22 September 2011

Let the Shopping Begin

Assassins of Eumundi, Rejoice!  Oh, and pharmacists.  And a goodly number of interior decorators.  And of course bottle collectors.  And let’s not forget normal people who just like lovely old glass. 

So okay, Assassins, Pharmacists, Interior Decorators, Bottle Collectors and Normal People of Eumundi, Rejoice! – for I have visited poison-bottle-man and he has delivered.  Oh yes, we’re talking really lovely emerald green and cobalt blue poison bottles in interesting shapes.  Also a small selection of those cool bottles with marbles in the tops.  So hurrah, the bottle buying was sorted on Day One.  Can’t ask for more than that. 

It’s very blustery and overcast in the north of England, but the temperature is quite pleasant and the trees have just started to show their autumnal colours, so it’s all good.  The moors in the High Peak District have flowering purple heather and yellow gorse right now, madly tumbling brooks down steep slopes and lovely dry-stone walls.  It’s bleak but really quite beautiful.  We always like it up around here, and we visit in spring and autumn so we avoid the tourists of summer and the black ice and snow of winter.

At the moment I’m waking up bright and alert at 3.30am and then totally crashing by 5.00pm, so that sucks but I should recover in a day or so.  It just means that we need to get to our accommodation early so I can be unconscious in our room rather appear snoring and dribbling in public – Doug has unchivalrously informed me that this is not a good look.

On the shopping front, boy oh boy have we hit the ground running.  This part of the country is always a happy hunting ground for us, and we visited a number of places and spent up a storm.  So in addition to a bazillion lovely bottles I also have a couple of Chinese late Qing Dynasty (c1850) ginger jars with lids and one without a lid but it was too lovely to leave behind.  Also some good Deco glass, nice tins (I have a thing for nice tins lately), a range of cutlery and kitchen utensils in good colours and great condition and a couple of interesting books. 

And finally, finally I have found some decent fire tools.  How hard can it be to find good quality and attractive antique fire-bodging implements at a less than ridiculous price?  Very hard, is the answer.  I’ve been looking for ages, because even in Queensland it gets cold at nights in winter and plenty of people have fires and want nice fire tools.  Unfortunately, people in England have fires too and getting good, vintage fire tools has been a real challenge.  But hurrah, I have finally prevailed.  And lucky I picked them up and carried them about with me, because some woman came barrelling up to me and told me she had been looking for good quality fire tools for years and was quite pushy in wanting to know exactly where I got them and if there were any more available.  If there were I would have bought them too, lady.

I think the buy of the day, though, was a really beautiful Royal Doulton jug, basin and soap dish set.  Lots of people have asked me to look for nice jug and basin sets in the past, and I have only ever found ones that were hideously expensive or dang ugly.  So I’ve waited for the right one to come along, and it showed up yesterday and was totally worth the wait.  It doesn’t fall into the Cheapest Ever category, but it was affordable and I think the nicest set I’ve ever seen.  I’ll have to hit the books when I get home to properly date it, but its design is very much of the Arts & Crafts era.  Once I figure out how to download photos onto my Blog I shall photograph it.  It won’t get into the shop until just before Christmas but it’s going straight to the front window when it does.

So there I was, wandering around being well pleased with myself over the jug and basin set, when I found someone who had recently acquired a lot of Murano glass from an estate sale.  Mostly it was not affordable, but I did manage to get several lovely end-of-day fishes in shapes I haven’t seen before, so now I will have a nice little school of these fish for my personal collection at home and some for the shop.  They look lovely when grouped together, so I feel a nice window display coming on.

Today we have a bit of driving ahead of us, because after visiting some good dealers here-abouts we’re then bolting down to Norfolk to view an auction we’re attending tomorrow.  This is a very civilized auction house which has a mezzanine floor overlooking the main action, where they will serve you a hot breakfast if you like (or hot chocolate, or raisin toast) so you can keep up your strength and bid at the same time.  If I really have to go to work, this is a good place to do it.

No comments:

Post a Comment