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September 2010
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November 2010

A Sad Day for H&H: Ebay Hates Us

I had hoped to be giving you some good news today, but unfortunately I can't. I had been part of the Ebay affiliate program for several years, and had just hired a really excellent web developer to build us a gallery of Arts & Crafts items available for sale on ebay, with links to each item (the developer had previously built a similar gallery system for The Mid Century Modernist). Unfortunatelty, I just found out that Ebay has denied my third application (without explanation) to rejoin the affiliate program, and they won't accept a new application. Coincidentally, that website just received notice that they were no longer welcome as part of the program, either!

My plan was for two content streams here: editorial content on the left, a constant stream of interesting, hand-selected furniture items, metalwork, ceramics and other related items in the Mission Revival and Arts & Crafts styles on the right.

Well, now I have to pay the developer, without the income I'd hoped to have from the Ebay affiliate sales. Hopefully you can all visit our sponsors on the right and maybe that will go a tiny way toward my recouping this loss.

And if anyone else has suggestions for other affiliate programs that carry these types of items (I can't think of any!), let me know.

Finally, I've heard that a number of other blogs and websites that rely on the money they make as Ebay affiliates/partners are also starting to be dropped from the program. If you are a member of their program, beware.

Pasadena's Bungalow Heaven in Photographs

Pasadena, like Santa Barbara and a few other communities in southern California, has a very large number of beautiful, well-preserved Craftsman homes. Home to several Greene & Greene masterworks, the town also hosts an annual Craftsman Heritage Weekend (this year's just ended) which is always worth a visit should you be in the area.

With its combination of typical Southern California sun, wide streets and the overhanging canopy of huge old trees, Pasadena is also a photographer's heaven. Here's a little gallery I'm in the process of building on Flickr.

Chicago Bungalows

In November, I'll head to Chicago for an annual 4-day trip with my father and uncles. We're all big Craftsman fans and fans of interesting American architecture in general, and would love to take a tour of, say, an interesting architecturally-significant neighborhood and/or a few Frank Lloyd Wright homes, or other buildings of note. Any particular suggestions for tours or groups we should contact?

the appeal of the wooden library card catalog

My parents met while students at UC Berkeley and I was born while they were in graduate school; my father stayed on at the university, eventually becoming a faculty member and administrator there. It's no surprise, then, that I spent a lot of time roaming libraries and their stacks.

One of my fondest memories of that time is of the wooden card catalogs that used to document the holdings of the graduate and undergraduate libraries - vast, long room-fulls of tiny little drawers, all in cases polished smooth by generations of student fingers and hands.

Since then, I've always loved these things; it might be that they offer an ideal of secure compartmentalization of everything, with each item having its own correct place, certainly an ideal for a perfectionist like me. Or it could be the inflexible grid that they are designed along, which appeals to my technician side. The grain of the wood, the warmth of it, always seemed to match that beautiful Craftsman finish, the fumed oak look that has become the hallmark of the Arts and Crafts movement.

Whatever the reason, these things are beautiful, and you don't find them in good shape all that often. Certainly, you get them more often than a decade ago, with so many libraries going all-digital, but they're still hard to find.

Here are a few that are up for sale right now:

  • a 60-drawer catalog in Palm Beach Gardens, FL ($300)
  • a gorgeous set of 3 60-drawer catalogs in Minneapolis, MN ($150 ea)
  • an interesting and well-kept card catalog / file cabinet with inconsistently-sized drawers in Minneapolis, MN ($800)
  • a small tabletop 15-drawer unit with pretty brass hardware in Detroit, MI ($299)
  • a "library bureau card catalog" that is actually a refinished/restored printer's cabinet - drawers for type and cuts and sorts (although not full-size type drawers); inclined top for composing - absolutely beautiful! - in Long Island, NY ($900, and a good deal at that price)
  • an "immaculate" all-cherry 70-drawer cabinet with pull-out shelves in Cleveland, OH ($975)
  • an interesting 60-drawer unit, looks like 1930s or '40s design, in San Antonio, TX ($1500)
  • a table-top 15-drawer cabinet with attractive stainless steel or nickel hardware in Milwaukee, MN ($250)
  • A good looking, circa 1930 20-drawer unit on top of a pretty, decorative stand/table in Annapolis, MD ($800)
  • a small unit with large drawers, this 4-drawer piece is rather original, in Sarasota, FL ($145)

Hume Castle in Berkeley, California

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2900 Buena Vista Way in Berkeley, California is home to a rather unique property, one which many local residents don't even know about given its location on a hillside high above street level and the fact that it's almost completely shrouded in olive and pine trees.

Originally built in 1927 for Samuel James Hume and Portia Bell Hume - the former professor of theater arts at the University of California and the latter a pioneer in the field of community psychiatry - Hume Cloister was designed by John Hudson Thomas based on a very specific 13th-century Augustinian monastery in Toulouse, France.

I'll try to get some pictures from the inside - maybe the owners have a few photos they wouldn't mind sharing with us. All I know is that the interior details are pretty incredible - enormous wrought iron chandeliers, a deep wishing well, a beautiful cloister, spiraling stone staircases. It sounds terrific!

There aren't many images of the house available online, and not many other textual references either; this fellow lived in the area and writes a bit on it, and includes some maps and pictures; the home sits on a tract of land known as La Loma Park; finally, Hume may have been involved in this staging of Henry VI, which took place on the property. I'll post contemporary pictures if I can find some!

Rago Arts & Auctions: Highlights


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Rago Arts & Auctions recently updated and enhanced their website, offering a more complete catalog of available "passed lots" - items not sold at previous auctions - as well as memorable highlights from recent auctions. Some amazing stuff, there; kind of neat to see price records for really excellent examples.

The most recent Early 20th Auction was this past Friday, October 1 2010. Some highlights are pictured above.

this weeks' Craigslist finds!

Plenty of gorgeous bits & pieces of furniture on sale around the country this week; here's a rundown of some Stickley pieces that stood out: