By Karen Parr-Moody
GasLamp dealers love dressing up their booths for any holiday; visit during one to find a pastiche of wonderful themed items. This year, for Valentine’s Day, the GasLamp booths are awash in pink and red and filled with everything from vintage Valentine’s cards to pink poodles.
Valentine’s Day is the perfect season for gifting one’s beloved – or oneself – with a piece of glass in ruby red. A wonderful choice would be this set of eight sherbet glasses in the photo, right ($99.99; Booth B-219). These are known as “Boopie” or “Berwick” glasses. The company Anchor Hocking produced them from 1941 until 1968. They are beloved by collectors for their charming “bubble” pattern that encircles the outer edge of each foot of the stemware.
The popular AMC "Mad Men” TV show has been an overwhelming success these past few years, bringing back the fashions of the early 1960s. The show, set in a New York City ad agency, follows the lives of the ruthless and the beautiful. One character is Joan Harris, the sexy, flame-haired office manager, who would look perfectly divine in the red silk dress in the photo, left ($25; S-104). The bodice is tight and the skirt is kept full by two crinolines.
In love with a book lover? Then double the romance by giving her this charming pink poodle book end for Valentine’s Day (photo, right; $24.50; Booth B-118). During the 1950s, the poodle typified the era, its popularity kicked off by the poodle skirt that was created by an actress-turned-designer named Juli Lynne Charlot. It has been a symbol of cheer and romance since.
This 1950s tray is another wonderful ode to the poodle ($24; Booth B-115). It actually tells the funny little tale of Monsieur Pepe and Madame Fifi – Parisians, obviously! They love to spend time on their favorite bench in the Parc de Montsouris, where Pepe reads the French national paper “Le Figaro” and Fifi knits. Nearby, their darling offspring Mimi, Antoine and Pierre, pursue childhood delights. What a fun try for delivering a romantic breakfast in bed!
Valentine’s day was established in ancient Rome with a pagan fertility festival. Around 500 A.D. the day was re-named Saint Valentine’s Day after one or more early Christian martyrs named Valentine. Then, in mid-18th century England, Valentine’s Day became the date for passing “love notes,” the forerunners of modern day Valentine's cards. Victorian “love notes” were first made of lace and paper, but ultimately were produced by factories.
Today, it is still fun to find vintage Valentine’s Day cards at Booth B-115, which also featured them last year (photo, right; $2.50 to $4).
Next to the chocolate and flowers this Valentine's Day, it’s such a joy to find that one-of-a-kind vintage item for one’s beloved. At GasLamp, one will always find such a romantic token of affection. It’s simply a question of choosing just one amid the bounty.