Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Off to windy Scotland for linens!

Last week I went off to Scotland - Dundee - for an auction. Yes, I know it is a long way to go ...165 miles in fact.. but the catalogue showed a large number of lots of linen and the deciding factor was that one of my daughters goes to University there so I had a free bed for the night!

Dundee is a city known in the past for the three "J's" - Jam, Jute and Journalism. So maybe it is not surprising to find linens - in Victorian times it was renowned for it's textile mills - most of them now have been converted into student accomodation!

 Dundee is also known as the sunniest city in Scotland but I happened to make this trip on one of the windiest days of the year......

The turbines at the wind farms were whizzing around like toy windmills. I like the turbines..I think they have a sculptural look but I know that many people think they detract from the landscape.

So into the auction and it took me a good hour or more to look at all the linens..why do auctioneers insist on putting boxes of linens and textiles under tables, behind sofas so that it is a) hard to find them and b) hard on the knees to look at them.

The best lot was in two old trunks - they were full of unused sheets, pillowcases, damask tablecloths and napkins.

As you may be able to make out from the photos, a real mixed bag of textiles. Many of them from a Miss Campbell who, like the lady in the previous post, liked to leave notes to her family about who should have what  .... the family obviously didn't heed her words!

I have to say that the porters were very friendly and very helpful and carried everything out and packed them into the car for me.

Then the long drive back home to sort, wash, and take photos ready for selling. I love the point on the drive home from Scotland just after Carter Bar when, apart from the road that you are driving on, there is no evidence of human habitation - just hills, moors and maybe a sheep or two


Friday, 9 September 2011

More auction treasures.......

This week I bought a couple of boxes of textiles from a local auction - a real mixed lot! There were linen sheets, linen pillowcases, lace edgings, tablecloths, monogrammed towels and a bag with vintage clothing. What made it really interesting was that in the past someone (I assume a woman as I can't imagine a man doing this!) wrote little notes about many of the items and slipped them inside the linens. So in the clothing bag were two beautiful silk shawls below............................... this red one

........and this cream shawl with butterflies and flowers hand embroidered across the whole shawl.

                                                   There was also a hand worked lace collar

With an accompanying note to say that the collar had been worn by "my mother on her going away dress Aug 1902"

There was also a gorgeous silk camisole or chemise that had a note to say that it was part of the same lady's going away clothes. The camisole is all hand stitched.

The sheets had notes to say that they were embroidered by Auntie Tilly Donkin and then suggested that they be given to one of the boys in the family if they "managed" to find a wife. Obviously, they couldn't be trusted to look after the sheets without a wife! And presumably, they never found a wife (or at least one who wanted to inherit the linen sheets).  There are more treasures in these boxes to come to light yet .. and more notes!