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Zino Davidoff was born on March 11, 1906 in Kiev, Russian Empire, present-day Ukraine. He was the eldest of four children born to tobacco merchant, Henri Davidoff. Even in his own autobiographical writings, the facts on Zino’s youth are a bit hazy, as he was quite young during this time and could only piece together some stories of his youth. His parents were either cigar merchants or cigarette manufacturers in Kiev. Fleeing the political turmoil and anti-Semitism prevalent in Russia, his parents left some of their family behind and emigrated to Geneva, Switzerland in 1911 for a better life and opened their own Tobacconist shop in 1912. Finishing school in 1924, he went to Latin America to learn about the tobacco trade, spending time in such places as Argentina, Brazil, and finally Cuba where he spent two years working on a plantation and first encountered Cuban cigars.

Returning to Switzerland around 1930, he took over his parents’ shop. What had originally been a modest tobacco shop grew into a rich business during and after WW II. Neutral Switzerland was spared much of the havoc wreaked elsewhere in Europe and became a haven for wealthy tobacco customers. Zino was particularly successful in marketing the Hoyo de Monterrey Châteaux Series of Cuban cigars created for Zurich cigar distributor A Durr Co., in the 1940s and named after great Bordeaux wines.  Around this time, Zino is also credited by many as having invented the first desktop cigar humidor, in order to preserve cigars at the same conditions of humidity and temperature under which they were rolled in Havana. Davidoff also had success writing several books on cigar smoking and Cuban cigar brands.

In 1970, Zino sold his small but highly successful tobacco shop in Geneva to the Max Oettinger Group. Zino stayed on as Davidoff’s ambassador until his death in 1994 at the age of 87. He was survived by his wife and daughter, who remained in Switzerland and by his siblings that had since moved to other parts of the world, mainly North America. Till his last moments, Zino an avid family man, sought out to find his lost family history back in the Soviet Union and then the emerging independent states of Russia and Ukraine. Unfortunately, many historical documents had been lost and so had his search. Not much information exists on their whereabouts, but through saved notes by Zino, it has been speculated that many had defected to North America in the early to mid 70’s, some under new identities and family names.

A tobacconist is an expert dealer in tobacco in various forms and the related accoutrements. Such accoutrements include pipes, lighters, matches, pipe cleaners, pipe tampers, ashtrays, humidors and more. Books and magazines, especially ones having to do with tobacco are commonly offered. Items irrelevant to tobacco such as puzzles, games, figurines, hip flasks, and candy are sometimes sold. A tobacconist shop is traditionally represented by a wooden Indian positioned nearby.

Although I am not really a tobacconist, I have collected many tobacciana collectibles that are offered for sale at my eBay store “Kelekchens”.  You won’t see a wooden Indian but here are a few vintage and antique humidors:

                        

Noritake and Nippon Porcelain Humidors ca. early 19oo’s.

   

Marzi & Remy Porcelain Humidor – Germany ca. 1940’s

    

Metal Humidors – Adam Verde and a Boston Rumidor ca. 1940’s to 1950’s

                   

Glass Humidors – Heisey glass, polychrome mesh (1920’s Art Deco), EAPG  and  Victorian Humidors.

Hand thrown, stone crock humidor with pipe rest lid.

Depression glass, Moongleam, cigarette humidor.

And my favorite:

                   

A stunning humidor with beautiful glass.  Double click on the photos to see better details.

You can see these and many more from my collection.  Place your cursor on my assistant “the Duck” and click to go to my eBay store Kelekchens. Open tobacciana and your there.

Until next time Happy Collecting and remember “the best is yet to come!”


Smoking has been accepted into culture, in various art forms, and has developed many distinct, and often conflicting or mutually exclusive, meanings depending on time, place and the practitioners of smoking. Pipe smoking, until recently one of the most common forms of smoking, is today often associated with solemn contemplation, old age and is often considered quaint and archaic. Cigarette smoking, which did not begin to become widespread until the late 19th century, has more associations of modernity and the faster pace of the industrialized world. Cigars have been, and still are, associated with masculinity, power and is an iconic image associated with the stereotypical capitalist. Smoking in public during the Victorian age was something reserved for men and when done by women was associated with promiscuity. In Japan during the Edo period, prostitutes and their clients would often approach one another under the guise of offering a smoke and the same was true for 19th century EuropeArt.

The earliest depictions of smoking can be found on Classical Mayan pottery from around the 9th century. The art was primarily religious in nature and depicted deities or rulers smoking early forms of cigarettes.  Soon after smoking was introduced outside of the Americas it began appearing in painting in Europe and Asia. The painters of the Dutch Golden Age were among the first to paint portraits of people smoking and still lifes of pipes and tobacco. For southern European painters of the 17th century, a pipe was much too modern to include in the preferred motifs inspired by mythology from Greek and Roman antiquity. At first smoking was considered lowly and was associated with peasants.  Many early paintings were of scenes set in taverns or brothels. Later, as the Dutch Republic rose to considerable power and wealth, smoking became more common amongst the affluent and portraits of elegant gentlemen tastefully raising a pipe appeared. Smoking represented pleasure, transience and the briefness of earthly life as it, quite literally, went up in smoke. Smoking was also associated with representations of both the sense of smell and that of taste.

In the 18th century smoking became far more sparse in painting as the elegant practice of taking snuff became popular. Smoking a pipe was again relegated to portraits of lowly commoners and country folk and the refined sniffing of shredded tobacco followed by sneezing was rare in art. When smoking appeared it was often in the exotic portraits influenced by Orientalism. Many proponents of post-colonial theory controversially believe this portrayal was a means of projecting an image of European superiority over its colonies and a perception of the male dominance of a feminized Orient.  They believe the theme of the exotic and alien “Other” escalated in the 19th century, fueled by the rise in popularity of ethnology during the Enlightenment.

In the 19th century smoking was common as a symbol of simple pleasures; the pipe smoking “noble savage”, solemn contemplation by Classical Roman ruins, scenes of an artists becoming one with nature while slowly toking a pipe. The newly empowered middle class also found a new dimension of smoking as a harmless pleasure enjoyed in smoking saloons and libraries. Smoking a cigarette or a cigar would also become associated with the bohemian, someone who shunned the conservative middle class values and displayed his contempts for conservatism. But this was a pleasure that was to be confined to a male world; women smokers were associated with prostitution and was not considered an activity in which proper ladies should involve themselves.  It was not until the turn of the century that smoking women would appear in paintings and photos, giving a chic and charming impression. Impressionists like Vincent Van Gogh, who was a pipe smoker himself, would also begin to associate smoking with gloom and fin-du-siècle fatalism.

While the symbolism of the cigarette, pipe and cigar respectively were consolidated in the late 19th century, it was not until the 20th century that artists began to use it fully; a pipe would stand for thoughtfulness and calm; the cigarette symbolized modernity, strength and youth, but also nervous anxiety; the cigar was a sign of authority, wealth and power. The decades following World War II, during the apex of smoking when the practice had still not come under fire by the growing anti-smoking movement, a cigarette casually tucked between the lips represented the young rebel, epitomized in actors like Marlon Brando and James Dean or mainstays of advertising like the Marlboro Man. It was not until the 1970s when the negative aspects of smoking began to appear; the unhealthy lower-class loser, reeking of cigarette smoke and lack of motivation and drive, especially in art inspired or commissioned by anti-smoking campaigns.  This may have been due largely to the Aquarius generation where flower power and Peace culminated in smoking cannibus. A serious collector of tobacciana can build a tremendous collection around the 1970’s era drug culture.  It could be called the “Hippie” collection. Ha ha.

Here are some of the ash rescepticles that I have collected for their beautiful art form.  Most are Asian, Hand Painted, Nippon or Noritake.

                   

                   

              

Collection of Nippon ashtrays, all hand-painted prior to 1921.

 

                   

         

Hand Painted enamel Moriage ashtrays, made in Japan, ca. 1930s – 1940s.

 

                        

Collection of Lusreware ashtrays, Made in Japan, ca. 1940s – 1950s

              

Noritake, Hand painted and Made in Japan after 1921.

 

Glass and Brass, Roaring 20s ahstray and humidor.

 

No “butts” about it this is a good sized collection of Japanese ashtrays. All are being sold on eBay at my store “Kelekchens” or you can contact me through this post by entering your request under comments. Just leave your request and a way for me to contact you .  To see these items in my store and other collectibles put your cursor on my assistant “the duck” and press enter.  Until next time happy collecting and remember “the best is yet to come”.

 


Literature

Just as in other types of fiction, smoking has had an important place in literature and smokers are often portrayed as characters with great individuality, or outright eccentrics, something typically personified in one of the most iconic smoking literary figures of all, Sherlock Holmes. Other than being a frequent part of short stories and novels, smoking has spawned endless eulogies, praising its qualities and affirming the author’s identity as a devoted smoker. Especially during the late 19th century and early 20th century, a panoply of books with titles like Tobacco: Its History and associations (1876), Cigarettes in Fact and Fancy (1906) and Pipe and Pouch: The Smokers Own Book of Poetry (1905) were written in the UK and the US. The titles were written by men for other men and contained general tidbits and poetic musings about the love for tobacco and all things related to it, and frequently praised the refined bachelor’s life. The Fragrant Weed: Some of the Good Things Which Have been Said or Sung about Tobacco, published in 1907, contained, among many others, the following lines from the poem A Bachelor’s Views by Tom Hall that were typical of the attitude in many of the books:

My Lady Nicotine: A Study in Smoke (1896) by J.M. Barrie, otherwise best known for his play Peter Pan.
So let us drink
To her, – but think
Of him who has to keep her;
And sans a wife
Let’s spend our life
In bachelordom, – it’s cheaper.
—Eugene Umberger

 

         

 

Lyra Nicotania, Walter Scott, Limited, London – Once owned by the  Harvard College Library, Requested by Samuel Shapleigh, Class of 1789, contains poems and lyrics about Smoking and Tobacco. Harvard College date stamp inside front cover is Nov 15, 1898  From my collection, For Sale $125.00

These works were all published in an era before the cigarette had become the dominant form of tobacco consumption and pipes, cigars and chewing tobacco were still commonplace. Many of the books were published in novel packaging that would attract the learned smoking gentleman. Pipe and Pouch came in a leather bag resembling a tobacco pouch and Cigarettes in Fact and Fancy (1901) came bound in leather, packaged in an imitation cardboard cigar box. By the late 1920s, the publication of this type of literature largely abated and was only sporadically revived in the later 20th century.

Until next time Happy Collectiong and remember “the best is yet to come.”


Early Cultivation

John Rolfe, a colonist from the Jamestown Settlement, was the first to grow tobacco in America. He arrived in Virginia with tobacco seeds procured on an earlier voyage to Trinidad, and in 1612 he harvested his inaugural crop for sale on the European market.  Rolfe’s tobacco operation was an immediate boon for American exports, and English demand increased dramatically when cheap American leaf depressed prices. 15 years after Rolfe’s first crop, English imports of American tobacco had reached almost 500,000 pounds per year, and by 1670 half of the adult male population in England smoked tobacco daily.

Chesapeake Consignment System

The tobacco economy in the colonies was embedded in a cycle of leaf demand, slave labor demand, and global commerce that gave rise to the Chesapeake Consignment System. American tobacco farmers would sell their crop on consignment to merchants in London, which required them to take out loans for farm expenses from London guarantors in exchange for tobacco delivery and sale.  Further contracts were negotiated with wholesalers in Charleston or New Orleans to ship the tobacco to London merchants. The loan was then repaid with profits from their sales.

American planters responded to increased European demand by expanding the size and output of their plantations. The number of man-hours needed to sustain larger operations increased, which forced planters to acquire and accommodate additional slave labor. Furthermore, they had to secure larger initial loans from London, which increased pressure to produce a profitable crop and made them more financially vulnerable to natural disasters.

Differences between the Chesapeake and Deep South

In the Chesapeake and North Carolina, tobacco constituted a major percentage of the total agricultural output. In the Deep South, cotton and rice plantations dominated. Stark diversity in the geographic and social landscapes of these two regions contributed to differences in their respective cultures.

The Chesapeake had relatively few urban centers relative to the South. Instead, multiple markets were established along tributaries. This facilitated the persistence of smaller tobacco farms because the cost of moving tobacco to market was kept reasonable. In the south, all economic activity fed through a few heavily centralized markets, which favored large plantations that could bear the higher transportation costs. Differences in plantation size also owed significantly to the different demands of tobacco farming versus cotton and rice. Cotton and rice were cash crops, and cultivation was geared towards maximizing volume. Diminishing returns take effect on harvest quality past a certain threshold of labor investment. Tobacco, however, was considered to be more artisanal and craft-like, with limitless opportunity to improve the yield and quality. Thus, the most profitable cotton and rice operations were large and factory-like, while tobacco profits hinged on skilled, careful, and efficient labor units.

Colonial Tobacco Culture

A  culture of expertise surrounded tobacco planting. Unlike cotton or rice, cultivating tobacco was seen as an art form, and buyers understood that behind every crop of “good” tobacco was a meticulous planter with exceptional skills. Tobacco shipments were “branded” with a signature unique to its planter before they were sent overseas, and guarantors regarded brands as a seal of approval from the planter himself. One planter proclaimed of his branded tobacco, “it was made on the plantation where I live and therefore as I saw to the whole management of it my self (sic), I can with authority recommend it to be exceedingly good.” Even though not necessarily participating in the manual labor, planters took great financial stake in their final product.

Furthermore, local reputation and social status varied with the quality of one’s leaf. In his book Tobacco Culture, author T.H. Breen writes “quite literally, the quality of a man’s tobacco often served as the measure of the man.” Proficient planters, held in high regard by their peers, often exercised significant political clout in colonial governments. Farmers often spent excess profits on expensive luxury goods from London to indicate to others that their tobacco was selling well. [edit] American Revolution

American tobacco planters, including Jefferson and George Washington, financed their plantations with sizeable loans from London. When tobacco prices dropped precipitously in the 1750s, many plantations struggled to remain financially solvent. Severe debt threatened to unravel colonial power structures and destroy planters’ personal reputations. At his Mount Vernon plantation, Washington saw his liabilities swell to nearly £2000 by the late 1760s. Jefferson, on the verge of losing his own farm, aggressively espoused various conspiracy theories. Though never verified, Jefferson accused London merchants of unfairly depressing tobacco prices and forcing Virginia farmers to take on unsustainable debt loads. In 1786, he remarked:

“A powerful engine for this [mercantile profiting] was the giving of good prices and credit to the planter till they got him more immersed in debt than he could pay without selling lands or slaves. They then reduced the prices given for his tobacco so that…they never permitted him to clear off his debt.”[15]

The inability to pay what one owed was not just a financial failing, but a moral one. Planters whose operations collapsed were condemned as “sorry farmers” – unable to produce good crops and inept at managing their land, slaves, and assets. Washington excused his situation thusly:

“Mischance rather than Misconduct hath been the cause of [my debt]…It is but an irksome thing to a free mind to be always hampered in Debt.”[16]

In conjunction with a global financial crisis and growing animosity toward British rule, tobacco interests helped unite disparate colonial players and produced some of the most vocal revolutionaries behind the call for American independence. A spirit of rebellion arose from their claims that insurmountable debts prevented the exercise of basic human freedoms.

Collectibles of tabacciana are varied and many. Many items such as pipes, humidors, ashtrays, advertsing items etc. are just a few.  The tobacco industry is ingrained in our society from almost the beginning of our nation and helped to provide wealth to America in it’s quest for freedom.

Over the next month I will be marketing many items from my extensive collection of tobacciana, most notably pipes, humidors and ashtrays.  Much of my collection is also part of my asian collection of Nippon.

    

Humidors

 

    

Ashtrays – Nippon, Japanese Enamel Moriage, and Lusterware.

 

    

Hand Carved Meerschaum Pipes from Turkey.

Watch for my items at Bonanzle.com and eBay.  Go to my store now to see what is selling.  Happy Collecting and remember “The Best is Yet to Come!”


There are a number of Nippon pieces decorated with desert scenes. This seems to be a popular and highly collectible motif at this time. The pieces found feature palm trees, Bedouin tents, mosques and other buildings, and Arabs on camels.  Some of the Middle Eastern men are found wrapped in a long white robes with a hood that is called a jalabijya.  Most of these scenes are realistic looking. 

From my collection:

         

A beautiful Nippon Stein with Desert Scene. Maker’s mark #47.

 

    

A very nice Camel Rider, Nippon ashtray with the Makers’ mark #47.

 

         

Palm Trees on the Oasis, marked with the Maker’s mark #47.

 

The Arab/Desert scene vases seem to command the highest prices.  A recent auction of a particularly nice camel rider urn 16″H sold for over $2000.00.

As I said earlier this is a popular motif.  To see more of my Nippon collection visit my store at : 

Just put your cursor on my assistant “The Duck” in the upper right hand corner of this post and press enter.

Until next time Happy Collecting and remember that “The best is yet to come.”


Like most people I have an interest in things decorated in the Egyptian style.  At a young age I was very taken with the mystery of the Great Pyramids of Egypt. But I don’t just collect Egyptian items. Actually, I collect Nippon. And this is yet another blog (I have written a few, see below) on Nippon collecting and the many varied styles of Nippon.

This brightly colored decoration features hieroglyphics, scarab, and of course kneeling pharaohs.  At first look a person does a double take as the figures look a little risqué to say the least.  However, this Nippon is officially known as The Kneeling Pharaohs.  This is a diverse assortment of items in Egyptian style showing four seated Gods (sons of Osiris) around the bottom (mug) along with various hieroglyph type symbols, and depicts a scarab or sacred beetle in the center of the design. Ancient Egyptians considered the scarab to be connected with protecting the heart of the dead, thus insuring a source of life and movement in the afterlife.  This design is found on vases as well but not on humidors. I wonder what the Japanese artisans thought of these scenes when they painted them for the U.S. market back in the early 1900s. 

Pharaohs in ancient Egypt were considered to be all-powerful rulers with divine connections.  The Egyptian type designs featured on these wares look as though they could have been found on the walls of the old king’s tombs.  Even the colors used on the Nippon Bowl pictured are a close approximation of the colors used on the original jeweled pectoral found in the tomb of Rameses II. This decor is known to exist on candlesticks, vases, bowls, desk items and jugs and carries the green backstamp #47.

         

A Nippon “Kneeling Pharaohs” mug purchased from a collector in Alabama. Mug is 5 1/2″ tall and has the green backstamp #47.

 

         

Bowl, 10″ wide including handles, green mark #47 as shown.  Mint condition, as gold gilding is not worn. Purchased at Cherry Berry Vintage a delightful shop on Etsy.com.

 

The above bowl is actually a documented piece in Joan VanPatten’s book  ABC’s of Nippon Collecting, 2005 on page 204. Retail value $350.00 – 425.00.  The bowl above is actually in better condition than the one shown in the book because the gold isn’t badly worn on the handles.

These items are even rarer to find in the “Molded Egyptian”, a molded-in-relief decoration found on various desk set pieces, humidors, cigarette boxes, and candle-sticks. On the molded-in-relief inkwells and humidors there is a scarab on top of the finial and the candlesticks are molded in the shape of columns.  Hieroglyphics are featured on the pieces but they are not actual Egyptian ones. These pieces are also marked with the green #47 backstamp. Since I have not been able to find and add a molded-in-relief  Nippon Egyptian piece to my collection, I don’t yet have a photo to show you.

Here is another Nippon Egyptian item of interest.  Isis or Ashmose?

The Egyptian goddess Isis on a hand painted Nippon ashtray. Part of my “Nippon” collection.

Egyptian-type Nippon offers a wide source of interest and sheds light on the taste of the era they were made. Had the tomb of Tutankhamen been discovered a few years earlier there probably would have been even more fabulous Egyptian pieces painted.

Be sure to visit my store “Kelekchens” on eBay and Bonanzle. To go to my eBay store now just put your cursor on my assistant (The Duck) and press enter. Enjoy.

I am waiting on a shipment from outside the U.S. It has some interesting pieces I will use in my next post so be sure to check in occasionally.  Until next time Happy Collecting and remember “the best is yet to come”.


Among Nipponear’s the Cleopatra’s Barge Scene is  familiar.  You can find this motif on chargers, plaques, vases, urns, smoking sets, and jugs, both the wine and whiskey jug.  The story goes that Cleopatra fell in love with Marc Antony and they ruled Egypt and Rome together.  It was said that Cleopatra once came sailing up the river Cydnus on a barge that had outspread sails of purple and oars of silver. The barge supposedly had a gilded stem and Cleopatra sat under a canopy of gold cloth dressed as Venus.  A sight to behold I am sure.

But since we were not there we can only dream and imagine what the royal lives of such as those like Cleopatra was truly like.  To help us imagine such scenes are the beautiful hand painted artwork of Japanese painters from the early 20th century.

         

This is a very nice 12″ charger of  Cleopatra’s Barge, matte finish. The name given this Nippon motif.  Recently purchased and added to my collection.

A very similar 10 1/4″ wall plaque with the Nippon green mark #47 is listed in Joan VanPatten’s ABC’s of Collecting Nippon Porcelain on page 203 and listed at $400.00 to $475.00, 2005 price guide. With the charger I received a nice bonus piece.

    

Vase 5 1/2″ with excellent gold gilding, matte finish.  Mint condition.  Green mark #47.

  

Most normally you will find Cleopatra’s Barge motif in orange background with lavender highlights but occasionally you may see a “hard to find” piece that is particularly alluring such as this lavender/blue Cleopatra’s barge. Note that the bow of the barge is different but the background scene is the same.  This ashtray is not in a VanPatten book and I own all 7 series. I was excited to get this piece. However there is a wall plaque of a blue Cleopatra’s Barge lavender/blue as shown in The Collector’s Encyclopedia of Nippon, Joan VanPatten 1979, Plate 355 on page 217.

    

Cleopatra’s Barge motif in lavender/blue with white highlights, an unusual find.  Ashtray is 3 1/2″ C  by 1  1/4″ H  Green mark #47

If you are collecting Nippon or Noritake I would highly recommend some reference books on these wares.  Not necessarily to find items that are listed in the books but to find the items that are not listed.  Those not listed are the most exciting because you never know,  that one piece might be a “hard to find” piece or production from that mold and/or the color is uncommon. 

I would recommend the Nippon books by Joan VanPatten and also The Wonderful World of Nippon Porcelain 1891 – 1921 by Kathy Wojciehowski.  It wouldn’t hurt to also have Noritake Collectibles A to Z by David Spain.  I come across many Noritake pieces that are the same mold and even the same design as Nippon pieces and sometimes just as well painted although without the “Nippon” on the backstamp.   Also a copy of 2010 Antique Trader by Dan Brownell or a Kovell’s 2010 price guide. Indispensible for collecting and antique-ing.

Here are a few more very nice recent acquisitions:

Nippon wall plaque, 10 1/4″, green mark #47. Listed in VanPatten’s ABC of Collecting, 2005 on page 300.  Mint condition.

  

Very similar to the “Green Swan Scene.”  8 3/4″ plaque also listed in the ABC’s of Nippon by VanPatten. Blue mark #52 which dates this plaque to as far back as 1891.

  

Nippon 10″ plaque, country cottage in brown, pink and lavender highlights with beautiful enamel moriage trim. Green mark # 47.

  

Just a note about plates, plaques and chargers. A plate is not just a plate.  If labeled a plaque it has two holes on its backside to hang the plaque on the wall. A charger is normally larger than a 9 1/2″ plate, usually 12″ to 14″ and can be round or square. Does not hang without a bracket to hang it with.  Normally displayed on a large plate holder which occasionally comes with the plate otherwise you would have to buy one.  A plate usually has multiple copies and ranges from 9″ to 9 3/4″ and normally does not have ornate moriage trimwork. Plates should have matching pieces ie; cups, saucers, bowls etc.

Soon I will be receiving a shipment of more hard to find and interesting pieces of Nippon so make sure to check back often. Until then Happy Collecting and remember “the best is yet to come.”

  

Heisey Glass


Numerous types of fine glass were made by A. H. Heisey & Co. , Newark, Ohio from 1895.  The company’s trademark, an H enclosed within a diamond, has become known to most glass collectors. The company’s name and molds were acquired by Imperial Glass Co., Bellaire, Ohio, in 1958, and some pieces have been reissued.  Below are a few pieces I have acquired and some sold.

         

All of the above pieces are listed in my eBay store “Kelekchens”

 

    

A few pieces that recently sold! 

Heisey glass is very collectible.  The green, or what is called Moongleam is especially desirable among collectors.  So be sure to look at the glass items when out and about visiting your local garage sales or flea markets.  This glass is usually fairly easy to find and not everybody knows its true value.

Until next time Happy Collecting and remember “the best is yet to come”.

Collectibles -WWII


The Second World War (abbreviated WWII) was a global military conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945 which involved most of the world’s nations, including all great powers, organised into two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis.  It was the most widespread war in history, with more than 100 million military personnel mobilised.  In a state of “total war,” the majority participants placed their entire economic, industrial and scientific capabilities towards the war effort erasing the distinction between civilian and military resources. This war was marked by significant acts against civilians, the Holocaust and Nuclear bombs. It was the deadliest conflict in human history with over seventy million casualties.

The start of the war is generally believed to be September 1, 1939, when Nazi Germany invaded Poland. Most European countries such as France and the British declared war on Nazi Germany at that time. Those that were not involved in war eventually joined the coalition in response to events of aggression against them such as the German invasion of Russia and the Japanese attack on the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor and on British colonies that triggered war on Japan by the United States, Britain and the Netherlands.

The war ended in 1945 in an Allied victory and a changed world.  The United Nations was established to enhance cooperation among nations and at the same time the U.S. and Russia (two Super Powers) entered into a “cold war”  that lasted for the next 46 years. Throughout this period of time Western Europe moved towards economic recovery and only recently in history has the world moved towards political integration opening up international business and foreign trade for average American citizens like you and I.

My mother was 23 years old at the beginning of the war. Trained as a school teacher but having other interest she moved from the farm where she was raised in the midwest to California and was involved in the war effort as an arc welder on airplanes.  My father also in his 20s was drafted in the Navy and served as a boilerman on a destroyer  based in the Philipines but visiting San Francisco occasionally which is where my parents met.  It is a fascinating time of history and the collectibles from the war years are varied and many.  Here are a few of my own:

         

A 48 star American Flag that flew on the destroyer USS Ellet during the war and a picture of the destroyer. ca. 1942

 

I have had many questions as to the authenticity of this flag.  The flag belonged to my father who served on the USS Ellet in WW II and was given the flag by the ship’s Captain. Also, doing my research I found that the size of the flag is important.  The flag is 29″ x 57″.  Many of the commercial civilain flags sold during this period would have been too large to fly on a ship and not sturdy enough to endure the weather at sea. Also the number of grommets on the flag are important. Many of the civilian commercially sold flags of the period have two grommets or none.  This authentic Navy flag has four grommets.  The clincher is that this flag is clearly stamped U.S. ENS – 11. This is a Naval quartermaster issue number.  If you still don’t believe then do your own research.  Find out what size and kind of flags were issued to Naval ships in WWII, they were standard issue.  It’s not that hard.  In addition to that I have my father’s DD 214 which documents his service as well as my grandfather’s Army discharge paperwork from WW I, as a machinegunner, my brother’s DD 214 documenting his Vietnam service as a comabt engineer and my own DD 214 and many documets showing  that I served faithfully as an Army Combat Medic for 23 years. I retired in 1994.  My family has a history of military service and it is documented.

    

A naval Training Unit ca. 1941.  Every man signed the back and where they were from.  All were participants of  WW II.

         

Interesting documents requesting permission to bring back to U.S. from Germany captured military equipment ie; 1 German Rifle

 

         

WW II Songbook for Soldiers and Sailors and song sheet pamphlet. Official Issue.

The first photo is of a U. S. WW II Songbook “Songs of the Soldiers and Sailors”.  Has some nice WW II photos in it and of course many military songs of the period.  This was an official U.S. issued item for new recruits and was issued at Camp Zachary to a Pvt. Clarence H. Call.  Pvt. Call made a notation in the song book, “Germans captured Sept. 14th.”  The copyright is the Washington Government Printing Office 1917, Patent applied for. Also shown is a song sheet pamphlet given recruits by the Louisville War Camp Community Service, Louisville, KY. This pamphlet was compiled by E. Rowland Dawson, War Department Commission on Traininig Camp Activities.

         

Serving in the U. S. Navy window banner. ca. 1942

Shown above is a window banner that Momma’s put in the front picture window of their home proudly showing their support for their boys faithful service during WW II.

         

Navy pennant. U. S. Naval Training Center, Farragut, Idaho

         

Fancy pillow cover,  WW II, Red, White and Blue, “God Bless America”.

 

    

Occupied Japan figurines.

 

    

A beer Stein made in the WW II French Zone immediately after the War.

 

WWII collectibles are not hard to find and are an eclectic group of items.  For instance I used to have an ashtray shaped into a bomber that was made from brass shell casings.  Start looking for those interesting WWII collectibles it is a great period to collect for.  Visit my store on eBay to see more WWII artifacts or check out my booth at Bonanzle. URL is listed in Blogroll at the right.

For all collectors, happy collecting and remember “the best is yet to come.”


Kelekchens has “Gone GREEN”.

I am selling an ECO Friendly coffee cup (ceramic) that you can use to get your coffee refills at your favorite convenience store or coffee house and save money (refills are cheaper) and the ecology by not using paper/styrofoam cups which are hard on the ecology.  Place your pointer on my Assitant (The Duck) and go to my eBay store to get yours.  Only $15.00 and I will donate $1.50 to the Natural Conservancy in VA., an organization that works to save the ecology for animals, I will donate $1.50  for every cup sold!

    

Thank you.