Thursday, November 19, 2015


 Those "Japan Surplus" stores burgeoning around many towns and cities are becoming popular haunts for collectibles. This vintage wedding topper,for example, was found in a nearby shop, just a few steps away from my place!  In fact, I just walked right in, did some quick rummaging and came up with this nice topper, not too old, but with lots of vintage appeal.
This must probably be a surplus piece--it came in a box without a cover. The topper is unusued; the husband and wife plastic figurine stands on a latticework base decorated with feathers and fabric flowers. A hundred bucks and it was mine! Now, all I need is a fancy wedding cake!!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


First time to see this one-of-a-kid china dinner plate that was a giveaway of Rufina Patis, the first fish sauce brand in the Philippines founded by widow Rufina Salao vda. de Lucas. The home industry that she put up in 1900 became a successful multi-million peso business, peaking in the 50s and 60s.
The business grew by leaps and bounds after the war and 2 modern manufacturing and bottling plants were erected in 1957 and 168 to meet the growing lucrative U.S.-Filipino market. The company also invested in advertising and in sales promotions--and these collectible plate premiums were among those used to entice housewives to buy a bottle of Rufina Patis.
 This small 8 in.diamter plate bears the Rufina Patis Especial logo and bears the Three Starbest China - Made in Japan manufacturer's mark. It was found on ebay Philippines, sold to me by an old gentleman whose father used to have a general merchandise store selling groceries, including condiments and bottled products.
 On the center of the plate is a delicately colored illustration of a woman in patadyong and salakot, with a basketfull of fish in one arm-- a charming Filipiniana touch on a Japan-made plate.
The piece dates from the 50s and still retains its vibrant colors after all these years. It may not have been used and was used for decorative purposes. This is the first and only known premium item associated with the pioneer patis brand in the country.

Monday, November 2, 2015

349. Save the World: GLOBE BANK by J. CHEIN

This small tin collectible in an antique shop caught my eye because it was a small globe and a coin bank in one. Now what a swell idea to teach geography and thriftiness in one multi-function object! It was made by Julius Chein & Company, an American toy manufacturer (1903-1980s) that was popular for making mechanical toys made from stamped and lithographed tin.They also made licensed toys of companies  such as King Features Syndicate and Walt Disney Productions, producing Popeye, Felix the Cat and various Disney character toys.
What is even more fascinating is that, this old piece contains the old names of several countries no loner in use today--like Siam (for Thailand), Persia (now Iran), Belgian Congo (now Democratic Republic of Congo) and French West Africa, until 1960, a federation of 8 French African territories.This small bank, no more than 4 inches tall, is complete with its metal stopper at the bottom, to gain access to coins when it is full. "Be thrifty, but not covetous", a saying goes. Unfortunately, when it comes to collecting, I can't be both!