Occasionally things come into our shop that we wouldn’t normally look twice at when we are out and about picking and hunting for unique antiques, curios and other oddities. Case in point, the collection seen here. Check out the full story below.

If you promise not to tell the local building inspector we’ll let you in on a little secret. Promise? Alright then, we’ve got bugs in our shop! What are we going to do about them you ask? Simple….Eat them! So inspired by their presence I can’t help but put pen to paper and write a little poetry:
The eensy weeny spider
Crawled up the water spout
Down came the rain
And washed the spider out
Along came the cook
And fried the spider up
And the eensy weensy spider
Now became my sup.

 

At the risk of showing my vulnerable side I gotta admit as a kid I was totally creeped out by skeleton keys – not sure if I was alone in this affliction but for some reason or other old keys of this nature gave me the willy nillys! Perhaps it was the rust, the shape, the name “skeleton”, or simply too many spooky bedtime stories about mysterious creaky doors being open with these eerie ornate metal objects.

I am a big boy now and though I still have fears about the occasional  monster under my bed I no long suffer from a fear of skeleton keys (just for my own amusement I going to make up a name for this fear; let’s call is skelekeyaphobia). If you’ve ever wondered where the name “skeleton key” comes from read the story below…

History has is that canteens date back as far as 60,000 years ago; primitive canteens were made from a variety of materials including: hollowed out gourds, ostrich eggshells and animal skin. For hikers, campers, soldiers and field workers canteens were (and still are) a must have for surviving the elements. While it’s believed that humans can live up to 3-8 days without water (depending on physical fitness levels and surrounding environment) the story that follows just might have you rethinking conventional wisdom.

 

With the weather coming and going these past couple of days, cabin fever doesn’t come close to describing the burning fever some of us diggers are going through, so here’s a little teaser to keep stirring those embers.

Late last fall my son and I … well I should be fair… he found the site and then invested better than a day in convincing me it was probably a good site… as it turns out it was incredible.. right in the heart of Dundas… it was a black glass graveyard!

If we dug one we dug literally thousands of broken black glass bottles dating from the late 1700s to the early 1800s … every base different every lip finish unique.. all hand blown and hand finished.. iron pontils, open pontils, glass seals … all shapes and sizes… absolutely phenomenal! In all, 13 whole bottles were brought to the surface along with a cobalt blue American soda! 200 years of history lay on the surface and little more than 4ft deep worth of digging. The boy was a champion while the old man was a bit of a lawn chair athlete, as the black glass bases were so thick and solid it was like digging beach rocks the size of baseballs!

If anyone is interested, we’ll be signing up for real life treasure hunting digs so drop us a note with all your contact info and we’ll introduce you to some real life adventure!

When it comes to collecting antiques and oddities one can never predict the ebb and flow of the market. What was hot yesterday is old news and undesirable today and things that were meaningless a few years ago have suddenly become all the rage. One field of collecting that seems to be holding its own is taxidermy. Granted we don’t get a lot of taxidermy pieces into our little shop, but when we do they don’t last long. Recently we had a mongoose, a couple of owls and a few other pieces and they just flew off the shelf. Taxidermy has come a long way since the Victorian era when it gained an unprecedented popularity. It was used frequently in great interior design, and was a symbol of wealth. Back in the day Victorian naturalists did not have binoculars or cameras and often times their only method for identifying a species was to shoot it and examine it later. By the 18th century almost every town had its only tannery and taxidermy set up. Customers could bring in animals and hides to literally have them “stuffed” with cloths and rags. By the 20th century taxidermists were considered artists-bringing life to the dead by posing and creating realistic settings to display their pieces.

Fast forward to present day where taxidermy has taken on a whole new life of its own. Now before you read on we’ve got to warn you that what your about to read just might creep you out a wee bit; but if you’ve ever had a pet or are a full blown pet/animal lover  it may not seem so strange. One of the fastest growing areas of taxidermy involves preserving our beloved pets. That’s right, time to say goodbye to a room full elk, deer, moose and buffalo heads and time to make room for our beloved Rover, Whitey, Brutus and Fluffy.

For those not too creeped out by the notion check out the following the story of this Missouri based taxidermist who has a 2-month waiting list from pet lovers across the USA.

Antique 4 hole choker style mouse trap

Long before the expression “I am not trying to reinvent the wheel or build a better mouse trap” there was this bad boy – an old wooden 4 hole Choker style Mouse Trap. Kinda like a roach motel, once a mouse checks in, he doesn’t check out. Very industrial. Would look great as home decor or even hanging on a wall! What a great conversation piece! Made of old wood and rusty metal wire! Measures about 4½ inches across.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once predicted that if one could ever build a better mousetrap, the world would beat a path to that person’s door.