11 December 2013

When was 1590 again?

Some of our Ming Dynasty pottery shards,
from an archaeological dig on the Yangtze River.

On Sunday morning we attended the Eudlo Village Market, and it was worth having to leave home by 4.30am.  Eudlo is a tiny village in the Sunshine Coast hinterland but it has a nice community hall, which had sellers inside and outside was surrounded by Market stands such as ours.

This is one of my favourite pictures that we are
selling in reproduction.  Bagheera did a fine
line in French lingerie.
Yet again, our vintage French pictures sold briskly, but also jewellery and most of the final pieces of the French enamelware from our current stock.  We heard from the customs agent this week and our new stock has been Customs cleared with no problems, which is always the case.  Now we’re waiting for Quarantine to have their annual hissy fit when they see our things, and then we’ll get our hands on our new stuff.  And our new stuff includes a large amount of beautifully coloured French enamel kitchenware, so we’ll be able to considerably perk up the look of our Market stand with some nice things quite soon.

One of the vintage American
Christmas Tree brooches that we'll be
offering at the Peregian Beach Market.
I’ve found it interesting dealing with the wider public who attend the general Markets, which tend to have a bit of everything, rather than antiques-specific Fairs.  The Market-going punters often know little about antiques, so there’s lots of starting from scratch when discussing our pieces with them.  Some of the visitors to our shop didn’t have a great knowledge of things vintage, but mostly our customers had at least some understanding of what they were looking at, and many at least knew the basics.  Some – especially specialist collectors – knew considerably more than me about some of our things.

So anyway, I’ve found myself discussing the fundamentals of antiques with a wide range of people and quite enjoying getting back to basics.  I did struggle with one woman at the Eudlo Market, though, when talking about some Ming Dynasty pottery shard pendants.  I told her they were from the late Ming Dynasty, so they date from around 1590.  What’s 1590? she asked.  The year 1590, I said.  She looked quizzical.  What do you mean, the year 1590? she asked.  Well, we’re now in the year 2013.  But these pieces date from around the year 1590, I explained.  She continued to look at me blankly.  Do you understand? I asked.  Nope. 

Slowly, things are progressing at the house.  Here
are the boys working on the decking for the
breezeway.  That handrail is there to stop us plunging
to our deaths during the build, but will vanish
when it's safe for it to vanish.
Okay, I said, here we are in the year 2013.  If you go backwards in time for a bit over 400 years, you would be in the year 1590.  Yes?  She scrunched up her brow.  But how can you go backwards in time? she asked.  Tempting as it was to launch into a reflection on the nature of time and whether it’s linear or circular, you will be proud of me that I refrained. 
Okay, I said again, trying to stay upbeat, you were born when? - 1980.  Yes, belatedly I realised I was trying to rationalise with a Gen Y.  As a catty aside, I’ll just say that she certainly didn’t look Gen Y.  Another reminder to wear a hat and sunscreen more often.  So, 33 years ago you were born, and 423 years ago this piece of pottery was made.  At last, she had her lightbulb moment.  Yeah, okay she said.  And then she wandered off and didn’t buy one!   Yes, a lot of talking goes into non-sales sometimes, just not normally as challenging as that.

Calypso is desperate to try out the new
decking.  Take me for a walk right now!
Next Sunday (15 Dec) we will take a stand again at the Peregian Beach Markets, the final one before Christmas.  I’ve dug out a few things from the garage that haven’t seen the light of day for some time, so I’ll be able to make the stand look somewhat different from last time.
At this point it looks like the first of our new shipment will be on display at the last Peregian Beach Market of the year (29 Dec).  We are also putting a small display cabinet into Oople, the cute little shop just down the road from our old shop in Eumundi, and I've got some seriously fabo vintage glass that will be offered there.  The enamel kitchenware and the giant Jamie Oliver boards (3 of which already have dibs on them) will be offered only at the markets, I'm thinking.  That's the plan so far, but it depends on what other opportunities present themselves.



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