Thursday, December 10, 2009
My Christmas Decorating-Vintage Beaded Fruit
The Christmas tour of my home today focuses on a vignette in my dining room. Here we see my sideboard which is a Regency piece of brass and black marble. Displayed on it are a pair of Chinese blue and white porcelain vases and a pair of brass and black marble candlesticks with English striped paper followers. You also see the pair of Chinoiserie sconces I have posted about before. For the holidays I add this exuberant display of vintage beaded fruit, homage to the style of Tony Duquette. Beaded flowers and fruit date back to the Victorian era and were often displayed under glass. These date from the 1940s to the 1970s. Originally sold in kit form, these were a popular hobby and typically graced kitchen tables, especially at Christmas. Beads came in sequin, glass, or plastic. These are all pinned, with short straight pins holding on the beads. Do not confuse these with fruit with glued on "sugar" or glitter. Some hints if you are starting a collection. Great sources include eBay, Etsy, flea markets, and estate sales. Beaded are more valuable than sequined, but both are wonderful together. You can buy groups of fruit averaging a dollar or two a piece. Don't be concerned if any are missing a bead or sequin. As your collection grows you can steal beads from duplicate pieces you don't need. I have a drawer of extras for this purpose. Watermelon slices and pumpkins are very rare and highly prized, and go for considerably higher prices. Be on the lookout too for vegetables which are quite rare. I have radishes, mushrooms, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions. Click on the pictures to enlarge-the colors are wonderful! All photos are of my collection, except the last from Country Home.