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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Our 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.
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.
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.
Here’s a list of some of the more interesting items Philip found.
Butchers Meat Hook
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.
Places we visited.
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.
FYI: Keep watching for the announcement of the arrival of the container towards the end of May.
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!
We want to take a moment and wish each and everyone of you a Merry Christmas! Thank you for following our adventures and information on the store. Our stories will continue into 2017 and we can’t wait to share them with you.
In October, we visited England for the second time in 2016. Besides our usual shopping in Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire, we spent some time in Yorkshire; particularly York, Harrogate and Fountains Abbey.
We’d been to York before as tourists, but this visit we focused on shopping for the store. We visited a few antique centres; nothing special to report. Prices were higher than we are accustom to paying. We were in York on a Saturday and so were thousands of other visitors.
At the end of our visit, we found what Philip was really seeking….a candy store. In fact, there were two directly across from each other and he shopped both. At Cocoa & Sweet, he scored big. Located in a Georgian building in a lane across from the York Minister (which is amazing!), Cocoa & Sweet features high-end chocolates, either bars or local chocolates from a case. It’s a beautiful little shop with enticing displays. We bought Montezuma bars (from West Sussex) for gifts for the family back home and Philip chose several wonderful local pieces from the case.
Theresa found the cutest Sugar Mice. According to the owner, Sugar Mice are a Christmas tradition in England. They are given to family members in their stockings. Traditionally, they are white or pink and have string tails. We’re guessing that they are purchased at candy stores or made at home. We purchased a few because who wouldn’t want a sugar mouse in their stocking? What a fun tradition!
Conclusion of our spring antique shopping trip reports
In April, we visited many new-to-us shops, centres and fairs over a two-week period. We concluded our trip in London, where we visited IACF’s Monday Market at Sandown (Esther UK) and Sunbury Antique Market (Sunbury UK) at Kempton Park. Both are located at horse racecourses in urban areas and both have an array of antiques, vintage and collectibles outside and inside the grandstands. Both are close to Heathrow.
The IACF’s Monday Market at Sandown Racecourse is the smaller of the two. We finished it in less than two hours. It opens at 8 a.m., so we recommend getting there right at 8 a.m. to avoid Monday rush hour traffic. They won’t let in before that time. Parking is $5 per car. The outside pitches didn’t offer much, but we found some wonderful Black Forest pieces inside the grandstand. There is an indoor café. It’s a small relaxing collectors’ fair with a few bargains.
In comparison, Sunbury Antique Market is not relaxing and finding a bargain requires effort. It opens at 6:30 a.m. (before the sun comes up) and the sellers start packing up by noon. It’s very crowded. Parking is free. Come early and line up at the entry gate, where once the gates are open, there’s a mad rush to be the first one to buy the great piece. As we stood in line, we chatted with a young man who was there to buy some mid-century and over-sized furniture pieces for his recording studio. Not the typical antique buyer, but we’re betting he found it. Nevertheless, we found some great pieces of art and some interesting smalls. The indoor pitch space seemed to be completely full and there were tons of outdoor pitches. We saw one food truck. There is no signage and it’s hard to distinguish one row from another. Our advice: if you have to leave your purchase to be picked up later, count the light poles around the track and note the location of the pitch to the nearest light pole. It will help you identify the pitch later.
We hoped you enjoyed our reports. It was a great trip and we can’t wait to show you the one-of-a-kind treasures that we found for our wonderful customers! Keep a watch on our Facebook page to find out when the new items are at the store.
Part V of our spring antique shopping trip report
Did you know that we started dating in January 1981 while in England? We were on a Drury University Winter Term trip (Theresa as a student and Philip as an alumni’s friend). During our three weeks in England and Wales, we stopped at the Hampton Court Palace for a brief tour and walk around the gardens. Now, in 2016, we returned to London to attend two antique fairs and between the fairs, we spent an afternoon revisiting the palace.
Most people know of Hampton Court Palace. It’s the estate that Henry VIII took away from Cardinal Wolsey, when he fell out of favor with the King. That particular historic period, the Tudors, is a favorite of ours, so going back gave us a chance to do more exploring and learning about Henry VIII.
Hampton Court Palace is a museum and no longer an active royal palace. The 6 acres are situated on the north shore of the Thames about 14 miles southwest of Buckingham Palace. In 2015, it celebrated its 500 year anniversary. It’s been open to the public since 1838 and no monarch has lived there since George II. The palace building can be separated into three time periods: The Tudors (1509-1547), The Stuarts and The Georgian monarchs. Since time was limited, we focused on exploring the rooms associated with Henry VIII: his apartments, his Kitchens, the Chapel, and the Great Hall.
We’ve been in many castles and famous houses, but we were excited by the Henry VIII’s kitchens. The enormous kitchens and food halls show how the staff managed to feed 600 people twice a day during Henry’s reign.
After three hours of touring just a portion of the palace, we headed out into the gardens to have ice cream in the area where Henry VIII held jousting tournaments. It was a good day.
Up next, our last installment on the IACF’s Monday Market at Sandown and Sunbury Antique Market at Kempton Park.
Part IV of our spring antique shopping trip.
Pockets of England hold antique treasures, just as Eureka Springs, Arkansas and Springfield, Missouri are known for antiques. So, when planning this spring’s trip, we looked for “pockets” between Lincoln (our first week) and London (our second week). We found Suffolk and Essex! Lots of shops and centres were listed online, so we did our research.
Once we planned our trip and booked our hotels, we happened upon the BBC Drama “Lovejoy”. “Lovejoy” was loosely based on the novels by Jonathan Gash, about a roguish, but charming antiques dealer who solves mysteries. The series ran for six seasons in England and was shown in the states on A&E Network. Lovejoy, the character, was played by Ian McShane (Deadwood, Pirates of the Caribbean, Game of Thrones). The series was about Lovejoy and his friends helping solve a mystery or a possible murder involving antiques, and usually, they straddle the line between ethical and unethical behaviour in a comical way. Lovejoy and his friend, Lady Jane (Phyllis Logan – Mrs. Hughes, Downton Abbey) dined with the upper-crust in Suffolk and Essex and helped the locals with their antique troubles. “Oh Lovejoy!” expresses the exasperation of everyone dealing with the cunning, but gifted antique dealer.
We purchased the first season of the series and watched it before we headed out. For us, the countryside and villages highlighted in the show were a close second to the actual drama-comedy. On our shopping itinerary were the towns of Clare, Long Melford, and Halstead. We found that each of these towns were featured in the series. So, as we toured the area in April, we could easily imagine driving on the country lanes along with Lovejoy. The area is located in the east, above London. It’s lovely, flat countryside, not many hills.
Our choice proved to be a good shopping area. We attended a fair in the lovely village of Lavenham, visited two centres in Long Melford, had lunch, walked around the Priory and visited a centre in Clare, and visited the mill antique centre in Halstead. When we shopped the large centre at Halstead, we found a framed artwork of autographed cast photos from their filming visit at the centre. Just like Lovejoy, we found treasures galore and our little French rental car was full for the trip to London.
While we didn’t choose the area to follow the footsteps of Lovejoy, our trip was enhanced and more interesting because we had enjoyed season one of the series. You never know what you’ll find when you’re out shopping for antique treasures. Want to borrow our DVD?
We’ve got two more blogs about our spring trip to share with you. Up next, we visit one of the Queen’s palaces.
Part II of our spring shopping trip to England.
We planned a tourist day on our first Saturday in England in April 2016. Our destination was Chatsworth in the Derbyshire’s Peak District. We’ve visited the Peak District on several occasions and had previously been in the vicinity of the historic house, but never had the time to stop. We figured if we were ever going to visit, we’d have to make the time.
Chatsworth is one of the most beautiful houses in all of England. It is the seat of the 12th Duke and Duchess of Devonshire and home to the Cavendish family since 1549. It is nestled in a valley along the River Derwent with forested hills providing a backdrop. Most of the vast estate is open to the public. Chatsworth’s been open to the public since the mid-1600s. There is the house, the garden, the park, the farmyard, the estate farm shop, a playground and several holiday rentals. On our visit, we toured the house and walked the garden.
Construction on the house began in 1552. It’s been owned by many generations of Cavendish, each leaving their mark on the house, the art collections and the gardens. The access that the public is granted is amazing. We saw many rooms; too many to pick a favorite, but the Painted Hall was breathtaking. “Wow” didn’t really do it justice.
We visited Chatsworth to see the art. The sculpture gallery is exceptional and we were fascinated by the “Lions of Chatsworth”. As we were touring the house, we entered a small dimly lit room. Philip looked up and said “That’s a Rembrandt!” The room guard smiled and said yes it was. The sheer volume of pieces of art in this family home is outstanding. Galleries, corridors and long halls have every inch covered by ornately framed artwork. In most cases, Philip loved the frames, as much as the oil paintings.
After we had our afternoon tea in the grand Palladian converted stables, we headed out into the gardens. There, we spent the remainder of our afternoon following paths into the different sections of the 100 acres of gardens, which were started in 1555. The sun was shining and the sheep were grazing on the parklands. We relished our time outdoors in the maze, the greenhouses, rock garden and the fountains. It was a welcome relaxing respite to the work ahead of us. We got a little carried away on our walk and found ourselves in a private area, where we happened upon a group of pheasants digging in the dirt. We skipped the Hundred Steps Ascent!
Americans know of Chatsworth through movies and television series. For instance, it’s been featured in “Pride and Prejudice” as Pemberley. And the house has been on our bucket list since the movie. While Jane Austin stayed at Bakewell, a town quite near Chatsworth (and where we shopped for antiques), she wrote Pride and Prejudice. Many believe she based Fitzwilliam Darcy’s home of Pemberley on Chatsworth.
From “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austin.
“They gradually ascended for half a mile, and then found themselves at the top of a considerable eminence, where the wood ceased, and the eye was instantly caught by Pemberley House, situated on the opposite side of a valley, into which the road with some abruptness wound. It was a large, handsome stone building, standing well on rising ground, and backed by a ridge of high woody hills; and in front a stream of some natural importance was swelled into greater, but without any artificial appearance. Its banks were neither formal nor falsely adorned. Elizabeth was delighted. She had never seen a place for which nature had done more, or where natural beauty had been so little counteracted by an awkward taste. They were all of them warm in their admiration; and at that moment she felt that to be mistress of Pemberley might be something!”
We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Chatsworth House and the Capability Brown landscapes. We’ve seen many grand houses and palaces and now, this is one of our favourites.
Up next, we’ll take you to Sheffield’s Antique Quarter as we continue our series of Spring 2016 Shopping Trip blogs.
P.S. Theresa has watched Pride and Prejudice 4000 times (according to Philip).
We’re back from our spring shopping trip in England. The jet lag only lasted a week (thank goodness!) and the container should hit the water later this week. The weather cooperated, for the most part, and we found some cool items for the store. We were there for two full weeks and we’ll be updating the blog with several new blog posts about our comings and goings.
First, and foremost, everyone wants to know what we bought. We purchased several boxes of majolica. It’s popular at the store right now and we were lucky enough to find small pitchers and cups that are on our customers’ wish lists. We bought from the same dealers, so we can trust that we got some excellent pieces at a good value.
It’s always a hit-or-miss when we shop. Some of the items we always carry were hard to find or simply not found at the big antique fairs. Philip was glad he could replenish his stock of sighting scopes and oil cans. These have been selling well at the store. However, we didn’t find much metalware and tins.
We did buy our usual suspects: Black Forest items, antique oil paintings, transferware, religious items and various smalls. And we found some awesome big copper pans.
Furniture was scarce. People looking to buy quality and quantity were out of luck. There wasn’t much industrial, but shabby was still popular and those looking had to be in line early. Tents that used to be full of brown furniture were fairly empty. We did find what we were looking for and are happy with our selections. We’ve been showing some of the incoming stock on our FaceBook page, so for an insider’s view, follow us there.
The best part of shopping is bumping into friends at the fairs and dealers and shop keepers whom we have gotten to know. It’s fun to catch up with their lives and we enjoy our visits with them. It’s the people that make the difference; it’s not just work, but a mini-reunion. We are so grateful that they’re out hunting for great stock and then, they brave the elements to bring them to us at the fairs. We were sad to hear that two of our favourite dealers were at their last fair this time. We’ll truly miss them.
We typically visit England for 10 days, but we extended our trip so we could attend a few more fairs closer to London and see some sights. Watch for more blog posts about our April adventures.