Located in the beautiful Derwent Valley, Tasmania

Monday, May 31, 2010

Early rise pays off

After an early start to the day and a line up in a queue (we were near the front, thank goodness) we raced around a large flea market looking for special finds. Donna found the largest pancheon we have ever had, a Victorian brass birdcage and some Spanish oil jars. I bought a dressmaker's dummy on a tripod stand, a large silverpated bowl and some fruitpicker's ladders. I also picked up a very useful vintage basket trolley (above) to help transport all these heavy pieces. Overall we were pretty pleased with the morning. This afternoon we are collecting a French day bed and French patisserie counter that we bought earlier in the trip. I hope the marble on the counter is not too heavy! The counter is really beautiful though, so it will be worth it.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

A treasure for myself...finally!

Well, I may be exaggerating with the "finally" bit - I have found some small bits and pieces for myself along the way, including a Victorian creamware foot basin for my bathroom, a French watercress straining bowl for my kitchen and an early c.1800 glass celery vase for absolutely any room of the house. But nothing major until today. And I must admit I am often just as pleased by a small 2o pound purchase as I am by a more serious one. But we came across an Irish Regency convex mirror (shown in the second photo, above) with a lovely shell motif and the original glass in a quirky trade showroom and fell in love. We certainly didn't need it but we just had to have it. For our shop we bought some c.1900 globes on stands and Victorian apothecary bottles. And I had to smile with the unique use for discarded tweed coats and vintage flags - reupholstering armchairs, of course! I tried the tweed covered armchair out and found it to be cosy indeed.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The storage shelves are groaning

As we unpacked our goodies at storage yesterday we couldn't help but be pleased with our buying so far... lots of mixing bowls, green plates, jelly moulds, garden trugs, flower buckets and etched glassware. All of our favourite goodies to replenish the Drill Hall Emporium.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Beautiful saleroom with bonus swans

This was the beautiful saleroom that Donna and I viewed yesterday morning. The rooms were filled with amazing antiques of all descriptions and it is where we acquired the painted French cupboard (see previous post). They had some garden antiques as well including this Regency period garden bench. Unfortunately the garden bench had some areas of damage and repair. And we already have a beautiful garden bench in our shop.
We liked these French garden chairs but they were too expensive. We will look out for some at the next trade fair we go to. The fun is in the hunt, afterall.
On our way back to the car we walked over a small footbridge and were taken by these swans and their cygnets. The swans were foraging for food in the reeds at the waters edge to feed to their young. So cute. But we had to keep moving. Today we unloaded our vans at our storage facility. We got some great images of our finds which I will hopefully post tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Too much to carry...

After an early 5.30am rise we headed to one of my favourite trade events, a frenzied antique fair which has a large proportion of French and European traders. I initially raced into the grandstand area and picked up a few nice bits of kitchen treen. But the real fun is too be had outside where you can find anything from French hand-thrown terracotta pots (76 to be exact, thank goodness for the granny trolley!) to a Chinese rosewood settee with a lovely vibrant embroidered silk cushion. I also secured a roll of Belgium linen, perfect for a French walnut arm chair that I bought yesterday. I think buying a set of 8 Jacques bowling balls in their original pine box was when I was really starting to push my luck with all I had to carry, but they are well worth it.

Monday, May 24, 2010

A bibliotheque, asparagus plates and other French goodies

I was thrilled to visit one of our contact's trade showroom and warehouse today. He was brimming with goodies that he had just sourced on his travels to France. I pounced on a French oak bibliotheque or bookcase with lovely ornate handles and wire covered doors (pictured below) as well as a set of ten French majolica asparagus plates.
We are contemplating the French armoire, below.
And we bought a lovely French mirror in amazingly good condition and a good size, not too big. In its reflection there is a faux bamboo chest of drawers with a lovely marble top that we also bought. We are very pleased with the day.
Tomorrow morning is an early rise for a large trade fair. The weather has been very good, blue skies and no volcano ash that we can see. It makes me think that the fair will be even bigger and better than usual. I will try and get some snaps on my way around, hauling my granny trolley and purchases.

A Treasure Found!

But not a treasure for the shop. Donna bought a lovely French early 19th Century table for her kitchen. It is very rare with the original hoof feet and it is a great colour. Lucky girl! Oh well, my table will find me on one of these trips, I will just have to be patient. Here is another picture inside a very interesting showroom where Donna found her table. I think that Donna took more photos so I will add them too. We had a really great buying day between us. We both started at antique fairs on opposite sides of the country and we both bought some interesting and decorative pieces. I continued on into the Peak District and met up with some of our contacts who had put pieces aside for us including a fabulous French cherrywood farmhouse table with a extendable slide (photo below). And the best bit is, this one is for the shop!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Inspirations everywhere

Well, it is day five of our buying and I cannot believe how much we have found. I returned to the shop with a courtyard garden and bought the set of six stools (yes, there were six to my delight, all c.1900 elm). Very pleased with these. And Donna picked up a set of 8 early 19th century rush seat chairs as well as 4 dressmakers dummies. I had to take a photo of this florist shop "Twig" above, very whimisical. At the beginning and end of each day, the shop owner pulls the flowers and plants in and out of the shop. But well worth it, I believe. Nearby we went into a trade showroom, photos below.
An antique couch that was beautiful enough for my loungeroom, but not quite the right shape. Beautiful linen and pleating, however. Also a little outside my budget.
The garden and statuatory area of the showroom. We are going to meet up with Donna today and see all the goodies she has found. Very exciting.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Regency Cheltenham Spa - this is how to shop!

The shops are all flanked by 19th century statues of draped ladies. Exquisite little boutique shops e.g. Cologne and Cotton.
The achitecture is stunning everywhere you turn. But I like little cottages just as much...see the next post!

Ever so cute cottages

I think I have fallen in love with cottages every where I am going, particularly in the little villages. But these ones are on a busy round-a-bout, can you believe? And there are two of them, identical except for the gardens.

The vans are filling up!

I was invited into the courtyard garden at the rear of one our contact's showroom. It was a calming and private oasis. I don't know how he ever leaves it to be in the showroom to sell! It was a pleasure to see and I am sure mum would love it!
Other views of the garden...
I am contemplating this trestle table inside his showroom, I will have to show Donna to see what she thinks. It has a lovely washed thick pine top. But now that I am looking at the photo I realise that I should have asked about the stools, especially if there are six of them, very hard to find!
Donna is on the other side of the country, she has found some great things too. Hopefully she has taken some pics so we can add to the blog. Off to our favourite pub for dinner tonight. I will post some pics of it after dinner (if not too tired). Must go, some more shopping to do!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Our antique buying trip begins...

I eased into our first official day of buying by checking out the local tea room - very cute name! And after trouble getting here (volcano ash issues) a cup of tea is not such a bad way to start.
Then antique hunting began. Found a great set of skittles in one antique store, above, very folky and chunky. And hard to carry in one hand. But they have heaps of character and will be worth it.
And we are very pleased with a the 19th Century French day bed that we found. It has lovely French ticking upholstery.
And we couldn't leave this wonderful painted dresser behind. It is a lovely size and has oodles of charm. More pictures tomorrow, hopefully!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Tasmania in our favourite magazine, Country Style

The beautiful mountains surrounding the Derwent Valley
Country Style March 2010 page 105
Here are some images from the March issue of the Australian Country Style magazine. To our delight it featured a Tasmanian Special within its pages. And we agree, Tasmania is pretty special! Best of all, the magazine explored the Derwent Valley, where you will find our antiques store. It also featured some historical places to stay. What more does one need on a trip to our wonderful state?

The garden room of our shop was pictured in the Derwent Valley feature in the magazine, showing some of our antique garden tools, watering cans and a birdcage. Country Style March 2010 page 111

The Vintage Rose, Tamar Street, Launceston. A chic shop to visit when in Launceston. Visit http://www.thevintagerosetasmania.blogspot.com/ Country Style March 2010 page 121

The Red Feather Inn, Hadspen, Tasmania built in 1842 by colonial architect George Sprunt. The wisteria in flower is magical. Country Style March 2010 page 114

The Priory Country Lodge in Bothwell is filled with books, antiques and artworks. I love the sandstone steps and the finials.
Country Style March 2010 page 108