A Bracing Walk around Meole Brace, Shropshire

Today, we spent an interesting morning exploring the environs of Meole Brace, a village which whilst predating the County Town of Shrewsbury in terms of it’s foundation, has long been subsumed by, and may today effectively be regarded as, a district of the latter. Blessed with fine weather, dry but with a sharp wind, our […]

Sir William Oliphant Hutchison PRSA 1889 – 1970

Scottish portrait and landscape painter William Oliphant Hutchison was an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy, President of the Royal Scottish Academy from 1950 to 1959 and a member of the Royal Society of Arts. Knighted in 1953, this self-portrait was executed in London in 1926, where the artist was at that time pursuing a […]

Serendipity ~ A Victorian Delight ~

Much of the pleasure to be derived from both dealing and collecting comes from the discovery, very often by chance, of unexpected minor treasures such as the Victorian porcelain christening mug illustrated here. Although unmarked, this little gem was almost certainly made in Staffordshire in the Mid 19th Century, commissioned by no doubt proud parents […]

Social Media ~ Further Reflections

Social Media ~ Facebook, Instagram and Twitter ~ All three of which we ourselves presently use, may at times prove interesting, often indeed fascinating, and are most certainly, undeniably, addictive. However, in considering their effectiveness as marketing aids, is the time devoted to these currently fashionable networking tools really worthwhile, or have we all of […]

Charles Dickens’ Dolly Varden ~ A Royal Doulton Treasure

  Dolly Varden is a fictional character, a gaily dressed coquette, who features in Charles Dickens’ 1839 historical novel Barnaby Rudge, set in 1780. The Dolly Varden costume, consisting of a wide-skirted, tight-bodiced print dress, worn with a white fichu and a flowered hat with a wide drooping brim, was an 1870’s version of the […]

Of Cats and Catalogues ~ Everyday Dealing

Having recently been requested by a friend to appraise a collection of books which she had been given, we approached the task with a certain degree of reservation, preferring generally to avoid the pitfalls likely to be encountered when conducting business transactions with friends. In the event, since any funds raised were to be donated […]

On a political note ~ Reflections on Brexit

We have just returned from spending ten days in Portugal where our friends of various European nationalities were as one in their bafflement at the folly of the U.K. Government in pursuing Brexit, regarding it in equal measure as a ridiculous and offensive policy. Our hostess being a woman of sound common sense from the […]

To Auction ~ Or Not ?

As will be perfectly clear to those who take the trouble to investigate the matter, auction salerooms, which usually capture the imagination of the public when some item of great importance or value makes the headlines, more typically act on a day-to-day basis as clearing houses for unwanted goods of every sort. Deceased Estates and […]

On Auctions and Auctioneers ~ Random Reflections

Prompted to rush to the keyboard following another entertaining episode of “Celebrity Antiques Road Trip”, this time, c. 2012, featuring Thomas Plant, and our favourite Auctioneer, { except, that is, when he is expounding upon the subject of Royal Doulton Crinoline Figurines ! }, James Lewis, and their celebrity guests. As will be clear from […]

In Dublin’s Fair City ~ A Royal Doulton Rarity

Molly Malone is a popular song set in Dublin, Ireland, which tells the fictional tale of a fishmonger who plied her trade on the streets of the city. The song has, over the years, come to be regarded as Dublin’s unofficial anthem, and, during the Millennium celebrations in 1988, 13 June was declared to be […]