Friday, 31 January 2014
Busman's holiday - I hope you like antiques!
This dull wet grey January has seemed interminable. Kept inside by the weather, we have fretted and grown bored and decided we needed a bit of English air to cheer us up again, so as the forecast was for a dry day yesterday, we got in the car and set off for Leominster, which is packed with antique shops so plenty to keep us interested. In one of the shop windows, this piece of genius caught my eye! I think the bottom of the can says something like "May contain feathers"!!!
The scenery was graced with a milky veil of mist. Here is Weobley through the trees. There is at least a little colour in the hedgerows now with the golden rain of the Hazel Catkins, and even when they have turned to yellow ochre, it still brightens the monochrome tones. Yesterday's countryside was so soft and smudged with the mist and very comforting on the eye.
I was trying to capture the winter beauty of the trees, but it is difficult when one is hurtling past at 50+ mph! The dirty flock of sheep were still folded in a big field of turnips (or similar) and as the weather had not improved with keeping in the intervening weeks, they were dirtier than ever and the only hint that they may once have been white sheep and not mud-sheep, was a grubby stripe down the middle of their backs! Along the river before we turned across the Wye just short of Hay, the crack willows had been rent asunder by recent gales, and there were fallen branches and twisted wrecks of trees lieing broken on the river bank, trunk wood livid white.
If you're not interested in antiques, I should look away now, as there are quite a few photos coming up! This gorgeous little child's Windsor chair with crinoline stretcher was beautiful - but pricey!
A pair of bizarre gazelle-leg lamp-stands. I've seen similar before so obviously in our Colonial past such things were considered de rigeur . . . Whilst I wouldn't condone this sort of . . . design form . . . these days, I am of the opinion that it's a bit too late to change it. The same goes for much old taxidermy really, and it is a good thing civilisation has moved on.
Along the same lines, the front end of a Water Buffalo . . . Just the thing for a statement piece in a London flat . . .
I just loved the rough oak and patina of age on this little cupboard, but then my husband pointed out to me that it looked to be a made-up piece using very old pieces from perhaps a coffer or similar, and that certainly the hinges were much much later as they had been put on over the carved area. This wasn't reflected in the price . . .
This little chest had SO much character and had definitely Seen Life (look at the bottom edge). The top had bowed (see photo below) in the middle, and so the top end edges of the base had been modified to accept the dip of the bow. Beautiful.
I love good honest pieces of furniture like this old table. Legs simply turned on a pole lathe, with beautiful hand carving on the end planks. WAY beyond our pocket though, but we have Good Taste!
So many things JUST to our taste. Look at those old Costrels between the furniture. These would have held cider or beer and been taken to the fields for the ploughman's and fieldworkers' morning "bait" - bread, cheese, perhaps raw onion, and good farmhouse cider or small beer to wash it down and refresh you.
Then it was on to Hay-on-Wye for a late lunch in the Sandwich Cellar in Backfold, a wander round the shops and market (Thursday is market day in Hay). A wonderful display of good ciders and beers in one of the shop windows. Last time we were here I treated myself to an (illicit) bottle of Organic Cider (Dunkertons I think) and very good it was too . . . None of your mass-produced rubbish for me these days.
A little woolleyness in a shop doorway.
I went for quality, not quantity, for our Library yesterday. This little book is a 1923 reprint of a much earlier (Victorian) one and whilst it seems to be centred largely on Cornish folk lore, there are plenty of Devon myths too, and it is fascinating reading. It wasn't the cheapest book (ahem, £20), but we will eat out of the freezer next week (it needs emptying) and in the meantime, I have called it my Birthday Present . . . a few months early!