The sale was two nights ago, and our friend Daphne, who stayed with us for the week, has gone home, so I’ve got time to catch up with you again – I’m going to read some blogs after this, though I may not comment for a few days, it all takes so much time.
The sale was good in parts and I’ve learned from it. I was happy with the prices and the atmosphere was lovely, but there was more than usual unsold and some of it shouldn’t really have been accepted at the reserves set. And the lovely stuff was in a group at the end, the very best, and I think some people were waiting for it. So, though I have been doing the sales for years, it had been the Sage who dealt with vendors (and now it’s my colleague, and he didn’t know) and I had reservations and didn’t act on them. But the pieces on the header picture – that sparrowbeak jug is only two inches high. They are miniature pieces. The sparrowbeak made £1,150, the sucrier (sugar dish and cover) made £1610 and the teapot made £1495. Those three little items, the size a child might play with, fetched £4255 and that seems absurd in some ways – but not if you are an antiques collector. Think of it another way, that they’re 250 years old and they’ve been treasured by their various owners in all that time and it takes on a different colour. In its small way, it is history.
Talking of history and thinking of social history, I’m really pleased to find that Liza Picard has written another book. I love her books – she was a solicitor and, when she retired, she started writing social histories of London. I borrowed one from the library, years ago, and liked it so much that I bought her other books as they came out. When she wrote Victorian London, which was published in 2006, she said that she had now reached the age of 80 and it was time to retire – but evidently she didn’t quite succeed in doing that, and Chaucer’s People has just been published.
I’ve a lot of paperwork to get on with in the next few days and it remains to be seen whether that means I don’t have time to blog or whether it’ll be some light relief. It’s good to be back, anyway.