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The Old Curiosity Shop, a novel by Charles Dickens, was printed in a weekly serial called, "Master Humphrey's Clock" around 1825. It is a story about an orphan, Nell Grant, and her devoted, but misguided grandfather.
The Old Curiosity Shop
Grandfather's only legacy for his orphaned granddaughter is his shop of curiosities~ just imagine the best junk shop you've ever shopped! But Grandfather loses his shop and all his possessions by gambling them away.....poor Nell!
Lana and Suzanne now present some of our own Curiosities:
Little Nell is truly devoted to her Grandfather and they both leave under the cloak of night to escape before the loan shark, Quilp, tries to collect on Grandfather's debt. Poor Nell only had time to pack a few of her belongings: Her parent's portraits, a small painting of a birdcage given to her by her dear Mum, and a painted silhouette of Grandfather. And, of course, she couldn't leave her sweet songbird behind....she left her pet with her childhood friend, Kip.
This portrait of Nell is done in pen and ink with a watercolor wash. It has a soft and delicate look to it. The portrait was of a happier time in Nell's life.....she is dressed in her finest and lovingly holds her pet bird in its birdcage.
The pen and ink watercolor is painted on heavy hotpress watercolor paper and is framed in a double frame. Wood has been added to a beveled frame to add dimension and depth. The outer frame is painted in antique white and hand-painted filigree was added for decoration. The inner frame is painted black and has a glass front. The back is covered in paper and the painting is ready for display.
Framed- 13 X 14
$40 (plus shipping)
*SOLD* (thank you!)
Painted in silhouette, Grandfather is seldom seen without his top hat! This painting is done on heavy hotpress watercolor paper and framed in a "antique-shop-found" black round frame. The back is covered in paper and a hanger is attached.
Framed- 4 1/2 in diameter
$28 (plus shipping)*SOLD* (thank you Lisa!)
Mr. and Mrs. Grant~
Nell had parents who passed, leaving her an orphan in Grandfather's care.....so with some "creative" liberties, I've painted Nell's parents:
Nell's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Grant are painted in profile on card, (authentic to the period).
Each is painted in miniature and framed in "antique-shop-found" oval metal frames with ornate
moldings. The frames have glass fronts...which was a really happy find! (the glass is usually broken or missing in these older miniature frames).
Each Framed- 2 1/2 X 2 3/4 inches
Actual painting- 1 1/4 X 1 1/2 inches
$30 (plus shipping)
*SOLD* (thank you Lisa!)
Given to Nell by her mother and carried by Nell along her journey with Grandfather, this sweet little painting is one of Nell's treasures. This miniature painting is done in watercolor on heavy hotpress watercolor. It is also framed in a lovely little ornate metal "found" frame with a glass front. It has a hanger, and I've placed a sage green ribbon on it for displaying.
Framed- 2 1/4 X 2 3/4 inches
Actual painting- 1 1/4 X 1 1/2 inches
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~Trinkets and Oddities~
bits and baubles
An oddity that might have been found in Grandfather's Old Curiosity Shop. The eye portrait possibly originated in the late 18th century as a token of love between two people. A portrait artist would paint the sitter's eye so the sitter could give it to a beloved. These were usually set in a brooch, but sometimes in rings and stickpins.
This lover's eye is painted in watercolor on card and is set in an antique Victorian mourning pin with a glass front. The back of the brooch has a pin and clasp that work well for the age of the brooch. This is a unique piece of jewelry, and definitely a conversation piece!
1 1/2 inches in diameter
Box- 1 1/2 X 2 1/2
Faux Watch Fob~
This curiosity is a mixed media piece! The original antique pin was a drafter's pin, or a pin used by someone who would attach a pencil in the open end so they would have it handy........sort of a "pocket protector" for your favorite pencil, but attached to your lapel instead!
I've painted a "faux" watch face on the front of the pin and with a bail, the lens is attached to the retractable chain in the pin. The chain is in good working condition for its age. Another unique jewelry piece to wear.
A children's toy in the 19th century, thaumatropes had images centered on either side of a disc. String was attached to the disc and when twirled, the eye would see the two separate images combine and make one image.
This is a classic image seen on a thaumatrope. I've used this design as inspiration in recreating this toy from the past. When twirled, the flowers are in the vase. Pretty jewelry caps have been added to the string.
This is an original design of a man and woman painted in silhouette and puckering up for a kiss!
Pretty baubles have been added to the string.
Another classic image.....and when the string is twisted and the disc is twirled, the bird sits happily in the birdcage.
Each hand painted thaumatrope is done in watercolor and sealed for protection......and ready to be twirled!
I love the theme Suzanne and I used for our inspirations this time! I took the idea a little later in time, to the Victorian era. The Victorians were fascinated with nature. They often collected curiosities to place in their glass cases and cabinets to admire and examine. All but one of my items is nature related, showcasing a butterfly, dragonflies, and a bird. Everything is signed and dated Lana Manis 2010.
1. Time is Fleeting Shadow Box ~ 8” high x 5 ¾” wide x 3” deep; full length is 13” including the ribbon. I have painted an old bandbox, lined it with hand painted paper and white watercolor paper for a nighttime winter landscape. Curiosities used to create the enchanting scene include vintage wedding cake topper flowers, vintage flocked paper flowers, a glass glitter bird, silver balls, silver wings, an antique enamel pocket watch face, tarnished silver tinsel, and lots and lots of hand ruched ribbon!
2. Curiosities Cone ~ 11” including the wire hanger; cone is covered with aged pages from a vintage dictionary and filled with brown shredded, crinkled kraft paper; embellishments include a hand ruched ribbon, an antique mother of pearl button, a Curiosities banner, and 3 feathers I have collected (feathers will vary in color and size). You may use the cone to tuck in your own curiosities found on your nature outings.
3. Butterfly on a Tuffet ~ 5 ¼” tall (wire cage only); real butterfly attached with an old amber glass pin (may be removed); tuffet pincushion is made of linen and tufted with an antique mother of pearl button; has vintage ribbon to hang as an ornament but the ribbon may easily be removed.
4. Velvet Pincushion ~ 4” tall; silvery sage green velvet cushion; old metal brown base lined with hand painted paper; 3 old pins.
5. Beaded Dragonfly Pincushion Ornament in Glass Case ~ Pincushion ornament is 2 ½” x 3 ½”; it is made from antique blue velvet and antique silk; I used glass beads for the dragonfly; I have used old ruching ribbon for the trim; a hand made rosette decorates the top where the hanging loop is attached; 2 antique glass head pins embellish this petite curiosity; paper label (signed by me) on back; comes in an old glass and brass display case.
6. Large Beaded Wing Dragonfly Pincushion in Glass Case ~ Pincushion / make-do is about 5 ½” across and 4 ½” tall; I covered the pincushion with vintage linen and dupioni silk; the base is covered with damask silk; the exquisite antique metallic trim is from a dealer in Europe; I embroidered the dragonfly using glass beads and wire so that the wings flutter with the least touch. It comes in a glass and brass display case, carrying on the theme of encased curiosities.
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