Thursday, 27 September 2012

Fake or Fortune?

Have you been watching the new BBC1 programme, Fake or Fortune, Sundays with Fiona Bruce and Art Expert, Philip Mould?  If you haven't then I highly recommend you try and catch it.  The programme examines the provenance or attribution of notable artworks and due to cutting edge forensic techniques, experts are now able to establish the authenticity of pictures in ways not thought possible before.  As a result paintings by some of the great masters that were either unknown or considered fakes are being re-evaluated.  It is a fascinating programme to watch and you want to have a look in the attic to see what lost Old Masters might be languishing up there!

I don't have an attic or any old Masters unfortunately BUT I do have a picture which I bought years ago that has a question mark hanging over it.  I saw this picture on a website and loved it.

It wasn't attributed to anyone and it was described as a painting.  The style looked kind of familiar but I had no idea who had painted it, I just knew I liked the image and wasn't bothered about putting a name to it.   It was in a shop in London so Mark and I went along one weekend to have a look.  As we looked at it, it became clear that this was actually a print, an old print but none the less it wasn't the painting it had been described as.  Due to this, we got some money off and I was happy with my new picture.

Every once in a while over the years I would half heartedly try and find out who painted it until one day I was sitting down watching the tv and my picture appeared on screen!  Well, I was shocked and a little annoyed as I was still no nearer to finding out who it was by.  There was no mention of the artist, it wasn't even referred to, it was just hanging there.  I knew that it must be by someone relatively famous but it would be another few months until I found out who.  It happened whilst I was reading Homes and Antiques,  I turned a page lo and behold my picture was staring back up at me and this time there was a name!

La Loge au Mascaron Dore
It was an advert advertising a Henri de Toulouse Lautrec exhibition and my picture was the image they had used.  Now I was excited!  Ok so the images weren't exactly the same but I didn't care.  I got on the computer and found out that Lautrec had painted the original in 1893 and it was called La Loge au Mascaron Dore, The box with the gold mask.  Armed with this information I then did.............nothing!  I was quite happy that I had found who it was by and that was the end of that.

That is until the Antiques Roadshow came to Brighton and I decided to take my picture along just to see what the experts thought.  After queuing for hours in the blazing sun, I finally got directed to the art department where I waited for another hour!  All the time I was thinking that it was going to be worth the wait, they'd tell me what an amazing find it was, I'd be filmed for the show and start crying when I hear how much its worth because I'm so shocked and happy that I have a picture worth over a million pounds etc etc etc.

Philip Mould
Rupert Maas
That didn't happen.  Philip Mould looked at it and said he wasn't sure so I had to wait for Rupert Maas to come and have a look. All this time I'm thinking that I have something really special and that more importantly I'm going to be on t.v!  Rupert Maas finally came over and.................told me that it was a Lautrec and that was about all he could tell me. He did say it was a print but wasn't sure if it was a reproduction or original and he couldn't tell me how much he thought it was worth.  He did say that I should take it to the British Museum and get the to have a look as they'd be able to take it out the frame etc etc.  With that I took my picture and its been in the living room ever since!

I will probably take it to the British museum one day and I'll let you know how I get on but for now I'm able to dream that I have a rare and one of a kind print that is worth millions!

p.s.  It took me a while to get over the fact that I wasn't going to be on t.v and become an overnight sensation.  I'm fine now and have accepted it ;)

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

A lovely day out!

Saturday saw the sun shining and Mark and I were up nice and early to get to The Vintage Bazaar in Hartley Wintney.  After a couple of false starts (I have a very annoying habit of having to wee about 100 times before we go on a long car journey!) we were hot footing down the motorway to get to the Victoria and Appleton Centre in time for the doors opening at 10am.  We got there in plenty of time and the journey was so easy, 1.5 hours door to door with only one toilet stop!
As we waited outside my anticipation was growing and I just wanted the doors to open.  As soon as they did, I was in!  First stop was Lizzie's stall aka The Washerwoman.  She had just been to France so her stall had a distinct French feel about it.

The Washerwoman Stall

Gorgeous 1920s hat stand

Very sweet Skittles
Wooden horse and bits and bobs

Next I moved into the hall and did a quick once round of all the stalls.  This is my normal strategy when I go to fairs.  I become very focussed and single minded as I know exactly what I'm looking for and can normally spot it at 100 paces!  Well, as I went round the hall I knew I was going to be in trouble, I wanted EVERYTHING!  The stall holders had done an amazing job and their stalls looked extremely tempting.  After I'd been round once I took my time and took in all the wonderful vintage items that were on sale.  There was a real mixture of fabrics, retro, french, shabby chic and something for everyone.  I made a beeline for Ali's stall aka Betty and Violet.  I'd met her at the Village-vintage fair in July and had coveted everything on her stall!  She has the most gorgeous, feminine textiles, handbags, ephemera and I could literally spend hours looking at it all.

Ali has organised a new event called The Vintage Christmas Boutique which will take place on Thurs 15th Nov at Woburn Abbey in Bedfordshire.  It sounds as though it is going to be magical, Christmas and Vintage combined, what more could you want! 

After talking to Ali for a while I went over and introduced myself to Jo aka Hesta Nesta.  We had had some email communication as I had seen a set of fabric drawers on her blog that I had desperately wanted.  It was so nice to finally put a face to the name and see her items in real life.  Her stall certainly didn't disappoint and again I could have stayed for hours!

Next up was Theo & Bernice.  I first met Debbie and her daughter, Victoria, at the Village-Vintage fair and then at the Wisborough Green fair in Aug.  Both times I bought something from them and both times I wished I'd bought more!  Debbie has a really good eye and stall is always displayed in a very enticing way.

Last but by no means least was a stall that Mark was very taken with.  It had more of a retro vintage feel and they had some great items.  I think if he could have, Mark would have bought everything.  He likes bright colours and the eclectic so All Things Vintage and Beautiful suited him perfectly!

Homes and Antiques also had a stall with a small selection of goods as well as their new magazine, Guide to Upcycling.

After all the chatting and taking photos, it was time to sit down with a cup of tea and slice of brownie from the vintage tearoom and reflect on the morning.  I had had such a lovely couple of hours mooching round the stalls, making new friends, taking photos and enjoying the friendly atmosphere, that I didn't want to leave!  Everyone was incredibly friendly and accommodating and the goods on offer were really wonderful.  I loved this fair and hope to be back as a stall holder one day.

Thank you to everyone who made the day so enjoyable! :)

Monday, 24 September 2012

Au Reservoir!

Well Sunday was a bit of a washout wasn't it.  Luckily Saturday started well as I went to The Vintage Bazaar at Hartley Wintney (more of that in a separate post) and had a suuuuper time!  However I didn't buy anything.  Yes you heard me correctly, I DIDN'T BUY ANYTHING!  I was a little shocked by this myself and Mark had to ask if I was feeling ok.  Don't get me wrong, there was plenty I wanted to buy but I would have wanted to keep it all for myself and if I'm trying to start a little vintage business, I'm not going to get very far if I just keep all the stock!  Having said all that though, I did buy a tiny thing that was essential so doesn't really count (that's my story and I'm sticking to it!)

Hand-painted sign on reclaimed wood
I bought this gorgeous sign to put on my stand when I do the fairs.  I just think its so pretty and will add a certain something to the stall.  It was ESSENTIAL I tell you!
Sunday was meant to be all about the boot sale and a vintage yard sale but the weather soon put a stop to that.  I was very disappointed and actually started getting a bit twitchy as I hadn't bought anything all weekend (I am NOT addicted).  Before you start feeling too sorry for me though, I had  bought a few things during the week which WILL be coming with me to the Sussex Country Brocante.  To counter the twitchy feeling, I thought I'd take some photos and share with all of you :)

Little Victorian tureen and dish
First up is this very sweet tureen which comes with its own little dish.  Its a lovely faded blue and white colour and is a perfect size for a bedroom or bathroom to keep all your unmentionables in.  I bought this in a little shop in Shoreham and had only gone in for a 'You can look but don't buy' browse and came away with the tureen and this:

Georgian Print in original frame
A lovely little Georgian print in its original frame.  It is just so charming and I love the
subject matter.  The frame is in amazing condition for something that is over 150 year old
and I couldn't resist.

French fabric box and trims
Next up was this French fabric box full to the brim with trims.  I'm not sure why but everything I seem to have bought this week is on a small scale as the box is diddy but still seems to be able to fit a lot in.  As they say though, all the best things come in small packages!

1950s hat and Victorian photo albums
I actually found these a couple of weeks ago and forgot about them.  The hat is original 1950s with its original label.  The netting is still in good condition although the silk hat part could do with a bit of a clean.  Perfect accessory for your 50s outfit.  I did want to keep it but it doesn't suit my melon size head (My head doesn't look that big but hats just never fit or suit me!)  The hat is resting on 2 small Victorian photo albums.  One has its original clasp and both have their prettily decorated photo inserts.  They are a little 'timeworn' but look great stacked on a shelf.

1930s Art Deco mirrored clock
I absolutely LOVE anything that is 1930s, french and mirrored.  Luckily I already have a clock that is very similar to this that I bought years ago which means I am therefore able to let this one go!  It is so, so pretty and would look gorgeous anywhere.  I can just imagine being in a Parisian boudoir in the 1930s when I look at this.  I'd be so French and elegant and every man would want to marry me (yes I got all that from one clock!)

Vintage French fabric drawers
Finally I purchased this rather pretty and useful set of fabric drawers.  This doesn't make me think of Paris or all the men that wish to marry me but it does make me happy and that's good enough for me!

Until next time, Au Reservoir! Xxx

(The Au Reservoir is a Mapp and Lucia reference.  It was a very funny program set in Rye in the 1920s, I highly recommend you Google it!)

Monday, 17 September 2012

Look what I've got.............

........ my new flyers!

I am very lucky in the fact that my husband, Mark, is a graphic designer and has helped me enormously by turning my visions into reality.  I'm not the easiest of people to work with as I have very specific ideas on how I want things to look, a Designer's nightmare!  Anyway after a couple of false starts, we have created this blog and something I'm very excited about, my flyers.  The flyers were hard to create as I wanted to get across what I'm about but everything I liked just wasn't working.  In the end I found a picture I'd bought from France, Mark worked his magic and the first side of my flyer was born.

First side of my flyer
 We then discussed what should go on the back of the card and we realised that to really get across  who Faded Rose Vintage is, we had to include the items that I buy and love.

Second side of my flyer
Mark had already taken the photos which you can see on my other posts and we included these on the flyer.  I think it works really well and as I am a happy wife, Mark will have a happy life!

Whilst designing the website and flyers I realised two things.  A.  I'm not always right and B. I'm not always right!  As I said I have very exacting ideas that don't always translate onto paper no matter how much I want them to.  Luckily, after a few 'discussions' we got there and created something I love and am very proud of.

Thank you Mark for making it a reality!

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Sunday Purchases!

Mark and I were up bright and early today to get to the Brighton Marina boot sale and grab some bargains.  The boot sale is actually more of an antique/collectables market with a few ordinary bootsellers thrown in.  Some weeks you can find tons of items for brilliant prices and other weeks you come away with your money still burning a hole in your pocket.  This week was a good week and I made some great finds.  My favourite was this SAS 1960s ammunition tin.  The colour is a gorgeous soft green and I love the stenciling.  On its own it looks good but maybe a touch masculine, add some gorgeous soft pink roses and it turns into something faded, feminine and delectable!

Vintage SAS Ammunition tin and vintage bee smoker
I just wanted to show off my new bag!

Ammo tin as we found it

The next find was this cool little vintage bee smoker.  I thought it was a petrol can at first but then saw the bellow on the back.  Smokers are used in beekeeping to calm the honey bees.  I don't know why but it just evoked an image in my mind of being in a sunny cottage garden with bright flowers all around me and tending to my bees (I don't have bees) with my little cat rubbing herself round my legs (I don't have a cat either!) and the nightingales singing whilst I wear a pretty 1950s dress with a flower in my hair.........(ok I've been watching too many Darling buds of May, time to get back to reality :)

Bee smoker and ammo tin

Vintage bee smoker
Mark and I have been known to have tiny disagreements about the things I buy.  He tends to wonder if the early start has affected the good taste part of my brain and I can't understand how he can have such bad taste!  Anyway today we seemed to agree on everything and he even liked this little beauty!

Pose doll

Little French maid

She is a pose doll from Japan and I think this one dates from the 60s.  I have several pose dolls from the 1950s wearing the fashion of the day but have never seen a little French maid....until now!  She is very cute and even has seamed fishnet stockings with a garter belt holding each stocking up.  Her shoes have tiny high heels and I think she's a little bit quirky!

On the same stall I found this little french lamp.  Once its got some little silk french shades I think it will make a very nice addition to any ladies boudoir.

Little French Lamp

Finally even though I said my favourite purchase was the ammo tin, I actually think this was my favourite recent find.  A photo taken in the 20s or 30s? of 7 men and women dressed as pierrot.  They were possibly an amateur dramatics society or they could have just been going to a fancy dress party. I love. love. love this image and it is so evocative of the Bright Young Things from the 20's who were a group of young people determined to dance the night away and for whom decadance was everything.  I have to admit that the people in my photo don't look that young but you get what I mean!

Not so bright young things!

Bright Young Things photograph by Cecil Beaton

Arrrgh, I forgot about this buy!  This my final one, promise :).  A little mirror which the lady said she had had since she was 15 years old.  I think the mirror is from the late 50s, early 60s and is in the shape of an easel.  It has painted flowers which have rubbed off a bit but I don't care, it gives it character!  The screw covers are particularly pretty and one of the main reasons I bought it.  One is missing but I'm sure I can find a spare one in my stash.

60s easel mirror

All in all we had a good day at the market and we were done by 10am and back home having a cuppa and chocolate brownie by 10.30am.  Chocolate brownies are an essential item in the world of boot sales as they allow you to keep your energy up after trawling around stalls at some ungodly hour, I highly recommend them!

Can't wait to see what I can find next week! :) x