Author Archives: Katie Banser-Whittle

Salute to Yonkers

“My dad said we’re going to Yonkers.”

“Big deal. What are Yonkers, anyway?”

This puerile exchange has been circulating for years. It’s time to give a bad joke a good answer.

Yonkers—named for Adrian Van der Donck, an early Dutch settler and a “jonkeer” (Dutch for young gentleman) — is the fourth largest city in New York state. It has a rich and interesting history, from its 17th century beginnings as an agricultural frontier settlement of the Dutch colony of Nieuw Amsterdam, later known as New York, to its 21st century renaissance as a diverse and gentrifying near-in suburb of Manhattan.… Read More

Going, Going, Gone

The time comes for all of us to think about the future of a lifetime’s accumulation of possessions. Hopefully the senior members of your family have made (and written down) their decisions about important heirloom items to be passed on to specific individuals: great-grandfather’s gold watch, the wedding present Tiffany lamp, and so on.

There may also be items of value and interest, and even sizable specialized collections, that relatives can’t integrate into their own homes.… Read More

No Place Like Home

The pandemic lockdown has taught us how important home is to our sense of well-being, our comfort, and our whole outlook on life. Now is the ideal time for re-decorating, re-purposing, re-modeling, and building anew. With these changes comes the need for different furniture. But where to begin? There are so many possibilities, so many choices.

A great place to start is with fine American furniture, with its four-hundred year tradition of excellence.… Read More

Art as an (Emotional) Investment

In art, today’s ‘hot’ is tomorrow’s ‘not’

Stocks, bonds, real estate: Mention the word “investment,” and these are the categories that immediately come to mind. Other possibilities are considered, too, as people look to diversify, to build and safeguard wealth. These days, with headlines about record prices for all forms of artwork, from Old Master paintings to an NFT – or non-fungible token, the digital world’s answer to a provenance on paper – of a Banksy creation (it proved to be a $366,000 hoax), the idea of art as an investment keeps coming up.… Read More

Nautical Tokens Of Love
Sailor’s Seashell Valentine, Barbados, late 19th century.Sold for $8,813

The origins of Valentine’s Day as an occasion for exchanging tokens of affection dates from at least the Middle Ages. The English poet Geoffrey Chaucer mentioned Feb. 14 as a day for romance because it was widely believed to be the date when birds began to choose their mates. That sentimental tradition has continued to flourish.

At first, Valentine’s Day was marked with handwritten notes and poems and the exchange of small keepsakes.… Read More