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December 1, 2011

The Christmas shopping marathon has begun

For shoppers the internet is The Mall of America times six billion.  I don't think it's possible to visit every merchandise website in your lifetime much less by Christmas!  So, we're going to take a daily online shopping excursion and today's stop is in Brooklyn. 

A great consumer equalizer, the internet allows those of us in small towns the opportunity to browse unique shops halfway around the world or just around the corner.  This morning we're stopping by Erie Basin located at the corner of Van Brunt Street and Dikeman Street in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York.

As posted on their site, owner Russell Whitmore takes a curatorial approach to antique dealing, collecting select 18th to 20th century jewelry and objects with contemporary stylistic and cultural relevance.  Ranging from Art Deco engagement rings to 18th century mourning jewelry to American folk art, the collection is varied but carefully contructed.

Antique jewelry makes me go weak
in the knees and I doubt if there are
many women who don't share this
affliction.  There is no cure.

Gorgeous Art Deco coral bracelet

Knock-offs and faux jewelry have been around since the first caveman made a copy of his fellow cave dweller's bone nose ring.   Paste, as it was referred to in previous generations, is highly collectible and still fairly inexpensive.  Erie Basin has an impressive selection of deco and vintage reproduction pieces in addition to their beautiful inventory of gold, silver, and gemstones.

Now is a good time to review your own personal jewelry collection to see if there might be a gem or stone that could be remounted and given as a gift.  What could be more special than giving someone you love something that you cherish?

Last month I read a quote that was posted on another blog, "Remove everything in your home that you absolutely don't love."

Hmmmm.......well, the dogs are safe.

Seriously?  If I removed everything in our house that I absolutely don't love, Bob wouldn't have one personal item left.  That's not completely true - I would keep his mother's antiques.

Like marriage, decorating is a Compromise Business.  Even if you're single, you have to weigh available space against functionality, beauty, and (unless you're Melania Trump) cost.  Today, more than ever, consumers are conservative with their spending and making wiser choices. 

Their timelessness is one of the reasons that I love antiques and vintage items.  I view myself as a memory keeper for my family.  By safeguarding, restoring, and preserving old furniture, collectibles, and memoriabilia, I am preserving the link to our past. 

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