COLLECTIONS: OPALINE

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One of my treasures given to me by Mark and Linda Heister a vintage gilded green opaline piece with lusters. I sometimes put a pillar candle inside. It is one of a pair and they flank the mantle of the “malachite” fireplace Mark created for me.

A disclaimer before I even begin….you by now know I like to take my own photos for my posts and I am usually pleased with them.  Today is an exception…no apologies just fact, they aren’t my best work.  You see, as I have told you many times, I live in a very small space and each and every surface is covered with collections, books, etc. therefore it is often difficult to stage and capture the exact image I want due to lighting or space limitations…please forgive me on this occasion and enjoy my collection of opaline. I appreciate your indulgence.

Actually, it was my Mother who started this collection.  Again, you know blue isn’t my favorite color, I am a green girl (and yes you will see green in this post!) but my Mother, Ruth, adored anything blue and I adored her so it became a part of our home for many years.  The breakfront I have featured in the past was filled (jammed) with her Bristol blue collection which she had acquired over many years.  One night I came home from work and found the cupboard with a totally different look…she had sold the entire (almost) collection!  Needless to say, I was totally startled and asked why…her answer, it was time for a change.  Understand Ruth would constantly rearrange our home on a regular basis, sometimes weekly, so this wasn’t an unusual occurrence. I, on the other hand, loathe change.  We did keep several pieces and I still have them and treasure them.

imageTwo opaline sconces on one of the walls, this wall is on the side of my French daybed.  You can see a little peek of one of my early needlepoint pieces, actually, Ruth drew the violets (her favorite flower) and I needlepointed it and framed in in an antique frame. Needlepoint with be a multi posting in the future.  These sconces can be put together and form a chandelier.  In my mind, I think we purchased these a zillion years ago at a Lake Forest Antique Show.  They are two of my favorite things.

imageA close up of one of the sconces.

imageA companion chandelier hangs over my desk, where I write nenasnotes.  The cord is covered in shirred apricot silk taffeta.  You can see an oil on wood painting in a distressed ornate gilt frame which I look at each time I sit at my desk, and, of course, books that are on a vintage bamboo shelf, one of many, on my window ledge.  The painting and shelf purchased at the Randolph Street Market. The April market is this Saturday and Sunday, April 29 and 30 from 10 to 5 www.randolphstreetmarket.com.  Perhaps you will find similar treasures, do come and see!

imageThe remains of Mom’s blue collection, some opaline some milk glass most collected many, many years ago others I have recently added, these grouped together on top of one of my Chinoiserie file cabinets.

imageHere a great example of the multitude of shades of blue (not gray!!!) in opaline and milk glass. Both vases are handpainted and again from Randolph Street Market.  The box predates RSM.

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A small lid that is handpainted with forget-me-knots another favorite of the Ivon girls.  The bottom long gone but I thought this was too interesting to trash.

imageAn apricot opaline base for a tiny lamp which sits on top of books, of course, it does! I imagine it was once a vase or candle holder, probably a pair.  It has always been a lamp to me.  The piece to the left is a beaded handpainted fabric and barely visable behind is a portion of a heavily appliqued lace curtain, both from RSM.  My home is mostly green but I have accented it with shades of apricot as well as picking up colors from my paisley shawl collection and the pastels in my vintage Chindia rugs.

imageA vignette of a portion of my green opaline collection. The tussie mussie holder encases an antique lace dollie and silk violets.  Behind it is a collection of candle holders and the water color is from my trip to Russia.  Under all a vintage handmade crazy quilt, another collection.  I have a couple of full quilts as well as many remnants.  All from the Randolph Street Market.  Perhaps this might inspire you to mix and match your collections…as you know Victoriana is a passion of mine and the Victorians always felt more is more!!!!  I most certainly agree. I think my opaline collection is what led me to start collecting Jadeite which I use as my everyday dishes and have posted an image of some of it on my kitchen shelves.  You can find reams and reams of information on Jadeite, (which was cheap as chips when it was first manufactured and now commands very high prices, but you can find all manner of Jadeite at all prices at RSM), but not much on opaline, I couldn’t find a single book on the subject!!!  Do let me know if you know of some.

imageVery unusual color for opaline, a putty, handpainted with my favorite flower, lily of the valley.  The small vase is a celadon green it also handpainted with lily of the valley.  Both are one of a pair.  The larger pair sits on either side on top of my breakfront and the small ones are placed in front of the lusters on top of my fireplace.

imageAnother pair, this time handpainted with beautiful English rose buds, forget me knot and lily of the valley…three of my favorite all on one vase, bonus!  You can barely see the gilt dots at the base and around the top.  They are on either side of the top of the drawer portion of the breakfront and hold dried tree hydrangea.

imageA close up of the painting…I love its three-dimensional effect.  All the above vases I have gotten at the Randolph Street Market and they have been collected over the years.

Please share your comments and what you like to collect, I am thinking of doing a “contest” with the prize being a season pass to the Randolph Street Market….your thoughts!!!???