Home/Marie Rasner

About Marie Rasner

This author has not yet filled in any details.
So far Marie Rasner has created 59 blog entries.

Gaming Tables

Civilization has had board games since before a written language. Earliest artifacts include dice carved of knuckle bones, wood, painted stones and turtle shells. Egyptian pharaohs took board games with them when they were transported to the afterlife. In the early 18th century, Europeans were addicted to gaming. High-stakes wagers took place in private clubs, homes, spas and castles. Literature of the time bemoans the loss of socialization; the art of conversation was in jeopardy. “The people are bent over cards and dice for hours on end,” said one publication. With the popularity of such pastimes, it was only natural that board [...]

2021-02-24T13:33:07+00:00August 13, 2019|

Hammered leather Umbrella/Stick Stand

EXTINCT: synonyms: dead, disappeared, vanished It’s becoming more difficult to find what were once “commonplace” antiques. When completely gone, they will take a part of history with them – along with the skills required in their making. Here are stories of a few such items. In the late  15th century, William and Mary set a trend when they began using expensive materials on chair seats. Tapestries, velvets and leathers provided a rich look – made more so by the addition of nail heads needed to hold the materials in place. Once cabinetmakers mastered the skill of tediously nailing hundreds of tiny tacks [...]

2020-10-20T22:02:38+00:00July 29, 2019|

Hoop Base Circular Table

Historically, selection of timber by furniture craftsmen was based solely upon local availability. Examination of English household furnishings from the first millennium demonstrates the abundance of oak then available. Later, Europeans ruled the oceans, returning with rare and exotic timbers for those who valued its beauty. Beyond its availability, decisions regarding timber were based upon the timber’s characteristics. Did it have a distinctive grain? Did it carve beautifully? Elijah Slocum considers those details to be of singular importance. Unlike large factories who purchase timber in bulk, we select timber piece by piece, considering requirements of each particular commission. Species, color, grain patterns and suitability for the intended use all are taken into consideration.  Commercial makers choose the thinnest veneer [...]

2021-02-24T13:34:00+00:00June 27, 2019|

French Dish-Style Lobster Pot

Lobsters have been on earth for at least 100 million millennium - long before early humans began to "crack" their secrets (Get it?).  More recently, the abundant, cheap shellfish was consumed solely along coasts, particularly the French coast in Brittany, to an enthusiastic but local fan base. With the arrival of haute cuisine, the lot of the lobster began to change. In 1891, the Café de Paris introduced Lobster Thermidor named after a popular play of the time. Thermidor recounted the activities of a hot summer month in 1789 (called Thermidor on the French revisionists' calendars) when the Revolution’s executions and reign-of-terror ended. The dish caught on and continues to be hot [...]

2020-10-20T21:57:39+00:00May 28, 2019|

Five Drawer Chest in Burl European Walnut

It all started with the coffer  – a long, deep, crudely constructed box with a hinged lid and [sometimes] short legs or feet. That’s not to be confused with the coffin, though in truth, the early coffer often assumed that role out of expediency. For more than a thousand years, the coffer was the sole piece of furniture in the home, acting as a seat, a work table, a raised bed and storage for everything. That included valuables, weapons, food and clothing. In the mid-17th century, mankind deduced how to add a second, miniaturized coffer to the interior. These small tills or "drawer boxes" housed treasures - not just gold and [...]

2021-02-24T13:35:36+00:00April 15, 2019|

Tudor Four Poster Bed

The word “bed” comes from the 4th century Germanic badja – “sleeping place dug in the ground”. It’s not surprising that throughout history mankind has sought to improve how we spend 1/3 of our lives. The earliest mattresses consisted of leaves, grass, or hay covered with animal skins. For more than 1,000 years, there was little improvement -  at least for the commoner. The privileged, meanwhile, created the concept of sleeping in the lap of luxury. Egyptian and Greek beds were inlaid with (if not made of) gold, silver and ivory. European bed frames were of expensive hardwoods, and so high that steps were required, raising sleepers above drafts and insects – both realities the commoner couldn’t control. By [...]

2021-02-24T13:36:29+00:00February 25, 2019|

With Gratitude

This is our 35th year in business! Thank you ...for your continued interest in fine craftsmanship and traditional skills. ...for your praise of our workmanship ...for your appreciation of our craftsmen. ...for your positive response to our newsletters. And a special thanks to all the cooks who can't use anything but vintage copper in their kitchens. We appreciate each and every one of you. Best wishes for a great 2019. Elijah Slocum, Inc. P.S.  We are always searching for special treasures. Watch our newsletters for our latest finds.    

2020-10-20T21:50:47+00:00January 17, 2019|

Perfume Bottle in Mother-of-Pearl Ship Stand

Film star Ava Gardner and her husband, Frank Sinatra, were known for their epic fights. To signal the end of a contretemps, Gardner would spritz the stairway of their home with perfume (Creed’s Fleurs de the Rose Bulgare), an invitation to the crooner. Perfume says legions. And legions have had much to say about perfume. When Marilyn Monroe was asked what she wore to bed, she replied, “Why, Chanel No. 5, of course.” In 1921, the 5th of ten sample formulas presented to Coco Chanel was approved. The designer fragrance has remained a best seller since its introduction. Next year, for the first time ever, [...]

2020-10-20T21:42:07+00:00December 3, 2018|

Io Saturnalia! (That’s pagan for “happy holidays.”)

Gift giving is a relic of pagan customs – namely, the celebration of  winter solstice.  A particularly raucous Roman festival honored Saturn, the god of agriculture. In addition to excessive drinking, participants exchanged gifts during that time  – tiny figurines, edible treats and festive candles. That’s why we give gifts today. The custom spread to the U.S. in the early 19th century (Earlier, the Pilgrims had banned any such exchanges – too papist.), gaining momentum in 1823 with the publication of The Night before Christmas and in 1843 with Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. In 1867, Macy’s announced they’d be open until midnight on Christmas Eve. Not everyone was enthusiastic, [...]

2020-10-20T21:41:42+00:00November 23, 2018|


Time to begin thinking about Holiday entertaining. What we serve, how we serve it – it’s all based on tradition. Thankfully, those traditions can change. In 1847, a typical celebratory dinner included roast turkey, cold boiled ham, fricasseed chicken, poached fish, roast pig, mashed potatoes and turnips, boiled onions, salad, apple sauce, pickles, mangoes, oyster sauce or oyster pie and mince pies. And for  dessert, a biscuit and jelly sandwich. Talk about groaning boards! For the centerpiece,  the 1886 Kansas Home Cook-Book recommended a low dish of ferns or scarlet geraniums [a recently-introduced import] mingled with white carnations, to sit atop a round mirror, upon whose [...]

2020-10-20T21:36:36+00:00November 5, 2018|


Go to Top