The Cornell Lab of Ornithology

November 15, 2019

One of our favorite places to advertise our Cavin Richie Wildlife in Bronze jewelry is Living Bird. It is produced by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. The Autumn 2019 caught our attention with an article entitled, “3 Billion Birds Lost.”

According to research published online in September by the journal Science, wild bird populations in the continental U.S. and Canada have declined by almost 30% since 1970. While all six major biomes in the US saw a bird population decline, the largest percentage occurred in the grasslands, where there was a 53% decrease.

Click here for the article:

If you are interested in learning more, or making a donation, please visit Cornell’s Bird Lab homepage.

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Cavin Richie

 

 

RIP Phillip Hawk

August 30, 2019

We have received news that Phillip Hawk, the craftsman behind our bridle leather belts has passed away.

As an expert saddler/shoe maker, Phillip made our belts for many years, before passing the tradition on to Danny Whitaker. We were always proud of the extreme care and workmanship he put into each belt.

Please read this blog post if you would like to know more about Phillip.

Our condolences to the family.

 

 

 

 

Farewell, Byrnie Utz

June 21, 2019

After selling hats in downtown Seattle for 84 years, the Byrnie Utz store closed its doors in September, 2018. For anyone interested in the details, The Seattle Times ran a story last year. Link here.

They were a wonderful company that sold Akubra hats along with many other brands.

Recently we obtained some of their remaining stock. We’re able to offer these hats at sale prices. They are limited to stock on hand. Browse the hats to see if you can find one that fits.

We also received some very interesting antique items that reveal the world of hatselling.

 

A Hat Stretcher

 

The hat stretcher will stretch a hat about a half of a size. Any more than that and you will damage the hat.

 

Old Stetson Boxes

 

 

Gold Embossing Tool

 

The gold embossing tool was used to print the name of the hat wearer. Since hats were worn by nearly everyone prior to the 1960s, it was easy to get yours lost among the others, especially in a restaurant or any place with a coat check.

 

 

Closeup of the embossing tool

 

A closeup of the embossing tool reveals the name: The Name-o-Gramer.

We’ll miss Byrnie and the part of Seattle that has been rapidly disappearing for the past ten years.

 

 

 

The Nevern Cross Church (Saint Brynach)

March 8, 2019

There is a church in Nevern (Nanhyfer),Wales dedicated to Saint Brynach. Nevern is a small village and parish in Pembrokeshire, West Wales.  It lies in the valley of the River Nevern.

Nevern Cross (courtesy, Wikipedia)

 

The famous cross, constructed in medieval times, is 13 feet tall and ornamented with Celtic knotwork. It is dedicated to Saint Brynach, who lived lived in the late 5th and early 6th centuries. He was a native of nearby Cemaes who, after a pilgrimage to Rome and a sojourn in Brittany, returned to Wales to lead an ascetic life in Nanhyfer. The cross was carved in the 10th or 11th century. Legend has it that the cuckoo, on returning to Wales in the spring, first sings from the cross on April 7th, the saint’s feast day.

 

St Brynach’s Cross Pendant

 

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Celtic Jewelry

 

 

Happy Saint David’s Day!

February 22, 2019

St. David, Dewi Sant, is the patron saint of the Welsh, and March 1, his feast day, is celebrated as a patriotic and cultural festival by the Welsh in Wales and around the world.

Dewi Sant was a Celtic monk of the sixth century. His mother was Non. The ruins of a small chapel dedicated to her memory may be seen near St. David’s Cathedral.  His father was Sant, a son of Ceredig, King of Cardigan. Little is known for certain about Dewi Sant, but he founded several religious centers in Wales and western England, was consecrated archbishop during a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and led an ascetic life. An account of his life was written towards the end of the 11th century by Rhygyfarch, a monk at Llanbadarn Fawr near Aberystwyth. Many prophesies were said to have preceded the birth of Dewi Sant, and many miracles were attributed to him. One miracle often recounted is that once when Dewi was preaching to a crowd at Llandewi Brefi those on the outer edges could not hear, so he spread a handkerchief on the ground, and stood on it to preach, whereupon the ground swelled up beneath him, and all could hear. A short account of Dewi Sant has been given by Nona Rees in St. David of Dewisland.

March 1, the date given by Rhygyfarch for the death of Dewi Sant, was celebrated as a religious festival up until the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century. In the 18th century it became a national festival among the Welsh, and continues as such to this day. The celebration usually entails singing and eating, which may mean a meal followed by singing, or much singing followed by a Te Bach, tea with teisen bach and bara brith. Y Ddraig Goch, the Red Dragon, is flown as a flag or worn as a pin or pendant, and leeks are worn, and sometimes eaten. In schools in Wales the boys take leeks to school, status being given to those who bring the biggest leeks, and eat them earliest in the day.

The heraldic emblem of Wales is Y Ddraig Goch, the Red Dragon. The emblem of Wales is the leek, arising from an occasion when a troop of Welsh were able to distinguish each other from a troop of English enemy dressed in similar fashion by wearing leeks. An alternative emblem developed in recent years is the daffodil, used and preferred over the leek by the English government as it lacks the overtones of patriotic defiance associated with the leek.

St. David’s Day meetings are not boisterous celebrations of democracy and freedom in Wales, but rather the subdued remembrance allowed a captive nation under colonial rule.

For more information …

We are pleased to offer the following Welsh and Celtic information and items:

Celtic Art & Lore
Celtic Jewelry
Welsh Brooches
Celtic Crosses
Celtic Wedding & Engagement Rings

St. Dwynwen

 

 

 

Celtic Rings Now in White Gold

September 7, 2018

David’s Welsh heritage was proudly displayed at David Morgan. Customers in the store could look at the Welsh flag which hung over the door. Street signs and posters also decorated the walls. One sign said, in Welsh, “Drink Welsh milk, not English beer.” David was a Welsh separatist, and had many books on the topic.

This influenced David and Dorothy’s buying decisions over the years. Many Welsh items such as the Nursing Shawl are long gone. Our jewelry, however, remains. David Morgan uses the Celtic design tradition as a part of its jewelry. Many of our Celtic rings have always been available in gold. Now we are proud to say that most Celtic rings are available in white gold. Our customers have asked for this option and we are now able to do it. The white gold also applies to the Kalgoorie rings.

Kalgoorlie Anniversary Ring

Kalgoorlie Anniversary Ring

 

Gold Trinity Ring

Gold Trinity Ring

 

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Celtic Jewelry

 

 

 

Coach Whips

June 21, 2018

Working at David Morgan is really fun when we can put people together to solve problems and preserve history. My father’s work in the field of whips did not just involve braiding the Indian Jones whips and other leather goods. It also included writing several books, including Whips and Whipmaking. Because of that, I occasionally field general whip queries.

A few weeks ago I took a call from a Mr. Patt Patterson of Missouri who was writing a book on stage coach whips. He asked me if I knew anything about them. I told him I had no information other than what was in my father’s books, but that I would check the list of whips that David had made. I checked and found Dad had a couple of stage coach whips in his collection, so I said I’d clean them up for him and send him photographs.

A few days later I took a call from Jimmy Wilson in Texas. He was looking for someone to clean up and put new falls on his wife’s whips. His wife was a wild west arts performer in the fifties and sixties. Jimmy also mentioned that he ran a business building stagecoaches. See his website here.

I introduced them by email and Patt is now busy fixing up the whips and having a new friend in the world of stage coaches.

After receiving the performer whips, Patt mentioned that some of the whips were made by the J.M. Bucheimer Co. I found a Bucheimer catalog or three in David’s files from the mid-sixties when they were in Frederick, Maryland. Along with the catalogs was correspondence that said David was interested in buying the Drovers and Performers whips. He then bought a couple, and later responded that they were advertised as 12 plait but arrived as 10 plait. Later Bucheimer catalogs described the whips as 10 plait. In 1967 the performer whips cost $10.60 to $31.00 depending on their length with extra long lengths available on special request.

The stage coach whips in David’s collection were labeled and measured as follows:

No. 94: Stagecoach Whip, Bert Hill, 1960s. He had made coach whips for Cobb & Co. See the Wikipedia entry.

11′ thong 6 plait dropped to 4. 12 plait covered handle is about 54″.

 

 

Coach Whip Tags

 

No. 95: Stagecoach Whip Bert Hill, 1960s. 9′ thong 6 plait dropped to 4. 12 plait covered handle is about 53″.

No. 98: Useless Thong by DWM on a Lungewhip handle by Millowick. Thong lacks weight in the belly. Handle is a bit under 50 inches.

 

Coach Whip with Useless Thong

 

It appears David had made an attempt at copying the stagecoach whip thong and failed. Thankfully David kept on trying his hand and made hundreds of functional whips–albeit not for stagecoaches.

Our best wishes to Patt and Jimmy’s respective and collective endeavors!

Will Morgan

 

Some additional photos:

Coach Whip Handle Detail

 

Coach Whips

 

Coach Whip with a Cracker

 

Coiled Coach Whips

 

Bucheimer Catalog

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Whips

 

 

April 20, 2018

Indiana Jones Whips

 

“Many have tried, all have failed.”

A month has passed since you dropped the gold coins into the wizened hands of the blind bookseller, but you still see his bone-white cataracts stare directly at you. Your broken Arabic understood every word. When you left his musty stall, deep in the labyrinth of that grand bazaar, Cairo’s Khan el-Khalili, you stowed the tome securely in your leather satchel. There was wisdom in his words. The French, the Germans and even a rogue element of Her Majesty’s Army all would kill for it. They almost poisoned you on the train to Aswan, but you know the smell of arsenic, even when disguised by the smell of Turkish Coffee.

Even now, alone in the desert, you pat your satchel to make sure the book is still secure. The Diary of the Mad Arab. You’ll need the answers to the puzzles that lay ahead.

A dust devil stirs the sands at your feet. You wipe your face, and reach for your canteen.

“Empty,” you mutter. You sucked the last drop this morning and the horizon shows no sign of an oasis. The chances of making it to one are slim. But you know that somewhere, just under your feet, hides the treasure written about in the Mad Arab’s book. The rock outcropping, the one described in the book juts through the sand. The face of Anubis, the jackal-headed god, still looks towards the west. The land of the setting sun. The land of the dead, according to the ancient Egyptians. Though eroded over the millennia by wind, his features are still eerily visible. A god refusing to pass from this world.

You mark the distance from the outcropping… one, two, three paces. Already fatigued from the journey, you pull out your field shovel and dig. The hot air shimmers over the sand as an occasional gust blows it into your face. Undeterred, you press on. Fickle sand falls back into the hole you dig, but for every shovel of sand that goes back in, you scoop out two.

A hard clank rings out in the quiet, desert air. Suddenly you are invigorated, as if you’ve just spent a night at Shepheard’s in Cairo. You dig faster until the shovel reveals a stone. Falling to your knees, you wipe away the sand and grin. There, painted on the stone is the cartouche you’ve seen in the Mad Arab’s book: Mnem-pa-tep. You have found the tomb of the forgotten Pharaoh.

You grasp the sharp edges and pull away the heavy stone. Cool air, wet and musty, fills your dried lungs. It takes three tries for your bloodied, shaking fingers to strike a match, but you light the lantern and lower it into the darkness. There’s about a twelve foot drop to the floor below.

You unpack your rope, fastening it securely to the stone. As you slide your way down, you remember the bookseller’s words: “Many have tried, all have failed.”

You take his warning to heart. Danger lurks ahead. It’s a good thing that your trusty whip hangs at your side.

 

 

Nova Scotia Textiles

January 19, 2018

Our line of underwear from Stanfield’s dates back to a time when they were made by Nova Scotia Textiles. The common name for the woolens was black underwear because of the dark color of the wool used. Nova Scotia Textiles made them with 100% wool. You might think that adding the nylon was a step backwards, but the 20% nylon combination makes them machine washable and allows the user to tumble dry (under low heat) the underwear. With 100% wool, the underwear needed to be placed flat on a table to air dry.

Below is an old excerpt from our Fall and Winter 1996-1997 catalog:

Nova Scotia Textiles is an old-line Canadian company, incorporated by two Nova Scotia Scots in 1883 on the basis of a business founded in 1868. It is still a family corporation, maintaining an on-going reputation as a manufacturer of top quality, basic knitted fleecewear and underwear.

 

Here is a photo from that catalog:

 

Spring 1996 David Morgan Catalog

Spring 1996 David Morgan Catalog

 

When Nova Scotia Textiles closed down in 2005, the building was left empty. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been any new tenants. Attempts were made to refurbish the building for condos, but the plans fell through. Let’s hope the 130 year old building finds a new owner!

You can get a glimpse inside the building with this YouTube video by Terra Spencer. Enjoy!

 

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Stanfield’s

Discover the Warmth of Wool

 

 

The Wild Man and Wild Woman of the Woods

August 18, 2017

Above our office doors hang two masks carved by Cedric Billy that tell a very interesting Squamish Lil’wat story. A Wild Man and Wild Woman live in the forest.  The Wild Man is a small, human-looking creature. Cedric has exquisitely captured the features of the Wild Man in his carving. The nose resembles a hooked beak. His eyes are sunken and he has a terrifying look.

Often, spirits of drowned people can be seen near him. And never take a meal from him, or it might turn you into a Wild Man.

Wild Man of the Woods by Cedric Billy

The Wild Woman is a giant, and twice the size of humans. She is dark and hairy with magical power. Her eyes are sunken, and she pushes out her lips to call out, “Uh, huu, uu, uu.”

She carries a basket on her back that contains all of the children she caught. She isn’t very bright and children can usually outsmart her. For some tribes, she is also a bringer of wealth. Below is another excellent carving by Cedric.

Old Woman of the Woods by Cedric Billy

 

For more information, please go to the Free Spirit Gallery.

The next time you are in the store, take a look at the masks hanging on the wall. They are amazing.

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Pacific Northwest Art