The Flowerpot Men………

Having enjoyed maintaining the 2.5 acres of lawns, flowerbeds, shrubbery and paddock of a Victorian Rectory during recent years, it really is a pleasure, and, if we’re honest, rather a relief, to have now moved to a modern property with a correspondingly smaller garden ~ Not so much neglected upon our arrival as colourless and […]

Heaven Scent…………

Accounts of Victorian domestic bliss rarely make mention of the problems surrounding the provision both of an adequate water supply and of effective sanitary facilities, the miasmic theory of disease, which held that infection was carried by “bad air”, predominating throughout the 19th Century. Even when the connection between cholera and contaminated water had been […]

“A la recherche du temps perdu”

A classic traditional Sunday afternoon spent at the keyboard, trawling eBay for bargains in a spirit of “where there’s muck there’s brass”, all the while reflecting that there must be many a Trading Standards Officer who could have a field day dealing with the many improperly described items with which the site abounds. That said, […]

Conserving our Historic Heritage…….

Whether consciously or otherwise, those choosing to pursue a career within the Antiques Trade find themselves by default, together with their peers who inhabit the allied world of fine art auctioneering, in the vanguard of the conservation movement, whose influence has grown exponentially in recent times. Whilst it must be admitted that there are dealers, […]

Collecting Old Pewter…….

From the 17th Century onwards, pewter was increasingly used throughout Europe for a wide variety of domestic utensils, pewter plates and platters for example commonly replacing the earlier turned “treen” articles, while every Inn and hostelry would have it’s complement of pewter mugs and tankards. For those who could not afford such utensils in silver, […]

Coronavirus Reflections…….

Reflecting upon today’s Guardian article “Will Shoppers return to the U.K. high street after lockdown?”, has reinforced our conviction that our decision to move our business online was undoubtedly the correct one. At the same time, we realise just how lucky we are that our stock is not perishable, neither are our activities affected in […]

Entente Cordiale…….

Few things better evoke the spirit of Entente Cordiale, or it’s equivalent, though rarely used English term, Warm Understanding, than the happy marriage of English and French rustic pottery produced in Brittany and Normandy on the one hand, and in Staffordshire on the other, during the Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries. To stand before […]

The “Customer” …

Earlier in life, whilst undergoing training with a large corporate group in the skills required to sell that wholly intangible product Life Assurance, I came fully to appreciate the important differences that distinguish (c) the Customer from (a) the Lead and (b), the Prospect. Classical sales technique would suggest that in normal circumstances, (a) would […]

The Changing World ~ II …..

Back in 1998, at which time we had been trading successfully for over twenty years, we were exhibiting at one of our regular venues, the Antiques for Everyone fair at the N.E.C. in Birmingham. Amongst our fellow exhibitors we encountered Antiquenet, an American group, who were there promoting their service which offered an online trading […]

Victorian Papier-mâché……

Used in China since 200 BC, papier-mâché, following the registration of his patent to produce laminated sheets of the material by Henry Clay of Birmingham in 1772, became widely used in the production of coach door panels. A further patent having been registered in 1847 by Theodore Jennens of the firm of Jennens and Bettridge, […]