Tuesday, 19 August 2014

1940's clothing stash from auction


Last week I went to an auction that doesn't normally sell vintage clothing and came back with a stash of clothes and shoes (more about the shoes in the next post). Some of the clothes were Victorian but a number belonged firmly in the 1940's. This suit, dress with matching jacket, epitomises the 40's style, very fitted, no excess fabric with the exception of the over-sized padded shoulders....perfect for a re-enactment day or maybe Goodwood Revival.

Something for the children - a boys double breasted tweed wool coat and matching cap. Made by Rowe of London who were one of the most expensive children's outfitters of their time.


And a gorgeous crepe Art silk summer tea dress. The print on the fabric is just so 40's and very pretty. The same box also contained a number of unused fabrics that date to the 40's ... so maybe the intention had been to make more of these lovely frocks

The two fabrics at the right of the photo are fine wool / cotton Viyella and the other two are silk.  All available on eBay but selling out fast!

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Another auction trip and lots of new stock.

This weekend I have been down to Yorkshire to a dedicated textiles sale. I managed to buy a whole stash of linens, furnishings  and costume items. Everything from sheets and pillowcases to tapestries, bell pulls, hand embroidery, costume accessories, shawls and lace. The "piece de resistance" of the sale was a length of Honiton lace.


I didn't buy this but it did soar well past it's estimate of £150 - £250 to reach a height of over £700!

I did buy a large quantity of Irish linen sheets - many with decorative top edges - embroidery and lace.


I also bought a good lot of hand embroidered tablecloth and other table linen. All executed by a skilled needlewoman.


And amongst several other boxes I have acquired shawls, tapestries, lace pieces, quilts, bedspreads, huge Irish linen damask tablecloths and table napkins. One of the cloths is 18ft long and another is 13ft long so perfect for wedding tables or banquets.

So now just the lengthy task of exploring the boxes (there may be other treasures hidden inside).
                                                   
                   First sorting the linens and checking for damage (if I had this team is would be easy)


then washing (fortunately my laundry appliances are more up to date than these ones)


then the killer....... IRONING!  I'm really not looking forward to that 18ft damask cloth


So look out for lots more to buy in the next few weeks.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Textiles from Bowood House, Wiltshire.


 This week I am listing on eBay a number of items that originated from Bowood House in Wiltshire. This is a magnificent English country house with beautiful gardens but surprisingly the view you see in the photo below is only what was known as the "Little House" as the original "Big House" was demolished in 1955



 This is a much older view showing the original "Big House" to the right of the picture.

I received an invite from a lady now in her 80's to view and buy a collection of linens and other textiles that  had been made over her lifetime. She was downsizing considerably and now felt it was time to part with them all. The hoard included Christening gowns, nightdresses, pillowcases and more. According to the seller some of the items had originated at Bowood House. Certainly some of the items do bear the laundry mark of "Bowood" and some have monograms and coronets that you would associate with the family from Bowood in the past. The listings this week from this collection include lace curtains....





and the most enormous linen and silk sheet that I have ever seen - 132" wide x 150" long (330cms x 375cms). This sheet has the laundry mark for Bowood and a hand embroidered monogram with coronet, dated 1844. As it is labelled "no 4" there were at least another 3 of these huge sheets originally!


And finally a masterpiece of hand embroidery and needlelace.



This is a fabulous hand embroidered bedspread - huge central monogram "K" with a coronet above and butterflies and foliage with hand worked needlelace inserts to the remainder of the bedspread. It does have some old repairs so was obviously much used and treasured by the family.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

An curious and geographically diverse collection of textiles!



Last week I acquired a small but very interesting collection of antique textiles. They all came from one owner who obviously had eclectic taste in antique clothing! At the top of the box sat a 19th century Native American Indian Iroquois beadwork Glengarry hat with beadwork birds to the crown and sides

 Amazingly, all the beads appear to be intact and all still held securely. 


Then I found a 1920's Egyptian Assuit shawl - black and silver. Again in excellent condition with no breaks to the ground or loss of metalwork. 



 

And the final treasure was a Clones Irish crochet lace collar with high neck. This did have a little repair to one corner where a press stud had been applied but the remainder of the intricate crochet work was in good condition.  


 So a curious collection......lace work, beadwork and metalwork..... from the Americas, Eygpt and Ireland and all had been stored for a long time.  It would be nice to know who they came from and what prompted the owner to collect and store them but unfortunately I was unable to find out any history about the box or the owners

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Welcome to 2014!

Looking back 2013 was a good year - for both buying and selling!  This year has started well with auctions in January dedicated specifically to antique and vintage textiles. This has meant that I have been busy driving around the country to various auctions, so busy in fact that I had had little time to prepare and list the items that I have for sale! I need a 36 hour day!  I have also been busy sorting tablecloths and other linens for a friend who is starting a new venture.... vintage style tea rooms in a neighbouring village.  I have reserved my table for the opening and will feature the new emporium in the blog when I have some photos.


Meanwhile, a little taster of the textiles bought so far this year, and it is an  interesting collection....


The usual white linens - lace trimmed Victorian tablecloths, large damask tablecloths - these are becoming more popular and I have several over 12ft long.
Some fabulous huge Irish linen sheets - at least 2 pairs of king size with ladderwork and drawnthread hems.

Beautiful finely hand embroidered wedding hankie - is that the name of the groom or the surname of the couple embroidered to the bottom edge?
Victorian embroidery and lace trimming motifs
 Summery tones cotton quilt with the ever popular roses and paisley design on a duck egg blue background

              Assuit shawls



And finally the one that got away.. I loved this coat but the bidding went well past my limit and upwards to £600!


Monday, 30 September 2013

Linens, lace and the BBC!






I have had a busy couple of months since the last post. I have been to several auctions - one of which included linens and textiles from a large country house in Cumbria in the Lake District and another of a large house in Weardale. I have also made some new contacts including sales to the costume and props department for the BBC series "The Paradise". If you didn't catch the first series then look out for series 2 about to start soon.  The Paradise is based on the novel Au Bonheur des Dames or The Ladies Paradise by French writer Émile Zola. In this adaptation for TV the story transfers to a department store in 1890s northern England. Apparently the very first department store in the UK was in Newcastle!

It is filmed exclusively in the North East - at Lambton Castle for the interiors and at Biddick Hall.



This is Lambton Castle


And this is Biddick Hall


One of the lead characters in the haberdashery department


And finally, two of the items sold to the props department - I will be looking out for them in the series!

My second contact with the BBC was to be interviewed by a researcher from the BBC about another one of those antique programmes on daytime TV.  Apparently the director/producer of the programme thinks that it is possible to find buried treasure at auction and make your fortune!  I won't be appearing on TV anytime soon however....I have too much washing and ironing to do!

Friday, 21 June 2013

Textiles from The Hermitage - a time capsule in Northumberland!


Today, Friday,  I have been to the last of the 4 day Country House sale of the contents of a very unique house. The Hermitage is a large house in Northumberland near Hexham which has been the home for the same family since 1922. Nothing unusual in that, as many homes remain in a family's possession for that length of time or even longer, however this is a rare survival of a house on a grand scale where two generations of the Morant family lived for ninety years and threw little away. 



The house was let, in 1922, to Brigadier General Hubert Horatio Shirley Morant, who had married Isabella Helen Coppin Straker in 1914. Their three children, Doreen Shirley (1915–2013), Alice Bettine (1918–2008) and Major John Locke Straker (1919–1971) all remained unmarried.  

These circumstances lead to a time capsule of a house. Time stood still and the house took on the qualities of a museum. 



The children’s toys in the Nursery packed away when their interest waned. Wash sets and chamber pots removed to the attics once more modern facilities had been installed. The cellars locked up, still with unopened champagne bottles from 1919, some in their original tissue paper and packing cases. Pharmaceutical items from the 1920’s, including chemicals now regarded as poisonous, crowded the medicine cupboard.



Diaries and household accounts giving insights into a bygone age of servants, whilst fishing and hunting records spoke of house parties.



Items no longer required were neatly wrapped in newspaper, tied with string and stored in the extensive attics.

Linens, baby clothes, lace, furs, evening gowns and other clothing were stored away in many of the bedrooms or in the attics.



One of the items that I bought was a box of over 150 Irish linen tea towels....all unused!


Another was a box of Harris and other tweed and wool fabrics.


It will take me a while to get through all the linens and lace as they have to be sorted, examined and then photographed ready for listing for sale.