A pair of mens’ collar boxes and a lady’s glove box (middle) from the 1830s. The tops are made with celluloid, one of the earliest forms of plastic. (Brennan Phillips - Keremeos Review)

Hidden treasures of the Okanagan’s Curiosity Shop

A set of celluloid topped glove and collar boxes are some of the many interesting finds in Keremeos

Ever think about all of those items your grandparents have gathered over the years sitting up in the attic, and how strange some of them are?

The Curiosity Shop on Main Street Keremeos has them beat.

For 45 years, owners Kelly and Randy Bickner have collected a wide variety of special items.

A few of those items have long stories attached to them, such as the trophy from Port Alberni that had found its way to the shop back in 2014 before it was returned to the island.

READ MORE: Hidden Treasures of the Curiosity Shop: Chinese Ironwood Furniture

For part two of our ongoing series, the Review will be looking at a collection of glove and collar boxes from the 1830s.

“This is all celluloid on top, all hand made,” said Kelly. “It’s called a Victorian glove box.”

The lining on the inside of the glove box is all hand stitched, some of it pulling away from the hinge and making it clear how much work went into the construction.

The celluloid on the tops of the boxes is one of the first forms of synthetic plastics, and in jewellery and box-craft was used to replace more expensive ivory.

The original collector of the boxes, a woman from Alberta, sold the boxes in order to get some space.

Inside the collar boxes are the original collars, still intact and fairly white, as well the original button in its packaging.

“These are the old hard collars they used to use. They originally came from the estate of Daisy Gordon, wife of Doctor Gordon, from Alberta,” said Kelly, before holding up the button. “This is called Improve It, it holds the collar in. This is the original you would have had when you bought the collars.”

The collars themselves still have their Arrow logo clearly visible.

“These are rare. The woman I bought these from, these are what she would collect,” said Kelly. “She searched different areas, different towns, over the years and years. She had some others that were bigger, that more ornate, that held gloves that she kept.”

In the next part, a look at some antique navigation equipment.

To report a typo, email: editor@keremeosreview.com.


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