Wednesday, December 29, 2010

1910 Art Nouveau New Year's Postcard, First Footing New Year's Custom

I had to share my favorite antique postcard for New Year's greetings. This is a great art nouveau design card from 1910. I LOVE it! The verse says:

You see not as
step before you
As you tread on
another year
But what looks dark
in the distance
Will brighten as
you draw near
Happy New Year

The card is by the Gibson Art Company. Cool!
You can see more about it at Time Was Antiques at this link:

       The new year has a lot of fun customs in England...and First Footing is a favorite of mine.  In the areas of England, Scotland and Wales, the First Footer brings luck to the home for the following year as long as certain customs are met. The First Footer must not be a resident, must come in from outside bearing salt, a gift, coals or a drink...which in Scotland is almost always whiskey, of course. The man must enter backwards and be tall and dark with a narrow, high arched foot. It is bad luck if the first person in the door is a woman or a blonde. The First Footer is welcomed, led through the house and sent off with a gift.  The custom has some other variations, but that is the general idea. How fun!

So...who's coming through your door first on New Year's Eve?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Queen Elizabeth II 2010 Christmas message at Hampton Court Palace

I just realized I had forgotten to post the link to Queen Elizabeth II's Christmas 2010 message on The Royal Channel on YouTube. We both shed a tear. She is speaking from Hampton Court Palace just outside on London, which is a wonderful place in itself. The queen looks lovely for 82. Blessings, our Liz!

Christmas 2010 Queen Elizabeth II

Dickens Smoking Bishop, Wedgwood Jasperware

I always love a Christmas Carol! And I have always wondered what is meant when the chastened and changed Scrooge says to Bob Crachit that they will discuss the matter (getting Tiny Tim well) over an afternoon bowl of Smoking Bishop. Well..this morning, a tea friend living temporarily in England reported that she and her husband visited the Dicken's House in London on Christmas day and received a gift of postcards, a guide and a recipe for Smoking Bishop that she passed along to a tea group,  Afternoon Tea Across America as follows:


6 Seville oranges
4 oz. sugar
1 quart strong red wine
1 bottle Ruby Port

the oranges in a moderate oven for approximately 20 minutes until
golden brown, and then place in a warmed glass or pottery bowl with 6
cloves pricked into each fruit. Add the sugar and pour in the wine, but
not the Port. Cover and leave in a warm place for a day. Then, squeeze
the oranges into the wine and pour through a sieve.

To keep for future use, bottle in sterilised bottles and seal at this state, omitting the Port.

To serve immediately, add the Port to the liquid and heat in a pan, but do not boil. Serve in warmed goblets and drink hot.

pour into bottles and stand in a pan of simmering water; this keeps it
hot and makes pouring easier. If Seville oranges are out of season use 5
sweet orange and one yellow grapefruit instead.

"...we shall discuss your affairs this very afternoon, over a bowl of Smoking Bishop, Bob!"
- Scrooge, from 'A Christmas Carol' 1843.

I also found this version:

Smoking Bishop
• Take six Seville oranges and bake them in a moderate oven until pale brown. If you cannot procure any bitter Seville oranges, use four regular oranges and one large grapefruit.
• Prick each of the oranges with five whole cloves, put them into a warmed ceramic or glass vessel with one-quarter pound of sugar and a bottle of red wine, cover the vessel, and leave it in a warm place for 24 hours.
• Take the oranges out of the mixture, cut in half and squeeze the juice, then pour the juice back into the wine.
• Pour the mixture into a saucepan through a sieve, add a bottle of port, heat (without boiling), and serve in warmed glasses.
• Drink the mixture, and keep Christmas well!
The line is usually changed to read "warm punch", because they probably figured no one would know what Smoking Bishop was...and quite right too. Now, if I can find out WHY it was called that....

One of my favorite types of English pottery is Wedgwood jasperware or jasperware, and we always have many items in jasperware at Time Was Antiques.  Jasperware is a form of stoneware that was named jasper ware because Josiah Wedgwood thought it resembeled the semi precious stone from the quartz family. Jasperware was introduced in 1775 and has enjoyed popularity since then. The Wedgwood jasper ware is the most famous, but was made by many othe English firms including Dudson, Adams, Minton & Copeland and was extensively made by the German firm Shafer & Vater in the Victorian era.

Designed at a time when classical Greece and Rome were considered the heighth of culture, beauty and learning, the designs are often re telling of mythology. This particular dish features a vignette of applied white jasper figure on blue in a design called Cupid As Oracle with the cherub Cupid donning a mask to prophesy. They are so beautifully detailed. We watched them work on jasperware several times during visits to the Wedgwood factory and subsequently the Wedgwood Museum in Barlaston, England and were in awe of the skill required to create the delicate designs.
Here are links to the jasperware category at Time Was Antiques and the Wedgwood Museum website. Well worth a visit.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

William & Kate First Official Appearance Since Engagement

The Prince Of Wales website announced that Prince William and Kate had attended their first function since their engagement on Dec. 18th for the Teenage Cancer Trust in Norfolk. They also added several official photos of the event, so I thought I'd pass this one along.

And related to the cold & snowy weather that has been plaguing the UK...there was a fire in the roof of Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, the home of Sir Winston Churchill caused be attempts to warm up frozen exterior pipes. England has had many similar problems during the recent deep freeze weather. Glad we aren't there for a buying trip at the moment!

I want to take this opportunity before things get TOO hectic to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. 

Happy Boxing Day as sweetie is looking forward to a marathon of English football games from the the Premier league including one with HIS team, Aston Villa playing. So...let's hope they win!!

Then back to work at Time Was Antiques adding quality antiques and collectibles...most with a British accent!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Nicolas Culpepper Mulled Ale, Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee tile

I came across a great Elizabethan book of herbal remedies called Herbals by Nicolas Culpepper printed in 1653. The book includes this great recipe for mulled ale, which would probably work well with wine as well. Besides being a great Christmas or Yuletide drink it had a long list of things it was good for. Melancholia was the first, which during the dark, sun deprived days of winter can be a problem:

2-3 cinnamon sticks
3 blades of mace
4 whole cloves
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 pint brown ale
1/2 teaspoon of honey
1 tablespoon of brandy
rind of a lemon

Heat the ale, honey and spices and leave for 30 minutes. Strain, reheat and pour into a warm jug. Add brandy and lemon rind.

That indeed sounds warming! Cheers!

Speaking of Elizabeth, I have just added this napkin holder to Time Was Antiques which features a tile of Queen Elizabeth II and was made for her Silver Jubilee in 1977. The tile is in a metal frame that includes a napkin holding rack at the back...or letter holder if it found a home on a desk. Cool! We love British royal memorabilia, and this was a great find.

You can read more about it at: QEII Silver Jubilee tile

Have a great day, stop and have a bit of afternoon tea...darjeeling and a Christmas sugar cookie sounds lovely...and enjoy the season!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Hedgehog figurine From Russia at Time Was Antiques, my cat Tinker

I just had to share this hedgehog figurine I just added to Time Was Antiques because it is the cutest thing!!! The ceramic hedgehog is 3 inches high and was made in Russia by Lomonosov. 

You can see more info about the hedghog by clicking on the photo:

I LOVE hedgehogs and think they are so cute. Our families have them in their yards in England...except for our niece who has greyhounds. They didn't last long there, mores the pity. They are becoming endangered there as habitat goes and because they are rather slow and get hit by cars often. Such a shame!

This is a photo of a real baby hedgehog from my friend in Redding. Isn't that a face a person can love???

Since we are talking about pets, here is our 1 year old cat Tinker who loves to play catch. You throw his ball, he takes off and fetches it back so you'll throw it again. Who needs a dog???

Hope you have a great day enjoying all the seasonal pleasures and love those critters!!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Prince William and Kate Official Engagement photos & QEII Coronation teaset

The official engagement photos of Prince William and Kate have been released. The photos were taken my Mario Testino, who was Princess Diana's favorite phtographer. We visited an exhibit of his photos of Princess Diana at Kensington Palace the year after her death and they were truly wonderful.

The photos and more about the session and other news about the couple and wedding can be seen at the Prince of Wales' website on the Prince William page

I also want to share 2 photos of the snow in England from the Cotswolds where we love to visit. These are from Stow-in-the-Wold and Winchcombe. We often stay near Stow and Winchcombe is quite close. Lovely places, especially so in the snow.

   As we have the run up to Christmas it is so fun to see all the decorated homes and businesses. We just attended a Christmas party...brought Costco's Chocolate Peppermint Bark which is absolutely delicious and addictive! A great hit at the party and sales should soar!!!

  We have just added at Time Was Antiques a fabulous 3 piece teaset consisting of large teapot, cream and sugar commemorating the coronation in 1953 of Queen Elizabeth II. The teaset is a great collectible set. Queen Elizabeth II is the grandmother of Prince William. For more info on the teaset, visit:

Teaset Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Sudlow 3 Piece

   Have a great evening and hopefully there will be something seasonal on TV tonight...otherwise we'll get out the musical Scrooge from the 1970s and watch that again, which we LOVE!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

English cottage mug - Anne Hathaway, Shakespeare's birthplace in Stratford

I really love these English bone china mugs because they make me think of familiar ares of England. The mug is an artist signed design of either Shakespeare's birthplace or Anne Hathaway's cottage in Stratford-on-Avon at the north end of the Cotswolds in England. 

The town is very familiar as it is only 20  miles from the town, Lady Wood, where my husband was born, and we have to pass through Stratford and the notorious humpback bridge over the river Avon that is loathed and cursed because of being such a bottle neck to traffic passing through from London to the midlands where the rest of the family is. The roads all converge there and is bad all year but especially during tourist season. But, we would rather go through on the A road rather than miss all the scenery going via the motorway.

Stratford lives & breathes Shakespeare, and who can miss the short walk in Stratford between the famous sites along the river like the birthplace, his sweetheart's cottage and the church where he is buried and his monument its...then go for a play at the Old Vic. I love thatched cottages and the Cotswolds is a great area to see them. Gorgeous!
 For more on the mug, visit:

Mug Anne Hathaway Thatched Cottage Shakespeare England

 To visit Anne Hathaway's Cottage Trust:

Anne Hathaway's Cottage 

To visit Shakespeare's birthplace Trust:

Shakespeare's Birthplace Trust  

And to visit the Cotswolds area of of our favorite areas for beauty (and antiquing) visit:

The Cotswolds

Have a great day, have a cuppa tea and visit Time Was Antiques if you are looking for quality antiques, collectibles and English fun stuff!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Cold Snap Continues in England and more mottoware added

Snow and cold continued in the UK. This is a photo of Buckingham Palace in the snow from another visit a few years ago. It was quite fun to be in London in the April! My husband was a Coldstream Guard in the Brigade of Guards (also known as the Chilly Rivers) and found the guard at Buck House before they had to bring the guards inside the gate after an incident with an American tourist heckling a fellow guardsman while on duty.

There was something cheering about popping into a pub or tea room for a cuppa with the snow lightly falling. But then, anything is lovely with a cuppa and a Eccles cake!

 A countryside snow photo. The roads can be treacherous as few folks have snow tires. But...beautiful. This is on the way through the Cotswolds.

 On to another piece of mottoware pottery...which I just love. This is a butter tub or butter dish from Longpark, Torquay with the vernacular motto Elp Yerzel Tu Butter with a tradition sailing ship on the other side that I just added at Time Was Antiques. I recently unearthed a small collection we had gotten in England but  had been lost in the warehouse since our move several years ago. Stuff was arriving from a buying trip as we were packing to move & it got repacked, mis labeled and lost! I'd forgotten we had them. How fun is that!!!

Click the photo for more information.

Rain & sunshine today, in  the 40s and we are off to the Sequim Community Church Christmas program tonight. So fun!  Plan to use up some bananas baking some Banana Streusel muffins in the meantime. Have a great day!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Cold Snap in England...York Christmas Fayre...Plum Pudding Teapot

There have been record amounts of snow and cold temperatures in the UK...there was just a BBBc article about travelers being stranded for 8 days in North Yorkshire because of snow...but at least it was at a pub! Pub Stranding.

This little photo is my favorite so's off a BBC web page & doesn't enlarge, but you get the idea.

We got up in April during a buying trip in the Cotswolds one April morning and found 8 inches of snow had fallen overnight. We were lived in snow country at that time, but the rental but the rental car had normal tires. We had a 3 hour drive to the West Midlands to family on our for our next round of antique fairs near Stoke-on-Trent and the trip took up 9 hours. We thought we were going to get stuck going through one of our favorite villages, Snowshill (on a hill amidst winding, narrow roads as it's name implies) but made it obstacle was lots of cars off the road & traffic accidents through the bottleneck bridge of Stratford-on-Avon. Were we glad to get to family in Erdington!!!  Had great photos, but my laptop crashed a week late in Worcester & I lost all my photos!

 One of the favorite things to do in the York area in Northern England is attend the York Christmas Fayre. The family was going this weekend, haven't heard if they did. But I'd planned on posting links to the sites because they are so much fun to look at and see what's going on "across the pond". York is an historic cathedral town and LOVELY to visit and shop in if your are looking for antiques. Lots of fairs, small shops & markets.

Yuletide York 
Christmas In York

Last night we went to the Christmas concert of the Peninsula Men's Gospel Singers which was outstanding. Well done guys! The O Holy Night was truly outstanding and Michael Rivers did a spectacular job of prep and conducting. Thanks for that Christmas gift!

We are off this afternoon after church to another local theater production Meet Me In St Louis by the Port Angeles Community Players for their Christmas show. Should be a lot of fun. The movie version is famous for Judy Garland singing Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.

And lastly...another bit of holiday cheer we've just added at Time Was Antiques...a vintage Price Kensington plum pudding teapot. It even has the snocap of brandy sauce or hard sauce on top with the holly sprig! How cool is that!
Plum Pudding Teapot

Have a wonderful day, filled with the joys of the holiday season enjoying things you love to do! Cheers...oh, and cuppatea, anyone???

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Jeweled Stork Pin fr EdwardVIII widow auctioned - 2.7 Million! That's some bird!

Courtesy of a news release, this flamboyant stork brooch of diamonds, rubies, emeralds and sapphires did rather well at a recent auction of items from the estate of the late Duchess of Windsor, Wife of abdicated King Edward VII of England. That's giving someone the bird!

Wallis Simpson was a wealthy American divorcee who captured the heart of the playboy Prince David, then Prince Of Wales and oldest son of King George V. The family was not happy with it and her, and when George V died in 1936, the playboy became King Edward VIII. But...with all the preparation begun for the coronation, Edward stunned the world by abdicating the throne to marry Wallis Simpson. His younger brother became King George VI in his place in 1937 who was a shy, stuttering family man.  It was exactly those qualities and his strong sense of duty to his new role that mad him such a popular king and comfort to his people during the dark days of World War II and unfortunately aged him to an early death.

King George VI and Queen Elizabeth had 2 daughters at the time of the coronation, Elizabeth and Margaret. Elizabeth is, of course, Queen Elizabeth II and if it weren't for the abdication of her uncle.....and there would have been no Prince Charles and Princess Diana, no Prince William and Kate.....

Wallis was a GREAT lover of jewelry, and this is a stunning example...a bit much for me, but...The price of 2.7 million was positively princely!
To view the news release at, click HERE

To see the King Edward VIII china available at Time Was Antiques click HERE

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Mottoware Pottery Cup And Saucer Take A Cup Of Kindness

There is a lot of really idiosyncratic English items. Mottoware, or motto ware, Devon ware, Torquay ware or Devon pottery is such a classification. The area of England in the South called Devon, especially surrounding the coastal town of Torquay yielded red clay in the early 1800s the area became famous for. The clay and it's imaginitive uses a sprouted a pottery industry that managed to have remnants survive into the early 1960s. The pottery falls into several classifications and collecting areas, but most have sgraphito, scraffito or carved sayings through the underglaze dine before the final firing. Funny, sentimental, outrageous and humorous the mottos or sayings are great fun and a collecting area of their own. 
 There is a Torquay Pottery Collector's Society in England that we are members of that has done a great job of tracking down the history of the potteries, designers and artisans. They have annual conventions but we have never managed to be in the country at the right time! Ah well.

This particular example I just listed at Time Was Antiques is unusual because of it's rare flat cup shape...which I am calling by the modern nomer of a latte shape. Cool! The design in the traditional cottage design and is all  hand thrown, desorated and painted. A real cottage industry.
You can see more about the set HERE

Mug King George V & Queen Alexandra Boer War Peace 1902

I love British Royal does everyone at the moment with the wedding date of April 2011 announced for the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. 
   But this is a rare and unusual commemorative mug made in 1902 for the proclamation of peace at the end of the Boer War in South Africa. The front features King George V and Queen Alexandra. The back is a great graphic that is a lecture in itself....Britannia with the lion and the soldiers, flags etc. I just love it!

Here is the back:

With Thanksgiving, the holiday, behind us (hopefully NEVER the sentiment left behind) it's full speed ahead for the holidays! We are enjoying plays, cantatas, craft fairs and unusually cold's so seasonal!! I bet there are lots of things in your community to do. It's my favorite time of year!

I belong to a group online at Yahoo called Afternoon Tea Across America (or ATAA) and we have such fun discussing visits to tea rooms, recipes etc. If you are interested, visit: Afternoon Tea Across America  

We are having a FREE shipping at Time Was Antiques and Antiques And Teacups for the holidays with special shipping upgrades for our non US customers. Come visit!
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