Saturday, May 14, 2011
RANDOM 341 OBJECT
1961 ROACHDALE Indiana SENIOR CORDS - FOLK ART Trousers-$2353
If you aren’t from small town Indiana, you probably have no idea what the devil these decorated corduroy trousers represent. Among collectors of Mid-Century costumes, “senior cords” are quite likely considered among the most rare. Reason: The tradition originated in Indiana, and it, thankfully, never escaped to other states. There were basically two types: Trousers for High School senior boys – and skirts for the senior girls.
This pair is from Roachdale, Indiana, and they were worn by someone named “Dick” who was in the graduating class of 1961. Roachdale is about 30 miles west northwest of Indianapolis and about 50 miles from my own hometown of Worthington, Indiana. I most certainly remember the days when senior cords were not just a tradition but a right of passage from being “just another school kid to one who’s almost ready to step out into the real world. (I still have my own cords and wouldn’t give them up for love nor money.)
I’ll bet Dick played sax in the marching band. See the “1961” on the cuff? Note also: These were the days of pegged pants and turned up collars.
The tradition actually started in Bloomington, Indiana at Indiana University in 1912. From there it spread to Purdue and finally trickled down to mostly small High Schools in southern Indiana.
We’d decorated the cords with the names of our fellow classmates; teachers; and sports teams. Most would include at least a bit of sexual innuendo, as well as caricatures of teachers; images of our cars; names and images of sports mascots, etc. etc. Almost nothing was considered off limits. (Mine had a bright red Devil on the fly under which was printed “Hot Stuff.” I wasn’t, of course, but I thought I was.)
We wore ours on Fridays, as I recall. And naturally we wore them to basketball games. I guess you could think of them as “gang” or “motorcycle gang colors” but without the associated violence.
“Miss Browning” and “Mr. Jones” were probably teachers, and I’ll bet if you looked into it, the name of every senior in the graduating class of 1961 is somewhere to be found on this pair of cords. (In my own graduating class, there were 28. We’re talkin’ “small town” here.)
My guess is that ANDREA was Dick’s girlfriend. Having your girlfriend’s name down one side of your senior cords isn’t exactly as permanent as a tattoo, but . . . well, you know what I mean.
In the entire United States, there is only one town named Roachdale. As a matter of fact, there is only one town named Roachdale in the entire world. However, it is possible there is a “Roachdale” on another planet. If so, it’s probably a planet inhabited by insects.
SIZE: Waist = 28” - Inseam = 27” approximately. (You aren’t going to wear them anyway. They’re for showing off, perhaps framed and hung on a wall as art.)
That’s the back with more teachers, the school crest, the basketball team names, and the school or class motto in Latin: “Ad astra per aspera.” - "Through hardships to the stars".
Sometime in the late 1960s to mid 1970s the tradition of decorated senior cords faded away into oblivion. Now they are both keepsakes for those of us who wore them and important bits of Indiana history for collectors.
PS – There was a time 35 years ago or so when I visited Roachdale often. There was a pool hall in town where significant sums of money would “occasionally” change hands. However, the last time I was there, shots were fired. Gaming in Roachdale kinda lost its luster after that night.
RANDOM ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA
ESQUIRE- originally a military office below knight + bearer of his helmet, shield, and lance, in the tournament or battle. not hereditary. such general use or rather abuse that all distiction or rule of use, quite lost.
1- younger sons of peers + their oldest sons.
2- eldest sons of knights + their eldest sons.
3- chiefs of ancient families by prescription.
4- esquires by creation oroffice, as heralds + sergeants of arms, judges, officers of state, naval + military officers, law barristers, etc.
5- esquires who attend the knight of the bath
for legal use.
ESQUIROL, JEAN ETIENNE DOMINIQUE(1772-1840)- a french physician celebrated for his treatment of the insane.b. toulouse. began intending for the church, but compelled by the revolution to suspend that, entered medical service in the army. 1794 became pupil of the military hospital + soon left the army and back to paris. attended lectures of Pinel + chosen by him his assistant + helped him edit the Medicine clinique. obtained his dr diploma in 1805 + in 1811 became a physician of the salpetriere, having time he devoted his chief attention to the insane, + gave lectures in 1817 on this + the revelation he made of abuses he observed in govt. asylums, + induced the govt. to inquire in commsion by his eloquence, untiing energy + devotion, + results of his treatment, contributed greatly to humane treatment of dealing w/ mental maladies. he also designed plans for apartments of lunatic asylums. 1823 inspector general for facilities of medicine. author.
you can order his drawings of the insane online too!
RANDOM 341 OBJECT
ANTIQUE Hand Painted BLUE & WHITE Porcelain TEA TILE-$26
I really want to call it “Hand Painted Flow Blue.” It’s all hand painted, and it’s just about the cutest little tea tile you’ve ever seen.
Friday, May 13, 2011
RANDOM 341 OBJECT
Antique SINGING BIRD BOX Book AUTOMATON Porcelain Doors-$5,070
It has always been my intent to have this extraordinary and rare book-shaped Singing Bird Box put back to its original working condition, but I now know I’ll never get around to having it done. It is quite old, likely German, and the lady from whom I purchased it long ago said she remembers listening to it as a child.
It is shaped like an old book with clasps on the page ends side like those old antique Bibles. It measures 4 ¼” by 3 ½” by almost 2” thick. I guess I shouldn’t have, but I was surprised when I weighed it. It weighs 1 ½ lbs.
Each side has a framed porcelain “door” with some of the finest hand painting you’ve ever seen. One side features a lone songbird, and the other has a little group of chickens. Just wait ‘til we get to them.
OK – Let’s get down to talking about condition.
First: The outside (book covers) are in excellent condition with no damage or missing jewels or decorations. The hinge for one of the porcelain “doors” has come apart so it no longer is attached. Will look a lot more closely at this piece, so don’t worry about not seeing all the details, which are many.
There are a lot of things I don’t know about this piece, and one of them is the composition of the exterior. Could it be silver? I just simply don’t know. And again: What about the jewels? All I really know is, as I’ve already said, none are missing.
Now that’s some fine porcelain painting! It is as beautifully done as the best of any of the French, German or English porcelain painters of the period.