Thursday, 22 November 2012

More Northumberland Country House textiles

I have been back to one of my favourite auctions in Northumberland. It is only held once every 3-4 months so it tends to build up a good load of items for each sale. The lots are bundled up and tied with twine so it is impossible to see exactly what is in each lot. This does make it a little difficult to judge which lots to bid for and how much to pay however it can also lead to some nice surprises when you get your lots home. Just two of the lots held all the items that I have for auction this week - damask tablecloths, napkins, gloves, embroidered bags and hand embroidery work on black satin.

 Quite unusual designs on these damask linens. Birds are a favourite of the Victorians as are exotic looking fruit and flowers. It is impossible to get new damask linens today that have interesting designs - mostly the designs are of Chrysanthmums and Shamrocks or Ivy nowadays.

This lot also included lots of Irish linen damask napkins which are also listed - ideal for the Christmas table and for many Christmas's to come!

The other auction lot featuring on Ebay had two pairs of long opera gloves, a bag for the opera glasses, a beadwork panel,

several hand embroidered black satin pieces,

                              and hand embroidered cushion covers

The close up of the photo above shows the Charles Rennie Mackintosh rose motif  very well

I haven't even looked through the other 40 lots that I bought at this auction yet so who knows what other treasures I may find. 

Friday, 2 November 2012

Ghostly tales & nightgowns

 I have been to an auction in County Durham this week - I can get there by motorway but the scenic route over the hills and moors is so much nicer (provided you don't get stuck behind a tractor!).
Lovey autumn colours too and lots of wildlife; sheep, deer, rabbits and pheasants were all spotted on the way. 

At the auction I was only successful with one lot but it was full of Victorian white cotton nightdresses and maid's aprons.

I was told that the vendor of the lot had originally acquired the clothing in a trunk at a sale of some of the contents of Stanhope Old Hall. 

Stanhope Old Hall, a medieval manor house on the edge of the North Pennine village of Stanhope, County Durham, has long had a spooky reputation. Local legend has it that, during the Middle Ages, a young engaged couple entered the house and disappeared, only to be found years later under the floorboards — two skeletons holding hands.

One resident claimed to have so many strange experiences whilst living in the house that they called in the Paranormal Society. When they visited they reported sudden temperature drops, sightings of an old grey lady, ghostly orbs captured on film and visions of red-robed monks in the boiler room. (During Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries, monks hid in the basement here.)  I wonder if any of them had been wearing one of my white nightgowns?  Definitely a very seasonal tale as Halloween was just two days ago!

I also found these images on the internet showing just a small range of the nightwear that was available in Victorian times.

 I love the advert for face powder in the sheet below - she must have needed a great deal of coverage as the box is the size of a drum!

I have included the link below so that you can see more of these catalogues if you want to take a look.