I thought I would show you some of the interesting items that mean a lot to me that I have on display in various places in my house. Most things have a story behind them and I like the quirky and extraordinary things you pick up through life. Often it is an association with a person that makes you love something, other times it is a situation in which you got them and other times there is no rhyme nor reason for why you like them.
I loved this print as soon as I saw the original on the wall in Chatsworth House. It is by Cornelius de Vos and is a portrait of his daughter painted in 1623-4.
And here is the mystery. I bought this more than 25 years ago and then 10 years ago my sister had a daughter. When my niece was about 5 or 6 she looked just like this girl, I don't mean a passing resemblance, I mean the spitting image, expression, colouring, the lot. It could be a portrait of my niece.
So from a purchase that is 25 years old to a more up to date one. I picked this up for a song a few months ago and loved it because of its name, for obvious reasons. It is signed by the Hogarth Players, 1879. I wonder what sort of play/musical it was?
Now I know that ivory is a very controversial material when used for artistic purposes but this very old piece was passed on to me by a grand parent. I don't condone killing elephants for their tusks any more, but I do still appreciate the beauty and artistry that has gone into this piece. It is nearly a foot tall and carved out of a single piece. It is the amazing work of a true craftsman who is long dead and gone. Sentimental memories.
Some of you may have read my post a few months back about Enid Blyton, relating specifically to her picnics. My first and most wonderful introduction to books came through this much maligned author and I for one loved every single book. The Adventure series was my absolute favourite so when the opportunity arose to get a free copy of the original dust jacket cover I couldn't resist (everyone loves a freeby) and this is framed in my hall. It was painted in 1948 by Stuart Tresilian.
I wonder if any of you could guess what this chest contains? It was a gift from my very first singing teacher, along with the table it sits on (actually it is a set of 4 tables that are dotted in various places around my house). It is actually a mah jong set that she was given by her uncle when she was a girl. It must be well over a hundred years old. So the story goes, it was given to her uncles father by the manager of the National Bank of China as a gift when he was on business there. I wonder who played with it in the past? It contains all the wonderful bamboo and ivory tiles, hand painted as well as some weird currency sticks. It's a real beauty. I did play with it a few times when I was younger and it is a pretty good game.
This was a gift from my best friend, he saw it at bygone times in Chorley and knowing my enjoyment of anything a little quirky got it for me. Who knows what you actually got for you 10d a ride, but I would sure like to find out. The plane is carved in relief from the rest of the picture.
And finally the haunted horse. This heavy bronze horse was left to me in the will of my first singing teacher. It stands about 12 inches tall and weighs a ton. It is haunted because of a very chilling ghostly tale that happened to me in connection with it a few years ago. I will save that story for its own post - probably at Halloween!