Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Intriguing Gifts and Stocking Fillers from The Scottish Home

It's a busy time of year for The Scottish Home - the few weeks before Christmas always gallop along and as anyone who runs a small online business knows, almost everyone decides to buy vintage gifts and stocking fillers at the last minute, and it's a struggle to keep up with listing and posting, especially when you live deep in the countryside as we do. Although I do remember selling a handful of items back in October, to buyers who told me they were already Christmas shopping!

Because I collect textiles and textile related things as well as selling them and because they sometimes figure in my fiction, I generally have a few shelves full of  pieces I haven't been able to bring myself to sell, all stored up in tissue paper and lavender. At this time of the year I'll dig them out, gloat over them a bit, and decide whether to keep, sell - or give as a gift. Many of my gifts this year will come from that cupboard - there are a few items I've been hoarding with friends in mind.

A few things, like a very beautiful Cantonese embroidered shawl which I bought for a song, earlier this year, will probably be kept and may even be worn, over the holiday period. The Georgian hand embroidered christening cape will have to stay where it is, since it figures in a new novel called The Physic Garden, which I'm planning to finish some time during 2012 and I may want to use it as a cover image. But some pieces are definitely scheduled for rehoming. This beautiful length of lace - strictly speaking it's embroidered net of some kind - possibly Limerick Lace although I'm not certain  - has been kept for years and I think the time has come for it to find a new home. It's quite badly damaged, with lots of holes in the net, but as you can see from the pictures, the actual floral motifs are wonderful - one for a lace collector, perhaps.

Last week, I bought a small box of antique table linen at auction which - considering that the work is so beautiful - had been dreadfully treated, crumpled, dusty, dirty, smelly and full of hideous brown stains. They look like old - very old! - tea and coffee stains. Some of it is already washed and ironed and waiting to be sold but the two best pieces were the most marked, and they are currently soaking gently. The last time I looked, the marks seemed to be fading. Fingers crossed I can restore them to their former glory. Linen is very forgiving, but many dealers won't spend the time it takes to get it right. I'll post some pictures on here if all goes according to plan.

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