If you haven’t already guessed by our auctioneering and appraisal credentials, art is pretty important to us here at Thomaston Place Auction Galleries. Even outside of our work, fine art, music, sculpture, interior design and fashion holds a special place in each of our hearts.
It comes as no surprise that we also love to listen and soak up any and all art educational videos, podcasts, blogs, and/or news articles we come across. During our soft moments in between auctions, I myself like to hop onto YouTube as we build our next specialty sale and catch up on any fun historical or artful videos that I can simply listen to while I work.
That got me thinking. As a member of our small but mighty Marketing Department, why not use our megaphones to share our favorite historical and artful content creators? Education is vital in the auction industry, it’s a key element in deciphering a painters’ signature, or telling the difference between a genuine piece or a forgery, or even how old a signed military document is.
While I cannot say that all of us employees at Thomaston Place have seen these YouTube creators that dedicate their craft to history, they certainly are mine. So by the power vested in me, as a member of the Marketing Department, I shall share with you my top five favorite YouTube creators that our clients and auction addicts alike would enjoy watching and listening to. (This is in no way a list from my most to least favorite, they’re all fantastic; it would be impossible to rank them.)
The first on the list is one for all bidders and buyers with a penchant for the colonial era. But instead of just collecting 18th C. furniture and art, let’s kick it up a notch by living like an American colonist in that era! The channel that dedicates itself to colonial history is Townsends, led by Jon Townsend and his army of reenactors who help him bring the 18th century lifestyle to our screens. Though the 18th C. cooking videos are a great way to tickle your interest - and maybe enhance your family’s next meal plan - I enjoy the dedication and the sheer passion Jon carries in each video. Whether it’s watching a blacksmith prep his station, or join a tour of an 18th C. kitchen, or even how to properly roast chestnuts during the holiday, this channel provides a warm comfort with an ancestral nostalgia worth embracing.
My Current Favorite Video: What’s in Early American Kitchens? - Colonial Cookware
Looking for something further down the timeline? For those with a fascination, such as myself, of the Victorian era, I’d like to introduce you to Bernadette Banner. While she does dabble in other textile-related content from the medieval to the Edwardian era, her knowledge on Victorian women’s clothing, hair care and antique collectibles is both remarkable and entertaining to listen to. She is one of many that proves that enjoying a vintage lifestyle can also apply to the younger generation. With her eloquent voice and articulate language, she provides both humor and education to any and all viewers who come to watch her sew Edwardian walking skirts, Victorian blouses, or attempt to run a saucy Victorian ankle account on an infamous social media platform.
While some of her videos may not be aligned to the conservative mind who don’t approve of tongue in cheek humor, I personally could not recommend her enough as she provides a breadth of knowledge with each video she creates.
My Current Favorite Video: Investigating One of the Oldest Victorian Sewing Machines! 1876 Wilcox & Gibbs Chain Stitch
In a similar vein to Banner’s content, I also thoroughly enjoy and recommend another Victorian-adjacent enthusiast and artist, Christine McConnell.
If McConnell sounds familiar to you, and you have a Netflix account, you might know her from her limited series that was released around the Halloween season of 2018.
While her channel is more ‘spooky Victorian’ than Banner’s, I always find comfort in each upload, and take extensive notes on some of the creations that she teaches in each video so I can try them in the future, (still haven’t, I have too many projects going on at once!).
From designing her own Victorian wallpaper, to restoring an antique lampshade, to her precise process of building a gingerbread house based on the Winchester Mansion in California, I find myself getting lost in the beauty of her crafts, no matter the season.
If you are not a fan of spooky, Halloween aesthetics connected to your Victorian tastes, I recommend Banner’s channel. If you’re down to party with the ghosts and ghouls year-round, Christine’s going to be your gal!
My Current Favorite Video: Setting the Table - From the Mind of Christine McConnell
While my own personal interests are in the Victorian-Edwardian Era, there’s a newfound interest in the roaring 20s, thanks to the channel Glamourdaze. This channel literally brings history back from the dead with their AI technology in enhancing old black and white films of the past. You can explore the archives of vintage fashion and beauty, and see the joy and color that our great grandparents and grandparents enjoyed. From ‘A Day 1920s in New York’ to ‘Vintage Morning Beauty Routine in 1937,’ there’s plenty of material here for both fashion enthusiasts, historians and all ages to watch.
It’s amazing, seeing the quality of color and movement in these old films!
My Current Favorite Video: Roaring 20s Paris - c.1927: AI Enhanced Colour Film w/sound
Last, but certainly never least, if you’re not looking for videos to sit down and take the time out of your day and watch, but rather play the audio while continuing your routine of household chores and work, join Lindsay Holiday with her channel, History Tea Time.
An educator at heart and soul, Lindsay shares her wealth of historical knowledge of royals, women’s history and a mish mash of miscellaneous information with anyone eager to listen. With her friendly cadence and soft music, listeners (and watchers as well, she provides great visuals and art relating to each subject) can explore the British Royal family tree, the histories of women’s undergarments, a birth timeline of King Henry VIII’s many illegitimate progeny, and more.
My Current Favorite Video: Black Aristocrats of 18th Century England & France
There are thousands more channels on YouTube and our favorite streaming services that provide great art and history documentaries and educational content for all interests and ages. In the matter of the auction world and our work here at Thomaston Place, I can confidently say that our passion and interest in art and history continues outside of our work, as shown by the many favorite creators I’ve listed above.
Let us know what your favorite channels are or those that you recommend, we’re always looking to enjoy more historical content! Who knows, perhaps one day you’ll see us sponsor a channel we support.