Pick of the Week: Glorious Chotchkies by Liz

Glorious Chotchkies (pronounced Chaaaach kees) is my pick of the week. While my first love is art, my second love includes all hand made items and stuff that we call chotchkies.

Wikipedia spells it Tchotchke and defines it as a small toy, gewgaw, knickknack, bauble, lagniappe, trinket, or kitsch. The term has a connotation of worthlessness or disposability (silly wikipedia), as well as tackiness, and has long been used by Jewish-Americans and in the regional speech of New York City and elsewhere.
The Urban Dictionary posted this which I found humorous. Please excuse the colorful language.

 155 up, 20 down

 A small piece of worthless crap, a decorative knick knack with little or no purpose. 

Side note: Chotchkie can be pretty, sentimental, or even occasionally useful though it usually breaks easily if useful. If you are having trouble identifying Chotchkie just look around your house or someone else's and whatever you see that a burgler wouldn't steal is probably Chotchkie.

Fake fruit, a ceramic frog containing candy, pretty much anything purchased at a dollar store, costume jewelry, etc. Referenced by Phoebie on the TV show friends. 

Phantasticphinds has a wonderful collection of chotchkies due to our wide base of consignors who have traveled far and wide, as well as, inheriting some fabulous items too that they are now generously sharing with us.

One of our recent chotchies is an 1845 Antique King Louis Phillippe's Sevres Staff Pitcher.  167 years old-How amazing is this?!  It was in such wonderful condition we thought it was new or possibly a reproduction.  One of our consignors and customers, Larry Arrigale, helped us out with this identification. Thanks Larry!  A salute and thank you to the chotchkie guardian whose care has now made it possible to be cherished in a new home.

Pictured below are a few of my favorites: Antique Recuerdo Chile Hammered Copper Teapot, Master Glass Salt Lick, Handsome Brass Candlestick Holders, Hand painted plate w wonderful crazing and a pristine Wedgewood Vase.

Customers often comment that if they worked here they would spend their entire pay check.  I live in a small apartment so I really watch what I bring home,  but as you will see I've got my fair share of chotchkies in every corner.   

Despite the bad press chotchkies have received, my chotchkies are priceless to me as I'm sure yours are to you. As a visual person they provide me with many moments of complete wonderment and joy.

I was trying to pin point the items I love to collect.  Hard to say, as my tastes and interests have changed over time and continue to change. I love animals and cannot resist wood carvings and other animal chotchkies.  I adopted a wonderful hand carved giraffe and a darling cloisonne bird from the shop shown in one of the pictures below.

I love pottery too, as I used to collect it to set up still lifes for painting and sketching. Below is a wonderful Italian vase on the Cedar Armoire I purchased from Phantasticphinds too.

As you can see, I mixed the pottery with some raku pottery other hand made pieces purchased from local artisans. Dont be afraid to mix styles, textures, colors.    I also love frames and have purchased a few to frame my own work also show below.

Bare walls do not exist in my world. They are a wonderful canvas to display your art and chotchies! I also love to stack or group decorative chotchkies on the wall. The picture with the 4 stacked items includes a small wood carved face of a woman I picked up at antique shop in Bisbee, Colorado and the item below it is an antique cast metal plate that came from an 18th-19th centry trash dump in Latvia that I purchased on Etsy. The two lower items are newer decorative items from India. I reused the metal frame at the bottom for my own artwork.

The last two views are close ups from a small curio cabinet where my chotchkies live in harmony in chotchky heaven.

I have to say when I look through the window at my little treasures, it always brings a smile to my face.  There are little memories associated with each item. I put little notes too with each item to help jog the ole memory.

So, enjoy your chotchkies and keep checking phantasticphinds website for new treasures!

~ Liz for Phantastic Phinds

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  1. Customer Comment: "Hi Liz, thanks for these emails. I love them! I think Wikipedia spells it that way because Jewish-Americans (I’m one) pronounce it singular, “chotchka,” and plural, “chotchkas.” The “a” sounds like “uh.” J I love the little crystal bowl."


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