If you have managed to look at my blog or indeed sent me a cheque for an order you will see that our main business is called 'Oddities Antiques' and that 'Rag Rescue' is just one arm of it although they often combine especially as I am the buyer and tend to look for textiles first and antiques second - oops!. Last week we went to an auction that we had never been to before as it was a bygones and farm auction. I must say it was a brilliant day out. It was like going to a farming museum, huge old ploughs, pitch forks and spades, in fact everything that was to be found on a Victorian farm. It was wonderful not to see rows and rows of ceramics which is what we normally find at the auctions these days. Don't get me wrong, I love old ceramics, in fact I used to restore them until the chemicals and the hours and days of sanding down damaged my neck. Unfortunately there is a huge amount of ceramics out there at the moment and it isn't selling very well unless it the top end.
So back to the farm sale. Imagine, stand in a very cold concrete floored barn and standing for 6 hours just waiting for your lots to turn up. Great folk there though, mostly farmers, many with there dogs, all in working clothes and wellies and only a hand full of dealers. We even were approached by a farmer to view his bygones at his farm, must have been because we were new faces, must remember to get in touch. The amazing thing was that amongst all of the farm equipment was lots of wood, old beams, hundreds of years old and can you imagine, they went for £5.00, we couldn't believe it. There were also some oak panels, one huge long one and five smaller ones and together they went for £5.00 as well. My advice to anyone who is restoring a house is to get along to these farm auctions that are scattered around the country.
We didn't buy many of the farming implements although husband was set on buying a huge old peat cutting spade which I managed to win. It is so heavy I can't even lift it, but that is why he comes to the fairs to do all of the heavy work, bless him.We concentrated on the 'bygones' and I must say we did rather well.
Now this is where the businesses combine. I got carried away with my textile hat and bought this. ..........
It is seen here after being cleaned and cursed about for absolutely hours. The brass has been cleaned suffuciently to make it shine but not too much to reduce the patina. It stands on my old chest because if it was put on the floor we would never pick it up again, it is so heavy. What a beautiful piece and what a find.
But what is it you ask. It is a yarn tester from the mills of Lanacashire for testing the strength of the cotton or any yarn really. A small but important part of the manufacturing process involves making certain the yarn is strong enough, particularly for the warp, apparently.
I think it would make such a good centre piece in a house and such a talking point. People can even play with it, for when the wheel is turned the mechanism begins to move the pointer on the dial and the bar on the lower left moves along.
Fingers crossed we sell it in the next few weeks. Needless to say it won't be going to Stafford Bingley Hall Fair with us next week as we are on the balcony and I don't think that hubby would enjoy carrying it up two flights of stairs and nor would his back.
I keep you informed as to whether we sell it or not.
First stop next week - 2nd, 3rd and 4th October
The we FOLLOW THE SWALLOW TO
LINCOLN (NOT SWINDERBY)