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January 21, 2014

It's so much fun to wander through a flea market or antique shop,
come across something really odd and wonder, "What the heck is it?"

Today we're going to take a look at a few weird unusual
items that you might not run across every day.

From 18th century England, this sphere is actually a ring that
expands to show the movements of the planets around the sun:
'Cause you just never know when a science lesson will
break out during a conversation?  Or, as Jane Austen
might say, "Great teacher's gift!"

Know what this it?  Here's a hint:  every
18th century gentleman owned one
Believe it or not, this tiny (compared to the penny) object is a perpetual
calendar fob and seal.  To seal a document they'd fold it, drip melted wax
on the seam and use the seal to stamp it.  Each family's seal authenticated
the document.

Here's another type of perpetual calendar:

Produced in the late 1800s, in addition to being a calendar,
it's also a ruler and features the postal rates at that time. 

Never complain about having to lug your
laptop through an airport ever again!
Wealthy 19th century Spaniards carried their desks with them when
they traveled so they had to be sturdy.  This iron-mounted burl wood
vargueno is typical of the style - plain on the outside but with
an intricately carved interior.

My first thought was, "What a beautiful metal berry basket."  It's not.
It's an antique Chinese cricket cage that's actually much smaller than it
appears - probably only about 6 to 8 inches tall.  Crickets.  Who knew?

Aren't these intriguing? 
They're Victorian window sash locks in the Eastlake style.
Wish Lowes had these in stock.

This next item seems harsh but at the
time I guess there weren't many options:
According to the seller it's a Victorian farm animal mouth cage.  

While on the subject of cages . . . . 

Patented in the 1920s in the US but popularized in the UK during the 1930s, the Baby Cage was designed for city dwellers who were concerned that their children were not getting enough fresh air and sunshine.
I’m glad to see that they were thinking of the health of the children first. Bet they painted those things with lead paint, too.
Popular in England in the early 1930's, an outdoor baby cage insured
that your child got plenty of fresh air.  (You're gasping, right?)
And they were probably painted with lead paint.

It's so easy to take our modern conveniences for granted . . . . .

Yup, it's an unopened roll of antique toilet tissue.
I told you today's post would be weird.

Collecting antique medicine bottles is quite popular:
Alcohol, cannabis, chloroform, morphine - today's
pharmacies keep the Sudafed locked up!

Do you have a guess what this is?

It's an antique folding skeleton key.  Hmmmm. . . . .
obviously, an idea that didn't catch on.

But, how cool would it be to have a miniature key gun?

Imagine loading those tiny bullets . . . . . . 

Oh, you Victorians, what an imagination you had:
It's a locket.  But what's hysterical is that it's etched with a drawing
of a Victorian device to simulate the effects of a facelift.   

The only thing certain about this clamp
is that it was patented on July 17, 1907:

Any guesses?  No, it's not a clamp for the Victorian facelift mask.

Unusual circus attractions make for great photos:

Circa 1929, Wall of Death, Revere Beach, MA
This man and woman are performing the Wall of Death - riding
the walls of a silo structure.  And, yes, that is a lion in the side car.

What?  You thought aliens cut the grass at Stonehenge?

Well, we're seen some very odd stuff today.
About the best way to sum up today's post:

Have a great Tuesday.


  1. This is an amazing post. what cool finds!

  2. I loved this post !
    I guessed the cricket cage (crickets bring luck) but thought the "seal" fob was a cigar cutter till I saw the penny.

    cheers, parsnip

  3. Hi Jan
    many pictures are something like fun and freak , such creepy. Anyway , again it's curious , you are good !
    Besides I really enjoy of the circus picture. =D

    hugs from Brazil.

  4. Great history lesson. Thanks. LOL

  5. Have recently discovered your blog. I love the interesting amusing photos you use and your writing style. Wow that baby cage photo made me gasp!

  6. Have recently discovered your blog. I love the interesting amusing photos you use and your writing style. Wow that baby cage photo made me gasp!

  7. Some great finds! My fav being the death ride.....yikes!

  8. Some really interesting items you have found!
    Love the perpetual calendar/seal!

  9. What interesting things you found to show us, loved the perpetual calenders,

  10. I would LOVE to have one of those antique cough syrup bottles in my bathroom -- that's just awesome.