I have spent the best part of two days in a kind of Dust World, selecting and purchasing the finest, and dustiest of tatty antiques. I’ve been looking for a nice, old upholstered chair for weeks. I’ve been looking for old picture frames for months. I’ve been wanting an antique mannequin for years. In one fell swoop I found them all in the stock-clearance-sale-of-the-century at the antique shop owned by the family who lived next door to us when I was growing up.
This sounds like a story on other peoples’ blogs, who grew up in rural America or France and have dusty brocante stores which just happen to have Edwardian mannequins around, and piles upon piles of Victorian gilt picture frames for a few pounds each, or a tatty Regency chair with original paint for the price of a magazine, all covered with an inch of dust. But no, this is simply the dust of small-town Midlands England, where such gems are so few and far between that I thought the days of the 70s when my parents bought antiques for next to nothing were just a myth.
The stock that came of out this shop’s storerooms had clearly been in there as long as I have been in this world, and is clearly where old mahogany chests-of-drawers go to die. I wanted so much to buy a Regency bow-fronted glass cabinet for my stand at Origin, but it cost nearly a month’s rent. I very nearly had a mirror-less, marquetry overmantle for the cost of Vogue, but I couldn’t lift it. I didn’t solve all my Origin-display issues, but I made excellent progress.
If was as old as Maud, I’d be looking a bit grubby too. But isn’t she a treasure?