Six Easy Steps to a Customized, Framed Oil Painting.

 Upgrade your artwork before the holidays.Upgrade your artwork before the holidays.

Are you ready to raise the level of refinement of your home? If so, a decorative, framed oil painting may be just what your home needs. Regardless of your style preference, an oil painting can give your room an essential decorating element.

Customizing art for your home isn’t as hard. At Robertson Gallery & Antiques, we’re outlining these six steps to help you have confidence in your purchase.

We have a large selection of decorative oil paintings and antique oil paintings.

We have a large selection of decorative oil paintings and antique oil paintings.

  1. Know the size you need for your space. We offer a variety of oil painting sizes from 8×10 to 36×48. Do you want a vertical or horizontal painting? Keep in mind that the frame will add to the overall size.
  1. Browse our large selection of oil paintings. Look for your room’s colors and theme. Will the art work be a focal point or something to blend and layer in your room?
  1. Discuss your frame ideas. New or antique? Modern or formal? Gold or silver or wood? Wood or composition? Dark or light? Keep in mind the hanging location. How will the area be lit?
  1. Choose a frame that compliments the style and color of your oil painting choice. We’ll show you several frames to match your ideas. We’ll offer advice, based on 40 years in the business.
  1. Once your choice has been made, we’ll professionally finish your artwork by stretching it with stretcher bars and place it into the frame.
  1. Hang your oil painting with the correct size of hooks, which we will provide to you at no cost.

 

Our frames come in standard sizes to fit your painting selection.

Our frames come in standard sizes to fit your painting selection.

Notice that we haven’t discussed mat board or glass. That’s because oil paintings on canvas do not need this type of protection.

Leave a comment

Filed under Shopping Tips

A Gift from a Castle.

Would you like a gift purchased at an English castle?

A lovely cruet.

A lovely cruet.

On our last buying trip to England, we stopped in at Sudeley Castle and Gardens. Sudeley Castle lies beside the town of Winchcombe, Gloucestershire, England, deep in the Cotswolds. The present castle was built in the 15th century. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit and even had the opportunity to shop for antiques.

After parking, we headed to the visitors centre and ticketing area. Inside the centre, a corner is devoted to vintage and antiques. Lucky us! Elizabeth, Lady Ashcombe, handpicks the unique items that are sold to benefit the Winchcombe Youth Team Project. We were told that she either brings in items from her own collection or she shops in the town’s antique stores for the shop. We purchased a small well-made lined jewelry box and an etched cruet to bring home to the store.

Sudeley has a long history and it was well worth the visit. We decided to include it in our trip because it is the last home and burial ground for King Henry XIII’s last wife, Queen Catherine Parr. She survived Henry. Upon his death, his son Edward VI gave Sudeley Castle to his uncle, Thomas Seymour. Thomas married Catherine and he renovated the castle for his new bride in 1547. Catherine was pregnant when she moved into the castle. Here, the story takes a turn for the worse. Catherine gave birth to a daughter on August 30, 1548, but she died on September 5. Catherine was buried in the chapel. We visited her elaborate tomb.

This cruet would make a special gift for any anglophile, especially if they were also given this blog entry!

Leave a comment

Filed under Knowledge/History of Antique Item

Antiquing in Hog Country.

Three Cheers for The Junk Ranch.

Great fall decor, using shovel heads.

Last weekend, we did some antiquing in NW Arkansas. We headed south on Interstate 49, from Joplin Mo down into Razorback country. Interstate 49 crosses the state line at Bella Vista and continues south through Fayetteville. It’s hard to tell one town from the next and we visited them all. Bella Vista, Bentonville (home of Walmart), Rogers, Lowell, Tontitown, Springdale and Fayetteville (home of the University of Arkansas). All together, we visited 26 antique malls and shops over a three day weekend.

We would like to report that we found tons of treasures in NW Arkansas, but, alas, that was not the case. Treasures were hard to find. There are two uber-expensive French antique stores in Fayetteville, but the rest were lousy and loosely classified as antiques. The majority were garage sale junk malls featuring classics from the 1980s. There were a few exceptions, such as the Somewhere in Time in Rogers, Tontitown Flea Market and the Bella Vista Flea Market.

Behind the house at Junk Ranch, Prairie Grove, Arkansas.

All was not lost! The best portion of the trip was not any mall or market. A tip from a fellow shopper led us to the Junk Ranch. This made our trip. The Junk Ranch is held twice a year, on a Friday and Saturday, on a farm south of Prairie Grove (southwest of Fayetteville). It’s an outdoor antiques/vintage fair. Fairly new on the antiques fair calendar, this promises to get better and better.

Philip working the fields at Junk Ranch.

The Junk Ranch dealers presented worthy items to browse and shop. You can find antiques, vintage, industrial, crafts and enjoy live music and concessions. There is an old farm house, a good sized barn, and many tents around the property. We wondered if this is how the Round Top Texas antique festivals got their start. If so, Junk Ranch may give them a run for their money soon.

Good stuff at Junk Ranch, Prairie Grove, Arkansas.

We arrived at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday and were hauling items to the van by 9:10. Cars and trucks filed into the farm, bumper to bumper. There is no fee to park, but the entry fee is $4 on Saturday. It was well run and the dealers were friendly and willing to negotiate. We took a look at all the booths and filled our van with fresh stock for the store. Because of the crowd on Saturday, we figured we should have gone on Friday, thinking we could have found even more.

The barn at Junk Ranch.

Our weekend away wasn’t just about antiquing. We managed to squeeze in a visit to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Nestled in the Ozark hills, the museum is a breath of fresh air for any American. From the landscapes of the American movement west to Mary Cassatt’s impressionistic paintings to Andy Warhol, the focus is on America, in all its breathtaking glory and resplendent talent.

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas.

We enjoyed our weekend get-away and we’re ready for the Christmas rush in November and December. Come see us soon!

New stock from our NW Arkansas trip.

Leave a comment

Filed under Trips

Fall is just around the corner!

Pick your favorite before they're all gone!

Pick your favorite before they’re all gone!

It is the perfect time to come see our latest container items.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Focused on the English Antique Market.

IACF Newark

IACF Newark

This is the last of our blogs on our 2014 antiquing trip to the Cotswolds and beyond.

Flea and antique market shopping is different than shopping for antiques in clean, cozy buildings. Spending the entire day, usually outside, moving from booth to booth may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but you can’t beat the selection or the prices.

Cool model of spiral staircase at IACF Newark.

Cool model of spiral staircase at IACF Newark.

Cheltenham Boot Sale.

Cheltenham Boot Sale.

We buy most of our inventory of smalls at flea/antique markets in England and Europe. It’s our sport of choice. It’s all about finding a great bargain that we can pass onto our customers. Something new or different is just what we are looking forward to finding. We cover as much ground as possible, at all sorts of venues.

This ice cream truck seemed to follow Philip to several fairs.

This ice cream truck seemed to follow Philip to several fairs.

It’s fun but this is kind of shopping is not for the faint of heart. It’s not comfortable, nor clean. Portable toilets are the rule. Food is purchased from trucks. Often, the weather will not be perfect, so you are working against time. If the weather turns, the dealers are gone in a flash. We are up early, moving fast and staying until the dealers pack up. As the day comes to a close, you can find the real bargains, as dealers prefer not to lug their items back home.

Griffins ready to go into the shopping trolley.

Griffins ready to go into the shopping trolley.

Trio shopping at Arthur Swallow Lincolnshire Fair.

Trio shopping at Arthur Swallow Lincolnshire Fair.

On our last trip to England in 2014, we visited more fairs than we normally do and because of that, we’ve have some awesome bargains coming in the next container. Here are the fairs we visited:

  1. Stow on the Wold Flea and Collectors Fair
  2. Cheltenham Boot Sale
  3. Malvern Flea and Collectors Fair
  4. Great Wetherby Racecourse Antique Fair
  5. Magnes Antique Fair
  6. Swinderby Village Hall Antique Fair
  7. Winthorpe Antique Fair
  8. Pride of Lincoln Antique Fair
  9. Arthur Swallow Lincolnshire Fair
  10. IACF Newark Fair
The gang's all here!

The gang’s all here!

Here are some of our survival tips for flea market shopping.

  • Start early. We hate to be late; Philip always feels like he has missed something of value if we aren’t there when it opens.
  • Wear comfortable all-weather shoes. You may be stomping in mud puddles and standing all day.
  • Carry more than one collapsible tote bag. If it’s a good fair, you may need to unload several times during the day and it’s a long walk back to the car.
  • Bring a small note pad and pen to track your purchases. At the end of the day, you won’t remember how much you paid for which item.
  • Bring cash, in small bills. Don’t count on the presence of an ATM.
  • Dig for items. Scanning a booth from the aisle won’t cut it. Look under tables and through boxes.
  • Travel in light layers, adding or shedding as the sun plays peekaboo.
  • Buy quickly and keep hold of the item until you finish the sale.
  • It’s ok to haggle, but only if you are serious about making a purchase. If the dealer can’t come down to your price, make sure you still thank them.

 Magna Carta Pub in Lincoln with Stephanie, Suzanne, Peter, and Philip.

Magna Carta Pub in Lincoln with Stephanie, Suzanne, Peter, and Philip.

At the end of the day, it’s great to settle around a table at the neighborhood pub and share our stories and finds with friends.

Leave a comment

Filed under Antique Shows

Turn Back Time in the Cotswolds.

Phone Booths in Broadway.

Phone Booths in Broadway.

This is part three of 4 blogs on our May/June 2014 trip.

By combining our vacation and a buying trip, we were able to take time to explore the northern Cotswolds. It had been on our bucket list and many of our customers rave about the area. There is no way to see it all, so we didn’t overcommit to a long list of must-see places. Instead, we were guided by our love of antiques. We let the history of the area speak to us.

It’s so beautiful. Time has stood still here. Villages are nestled around a bend or in a valley, with the homes and buildings snuggled up to each other, protected by large walls. We loved our vacation and having the daily experience of walking by the dry stone walls, hearing the bells toll, smelling the fresh bread. It’s no wonder that so many people chose to vacation there. History is deep here and visiting the Cotswolds is not a new idea; travelers have been coming there for thousands of years.

Rollright Stones.

Rollright Stones.

Not far from Stow-on-the-Wold are the Rollright Stones. Set just off a country lane, a mysterious stone circle waits for its visitors. Built by people in the early Bronze Age, overlooking fields of green, the purpose is unknown. We visited on a cool, rainy day. Pulling up on a late afternoon, no other visitors around, we took our time walking the 77 circled stones. A tad bit eerie; it’s no wonder that a Dr. Who episode was filmed here.

Bathing area of the Roman Ruins at Chedworth.

Bathing area of the Roman Ruins at Chedworth.

We traveled the famous Fosse Way, a Roman road running from southwest England to Lincoln. The Romans invaded England in 43 A.D. Driving down an incredible narrow lane, hugging a hillside, we arrived at the ruins of the Chedworth Roman Villa. Here, we visited remains of an important family’s villa from the 2nd century. When the Romans moved into the British Isles, they set up outposts and gave the wealthy land. Beautiful mosaics have been uncovered and restored. The underfloor heating systems and bath houses impress with their innovative technology.

Sudeley Castle, Winchcombe, UK.

Sudeley Castle, Winchcombe, UK.

One day, we ventured down a densely foggy lane to emerge into sunlight at Sudeley Castle, just outside the village of Winchcombe. Sudeley Castle’s history begins around the year 1000, with a Saxon manor. We were there to learn about Catherine Parr, Henry VIII’s last wife. She outlived Henry, remarried and made this her home until her death in 1548. It’s a magnificent manor house with a beautiful garden and lovely ruins. You tour the manor at your own pace. We also had a delightful lunch there.

We were tempted by this cottage at the top of the Chipping Steps.

We were tempted by this cottage at the top of the Chipping Steps.

In the Cotswolds, limestone was used to build compact villages. There is a sameness of the villages, but each distinctively unique. Most of the villages we visited were built in the 1500s, but built on earlier settlements. Nothing has changed the look of the villages in many, many years. Money streamed into this area of England because of the famous wool-producing sheep as early as the 1100s, when international merchants came to purchase the wool and left behind mountains of money.

Burford took our breathe away. It has a wonderful High Street with 14th-17th century homes and shops lining the road.

Burford took our breathe away. It has a wonderful High Street with 14th-17th century homes and shops lining the road.

Our best meal came from the Fox Inn, in Lower Oddington. Oh, did we mention it's been around since the 1600s?

Our best meal came from the Fox Inn, in Lower Oddington. Oh, did we mention it’s been around since the 1600s?

The Market Hall in Chipping Campden was built in 1627. Such a beautiful town. We saw the best thatched roofs here.

The Market Hall in Chipping Campden was built in 1627. Such a beautiful town. We saw the best thatched roofs here.

St. Edward's Church, Stow-on-the-Wold was used as a royalist prison after the Battle of Stow in 1646. We posted an early photo of its “Moira” door.

St. Edward’s Church, Stow-on-the-Wold was used as a royalist prison after the Battle of Stow in 1646. We posted an early photo of its “Moira” door.

In Tetbury, we climbed the Chipping Steps, built in the 1600s, which led up from the lower town, past the weavers’ cottages, to the market area near the market hall.

In Tetbury, we climbed the Chipping Steps, built in the 1600s, which led up from the lower town, past the weavers’ cottages, to the market area near the market hall.

Bourton-on-the-Water is an attractive village featuring 18th century bridges over the River Windrush.

Bourton-on-the-Water is an attractive village featuring 18th century bridges over the River Windrush.

Here, we visited a miniature reconstruction of the entire Bourton-on-the-Water village at the Model Village. Now, we know how Godzilla feels.

Here, we visited a miniature reconstruction of the entire Bourton-on-the-Water village at the Model Village. Now, we know how Godzilla feels.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Trips

Vintiquing in the Cotwolds.

A beautiful Black and White arrangement in Tetbury.

A beautiful Black and White arrangement in Tetbury.

This is the second of 4 blogs on our May/June 2014 trip.

Philip filling up the car's boot with our purchases from Station Mill Antiques Centre.

Philip filling up the car’s boot with our purchases from Station Mill Antiques Centre.

With Stow-on-the-Wold as our base camp, we divided our time between antiquing and lollygagging. Antiquing in the golden villages of the Cotswolds tends towards the high-end. For example, that darling pub stool is from the 1600s and cost $1600. That’s what we would say is high-end. However, we are happy to report some of our best finds, cool and affordable, were found in the Cotswolds, we just had to look a little harder.

Winchcombe Antiques Centre.

Winchcombe Antiques Centre.

If you’ve read our previous blogs, you know that we tend to shop wherever we can, but we spend the majority of our money and time at large international fairs in the midlands of England, i.e. IACF Newark and Arthur Swallow Lincoln. In the Cotswolds, we focused our attention and efforts on antique centres. By doing so, we avoided the high-end furniture stores and found affordable items to bring back to Missouri. Thus, we did more vintiquing than antiquing, since the antiques in the UK are truly antiques. Once we found locations of the centres and markets, we eagerly mapped out our day trips and googled park-and-pay lots, so we were good to go, as long as the SatNav was working!

Fenwick and Fenwick in Broadway.

Fenwick and Fenwick in Broadway.

We drove down to the Cotswolds from the Manchester airport and stopped for lunch in Broadway, a beautiful, tidy village northwest of Stow. Here, we found a great first stop, Fenwick and Fenwick. The owner clearly loves the same antiques we do, and his shop is full of brown oak furniture, pewter and copper, carved wood and blue and white transferware. You could easily confuse our two stores, except his building was built in 1450. A little earlier than our 1953 building.

Antiques at the George in Burford. Philip was pleased with his purchases.

Antiques at the George in Burford. Philip was pleased with his purchases.

If you’re planning on shopping in the northern Cotswolds, let us guide you. Here are the places where we found our favorites.

  • Burford. Although there are several antique stores here, we only had success at two of them. Antiques at the George and Chris Walker’s shop on Tailor’s Row.
  • Chipping Norton. There are two good antique centres, one is on the east side of the town, The Quiet Woman, and the other is on the west side of the town, Station Mill Antique Centre. Both were large centres and there is something for everyone.
  • Moreton-in-Marsh. A busy market town with several shops and antique centers on the main road. We enjoyed our visit and would recommend antiquing here. Favorites included: Windsor House and London House.
  • Stow-on-the-Wold. Our residence for the week had many lovely shops, although most fell into the high-end category. Our favorite was the Tudor House.
  • Tetbury. This was our favorite shopping. Several centres and shops line Long Street. We spent a whole day here and it was here we found our favorite centre, Top Banana. We searched all five floors looking for interesting items and we emerged happy with our findings.
  • Winchcombe. There are several shops along High Street and the Winchcombe Antique Centre has two floors of affordable antiques. It was easy to combine antique shopping with visiting Sudeley Castle, so we made a day of it.
What was he thinking? That's French White and Grey not English Brown!

What was he thinking? That’s French White and Grey not English Brown!

We also visited Broadway, Bourton-on-the-Water, Chipping Campden, and Lechlade. Each village had one or more shops. Enough to entertain us, but not an antique destination.

The purchases under the stairs, neatly wrapped and ready for the container.

The purchases under the stairs, neatly wrapped and ready for the container.

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Trips