Located in the beautiful Derwent Valley, Tasmania

Thursday, March 31, 2011

great finds at antique trade fair

My first find at the trade fair was from one of my favourite linen dealers. I was able to go through his collection of hemp grain sacks and find some lovely hemp for cushions.
Just next to the linen store I picked out a lovely Turkish terracotta pot. Hard to handle but worth it!
A collection of shoe lasts on a French dealer's stand.
Zinc and galvanised tin is quite sought over here at the moment. I found a very small tin bath at this fair as well as a French tin jug, perfect for wildflowers.
I was even more happy when I bought a French grape basket from the Bordeaux region of France. These are becoming increasingly hard to find.
I bought quite a few of these preserving jars which are from America, some of them date to 1900. Such jars have been recently featured in many interior magazines over here in the UK.
This lovely pottery pancheon is huge! It balanced nicely on my basket trolley, thankfully, as I had quite a trek to the vehicle and it was too heavy to carry. My best find at the fair? The basket trolley, of course!

Monday, March 28, 2011

antique hunting in style

We continued our antique hunt with a visit to one of my favourite trade stores which is always brimming with delightful and interesting antiques. And all presented with flair. Above is a 19th century rocking horse...very primitive in form but quite stylish. It is French and dates to around 1850.
The rusty French antiques sign on the exterior of the store.
I bought these vintage sweet jars in a wooden crate. It is very hard to find so many together.
Other French jars held spools of cotton of various colours. An instant collection!
I can never have enough white or cream china. Gorgeous French oyster plates in the shelf above.
A collection of wooden milliners heads in pigeon holes. I have never seen forms such as these. They are German and date to 1900. Nice shelving too...
A painted chest of drawers with character and a collection of pond yachts.
A collection of colourful drums. I bought a lovely French cherrywood elm dough bin today with lovely carving. Tomorrow I am going to a small trade fair and I hope to have more great finds!

Friday, March 25, 2011

our antique buying trip begins...with an enormous antique trade fair!

We have finally touched down in the UK for our antique buying trip. And we start the hunting and gathering with a large antique trade fair. Perfect for gathering up all those pieces that we love to find...mixing bowls, watering cans, quality English tools. It was a perfect sunny day here which meant everyone was in a good mood and happy to bargain.
English garden tools are displayed in a row. I found a few Brades branded tools, known here for quality and durability.
Stone garden dogs keep guard over the frantic action.
A cute little tricycle and a lovely wagon on one of the outside stands.
Child's play...a farm yard set of animals and a barn on another stand.
And on the same stand, a bookcase filled with apothecary bottles. Mostly clear with the odd rare green one thrown into the mix.
Large gilded pub letters are displayed on the grass. This stand also specialised in lanterns.
Patience paid off when I found this French iron day bed from a French dealer. Luckily for me it folds up so it fitted into our van. Which, by the way was already filling with smaller objects, baskets, tools and the like. I love these day beds, they are very romantic and are becoming increasingly hard to find. This piece topped off my buying day and I was pretty pleased with myself!
As we were leaving the fair, I snapped a picture of these tee pee structures. I assumed they were wigwams for growing peas etc. But the dealer informed me that they were made in 1928 from aluminium and thousands of them spanned the width of the River Severn to catch salmon. Now of course he sells them as wigwams to grow peas upon...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

new in store...French day bed with Belgium linen upholstery and a revamped shell display

This antique French day bed came from England on our last buying trip in June last year. It has waited patiently in our storeroom until it was time for it to be reupholstered. We have chosen Belgium linen as it is a nice contrast with the old carved giltwood frame. This bed started life in France then went to England. In the 1950s it went to the USA (it still has the old storage labels on it from America) and more recently returned to England where we happened upon it in the Cotswolds. It then made the journey in many pieces to Australia. What a history!
Detail of the carved giltwood leg and the bolt that holds the rail to the end. It is cleverly constructed to come apart into 6 pieces for transportation. Think of the apartment stairwells in Paris that it must have climbed!
Gorgeous double piping detail. It actually has two bolster cushions as well (these were not completed at the time I took these images but they are happily on the day bed now).
The paint has a lovely worn look, only perfected with age. The bed dates from mid 19th century. A lucky find for us and well worth the effort...this piece is certainly my favourite in store right now!

Friday, March 18, 2011

weekend pumpkin harvest

I collected up my many small pumpkins this morning and cannot wait to roast some! I love any excuse to use my English trug. We are getting closer to our next overseas buying trip and I will definitely be on the hunt for more of these trugs... I hope that everyone has a wonderful weekend and happy gardening!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

a visit to Melbourne and the Johnston collection

On a little escape to Melbourne over the weekend, I visited the Johnston Collection, a collection of beautiful antiques brought together over many years by the late antiques dealer, William Robert Johnston. He generously donated his collection to the public in the form of a charitable trust which was to take effect upon his death. It is all housed within his former Georgian style Victorian period residence, Fairhall. In the image above is a wonderfully classic French Empire period commode with a marble top and a French gilt mirror. I love the light coming in through the French doors, lighting up the marble urn.

Another French gilt mirror above a Regengy period chair. The green glass Hundi lantern makes a change from plain coloured ones.

This French oak armoire dates to around c.1800 and is not going anywhere...the trims on the ceiling above it are fitted in around the top of the armoire! This piece is just outside the kitchen and would have once made a very good pantry cupboard for Mr Johnston. Although we did find out that he did not like to cook and preferred to dine out.

The kitchen is charming but definitely not a cook's kitchen. I fell in love with the French oak refectory table as it had a lovely honey colour. Windsor chairs are classic too.

This drawing room is gorgeous, especially the French doors which lead out to the little courtyard and garden. The most spectacular part of the entire room, however, is the Regency crystal chandelier (only just visible in the above picture). It is not electrified but holds candles encased by storm shades. It may have been the most beautiful chandelier I have ever seen. Again, I must get my chandelier up soon. I have nearly finished cleaning each lustre but I am now more inspired than ever to see it above the dining room table...watch this space.

For more information on The Johnston Collection, visit http://www.johnstoncollection.org/. All photos from here.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

new in store...linen and grainsack cushions

These cushions are made with antique handwoven grainsack linen. They are very natural to the touch and have vintage buttons to the front.

Soft colours and butterflies make these linen cushions quite dreamy!

And possibly my favourites...made from antique French linen in muted pink and red tonings, these cushions are gorgeous.