Chris had a day off last Monday and I don't work on a Monday, so we decided to head off to Horncastle, a little market town about 45 minutes away, which has become known as the 'Antiques Centre of Lincolnshire'. It is true, there are a lot of Antiques shops there. However, before we'd even made it to the centre of the town, I was stopped in my tracks by the wonderful display of gorgeousness that was 'Heather's Fruit Shop and Florist'.
The colours, the choice - it was wonderful! I did manage to restrain myself, as I was on a budget and I said to myself that I would call back, but then forgot to!
Next time I visit, I shall definitely do some plant shopping too. (We did ask Heather's permission to take these photos and she was lovely!)
There are antiques shops for every budget in Horncastle - the expensive top-end shops, which we didn't go to this time, the middle-price and the cheaper end too. We spent quite a while at one place, where they do house clearances and out in the yard, glass and china are piled up, to face the elements, which is heart breaking, in a way. All those things were once loved, used and enjoyed. I decided that the things I chose would be really pleased to be going on to a happier life, so it was almost my duty to buy some things! The purchasing began. Above was a little glass bowl, set free from the yard, which cleaned up beautifully and is now sparkling away with two other glass bowls on a table in the sitting room (with my seasonal tree).
Another little item - a little jug - which was also liberated from the yard. 1950s? 1960s?
Three Blue Italian Spode bowls (my favourite pattern) which were not in the yard, but were in one of the many packed full rooms.
Here is the highlight of my trip - the thing which, above all the others (lovely as they are), really makes my spirits soar. I saw this dish in the first shop we visited - lots of different stall holders renting a space. There it was, calling to me...
On closer inspection, I loved the floral decoration and, appropriately for the time of year, it even had daffodils on it. Then there are the sweet little handles and the gilding.
Even the underneath was stunning - the palest of pale blue over a basket weave pattern, with more gilding. I clutched the dish as I wandered around the rest of the shop, thinking, "well, if I see anything better, I can always put it back", but knowing that was not going to happen; it was coming home with me! So it did! It is also on the table with the glass bowls and looks lovely and makes me smile whenever I see it. I have had a quick internet search and it was made by Cauldon between 1905 and 1920.
Here's a photo of the one that got away. I loved this little tea set - delicate blue with pattern of wheat/feathers. Only four cups but saucers and side plates and a cake plate. I dithered, I picked it up, I put it down. Should I? Did we need it? Would we use it? I showed it to Chris who was totally sensible and practical, "When would we use it? Where would it go?" Reluctantly, I had to agree - it wouldn't get used and we do have a tea set anyway. So, it may still be in the shop, if any of you are passing by. Mind you, if it is still there next time we go, well, it could just be meant to come home with me...