Welcome to My Red Cape. Long ago in another time my husband Jack and I lived in a little old red house. It was the stuff of dreams to us for the few years that we were there. I live there still a number of hours every day in imagination, with old dolls and paintings and fabrics and feather trees. I draw inspiration and happiness from the memories of that space in time and share some of it here with friends who remember how to step with Alice through the looking glass and take delight in whimsies and antiquities.

For more than sixty years I have studied, collected, repaired, and bought and sold antique dolls. They have been back ground music in my life at every stage, sometimes louder, sometimes subdued, but always there with me. To see only the posts about dolls on this blog, click the banner on the right titled Dolls for My Red Cape. Keep clicking “Older Posts” to see more. Some of the posts featuring rug hooking are gathered under the banner For Cathy. From time to time items are offered for sale under the banner “O’Neill’s Antiques” which was our shop name for many years. ~Edyth O’Neill

Saturday, August 6, 2011

We are Incurable collectors and happy that way.

A happy morning at the local yard sales! so many times we buy little or nothing, perhaps some small tool or a few old copies of Southwest Art Magzine, or sometimes do not spend even a dime for an hour and half of driving, having risen and dressed and left home at 7 am or before. Weeks go by in futility and then oh wonder of wonders, we find some treasure...a small oriental rug, or a cache of art supplies including many fine brushes, or a piece of Texas stoneware...and this morning look what Jack found!

It has been years and years since we have bought any of the humble little iron snow eagles, which once sat in rows on the roofs or northern houses above the entrance to hold the snow from sliding down on the unwary. Sometimes on old homes, we have seen ranks of them all the way across a roof, several feet from the edge, in a fashion to keep the whole snow pack on the roof longer. Was this for insulation? I am unclear why they were so widely used, particularly in Pennsylvania, but they once abounded there on the old homes, and then in the antique shops. There were even some later reproduction ones to avoid.

It is fun to find something old mixed in with all the sad and dicarded Beanie babies.

The little iron eagles are in as found condition right now, meaning some aluminum paint and a bit of rust. Jack will work his magic on them and the pretty snow birds will sit among his collection of early stoneware, above our kitchen cabinets. It is Jack's collection of early American pottery than makes our modern kitchen more bearable to us. It numbers over 60 pieces of stoneware, and we never counted the redware. Heaven save us if we ever have to down size seriously! Edyth


  1. Love these Edyth. Glad you had a good outing! xo

  2. Ooh I like these. Coming from a place where snow is a rarity, a "snow eagle" is an exotic concept.

  3. The olde saying goes "Even a blind squirrel gets an acorn once in awhile". It's what keeps us collectors going. I love Jack's snow birds. We will all be looking forward to some snow after this sizzling summer.

  4. We lived in a house built 1830. The eagles are brackets on the roof which support a board running parallel to the edge. It holds back the snow on the roof, which is a slight insulation when it is cold, and keeps the snow from falling down in large sheets unexpectedly on people below.

    Rosemary in Pennsylvania

  5. I too love garage sales. We just went on the 127 yard sale in Ohio. We always look for antiques and I did find an antique doll. She was on a table with lots of other antique bisque dolls that were high priced. She is a five inch Bye-lo with all original clothes and paper label and she was priced $15.00. I was delighted. Thank you your blog. I really have learn alot from it. Judy

  6. What great finds! I'm sure they will look wonderful with the pottery.
    I rarely ever go treasure hunting anymore, as my house is about as full as it can get and I am much more choosy about the things I bring home these days.
    But I must say, I enjoy the hunt almost as much as the find. Summer here is too hot for enjoyable hunting, so I prefer to do it in the Fall.

  7. How interesting, Edith. I have lived in the North all my life and never knew this....although maybe in Michigan, they were never used?


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