Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Collecting Florida Kitsch

I went to a Florida Kitsch show at the Biltmore Hotel in Florida a couple of years ago and was shocked at some of the prices that these items commanded. Some I must admit were not kitsch. Webster decribes it as "made for the mainstream or non discriminate." There were some lovely old advertisements such as charming fruit crate labels and airline ads and some real art from the Highwaymen, a school of Florida painters. But for the most part it was kitsch. I looked around my place here in Clearwater and realized that I had unconciuosly built a tacky collection myself.

In the hall closet was this green and gold serving piece made of the part of a palm leaf that attaches it to the trunk from the late 1950s or early 196os. (pictured above left) In the china closet was a Flamingo Thermometer that my wife must have bought without my knowledge on a trip here from New Jersey years ago. They still sell these, along with alligator heads and coconut patties at those stands with all the plastic oranges outside. This tin with the palm trees was made in Ohio for the Florida Market and once contained cookies. There were a couple old postcards and two flamingo prints that hang on our wall in the dining area, one of which is shown here above left .Just when I thought I was done my wif drags out the epitome of Florida Kitsch. A 1950s vintage Florida tablecloth. Life could not become more kitschy!

If you are in the market for Florida Collectible do not look in Florida as they were usually purchased by tourists. The pictures came from a flea market at Monmouth Racetrack in New Jersey. The tablecloth from an estate sale in NJ also. I am not sure about the others except for these postcards. They were purchased here in Clearwater. They were never mailed.

Meanwhile back in Frogpatch, Billy Bob Bobcat says he is planning on opening a day spa! Says he needs to get his nails done! I think he has been watching too much real housewives.

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