Antique Books

As long as a book is still in print, one can get the words anywhere – even electronically. But for book lovers, there is something irreplaceable in holding a bound book in one’s hands. There is the smell of the paper and the ink. There is the solid feel of its weight. There are the feelings it invokes of past reading pleasures. It’s pure satisfaction.

That satisfaction is increased when the book is an antique. When one acquires an antique book, one acquires a treasure. Old books have unique bindings and beautiful endpapers. Frequently, there are hand-drawn illustrations and elaborate fonts. They are works of art and make beautiful displays.

Then there is the possibility of unexpected discoveries. The original owner’s name may be pencilled in on the first page. Or an old postcard or picture may be tucked between the pages. Our family has a well-loved book of poetry that is just like this. It was owned by Mildred, who wrote her name inside the front cover with her precise schoolgirl penmanship. She went through the table of contents and marked her favorites. And inside is a postcard, written to her by a friend many decades ago. When we pick up that book, it sparks the imagination ~ taking us to a different time. We sometimes imagine Mildred holding that book, and reading those poems. It has become more than a book. It is a work of art, and a treasure map to the past. 

Annie’s Gold has many antique books. When your adventuring spirit puts you in the mood for treasure hunting, come in and see what delightful nuggets you can find to spark your own imagination. 

To Top It All Off

It was in the late seventeenth century that women’s headgear began to emerge in its own right and not be influenced by men’s hat fashions. According to HatsUK, the word ‘milliner’,  a maker of women’s hats,  was first recorded in 1529 when the term referred to the products for which Milan and the northern Italian regions were well known, i.e. ribbons, gloves and straws. The haberdashers who imported these highly popular straws were called ‘Millaners’ from which the word was eventually derived.

By the mid 1800’s Swiss and Italian straws, together with imitation straws made from paper, cardboard, grass and horsehair were available to women, along with the introduction of velvet and tulle. Throughout this journey, as hats evolved, they became works of art. True craftsmanship was required to create hats, which at this time were all made by hand. The fact that many antique hats in good condition exist today is a testament to the quality of haberdashery and the care taken by owners to preserve their hats. A hat put on display can become a beautiful conversation piece, or simply a lovely object to fill a special corner of your home. And for those of us with that certain sense of ‘style’, they can still be worn — for the right occasion, of course.

A Little Brazil

Josh and Micheli, two Idaho Springs locals, are the owners of Mainstreet Restaurant on Miner Street. The restaurant has a quirky unique feel that is all its own, lending to its charm and appeal. The feeling of comfort and welcome one has in the eatery is in part due to the decor.

Micheli is Brazilian, and several authentic Brazilian dishes on the menu attest to this heritage. But if you take a moment from your scrumptious meal and look around, you will see many hand-painted Brazilian plates on display that are sent to Micheli by her mother who is still in Brazil. These plates are hand-crafted works of art, each one unique, with a special beauty all its own. They are certainly something special. Between the food and these lovely plates, Micheli has created a little bit of Brazil right in the heart of this cozy mountain community.

Antique Bottles


Some people are extremely serious about collecting antique bottles and jars. There is even a Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors that is devoted to antique bottles and glass. Maybe you’re that serious. And maybe you’re not.

Even those of us who are the most casual consumer of antiques are able to see and appreciate beauty. And there is something intrinsically lovely about an antique bottle. Maybe it is the beautiful color, or the slight waviness of the blown glass. A collection of bottles can make a stunning visual display. But old bottles are useful, too. You can use them to infuse your own vinegars and oils, or as a small vase for wildflowers. You can fill them with salad dressing, or wine, or virtually anything your imagination conjures up. And although it is perfectly acceptable to display your bottles, there is something particularly special about finding a use for them. When you repurpose something old, you give it new life, you create a function for it, and in so doing, you become part of its history.

Annie’s Gold is full of lovely things and each has its own story. We love helping antique items find a new home and new life. If you’ve never owned an antique, a bottle would be a perfect first acquisition. It’s simple, it’s small, and it’s truly beautiful.

Beautiful Things

According to the Collector’s Guide, while the art of Indian-crafted silver has flourished in the 20th century, all Indian jewelers can trace their art to a Navajo named Atsidi Saani, who learned blacksmithing at Fort Defiance, Arizona, in the 1850s.

When the Navajos returned to their homeland in 1868, they were no longer nomadic and in this more settled state, were able to teach and learn from each other.  Atsidi Saani began to take the metal working skills of the Navajo and apply it to silver. He then taught others to do the same.

Collecting antique silver and turquoise jewelry should be, above everything else, enjoyable. It is an affordable art form, and the pieces available at Annie’s Gold are beautiful and timeless – they can be worn in almost any situation, from dressing up a casual jeans outfit to complementing more formal attire.

The added bonus of collecting antique jewelry (versus buying reproductions) is that each piece comes with a story. You can imagine its personal history, the person who made it, the people who have worn it before you. Each piece has the individuality of its maker. Why own something that looks like the real thing, when you can actually own the real thing?

A New Life

“Repurposing” has become a catch word in our recycling-conscious society. Instead of simply throwing things away, we try more and more often to find new ways to use old things. For instance, an old milk can (the kind used on milk wagons to deliver milk to neighborhoods) can be beautifully painted and used to hold umbrellas. Or an old quilt that is filled with moth holes can be taken apart, the good material salvaged, and made into a lap quilt or pillows. 

At Annie’s Gold, we have been doing the most simple form of repurposing our whole lives. We take things that are old and beautiful, and give them new life by using them again. Old  things can be full of character, beauty and history, and using antiques in your home connects you to those inherent qualities. Come in some time and walk around Annie’s. Every piece in our store has a story just waiting to be heard.

Treasures

We all have heard the mantra for the push to ‘go green’: reduce, reuse, recycle. This may be a fairly contemporary campaign, but it’s nothing new for Jim and Deb Dysinger. Cherishing and reusing old things has long been a way of ife for the Annie’s Gold owners. Deb has collected since she was a toddler, garnering her the nickname Second-Hand Annie, which has been incorporated into the name of the store. The Dysingers think of themselves as more than store owners. They are collectors, sharing with other collectors. Everything in their own home, outside of a sofa, a matress and some appliances, is at least one-hundred years old. And every item in their store has been hand-picked with attention to authenticity and hand-crafted quality.  To be an antique the item must be at least one-hundred years old and all items have been verified for age and origin, something that has been overlooked in recent years in the antique business. Each item in the store is a treasure, full of beauty and history, making a trip to Idaho Springs and Annie’s Gold well worth your time.