Thursday, 23 July 2009

'Old Pretender Dolls', 17th & 18th century Antique Doll Restoration

With reference to my recent post in my other blog, Morgaine Le Fay Antique Textiles, here are some more glorious photos of the work of David Chapman & Paul Robinson of 'The Old Pretender' wooden doll workshop.
As well as making the most beautiful reproduction dolls dressed in authentic fabrics and trims from the period, these young men also restore authentic 17th & 18th century dolls. They are currently working on one of the rarest English dolls in the world, one of only 22 known examples made in Whitechapel at around 1680 by William Higgs.

The first photos detail some examples of their restoration work, then a magazine article about their reproduction dolls, followed by some examples of their reproduction dolls. I will let the photos speak for themselves rather than wittering on too much, please click on each picture to really appeciate the detail here!

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

With ref. to my previous post - Psyche et L'amour

A more experienced toile textile dealer has told me that this is a Toile De Nantes c1790, entitled Psyche et L'amour! so, my questions in the previous post seem to be answered!

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

A very strange antique French toile c1785

This is a really strange antique toile print, quite an early plate print, dating to the late 1700s, madder printed on cotton. The vignettes are a combination of some very dark and frightening images, juxtaposed with more typically romantic scenes, but still with a slightly distubing feel to them. The item is a large bedcover, I think the images here would be very odd to go to sleep with. I have no idea what the story is here, but please let me know if you have any ideas! I cannot seem to find a reference for this design, but find in unusual and very fascinating! I will need to continue my research.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Missing her already!

It has only been a day and a half, but of course I am missing her already! My lovely daughter Morgaine (pronounced Morganna) has gone to Sicily for her Classics and Archaeology college trip before leaving for University later in the year. She will be back by next weekend, but as it is only me and her here at home, it seems very quiet and not quite right without her, as we are very close. I am trying to get used to it, seeing it as a practise run for when she goes to University!
I will have no excuse for not sorting out the flat, and getting my stock room ship-shape this week...

Friday, 10 July 2009

Gorgeous French 1930s/40s Nostalgic Victorian Prints

While some of my favourite textiles are very old, I am also very fond of more recent designs, particularly when they are nostalgic prints such as these Two! With Summer upon us at the moment, the first design is very evocative, full of joie de vivre and energy, in lovely hot Summer colours that also have a hint of autumn about them. The Victorian gentry at play!
The second design is equally as charming, Victorian coaching scenes, evoking travel and holidays. The colour palette is altogether more plain and simple, yet still bright and cheerful.
Both fabrics were printed during an era when children's tastes had begun to be catered for, the first fabric was probably aimed at girls with its romantic scenes, the second at boys with each vignette filled with potential adventures!

Saturday, 4 July 2009

A 1910 French Practical Sewing Sampler

I was sorting through some boxes in my ever over-flowing stockroom and came across this pretty little French sampler from 1910. I have just published a post on my other blog about the 1940s wartime Make do and Mend ethos, and its relevance today, and thought that this pretty little piece linked very nicely to that topic. It is a wonderfully practical sampler, unpretentious, not unduly decorative, but ideally suited to its purpose, ie. to practise one's skill at practical as opposed to purely decorative sewing. A sewer of the day needed to learn about darning, buttonholes, attaching hooks & eyes etc as well as more decorative skills used to brighten up everyday linens, such as drawn thread-work, and cross stitch in the days when most people still made and mended a lot of their own clothes and linens. I imagine it to have been sewn by a young girl in the time-honoured tradition, the work isn't especially neat or accomplished, but surely that was the point of such a piece, it was for practise, in order to improve skills and aid fluency with the needle. I think I will have a go at making one of my own based on this one, at 47 years old, it is about time I began to learn how to sew!