Introducing the brass section

Pair of Georgian antique brass candlesticks | H is for Home

We did a product review for Wayfair the other day in which we created an autumn table setting – all dark and dramatic – with shimmering metallics, fruit, berries, pine cones and so on. It was a pleasure to take the photos as we love this time of year (Justin prefers it to summer, actually). It got us in the mood for autumn pleasures. If the weather is kind, there are glorious autumn walks to be had amongst the turning leaves, inviting country pubs to rest in… and then hunkering down in a cosy house.

Detail of a pair of antique Georgian brass candlesticks | H is for Home

So what makes it feel cosy? How do we achieve our Pennine version of Hygge! Well, there’s the beloved wood burning stove to start with (now in both the lounge and a bedroom). Then all the little extras – woolly jumpers, thick socks, warm blankets, mugs of hot tea, fairy lights… and of course candles. We had them accessorising the aforementioned autumn table setting – and have them dotted around all over the house.

Nothing beats the twinkling light of real candles in the evening – and we’re often amazed at what bargains there are to be had in antique centres, charity shops and auctions when it comes to candle holders – in particular, vintage brass ones. The pair shown are a recent acquisition and demonstrate the point perfectly. A very sweet pair of small Georgian brass candlesticks – £12 in our local antiques centre.

Underside of an antique Georgian brass candlestick | H is for Home

We often see nice examples when we’re out and about. We love the mellow colour of antique brass – it’s got such warmth – and the way candle light shimmers on the reflective metal surface. The combination of brass (and other metallics such as copper and pewter) with the dark paint shades that are very much in vogue in home and restaurant interiors at the moment, looks really fabulous. The antique examples are such good quality too – they have good weight, craftsmanship and nice detailing to them.

Pair of antique Georgian brass candlesticks | H is for Home

And don’t worry about finding pairs. Some were made as single candle holders of course, but even if they were made as a pair and one’s missing its partner, just make a collection of the odd ones. The different shapes and heights look fabulous grouped together.

Three antique Georgian brass candlesticks with mid-century modern brass horse figure | H is for Home

So, here ends the promotional advert for the brass candle-holder association!! No not really – and we haven’t got a job lot of 500 brass candlesticks to sell either. We just thought it was worth highlighting the amazing bargains that are out there – and hopefully get you in the mood for autumn too!

Our ever-changing spaces

Collection of vintage Criddle's Old Fashioned Black Treacle tins | H is for Home

Today’s post is very photo orientated. We just thought that we’d share a few images of how our two ever-changing spaces are looking at the moment. We’ve had some quite serious illness in the family over the last few months – both human and canine – which really has required lots of our attention and time. We’ve managed to keep on top of the blog, but we’d be the first to admit that our internet shop has suffered a bit. We’ve relied on these ‘physical worlds’ for selling most of our stuff of late.

Shelves of vintage pagkaging and cleaning products in Picture House Antiques, Todmorden

Our original pitch still has its vintage feel. In fact, one wall looks like an old grocery store at the moment with its brushes, soap, polish and old tins!

Shelves of vintage pagkaging and cleaning products in Picture House Antiques, Todmorden

Collection of new old stock boxes of Belvoir leather and saddle soap | H is for Home

New old stock tins of Day & Martin's wax shoe polish | H is for Home

New sold stock - various vintage cleaning brushes | H is for Home

New old stock - various vintage cleaning brushes in a wicker basket | H is for Home

New old stock - vintage Fox laces | H is for Home

There’s a nice Ladderax unit to another wall. We actually had seven of these! We’ve kept one for our house and have sold five in a few weeks – this being the last one remaining. It’s not surprising, as they’re such a fabulous design. They look great with their simple, mid century modern styling – and are so flexible in terms of where you position the shelves and cupboards – they’re easy to erect or move too.

Vintage Ladderax shelving unit | H is for Home

Vintage 'We Deliver Anywhere' glass shop sign | H is for Home

Elsewhere is the usual mix of furniture, crockery, artwork, fabric, lamps and so on.

Vintage wicker hanging chair with pair of vintage cushions | H is for Home

We’ve had some interesting chairs this month such as this lovely 1960s wicker hanging model.

Stack of vintage leather luggage cases, midcentury modern desk chair and large West German vase | H is for Home

Also, this 1950s red leatherette tilt back armchair. We’ve not established the designer as yet, but it really does have the look of Ernest Race about it.

Purple & white vintage dandycord chair | H is for Home

And how about this fabulous plastic weave chair in purple? It’s in great condition and the first time we’ve had one in this colourway.

Shelf of vintage toys | H is for Home

In fact, there’s no shortage of eye-popping colour wherever you look at the moment!

Vintage black & red GPO telephone | H is for Home

Our second shop space across the road has a slightly different look. Traditional antiques rub shoulders with mid century modern. It’s a bit more edited and pieces are given a bit more space to breathe.

Pair of antique miniatures | H is for Home

We love these much earlier pieces and have objects that date from the 16th to the 19th century. They have such character and history.

Corner of our 2nd Picturehouse Antiques space | H is for Home

It’s not always easy mixing such divergent periods and styles, but we have a very eclectic mix in our own house – so a shop space offering the same range of items was irresistible. There’s only one thing left for the customer to do – decide what fits in their own home – and what works well together for them!

Corner of our 2nd Picturehouse Antiques space | H is for Home

You’ll spy another one of those Ladderax units – a very dinky, cute little one this time (just sold). It’s currently displaying an assortment of lovely sculptural glass and the classic Cylinda Line tea set designed by Arme Jacobsen.

Corner of our 2nd Picturehouse Antiques space | H is for Home

And just to prove that this place really does span eras, sitting against the same wall is an oak gate-leg table dating from about 1680. Vintage industrial storage rack and printing blocks atop. Also, a very sweet 18th century oak spoon rack on the wall – and a couple of framed silhouettes which we love. They look great against dark grey walls! The original vintage TWA travel poster dates from the 1960s and was designed by David Klein.

Corner of our 2nd Picturehouse Antiques space | H is for Home

Here are a few more images so that you can have your own little virtual browse. Any questions, feel free to ask. And of course, if you’re ever near Todmorden – drop in!

Corner of our 2nd Picturehouse Antiques space | H is for Home

Detail from an antique iron candle holder | H is for Home

Collection of vintage printers block letters

Vintage Stelton stainless steel tea set | H is for Home

Trio of vintage art glass objects | H is for Home

…and fear not internet browsers – we’re back on the case now and will be photographing & listing some lovely postable items for the web shop this week.

Our new shop space

Shopfront of our new shop space | H is for Home

In a recent blog post about a Blomus tea set, we mentioned our new shop space.

Empty shopfront of our new shop space | H is for Home

Well, here it is! It’s an attractive corner plot directly opposite the antiques centre from where we currently sell. This was a good opportunity to spread things out a bit. We’re sharing the shop with a couple of other dealers.

Looking out into the street from our new shop space | H is for Home

Our space has got a lovely, big display window.

Neglected window box outside our new shop space | H is for Home

…and a neglected window box which had potential to look very pretty.

Justin standing in the street outside our new shop space | H is for Home

So, what to do next!  Mmmm… let’s mull this over.

Bringing stock into our new shop space | H is for Home

We moved into the space over a couple of days. We wanted to combine our twin loves of mid century modern and rustic country styles.

Setting up our new shop space | H is for Home

And here are the results. We hope it looks like the kind of shop in which you’d like to browse. If you ever get the chance to visit, we’re right next to the library in Todmorden – at the junction of Hall Street and Rochdale Road. Picturehouse Antiques, where we also sell from, is directly across the road – and there are loads of good places to get coffee and cake close by!

Collection of wooden vintage bobbins in the window of our new shop space | H is for Home

Justin took lots of snaps which we’ve included below to give you a good feel of the new place. We hope to see you there one day!

New H is for Home shop space | H is for Home

Setting up our new shop space | H is for Home

Detail of an antique miniature chest of drawers for sale in our new shop space | H is for Home

Setting up our new shop space | H is for Home

Display of antique wooden items for sale in our new shop space | H is for Home

Setting up our new shop space | H is for Home

Detail of spindles from an antique country chair | H is for Home

Setting up our new shop space | H is for Home

Setting up our new shop space | H is for Home

Setting up our new shop space | H is for Home

Trio of blue vintage objects for sale in our new shop space | H is for Home

Setting up our new shop space | H is for Home

Chemist fittings in the new shop space next to ours | H is for Home

Chemist fittings in the new shop space next to ours | H is for Home

Chemist fittings in the new shop space next to ours | H is for Home

Anatomical figure of a cow in the new shop space next to ours | H is for Home

Anatomical figure of a pig in the new shop space next to ours | H is for Home

Detail from a Frogman piece in the new shop space next to ours | H is for Home

New H is for Home shop space | H is for Home

Watts & Co church candles

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Watts & Co church candles in front of a wood-burning stove

Autumn has most definitely arrived – crisp, misty mornings; the red, russet & golden trees; long shadows and chilly nights. It’s a time for being outdoors, collecting acorns and conkers, kicking fallen leaves, watching migrating birds overhead – in fact, not much beats a long autumn dog walk, then returning home to a hot cuppa.

Vintage pottery candle holder on the arm of a leather club chair in front of a wood-burning stove

But perhaps what we love the most about autumn evenings is being indoors with fires crackling and candles glowing. We think of it as an opportunity to indulge rather than lamenting the end of summer. It’s a time to make the house warm & welcoming, to eat comforting food and revel in the magical nature of the season – making the ordinary & everyday a bit more extraordinary.

Lit Watts & Co church candle in a floor-standing cast iron candle holder

The Danish, who experience a long period of darkness and cold temperatures, have a special word for it – ‘Hygge‘ – pronounced hoo-gah – a difficult word to translate directly – we’ve read a few versions. Words like cosiness, security, familiarity, comfort, reassurance, fellowship, simpleness and living well are often used to describe the idea of hygge. It’s all about celebrating the small pleasures in life of which the home is an integral part – especially at this time of year. We’ll be spending much more time indoors in the coming months – and the shortening days means stocking up on the coal, logs and candles to facilitate our Hygge!

Watts & Co church candles and packaging

Watts & Co offered us some of their church candles to try, so of course we were very appreciative. A lovely selection arrived this week, beautifully wrapped in string & brown paper with elegant, lavender-coloured labels.

Watts & Co church candles packaging and label

Tradition and quality are the corner stones of this family-run company. Based in Westminster, they’ve been supplying ecclesiastical accessories since 1874.

Collection of Watts & Co church candles

Their candles are hand made in England using natural beeswax, which burns for almost twice as long as paraffin wax – and they’re a lovely cream colour rather than the stark white of cheaper candles. Beeswax also tends to burn more cleanly, without dripping or giving off smoke or soot – imparting a rich, warm glow to a room.

Lit Watts & Co church candles in an antique mirrored candle sconce

There’s something enchanting about fairy lights, the flames of real fires and flickering candles – they add such a magical atmosphere to the house. They soften hard surfaces such as stone with their glow – and nothing brings out the patina in wood like candlelight.

Lit Watts & Co church candle giving a warm glow to a stone wall

You just want to snuggle in, read a book, watch a film, eat nice food, drink a glass of wine… and generally slow down a bit.

Antique spiral candle holder with antique puzzle jug

We’ve got antique candle holders & sconces dotted all over the house. In fact, we never let a nice ones escape if we come across them at auction or markets these days. We’ve even started acquiring other candle related items such as storage boxes, match holders, snuffers and dowsers – so every room has items easy to hand.

Lit Watts & Co pillar candle with church candles with antique candle dowsers

The holders all take different-sized candles; luckily, all can be found on the attractive Watts & Co website. Amongst the church supplies, you’ll also find other products that will suit domestic interiors – we’ll be trying some of their gorgeous incense for sure.

Lit Watts & Co pillar candle with church candles in an antique mahogany apothecary drawer

We’re prepared, stocked up and looking forward to autumn. It’s a glorious season and we love it!

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Forthcoming Attractions: Early October 2015

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vintage and antique homewares

Here’s a selection of this week’s buys – they have a very antique feel to them, it has to be said.

19th century wooden child's armchair

We’ll start with the small chair. It’s a 19th century child’s low-back Windsor dating from about 1820. It’s a little tired and dusty, but will clean and wax beautifully. A great little buy!

Antique carved wooden bread board and spoon

We’re still in the 19th century with these two pieces of kitchenalia. First a Victorian bread board…

Detail from an antique carved wooden bread board

…this one has lovely carved decoration around the rim – leaves… or possibly feathers.

Antique metal spice tin

And then a lidded metal spice tin dating from the same period.

Detail of the inside of an antique metal spice tin

It has compartments for the different flavourings. It would have been things like nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice and pepper in those days… but the world’s your oyster.

Antique wooden cash drawer

This old shop counter would make a wonderful kitchen piece itself. It has the original internal fittings which make fantastic spice drawers. The coin scoops for loose spices and the compartments for packets etc.

Green-painted wooden antique milking stool, Carltonware Princess money box and orange Anglepoise lamp

Just to prove we’ve not turned our back on the 1960s, we’ve got these two classic items from the period… an orange Herbert Terry Anglepoise lamp – and the Carltonware princess money box designed by Vivienne Brennan. Along with the small green stool (yes, you’ve guessed it – Victorian), they certainly add a splash of colour to the group.

As always, the items will be split between our web shop and antiques centre space. Drop us a line if you’ve got any questions about them.

Moving your delicate or antique furniture? 7 tips to reduce the stress

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Vintage Nuss Removals vancredit

According to a recent article in The Express, moving home is one of the most stressful times in people’s lives; and if you’re moving abroad, worried about losing sentimental items, or moving delicate or antique furniture, those stress levels can go through the roof. To help you cope with at least one of these aspects, here are a few tips to make sure your furniture reaches its destination undamaged.

Once Should Be Enough

You should be planning your move so that your delicate items are moved as little as possible. If you have thought about the order that your things will be placed into the transportation, and labelled them with the rooms they will go into on arrival, then they’ll only need to be moved once. If you haven’t, they could be moved from pillar to post all through the move. The more times an item is moved, the more chance of damage to it; so plan well and move once.

Break it down

Antique furniture is often impossible to break down, but modern delicate furniture may have parts that can be separated, and if at all possible, do so. This will make packing the furniture easier and a less complicated shape will be easier to secure.

Cardboard box with red & white fragile packing tapecredit

Box it

Packing crates are vital if you have expensive items, and are even more important if those items also happen to be antique. The boxes are used to separate individual items from each other, and to stop potential damage as they move around and bang into each other. It is not as simple as placing items in boxes though, and packing materials will be needed to stop movement. Most removals companies will have professionals to do this for you, and you should consider this if you are truly worried about your delicates

Take your time

If you rush your move, you’re inviting disaster; and this is especially true if you are packing yourself. Plan ahead and decide where each packing case or item will go in the new property, and take the time you need to wrap everything individually. Have storage boxes delivered early and fill them at your own pace, and, if you have no space for them when they’re full, use a removal company that can organise storage for you (click here for a great example), as you don’t want to be wasting time moving boxes and crates around your home.

Know your route

You may feel that you know the layout of your home like the back of your hand, but you still need to plan the route your furniture is going to take. Make sure your furniture will have a smooth journey to the removal van by the simplest route, and use a spotter to make sure there are no bumps & bangs en route.

Lifting a sofa on moving daycredit

Care when lifting

Make sure you’re super careful when lifting delicate items, and always support the weight from underneath. Never pick up furniture by the handles, arms, or legs, and never drag it across the floor. Even putting the furniture into a crate can be a delicate operation (especially if it has to be lifted in), and extra care will be needed if the furniture has to be lifted above waist height. Remember that a trolley is your friend and will reduce the chances of anything being dropped.

Insurance

Your home insurance may give you some cover on your contents, but will it insure your move? Most home insurance won’t cover a house move, so you may need to top it up. The Insurance Information Institute has some great information about what you should be looking for in home insurance, so research what to look for before taking out or extending a policy.

Knowing how to approach a problem is the easiest way to reduce stress. So, by combining these tips with good individual packing practices, you’ll get your furniture to its destination in great condition. Your removal company will already be using many of these ideas, but, if you know too, it can only help your peace of mind.

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