A Private Collection

Posted: 21st February 2012 by ToadHollowPhoto in Photography
Tags: , , , ,

Have you ever been to someone’s house before and seen something that was so interesting, you just had to photograph it?  Today’s post highlights one such visit that resulted in a short series of images.

All these items form part of a personal and private collection of interesting items and artifacts.  Our host graciously allowed us to capture these images of some of their items, and we thought they would form a great basis for interest and discussion here on our blog.

Battery Tester - Private Collection

Battery Tester - Private Collection

Now, I’m sure we’ve all seen battery testers at some point before in our lives, but how about one of these?  For some reason, this wonderful old antique just blew me away when we saw it in the display case.  The beautiful wood textures that are so rich and the wonderful old font used to print the words in the instrument area of the device were two elements that totally jumped out at us.  There is a personal engraved plaque on the front that gave this old tester a little more character.  They just don’t make stuff the way they used to, that’s for sure…  my bet is this unit still works perfectly!

HO Scale Train - Private Collection

HO Scale Train - Private Collection

When I was growing up in Edmonton, my Dad had built a huge HO scale model railroad in our basement.  It was so intertwined with the basement of the house that when we sold the house to move, the train had to stay.  It was a bittersweet moment, leaving all the work and wonder behind as we set out to the coast to start our new lives and now whenever I see a model railroad I am instantly taken back to my childhood home.

Steam Engine - Private Collection

Steam Engine - Private Collection

This old steam engine was a total highlight of our visit.  This is a fully functional, miniature steam engine.  The wheel on the right side of the platform is designed to have a belt that drives accessories.  The idea behind this was it was intended to be an active learning toy.  You could learn all about steam engines while playing with this great item, and watch as a whole bunch of different accessories were driven by the power of boiling water.  As a youngster, I recall being absolutely fascinated by these things, almost as if they held some form of magical qualities to them.  Today I am delighted to take in all the details that went into the design of this item.  There is no plastic here, my friends, this entire thing is made of metal and steel and is designed to last forever.  Once again, I find myself saying that I am pretty sure this item would still fire right up today.

Toad Juice - Private Collection

Toad Juice - Private Collection

And here we have an empty bottle of Toad Juice.  I think this picture speaks for itself.  I am not totally sure this picture belongs in the collection we’re highlighting in today’s post here, but given the beauty of the bottle and considering what once was held in here (a truly magical elixir) it was something that I just had to share.  You tell me?

Skulls - Private Collection

Skulls - Private Collection

Without any doubt, these have to be the most interesting items we found in the collection on this visit.  What we’re looking at here is a collection of real skulls.  A bear skull, a deer skull…  and a human skull.  I can only hope that all 3 of these entities didn’t meet their ends at the same time and place.  That would have been ugly.

It should also be said that the private collector we were visiting this day didn’t acquire the human skull in any dastardly manner.  They received the item in this condition already.  Given that most of the teeth are missing here, I was left wondering if perhaps this wasn’t all the side-effect of a bar brawl gone bad.  But, I guess we’ll have to leave that up to your imagination.

Thanks for popping by and checking out these interesting items with us today.  Do you ever find that you’re visiting some place and see items that are just so fascinating you are compelled to try to take pictures?  This happens to us quite frequently and I’d love to hear about your experience.  Please, feel free to leave us any comments or thoughts you may have, we truly love to hear from all our visitors.




  1. avatar Rob Hanson says:

    Great collection, Toad, and a great way to capture all the items. Those are truly beautiful things.

  2. avatar ChrisdMRF says:

    Great set of images Toad, it’s true, they do not make things like they used to. As for the JD bottle, yeah it belongs.

  3. avatar Jim Denham says:

    These are great items and you’ve brought out the details just awesomely Toad! Fantastic!

  4. avatar Kelley says:

    Wow, those are some great shots Toad! I am especially fascinated by those skulls–truly creepy! Sure you didn’t happen to stumble into an episode of “Oddities”?

    • I am not sure of anything, to be perfectly honest! The people were perfectly wonderful, though, so I don’t think there’s anything buried in the basement!! Thank you so very much for your visit and most wonderful comments, Kelley, we really do appreciate it so much!

  5. avatar Rick Louie says:

    Wonderful set of shots, Toad. I love the DOF for the battery tester. Superb!

  6. avatar Curt Fleenor says:

    Fantastic set off collectibles and great captures Toad!

  7. avatar Fred Norris says:

    I say mate what a wonderful collection of curiosities !Great presentation Toad ,love the “Toad Juice”

  8. avatar Jim Nix says:

    those skulls are interesting and a little creepy, but I just love that battery tester Toad!!

  9. Now how did I miss this yesterday. Wonderful collection Toad. I do love vintage items and that battery tester is awesome. Wonderfully captured and you’ve brought out all the beautiful details in these items.

  10. Great images spot on with the depth of field – really like the train and steam engine, I remember that my Grandad had one of those and I loved it – it didn’t come out very often though.

  11. avatar LensScaper says:

    Great set of photos here, Toad. Lovely soft backgrounds too and the artifacts really stand out, expertly recorded. Fascinating collection too. The Jack Daniels bottle is my favourite – the glass is so well captured. I guess the human skull may have come from a medical collection as clearly the skull has been sawn in half. I have one just like that, top half, bottom half and the lower jaw too, plus a few more teeth. It was bought during my medical training, still have it!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thank you so much for your visit and most informative comments here, my friend! That does make sense, and actually sounds a lot better than what my imagination was trying to come up with! We really appreciate your support here Andy, thanks!

  12. avatar Mike says:

    A great collection of items AND photos sir. I, of course, was quite intrigued by the cork top bottle of Jack Single Barrel!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thank you kind sir! Yes, that bottle not only at one time contained the pure elixir of the Gods, but it also makes for a beautiful bottle! Thank you ever so kindly for taking the time to visit and for leaving these great comments!

  13. avatar Rob says:

    Always interesting the treasures people display and the memories or stories they evoke.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      I totally agree there, Rob! Thanks for taking the time to pop by and for these awesome comments, my friend!

  14. avatar A.Barlow says:

    What a wonderful set of images and each looks lit very well. Good work sir!

  15. avatar Jimi Jones says:

    What an awesome collection of items, Toad. All so nicely photographed and presented for us to share. Sweet visit that was. 😉

  16. avatar Dave DiCello says:

    These are very nicely captured my dear friend! What a fine presentation!

  17. I have a bottle of Toad Juice in the cabinet right now! HaHa Great shots of a very interesting collection. I have always been fascinated by trains large and small. I have an HO scale setup that has been quiet for years. Maybe one day I will set it back up and enjoy it. Thanks to your friend for allowing you to take pictures and thanks to you for sharing it!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      That’s awfully kind of you my friend!! My Dad had a HO setup, a mighty big one, in our basement growing up. I love, love, loved it. It was so big, when we moved away we had to leave it behind! Thanks kindly for popping by, and for leaving us your thoughts here my friend, it really means a lot to us!