Sheet Music

I can’t think of anything that goes together any better than music and visual art. Mesh the two together and you get vintage sheet music. Practical and beautiful vintage sheet music can be a wonderful and rewarding collection for almost any kind of collector.


Sheet music has been around for over 200 years. It was mass produced for the market, with some popular titles selling over six million copies. This makes it easy to find even today and most titles can be purchased for one to ten dollars each. Antique stores, garage sales, auctions and inside Grandma’s old piano bench are all good places to look for vintage sheet music.

Vintage sheet music can be appealing to many different types of collectors. For example, a military collector might love to add the title, “Over There” by George M. Cohan to his military collections because of the wonderful graphics on the cover (see photo). A piece of music performed by Judy Garland could appeal to collectors of Judy Garland or Broadway memorabilia. Many sheet music enthusiasts simply like to collect the most beautiful covers they can find in any category. And of course, musicians will collect the types of music they love to play.

Other popular sheet music categories for collecting include; ragtime, Broadway, historical events, sports themes, jazz, film, and popular composers. Famous personalities like Bing Crosby and Marx Brothers are also very popular.


As mentioned before, most vintage sheet music can be purchased for nominal amounts because of the sheer mass that was produced for the public. However, a rare piece of sheet music can sell for hundreds of dollars. Factors that can raise the price include; autographed copies, condition, and subject matter. Original lithographs tend to bring in the most money.

For the casual consumer, vintage sheet music can make an easy, inexpensive piece of art to hang on the wall or enjoy at the piano.

You can find hundreds of pieces of beautiful vintage sheet music at the Albany Antique Mall. Located at 2nd and Ellsworth in Historic Downtown Albany. Open daily.

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Are you a Deltiologist?


Deltiology is one of the world’s largest collecting hobbies, rivaling only coin and stamp collecting. Deltiology is the official name for collecting postcards. 012

Postcards cover so many topics that almost anyone can find a subject to get interested in. History, art, holidays, cars, military, famous people, buildings, sports, and animals are just a small sampling of the topics you will find portrayed on postcards. My personal collection consists mostly of postcards with children as the subject.

Postcards have been printed on many different materials, including leather, metal, wood, plastic, linens and even fine silk. Some were made from actual photographs while others were hand painted or hand- made. The earliest postcards date back to the 1870’s.

Postcards can be categorized into five different types; View Cards, Greeting Cards, Historical Cards, Art Cards and Photographic Cards.

View cards give a historical reference to buildings, towns, streets, bridges, etc. It was common for people to collected cards from the places they traveled to as well as from their own home towns.

Greeting cards included holidays such as Christmas and Easter as well as other special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, and new arrivals.

Historical cards are printed to remember events such as war, politics, social problems, disasters, parades and expositions. This type of card was often made from authentic photographs.

Art cards covered special interest subjects so much fewer were produced and they generally demanded higher prices. During the early 1900’s, postcards were so popular that the market drew in some of the best artist of that period. A German publisher, during the same period, produced a series of “Old Master” art reproductions. The quality of the artists and the printing processes produced some of the most amazing mini master pieces to be collected today.

Photographic cards were, as the name suggest, made from real photographs. Sometimes the photo cards were hand tinted in great detail with stunning colors producing some of the most beautiful cards produced. 

I love collecting postcards because I can keep so much beauty in such a small space. Looking through my postcard album filled with cheerful little children always makes me smile.

To begin or add to your postcard collection shop at the Albany Antique Mall on 2nd and Ellsworth St. in historic downtown Albany. Open Daily.

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That Thing They Used to Keep Under the Bed

Have you ever used a gazunder?  How about a Jordan, po, Bourdaloue, jerry, or thunder bowl? These are all names that have been used to refer to a chamber pot.  

 A chamber pot is bowl shaped, usually comes with a lid and handles and is used as a toilet. Generally it was kept under the bed or in a cupboard in the bedroom. You could use it in the night and then empty it during the day.

Chamber pots can still be found in antique malls. Some of them are so pretty that they are often used for planters or as a display for holding vintage collectibles.

Chamber pots can still be found in antique malls. Some of them are so pretty that they are often used for planters or as a display for holding vintage collectibles.


This sounds kind of gross now days but before the invention of chamber pots people would have to go out to the forest or field every time they needed to relieve themselves even if it was raining, dark of freezing outside.  Imagine what a great invention the chamber pot was to people in those times.

The first chamber pots were made from clay because it was cheap and waterproof. Later, they were mostly made from metal or ceramics. You would think that an item used for this purpose would be plain. However, many were painted with beautiful pictures and or designed in a beautiful fashion. Some were designed with gold and jewels for people of royalty. It is interesting to search on line for images of chamber pots and see all the different kinds that were made.

The Bourdaloue was a chamber pot that was specifically designed for women. It was generally oval or oblong shaped with a slightly higher front part. There is an interesting story behind how these female chamber pots got their name. They are said to be named after the priest, Louis Bourdaloue (1632-1704) who gave very long sermons. The ladies had their maids carry in the Bourdaloue so they could discreetly use them under their dresses without having to leave the sermon! Thank goodness for modern plumbing!

Some undeveloped countries are still using chamber pots today. In our country, we still use them for toilet training toddlers. Only today, they are made from plastic and we refer to them as “Potty Chairs.”

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Fenton Glass

Fenton Glass – A Brief History

Collectors of Fenton glass can find a wide variety to choose from at the Albany Antique Mall. One of the Dealers specializes in finding and selling Fenton while many others bring in beautiful pieces here and there.  Fenton is one of those companies that produces so many wonderful pieces in so many wonderful colors that anyone can find a piece to fit in their own décor.


Fenton Art Glass Company is the largest manufacturer of handmade colored glass in the United States. The company was founded in 1905 and began by painting designs on glass blanks they purchased from other glass manufacturers. By 1907, because of the need for more glass, they opened their own glass company. The factory was in Williamstown, West Virginia and their first glass was made on Jan. 2nd, 1907.

It is because of the desire of the Fenton Company to produce new and unusual colors that make their glass some of the most sought after. They introduced iridescent glass in 1907. These days we refer to it as “carnival glass”.  To this day the, Fenton Art Company is still making their beautiful artistic glass pieces. Come on in and find a vintage piece for yourself!

Albany Antique Mall is a proud sponsor of the “Points for Profit” program. Located in historic downtown Albany at 145 2nd Ave SW. Find us on Facebook!

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The Courageous Story of Margarete Steiff

Most people have heard of the famous Steiff Teddy Bear but not many know about the courageous inventor of the Steiff line of toys.


Margarete Steiff was born in 1847 in Giengen, Germany. She was the third of four children. When Margarete was only 18 months old she suffered a high fever which caused her legs to become paralyzed and her right arm to become painful to use. After many years of doctor visits and attempted cures she was diagnosed with polio which had no cure.

Although her parents felt some hopelessness, Margarete on the other hand fought to lead a normal life. She bravely attended school. Her siblings and neighbors took turns pushing her to school in a handcart and a woman living near the school carried her up the stairs to her classroom every day. Even though Margarete suffered pain in her right hand she still took sewing lessons and completed her training as a seamstress at the age of 17.

In 1862 her older sisters opened a dressmakers shop and Margarete worked as a seamstress for them. Eight years later, her sisters moved away and her father made a workroom for her at the family home. She soon purchased her own sewing machine.

In 1877 Margarete went into business on her own. She opened a ready to wear felt clothing business. Soon she was able to hire several new seamstresses. In a magazine she saw a pattern for an elephant made out of fabric which inspired her to create a pincushion in the same shape. The fabric elephant became very popular with the kids and in 1880 a new family business was formed. Soon after, Margarete coined the phrase, “Only the Best is Good Enough for Children.”

In 1902 her nephew, Richard, designed “Bear 55 PB”, the world’s first toy bear with jointed arms and legs. The bears were made from mohair plush. In 1904 an American businessman ordered 3,000 bears and they became all the rage in America. From 1906 forward, they sold under the name, “Teddy Bear”, after President, Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt.

1904 brought the “Steiff – Button in the Ear”. The trademark was added to designate the high quality Steiff toys from other imitations.

In 1909, Margarete Steiff died at the age of 61 of pneumonia. Although it was a big blow to her family, friends and employees, her nephews were able to take over the company and Steiff remains one of the best loved toy manufacturers in the world.

Find your special Steiff animal in the Albany Antique Mall at 2nd and Ellsworth in historic downtown Albany. Proud sponsors of “Points for Profit.”

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