June 28, 2012

English silver and delft

I've been fairly successful in my thrifting adventures lately.  First, I found this English silver sugar and creamer set.  It was fairly tarnished but well-priced ($24 for the two pieces), and I liked the very simple design.

After getting polished a bit, it's looking much better.  I think the sugar bowl would be ideal for sugar cubes, so now I just need to find a set of silver tongs to coordinate with the set.

I also ran across this flower brick in a local consignment shop:

It was mislabeled as an incense burner, which might explain why it hadn't sold and was marked down to 25% off, but I was very happy to take it home for under $10!  This particular brick is only about twenty years old, handpainted by Deborah Sears of Isis Ceramics in Oxford, England, but based on a 18th-century original housed in the Ashmolean Museum.

Apparently, flower bricks were fairly common items in many 18th-century homes and were perhaps used for holding dried lavender.  I like the multi-functionality of this piece: it could be filled with potpourri, small flower buds, and/or a candle.  Sears' website suggests lining up several bricks along the center of a dining table and filling them with an assortment of flowers and candles.

It's made me want to research flower bricks more and perhaps even start keeping an eye out for older versions.  To me, the discovery of novel and unique pieces is one of the best things about thrifting!


Lisette said...

Looks like a good toothbrush/toothpaste holder to me! ;)

Nicole @ one half world said...

Yes, if you need space for 18 mini toothbrushes, this would be your go-to piece! :)

Anonymous said...

Nicole, did you ever find out anything more about flower bricks or find any more to buy? I also like them (www.gardenwithindoors.org.uk) but I'm not sure what flowers to put in. I think maybe tulips were a traditional choice, certainly popular in 18th century Holland where they were first produced.

Sounds like you got a bargain with that Isis flower brick. Her work goes for quite a lot on ebay (UK).

best, Julie

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