Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Matching Mink

Last week I was lucky enough to be contradicted on every one of my Ebay fur listings, it turned out there is a lot more than I thought to distinguishing sable from stoat and marten from mink.  Who would have thought that ermine and weasel was in fact the same animal!  I find it somewhat amusing that the ceremonial royal parliamentary robes are in fact trimmed with common and garden stoat, ermine just sounds so much more regal.

So I would like to say a huge thank you Lisa for all of her identification help, I thought that Ebay was just an anonymous pit but it seems that against the odds connections can be made!  So, in the spirit of sharing, here is a snippet of the information sent to me this week and a selection of mink furs currently on our Ebay shop for you to practice your Inspector Poirot skills on.


* Mahogany – Deep, dark brown
* Demi-buff (Lunaraine) – Medium to light deep brown
* Autumn Haze – Light brown to beige
* Glacial – White (not pure white) with a gold tint
* Arcturus – Light beige with a subtle bluish tone
* Black or Brown Cross – White to glacial tone with either a black or brown striping on the tips of the guard hairs on the grutzen (The grutzen is the centre stripe down the back of the pelt)
* Blue Iris – Very deep grey/blue
* Sapphire – Silvery grey
* Cerulean – Light grey
* Azurene – Off-white with grey undertone 

We are always keen to hear from our readers, why not add us on Facebook and send us your vintage pics and thoughts, we’ll get them up on the blog and there might even be the odd retro freebie in it for you.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

What a Day!

Busy day at the office skilfully coordinate our retro snacks to tonight's Ebay treats! According to one of our many trashy magazines matching geometric prints are in. This 1960s cake-like confection ticks all the boxes, bids start at £29.99 tonight!

Monday, 4 March 2013

Frank the Elder and Frank Junior

A few words of freshly Googled wisdom for anyone who, like myself, thought that Frank Usher was all 80s sequins and shoulder padded polyester shirts.  
While the top Usher label, the one we all know and love, is very much of the Dallas breed, the lower, lesser known Usher label is something rather different, leaning towards Jackie O and away from Dolly and her sequins!  I think that the best way to explain this rather drastic transformation is that Dallas Usher has a somewhat quieter, rather more polished older sister originating back to 1944.

I myself am the elder of two sisters (not so quiet and polished) and, while we are separated by a number of years, there are a few unifying characteristics – as is the way with siblings!  For my sister and I it is a love of shiny things (her real, me paste), a preference for marmite over peanut butter (although she has graduated to Bovril) and the absolute inability to keep a phone for the duration of our contract, be it dropped down a toilet or left on a bus.

For the Ushers it is a penchant for bold floral prints, appliqué embellishments and over-sized bows long before fashionable.  See images above for evidence.  The Frank Usher website states that, ‘a recent article on Liberty's vintage department cited Frank Usher as being one of the most coveted collector's labels.’  While this may not be strictly fact this brand is fairing nearly as well as Maggie Smith who sported an entire Usher wardrobe in the film Blazes Away in the late sixties.  In fact, rather like Dame Maggie herself in Downton, Frank Usher is still, eighty years on, bold, brash and unashamedly British!

Visit Armstrongs Ebay for a chance to own a little slice of old school Frank Usher!