Located in the beautiful Derwent Valley, Tasmania

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Swedish clocks, movie sets and potting sheds

The above clock was one of Donna and my favourite finds on our buying trip. We had it in the backs of our minds that we wouldn't mind a Swedish clock for the shop. And we found not only one, but two of the most beautiful Swedish clocks (I didn't get a photo of the other one before we had wrapped it up, it is just as beautiful, in a soft grey colour). They are just so dreamily decorative and would look great absolutely anywhere. I saw several in upmarket shops in the south of England (including the one pictured above), all of which were unsurprisingly sold.

I have since found out that they are called Swedish Mora clocks. And even more exciting, there was a Mora clock featured in the living room of the Hampton house from the movie "Something's Gotta Give" (see above photo) - my favourite movie house along with of course "It's Complicated". For example, the "It's Complicated" potting shed (in which our flower buckets would look right at home, see previous post)...

Need I say more? Or at least I could include a photo of her dreamy kitchen just to really make a point (I feel I am getting a bit off track here though)... Back to Swedish Mora clocks. Here are some examples in the home setting... I plan to continue my Swedish/Gustavian theme in my next post, with another snap shot of a piece that we have coming.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Flower buckets

I was pouring over an English House & Garden magazine (May issue) that I brought back from the UK and couldn't help but notice the tin flower buckets used in the fabric photo shoot. They have brass maker's labels which is actually quite rare. I managed to buy some like these from a stall at a big international antique fair that I went to in early June. Again, thank goodness for the granny trolley as they were actually quite heavy. From the same stall I bought an early 20th century weather vane in the form of a cockerel. I received loads of comments on the cockerel on my way back to the van! In the background of this picture you can see the flower buckets that Donna found. They don't have brass labels but they do have handles which makes them easier to use. We also found quite a few traditional English garden trugs, perfect for collecting vegies or flowers from the garden.
These photos (from Cote de Texas blogspot) show flower buckets very similiar to the ones that Donna got with handles. They contrast nicely with flowers or the grasses.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Antichita in Venice

Although we were meant to be taking a break from antiques hunting, we couldn't help but keep a keen eye out for the odd Antichita shop in Venice. In one I found a wonderful vintage crocodile case but it did not have a price and I couldn't buy it ... we returned a few times but to no avail. It would have definitely put me over the luggage limit! In another shop we bought a pair of Italian stone lamps, we think they may be onyx but we will have to do some research. We were on the hunt for a vintage Venetian scene painting but we must have been too fussy because we did not find the right one. Overall, we had our fill of all things old including architecture, paintings and of course the famous Venetian glass.
We topped off our trip at a great restaurant 'Da Fiore' which was close to our apartment. They had signed Venetian glass vases as their bread holders which proves with imagination beautiful objects can find purpose in often unusual ways. On our walk back to the apartment we came across dancing - more than 30 couples dancing a Latin ballroom dance in the square.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The wait for goodies has begun

A bunch of blossoms in a zinc bath tub greeted us at the entrance to the Daylesford Organic Farm Shop (see previous post). We are now relaxing in Venice whilst Donna is seeing new sights in Prague. And I can't help but flick through photos of some of the pieces we have on the way to Tassie. The middle photo is one of a set of ten French majolica asparagus plates that I bought very early on the trip. And the last photo is of a French patisserie cupboard with the original paintwork and marble that I also bought early on. We unfortunately did not fit everything into the container, but we absolutely filled it to the brim and have more goodies on the way than ever!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Daylesford Organic Farm Shop - in the Cotswolds

One of the most enjoyable experiences on my buying trip in the UK was a stop at the Daylesford Organic Farm Shop tucked away in the Cotswolds. I had prior knowledge of this place thanks to a friend’s French magazine in which it was featured (although the article was written in French I quickly got the gist that is was a food lover’s paradise and I scheduled it as a must do on the trip). I think the photos speak for themselves, really. There are no words to describe how seamlessly and meticulously this farm shop is run…not to mention how incredibly inspiring I found it as a storeowner.
We stocked up on some goodies for lunch including some soft cheeses and their award-winning potato and chedder bread and then had a picnic on the grass out the front. All the while discussing how we have wasted 6 years of opportunities visiting this magical place…if only we had discovered it sooner. Oh well, I am sure we will manage to squeeze it into our subsequent buying trips in the years to come.
We were pleased to see Tasmanian Matthew Evans’ recently published book “The Real Food Companion” on display for sale in the cooking book area of the farm shop. Also, upstairs in the homewares area one can find cushions made with antique hemp grain sacks - just like the ones we stock at the Drill Hall Emporium!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Our other favourite Olympia stand

Featuring a fabulous display of carefully selected objects from the English Victorian kitchen, this stand is one of our favourites to see at the Olympia Fair each year. I am glad Donna got some images of this stand at the Olympia fair this year as I (almost) feel like I was there. She said that it was one of the busiest with people lining up to buy.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

In the Yorkshire dales last week we had time to get a few supplies from one of the famous Betty's tea rooms (but we didn't have time to join the line-up for a seat for lunch!). I love how they have used antique tole tins and wooden items to display their beautiful patiserrie and bakery goods, as well as for their tea and coffee supplies. Just wonderful.
And as I looked closely at each object I realised that we have bought many of the same items this trip including a child's wheel barrow and cheese boards on display above their shelves and the French wooden garden trug holding the loaves of bread.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Antique English garden tools for the Tasmanian gardens

We have particularly been on an Antique garden tool hunt here on our buying trip. And it has certainly paid off as we have accumulated a very extensive collection of all types of English garden tools - from hand shears to large cultivating forks. And we have been learning along the way, including from the recent BBC's Homes and Antiques May issue (top two photos). Here is part of what we have bought (above) and another interesting way to display tools, as lamps of course (below)! But I think they are all very useable just as they were originaly intended...in the garden.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Bird house found

At the large international antique trade fair that I attended on Monday, I was on a mission to find a birdhouse or dovecote for mum. She will be pleased to hear that I was successful in finding one (or two, actually...one for the store as well). Although they are not antique, they are charming and are made in Eastern Europe. I saw a near identical one in the English BBC's Homes and Antiques magazine, May issue (top photo). And on my walk the other night to the local riverside pub, I spotted one through someones gates and took a snap (bottom photo). The ones I bought are the ones in the middle photo. The riverside pub had diners' boats moored at its jetty on the river. The weather has not been great here in the UK of late, but this particular night was mild enough to dine outside and enjoy the view.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Garden goodies, champagne boxes and Swedish clocks

It was a huge day at the international antiques trade fair that I attended yesterday. I am still getting over it! I started out buying a fantastic Swedish longcase clock with the most beautiful subdued grey painted finish c.1830 (I am very annoyed that we wrapped it and put into the van before I had a chance to take a snap!) along with a Swedish console or centre table with a drawer. Very chic. Next, I came across a fantastic French garden table and chair set with some of the original green paint. It is marked with the famous Arras foundry mark. And luckily I acted promptly, as an American dealer was trying to buy it at the same time and was very disappointed they missed out. Another of my favourite finds was the French champagne box (above). It would make a very satisfying container for logs or the like. We were also able to stock up on French baskets, cheese boards and garden objects. I loved the carousel horse (top photo) that was on a stall, but it sold very early in the day. I also admired the mirror made from an iron window (second photo) but it was too expensive.

Monday, June 7, 2010

The fabulous London Olympia Antiques fair

Every year, this stand (above) at the London International Fine Art Fair, Olympia, is by far my favourite. Unfortunately I did not get to the preview of Olympia last Thursday, but Donna was lucky enough to be amongst the first to enter and took some pics for us. I love the way this stand mixes garden with interior furniture. And all the muted colours blend so beautifully with little added shots of green from topiary and moss. Wonderful. And those bird statues are really intriguing. Here are some garden chairs that I bought last week... They are genuine Victorian iron chairs. We have bought a few pieces for our garden room in addition to these chairs. I am at a big international trade event tomorrow, hopefully I will find more there!