Wednesday, April 13

A Collectable for your Collectables

Everyone has 'a few nick-nacks' around their house or a few precious items that they like to keep on display, and shadow boxes are a perfect mid-point between having a display cabinet and filling it up with lots of stuff and the other extreme of just having one or 2 pieces.

Shadow boxes have always been one of my favourite 50s items. I have a fantastic assymetrical wooden one painted in 4 contrasting colours, but of course I wouldn't mind a couple more.

Now a collectable in their own right, I've seen them priced from $15 to $600 and there seems to be little logic to their prices. Lovely mirrored examples such as this one tend to be expensive- I really wanted to buy this as I love the style, shape and trim, but I couldn't justify the $300 price tag.

Shadow boxes were made in so many different styles, and due to their enormous popularity in the 50s and early 60s, they are still relatively plentiful and offer lots of variety for the vintage enthusiast.

So far as I've seen, American shadow boxes seem to be bigger than Australian ones, and quite a bit more fancy too, like this one above.

Awful background to this mirrored example (it's not my pic) but this is a great versatile style that could fit into so many decor styles with a bit of imagination.

This was a common style in Australia and I think lots of people will recognise it, I think I may have had one as a child.

Not my colour sceme, but the beauty of the wooden ones is their versatility, one can at least paint them to suit.

These mirrored ones look stunning displaying glassware. I'm sure I've seen one a little bigger than this on one of the blogs I read but I can't think whose it is!

Another awful background but stylish nonetheless, this one looks more 70s to me than 50s or 60s and I can just see it set into a coloured wall... there's something saying 'Brady Bunch' to me about this one!

This is another style commonly found in Australia. A little imagination goes a long way with these, paint with contrasting or a plain colour and you can make it as vintage or modern looking as you like.

Another enormous American example, about 46" wide. Such amazing mouldings at the sides.

Made by Illinois Mouldings, this is the backstamp and style number. I believe this company made a number of different styles of shadow box.

This one has such a great shape! Made by Turner manufacturing, another American company that appear to have produced  various styles of shadow box. Their designs now sell for many hundreds of dollars, I believe the shadow box in the very top photo is also by Turner.

This is the Turner label to look for, although being a paper label one won't often find it.

I wonder if some of my American readers know more about Turner and what other items they produced??


Straight Talking Mama! said...

I love shadow boxes but sadly don't own one, they just seem so expensive! I do on the otherhand like the red & gold painted one but I am known for my kitsch taste!!

delia hornbook said...

ooohhh i really like the first and the third ones ;-) I have never seen them over here. They would be great for those little 50's glass animals. dee x

DearHelenHartman said...

Have wanted a shadow box frame for sooo long but never seem to run across any! You have some terrific examples.

Vintage Coconut said...

Omg so many of those are so freaking lovely! I want I want I want.

La Dama said...

I love shadow box frames , but I never seen any around. love the red and gold one.I would put my vintage make up in them.

1950's_atomic_ranch_house said...

I passed on a couple very low-key styles lately because, unless it's like that Turner one, I don't really have wall space for it (unless the box itself rocks lol)

Peter Gunn said...

The top one is an Illinois Molding Company Mirror. I have three different styles in great shape. I paid about 300 US for each one.