Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year!

Best wishes for a
Happy and Healthy New Year
to all our friends,
and see you all in 2007!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Winter Fun Safety Tips

Now that Winter is here everyone will be donning their polar fleece and rushing outside to participate in the wide variety of fun Winter games and activities we all enjoy.

But with fun comes danger.

Even as we enjoy ourselves outside this Winter, I wanted to take a moment to warn folks to remember that just because something is fun does not mean it is also safe. Thin ice on ponds, icy slopes next to busy roadways, ice-packed snowballs, and frantic squirrels on sugar highs in search of just one more piece of Christmas candy can all present dangers to the unwary at this time of year.

I know we have all downed a bottle of scotch or two before getting behind the rope on a sled, lined our front yards with anatomically correct snowmen (and women, and that one time, both...) and "ski streaked" in our day, but please remember-

there are some Wintertime activities
that are just dumb, no matter how much
fun they sounded like they were going to be-

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Hard Way to Make an Ice Cube-

As the year ends and we still have no snow in the Pioneer Valley (a situation that may be about to change) I thought we'd crank up the Wayback Machine today with an albumen print from my own collection-

A pencil notation on the back of the mounting identifies this as the Boston Ice Company's ice house in Lake Village, New Hampshire, probably around the turn of the century. If you look closely to the left side of the picture you can see that they were still building the shed there even as they were loading ice blocks via the conveyor apparatus on the right. This detail shows the men near the foot of the loading machinery-

Makes me want a cup of hot cocoa just looking at it!

Friday, December 22, 2006


The weather for much of the last few weeks has been very mild, but that didn’t stop Hatfield from having its annual Luminarium Night.

The Sunday before December 24th everyone in town lines their driveways and the street in front of their house with candles in paper bags or plastic jugs, and then congregates in front of City Hall for carol singing and Santa’s arrival. The local farmers make floats from farm carts and wagons, decorate them with hay and lights and drive people around town, and I’m told that folks come from as far away as Rhode Island to see the thousands (actually, probably tens of thousands) of candles lining all the streets. We put 60 candle jugs out this year, and it always takes longer to light them than we think it will!

It was very pretty, even without snow.

Monday, December 18, 2006

A Few New Overstocks for Stocking Stuffing-

December 18, 2006.

We just got a few more boxes of some great new publisher-overstock titles on jigsaw puzzles, the art of Florence, the history of hospitality, and even a art thriller- just in time for the Holidays!

Pears, Ian. The Portrait. New York; Riverhead Books: 2005. The author of several well-known art-history crime novels turns to a tiny island off the coast of Brittany for his latest thriller. This novel is “a harrowing psychological portrait of a painter at the turn of the 20th century and the art critic who first elevated and then turned on him, revealed in the painter's rambling monologue. Having abandoned the London art scene and exiled himself to the tiny Breton island of Houat, the Scottish painter has brought the critic to his remote, ramshackle home to sit for a portrait. Reminiscing with ease and familiarity one minute, with anger and menace the next, the painter eventually reveals the depths of his resentment, and the machinations he has practiced on the critic to exact his revenge”. Hardcover. 5.5”x7.75”, 211 pages, dj. New. [95064] Published at $19.95.

Publisher's Overstock Price- $9.95

Williams, Anne D. The Jigsaw Puzzle. Piecing Together a History. New York; Berkley Books: 2004. “From chaos, beauty emerges-bit by bit. Now, a jigsaw authority with a personal collection of over 8,000 that is considered one of the largest and most diverse in the world, offers the big picture on the enduringly popular, sometimes infuriating, and deeply satisfying hobby that has enthralled puzzlers worldwide for centuries. This volume discusses the jigsaw's history, which dates back to the mid-1700s, and its cultural impact on society. It examines the minds of such famous puzzlers as Queen Elizabeth II, Bill Gates, and Stephen King, and provides a lively look at what goes into the construction of jigsaw puzzles.” Hardcover. 6”x8.25”, 250 pages, color and b/w illustrations, dj. New. [95065] Published at $22.95.

Publisher's Overstock Price- $9.95

Wirtz, Rolf C. Art & Architecture of Florence. Konemann: 2005. “Also known as Firenze, Florence in Italian is Florentia, the "flowering" city. Under the Medici family in the 15th century, such artists as Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli and Brunelleschi turned the city into an artistic center and awakened Italian humanism. Such was its status that Pope Bonifatius VIII believed the city should be considered a fifth element-water, earth, air, fire, and Florence. This guide takes modern visitors to such timeless destinations as the Dome of Santa Maria del Fiore, the Piazza della Signora, and the treasures of the Galleria degli Uffizi”. This book is compact enough to take on a tour, but pleasingly heavy and chunky, and isn’t that what we all look for in a book? Hardcover. 6”x6.5”, 559 pages, color and b/w illustrations, dj. New. [95066]

Publisher's Promotional Price- $16.95

Brownier, Jesse. The Duchess Who Wouldn’t Sit Down. An Informal History of Hospitality. New York; Bloomsbury: 2003. “Partisan, witty, and laced with surprising historical detail, this book looks at the darker undercurrent of hospitality. Beginning with the example of his own hosting of a poker game, in which he disarms his opponents' aggression with superb refreshments, Jesse Browner travels back in time to unravel the dynamics of host and guest. He visits the summer home of staunch vegetarian Adolf Hitler, catches John James Audubon in the act of playing a cruel prank on a defenseless guest, and documents the court of Louis XIV-an elaborate etiquette machine that rendered the French nobility powerless against him.” Hardcover. 5.75”x8.5”, 198 pages, dj. New. [95067] Published at $23.95.

Publisher's Overstock Price- $9.95

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Of Parties & Catalogs-

Well, we had our annual Christmas Party for the Book Elves in the Cataloging Cave at Foggygates last night and, well- let's simply say that we won't be posting pictures on the website anytime soon. To begin with, I could be wrong, but I'd always assumed (before last night) that the question "how many drunk reindeer can you stuff into the boss's office?" was rhetorical...

But before they stumbled off into the night, swathed in plastic holly and singing "Good King Sauerkraut Looked Out, On His Feets Uneven...", the book elves finished work on our new catalog-

"BOOKS ON DECORATIVE ARTS- including folk art, interiors, metalware & iron, textiles, & other Americana & related subjects", with a special section on the China Trade, features 284 books and catalogs, and is available for browsing on our website, or as a printed catalog. If you would like a printed copy, please send us your mailing address.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Going, Going, Gone!

Today we're going to crank the Wayback Machine waaaaay back, for a view of Christie's Auction Rooms in London sometime around 1820 or so, as pictured in Ackermann's Repository-

Our latest catalog is released tomorrow- stay tuned!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Three Great New Books-

We just got a few boxes of some great new publisher-overstock titles on Shaker songs, the Arts & Crafts Movement and Romantic & Neo-classic architecture and art, just in time for the Holidays!

"The Arts and Crafts Companion" by Pamela Todd. Published by the Bulfinch Press: 2004.

"As a revival of traditional craftsmanship in the wake of the sweeping shift of manufacturing toward mass production, the Arts & Crafts Movement evolved on both sides of the Atlantic, embraced by designers and architects like Edwin Lutyens, Frank Lloyd Wright, William Morris, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Louis Tiffany, and Gustave Stickley. This book, illustrated with 250 color and 50 black and white images, is a superb reference, tracing the origins of the movement; the personalities behind it and their distinctive designs; and the many aspects of the Arts & Crafts style in architecture and interiors, pottery, glass, applied arts and decoration, and the garden."

Hardcover. 10"x10.5", 320 pages, loaded with color and b/w illustrations, dj. New. Published at $45.00.

Publisher's Overstock Price- $19.95

"Neoclassicism and Romanticism. Architecture, Sculpture. Painting. Drawing" Edited by Rolf Toman. Published by Konemann: 2006.

"Illustrated with some 900 color photographs and reproductions, this volume explores the complexities of Neoclassicism and Romanticism in architecture and art through in-depth articles by eleven scholars, and reveals how these seemingly antithetical styles are in fact closely related. Looking at the period from the renewed interest in the art and architecture of classical antiquity in the mid-18th century (following the excavations of Herculaneum and Pompeii and the arrival of new architectural theories), through the effusions of the mid-19th century, it includes the work of such artists as Johann Heinrich Füssli, Eugène Delacroix, J.M.W. Turner, William Blake, and Francisco de Goya."

Hardcover. 11"x12.5", 520 pages, profusely illustrated in color and b/w; dj. New.

Publisher's Special Promotional Price- $39.95

"Shaker Songs. A celebration of peace, harmony, and simplicity" Edited by Christina Goodwillie. Published by Black Dog & Leventhal: 2002.

The simple beauty of Shaker craftsmanship and architecture was also reflected in their music, which long played a central role in Shaker worship. This elegant book includes a CD of 28 traditional songs, some performed by the Boston Camerata, and features more than 200 years of Shaker music in beautifully and simply illustrated pages of scores and lyrics, as well as explanatory text. Includes such favorites as "Simple Gifts", "Mother Ann's Song", "Four Little Angels", "Consoling Dove", "Joyful Praises", "O Zion Arise".

Hardcover. 7.5"x9", 128 pages, color and b/w illustrations, dj. Music-CD in front pocket. New. Published at $15.95.

Publisher's Overstock Price- $9.95

Monday, December 04, 2006

Busy Week-

Well, it's a busy week at Foggygates, with things humming from last week's DECEMBER catalog, and preparations for next week's DECORATIVE ARTS catalog.

Meanwhile, we've opened up a new store on Ebay where we are listing some "stocking stuffer" type books for sale at fixed prices, most for less than $25.00. Please take a look when you have a chance, by clicking the Ebay Auctions link in the right-hand column, because we will be loading books there all week.

And stay tuned, there's lots more coming!

Friday, December 01, 2006


We are surrounded by trees here- a giant, 200+ year old maple out front, and hickory, walnut, maples and pines everywhere. I love trees in summer, but there is something about winter that brings out the best in trees...

The silver setting sun hugs close
among the maples- grey-boned ghosts
march row on row against the sky,
as day gives way to silent night.
Those black-ribbed maples,
marked with scars,
reaching silent to the stars,
their grey and yellow fingers bare
against the chill night's frosty air,
which wraps our knees against our coats,
we huddle close, our breath makes ghosts,
the starlight beckons, blazes, boasts,
against the black and velvet void,
those shimmers mark
a flaming spark, to light our
ghostly breaths in grey.

Come, sit with me
'till break of day.