Archive for May, 2008


“Duty, Honor, Country,” a striking expression of West Point ’s time-honored ideals, is the motto of the U.S. Military Academy and is imbedded in its coat of arms.

Though not as old as the institution they represent, the USMA coat of arms, also referred to as the seal, and motto have a long and interesting history.

According to archival records, the coat of arms and motto were adopted in 1898. Col. Charles W. Larned, professor of drawing, headed a committee to design a coat of arms for the Academy and stated several criteria for the design. The committee decided that the design should represent the national character of the Academy, its military function, its educational function and its spirit and objectives.

Symbolism in the Coat of Arms
The committee began with the creation of an emblem that consisted of a sword, a universal symbol of war, and the helmet of Pallas Athena. Athena, a fully armed mythological goddess, is associated with the arts of war, and her helmet signifies wisdom and learning. The emblem is attached to a shield, bearing the arms of the United States , and on the shield’s crest is a bald eagle, the national symbol. The eagle’s claws hold 13 arrows representing the 13 original states and oak and olive branches, traditional symbols of peace.

Duty, Honor, Country

The eagle is grasping a scroll bearing the words “ West Point , MDCCCII (1802), USMA,” and the motto, “Duty, Honor, Country.” The motto as such was never previously stated, but in writings of early superintendents, professors and graduates, one is struck by the recurrence of the words “duty,” “honor” and “country.” Colonel Larned’s committee believed Duty, Honor, Country represented simply, but eloquently, the ideals of West Point .

The committee did not express an opinion as to the relative importance of the three words; however, there is perhaps significance in the fact that “honor” is in the center of the motto. As Maj. Gen. Bryant Moore noted in a 1951 article in Assembly magazine, “honor” forms the keystone of the arch of the three ideals on which West Point is founded.

The coat of arms was used without change until 1923, when Captain George Chandler, of the War Department, pointed out to Superintendent Brig. Gen. Fred Sladen that the eagle and helmet faced to the heraldic sinister side. The helmet, eagle’s head and sword were soon turned to their current position.

Since 1923, the coat of arms has been in regular use at West Point and is carved on many of the older buildings. In 1980, the coat of arms was registered with the Library of Congress as an “identifiable logo” for the Academy.

West Point cadet shako, early 20C, in leather and black wool with brass rimmed visor, gilt-brass chinstrap, and stamped-brass face badge with West Point crest.

Charles Adelle Lewis Totten as pictured in 1873.

Read Full Post »

Mark is for Suzuki Company, a distributor which had pieces made with its mark for sale and distribution (20th century).

Souvenir Dealers:

Porcelain & Laquer: Chujyo Shoten; Harishin; Koshiishi Shoten; Miyazaki Shoten; K. Nikko; Ogurusu & Co.; Suzuki & Co.; Taniguchi & Co.; William Rae; Gengan Yamamoto; Yamato Bros. & Co.; K. Yoshida & co.


Arita, Hirado, Kitagawa, Moriyama, Dai Nippon, Nippon, Nippon Tokusei, Nichi Hon, Nippon – Izumi,

Cherry Blossom Marks, “M” and “wreath” marks, Suzuki, Samurai, Aerozon, Nippon Yoko Boeki, N&Co

Nagoya Nippon, Maruku, SPP, TMK, Hira, Takahashi Company, Ucagco Company, Arnart Imports, Shibata

Uchida, Okayama, Imura, Ardalt, Tashiro Shoten, Maruto Mu, JAPAN/MADE IN JAPAN, Bibi, CPC, AA,

Vantine, Takito Company, Seiei Company, Hand Painted, Fine China of Japan, Okura, SUNDRY

Read Full Post »

Many devices have been used to curl, wave, crimp or straighten the hair.

Some used heat, such as the curling tongs on display which would be placed

over the small spirit burner in order to heat them.


WMF – ostrich mark

I/O (Normal thickness of gilding or silver-plating, i.e. one gram of deposited silver spread over an area of one square decimeter)

OX (oxidized)

Did you know…the first real hair-stylists were the ancient Assyrians who

cut, curled and crimped their hair over 3,500 years ago.

Statue of Ashurnasirpal II Neo-Assyrian – 883-859 BC

Did you know…that the saying ‘keep your hair on’ is a reference to the

period when men wore wigs and would remove them to fight.

Charles II – Direct descendant of Louis XIII’s wig.

Did you know…that in the Court of Queen Elizabeth I, red hair became

fashionable and some women tinted their hair with saffron and sulphur

power to make it look red.

The Rainbow Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I by Isaac Oliver.

Read Full Post »

This ornate Pair of French porcelain plates is decorated with delicate hand painted floral bouquets on a white background framed in gilt scrollwork.

Signed: J.Roux and J.Ripat

The Limoges Porcelain

Limoges porcelain designates hard-paste porcelain produced by factories round the city of Limoges, France from the late 1700s until around 1930.

The manufacturing of hard-paste porcelain at Limoges, following the discovery of local supplies of kaolin, was established by Turgot in 1771 and placed under the patronage of the comte d’Artois, brother of Louis XVI. Limoges had been the site of a minor industry producing plain faience earthenwares since the 1730s, but the first identified French source of kaolin and a material similar to petuntse, the ingredients used for the production of hard-paste porcelain similar to Chinese porcelain, were discovered at Saint-Yrieix-la-Perche, near Limoges, in an economically distressed area, and began to be quarried in 1768. The manufactory was purchased by the king in 1784, apparently with the idea of producing hard-paste bodies for decoration at Sèvres, a venture that did not work out.

After the Revolution a number of private factories were established at Limoges, the chief of which was and remains Haviland. “Limoges porcelain” is a generic term for porcelain produced in Limoges rather than the production of a specific factory. Limoges maintains the position it established in the nineteenth century as the premier manufacturing city of porcelain in France.

Read Full Post »

Germany cast iron feet ornate with roman centurion. (19th)

A centurion (Latin: centurio; Greek: εκατόνταρχος (hekatontarchos), κεντούριων (kentūriōn)) was a professional officer of the Roman army after the Marian reforms of 107 BC. Most centurions commanded a century (centuria) of 80 men, but senior centurions commanded cohorts, or took senior staff roles in their legion.

Centurions took their title from the fact that they commanded a century. Centuries were so-called because they originally numbered roughly 100 men. Just after that they numbered 60 men each and were paired into maniples, one with greater authority. After the Marian reforms, however, the standard establishment was set at 80 men.

The Roman Centurion’s Song

Rudyard Kipling

(Roman Occupation of Britain, A.D. 300)

LEGATE, I had the news last night – my cohort ordered home
By ships to Portus Itius and thence by road to
I’ve marched the companies aboard, the arms are stowed below:
Now let another take my sword. Command me not to go!

I’ve served in Britain forty years, from Vectis to the Wall,
I have none other home than this, nor any life at all.
Last night I did not understand, but, now the hour draws near
That calls me to my native land, I feel that land is here.

Here where men say my name was made, here where my work was done;
Here where my dearest dead are laid – my wife – my wife and son;
Here where time, custom, grief and toil, age, memory, service, love,
Have rooted me in British soil. Ah, how can I remove?

For me this land, that sea, these airs, those folk and fields suffice.
What purple Southern pomp can match our changeful Northern skies,
Black with December snows unshed or pearled with August haze –
The clanging arch of steel-grey March, or June’s long-lighted days?

You’ll follow widening Rhodanus till vine an olive lean
Aslant before the sunny breeze that sweeps Nemausus clean
To Arelate’s triple gate; but let me linger on,
Here where our stiff-necked British oaks confront Euroclydon!

You’ll take the old Aurelian Road through shore-descending pines
Where, blue as any peacock’s neck, the Tyrrhene Ocean shines.
You’ll go where laurel crowns are won, but -will you e’er forget
The scent of hawthorn in the sun, or bracken in the wet?

Let me work here for Britain‘s sake – at any task you will –
A marsh to drain, a road to make or native troops to drill.
Some Western camp (I know the Pict) or granite Border keep,
Mid seas of heather derelict, where our old messmates sleep.

Legate, I come to you in tears – My cohort ordered home!
I’ve served in Britain forty years. What should I do in Rome?
Here is my heart, my soul, my mind – the only life I know.
I cannot leave it all behind. Command me not to go!


LEGIO’S XVII – XVIII – XIX These three Legions were probably created by Octavian in 41-40 BC. As of 30 BC, all three were most likely stationed along the Rhine frontier and took part in the invasion of Germany between the Rhine and Elba Rivers. In 9 AD all three of the Legions (20,000 men) were ambushed and destroyed by the forces of Arminius (Hermann) a German barbarian chief of the Cherusi in the Teutoburger Vald (forest) in the Grotenburg region. The legions were on march from summer to winter quarters. Their commander, Publius Quinctilius Varus committed suicide and the Legion’s Numbers were retired and not used again. The “Eagles” of Legion XIX and one of the others were subsequently recovered by Germanicus in 15-16 AD and the remaining one in 42 AD. The Teutoburger Vald disaster was largely the result of treachery and treason of Arminius, a Germanic who had obtained the trust of Rome; and that the Legions were attacked in a forest swamp, a closed-in and restricting environment where the Roman Army was unaccustomed to doing battle.


Read Full Post »

Pretty three light candelabra from Sitzendorf, late 1800’s.

The circular base is decorated with applied flowers, gilding and earthen hues.

The three arms of the candelabra are similarly decorated with the floral leafy vine. The colors are subtle and delicate.

Sitzendorfer, Voigt Brothers, Sitzendorf, Thuringia, Germany. c.1887-1900. Later renamed Sitzendorfer Porcelain Works.

The history of porcelain production in Sitzendorf is hardly a straight-forward tale. The first porcelain manufactory in Sitzendorf was established by Georg Heinrich Macheleidt in 1760, under the commission of prince Johann Friedrich of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt. In 1762 the manufactory was moved to Volkstedt by order of the prince. A second factory was opened by Wilhelm Liebmann in 1850, destroyed by a fire eight years later, and built up again in the following year. In 1884 the Sitzendorf porcelain factory, under the chairmanship of Alfred and Carl Wilhelm Voigt, began the production of lace “Dresden style” figurines. In 1890 another branch of the factory was opened in Unterweissbach, producing similar high-quality porcelain figures and figural groups. Throughout these periods, there existed two principal styles of Sitzendorf Porcelain Marks. Despite continual economic hardship fueled by wars and world economic depressions, and the failure of the Unterweissbach factory in 1928, the Sitzendorf porcelain factory continues to operate to this day.

Factory view – 1913

Staff / workforce 1904

Read Full Post »

Max Carl Gritzner (1825–1892) did start to manufacture sewing machines in 1872 in a smal town in Baden in Germany , Durlach. By 1902 they had produced over one million machines. The Grizner Company did take over Frister and Rossmann in 1925, but they did continue to use the name Frister and Rossman on some sewing machines. In 1963 Pfaff Sewing Machine Company takes over Gritzner, and in June 2000 Husqvarna takes over Pfaff.


The Gritzner factory in its heyday

One of seven murals in the “Rheinischen Creditbank”. The painting represent the machinery factory of Gritzner in Durlach.

Was created in the year 1926 by Albert Haueisen (1872-1954 – Germany Painter\Decorative Artist and Director at the Karlsruher Kunstakademie)

High: 1.75 m wide: 2.73 m

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »