Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday 13th - could i really be this lucky?

One of the most unusual pieces to join my collection has been this Aesthetic Movement trough which Mr Postie delivered today. It is decorated with a transfer print of what looks like a cross between brambles and apple blossom and then handcoloured with enamels. The handle and framework pieces are moulded to resemble lengths of bamboo - this was a very typical feature of this period and you will find many examples from factories like Worcester, Brown Moore & Westhead and Minton all using the same ideas. The shape is trough-like and would probably have sat on a dining table with nuts, fruit or sweat meats. I love it, and even better, it came through the post in fabulous condition. Let's hope the curse of Friday 13th doesn't strike and jinx it for me.
This teapot was another fairly recent acquisiton. It's unusual in its lack of colour, and the sepia toned transfer printing is not something I have seen on any other B&S pieces. The image is pre-raphaelite in style with a beautiful lady smelling a lily.
Despite not yet finding a satisfactory way of displaying all the comports / tazzas in my collection, I couldn't resist this Conwy patterned piece of Oriental Ivory, by Powell Bishop & Stonier. The shape is nothing new to me as i have several pieces with eagle talon and chain relief form. I do find the pattern extremely attractive though and very typically Victorian of the 1880s period. In a way i guess it's a bit kitsch and schmultzy (if that's a word?), but i like the twee-ness of the sugary colours and sacharine landscape image. I just need to bake some cup cakes to put on it now.

Deco divine

One of my best buys of recent weeks was this great Art Deco set (there are more plates, cups, saucers) with the Bisto backstamp from the early 1930s. The design is handpainted with fun squiggly lines and blobby leaves. It's not my usual taste, but for only two pounds at a car boot sale i couldn't resist.

Clifton Suspension Bridge

This is a great example of tourist wares produced by Bishop & Stonier (the most famous is their London series). Transfer printed on their green earthenware body, is an image of the Clifton Suspension Bridge at Bristol. Designed by Isambard Brunel, the bridge was complete in 1864, five years after Brunel himself had died. This piece dates from around 15-20years after the bridge's completion and celebrates on of the most beautiful (IMO) bridge structures in the UK. I'm a big fan of the city of Bristol and love the view of the bridge over the gorge.

great sadness

There have thankfully only been a couple of occasions where my Bisto buying purchases haven't quite gone to plan. To date, my ebay and auction purchases have usually gone without a hitch, but in recent months I have had the misfortune of receiving several items in many bits and pieces. On such tragedy was the above pink bowl, decorated witha shagreen (shark skin) type pattern. Whilst the seller had done a reasonable job of wrapping bubble wrap and paper etc, the box just didn't stand up to the rigors of the Royal Mail postal system. One has to wonder whether FRAGILE tape on parcels isn't just red rags to a bull as it seems to have little effect on whether parcels are treated with care whilst travelling to their destination. I made an attempt to glue the pieces (those i could find) back together, but my restoration skills are extremely lacking. I made an excellent first join which was almost seamless, but as i worked my way around the bowl,the gaps got bigger and bigger and became impossible to get it properly lined up - resulting in one final piece of the puzzle that just wouldn't lie flush with the rest. Sadly, i think i shall have to give up on this one and look for another. Thankfully, the seller had already refunded my money before my botched cosmetic surgery job.

the way to cheer me up

Gosh! has it really be over three months since i last put anything on my blog? Shame on me.
Well, to put that right, i have been avidly adding to my collection over the last few months and here is just a sample of things i have been buying. The greatest of BIG BIG thanks goes to the lovely people at Victoriana, Southsea, for getting the first items for me - a putto pillared comport and fluted dish in the Lawrence pattern by P.B&S I had passed by the shop a few weeks ago during my lunch break and saw these great items in the window. It's fairly unusual for them to have china in stock as they mainly deal in glorious antique and repro funiture. I felt sure that i could go back the next week and it would still be there for me (after i'd managed to convince my hubby that i really NEEDED them and that he should stump up the cash for me). However, a crippling viral thingamee saw me off work for almost a whole week and when i got a chance to go back to the shop, i found that it had already been reserved for another customer. In desperation, I almost pleaded with the owner to sell it to me instead. She told me that she was the one who had recommended the pieces to her other customer as he tended to buy what ever she suggested (the perfect kind of customer!) but that she would speak to him again and explain my situation - manic Bishop & Stonier collector, very very poorly, needed cheering up, would he possibly resist buying on this occasion so that he could make my day? Well, her charm worked a trick and he graciously gave up the rights to the comport and dish. I was delighted. Finally, i have a cherub / putto comport that is complete.

About Me

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Sometimes, life doesn't turn out the way you expected. And sometimes, it is exactly as it was 'meant' to be. But whilst i'm not a believer in fate or fatalism, I do believe that life is a both a learning experience and an obstacle course to be climbed and clambered over in the most creative way possible! In doing so, you'll get to where you should be even if it's not where you'd imagined.
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