|Barge toleware decoration was often called 'castles and roses' as these were a feature.|
Gypsies and tinkers always fascinated me and I loved gypsy music from Hungary with its wild czardas and the violins singing. They used to go round the lanes in South Wales in little carts pulled by small sturdy horses and they had straw in the cart, with Welsh 'Gaudy' china (often called Cottage Swansea whence it came) on board. This was delightful jolly china decorated sponge-ware, with big blue roses and pinkish rhododendron type flowers, big blobs, often with highlights of silver lustre, in a circle on cups and plates and other useful tableware. The women and children sat on the cart sides and were a dirty and cheerful lot - my mother bought enough to decorate a cottage Welsh Dresser for our "Cardi" holiday cottage and 20 years later, at the beginning of the war, sold it all to collectors who were very keen on it, quite rare and expensive now! Other examples are shown on Ebay of course. And tinkers! I have fond memories of the delightful old knife grinder who came round once a year to my house in Freshford, near Bath, with a grindstone on a sort of bicycle frame.. He wore a flat cap at a jaunty angle and there was always a flower decorating it; I gave him a bun and hot tea and he told me a little about his travels (from Ireland)- those sort of travellers have almost gone now, they have been chased away by traffic and suspicious police, but they were quite often very amusing with a quick turn of phrase and simple charm. and my knives and scissors have never been as sharp since he disappeared.
The gypsies used to come round with baskets of dolly pegs and they were wonderful for hanging washed blankets - plastic are not nearly sturdy enough, and people used to buy them from me to make little dolly figures. They also made lovely little square hanging baskets from short thick twigs interlaced, and put primroses also 'taken' from the local woods in a bed of moss inside - and I used to buy some to re-sell to my customers at my flower shop! Naughty!
|Welsh Gaudy pottery|