Tag Archives: americana

Flea Market Find: Bradley & Hubbard Inkwell

I love typography and anything that makes print & type and so I find myself collecting letterpress drawers, vintage stamps & pens, and antique inkwells among other things. My mom happened upon this inkwell a month ago at a flea market and I have just now had time to sit down and research more about it.

My only clue was its (very difficult to read) makers’ stamp and model no. on the bottom (pictured below). I have found that when a stamp or brand is difficult to decipher 2 tricks work best: 1) rubbing the stamp with chalk (a trick that worked well here because I could not tell whether or not the Bs in Hubbard were in fact Bs and not Rs.) or 2) paper and crayon (which you would use as you would a grave rubbing).

Here is what I have discovered: This inkwell is in fact a Bradley & Hubbard Bronze Mission Style (or Arts & Crafts) Double Inkwell, model no. 6062.  The company began in Meriden, Connecticut in 1852. Their primary products were clocks; however, they prospered during the Civil War and came to manufacture a vast number of oddities: hoop skirts, measuring tapes, match safes, kerosene lamps, desk accessories (like the inkwell), and hearth necessities (andirons and the like). Their products were carried in many stores, including Sears & Roebuck. To learn more about Bradley & Hubbard, click here.

If you are looking for a Bradley & Hubbard inkwell yourself, make sure you check for their brand: a triangle with a lantern inside. Along the three sides of the triangle is stamped their name: “Bradley & Hubbard MFC. Co.”

A google search for a Bradley & Hubbard Co. Mission Inkwell will reveal several Ebay auctions and antique dealers’ listings. There are a number of these inkwells out there and for a wide range of prices. I have found nearly immaculate inkwells for $450.00 and ones that need a little TLC and elbow grease for $75.00. My mom found mine for a steal—a whopping $45.00. It is one of my favorite flea market finds & acts as both a conversation piece in my home, inspiration for my writing, & a prop for photographing my Steampunk jewelry.

Have you had any lucky finds at your local flea market this summer?

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There’s a Heart in Every Locket!

I love vintage & antique lockets! When I stumble across one at a flea market or estate sale I usually end up buying it. As jewelry, they are often intricate & beautiful and as nostalgic objects, they are both mysterious & romantic. I wonder what torrid love affairs the wearer had or unrequited loves they may have harbored. Lockets seem like they have secrets already inside.

This particular locket came with a mystery–a trademark that eventually lead me to its history. I was able to track down information about W & H thanks to the New York Public Library’s digital archives of advertisements and a few skilled Ebay auctioneers.

The trademark inside this locket, “W & H Co” (pictured below as 1) with a heart etched around it (pictured below as 2), belonged to Wightman & Hough Company who operated out of Providence, Rhode Island.

Wightman & Hough Company made sweetheart necklaces from 1856 until 1922. They were primarily renowned for their lockets. Their slogan, which I find to be quite amusing & sweet, was “There’s a heart in every locket!” How true! Below are 3 of their advertisements:

Though I do not know the exact date of this locket as of yet (sadly, I must wait a long while for an inter-library loan to come through for a jewelry catalog from 1910 to verify thestyle & date of this locket)–I believe it is from the latter period of W & H Co.’s production. The design on the locket is an Art Deco pattern and the stones (which are all in tact) are sapphires which were popular at that time.  For now I know the approximate value of the locket is between $65.00-$250.00 (I paid $12.00 which makes me feel a bit like a Robber Baron).  You never know what you will find & what it is worth until you do a little digging–sometimes you’ve gotta trust your gut! Happy Flea Marketing everyone!

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