A beautiful vintage silhouette makes a perfect Valentine’s present

This antique silhouette tray is a beautiful addition to my collection, and may make for a great collectible for someone else in the future.

My item this week could be used as a gift anytime or anywhere. It is 6¾ inches by 12 inches, and would have been used for a lady’s dresser or cosmetic vanity with a bench: She could put her favorite bath powder on it or possibly her special perfumes. The collector of silhouettes would also be a likely person to also want this perfect example of a vintage and framed perfect treasure.

Many things were especially made and sold for souvenir items or special gifts of sorts. We see new items online that have meaning, too, but something about the vintage items with the unusual character and lines from an earlier era really seems to resonate with many of us who collect things from the past. I am seeing many young people interested in the vintage, but I also find many who are not. They just need to be educated on what it all meant back then and what the item was originally made for. The theory of old mixed with new seems to be popular with the younger set, so we must travel that same direction sometimes in order to keep them interested in the “vintage” items as well as a bit of the new.

Naturally, if I would have had the history on this particular item, it would be easier to talk about it. Gathering information on antique silhouettes makes me stop and think about how people lived back then and what was important to them. The list is endless of items someone may have preferred, and when we talk about the younger folk today and what they may be interested in, we try to combine the wants and desires from each age group. Sometimes we can accomplish just that and sometimes we cannot.

And that becomes our fun game to pursue when talking about antiques and collectibles of all kinds.

When I find an interesting item that could be talked about online or in print, I want to pursue all avenues to try to present an old item in today’s new world. Difficult, yes, but definitely not impossible. And I say that with confidence as I have begun to distribute a few of my things to grandchildren, telling them the story of where and who it came from before I was given the job of taking care of it and treasuring. I hope I will still have a few more years to accomplish even more of that distributing effort!

But back to my treasure in the photo this week. I can see this sitting on a beautiful maple or oak vanity, with a beautiful needlepoint pad on the vanity bench. I can see a pretty little hand mirror placed on it or maybe just a small piece of jewelry lying on the glass top. But, whatever the owner would decide to do with it, I know they would enjoy it tremendously as it ties in with so many other collectible pieces that could be added later down the road.

And, the story continues to unfold into yet another timeline and will be preserved for people to enjoy in the future. The black silhouettes are such a dramatic example on this tray, you travel back in time very easily and see another version of history portrayed in such breathtaking elegance and beauty.

We have seen many auctions lately with so many beautiful antiques and collectibles for sale, online treasures on Etsy and many other sites and we still are able to hunt by fingertip on computer or cell phones. It is a remarkable world out there. We are able to do so many things so much easier than ever thought possible. We do not have to travel if we don’t want to — you can sit back in your favorite easy chair and just go from page to page on auction sites. You can follow easy step-by-step buying programs by punching a few keys on your laptop. But I am still one of those people who loves to actually look and touch and handle if possible, just to make doubly sure it is in good condition.

I recently did just that when a friend’s auction was online, and looked at the items physically onsite and made mental notes of what I thought I could pay for them. I was very surprised when I was able to purchase them and am now enjoying them hanging in my office where I can see them every day.

Yes, I still have a bit of wall space to hang a few things but the floor space is pretty much filled. Along with cupboard space being filled as well. I can only concentrate on an open space on my office wall.

Just another reminder to everyone who might have something vintage they may want to know more about, please come and join our antique and collectible class on Tuesday evenings at Wild Bill’s, 1100 S. Jeffers St., starting at 5 p.m. for your meal and 5:45 p.m. with a review of last week’s items. At 6 p.m., we go over the items brought to class that evening. It is just amazing what everyone has brought through the years. I can almost guarantee there will be a few items you may have never seen before and may never see again. Awesome things have been brought into my classes the past 28 years.

Just a reminder that the Bushel and a Peck antique and collectible shop on 510 E. Sixth St. here in North Platte has been rearranging and bringing in all sorts of beautiful and collectible (and true antiques, as well) items that are just amazing. Open Tuesdays through Saturdays each week, I can almost guarantee you will find something you may like on your first or second or more trips through the shop. Please visit the other great shops here in our city and surrounding areas. You never know what you might find — it could be the best treasure for your collection.

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