Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Eight glass dishes sat upon a stall...

Thimbleanna asked what I bought at the antiques fair. I shouldn't really have bought anything because we have enough stuff already; but I do have a weakness for Things. Not handbags, not clothes, not meals out; but Things. I particularly like old things with some history attached, as long as they're not too scruffy.

In the picture above is a glass bowl that was in my mother's house and I think was my grandmother's originally. I imagine it was part of a set. I think it's from the 1920s or 30s. Anyway, I really liked its plain shape and little round feet and I liked floating a flower in it. But alas, it came to grief a few weeks ago when something fell on it in a cupboard. So I was kind of looking for a replacement, though not expecting to find it.

To my delight, we came across a very similar bowl at the fair, though its feet are green instead of colourless. I couldn't resist buying it. Here it is, with three early polyanthuses in it.

There was, however, a snag. It was being sold in a set of 6 and I only need one (though as Mr L says, we have spares against the next time he's getting things out of cupboards and has an accident).

Worse, it turned out that 2 similar though slightly different bowls came with them as a job lot. These ones have engraving round the sides, which are vertical instead of sloping.

If anyone in Edinburgh would like a bowl or two, just let me know! I could of course use them for desserts but I really don't need any more dishes. I shouldn't really have bought them but, well... .

We also bought two Thomas and two Peter Rabbit plates to be used by visiting small people.

We didn't buy this chair, though it's relevant to what we did buy. When I was a little girl, this chair and others like it were used in our Sunday School for the three-year-olds. Thirty years ago, they were replaced by chairs that stacked, and these ones were sold off. I managed to buy one (they were popular) and now Grandson sees it as his chair.

This slightly bigger one was also from our Sunday School and bought at the same time. I'd always thought that I'd like a third, so that each of our children could have one for their grandchildren in due course. (I like to plan ahead.)

So of course when I saw this chair at the antiques fair, I had to buy it. They're used as plant stands just to keep them out of the way. Once we have more than one chair-sitting grandchild they can be brought into service.

I didn't of course need any of these things.

I blame Shakespeare. We studied "King Lear" in our final year at school and one of Lear's speeches has always stuck in my head:

O reason not the need! Our basest beggars
Are in the poorest thing superfluous.
Allow not nature more than nature needs,
Man's life is as cheap as beast's.

As far as I remember he was talking about servants; but it applies just as well to glass dishes. What is life if you can't have a bit of stuff you don't strictly need? And applying William Morris's beautiful-or-useful principle: my glass dishes are pretty (maybe not exactly beautiful) and could be useful; the children's plates are useful; and so is the chair. So it's fine!


  1. Reason not the need hss been a motto here for years. Life would be very dull if we only did or bought what was strictly necessary.!

  2. Your finds are all useful and beautiful, I love the little green feet on the bowls!

  3. Ahhh, a woman after my own heart. Forget the clothes and purses and shoes and move straight to dishes and things. Mom is that way too and at almost 80 she still loves to go to the antique stores and loves to bring a "treasure" home. I worry what on earth we'll do with it all someday -- we have so many treasures of our own, but knowing how much she's loved so many of her things will make it very difficult to get rid of them.

    You did very well indeed -- thanks for showing us your goodies!

  4. Love the little chair, i love children's chairs period, often buy them thought our daughter is grown and unmarried, so no grandchildren,.

  5. I'm with Morris also. Does Lear have anything uplifting? The only A-Level quote I remember is the ingratitude, marble-hearted, flies, wanton boys one. Fairly appropriate I suppose, given my Life with Boys...

  6. Ah, a woman after my own heart! Those little glass dishes are lovely, green feet to lift them from the ordinary and give them elegance.

    Love the childrens' chairs too. We have a couple (including a lovely potty chair), but alas, no grandchildren in the offing for a long time I think . . .