Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Cupboard Love

A traditional English smock made to order for me by a farmer's wife in Dorset, with Dorset buttons made by another skilled lady in Milton Abbas nearby, I wore this garment to Chelsea Flower Show one summer and 3 people stopped me to ask where they could find similar - alas! the lady was killed in a road accident and never made another. The stuff was called drabbet, the smocking and buttons were done with Anchor embroidery hanks and the collar, yoke and cuffs were all double to take a lot of wear and washing. Beside it is a pretty Kashmir woollen shawl and in the background a useful chart depicting the crowns and titles of the French and other 'noblesse' so I can check on my linen to see if it once belonged to a Duc or just a mere Count!
The cupboard is part of a huge Regency housekeeper's linen cupboard that I found in Bath. It has a special panel to lock everything away and was used for the safe-keeping of fine linen in a big household., The housekeeper or mistress of the house kept the key on her waistband chatelaine and doled out the sheets to the housemaids who made up the beds. In a few months, I shall put up this wonderful Irish housekeepers linen cupboard for sale as the room it is in is to be converted to a spare room, with new bathroom ensuite, and, sadly, there is no wall wide enough to take it when I move beds in. Details from me 01225 866 136. The linen tablecloths stack neatly in it and there is an interesting 3o's Art Deco hat box and another metal one, now sold. Go to my website for further details re linen.

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