October 9th, 2013


Wednesday Morning- As It Happens

I'm sitting in the kitchen on a dining room chair because the kitchen chair collapsed under me. This is the second that has gone that way. My mother was distressed about the first, philosophical about the second. She's having both mended though it would be better to scrap the set and buy new. What good is a chair if you can't lean back in it for fear of it flying into splinters?

Ailz is on the patio doing her embroidery.  My mother is directing Matthew's work in the flower beds.

We are expecting a visit from the representative of a top auction house. He more or less invited himself. My mother sold something through him once and he knows there are spoils to be had. She has assembled a small collection of unwanted objects for him to look at. There's a nasty jug in silver plate, an indeterminate silver dish that was once part of a larger assemblage and three non-vintage, base-metal badges my father and mother used to sport on their cars. So far, so car boot- and I'm embarrassed that I'm going to have to stand by and watch him politely assess them. The two earthenware temple dogs are more interesting and might be worth a bob or two  I think they're English copies after Chinese originals but I could be hopelessly wrong. 

Eating My Words

I was wrong about the jug. It's silver. The hallmark was hidden up near the rim and quite badly rubbed. Put that and the indeterminate piece together (it turns out to be part of a cruet stand) and they could make £100-150. I expect that's scrap value.

Our man wasn't sure about the temple dogs. They need to go to an expert. The likelihood is they're 19th century Chinese copies of 17th century originals. I thought they might be European. Our man says the Europeans didn't copy things that are so culturally specific. Water birds, yes; temple dogs, no.

We also got him to take some mid-century leather suitcases- two of them from Harrods. They won't go into a London sale but to a small, affiliated saleroom in Bodiam.