Tuesday, 22 July 2014


  Mother of Pearl is a very Victorian kind of decoration and I have to say I have loved it ever since my Welsh grandmother, who also loved and collected it, gave me a little black lacquered sewing box with lots of m.o.p. tools and cotton reels inside, for my tenth birthday, saying that it had been hers when she was little and she felt I was now old enough to care for it!  Inside were some little treasures, a tiny Regency reading book about a naughty little girl stolen by the gypsies - very moral - with cut out pictures where you had to insert the head of a child each time you turned the page, a valentine folded card with lots of proverbs, verses and little flower paintings, and a dance programme - no names - perhaps she was a wall-flower?  Nain (Welsh granny) later gave me a little blotter with more m.o.p. flowers inlaid and from then on I was a lacquer and m.o.p. collector, mostly made with papier mache where the shell layers could be applied, making a smooth finish.  There were stationery boxes, glove boxes, fan boxes  stamp boxes, waste p.b.s, scissor and crumb trays, spill vases, visiting card trays, wine coasters, big serving trays and a myriad more useful adjuncts to the complicated niceties of Victorian domestic life! and plenty of them and cheap enough!  Those  with the name Clay and  Jennens & Betteridge impressed  underneath were much sought after and those with good gilding were also prized.  In my enthusiasm, I bought an armchair where the shell-shaped back and sides were paper mache, mounted on wooden lacquered legs and with a romantic portrait painted on inner side and very heavy gilding on the other, a bit of a rarity and not to everyone's taste!

1 comment:

  1. I do so love reading your posts, thank you also for the info regarding the grain sacks.