Neilson School Maps from 1952

My husband Peter has always been a geography nut!  As a 10 year old in 1952, he saved up his allowance and somehow persuaded the powers-that-be at the Annapolis Royal Regional Academy to procure for him these two school maps, made by Copp Clark and given to schools by the Neilson Company on the condition that the lettering on the map would not be altered in any way.

He was lucky and secured both maps…the one of Canada (which hasn’t changed much) and the one of the world, which has changed considerably since that time.  These maps hung in his bedroom until he went away to university, and have been rolled up for 52 years.  They are in beautiful condition, with bright lithography and strong paper!  Wonderfully decorative and hard to find, they are offered at $110 each.

1950s Neilson's Chocolates Map of Canada. $110

1950s Neilson’s Chocolates Map of Canada. $110

Neilson's World Map. $110

Neilson’s World Map. $110

“Maritime Rose” Spode china

“Maritime Rose” is one of my most favourite Spode patterns.  Manufactured from the mid-50s to the early 70s, its beautiful violet blue colour and hand painted roses make it very collectible.

These pieces belonged to a lovely woman who liked to entertain and did so frequently, so this is all that’s left of her set of dishes, which came to me 20 years ago. The sugar bowl, creamer, water jug, tea cup, saucers and cake plates are all perfect. The teapot has a line crack and a chip at the end of the spout, the salad plate has a tiny flaw, and one of the butter pats has discolouration to the gold trim, but they are still pretty and perfectly useable.

“Maritime Rose” pieces now fetch high prices on replacement china pattern sites. If you collect this, you know what I mean!  Our prices are very reasonable.

Aunt Shirley's legacy

Aunt Shirley’s legacy SOLD

Oriental flair boudoir lamps

These “Oriental” boudoir lamps from the 1940s were meant to go on either side of your dressing table, giving light to each side of your face while you applied your make-up, sitting, of course, on a gorgeous vanity stool!  Although most women today take two minutes to “do their face” in front of the bathroom mirror, these lamps can still add a touch of glamour to your bedroom!

Oriental lady and man lamps. $195

Oriental lady and man lamps. $195

The pair – a lady and her gentleman friend playing the lute – are Plaster of Paris, very nicely detailed and painted in a trendy grey and red combination. The thing that makes them, in my opinion, is the pair of custom shades.  I had ordered these years ago for another pair of lamps, but when they arrived from the fabricator, they just didn’t do a thing for the lamps I wanted to use.  So I put the shades away. Two moves and 10 years later, I discovered them and brought them to the store.

The lamps, with their shades, are priced at $195 the pair. You won’t be finding them anywhere else, so if you need a shot of glamour in a bedroom, on a bookcase or bureau, come on in to Mrs. Nicholson Home and snap them up!

Close up of the Lady

Close up of the Lady

Lamp man

Close up of the Man


What brides wanted in 1950 – silver cutlery


Every post-war bride wanted a piece of the “good life”, and for many that meant what my mother used to call a “canteen” – a beautiful box filled with silver cutlery.  Sterling was the ultimate status symbol, but silver plate was very desirable.

One of the most popular (and most advertised!) new patterns in 1950 was “Daffodil”, made by 1847 Rogers Bros., a cutlery manufacturer originally out of Hartford, Connecticut.

Service for 8 with serving pieces.

Service for 8 with serving pieces.

Today, most brides want practical stainless steel, because it can go into the dishwasher, doesn’t tarnish and can be easily replaced if a piece is lost.  What fascinates me is how perceptions of the “good life” have changed! Silver is still beautiful, doesn’t take a lot of care and has a wonderful sparkle that stainless can’t match.  If you have your silver – either sterling or plate – tucked away in plastic bags, why not get it out and use it?

And if you don’t own any silver cutlery, come and see this beautiful set for eight, in an elegant butterscotch tarnish-resistant Arborite canteen that will look delightful on your buffet! It’s priced at $225.

Lovely box.

Lovely box.



Our new Premier sworn in

To-day, we made history once again in Annapolis Royal, the capital of Nova Scotia from 1710 to 1749!

Newly elected Premier Stephen McNeil brought the members of his cabinet to Annapolis Royal’s King’s Theatre to be sworn in, the first time the ceremony has taken place outside of Halifax since 1923.   Calling our little town “the cradle of democracy”, Premier McNeil made us all proud to live in rural Nova Scotia.

Although not strictly vintage himself, Premier McNeil understands the value of heritage and the strength and beauty of  old-fashioned family ties.  So happy to support him in his work for all Nova Scotians.


Crowd at King's Theatre waiting for our new Premier.

Crowd at King’s Theatre waiting for our new Premier.

Jane with Stephen McNeil, Premier of Nova Scotia.

Jane with Stephen McNeil, Premier of Nova Scotia.

Explaining vintage fabric design!

Tomorrow, Wednesday August 21st at 2pm at Mrs. Nicholson Home, I will be giving a free talk about vintage fabric, discussing how architecture, technology, isolationism and the movies influenced North American fabric design.

The emphasis will be on barkcloth – my favourite fabric!

Here I am holding a piece of 1930s “columnar” barkcloth (the mauve fabric) and a piece of 1950s “Oriental” barkcloth (the green). In between, on the screen, is a  1940s “tropical” pattern in vibrant yellow and red on a grey background.

Hope to see you!


Holding up some vintage barkcloth pieces in front of a three-panelled screen with vintage barkcloth as well.

Holding up some vintage barkcloth pieces in front of a three-panelled screen with vintage barkcloth as well.



Butterscotch beauties!

What a fabulous look!

Hard to find pair of  “butterscotch”  Formica step-up sofa tables from the 1950s in extraordinary condition.

Don’t they look terrific with these wonderful 1950s ceramic lamps?

We love this creamy combination – so suitable for the modern home…

Buttersctoch step-up sofa tables in perfect condition. ($175 pair) Black and grey 1950s lamp pair. Rewired with new shades. ($225 pair)

Buttersctoch step-up sofa tables in perfect condition. ($175 pair)
Black and grey 1950s lamp pair. Rewired with new shades. ($225 pair)

Glamourize your workspace!

Take a leaf out of Hollywood decorator Mary McDonald’s book “The Allure of Style”. We did!

On her office desk, Mary has used a vintage silver tea set to corral all her office supplies. At Mrs. Nicholson home, we have put our pens in the teapot, paperclips in the sugar bowl and our business cards in the creamer. You get the picture!

Glamourize your workspace!

Vintage tea set as a glamourous office set! ($65)

Vintage tea set as a glamourous office set! ($65)

Mirror, mirror on the floor!

Glamour at the front door never looked so good!  Never mind that you don’t live in Hollywood….your umbrellas and walking sticks can!

This stunning 1950s umbrella stand was made of hundreds of tiny rectangles of mirror, likely by the Imperial Glass and Mirror Company out of Chicago, Illinois, who specialized in glass, but made decorative accessories as the whim struck.

This mid-century modern piece is in really excellent condition. It has one tiny corner of missing mirror, and surface rust on the inside bottom.  Twenty inches high, it stands on its original three little black plastic feet.

Such sparkly glamour!  How can you resist?

Hollywood Regency mirrored umbrella stand ($195)

Hollywood Regency mirrored umbrella stand (SOLD)



Cloying sweetness or cultural icons?

These charming mottoes in their adorable period frames were popular in America and Canada in the 1920s and 30s, a time of rapid industrialization. They appealed to the sentiments of those folks moving from farms to factories and missing the old days and the old ways.

Famous greeting card companies such as Buzza, The Gibson Art Company and P.F. Volland commissioned poets such as Maurine Hathaway, or used already published poems by people like Robert Lewis Stevenson and Rudyard Kipling.

Their lithography is outstanding…and while their sentiments may be a little syrupy for today’s sensibilities, I think they are a wonderful example of how cultural change drives home decoration.

Priced from $20 to $45, these mottoes would be wonderful hung close together in a group on a wall in your home or office!

Part of the motto collection at Mrs. Nicholson Home ($20-$50)

Part of the motto collection at Mrs. Nicholson Home ($20-$50)