W.R. Harvey & Co. (Antiques) Ltd
Archive of news from Harvey's
U.S.A., Spring, Easter and Antiques
Posted by David Harvey, Saturday 17 March 2012
If you read my last News article, you will have seen that it came from America and I would like to thank all those friends and colleagues who made my 3 week stay so memorable. I was able to squeeze a little skiing into an otherwise hectic schedule and this was complemented by some five feet of fresh powder snow during the first two weeks of my stay. I did miss out on a memorable piano recital evening due to being double-booked but hope to make up for that in the future.
I mentioned previously the more optimistic atmosphere in America and in particular in the US economy. This was further strengthened by good monthly unemployment figures showing a substantial increase in manufacturing jobs created month on month. This seems to be shadowed by events here in the UK where the Stock Exchange has certainly made significant gains over the past few months and there seem to be more jobs being created in manufacturing as well.
One of the joys of being an antiques dealer is that we all have the compulsion to visit other antique shops whenever we are away from home. I can recount two very different experiences. One shop which has been in existence for many years and which I visit annually had a good stock of period items to look at and is obviously run by knowledgable dealers who care for and research their stock. I found a number of unusual and rare items well displayed and carefully ticketed. The other shop which boasted of being an "Antiques Mall" certainly had a wide ranging and eclectic selection ranging from a second hand brown tea pot identical to the one I use daily here which I acquired from Woolworths 10 years ago for two pounds, priced at $18- and a selection of skiing paraphernalia very similar to the kit I learnt to ski with in the Austrian Alps some decades ago. It is a little surprising when items one grew up with are classified as antiques!
I would not want to belittle the second establishment however because these emporia play a vital role in starting collectors off with collecting. The person buying a souvenir Royal Jubilee plate from 1977 this week may be collecting the very finest 18th. century Worcester in 20 years time as the student buying a 1950s desk to work at today may well be furnishing a legal practice with a Regency Mahogany Partners Desk and a Breakfront Bookcase in a decade or two. David Everett put it very succinctly, " Large streams from little fountains flow, Tall oaks from little acorns grow." and of course neither happen overnight!
Talking of overnight, I was asked which piece have I had in stock for longest and after some research I find it is 3 framed engravings from Chippendale's Gentleman and Cabinetmaker's Director, the 1761 edition, one of which I have pictured above. I must have had these for at least twenty years and find them immensely useful when talking to people about the genius of Chippendale and his contemporaries in the mid 18th. Century. I don't think I have really put any effort into trying to sell them.
I did manage to acquire a couple of pieces whilst on my travels and as always I am glad to be home again and not only for the last set of matches in the 6 Nations Rugby International Competition this afternoon. With Easter only 3 weeks away it is interesting to see all the trees, shrubs and bushes coming in to bud as Spring seems to be with us after a couple of hiccoughs on the way and a sure sign of this is of course the water Authorities sending out drought warnings and threatening to impose hosepipe bans over large sections of the U.K. (Do I hear echoes of 1976 and Denis Howell being created Minister for Rain?)
As it is St. Patrick's Day today as well I might have to sip a pint of Guiness slowly this evening either in celebration or comiseration. I will also toast all my friends across "the pond"!
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