I have a small collection of very small weird things, and I figure, since most of it was either thrifted, passed down, or came into my hands in odd ways, it was worth a post.
My title is a bastardization of, of course, a Cabinet of Curiosities which would be far more interesting than my little collection, I had never heard of one of these until I picked up a book in a series I loved by the fabulous Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child – I love many of their books, but of course, the Pendergast series is my favorite. I didn’t realize that people were always collecting odd and rare things, but recently I read that even cavemen collected “unusual” stones and hid them in piles. We’re a collecting sort, we are!
Anyhow, to my collection:
|Still have some spaces to fill!|
Here’s my collection.
One of my favorite pieces is that “bronze” mermaid on the bottom right. That’s actually a butane cigarette lighter that I bought on the street in Rome. When you press a button, her nipples light up and a blue fire shoots out of what WOULD be her crotch if she actually had legs and not a fish tail. The incongruity of a flaming crotch on a mermaid was what sold me more than the light up nips, but the overall tackiness is what made me fall in love. And of course, all the funny looks when I whipped this big heavy thing out of my purse to light my cigarette. I quit smoking over 8 years ago, but I will always keep this lighter, not just because it’s technically my only souvenir from Italy (I lost my other one, an amazing red velvet scarf that I sorely miss), but because it’s still so silly.
That harmonica in the front was my grandfathers. Those three stamps to the left of that are all around 22 cents or cheaper, and for some reason, my grandmother held on to them and they were in her writing desk that I inherited.
|Fancy needles from England, an ancient matchbook from “The Scandia”
a smorgasbord restaurant and an old NYC subway token
I also have a thing for old matchbooks from New York that have the old school phone numbers on them that start with letters (like Circle 6-6608). The Scandia Restaurant is now closed, but a postcard lives on, check out this crazy interior. Naturally, I love anything from NYC considering that I consider myself a New York City transplant even though I grew up 30 minutes from where I now live in Northwestern CT. I still passionately love New York and miss it almost every day– but what I am really missing is the New York of my past. It’s changed a lot and I’m glad I live where I live now, but if I come across a token or any matchbooks or any photos of defunct NYC places, I snap them up. I have been using Pinterest to “Pin” photos of places in NYC that I loved that are now closed, too. Another “collection.”
|Spy camera! See that tiny foil? That’s the FILM, I die over this.|
Ahh, the Hit type C.M.C. spy camera! This is one of my favorites, and was once my mother’s. It comes with this awesome leather case and a wee roll of 18.5mm film. I don’t even want to use it although I have found places online where I can get other rolls of this film.
I think this is such a funky little thing that I can’t believe my (totally square but awesome) Mom had this.
I wish they’d make reproduction of this camera, but make it a digital camera, and I wish it would come with the kicky yellow leather case, too.
Let’s see Clockwise from left:
Bakelite mah jong tile,
Odd brass label plate, don’t know what for
Silly glass mouse pendant
Little wooden mushrooms from that one estate sale haul that netted me a TON of vintage sewing and craft supplies
Heavy metal spider ring with cement in the crevasses – a gift from a boy that I met on the Amtrack from Ft. Lauderdale to Philadelphia – we talked all night and exchanged rings and not numbers because we knew we could never “work” in the real world. I wonder if he still has mine, it was a silver band with leaves and vines carved on it.
And this is my most prized possession. I found this in my grandmother’s writing desk. My grandfather used to smoke and for their anniversary one year Grandma bought him a Zippo, borrowed something with his signature on it and had them engrave his actual signature on the lighter.
I found this after he had passed away and seeing his VERY familiar handwriting dissolved me into tears, I will always miss him! But I do have this!
and to wrap up, here’s:
A Tiny little bucket
A pewter Pegasus “holding” a crystal ball (so groovy)
My goofy mermaid lighter
A TINY Chinese change purse — seriously, I doubt it would hold a quarter.
Finger cymbals from when I attempted to be a belly dancer.
Hard to make out, but next to the finger cymbals is another old matchbook from a NYC Restaurant called “Moby Dick” that is still in existence.
What about you? Do you collect little weird things too? What’s one of your tiny prizes?