Monday, August 30, 2010

Another Thrift Store Masterpiece

Found this Sunday in an antique mall near St. Louis:

See how she's grasping that pink candle, like she's judging its size? Nuanced! Classy! And those breasts are the definition of perky. I think this might have come from Bob Guccione's yard sale. Here's a better picture of the middle section:

The subtle effect of the candlelight against the dark background evokes Delatour at his height--perhaps even Kincade--while the model with her wistful gaze seems to have wandered in from the saddest, most poignant 16-MM stag film ever made.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Random Scary Images

Scary, Norman Bates-style stuffed Buffalo (Bison bison, for you sticklers):

Scary, decaying mannequin from a mining museum:

Scary Honey Wagon (that's a toilet on rails for use by the miners) from the same museum:

Friday, August 6, 2010

A Nostalgic Latex-Novelty Related Anecdote

From a very old friend who wishes, understandably, to remain anonymous, a remembrance called forth from the past by the Proustian madeleine of my recent Novelty Dispenser posting:

"In 1971, when I was a naive 9 year old, I bought a "French tickler" from a dispenser, thinking it was some kind of novelty candy. Boy, was I disappointed--and bewildered. I mean, what a ripoff for 25 cents. But it had to have SOME purpose, right? So I kept it and put it in my sock drawer, until I could discern its purpose. Over the next few weeks, my father's suspicions were aroused when he realized I was asking a lot of pointed questions of people, including his parents when they came for a visit ("Gramma, do you know what a French tickler is?"). Finally, my dad asked to see what I was talking about.
He asked where I'd gotten it, gave some lame explanation of its purpose (so lame even a naive 9 year old could tell it was bullshit), then took it from me, saying that it was something a young boy shouldn't have.
Imagine my disappointment when I discovered it a few days later while emptying the trash. It was all stretched out and wet. I couldn't understand why he would have lied to me just so he could use it (whatever that use was)--all he had to do was ask me!"

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Move over, Art Snow--F. Dressen's in town!

Another Thrift Store (or "Antique Mall" for you fancy-pants types out there) painting for your amusement and edification, this one painted by one F. Dressen.

I didn't buy it--$95 seemed a bit steep--but I'm starting to regret it. It's at that perfect juncture between competent (Mr. or Ms. Dressen clearly possessed some technical skills) and crazy, and the sad clown's face is rendered well enough that it feels like an actual portrait of some morose Pierrot.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

America's Finest Gas Station Restroom Novelty Dispensers

So here's a souvenir of my trip to Michigan:

Near as I can tell it's supposed to be some sort of balloon. Any of you out there have any theories?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Back to blogging!

All right, summer's winding down. I haven't traveled very much, but I did make a couple of trips to Wichita and one, very brief, to Michigan and Indiana. Here's a trio of photos I found in an antique mall near Benton Harbor, MI (and not far from Niles, MI, home of 19th c. baby farmer and camp follower Mrs. Almira Griffiths!):

My guess is that these characters are meant to be a city slicker and a corn-fed rube, and that one is about to con the other out of a suitcase (not necessarily the one we think). The photographic studio is the Locke Clute company of 79 Washington Avenue in Detroit, and the stamp on the back of the photos identifies the artistes as Leo and Earl James, Singers and Character Change Artists (and get a load of the spooky Burlesque Shroud-of-Turin Effect bleeding through the back of the card):

Finally, here's one of the brothers solo, playing a drunkard:

All three images are marked on the back in pencil: One, "Earl Jake no. 1; "Earl Jake and" and finally just "Earl Jake." Someone who didn't like Leo, or was Leo's real name Jake? Was Jake their real last name? And whatever became of them?

NEXT: Adult novelties sold in gas station restroom vending machines!