Trader Vics’ legacy.

Here sits the polished skull of my vanquished enemy says one Chief Executive Officer. Where the disagreeable end up. What’s that you were saying? As he reaches across the desk for a sharpened #2 pencil from the bone white skull. Now, are we being part of the solution or part of the problem? These Tiki Read more about Trader Vics’ legacy.[…]

Tales of the Sea by Crutch

This is the first in a series of recollections and stories by a gentleman named Crutch. He was kind enough to sell us an illustrated man. It looks like it might have been used in the window of a tattoo shop in the 1920’s. It’s a circus carving though. “I am an older fellow. I Read more about Tales of the Sea by Crutch[…]

Treasure Hunt

Are antique shows dead? Not if Frank Gaglio has anything to say about them. A respected dealer and promoter for over 30 years he created BarnStar Productions. He has his work cut out for him. If you haven’t been out to an antique show lately, you might be in for a shock. Long lines are Read more about Treasure Hunt[…]

No Tattoo Flash at WAS

Are you a man (or woman) of wealth and taste? If so, the Winter Antiques Show at the 67th Armory is a nice place to go.  Highbrow. Not rat rod, hot rod, industrial artifacts, lowbrow, carnival or 60’s underground items here.  Asking about tattoo art would surely get you whisked away by security and sidewalked. Read more about No Tattoo Flash at WAS[…]

True or False

This is from the book  “Pierced hearts and True Love.  A Century of Drawing for Tattoos” The Drawing Center, 1995. They label it as “Unidentified tattooer, c. 1950” A most excellent book. There are lots of 3d tattooed arms supposed to be old and supposed to have been employed in tattoo shops. Here’s a pair Read more about True or False[…]

Fake, We Cry!

A reader sent us this e-Bay listing,, asking our opinion. Just like on the popular tv shows! It looks like an itinerant tattoo artist case. These are rare and quite beautiful. Let’s look at this one. The box is indeed quite old. The dry white paint is great, the wood, clasp and hinges are Read more about Fake, We Cry![…]

Ink and Skinner

Record setting price was set at auction for tattooed figure. Hammer price for this two and 1/2 foot tall composition figure was $23,000. Add the 25% buy in commission, tax and other official sounding crap and you’re up around $30,000!  One famous Folk art dealer went as high as $2,500. “Well I guess I did Read more about Ink and Skinner[…]

My Idea of Fun: 2014 March Pier Show

Great show with lots of interesting stuff in a walk about giant time capsule. The promoters, U.S. Antiques Shows, have hosted an excellent revival of mostly the 1960’s era artifacts. Great escape from the stressed and crumbling world outside. The Good: One stand was completely filled with lighters of all shapes like military tanks, cameras, baseballs, Read more about My Idea of Fun: 2014 March Pier Show[…]

Winning the Fat Lady

Here’s Dotty, the tattoo artist. We have always been fascinated with the smiling big woman in the old photos.  One of her designs depicted a woman with butterfly wings floating as if in liberation.  She also had her day with the classic “Put her ol’ foot through me heart, matey”  tattoo image.  Could this have been in Read more about Winning the Fat Lady[…]

Bowery Folk Art Sign

The Bowery (where this piece is from), is definitely a place where people could use some good old fashioned salvation from Jesus. Just take a look at our new favorite book, “Flophouse, Life on the Bowery”, a collection of short stories about the people living in skid row, written by David Isay and Stacey Abramson. Read more about Bowery Folk Art Sign[…]