Vintage Sweetie Jar Portraits

Hardly attractive but pretty amusing!

Florence is full of fantastic antiques and vintage shops. The best area for them is Oltrarno, the other side of the Arno – the artisan area of the city. I lived in this area so whenever I walked anywhere I halted almost every five metres to take photos of amazing objects from very old revolvers, statues, and seriously over the top Rococo console tables to paintings. My favourite shop is on Via Maggio and has no name, but has a small stand in the window with a business card placed on top just saying “Luca” with a phone number. I love this Luca guy! He has great taste and finds the best things! The first time I passed this shop was at night and I saw the most fantastic room through a window with oversized metal letters hanging from the ceiling with soft lighting casting “Q”, “L” and “T” shadows on the wall. This room seems to be the creative display room as another time there was a scene of a large metal structure with a crank and a rope hanging down suspending a light bulb over a small table with a lone chair,  and another day it was packed with globes lying on the floor with light streaming between them. Walking inside makes you feel like you are stepping onto a film set from a collage of eras. There are mini scenes such as tin chairs placed next to a confession box and cabinets with mini drawers for pills. One day I found a chest with a group of giant vintage sweetie jars, with bakelite lids, on it. I had to have one! I started taking portraits of friends through the jar as the rippled glass distorts faces like when you go to a hall of mirrors at a funfair.

Unfortunately my sweetie jar broke in the post on its way to the motherland (even though it was wrapped in blankets! Humph!) so now I use it as a bit of a trompe l’oeil piece.


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