Sunday, 1 May 2011

Collectables . . . and the truly bizarre

Roooooooooooooooaar! He was one BIG Tiger when he was alive . . .

My husband and I had an unexpected day out today, having discovered at breakfast-time that the Antiques Fair was on at Builth THIS weekend, and not next as I had thought. Plans of a leisurely stroll around the car boot sale were swiftly abandoned, and we packed a hasty picnic lunch and set off for Builth.

Here are a few of the sights . . .

A rather bizarre musical instrument made out of snakeskin and ivory. Obviously a colonial oddity bought home by some intrepid explorer . . .

Strange bedfellows . . .

And I am a ??? from ??? and the spotted "thing" behind me is a ???

I know what this is, and what a practical thing - a little enamelled travelling iron with a folding handle.

I had a long chat with this lovely lady, who made me SO envious of her crochet skills. She spends all her spare time busy with the crochet hook, and these flowers and leaves were not sewn on afterwards, but all part of the design. Her colourful jacket is crocheted too. I am going to "attempt" (ahem) to try a little crochet flower now. I know the first effort is going to be a bit pathetic, but onwards and upwards. When we go again in September, I hope I will be able to have another chat (I wish I'd asked her name now).

Isn't this a splendiferous cushion for a child? I reckon it would keep them amused for hours, and just think of the stories you could tell about the animals and things on it! An original design (and very clever).

I see a colour theme going on here . . . sort of, upset tummy at midnight!

I was trying to work out what this might have been for. The little bar a cross the front had been really well worn and was polished smooth by something rubbing against it from the inside or someone reaching in over the bar . . . I love hand-made practical things.

My husband and the stall holder had a fascinating conversation about just what this piece might be. Enlarging it will show the measuring elements of it . . . One for MM's husband to debate upon I think!

Flotsam and jetsam of furniture at the "cheap" end of the stalls outside.

My husband browsing on "his" sort of stall.

You will have to enlarge this to see the detail of this beautiful embroidered picture. I didn't dare ask the price or it might have had to have come home with me and I think it would have been beyond what I had set to spend.

Isn't this cute? Whether it was another piece of JT's work (see below) I don't know, but it looks like it may have been a present for someone's mummy . . . £1 bought it.

This little night-dress case was £1. Sewn in a childish hand, and not quite finished, I felt that few other people would have appreciated it, and that JT deserved to have her work cherished, especially as it is quite possible that she is now no longer with us (it was in a whole box full of table linens and various embroidered pieces which probably came from auction or more likely, house clearance).

I fell in love with this book, but I was VERY good and persuaded myself I didn't NEED it. I told the stall holder that I would walk around and think about it (which is normally a euphonism for no thanks!) In this instance, however, I was being honest. It was signed 1918, and I knew that this was the Exeter my dad would have known and loved. That swung it for me. I knew if I left it there, I would regret it . . . so for £7 it came home with me. I worked on the pretext that if it was sold, I wasn't meant to have it, but if it was still there, then destiny was on my side!


  1. You saw some beautiful creations and some mysterious objects. That is a nice story of how you bought the book.

  2. What a gorgeous day out you obviously had. I wondered when I started to read your post as to whether you would be tempted - what will you use JT's work for? (I 'collect' old table linen at a local Charity shop with the intention that the items will be transformed into something else; hence the house is stuffed with collected clutter!) Books as you may know I can never resist; I pretend that they are needed for work, and most are, but not all.

  3. Morning Ann. I think JT's work will just "be", although I do have some lovely old tablecloths which are damaged and which are destined to become parts of cushion covers - WHEN I get around to it. The little Household Hints cover, I think I am going to put a notebook inside, and add hints and tips I find useful.

    Terra - that book was meant to come my way, I''m sure of it!

  4. J. has peered at the photo of the mysterious measuring tool [surely that was its purpose?] we've enlarged, slid the photo sideways, attempting to better decipher the markings. Interesting that the word "yards" would seem to indicate an American unit of measure [?] J. has no idea what such a devise might be called, but as a viewer of Antique Roadshow he'd love to know. He noted that the clamps possibly held the instrument in place while wood or metal was marked/cut. I'm reminded of a protractor [I did NOT absorb much from a year of plane geometry!] wonder if this could have been using for marking and cutting something such as the rim of an oval or round table leaf[?] Delightful mystery to ponder--one need never be bored!

  5. Walking away, then coming back to see if the desired object is still waiting for me. You do just what I do!

    JT would have been thrilled that her handiwork is still treasured, so longer after she worked it.