SHOP WITH US ONLINE
Miller's Old Stuff on Ebay
Donna's Antiques on Etsy

Ron & Donna Miller - Publishers

Publisher Continues To Provide Great Books
To Line Library Shelves

BOOK REVIEW

Freeman-McFarlin miniature fawn on a log.
The miniature animals made by Freeman-McFarlin were often shown on a log. The total height of this fawn and log is just 2 inches.

Schiffer Publishing Company continues to provide collectors with a variety of reference books.

Freeman-McFarlin Pottery, by Nancy Kelly, depicts the wonderful assortment of animal sculptures produced by this California pottery company between 1951 and 1980. It also includes the decorative accessories produced during those years.

The history of the California potteries during the mid-20th century shows the interaction of many of the hundreds that appeared during this time, and the book’s introduction includes some interesting notes on these relationships. For example, Don Winton and Kay Finch, both well-known for their own companies, did some of the design work for Freeman-McFarlin. One of the company’s chief competitors, Hagen-Renaker, eventually bought them. Another pottery from this era, Rio Hondo, was actually started by McFarlin. So when collectors find overlaps in design styles from this era of California pottery, there is good reason for it.

Freeman-McFarlin Pottery, 1951-1980 (ISBN: 978-0-7643-4162-5), soft back, is priced at $29.99. A price guide is included.

***

Early American hollowed log canteen.
There were many styles of canteens in early America. This one is made of a hollowed log with two iron bands and a carrying strap. It measures 10 inches long and 7 inches in diameter.

Going back to the earliest years of our country is Everyday Artifacts, America 1750-1850, by Anthony L. Tafel.

Included are examples of objects that were used for clearing the land, building homes, surveying land, farming, traveling, blacksmithing and cabinetmaking.
The book also includes reprints of ephemera, such as surveying records, baptismal certificates and letters.

Wooden canteens, clay pipes, fire buckets, sled runners - a wide and interesting assortment of everyday objects of early life is included.

An explanatory caption is included with each of the 280 photographs. For example a grease bucket is shown. This lubricant was a mixture of pine tar and grease and was used to lubricate the axles and hubs of early wagons. It hung under the bed of the wagon at the rear. Accompanying it was the wagon jack. When it was necessary to lubricate the wheels and axle, the jack was used to raise the wheel off the ground. The process needed to be performed several times on even a relatively short trip.

Everyday Artifacts (ISBN: 978-0-7643-3361-3) soft back, is priced at $19.99. Note: this is not a price guide.

***

Hahai Wuhti, flat cradle doll.
Hahai Wuhti, a flat cradle doll, a simple image of the Katsina Mother, is given to infant girls as a first Katsina gift. (Katsina are Hopi spirit ancestors or the impersonators in Hopi ceremonies.

Hopi Kachinas, History, Legends and Art, by Ron Pecina & Bob Pecina, is an in-depth portrayal of the Hopi Indians’ culture and religious ceremonies and it is shown through their kachina art.

In the authors’ words, “For more than four hundred years Hopis’ life plans have suffered aggressive infringement by a lot of intruders: Navajo, Apache, and Ute raiders; Spanish missionaries; U.S. Government agents; army surveyors; gold seekers; anthropologists; writers; artists; and tourists. Yet Hopi religious convictions and beliefs have remained unbroken. The Hopis’ spirit beings, the Katsinam, have been a unifying force...”

This book describes the Hopis through historical writings and artistic interpretations. Hopi kachina carving has become a fine art form and the artworks included in this work were created by individuals who were born in Hopiland, and are a part of its culture and beliefs. Also included are examples of Hopi pottery and baskets.

Hopi Kachinas (ISBN: 978-0-7643-4429-9), hard cover, is priced at $49.99.

***

Miami Vice's Dayton Spyder model kit.
A model kit for the Daytona Spyder, from the TV show Miami Vice.

The second edition of Monogram® Models, by Thomas Graham, is an updated price guide on the plastic model kits made by this company since the 1940s.

Thousands of model kits made from 1945 to 1986, including kits for cars, ships, aircraft and spacecraft are described in detail, and illustrated with over 300 photographs.

This is not just a book of pictures. There is extensive text, including information from interviews with company executives, designers, model sculptors, artists (who painted the box art,) and even the salesmen who made sure the kits got to the store shelves.

Monogram® Models (ISBN: 978-0-7643-4424-4), soft back, is priced at $29.99. Values have been updated to reflect today’s market.

***

Sarah Coventy's Silvery Sunburst pin and earrings.
Silvery Sunburst is the name of this set from 1969. The pin is valued at $30; the clip-on earrings are also valued at $30.

Sarah Coventry Jewelry, 1949-2009, by Sandra Sturdivant and Shirley Crabtree, is a fresh look at this popular jewelry line that was sold directly to the consumer through home parties.

Sarah Coventry jewelry was created in 1949 by Bill Stuart, and named after a newly born niece, Sarah Coventry Beale. At this time, Bill Stuart was also president of the Emmons Jewelry company, which was also using a party plan for sales. He believed that competition would boost sales for both companies and so it did.

From an economic standpoint, Stuart was right on target with timing for the start-up of a home party jewelry plan. The women who had worked during World War II were used to earning their own money. Now, returning veterans were replacing them in jobs, and they were looking for ways to supplement their household income. With free jewelry kits, generous incentives, and clever sales techniques, many women were eager to become Sarah Coventry dealers.

One area of confusion for collectors is that the early Sarah Coventry jewelry was not signed. (Both Sarah Coventry and Emmons would sell some of the same items.) It was not until 1963 that the Sarah Coventry name began to appear on jewelry.

The book is arranged chronologically, rather than by type of jewelry. In 1985, the company became a part of Licensing Unlimited and the jewelry was sold through drug, department and grocery stores until 1994. From 2003-2004, it was sold on the Home Shopping Network. A revival of the home party plan was attempted in 2005, but the business closed finally in 2009.

Sarah Coventry Jewelry 1949-2009 (ISBN: 978-0-7643-4214-1), hardback, is priced at $39.99. Values are included for the items pictured.

***

Schiffer books are available from your local bookseller; online at www.schifferbooks.com; phone (610) 593-1777; or email Info@schifferbooks.com.
Donna Miller

Return to Index