In the latter part of the 1960s, Mary began collecting when a friend
introduced her to an old country auction house that actually held
its auctions in a barn. She liked the look of the Victorian items her friend collected
and started her own collection with Flow Blue China. Mary later
added a sofa, balloon back chairs and marble topped tables, all
with a Victorian theme. In the mid 1970s she became interested in tobacco
tins and advertising, picking up several nice examples of Huntly and
Palmer tins while on one of her trips to England and Portobello Road.
Soon her eyes were opened to decorating with a continental theme
and Mary began collecting decorative bronzes, miniature paintings,
and old leather books with colorful bindings. She discovered paper
toys in the 1980s and 1990s like the ones made famous by the New York
game maker McLoughlin Brothers. The larger “Game of Base Ball”
with the lead figurines was one of the first sports games Mary purchased.
She continued collecting various games from dealers and auctions in
Pennsylvania and Connecticut, some for a very fair price! She is now
more interested in folk items such as painted game boards, hand
painted trade signs, certain types of stoneware jugs and crocks
incised with blue decoration. One thing Mary is keeping her eye out for
is another tin toy train like the one she is holding.