Friday, 10 September 2010

Oh How I Love Doing My Homework ......

can I emphasise homework not housework!!

I've been on a treasure hunt today and came home having spent more than I should have but hey ho a girl has got to treat herself now and again.  Friday is flea market day in Hitchin and every week brings a different array of goodies ..... everything from modern collectables to boxes of grimy house clearance stuff.  During the summer hols I have been somewhat restricted because in capacity as childminder I have had far too many children to be able to concentrate on my favourite pastime .... delving through other people's crap ;-)

Would you like to see my goodies???

This one is to add to my own collection of toy china .... this gorgeous tea service dates to circa 1865 and although not marked was probably made by Cork, Edge & Malkin in Burslem, Staffordshire.  The design is called 'Girl with Goat' .... goats were very popular pets in the mid 1800s and this one shows a girl in period dress playing in the garden of a large country house.
The set has four cups & saucers (there is usually 6 in a set of this type), a very elegant teapot, lidded sucrier and milk jug.  I've placed a standard tea cup next to it here so that you can get an idea of the size of Victorian play china ..... these were of course only found in the homes of wealthy people and were often replicas of the adult tea services of the day .... it is thought that they were also used as salesman's samples because they were easier to transport around.

The design is applied by transfer and just look at the delicate detail which would have been etched out on a copper plate and then transferred to the blank ceramic.  This is in a brown colour but they were also made in Mulberry, Green and the most desirable of all in Blue.

This is the inside of the tea cups .... the centre transfer print only measures a couple of centimetres across.
Our American cousins love these and over the years I have bought and sold similar sets and sent them across the pond.

A little further on was one of my favourite stalls which just has box upon box of mostly tat but if you are nosey enough there are little treasures to find ..... this unassuming little leather case just shouted at me to open it

and just look what was inside

Everything in the boxes just a quid shouted the stallholder .... enough said !

Then as I turned round to the stall opposite this box of old knitting pins caught my eye
but the biggest treasure was hidden underneath them

This is an MP Handy Knitting & Crochet Guide .... first patented in 1936 ... it has two metal plates with a numerical card in between with markers for rows, a tape measure marked across the bottom and a needle guage down the right hand side.  I was fascinated and again couldn't resist and even though I tried my powers of persuasion on the stallholder but he wouldn't budge on a tenner for the lot but he was such a lovely friendly guy I caved in and handed it over.  There are loads of pins, stitch holders, stitch counters, crochet hooks in the box so I still think I got a bargain.

There was definitely a theme going today ..... a sweet old DP Tayler pin tin for 50p from a stallholder wearing a very fetching line in knitted tea cosies!

Where does the homework come in to all of this ???? I love to delve through my reference books and the internet to gain more info on the origins of my finds and of course an idea of their worth.

Next month I will be taking a stall at my first Vintage & Home Made Fair here

I am really looking forward to attending and meeting up with lovely blogger friends

I will also be here

and here

Saturday 9th October from 11am to 3pm at Potten End Village Hall near Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire

No bargain hunting for me tomorrow though as I'm off to get my eyes tested for some new glasses .... a certain black hairy creature going by the name of Ruby decided to make a meal of mine this week!

Have a lovely weekend yourselves whatever you are doing x


  1. I've fallen in love with your little tea set. I have just three pieces left from my childhood willow pattern set. Have a lovely week-end yourself! xx

  2. What a wonderful find..... To have the teapot, sucrier, milk jug and cups and saucers is fantastic, you very rarely see that these days. Definitely one to keep!
    Julie x

  3. You found some fantastic stuff, lucky you! I love the sewing case. I can barely believe the low prices being asked. You're a jammy madam! :O)

  4. Lots of lovely finds, well done you! Have a superb weekend ... :0)

    Shirl x

  5. You certainly do come up trumps don't you?! I really like the stitch counter/recorder...I could do with something like that instead of the bits of paper I have then lose.

    The tea set is gorgeous, and I can imagine how wonderful it would be to find one in blue ;-)

    Lots of fairs...oh I wish I was driving still as I would go to them all!

  6. Wow!What a wonderful haul, my favourite is the lovely little pin tin - wish I lived nearer so I could come to your craft and vintage fairs!Good Luck with it all.

  7. What lovely finds... lucky you! I used to have dolls tea sets, even smaller than the miniature set you just bought, but decided to have a clear out many years ago and just kept one tiny set for the dolls house I have. Good luck with the fair.

  8. You always manage to get such great finds. Hope all goes well with the fair.

  9. What great finds - I especially like that little leather case.

  10. Just had to write to say that I was so pleased to see your picture lalabibaby, I had this on the wall of my bedroom when I was at home, that was up until I left to get married in 1964, I really loved that picture and have not seen it since that day.
    thank you for the memories it bought back