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Tony Grist

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Sunday Morning Ramble [Apr. 8th, 2018|11:56 am]
Tony Grist
Sunday is clock winding day. We have two clocks that don't run on batteries- old Granny Botesdale, the long case clock in the room where we do most of our living and a brass bracket clock in the living room where my mother does most of her sleeping in front of the TV. The bracket clock- I'm informed- is a Victorian copy of a 17th century original. If it were 17th century it would be worth rather a lot, as it is it isn't....

17th century clocks are valuable, 17th century furniture isn't because people don't like dark wood. We eat our meals off a gate-leg table that was made during the reign of Charles II- which I think is rather wonderful- but if we wanted to sell it- which we absolutely don't- we wouldn't get any more for it- possibly rather less- than we'd pay for its modern equivalent in Debenhams (if Debenhams still exists.)

My parents (I'm surprised to find myself saying) had good taste in furniture. They bought 17th century; they bought Regency; they inherited my paternal grandparents stuff- predominantly vainglorious Second Empire baroque, heavy on the ormolu- and got rid of most of it; they inherited my maternal grandparents' stuff- well-made but unshowy George III and Regency- and kept most of it. Historic English furniture is so much better than its French equivalent. Louis XIV- who is the person most responsible for the debasing of French design- had lousy taste. Dictators commonly do.

My grandmother was a woodcarver. She appreciated good carpentry, good design. And she knew about antiques- at least she must have done if she'd read all the books she left behind about furniture and silver marks and porcelain factories...
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: pondhopper
2018-04-08 09:47 pm (UTC)
Being from the US and unless you were very wealthy, nobody I knew had period furniture or even quality antiques. My parents did buy the best they could afford in modern well-made locally produced solid wood furniture which is still in good shape and in use in the house I grew up in which my sister now owns. Did your grandmother leave any wood carvings to the family?
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2018-04-09 07:44 am (UTC)
Yes, we have quite a lot of her work. I need to take some photos and post them.
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[User Picture]From: pondhopper
2018-04-09 11:15 am (UTC)
I'd love to see them!
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