Archive for the 00s Category

Sexy Goth-Girl Witches Return!

Posted in 00s, Photograph, Postcard on 19 June 2010 by redwitch1

To celebrate the start (a few days early) of my fifth year blogging I thought I would share a recent and most unexpected discovery: another real-photo postcard of the “Sexy Goth-Girl Witches,” who I did a post on here.

I say “unexpected,” because this photo came from a different vendor to the first even though real-photo postcards are usually unique; they are simply family-photo negatives that have been printed on postcard stock instead of normal card or paper stock. (They were produced in the same way that you or I might get a photo printed for our album, and maybe one extra for a friend or family member—which, being printed with postcard backing, can be posted to them as a “postcard.”)

So, the fact that two cards from the same family album turned up on eBay from different vendors within a few months of each other (and that I located them both!) is a minor miracle.

Before I go on, you should have another look at the first card. As you can see above, there are two young women dressed as witches. The one on the left, seated on the floor, seems to be reading the palm of the one on the right (who is wearing glasses), seated on a chair.

In the new card, there are four young women, two dressed as witches as before, and two dressed as gypsies. The “couple” on the left (above) include our palm-reader and a heavily-bejeweled, but slightly masculine looking, gypsy.

Her jewelry is worth a closer look. A dozen necklaces, bracelets and chains, multiple rings and broaches: nothing was left behind!

The “couple” on the right (above) include our bespectacled witch and a more feminine-looking gypsy, wearing a similar but slightly more convincing set of jewelry.

As well as necklaces and chains draped over her astonishing bust you will notice—if you can drag your eyes away from for chest a moment—the coin and scarf headgear. There seems to be a few more coins at the bottom of the picture in the shadow cast by … um … what was I saying?

Um … if we turn our attention back to our two original witches you can see that they are both wearing capes in this photo (which they are not wearing in the previous) tied up with a bow under their chins. They also both seem to have different hats.

At least, the pointy-bits of each hat are bent over and the bespectacled witch seems to have a Halloween decoration attached to the top of hers. It is difficult to make out but I think this is a diecut black cat (with tongue poking out) in a style known as “dazed and confused”—perhaps the cat has been looking down at the gypsy on her left!

* * * * *

Apples has asked about the date of this card. I didn’t date this post, but the previous one I dated ca, 1900. The postcard is undivided, which dates it to pre. 1906 or 1907, but the fact that it is a “real photo” postcard dates it to post 1895, when these type of backings took off. 1900 is roughly the mid-point, which is consistent with the costumes, at least in terms of decorum (how much flesh is covered). Thus, ca. 1900.

Salem Witch Souvenir Plate, ca. 1908

Posted in 00s, SFW on 29 May 2010 by redwitch1

This Salem souvenir plate is 197 mm (7 3/4 inches) wide. It is marked: “Designed and Imported By Daniel Low & Co. Salem, Mass. — Manfd. by Frank Beardmore & Co. Fenton England”; who was in business from 1903 to 1914. Thus, ca. 1908.

The deep blue witch design used here is stunning. I love the wispy clouds, the flowing hair and the diaphanous gown. What more could you want? You even get a very cute border of nine cats’ faces alternating with pairs of crossed broomsticks!

According to Pamela E. Apkarian-Russell, A Collector’s Guide to Salem Witchcraft & Souvenirs (1998), 42–43, there are three versions of this plate: one with a green glaze (152 mm or 6 inches wide), two with a blue flow glaze, one of which has gold trim applied thinly (both 197 mm). A fourth plate, also blue, but deeper, has a foliage border. The green plate was made by Rowland & Marsellus Co., Staffordshire, the rest by Beardmore & Co.

I have only ever seen for present plate for sale or at auction, which Apkarian-Russell describes as the most desirable, but not the rarest. She valued it, in 1998, at USD125–50. Prices haven’t advanced much in a decade. This one is available for USD65, while this one sold at USD250; they appear regularly on eBay, but I have very rarely seen them go for less than USD150.

If you have another look at the full plate design you’ll see that the angle of the broom is rather steep, so steep that it is tempting to orient the plate with the moon at the top and the “Salem 1692″ banner at the bottom (as below). But the ground and the clouds make it clear that our witch’s torso should be upright, with her knees bent as if she were sitting on a chair (as I have in the first image at the top of this post).

This is one of the less common forms of witch on Salem souvenirs, most Salem witches are hags (which is pretty stupid given the ages of the accused), though there are some very pretty and beautifully executed Salem witches in Apkarian-Russell’s Collector’s Guide. She shows this design on only one other object, a small base-metal dish with a copper wash on it (65), but there is a lovely German bisque statuette (64), and hand-painted box for playing cards (65).

It took me a long time to get this plate. Competition for Salem souvenirs is pretty ferocious and, given how few items fit my criteria for inclusion, I lost interest in them soon after I started collecting. Nevertheless, I bought a copy of Apkarian-Russell’s Collector’s Guide just in case. But when I looked through it I realised that the only item I had any chance of getting, and actually wanted, was this plate. I assumed that I’d simply have no chance to get any of the other items that I liked the looks of, and I was right. But that is okay, because this plate is gorgeous.

BTW: As some of you noticed, I gave you two posts the weekend before last, and skipped last week (I was interstate). I had intended to post something to this effect but I ran out of time in the end. So I hope this post makes up for my silence!

Hard Rock Cafe Sexy Witch Pins, part 2

Posted in 00s, 90s, Pins, PSFW on 24 April 2010 by redwitch1
[Las Vegas 2009]

In my 2006 post on sexy witch Halloween pins/badges issued by Hard Rock Cafe I said that fewer than thirty of the tens of thousands of designs they have issued are suitable for this blog (i.e., actually sexy witches). Well, the number is certainly higher than thirty now.

Although the number of sexy witch designs vary from year to year (in 2005 there are eight different designs, in 2007 there was only one), I thought I had a fair idea of how many designs had been issued. Back in 2006 I did not own that many of the pins/badges, but I have continued to collect them. And in collecting them I have discovered an ever-increasing number of designs.

[Las Vegas 2009, detail]

This is not just because they keep making more badges every year: I keep finding ones from the past that are new to me. For instance, I was pretty sure that the earliest HRC sexy witch badge was from 2001. But I was wrong, ’cause I have since found one from 1999.

So, abandoning any pretense at completeness, here is another random selection of half-a-dozen HRC sexy witch pins. Enjoy!

[Gatlingburg 1999, the 1st one? (Does the design seem familiar? It should, it is Gil Elvgren's Riding High]
[Osaka 2002]
[Tokyo 2004]
[Atlanta 2007]

Celebrate Easter with a Man on a String!

Posted in 00s, Easter Witches, Lithograph, Postcard, SFW on 3 April 2010 by redwitch1

Nothing else says Easter quite like a man-manakin in a top hat and tails. Which is why every self-respecting witch has one. How else would you celebrate Easter—if you are a Swedish Easter Witch—than by dragging your dapper little man along to the sabbat on a string?

Isn’t he adorable? And when you need your mustachioed man to do something useful just ‘zap’ the little fella and he is back to full size, ready to dance, bow, pass food, offer a ready compliment and scratch you in those places you just can’t reach. (Not in a corset anyway.)

So, if you haven’t got a man-manakin already, get one now! But remember, one is enough. More than that and the next thing you know the little ones will be arguing over who gets to carry your ostridge-feather hat or your drinking-horn, they’ll be puffing out their wee little chests, knocking off each others top-hats and challenging each other to a duel. Which is all terribly tedious.

Sexy Goth-Girl Witches! ca. 1900

Posted in 00s, Halloween, Postcard, SFW on 20 March 2010 by redwitch1

There is nothing quite like a bit of innocent girl-on-girl contact from the days of yore to set eBay spruikers aflame. Here we have a lovely image of two young women dressed as witches from about 1900. The one on the left, seated on the floor, seems to be reading the palm of the one on the right, seated on a chair. If you don’t see this as “hot lezbo action,” “gay-interest goth grrrls,” or “grill-on-grill” action, never set yourself up as a seller of antique postcards on eBay!

Of course, I love the pose and the costumes. And the girls do look very contemporary in a witchy, goth-girl kind of way. The clothes (ignoring the hats!) and the hair styles would not be at all out of place. Which is why the way that the two girls are looking at each other is so easy to misinterpret. What appears to our eyes to be two modern goths totally into each other is probably just the usual, somewhat formal, studied, and glassy-eyed pose that is the result of long photo-exposure times.

From very early on it was possible to print photos like this on paper which had postcard information pre-printed on the back so, although this looks like a postcard, it would never have been sold, it was never sent, and the image is probably unique (like the glass-plate negative of a couple of weeks ago). As you can see above, the back is undivided, suggesting a date pre-1905; the high necks on the costumes suggest a date ca. 1900, probably a touch earlier.

The photograph on this “real-photo” postcard is amazingly detailed, like a normal photo. And, although the image is tiny, the details I have pulled up are fabulous (as you can see from the pair of shoes at the bottom of this post).

Note the pom-poms on the shoes.

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