Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Vintage Lovers... Don't Miss This One!

Yes, that's me modeling...ha ha...stop laughing!

It's been awhile since I've truly flipped out over a "new haunt." Well, I found it! After searching tirelessly for the perfect pair of distance eyeglasses, I was referred to RetroSpecs in San Francisco. Why hadn't I heard about this shop? Perhaps because they've only been in San Francisco for a little over a year.

RetroSpecs & Co. began as a one-man show in 1992. Jay Owens leased a Fleetwood Jamboree and hit the road in search of 1/10th 12k gold-filled American manufactured eyeglasses that he believed he could restore and resell in the antique world. Fast forward to today, teamed up with Marya Francis, their 46 person company offers the most amazing antique/vintage one-of-a-kind, and custom eyeglass designs to an international market.

The San Francisco shop has the most magnificent safe that houses their amazing, carefully edited "museum collection" of glasses that date from the late 19th century to the 1980s. What does "museum" mean? It means there are five or fewer known to exist worldwide. They are in mint condition, and many are unused old store stock. There are hundreds to choose from!

Glasses aficionado, "rockstar" Nita, opened that safe, and let me model some of the most wonderful glasses. Here are a few of my favorites...

1950s Bausch & Lomb "Outdoorsman" Aviator

1960s RayBan "Bewitching" Sunglasses (black with embellishments, carvings and rhinestones)

One of my favorites... c. 1950s West German Cat-Eyes

1950s Bay State Optical Gold-Filled Sunglasses

1960s French Rhinestone Cat-Eye Sunglasses

Now, back to reality. I found my dream pair. Exactly what I wanted. A pair that I could wear daily, and that would look dressy enough for a formal occasion.

These glasses are replicas of the 1938, American Optical, The New Mont Full Frame Ful-View.

They are 12 carat gold-filled with finely detailed filigree on the frame bridge and temples. The nose pads are gold-filled.

RetroSpecs knowledgeable staff takes time to measure every aspect of the glasses, from the bridge to the lenses, to get you the perfect fit. I'm anxiously awaiting my new fancy pair of custom eyeglasses! And, my photos don't show the entire shop that has literally hundreds of varieties of yellow and gold-filled frames, as well as anything and everything that you can imagine!

RetroSpecs staff of 46 craftsmen, highly skilled in the lost arts of frame shaping, precision lens drill mounting and frame polishing, produce, distribute and restore over 30,000 early and late modern 20th century eyeglass frames each year. Each antique frame that enters the restoration facility goes through an extensive process before receiving a registration number approving the frame for sale.

There are RetroSpec shops in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Seoul, Korea, as well as online vendors that carry their products. Or, please, do yourself a favor and visit their website RetroSpecs to see just a sampling of their stock, as well as the many locations that carry their products.

Thanks all for tagging along with me. It was such a fun discovery!

Monday, August 15, 2016

New FRENCH Arrivals at Paris Hotel Boutique!

Don't let the Dog Days of Summer get you down. Come into the lobby of Paris Hotel Boutique, and enjoy perusing our new finds in air-conditioned comfort!

We are thrilled to bring you an eclectic assortment of vintage and antique pieces from France! Some highlights include:

Some highlights include:
  • Antique French General Portrait Paintings
  • 19th C. French Unused Tea Tins
  • Antique French Porcelain Transferware
  • Unique French Biscuit Tin Covers
  • Vintage Parisian Street Sign
  • French Hotel Silver
  • Assorted Estate Jewelry & much more

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Queen for a Day?

Sometimes we just need to laugh at ourselves, right?

 Yesterday I had the funniest request in my 20 years of business. A potential customer requested a photo of our French crown on a human head. She was contemplating wearing it for her wedding.

Okay, I put the make-up on and had my husband took photos of me with the crown. Needless to say, it wasn't right for her wedding, but I sure had a laugh posing with a crown!

By the way, crown is still available for purchase on our website!

Friday, August 05, 2016

A Glimpse of Life Before Antiques...

Been searching for this photo to wish the legendary Tony Bennett a Happy 90th Birthday! Hard to believe that this man is still so vibrant and releasing records at 90!

As some of you may know, I used to be a personal assistant to Blues musician, John Lee Hooker. It was a whirlwind of fun! Traveling and meeting people in my 20s and 30s. 

The photo above was taken at the 1991 Grammy Awards. (I'm on the left) Was so elated to meet Tony Bennett. And funny, I was never camera or celebrity shy! And funnier is that Tony Bennett hasn't aged much in 25 years, but I sure have!

Anyway, a blast from the past! A big Happy Birthday to the fabulous Mr. Bennett!!

Monday, August 01, 2016

PHB Memorabilia at Sir Francis Drake Hotel!

Some of you may know that my husband is a concierge at the Sir Francis Drake hotel in downtown San Francisco. The Drake just installed a case of memorabilia, dating as early as 1928, the year the hotel opened. I'm thrilled to have much of my ephemera, and my hotel silver grace the shelves. So many wonderful things to see from old photos to receipts!

Some history... The "Drake" opened in 1928. A stunning Art Deco hotel lavished with ornate carving and chandeliers. The Drake housed vaudeville and screen stars. It was, and still is, a breathtakingly beautiful hotel. 

My collection of Sir Francis Drake Hotel silver & china 

Throughout its history, The Drake has been known as the "party" hotel, with the fabulous Starlight Room overlooking the City and the early prohibition days. The owners of the hotel wanted to make extra income by selling and distributing alcohol to its guests, thus, this room was part of the original building plan. It was a very discreet operation that only a few people actually knew about. A lot of the Drake employees didn't even know that alcohol was being distributed. 

If you happen to visit The Drake in the near future, check out the display and my husband Leif

 at the concierge desk, tell him who you are, and have a cocktail on him!

Sir Francis Drake Hotel