July Sale in Progress

Older inventory pieces are now wearing fashionable yellow post-its, indicating huge savings!The piece you love may be on sale. Stop in and have a look before the pieces and the markdowns disappear.

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Trench Art Explained

We don’t carry trench art but we see pieces every time we visit England. When we toured the WWI Museum in Kansas City last weekend, we saw this explanation. So, we thought we share.

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Enjoying the July 4th Holiday

We will be closing at 1:00 pm this Saturday, June 30 due to family obligations.

We will be open Monday and Tuesday (July 2 & 3) with limited hours.

Closed on July 4 and back to regular hours on Thursday July 5.

We wish your family a safe and relaxing holiday.

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Fresh Treasures Have Arrived!

Items we purchased in March and April in England have arrived and are now at the store.

Come see us at 1055 S. Glenstone, Springfield Mo.

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Pyewipe Inn

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Pyewipe Inn

We stayed a few nights at the Pyewipe in Lincoln on our England April trip. It’s located between Salixby and Lincoln, where we usually stay. The Inn is situated on the Fossdyke Canal. There’s been a barging inn on the banks of the Fossdyke since 1788. The Pyewipe takes its name from a common lapwing bird. It is a pub, restaurant and a lodge for overnight guests.

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Across the fields, you can see the towers of the Lincoln Cathedral in the distance. 

We had a change this trip and left the urban setting in downtown Lincoln for a rural one. The Pyewipe is set in the middle of farming fields, down a narrow one-car lane, and according to what we’ve read, it’s a 20-minute walk into Lincoln. We didn’t try that, but every morning there were bikers using the trail to take them to work in Lincoln. The pub and restaurant are in the main building and, across a massive gravel car park, is the two-story lodge. The reception for the lodge and breakfast is served in the main building. In warmer weather, there are plenty of picnic tables along the canal for a summer treat. We had rain and snow, so we stayed indoors.

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Narrowboat moored at the Pyewipe.

The canal is the oldest in England, built, or at least enhanced, by the Romans, during their occupation. It’s a man-made waterway which was used to transport goods before the railroads and highway system. It connects Torksey to Lincoln. It’s still used today by pleasure boaters and narrowboats. In fact, you can tie up your boat right alongside the Pyewipe for a hearty meal and a pint. Each day, a different boat was moored alongside the main building.

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Breakfast menu.

 

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The entrance to the main building.

We ate most of our breakfasts there. Service started at 7. There was a cereal and juice bar and your choice of entrees. The staff was very friendly and, after a couple of visits, they knew what we wanted to eat and drink. We had to make reservations for breakfast, since it’s a fairly small operation with only 21 rooms.

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The pub’s menu board.

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In English pubs, you order at the bar.

We never ate at their restaurant, choosing instead the pub side. We were usually in disarray from outdoor (mud) shopping and felt the restaurant might be a bit of a stretch for our attire. At the pub, you order at the bar and the all selections were tasty and reasonable. Starters, Mains and Desserts were all yummy.

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Comfy bed at the Lodge.

After dinner, we scurried across the car park to the lodge. The rooms were larger than expected and quite comfortable. Time to watch some of the British Antiques Roadshow and then lights out at 9:30, after recording, tagging and wrapping our purchases from the day.

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England2018APYewipeView1Our purchases from April are on the container ship, somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic. Praying for its safe arrival. We’ll keep you posted.

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Death by Turnip Knife

 

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Lincoln Cathedral Quarter. 

It occurred to us, when we were reviewing our April trip to England, that Philip had bought some unusual and different items. He had been on the hunt for something different because, as we all know, he does love a good provenance and story.

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Latest Container: Locked and Loaded. 

If you’ve been to the store, I’m sure he’s shown you the Gunter’s Chain and the water filter from 1830. Selling antiques is more fun if we can share the history of an item and, if we’d discovered something new, then we’re excited for it.

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The Potato Sorter!

Here’s a list of some of the more interesting items Philip found.

Marmalade Cutter
Turnip Knife
Malt Shovel
Miners Pick
Potatoes Sorter
Butchers Meat Hook
Bilateral Scale
Felt Iron
Lorry Heater
Fireman’s ax
Ship’s Bell
Slate cutter
Yarn Scale

 

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Waiting in line for the IACF Newark International Show. 

We are subscribers to Acorn television because we simply can’t get enough of those English. And our favourites, besides The Detectorists, are the murder mysteries. So, it occurred to us, the items listed above would make great “fantasy” murder weapons. And when you combine them with the names of the places we visited on the trip, you’re halfway to a plot outline.

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England was having a late spring, just like the US. 

Places we visited.

Hounslow
Brackley
Skeffington
Uppingham
Peterborough
Stamford
Grantham
Newark-Upon-Trent
Saxilby
Scrampton
Hemswell Cliff
Louth
Swinderby
North Hykeham
Collingham
Gainsborough

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Scouting locations for our mystery. How about this creepy tree?

Throw in a local pub with a wood-burning fireplace covered in horse brasses and a catty couple of gentleman lingering over their pints. A misty, foggy walk down the dimly lit cobblestone street. The church bells ringing in the close of day. And there, you have it! Murder by Turnip Cutter.

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The tidiest fireplace in the pub. 

FYI: Keep watching for the announcement of the arrival of the container towards the end of May.

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Gin and Tonic. When in England….

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Dennis’s Pig Powder

We bought this sign in England a few years ago, about 30 miles from its point of origin. Pig powder was developed by John W. Dennis and manufactured in Louth England from 1870. It was a nutritional supplement for pig feed to prevent disease and produce more bacon. The pig powder was still being produced in 1940. Other company items included Dennis’s Carrotine Butter Colouring, Dennis’s Cheese Colouring, Dennis’s Poultry Powder and Dennis’s Worm Powder for Pigs.

John W. Dennis and Fred W. Dennis operated a Druggist and Chemist shop along with a Wine and Spirits store at #77 Eastgate in Louth. Fred bowed out of the business in December 1899, when the company became John Dennis and Sons and was located on Northgate. We regularly visit Louth on our buying trips. On our next visit, we’ll stop and look for the store front.

Look for antiques with provenance and be careful when buying online. We have seen poorly made reproductions of this sign with modern graphics. Buyers beware!

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October Container Arrives!

The Queen is pleased to announce the arrival of the container from England. Starting this Thursday, come and see Her recommendations. She is quite pleased and excited for your visit.

Cheers!

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Tattershall Castle

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Impressive keep. Bridge over the moat.

We were between international fairs and decided to drive towards the east coast for the day. We wanted to visit Tattershall Castle. We’d driven by before and, this time, we were determined to stop. Tattershall Castle is a tall imposing structure made of red bricks. Not exactly the picture that flashes in your mind when you hear the word “castle”. It’s more of a fortified tower house (a giant keep), not a castle used as a fortress.

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Parking is to the right of the Holy Trinity. Here, you can see the two moats. There wasn’t any water when we were there.

It was built as a private residence for Lord Cromwell, the Lord Treasurer to King Henry VI in 1434, taking 13 years to complete. This is not the Cromwell from the Civil War, Commonwealth and Protectorate. It was built on the site of a stone castle, built two centuries earlier. Now, it is owned by the National Trust. It is set right beside the A153 in the town of Tattershall, about 30 miles from the North Sea coast.

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View of the guardhouse on the left and Holy Trinity Church. We had ice cream at the picnic tables.

After parking, we strolled past the Holy Trinity Church and the almshouses (we’ve shown these photos on Instagram), crossed the first moat and stopped in at the guardhouse to purchase tickets and pick up our headsets (which we didn’t use).

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Amazing spiral staircase with built in handrail.

What’s left of the castle is a red brick keep, a tall tower (crazy tall) that’s been around for 550 years, some ruins and two moats. The keep is four stories high with a basement below and battlements above. All of the keep is opened to visitors. On each corner of the keep is a turret. One turret contains the spiral winding 149 stairs that take you from the ground floor up to the battlements. It’s the widest spiral staircase we’ve ever encountered. A separate, smaller staircase takes you into the basement.

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Basement.

 

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We wanted this massive table. If you have one, let us know.

 

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Tapestries.

 

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Fireplace on the second floor.

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Fireplace on the ground floor.

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Cool ceiling.

On each of the four floors is one ginormous room and then the other three turrets contain smaller rooms for the guards and bathrooms. In the large open chambers are where the family lived and conducted their business. Each floor has a massive fireplace that dominates the room. The higher you go up in the tower, the more impressive the Fireplaces and rooms. Decorated with strained glass, carvings, and painted ceilings. It’s important to note, that while the family’s servants shared the common rooms with the family, the family did not enter the basement nor the ground floor. The family did not mix with the locals. The kitchens were located in another building that no longer exists.

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Looking northwest from the battlements. Lincoln Cathedral is just a little right from the center.

Tattershall Castle was built on high ground, though not on a hill or cliff. When we huffed and puffed up to the top battlements, we could see Lincoln Cathedral, as we looked northwest. Drive time between the two landmarks takes about 40 minutes. The day we were there was exceptionally windy and hazy, but we could still make out the cathedral. The family had Spectacular views, as they looked down.

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Battlements and one of the turrets.

There’s always something about a place that captures your imagination. We were fascinated that the castle was left empty from 1693 until 1914. Here’s this massive structure allowed to decay and it’s used as a stable for cows! The locals took stones away to built their own garden walls and buildings. During this period, visitors still came to view the romantic ruin. Even as a ruin, it must have been something to see.

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Beautiful in the fall.

It wasn’t until 1911 that Lord Curzon of Kedlestone decided it was a national treasure and must be saved. He was one of those titled English gentlemen that rich American girls wanted to marry. He married well (thank you America) and had enough money to save Tattershall Castle, Bodiam Castle and the Taj Mahal in India! At the time he bought the castle, a company had purchased it and had begun tearing it down. The four massive fireplaces had been sold to people in America and they were already removed and waiting on the shipping docks. Lord Curzon stepped in and pulled some important strings. Since the fireplaces were part of a national treasure, they were returned to the castle by horses and carts.

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The rocky opening is where the wall would have connected to the keep.

We hoped you enjoyed reading about our adventures in the midlands of England in October. Thanks for reading! And be sure to stop in the store and tell us your England stories. You might even find a special English antique to take home with you.

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Cool drawing that they give children who visit. Philip qualified.

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Walking the Medieval Steps of Nottingham Castle

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A print of the Nottingham Castle.

When a place has been around for 1000 years and has been the subject of myth, legend, and movies, you expect a pretty awesome story. Nottingham Castle has everything you expect: murder, treason, imprisonment. Everything that is except a castle. Not there anymore. The castle was torn down in 1649 because of the role it played in rebellion. Instead of a castle, there’s a museum in a mansion built on the cliff overlooking Nottingham. Some walls remain and so do the castle tunnels carved into the castle’s sandstone hill. The tunnels eventually spill out into the yard next to Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem pub (see previous post).

The first Nottingham Castle was built in 1067 by William the Conqueror as part of the Norman Conquest takeover of England. He came from France and proceeded to build massive stone towers and castles to maintain his hold over the island. As generations passed and the castle changed hands over and over again, it had lots of stories to tell. About Robin Hood. About the murder of the Queen Mother’s lover. About brother versus brother. Battle after battle. Rebellion.

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Robin Hood Statue outside the castle walls.

After we had our Sunday Roast at the pub at the base of the cliff, we started our walk to visit Castle Hill. We walked passed a statue of Robin Hood and continued our climb until we reached the gatehouse. Most of the hill is preserved as a park with the museum at the top. From the outer gate, you continue to climb up to the top of the hill where the 19th century mansion is perched. The cave tour begins in the mansion and winds down through the sandstone tunnels carved into the hill.

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Spooky cave room under Castle Hill.

Climbing up and down the 300 slippery steep steps, we heard the infamous stories of the castle. Stopping in small cave rooms, we heard ghost stories. Some of the tunnels were opened up to the outside, so defensive weapons could be used against attacking armies. The steps are worn down and it’s dark and ominous.

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The openings in the yard below the castle hill.

Most of all, we were interested in stories during the Robin Hood time period. King Richard the Lionheart left to fight the Crusades without having an heir to the throne. His younger brother Prince John already had control of most of Nottingham including the Sherwood Forest. He had land but no castle. When Richard left, John decided it was time make his move and he sent in his cronies to seize Nottingham Castle in 1191. Three years later, Richard had to use force to take back the castle from his brother’s soldiers. The siege lasted only a few days. Even though Prince John lost the castle, he eventually got the castle back when he became King John in 1199.

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The inner gate.

Even without a castle, it’s an interesting, historic site. It was a strenuous climb, but well worth it. It’s not often you can step back into the Middle Ages with a story-telling tour guide.

Next up, our last blog from our October trip, Tattershall Castle.

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