Friday, 22 January 2010

A tale of castles & cushions

Yesterday, I went to an auction at Barnard Castle a town in the south of County Durham. Lots of castles in this area. The one above, Raby Castle, is on the road to the auction and then Barnard Castle below is in the town itself.

I thought that the auction was disappointing for the amount and quality of linen/textiles and I only bought one lot - a small box of what looked like very plain and ordinary table linen. However, when I got home and went through the box two gems emerged!

This hand worked tapestry and beadwork cushion was folded up at the bottom.

The colours are so bright and the beadwork all intact.

Then tucked away in a very dirty gingham drawstring bag was a collection of hand worked Bucks Point bobbin lace. So my journey was not wasted after all!  The next time I go to the Barnard Castle auction I also want to visit the other gem of the area - Bowes Museum. I wonder if they have any textiles tucked away in the attic waiting to be discovered!

Sunday, 17 January 2010

The thaw has arrived!

Finally, the snow and ice has melted and I have made it to my first auction of 2010!  This sale yielded a number of excellent hand embroidered cloths and also some superb hand crochet lace work. All from the same household and all the work of a superb needlewoman!

This is just one of the embroidery motifs in a tablecloth made up of 25 squares each with a different flower.

Some of the linen and lace tablecloths were worked with Mary Card crochet designs. Mary Card was an Australian crochet lace designer in the early part of the 1900's.  Her designs are highly collected now.

She often used floral and bird motifs in her designs and also used animals native to Australia.

This one below sold as soon as it was listed on eBay!

 The hours of work that they involve are incredible. This is what you did when there was no T.V.!!  The family was obviously also well travelled as the suitcase with it's very nostalgic collection of baggage labels came from the same household (it held all the linen at auction).

So the linen collection also included items from Madeira, some Maltese lace and other excellent hand embroidered pieces.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Snow, snow and icicles!

We haven't actually had any snow today - lots of sunshine but freezing temperatures mean that the icicles just keep getting bigger.... so I couldn't resist showing these two photos.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Happy New Year

Wishing everyone a happy new year for 2010 - a new decade too. I had hoped to go to my first auction of the year however the weather has conspired against this.....

 This is the view of my garden and look at the depth of the snow on the picnic table below

So I think that I will just stay indoors, turn up the heating and sort out linen from the linen cupboard ready for selling.  Those buyers brave enough (or foolish enough!) to get to the auctions today will probably get some bargains as there will be fewer bidders but I want to stay warm and dry!