Sunday, April 17, 2011

Consider the Lilies

While visiting my parents this weekend, I browsed at a few antique stores.

Now, I am not normally one to look for antique stores. But recently I thought that it might be fun to see what I could find that might work with jewelry designs. Working with resins and bezel cups has become so popular recently that I thought I might look for interesting postcards and other paper goods.

Imagine my surprise when I found stereoscopic cards from the turn of the century! I had no idea that so many still existed. These cards feature two images, and work with a stereoscopic card viewer, which is basically a pair of glasses with a framework that extends out from the lenses. You place a card at the end of the framework, and then the image appears to be in 3-D. Anyone who had a ViewMaster growing up is familiar with the concept.

Intrigued, I went through the whole collection at one store. There were several that seemed interesting, and I pulled those out and put them to the side. There was an entire series which dealt with the Japanese invasion of China, I believe, and they numbered in the hundreds.

Some of them were just exquisite. This one is entitled "Amidst Nature's Beauties, Tower Grove Park, St. Louis, Mo., U. S. A." The little girl seems to glow in the image; it's rather haunting.

Stereoscopic card, Laurel Moon

This one is called "Frankfort's Popular Palm Gardens, Germany." The edge of the card proclaims "Polychrome Stereo View, Reproduced from Original Stereoscopic Photograph." It occurs to me that this was a rather economical method of traveling! What better way to see the sights of a distant land than in the comfort of your own home, at the tip of your own nose? Especially during a time when travel could be both difficult and hazardous.

Stereoscopic Card, Laurel Moon

"Street in Old Mexico" fascinates me. The colors are rich and dusky, the look of the trees, the textures...

Stereoscopic card, Laurel Moon

The last card I'm going to include in this entry asks us to "Consider the Lilies."

Stereoscopic card, Laurel Moon

According to the back of the card: They belong to those good "old-fashioned" plants which frequently and justly come newly into vogue, but they are less understood and less discriminatingly appreciated than almost any other plants of prominence.

So lilies were considered old-fashioned even during Victorian times? Interesting! As always, tastes are cyclical, and the new falls to the old, and then the old cycles again, becoming new. It's interesting to see that we, as humans, are so predictable, even a hundred years later.

I picked out the cards I thought were most useful as background images or just in terms of visual interest and texture, and I bought them. Each one contains a slice of life, a scene, an intriguing image. I think I will put some of these up for auction on eBay.

[Ignore this series of numbers and letters; it's for Technorati's validation.] RCG6PEV9AJDH

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