|A composition by Mrs Monro, English decorated porcelain and lustre-ware, tea cups, plates, slop bowls and spill vases, with fresh garden flowers on a Regency set of shelves. Fine trellis pattern wallpaper.|
My pram-pushing route took me past Harrods on one side and a row of very grand antique shops on the other: Pratts, with fireplace impedimenta, where I admired the Georgian grates and the elegant fenders and guards in Gothic, Adam and Victorian designs, also rare Paktong fire dogs; Coopers the grocers, came further along and I studied the Crane Galleries who had fantastic impressionist paintings worth many thousands (now worth millions, of course) I got to know the names of Dufy, Picasso and many others and I returned to my modest mews inspired with a love of antiques and beautiful things, a feeling I still have to this day. Little did I know that one day I would be selling small Folk Art objects to Andreas Calman, owner of the Crane Gallery twenty years later!
|My own small collection of lustreware, an old tea-set bought in Wales where it often decorated kitchen dressers, and a collection of mugs on top from my cousin's Portmerion Pottery.(modern)|
At the other end of the scale, and the Brompton Road, where it became Knightsbridge Green, there was a quaint little haberdashery shop run by two antique looking ladies. Their tiny window was stuffed with buttons and sewing notions, with adverts for 'invisible mending', 'ladders in silk stockings repaired', 'name tapes to order', and they were a relic of the time when the owners of the big houses near Hyde Park all employed ladies maids, housekeepers and housemaids whose job it was to repair and maintain all the linen and clothes of their employers. I was already doing a lot of 'make do and mend 'as it was in the late 40s when everything was on coupons and I then began my hobby of sewing and making for my family. The little old ladies became very friendly and so helpful, but I had no silk stockings to my name, and my underwear was made of parachute nylon!