Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Bracelet

I received this wonderful story from Suzanne G. Beyer about her family history and the development of the first expansion bracelet.

Every day for 15 years, I’d don my bracelet and my watch, comprising the morning ritual. The bracelet shined with a gold-plated surface, which covered its underlying base metal. For an expansion bracelet, it fit comfortable on my left wrist.

One day, a link broke. The bracelet loosened, almost falling off my wrist. I’d pay any cost to have it repaired as the bracelet represented both my mother and my grandmother. It had been passed down through the generations. When I wore it, I felt closer to them.

“Can you fix my bracelet?” I asked the neighborhood jeweler.

He broke the bad news, that it was so old there’d be no way he could restore it and that I should retire it to a jewelry box for safekeeping, His words hit me like a death in the family.

Only with my aging, did the age and history of the bracelet become important to me. My mother always believed her uncle, Art Hadley, invented it. Upon further research into the pages of the Official Gazette of the U.S. Patent Office, I discovered it was collaboration between Mom’s Uncle Art and his co-worker Charles P. Kuehner. It was patented on February 11, 1913, (the date inscribed on the bracelet link) and manufactured in my Great Uncle Art’s jewelry shop.

Arthur Hadley of Providence, Rhode Island, was the Founder, President and Treasurer of the Hadley Jewelry Company which formed in 1913 on Fountain Street in Providence. However, Art’s roots were British. This eventually opened doors for business opportunities for him in both the United States and England. He was born to British parents in Cape Town, South Africa in 1885. The family, which included Art’s sister, my grandmother Una Hadley, moved to Providence when Art was 3 years old. He graduated from the Technical High School in Providence and first worked as a toolmaker. Great Uncle Art always remained a British subject and also founded an optical manufacturing company in England. A prosperous businessman, he divided his time between the two countries and his two companies, until retirement in 1937.

History writes that in the 19th century, there was little jewelry production in the United States. It was all made I Europe with specific pieces serving the different classes. At the end of the 20th century, Newark, New Jersey and Providence, Rhode Island became the main jewelry centers in America, enhanced through gold resources in the West. Art Hadley had landed in the perfect spot…and at the perfect time!

According to Bert Kalisher, Editor of Chronos Magazine, Hadley’s expansion bracelet invention became the forerunner of the expansion wristwatch band.

“Art Hadley was mechanically very clever, ran a good business and was a pioneer,” said Kalisher.

He added, “Everything he made was dignified and in good taste. His product and business showed an artistic and orderly mind.”

Around 1905, Hadley started making women’s watch bands. Women wore wristwatches affixed to a black ribbon attachment, manufactured and sold through Hadley Jewelry Company.

Men, now serving in the armed forces during WWI, needed a watch they could wear on their wrist, as the pocket watch became impractical, with its face breaking when the soldiers jumped into a foxhole. By the end of 1918, men were wearing wristwatches, which grew popular in the 1920s and 30s.

Kalisher points out that Hadley’s expansion band used the scissor system with springs for watchbands through WWII. These were produced by companies like Speidel, Lenox, and Hadley-Kalbe. The scissor system expansion bands faded in the 60s and 70s because they were too costly to make and were apt to break. Speidel’s Twistoflex replaced the scissor system in 1960 from a patent they leased from a German company.

Kalisher notes, too, that an original wristwatch is showcased in the Smithsonian, attached to Art Hadley’s expansion bracelet. And, when I walk through our local mall, I stop and stare at the booth displaying the bright, shiny gold “Hadley-Roma” watchbands and bracelets. I’m delighted that the Hadley name lives on with Art’s invention.

Great Uncle Art’s expansion bracelet now sits in my dining room corner cupboard with other cherished antiques. Its delicate links break easily and can no longer be worn. With each dusting of the cupboard and careful cleaning of the bracelet, I take great pride in knowing the family history of the first expansion bracelet ever made.


The mind-boggling story that follows this, on what became of Art Hadley’s fortune, is captured in my recently published co-written book, “The Inventor’s Fortune Up For Grabs” by Suzanne G. Beyer and John S. Pfarr.

Investigative Discovery T.V.’s “The Will” will feature Hadley’s fortune story on a fall episode. The exact date will be set in September. I’ll put it on my website


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Summer Meals: Cold Asparagus and Shrimp Salad

There is nothing better than cold salad served for dinner on a warm summer night.  This is the perfect recipe to pack for a night out listening to the Summer Concert series in Ballard Park (Westport, NY) or just relaxing on the back porch enjoying the night air.  Serve it with a bottle of Louis Jadot Pouilly-FuiseĆ© Chardonnay and a french baguette. Enjoy!

Cold Asparagus and Shrimp Salad

By: Robin Donovan and Juliana Gallin, authors of The Lazy Gourmet: Magnificent Meals Made Easy


¼ pounds asparagus, woody ends trimmed and spears sliced into 1½-inch lengths
3 tablespoons lemon juice (from about 1 lemon)
¼–½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼–½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 to 2 teaspoons sugar, depending on the sweetness of your lemons
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons thinly sliced red onion
½ pound cooked shrimp
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
⅓ cup toasted pine nuts
⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese


Put asparagus slices in a steamer basket placed inside a pot filled with about an inch of water. Bring water to a boil over high heat, lower heat, cover pot, and steam asparagus until just tender (2 to 6 minutes, depending on thickness of the spears). Place asparagus in a serving bowl and let cool in the fridge.

While asparagus is steaming and cooling, combine lemon juice, salt, pepper, and sugar in a small bowl or a jar with a tightly fitting lid. Add olive oil and whisk or shake vigorously until well combined. Taste and add salt, pepper, or sugar if needed. Add onion, letting it marinate in the dressing for a few minutes.

Toss shrimp, basil, pine nuts, and cheese with the asparagus (reserving a little of the cheese to sprinkle on top after dressing). Add the marinated onion and lemon vinaigrette to taste (you may have some vinaigrette left over). Sprinkle remaining cheese on top.

Photo Courtesy of Two Lazy Gourmets


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Summer Linen Luxury For Your Bed

Romantic Bedding Collection
Summer is the perfect time to make a change with new bedding linens.  At the Pink Pig we love crisp white bedding for any decorating style.  View our Summer Collection of Romantic Bedding in pretty soft 110% cotton muslin bedding with layers of ruffles. We are also thrilled to feature Brahms Mount's exquisite line of cotton throws and linen day blankets. Each design is a masterpiece to throw in the car or on the couch, and most importantly to throw on your shoulders and snuggle in. Adults, too, deserve a security blanket! With Brahms Mount's variety of patterns, natural fibers and vibrant color palettes, there is sure to be a day blanket, personal and perfect, for everyone.  Duvets, Boudoir Pillows, Cases and Shams. Romantic, French and modern bedding styles co-exist happily and set apart your bedroom decor as your own!                       
Je Taime Pillow Set
Coverlet by When Lindy Met Sandy

Iconic linen/cotton day blankets are great to use at the beach, on the boat, picnicking, lounging on the patio or poolside.  Here are our favorite picks by Brahms Mount...
Linen/Cotton Day Blankets

Brahms Mount Day Throws

These are subtle and inexpensive ways to carry one theme or design through all the seasons and i hope you will visit our shop to view more of our affordable quality bed linens for your humble abode.

Thanks for the visit!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Tips From Antique Expert Michael Hogben

The following article is based on an excerpt by antiques expert Michael Hogben – it originally appeared in “Collecting Under the Radar” by Michael Hogben and Linda Abrams. Michael Hogben is the star of “Auction Man” and the BBC’s “Bargain Hunt” and is a veteran antiques auctioneer and appraiser, based in the English Countryside.

Collecting antiques has been a life-long passion for me, and the excitement and pleasure that it produces never subsides. As an art dealer for five years and an auctioneer for nearly twenty, I’ve had over two million lots pass through my hands at a value of some $30 million.

Some of the more fascinating collecting paths lie deep-rooted in the memory. The urge to accumulate objects from the past can lead to the formation of an immensely pleasurable collection, which can also—with a bit of luck and skill—be accompanied by considerable financial reward.

Pink Pig Garden Potting Table
Nearly everyone has, or can develop, an eye for some nostalgic item. The urge to collect may come about in a number of random ways: all of a sudden you realize that you have just bought your third piece of art glass, or maybe you have long been gathering items connected with the area in which you grew up. Perhaps you are a fanatical gardener and have grown to admire the antique items that add such charm to that shady corner of your yard. Or maybe the implements used in kitchens past have caught your eye, especially if you are a promising chef. Chances are that an existing hobby or long-held interest is the stimulus for your collection.

Once you have made a decision as to what to collect, the field you have chosen will no doubt open up plentiful collecting possibilities, and you may have to whittle down your criteria. Should you only collect items in top condition? Should you limit yourself to the earliest examples? Perhaps only items of a certain color or size catch your eye. The choices and the fun of collecting are entirely yours, and you can be certain that you’ll always feel a sense of achievement from collecting your unique assortment of items.

Pink Pig Cottage Chair Set
Although the reasons for investing in antiques are abundant—enthusiasm for or enjoyment of a particular object, or to remind yourself of days gone by—one thing is for certain: you will want your acquisitions to represent a good financial investment. Investing in antiques can be similar to investing in the stock market in that the market will always have its highs and lows. Knowing when to invest, what to invest in and how much you should pay are all crucial factors for any prospective collector.

Top Tips:

1. Spend the most you can afford on the best possible example to get the best possible return. 

Here is a story to illustrate this point. In 1975, my friend David Dickinson was asked to procure a Minton Majolica Peacock for a client. Modeled by the sculptor Paul Comolera around 1873, it is believed that there are only eight examples of the Peacock in the world. David found one in Australia and procured it for his client for the equivalent of about $12,000. In 2006, the Peacock was valued at approximately $230,000, based on the retail price index. Not a bad return on an investment that was held and enjoyed for 30-odd years!

2. Sometimes it is worth selling a few pieces from a collection in order to buy one exceptional example.

Many collectors will start out by investing in the more common patterns or designs within their chosen field, but as their knowledge builds, many will want to invest in better, bigger or rarer designs. For example, my wife, Lesley, is an avid collector of 19th-century cranberry glass. A few years ago, it was becoming obvious to both of us that her collection was growing out of its show cabinet, but it wasn’t until an impressive five branch cranberry glass epergne was up for auction at an estimated selling price of $1,400 to $1,800 that Lesley thought of selling anything from her treasured collection. Within days, fifteen early purchases from Lesley’s collection were entered into my next auction. None of the pieces she planned to sell had cost more than $50. With my help, Lesley raised just over $2,000 and became the proud owner of the cranberry glass epergne which beautifully adorns our dining table.

3. Keep a detailed catalogue of your purchases, including such information as when and where you bought the item and how much you paid for it.

Keeping such a record will help you to monitor the item’s increase (or decrease) in value, which is useful for price comparisons in the future. You should also keep a brief history of where you bought the item, how much you paid for it and any history particular to the item, such as that pertaining to its pattern, shape, number and designer. Yet another, albeit rather morbid, reason for keeping such a record is that upon your demise the inheritor of your prized collection will possess a detailed history for valuation purposes.

Learn more about the book at


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

1633 Holland Ceramic Shoe

I love receiving emails from my blog readers!  Recently I heard from a reader who sent me a story about an ancestral shoe.  I thought you all would enjoy hearing her heartfelt story.

It was a beautiful May Day, (Thursday, May 5, 2011) and I had made the decision to straighten up my work area and home office. In doing so, I accidentally broke my ancestral Holland ceramic shoe dated 1633. It shattered into innumerable pieces on my ceramic tile floor. In shock, I sat on the floor in confusion and disbelief as tears streamed down my bare cheeks. Picking up the countless pieces I immediately called my husband to explain my tragedy. It was if I were conveying the death of a family member, my heart was broken like the shoe. When he arrived home, he took all of the precious broken pieces and glued them back together as if he were saying “here it is, all fixed.” Then he went on line and said he found another Holland Ceramic Shoe for fifteen dollars. I was in astonished until he mentioned it was an ashtray replica!

My paternal grandmother (whom I worshiped) passed this heirloom down to me twenty years ago for safe keeping. She trusted me and my love for this prized possession, knowing I would take good care of it and continue the legacy. I was always curious and proud of our family heritage and would sit countless hours absorbing her informative recounts. My grandmother was a Quaker as well as her mother, grandmother and so on back to when her ancestors came over on the Mayflower in 1620. She passed seven years ago at the age of 96.

Can you imagine how many hands have cared for the blue and white Holland antique shoe? How many generations of homes possessed this heirloom? And on May 5th, it ended with me.

My name is Rochelle Gavlik and I founded and own Card Creations by Rochelle, a new Customized Card business started in January 2011. I have a deep passion for handmade specialty cards, scrapbooking, jewelry making and have been involved in these crafts for six years. 

Please feel free to send me your antique stories and photos!  Email me at  I love hearing from you! ~ Debb