Archive for the ‘home decor’ Category

A Yellow Boombox Rocks 80s Sound

yellow boombox magnavox d8300

These yellow boombox models from Magnavox and Sony have given me portable 80s sound. Now my vintage mix tape finds are so much more fun that I have proclaimed myself a yellow boombox queen. (more…)

Vintage Modern Decor Needs A JVC Videosphere

JVC videosphere vintage tv set

A JVC Videosphere is one of those must have items for the fans of vintage modern decor. Its round sleekness is oh so retro.

JVC Videosphere Background

The JVC Videosphere has a design that originated in the space crazy, late 1960s. Some JVC executives evidently thought we might also buy space helmet-shaped TVs to go with our vintage modern decor. Turns out they were right.

You could find a JVC Videosphere beginning in 1970 along with that other astronaut-crazy consumer product, space food sticks. The JVC Videosphere became a fixture in the design genre now known as vintage modern decor. And space food sticks didn’t do too badly either.

Besides high vintage modern decor style, JVC also gave consumers some variety. I’ve seen a JVC Videosphere in red, orange, white and black. My personal experience is that a black JVC Videosphere is generally the rarest.

A JVC Videosphere comes with a removable, square base that color matches the body of the television. Some models also have an old style flip alarm clock in the base. All come with a thick, silver metal chain so that you can hang them.

Using A JVC Videosphere In A Vintage Modern Decor Setting

So what goes with a JVC Videosphere?

While you could have a JVC Videosphere just as an accent, it is one of those unique pieces that polishes a complete vintage modern decor look. Clean lines, chrome, other shiny reflective surfaces, and a more intense color palette are all key elements.

An Arc-style lamp or Lightolier  lighting from the 60s or 70s would  be a match.

Streamlined furniture, be it vintage or modern, would work in this type of vintage modern decor setting as would some vintage abstract paintings.

Shag carpet could add some texture to all the shiny, streamlined smoothness. And with its chain, a JVC Videosphere can be suspended from the ceiling as well as placed on a stand.

While a JVC Videosphere is very appropriate for vintage modern decor, a set would also work well in an eclectic type of decor.

As I write this, my own black JVC Videosphere sits murmuring in the background. It rests on a vintage Kartel storage unit next to a pair of funky Frighetto chairs. Most pictures don’t show JVC Videospheres in a vintage modern decor setting, so I hauled everything into the photography space for a quick shot.

videosphere in vintage modern decor

The thing is, a JVC Videosphere is not only representative of an era, it is a beautiful, iconic design that is fun to display. Several museums hold them in their collections including the trend-loving Powerhouse Museum in Sydney Australia.

And you can still use it for active tv watching. I hook mine up to cable but use the old style wire connector on the back. I have heard of some who are using their set for vintage video gaming.

I remember I saw my first JVC Videosphere at a museum exhibition. There were in fact many, suspended from the ceiling at different heights with anime cartoons floating across their screens. Everyone else was staring at the cartoons. I was transfixed by the round TV sets. I kept saying I had to have one until my friends were ready to disown me.

I looked for years without finding any in good condition. And then, I started finding some good ones. So if you are a lover of vintage modern decor and lucky enough to find a JVC Videosphere, what should you do next?

Assessing The Condition Of A JVC Videosphere

1. Look at the condition of the smoked glass viewing panel? Some are in perfect condition, others have a lot of scratches or worse. They will be priced accordingly.

2. Confirm if the set turns on.

3. Confirm if the set has sound.

4. Confirm if the knobs/dials still work – it’s not that easy to find replacement parts.

5. Connect the JVC Videosphere to a cable connection. Run through the channels and try to tune into specific channels. Remember that JVC Videospheres don’t have automatic tuners. These are old school.

6. If you are buying online, ask the seller to send you a video (or post it on Youtube) of the set being turned on and run through its paces.

7. As with all vintage electronics get a professional electrician to take a look at the vintage TV set before you put it into regular use.

Hope that helps! A JVC Videosphere is a gorgeous addition to your vintage modern decor and fun to use.

Lefton Angel Devil Figurine Collectibles

Lefton angel devil figurine collectibles

Lefton figurines have been around since 1941 when George Zoltan Lefton, a Hungarian immigrant, opened his company. The company still exists today, but I am personally fondest of its 1950s pieces.

Lefton’s retro mod pixieware would be the toast of a 50s kitchen. His striped Christmas elves adorn my mantle every year. And then there are the very collectible Lefton angels and devils.

In the series the devil is up to all kinds of mischevious deeds. In one figurine he is trying to sneak a kiss with the angel. In another piece that I have on Ebay, the little angel has knocked the devil on his rear and is glaring at him with her fist extended.

While they are from the 1950s, the Lefton angel and devil remind me of 1930s Campbell Soup kids. They are rounded all over and have rosy cheeks, red lips, and huge, round eyes with eyelashes.

The Lefton angel figurine wears a white dress with puffy sleeves and little wings. She has gold metallic trim on the lace bottom of her dress, her halo, and the creases of her dress. The devil wears a red romper suite with blonde locks poking out underneath and little golden horns.

My piece has the Lefton crown insignia on the bottom, which is a common Lefton mark.

Lefton china mark

You will also see the Lefton devil figurine doing a solo act –  tennis, bowling and playing several musical instruments. Less commonly seen are devils that don’t have the golden locks peecking out.

While the Lefton collectibles angel and devil figurines are hardly scarce, they aren’t completely common either. At any one time you will find a few of each figurine on Ebay.

If these little 50s childlike figurines appeal, be sure to watch out for cracks and crazing. They also seem to be susceptible to paint wear.

Prevention is the best medicine when cleaning them so as to avoid damaging the finish. Putting figurines in an enclosed cabinet and dusting them regularly works for me. I try to avoid touching them without gloves. The oils on your hands get on a figurine and help dust stick.

I use a squeeze bulb to blow off dust, the kind that is used for cleaning a digital camera sensor. That way I am not grinding dirt into the surface of the paint while cleaning.

I have heard many people say they use a gentle soap but I don’t do that. The most I have ever used was a lightly water-dampened soft cloth on a piece that was so incredibly dirty that it was a loss in its current condition.

It cleaned up with gentle persistance but there is no guarantee that what was safe on that figurine will be fine on another. Stick with the dusting and happy collecting!