September 12, 2019
Historically, the English have been known to place great emphasis on good dining manners. It all started when the religious persecution under Henry VIII made it unwise to speak freely.
July 29, 2019
Civilization has had board games since before a written language. Earliest artifacts include dice carved of knuckle bones, wood, painted stones and turtle shells. Egyptian pharaohs took board games with them when they were transported to the afterlife.
July 29, 2019
It’s becoming more difficult to find what were once “commonplace” antiques. When completely gone, they will take a part of history with them – along with the skills required in their making. Here are stories of a few such items.
June 27, 2019
Historically, selection of timber by furniture craftsmen was based solely upon local availability. Examination of English household furnishings from the first millennium demonstrates the abundance of oak then available.
May 28, 2019
Lobsters have been on earth for at least 100 million millennium - long before early humans began to "crack" their secrets (Get it?). More recently, the abundant, cheap shellfish was consumed solely along coasts, particularly the French coast in Brittany..
April 15, 2019
It all started with the coffer – a long, deep, crudely constructed box with a hinged lid and [sometimes] short legs or feet. That’s not to be confused with the coffin, though in truth, the early coffer often assumed that role out of expediency.
February 25, 2019
The word “bed” comes from the 4th century Germanic badja – “sleeping place dug in the ground”. It’s not surprising that throughout history mankind has sought to improve how we spend 1/3 of our lives.
January 7, 2019
This is our 35th year in business! Thank you
...for your continued interest in fine craftsmanship and traditional skills.
...for your praise of our workmanship
...for your appreciation of our craftsmen.
...for your positive response to our newsletters.
December 3, 2018
Film star Ava Gardner and her husband, Frank Sinatra, were known for their epic fights. To signal the end of a contretemps, Gardner would spritz the stairway of their home with perfume (Creed’s Fleurs de the Rose Bulgare), an invitation to the crooner.
November 23, 2018
Gift giving is a relic of pagan customs – namely, the celebration of winter solstice. A particularly raucous Roman festival honored Saturn, the god of agriculture. In addition to excessive drinking, participants exchanged gifts during that time – tiny figurines, edible treats and festive candles. That’s why we give gifts today.
November 5, 2018
Time to begin thinking about Holiday entertaining. What we serve, how we serve it – it’s all based on tradition. Thankfully, those traditions can change.
October 23, 2018
Unique gifts seem more and more difficult to find. Items with personality, especially with a story to tell, simply are not available at the mall or mass retailers. Rare gifts guarantee no one else will be giving or receiving such a unique item.
October 8, 2018
We’ve been sitting around fires for a long, long time. According to the National Academy of Sciences, the earliest discovered fire pit blazed over 1 million years ago. It’s only natural that some improvements have been made since then.
September 10, 2018
In spite of the fact that coffee had been a wildly popular drink in England since the mid-17th century (replacing, BTW, the previously favored breakfast drinks of wine and beer), there was no such thing as a coffee table. Instead, the beverage was drunk in commercial establishments with massive followings.
August 17, 2018
People have been enamored with antiques since the search for Greek relics began back in the 12th century. It is not unusual for those with a love of “the hunt” to spend millions searching the sea for sunken treasure or hours and hours waiting for the telltale beep of a metal detector. For most of us, antiquing is our equivalent of a treasure hunt.
July 16, 2018
It is speculated that Peking Man roasted meats – though not proven. What is known is that during the Paleolithic Period, that’s 33,000 years ago, people living in southern France (where else?) began to steam their food over hot embers by wrapping it in wet leaves.
June 11, 2018
In our latest Newsletter: In 1650, the British East India Company gambled on importing two new commodities found in China. The first was tea, the second, porcelain wine ewers. Because the ewers were breakable, they were packed for the long voyage inside the bales of tea.
May 14, 2018
The treasures we’ve assembled here were once a customary part of any well-to-do household. Now days, they are atypical – adding individuality and character to your home. Plus, they have great back stories!
May 1, 2018
Many believe civilization was enabled by fire and light. From a bundle of sticks tied together and lit, to a hollow shell bright with flaming moss soaked in animal fat, flammables were the driving force moving civilization forward. The earliest candle, from China in 200BC, literally enlightened the world.
March 19, 2018
In 1650, the British East India Company gambled on importing two new commodities found in China. The first was tea, the second, porcelain wine ewers. Because the ewers were breakable, they were packed for the long voyage inside the bales of tea.
February 19, 2018
It’s only been in the past 50 years that the work of illustrators has been recognized as art. Even some artists themselves argued that the real art was the finished product, the print. As a result, no one handled an illustrator's work with any consideration for value or posterity. Such a loss of creativity!
January 22, 2018
Let's consider the history of the unique turnings that adorn our popular studded leather cupboard-on-stand, shown above.
December 19, 2017
It's time for holiday entertaining and imbibing. We have just what you need to do it in style. Not that you can't use these pieces any time of year. But, somehow, holiday festivities just seem to lend themselves to especially thoughtful presentations.
December 1, 2017
I know you've enjoyed Hudson in the past so I thought you might be interested in this article. If you're thinking of visiting again, this is the perfect excuse. Get a closer view of the architectural gems that make Hudson so charming and help a worthy cause.
November 15, 2017
The first gas stove factory in England opened in 1836. A gas stove was shown at London's World Fair in 1851, but no real inroads were made until the 1880s when piped gas was available in large towns in Britain.
October 24, 2017
People love roasts. It’s not just the luxury of a meal prepared over a l-o-n-g cooking period, it’s the succulence, the tenderness and the aroma of a roast.
October 2, 2017
Herbs first were introduced into cooking not to flavor foods, but to disguise flavors. Before refrigeration, frequently meat was served past its “freshness date”. Strong-smelling herbs worked hard to make what was on your plate palatable. Phew!
September 11, 2017
The great Mary Cantwell once wrote, “There is nothing better than the wind whistling at the windows and soup bubbling on the stove.” She might have added ‘…and the glint of an old copper pot to keep you company.’
August 21, 2017
Great Britain's Furniture Guilds have no equivalent in the United States. Created by the Statute of Apprentices in 1563 and continuing to this day, they are training grounds where skills are passed on, ensuring that age-old techniques are revered and not lost.
August 7, 2017
Believe it or not, we have the Civil War to thank for the invention of mechanical banks. Here’s why: during the conflict both the North and South created their own paper money.
July 25, 2017
Poaching is not boiling. Boiling is way too aggressive. Rather, in poaching, the liquid should be kept at a very low simmer - no bubbles rising, just enough to make it shiver.
July 11, 2017
Nothing says summer more than the fragrance and taste of just-picked fresh fruit. The first strawberry of the season, the sweetness of raspberries, lush, liquid cherries...
June 12, 2017
In our latest newsletter, we explore the downstairs of homes like Downton Abbey, and a use for those tools today.the housekeeping staff's methods of drying all the linens from the numerous bedrooms.
In our latest newsletter, we honor dressing tables and remember the great advance in "outdoor wicker & rattan" furniture made by Lloyd Loom with his "loomed" wicker.
April 18, 2017
In our latest newsletter, our set of 3 large ale measures leads to a discussion of how standarized measuring was needed, evolved and benefitted ale drinkers everywhere.
March 27, 2017
In our latest newsletter, we note the details of a lovely box with fine etched brass detailing while contemplating the struggle between industrialization and a demand for quality.
March 6, 2017
In our latest newsletter, we compare 4 different antique mirrors and learn about their creation and evolution.
February 12, 2017
In our latest newsletter, we discuss the beauty of a German Art Nouveau hammered teapot and discuss "The Golden Rules for Making Tea".
January 26, 2017
In our latest newsletter, we discover the beauty and elegence of this wonderful English Dovetailed Copper Stockpot and the history of dovetailing copper.
December 12, 2016
In our latest newsletter, we offer an Art Deco Silver Plate Champagne Bucket and learn the history of why we drink champagne on New Year's eve.
November 29, 2016
In our latest newsletter, we discuss the advantages of cooking with copper and the methods used to apply the lining.
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