Curiosities in Clinton, NJ

On my day trip to Clinton, NJ a week ago, I happened upon an antiques store called “The Vintage Shoppe” which had quite a few interesting things to look at and consider. Here’s a few things that caught my attention:

Royal Bayreuth Devil Playing Cards

I saw this inside a glass cabinet, and the proprietor let me take it out and look at it more closely. I wasn’t quite sure what its function was (I later learned that it’s a “creamer,” meant to hold cream for your coffee), but the imagery of the devil holding onto the playing cards was quite striking. And I learned something new: it’s an example of “Royal Bayreuth,” a porcelain ceramic factory that was founded in Tettau, Bavaria, in 1794. The company created unique novelty wares that were exported around the world, but a devastating fire experienced by the company in the late 19th century destroyed part of the factory, offices, and the molds for many of these collectibles, according to information that I’ve read online. The company rebuilt their factory and they’re still in operation, but supposedly only manufactures fine dinnerware at this point.

I didn’t get any sort of history lesson on this next grouping of ceramics, but I did like the collection of interesting faces:

ceramic mugs with faces

Here’s something that caught me by surprise: a pair of editioned prints by Rodney Alan Greenblat! When I think of Greenblat’s work, it reminds me of seeing it on a regular basis in art galleries in the East Village in the late 1980s … and I honestly don’t think I’ve seen much of it since, other than in a museum show or two. But I guess I haven’t been looking for it enough, because from what I can find online, Mr. Greenblat is as active as ever, and illustrates children’s books, makes music, prints, postcards and much more, in addition to his original art work.

edition prints by Rodney Alan Greenblat at The Vintage Shoppe in Clinton NJ

The Vintage Shoppe is located at 21 Leigh Street in Clinton, NJ, and their business card says “if our flag is flying, we’re open!” Check them out for a lot of cool things!

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