Tusk Elephant Plush Stuffed Animal in my dad’s garage.

It currently retails online between $15-$30 depending on the condition of the stuffy.

King Tusk is deemed [today] as the “The Crown Jewel of India.”

Elephants are my absolute favourite animal so it instantly grabbed my attention however to be frank I am not a huge fan of the circus these days.

When I was a little kid I remember going to the circus once when it came to the Ottawa area. A neighbourhood boy that had a little crush on me took me with him and his parents. I recall a lot of lights, action and blushing. IMG_1910

The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus® has been around for many decades touring around America. Though the circus is still around and has been for many years I do not see a ton of collectibles these days which is why I thought I would share this piece (more detail on my previous find of the week) in a post.

Some other Ringling collectibles include mugs, decals, posters and peanut & popcorn bags.

While on the topic, I recently heard about the human chandelier “hairialists” accident involving nine performers in Rhode Island during a Ringling Bros performance – I wish them a speedy recovery.




Musical Mondays: Catchy and Collectible Vinyl Records

Presentation1Musical Mondays presents,

The top catchy purchases [in my mind] for collectors keen on putting their money in vinyl records. Some of these fetch more than others but they are all good tunes to have in your record player -if you can find them.

1. SEX PISTOLS -God Save The Queen 1977:  This music makes me wanna jump around and play the drums.

2. HANK MOBLEY- Hank Mobley 1957: This Blue Note Label release is jazz at its finest. I never really listened to Hank before this week and now I am hooked on his soulful sounds. What an amazing jazz saxophonist! This is my personal #2 fav.

3. THE BEATLES- Please Please Me 1963:  Come on Come on, Come on, Come on, please, please me and listen to this song. Anything Beatles is very collectible in my mind but this 63 release is the best.

4. WIL MALONE- Wil Malone 1970: Ultra rare. Apparently it was only available for two months. One word, psychedelic. I have a couple friends who would find this their cup of tea.

5. THE ROLLING STONES – The Rolling Stones 1964: Some firm rock sound! Just like the Beatles anything Rolling Stones goes.

6. LED ZEPPELIN -Led Zeppelin 1969: I listened to this full album tonight. Feels like a fusion of heavy rock with the blues. This is my personal #1 fav.

7. BOB DYLAN’S “THE FREEWHEELIN’ BOB DYLAN” album (1963): Some of the best songs ever! This is my personal #3 fav.

8. PINK FLOYD -A SAUCERFUL OF SECRETS 1967: Excellent album! Seems like some solid relaxing music.

9. BLACK SABBATH – MASTER OF REALITY 1971: My dad would be proud to see this one the list! I had to add it. Tonight I listened to the full album via my good friend You Tube and I must say this is some catchy stuff.

10. ACETATE LP by VELVET UNDERGROUND and NICO (1966): Quite interesting music, I must say. Sold for 25K on eBay recently.

Some honourable mentions:

ELVIS PRESLEY’S “GOOD LUCK CHARM” SINGLE (1962) and ELVIS PRESLEY’S “STAY AWAY, JOE” promotional album (1967): If you are an Elvis fan I am sure you have played these songs before.

DR Z -THREE PARTS TO MY SOUL 1971: One of the most rare ” Vertigo Swirls”. Only 60-75 sold. An excellent add-on to any prog rock music collection.

THE OPEN MIND- THE OPEN MIND 1969: This is a great example of the scarce LP. Tons of rhythm.

AGINCOURT FLY AWAY – 1970:  Just 99 copies were ever pressed. Some good piano playing and soft singing here.

MR MAGIC Kazoo’s – DANCE TO THE DRUMMER’S BEAT 1982: Beats, beats and more beats. Some catchy party music.

FRANK WILSON’S – DO I LOVE YOU?” (1965): Some soul!

This is my music list above. Don’t fret if your personal preference didn’t make the list – the list goes on…

P.S Popsike is a superb site to visit to get a better idea of what your records are worth. Happy reading and listening readers!

Good Night,


Find of the Week – Vintage Musical San Francisco Trolley Decanter Bar-ware Set (March 31, 2014)


Musical Monday Presents,

My latest find of the week (posted last week) is this pre-1970 Vintage Musical San Francisco Trolley Decanter Bar-ware Set. I found this cable car music box at a local Value Village store.

At first I thought it was just a pretty showpiece bar set with the value-add being the two decanters, four clear shot glasses and whatever you chose to put in them [chuckles].

I was wrong because the real fun comes when you lift out the decanters and it sings to you. As if drinking was not fun enough! I must of jumped up and down a few times in excitement after realizing this.

A few people said it plays “How Dry I Am” however I am not quite sure. I have to try to listen a bit harder.

Why go to San Francisco (California) when you can drink at home with this little cable car for only $15.00-$29.95?



Part 2: Key Antique Objects Made from Animals and Plants

In my recent post (Controversial Collecting – What on Earth is this object made of?) I touched on the idea that it is worthwhile when you don’t know what you are looking at to really question it or better yet ask someone about its origin.

After all you cannot undo buying something in a market or at a sale as easy as exchange at the shopping mall.

A few years ago I will admit I had an infatuation with collecting all things with an African influence. My entire home was filled with masks, carved knick knacks and a plethora of wooden wonders – you name it, I had it. The Elephant is my favourite animal of all time so anything Elephant in my collection was favoured including gifts I received over the years making reference to the Asian Elephant.

Months ago I recall watching a television show on storage lockers whereby the lock was removed and the people who bought it were astonished to find a bunch of taxidermy animals inside, including a large wild cat. Local authorities immediately had to investigate and rightfully so. Needless to say the contents were not worth what the buyers had hoped. It was a lesson that this kind of collecting can fall into a niche market and the niche is very regulated.

As awareness has been raised globally around the protection of plants and animals I became quite curious to uncover what Antique & Vintage objects may have been made (utilizing these organisms) before certain controls were put in place. It continually shocks me what falls on this growing list.

African & Indian Elephant ivory has been used in many smaller carved decorative objects such as statues. High end piano keys, billiard balls and other musical instruments as well as sports related items also were made of or contained ivory at one point in history. Walrus ivory was also used in the making of small objects while Hippopotamus ivory gained popularity because it does not turn yellow with age. Scrimshaw carvings on the whales’ teeth dating back to the 1800’s were made of Sperm Whale ivory. A few other animals have also been impacted by the use of ivory in ornamental items such as Hogs, Boars and the extinct Mammoth.

The Rhinoceros horn is made of keratin and has been prized for its translucent color when carved and generally assumed healing properties. Meanwhile Tiger parts and products include skins, claws and teeth in the forms of charms, jewellery and various novelty items.

Larger species of Tortoise and Turtle (most noted the Hawksbill Sea Turtle) are associated with tortoise shell accessories. Old brushes, combs and jewellery are on the list as are more new age sunglasses frames. Tortoise shell guitar picks were very common in the twentieth century.

Wild Butterflies in frames, Bird eggs sitting in elaborate encasements and Coral jewellery can most often be found in original form. On a differing noted furniture created by Tropical Hardwoods is also something you can watch out for.

CITES also known as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora is a key player in the protection of plants and animals. Rainforest Relief raised their hand to bring awareness to the improper use of wood.

Next time when you pick up that strange object in the shape of an elephant make sure you are informed. Knowledge is power -I always say. Part 3 will touch on how to better understand real objects from fake objects.


I picture of a Tiger I painted last year. I love Tigers!
I picture of a Tiger I painted last year. I love Tigers!