Pepperbox Pistols Last Line of Defense

When looking at a pepperbox pistol, one can’t help but to conjure-up nostalgic visions of a bygone era―a gambler firing upon a card cheat, a gold prospector protecting his claim against hostiles, or a Civil War soldier pulling a pistol from his boot as a last line of defense in heated battle.   Read more

Hawaiian-Cache- Bottles-Stoneware-Relics-Blog

As I slowly winded my way through the twists and turns of the Hamakua Coast, I relished the cool Hawaiian air. The air was soft; almost silk-like, and it overwhelmed my senses with the tropical smell of sweet grass, fruit, and salt. It was June 2, 2017 and I was on assignment with American Digger Magazine, in search of a story. The magazine arranged for me to meet brothers Brent and Blake Cousins at their home on the Big Island of Hawaii. My assignment was to come away with a story on their bottle hunting escapades. Read more

Nassau Selters

Several months ago, I was invited by Butch Holcombe, the publisher of American Digger Magazine, to join him on a metal detecting trip to historic Augusta, Georgia. As I soon learned, the city is undertaking an aggressive “beautification” plan, in which public and private developers are reclaiming abandoned and condemned properties, tearing down dilapidated houses, and replacing them with new ones. Our mission? To search recently bulldozed lots for historical remnants of the past. Read more

Choosing Fabric for Display Cases

Wondering what type of fabric is safest for your displayed objects? Of all the factors to consider when selecting a fabric for your display case, fiber content is the most important. Certain fibers, such as silk, are naturally acidic and should never come in direct contact with objects. Other fibers may emit harmful volatiles, such as sulfur compounds. Wool fabrics and felts are an example. Wool is also a food source for pests like clothes moths, carpet beetles, silverfish, and crickets to name just a few. Such fabrics should be avoided altogether. Read more

4 questions ask antique dealer

We’ve all been ripped off. And if by some chance you haven’t been, your time is coming! The keys to safe, fun, and affordable antiquing comes down to research, experience, and asking antique dealers the right questions. So what are those questions? First, let me briefly address research and experience. Read more

Civil War Horse Photographer Alexander B Foals

Alexander Barnard Foal (April 1, 1830 – January 16, 1896) was one of the earliest photographers in American history, best known for his spectacular images of service horses, captured during the American Civil War. His photographs, and those he commissioned, had a tremendous impact during the war, and their reverberations continue to be felt today. He and his employees photographed thousands of scenes, including battlefields, camp life, naval scenes, and portraits of some of the most famous military figures of his time, including Winfield Scott, George B. McClellan, George Armstrong Custer, and of course, their majestic steeds. Read more

Dirty Harry's Opinion on Opinions

One of the most rewarding aspects of collecting, is sharing your passion for what you collect with others. Sharing comes in many forms, whether it be on social media, online forums, collectible shows, trade publications, clubs, or simply sharing what you love with friends and family. Most people show genuine interest in what you have to share and are happy to indulge you. On the other hand, we’ve all encountered people that are quick to offer less than flattering opinions about you and/or what you’ve chosen to collect. Read more

What Collectors Can Learn From Museum Exhibit Design

While there are countless genres of things to collect, there’s one common thread that connects them: where and how to display it all! It’s the same dilemma that most every museum struggles with as well. So what can a private collector learn from a museum? I asked myself the same question. Read more

Sordid History of the Term Picker

In the antiques world, when someone says picker, the image of a distinguished, high-end art dealer doesn’t come to mind. Although they serve a critical role within the antiques trade, pickers are often considered to be the bottom-feeders of the industry. But why?

As I’ve come to learn, the term “picker”, and its uncomplimentary connotation, is steeped in the gutters and sewers of history. Henry Mayhew, the author behind the mammoth four-volume study of London Labour and the London Poor, points to two Victorian era (1837–1901) occupations that gave birth to the term “picker.”   Read more

While photographs from earlier conflicts exist, the American Civil War is widely recognized as the first major war to be extensively photographed. Thanks in large part to such photographers as Alexander Gardner, Mathew Brady, and Timothy O’Sullivan, for the first time in history, ordinary citizens could view the carnage of war waged on faraway battlefields. As intriguing as their photographs are, I’ve always found them to be incomplete. They seem to lack the emotion and intimacy of what it was like to be a soldier―both on and off the battlefield. It’s for that reason, that I’ve always been drawn to the artwork created by the men that actually fought the war. Read more