Friday, 9 May 2014


   This lovely old linen cupboard, Regency pine. with masses of shelves and ingenious folding doors, was my most favourite piece for selling  my best stock..  Bought 20 or more  years ago from Penny Philip in Walcot St. Bath, I just could not resist it when I thought about my textile business and the huge piles of linen I was bringing back from France and needing to display them for my many customers.  The narrow shelves were just right for showing off tea towels in neat bundles, also pillow cases, kitchen cloths of all kinds and sets of white damask napkins.   It was always full and rather impressive when piled high and I opened the folding doors (made on the folding shutter system).  The metal grills were for ventilation;  if stored for a long time, linen is apt to show mildew spots which are extremely difficult to remove.   These large storage cupboards were usually placed in the housekeeper's room, a place where she and some of the female staff did some of the domestic work, sewing, repairing  and folding the linen.  Often, however, they were built into the room with the addition of a clock on the shaped cornice,  and they were made of heavily carved mahogany, really Victorian in style; so it is rare to find one that stands alone..  The housekeeper kept the keys on her chatelaine, (a belt or chain round her waist) and unlocked the cupboard when she doled out the linen for the bedrooms.  Good linen had a great value in every household and was apt to go missing if not closely guarded and counted as it went backwards and forwards from the laundry to the cupboard.    I don't know how much I sold from this cupboard but it was probably several thousand items, as I moved it from Freshford to Bradford on Avon 12 years ago and continued to use it for my best stock.   Sadly, now I have retired, I have had to re-furnish my special first floor show room as a spare room and the 'trade' aspect of the furnishings no longer applies.

   I advertised it just once on this Blog and it has now been sold to one of my readers so that is really a very happy outcome for me and I am glad it will be in use once more as a display fitting.   'Top of the morning to you', my old Irish friend!  The best sales assistant I have ever had!

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