Saturday, 15 December 2012

Friday, Saturday, every day is a work day!

Friday Flowers on a SATURDAY? 
I know, but I decided that it was worse not to post anything, particularly since I keep getting emails asking what on earth I'm spending my time doing if I'm not writing!

Thing is, shop-keeping is full on, I tell ya! And a LOT of it is manual labour - keeping the shop clean, restocked, interesting... it's fun, so I'm not complaining, but it does explain why there's never any time to post! 

I'm learning loads - I used to watch antiques roadshow and wonder how it was possible that anyone could know about so much STUFF, but it's happening to me too! I might be Antiques Roadshow's youngest viewer (ha, particularly since I've frozen time at 32!) but I figure your odds are way better of stumbling across something valuable in Grandma's attic than waiting for six lucky lottery numbers - in fact, if you're lucky, they may look like these, only the most valuable items ever seen on a roadshow, in the US version: rhino cups dating back to the 17th century, estimated at over a million bucks:
Anyway, while the experts have researchers frantically checking things behind the scenes, I have Google and an insane desire to learn more and more. Tracing the story of some of the vintage pieces we find is one of my favorite things to do. I don't think that I'll ever get to where I feel like I know enough, but finally I've found a career where I can put my insane Google skills to good use, searching through hundreds of sites, images and forums in my quest for knowledge.
We're doing a roaring trade in vintage glasses & EPNS cutlery and servers in the run up to Christmas - which delights me since I'm convinced that even the most average of food (ie: made by me) tastes more glamorous when plated as if James Bond might drop in for martinis...
And it's fascinating when I discover that the markings of a server set, like these, tell me that they were made by Jonathan Mappin, which later, much later, became Mappin & Webb, stalwart of Old Bond Street, and whose silversmith is HRH Queen Elizabeth's crown jeweller. I quite like that we have this little server set made by Mr Mappin who probably never imagined in his wildest dreams that his silversmith workshop in Sheffield would one day grow into one of Britain's most prestigious jewellers.

These are the kinds of things I think about to relieve the monotony of having to polish the ruddy stuff, but it's worth it! 

This next week is set to be manic - (awesome, no time for polishing!) - pages and pages of orders for Christmas flowers, like the little bunch on this post. 
I'm loving making up tubs of flowers for table decorations over the festive season. In fact, I'm trying to persuade those that are coming for Christmas lunch at ours that maybe we can decamp to the shop and eat at the festive table in the room upstairs.

Admittedly, I've more chance of James Bond dropping in bearing 17th century rhino cups...



Gillian said...

Absolutely *love* the fact that you take the time to research your wares, and make the knowledge available to your customers - it is what makes a person return again and again ... the small personal touches which turn items into treasures!

Post a Comment