C’est magnifique non? Going with our decorative AND practical theme, here we show a gorgeous art deco period set of cocktail sticks in a stylish stand. There are twelve chrome sticks with forked ends perfect for swooshing your glace cherry through your pink gin (its all very roaring 20s). Each topped with a red “cherry amber” catalin (bakelite) ball. I’ll come back to those in a moment.
The stand is stunning. A catalin central post with doughnut carrying handle, a chrome disc to support the sticks all set on a wooden base. This base is proving somewhat controversial between us. At first we thought it may be coromandel, but the date would indicate that unless it was re-appropriated, it is more likely to be rosewood. Then again, it could be macassar wood. The grains and colouration of both rose and macassar are very similar but either way, it is a stunning contrast with the brightness of the catlin and chrome.
What we do know is that the set is French and dates to the late 1920s or early 1930s. This is where those sticks come in again. The top of each stick has a slightly angled extra chrome top. This was typical of the period but was not used in later reproductions. The set is in fabulous condition with very little pitting to the chrome and no damage that we can see to the structure.
Business partner said once that we needed to think outside the box, push the envelope and have our fingers in more than one pie. While I wholly disapprove of the business speak (which envelope? Where do I push it to? Just across a desk? When I’ve pushed it what would have been the point – its an envelope?) and we do sell some boxes (including a rather nice writing box which needs some attention but will be glorious) and I do like pies, the point was a good one.
Sometimes this game can be a bit like digging the garden with a teaspoon – an inordinate amount of work for very little reward – so spreading the work makes sense. A little bit online, a few choice fairs and so on and so on. Ideally we’d love to convert an old country pub into an antiques centre, keeping the bar and optics in situ (but of course only I would be allowed a tipple during opening hours); but until the market picks itself up from the slump it appears to be in, we are stuck in our shoe-box, carefully picking our way to bed through a mountain of Arts and Crafts copper, bronze lamps and art deco beads.
The trouble with spreading the load is that it still creates more to do – don’t get me wrong, this is a far better way to earn a living than any other I have tried, but sometimes the lure of a little jobette in the local bakery, where my fingers could be in a completely different, fruit based pie or two, can be quite strong.
Nevertheless we do have our fingers in many vintage style pies and recently took a cabinet in one of our local antiques centres. A charming place in a little market town with great footfall and 7 day opening. We started with a few lower end items of “yesterday’s antiques” but despite business partner’s reservations, have now decided to raid our better quality stock – well it just looks better (and it is assuredly outside any of our boxes)
SO, every so often you may visit our store and find something missing – this is due to what we call our Antique Relocation Programme (ARP): don’t worry, if it hasn’t sold in the shop, it will be back online in our Etsy store within a couple of weeks.
The point of all this waffle?
Ahhh, today is the first day of re-integration for some of our ARP objects and we have some choice pieces too. They are back online with fluffy new descriptions and ready for the scrutiny of the Interwebs. Pictures (but no links) below. Keep up to date with whats on and offline by visiting us on our Google+ page, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. And under duress from business Partner, hopefully there will be a more topic ridden blog coming soon – maybe something on pies…or pyrex!
Our antique fair tables groan under the weight of our wares. From clocks to curios, glass to gewgaws, brass to buckles and everything in between. More than half of our display is of the jewellery persuasion and there is very little we don’t stock (bearing in mind that ALL our stock is vintage or antique in some way.)
Recently we were “reliably” informed by a passing customer who gazed, glassy eyed at the table in front of her that the piece she held in her hot and grubby “Was pretty but no-one wears brooches anymore.” This in itself would have been scorn enough, save that it was accompanied by an expression of distaste, even disgust at the thought that anyone would be as common as to pin a bit of jewellery to their clothes.
I grant you that there are some horrors in existence, especially some of the kitsch from the 60s and 70s, but somebody somewhere loves them. And I cannot deny that there has been a shift away from brooch goodness but there remains a classical elegance to brooches which adds a certain je ne sais quoi to an outfit.
It all depends on one’s personal taste. Maybe an elegant, sentimental Victorian bar brooch is apposite: the one shown here consists of ivy leaves and a circlet of rope signifying ‘bound in love forever’, the rubies & pearls standing for pure love.
For a party or wedding, nothing beats a “bitta glitta”. Diamante and rhinestone, or even a delicate butterfly wing with iridescent hues really add a touch of class to an LBD or slinky off the shoulder number (as well as helping with tricky straps) and though not strictly brooches, tie tacks and stick pins perform a similar function for the fellas.
The history of design and costume jewellery is littered with brooches of all shapes, sizes and descriptions and fashions come and go. What “no-one is wearing” depends on a point of view. No one was wearing drainpipe jeans in the 1990s, now hipsters rule the low slung, lanky look (no matter how inappropriately shaped their legs may be.) Beards and big moustaches, flapping flares and fingerless gloves; minis, midis, baby-dolls and berets have all come, gone and come back again.
With this in mind (and a hashtag campaign), we predict a new dawn for the brooch. A sunlit upland where the pin is king, where being called to the bar is a yearning for dark Victorian fancy, where swags and swoops and beads and birds and flounce and flowers once again claim their rightful place on the chests of the elegantly styled.
Mrs Sneer was wrong, some people are wearing brooches: forward thinking, fabulously fashionable, funky and fun people with a complete disregard for the average. Fashion and jewellery has become dull and staid; bringing back the brooch is essential to our sartorial well-being. Join the campaign with the hashtag #broochesareback
All characters portrayed in this blog should be considered fictitious and any relation to people living or dead inside is purely coincidental.