Some cheery pictures

All right, so they're not all precisely cheery - but I hope will brighten your day nonetheless.

A different war

Punch, Sillince
The seaside in 1939

Two Punch cartoons, published on September 27, 1939, just after the start of the 2nd World War.


One shows a fortune-teller wondering if she'll get any visitors; the other is called "The Last Sunbathe", both with a double meaning.


Seems relevant today somehow.

Punch, Lewis Baumer
The beach in 1939


Biography of Thomas Case

Thomas Case
Thomas Case

Not really a biography, of course; just a few snippets of what seems to have been quite a full life.  


He lived in troubled religious times during the English Civil War, but even so, he managed to engage in one conflict or another during his life.  As a minister in Norfolk and Manchester he was prosecuted for contempt of church ceremonies; he was ejected by Parliament from a rectory in Milk Street, London (which later burned down in the Great Fire of London); and he was imprisoned in the Tower of London for being part of a plot to restore Charles II. Having obtained a position as chaplain to the King on his restoration, he was ejected for nonconformity, presumably for objecting to the Act of Conformity 1662.


When he died in 1682, he was the last of the surviving dissenting members of the Westminster Assembly. (Thank you, Wikipedia)


As I say, a busy life. And this is just a very small steel engraving of him from a print "prefixed to the Farewell Sermons of the Ejected Ministers".


Naval humour

No. 11419, Punch naval cartoon
No. 11419, Punch naval cartoon

This one really tickles me for some reason. 

And it's educational - I had to look up the insignia on the uniforms to work out the rank of the first shouty officer - Commander, I believe (though see what you think).


Of course, the problem with a lot of these Punch prints is, there's often another lovely one on the other side.  I'm offering the option of mounting the other side if preferred. Go to...

No. 11419a
No. 11419a

The Parking Meter

Harper's Bazaar fashion print, 1958
Harper's Bazaar fashion print, 1958

I've just discovered that the parking meter was introduced

in Mayfair, London in June 1958. 

Astute of Harper's Bazaar to use this as a means

of showing off their latest fashions. 

World Book Day

books, dickens
Charles Dickens, The Old Curiosity Shop

As it's World Book Day today, I thought it worth emphasising that we don't break good books in order to sell the pictures.


My husband has been dealing in out-of-print books and ephemera for 40 years. During that time, we have amassed a filing cabinet full of illustrated material from damaged stock - books with plates missing, children's books with scribbles on, incomplete magazines, etc. 


So, I am upcycling the material, rescuing it from oblivion if you like (a bit OTT?) The original aim was to reduce the amount in the filing cabinet, but it doesn't seem to be going down. This may be something to do with the fact that my husband will still be buying books with his dying breath.


And why not? I didn't want to have any room in the house anyway.

Yankee courtship

"Let me alone can't yer Jonathan?"

"Let yer alone, why I aint a touching yer am I?

"No! but aint you agoin to?"


This is a bit crumpled, but it's from a Victorian scrapbook around the middle of the 19th century, so what can you expect?


Just thought it was appropriate, as we're approaching the 29th February when traditionally, women could take the opportunity of proposing marriage.

Le Bon Francais

These are rare hand-coloured stencils by Guy Arnoux, done at the beginning of the First World War and exhorting French people to buy war bonds and French goods, and support French farmers.

Wastly obnoxious!

"Do you take sugar Mr Jones?

"No Miss cos I thinks the suavosity of the Sugar nullifies

The flavosity of the Tea which renders it wastly hobnoxious!"


"Notions of the Agreeable" No.60. Contemporary hand colouring.  Rare.

Published by W Spooner.


The must-have outfit for men

fashion, men's, Darbel, shorts
Everbest men's fashion from Darbel

What can I say? 


It's delightful and I hope to see men everywhere

sporting this stylish shorts suit.


The diversity of nature

While watching a programme about the wildlife of Borneo the other day, I realised it's quite possible that most of the species I have just posted on my website may well still exist, given the diversity in that country.


Some will be endangered though - an example is the slow loris, which is subject to animal trafficking. 


These illustrations were drawn and printed by Karl Joseph Brodtmann, for Schinz's "Naturgeschichte und Abbildungen der Saugethiere" (Natural History and Illustrations of Mammals), c1825.  They may not be as cute as some modern-day photographs, but were considered to be pretty accurate at the time.


Sooty Santa

Oh my.  I do like this.  Illustrated by John Hassall, who was a famous illustrator in the early 19th century. 


One of his most famous posters was "Skegness is so bracing", which I remember well as that was the nearest seaside to us in the East Midlands when I was growing up. There is still a statue there of the Jolly Fisherman used in the poster.

Christmas offerings

I've put some Christmassy-themed prints on to their own web page for you to see. (It's November now, so I'm allowed.)

Added this week ...


Some Mabel Lucie Attwell from Peter Pan and a selection of other lovelies ... preparing for Christmas.


An inventive illustrator

Rowland Emett is one of my favourite Punch illustrators, so a little bit about him ...


Perhaps not surprisingly, he was the son of an amateur inventor. He made his first contribution to Punch in 1939.


He was a draughtsman involved in the development of jet engines during World War II and later designed a railway for the Festival of Britain Battersea Pleasure Gardens. This brought him world-wide fame. He also built models for the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. 


Among his inventions are a Forget-me-not Computer and the Exploratory Moon-Probe Lunacycle.


He died in 1990.

Added this week ...



Some lovely French fashion prints and adverts

from the 1950s.



French lingerie
No. 11117, Scandale

So chic!

Plaisir de France
Plaisir de France

I can't do an "Added this week" as I haven't added anything this week - too busy painting walls (in case you wanted to know). 


However, I have been looking through some of my stock to see what to mount up for the next markets and I came across these nice French fashion prints from 1954.



So that's my next objective (once I can get the paint out of my fingernails).

Added this week ...

Just put some more Punch cartoons on, from various periods.  Getting quite a collection on my site now, but still a long way to go before they're all on. Here's just a few of them.


Added this week ...


I also sell on Etsy and because they are now saying they'll give priority to those who offer free shipping in the US (in other words, offer free shipping or you'll be on the 150th page of any searches), I thought I should clarify how we sell here.


It costs £13 for most of our packages to be shipped to the US.  I'm not going to turn a £10 print into one costing £23, just to make it free in the US, so for now it's status quo.  It isn't free anyway and most shoppers know that.  I use the phrase "Price including shipping", which I believe is more accurate.


I add £3 to the UK price I sell for on the markets, which more or less covers postage, but not packaging costs (hey, it's just in my nature to be generous).  If you buy more than one print, I point you towards the "Orders/Enquiries" button so that I can accurately charge your postage, but if you just press the "Add to Cart" button instead I refund you any over-payment on postage.


I need to find a pithy way of expressing all of this, but it may just be to say "Discounts for two or more".


Added this week ...

Some hand coloured botanical engravings and a couple of 50s fashion prints

Added this week ...

Added this week ...

Added this week ...

The dream ship

When we were young enough to have dreams ...


Added this week ...

Thieving Lane


"View of the Southern extremity of Thieving Lane (of late years called Bow Street) through which the Felons were conveyed to the Gatehouse, which stood at the Eastern end of Tothill Street. The inhabitants are of the lowest order, and aggravate, by their numbers, that nuisance which the filthiness of their persons and the narrowness of the avenue had already created."


This aquatint by J T Smith is one of a number of copper engravings and aquatints from the early 19th century that I'm slowly putting on their own page in the Architecture section.

As Seen on TV ...

Capstan Cigarettes and Grace Darling
Capstan Cigarettes and Grace Darling

Sold this some time ago, but there was a little item on the Antiques Roadshow last Sunday about Grace Darling which reminded me about this advertisement.

I'm at a loss to see what her heroic act had to do with Capstan Navy Cut Cigarettes, though - perhaps someone else can work it out?


Art deco

Pan magazine was relatively short-lived, but epitomises the feel of the 1920s - witty and cynical.  We've rescued some lovely illustrations from 1920, when it was a weekly magazine, and given them their own page in our shop. More to come, in black and white. 


Introducing - the PayPal button

Right -so this is what I've been doing for the last few weeks instead of blogging.  We now have buttons for each individual print, so you can order and pay immediately instead of having to use the order form. 

However,   I've kept the Order/Enquire form on each page in case you want a different mount colour on the virtual mounted prints, or are buying more than one print (which reduces the postage) - or for any enquiries, really; I don't like websites where you can't ask a question about anything.


I've also separated out the subjects a little, now that there are over 600 prints on the website - eg, Advertising has sub-pages for Food, Alcohol, Smoking, etc. (all the good things!)


Animals galore!

Just added: a set of Victorian animal prints with original hand colouring.


In situ

One of my Treacle Market customers very kindly sent me a photo of a print she bought from me last Christmas, in place in her house.


It was from a drawing by M Wheeler for the Illustrated London News of 1926. 


I do like my prints to go to a good home.

Lawson Wood

Lawson Wood, Circumstantial Evidence
Lawson Wood, Circumstantial Evidence

I've just made my (small) annual donation to Wikipedia, so don't feel too guilty about copying out the following:


"Lawson Wood, sometimes Clarence Lawson Wood, (23 August 1878 – 26 October 1957), was an English painter, illustrator and designer known for humorous depictions of cavemen and dinosaurs, policemen, and animals, especially a chimpanzee called Gran'pop, whose annuals circulated around the world. Wood was decorated by the French for his gallantry at Vimy Ridge during World War I. He was deeply concerned with animal welfare and was awarded membership in the Royal Zoological Society in 1934. His animal designs were reproduced as wooden toys and he established a sanctuary for aged creatures. In his later years, he was a recluse and died in Devon in 1957."


We have a number of his Gran'pop illustrations in our Children's and Nursery section, along with some others by him.

The art of gentle humour

Punch; Sillince
"We really must be going now, darling; we have to get right out to Surbiton"

... or the gentle humour of art. 


Bill Sillince (1906-1974) was a 2nd world wartime cartoonist. 


A couple of examples here:

the one on the left is from 1937 and very gently satirical. 

The one on the right was from 27 September 1939 and has a melancholic feel.


Punch; Sillince
"I wonder if I shall get any customers today, Fred"


Love the bathing hat


So pleased I've got a camera with sharper resolution now.  Mind you, it didn't stop me having to put a false background on these pictures (thank you, Photoshop) because I'd got it pale on one side and dark on the other.

And, of course, I still can't get them to all be the same size.

Nonetheless, it shows off these extraordinary illustrations by Lawson Wood for a children's book about Gran'pop.  And they are in good condition, unlike some children's illustrations.  Maybe the children were too scared to draw marks on them!

Christmas - there, I've said it.

If I ruled the world I would not allow any mention of Christmas until the 1st December each year. 


However, I am merely a lowly printseller, so I have been gathering some nice Christmassy prints for Etsy and my normal markets.


Can't decide where to stop, really, so I may do another one later.  


Find them all in my shop.

Should have chosen a dog

I don't get this reaction from my cat when I come home.  I'm lucky if he opens one eye - and then he's just thinking, "ah, good. Here comes my next meal."


Wouldn't swap him though; I think he's very bright to treat me with such disdain. And I don't have to take him for walks.

Styles of printing - planographic

Just to finish off the brief introduction to printing styles ...


This means that the image sits on the same level as non-image areas and takes us up to modern lithographic printing.



Invented in 1798 by Aloys Senefelder, lithography is based on the principle that oil and water do not mix. The word “lithos” means stone and the image was originally drawn in wax (or similar) on to the surface of stone. The surface is then chemically treated to fix the image, and the stone sponged with water. The waxy drawing repels the water and when oily ink is then applied, it will fix to the drawing only.


Colour printing

Originally, prints were distributed to homeworkers to be hand coloured. 

However, the lithographic process meant that colours could be laid on top of one another.  A different stone is used for each colour and the process was called chromolithography, developed in the 1840s.


Early in the 20th century the images were transferred to zinc plates. By World War II, the process was called offset lithography, using 4 metal drums – each for a separate colour – and combining them to obtain all colour combinations. 

La Vie Parisienne

Love these illustrations from La Vie Parisienne.  As rescued prints go, these are probably the most fragile I've had to deal with, given the thinness of the paper they were printed on (almost like tissue).


Still, I think they've stood up very well and I've tried to give an indication of the more severe creases and marks.


I have seen reproductions of these, at various prices, and I guess it depends on what you're looking for.  Do you just want a pretty print that looks nice on your wall?  Or do you like holding a bit of history and remembering that someone in France was keeping his (or her) spirits up during the first world war with these saucy women.


Either is valid, but I know which I prefer - obviously!

Luigi Meyer

This is a testament to my husband's  photography as I always have to spend ages on Photoshop trying to make my feeble photos look like the original.  However, he can't take a straight photo, so there was a fair bit of cropping and straightening going on.


Anyhoo, a little about Luigi Meyer:


Luigi Meyer (1755-1803) was an Italian-German artist and one of the earliest and most important late 18th-century European painters of the Ottoman Empire. He was a close friend of Sir Robert Ainslie, 1st Baronet, a British ambassador to Turkey between 1776 and 1792, and the bulk of his paintings and drawings during this period were commissioned by Ainslie. He travelled extensively through the Ottoman Empire between 1776 and 1794, and became well known for his sketches and paintings of panoramic landscapes of ancient sites from the Balkans to the Greek Islands, Turkey and Egypt, particularly ancient monuments and the Nile. Many of the works were amassed in Ainslie's collection, which was later presented to the British Museum, providing a valuable insight into the Middle East of that period.


I've got 8 more to put on, so I'll crack on tomorrow.



Engravings and etchings

Copper engraving
Copper engraving - Influence (No.10160)
Steel engraving
Steel engraving - Maldon, Essex (No.10546)

The second in my series on print styles and this time I'm looking at the difference between an etching and an engraving, and giving a couple of examples of copper and steel engravings.



These are produced using a tool called a burin, which allows for the various tones and shadings of an artist’s work to be reproduced faithfully.  Originally done on copper, the softness of the metal meant that it wore out quickly and by the early 19th century it was replaced by steel, which allowed for greater runs to be produced.



These are very similar to engravings, but are produced using acid to remove the metal, rather than cutting the surface with a tool.  The surface is covered with wax and the engraver draws the picture on the wax with a needle; the acid then etches away the exposed metal.  This can be done in stages, giving a more freehand appearance.

Etching on chine colle - A Musical Souter (No.10716)

I should perhaps say at this point that although I'm trying to sound very knowledgeable, I frequently can't really tell the difference and I have to look everything up (or ask my husband, the fount of all knowledge).  Still, I hope it does point up that Arcadian Prints does sell original prints.

I'd be a Butterfly

I'd be a butterfly
I'd be a butterfly

I've been reading a book about Jack the Ripper, set in Victorian England (naturally) and written from the point of view of a music hall performer.


When she mentioned singing "I'd be a butterfly" I felt I should look it up.  Originally a poem, written by Thomas Haynes Bayly in the early 19th century, it was later turned into a song 


Not sure Bayly would have expected it to be visualised thus.

Do coffee and sport go together?


I've been trying to find out whether these are genuine rowers or just models.  They look like rowers to me - consider the grungy socks and shoes - but what do I know?  Apart from an advertising archive, I can't find any other copies of this advert.


Would coffee still be considered good for you after a hard row?  I know I used to love a Coke, a Mars bar and a packet of crisps after going swimming, but I guess I'm not a good role model.

Are you sitting comfortably?

Woodcut by Morin-Jean
Woodcut by Morin-Jean

... then I'll begin.  This is the first of a few blogs about types of print.


Prints can be loosely categorised as Relief, Intaglio or Planograph.


Relief: means that the image is taken from the raised part of a printing block, commonly used with woodcuts and linocuts.  Therefore you cut away the parts you don’t want, as opposed to …


Intaglio: which means that you cut the image out of the block or plate, which is normally copper or steel.   A noticeable feature of many engravings is the visible plate line outside the area of the print. This method includes engravings, etchings, mezzotints and aquatints and I'll describe them in more detail in later blogs. 


This image falls into the Relief category; it is a woodcut by Morin-Jean, reproduced in The Golden Hind Quarterly Magazine in 1922, at a time of resurgence for the style.

Original print - is that an oxymoron?

Lock'd in a Room, No. 10191
Lock'd in a Room, No. 10191


While trying to explain to visitors to my stall that my prints are old (people regularly ask if I can print off some more) I use the term "original print".  This has been known to raise eyebrows - how can it be original and a print at the same time?


Now I don't want you to lose sleep over this so I'll quote a view from Wikipedia that reflects my thinking.


"Printmaking normally covers only the process of creating prints that have an element of originality, rather than just being a photographic reproduction. Each print produced is not considered a "copy" but rather is considered an "original". This is because typically each print varies to an extent due to variables intrinsic to the printmaking process."


This print, "Lock'd in a Room" was created by Williams and printed by J Johnston in in 1817.  It's a hand coloured aquatint, the colouring probably done by a homeworker - which in itself makes it an "original print".


When I broke my wrist a couple of months ago, I was tempted to tell people I had broken it in a hang-gliding accident.  Unfortunately, I didn't think of it in time and everyone knew I had fallen up the steps at Morrisons.


I am now two-handed again (well, one and seven-eighths) so am back to work on the website.  I also have a presence on Etsy, which is working well, and I'm going to expand that to include a number of unmounted prints that I can mount when ordered.  I probably won't put those on here, so look out on Etsy -

Bovril in Staffordshire

A bit of info from the BBC website:


Bovril was invented by a Scotsman, John Lawson Johnston, after he won a contract to supply one million cans of beef to the French army in the 1870s. 


The problem was, Britain didn’t have enough meat so Johnston developed the product from beef extract (then known as Johnston's Fluid Beef). 


But by 1888 over 3,000 pubs and grocers were serving it. 


It came to Burton upon Trent in East Staffordshire (where Marmite is also made!) when production was moved from London in 1968. 


It is made as one of Unilever’s food brands, who also have Birds Eye, Marmite and Wall’s on board.


So now you know.

World War 1 drawings

I don't know where these came from (apart from the bottom of my filing cabinet of prints), but I hope to sell them together as they are original pen and ink drawings. The artist is F Short, not known by us. The Prussian guard is "from a photo given by a prisoner of war".

Leek Sunday Market

All being well, I shall be at the Sunday Supplement food and craft market in Leek on Sunday (4 March).  However, as the world will know, we're 'aving a bit of snow, so it's unlikely to look like this picture. Nonetheless, I shall be there unless they cancel it (watch this space). 

Homage to actors of yore

I've just been adding these on to Etsy and I've been looking for a little information about them.  As someone who also trod the boards (a number of years ago now), I feel I should pay a little homage to these four.

1 - Mr Mathews as Monsieur Morbleu  theatre manager and comic actor, Charles Mathews (1776-1835) was Monsieur Morbleu in the farce Monsieur Tonson by W.T. Moncrieff, early nineteenth century.

2 - Mr John Reeve as Sylvester Daggerwood. This was a one-act play by George Colman, first performed in 1795.

3 - Mr Collins as Master Slender in Merry Wives of Windsor.

4 - Mr Incledon as Steady in "The Quaker", copper engraving. Charles Incledon was a celebrated singer and actor in the late 18th and early 19th century.  (Thank you, Wikipedia)

Find them here.


Nursery Rhymes

So nice, I felt the need to put all 6 pictures on the blog.

Of course, with my usual precision photography, I haven't managed to make them all be the same size, but worry not - in real life, they are all in 11" x 14" deep cream mounts.


The trouble is, I get distracted.  I was looking at the backside (pardon me) of a nice Bovril advert and was captivated by the following short story excerpt:


"And he was aware, oh! aware enough now; for all at once he held her away from him at arms-length and drew a deep breath.  He stared at the beautiful white thing.  An arm?  He had never dreamed that an arm could be so lovely.  Her views? Her emancipation? Her war-service? He laughed aloud.   What did such things matter - now?  Doubts? Questions? Worship of women or felling them with the nearest stone? It seemed to him that all was one. By jove, she was his! .....


.....'Oh, Pearce!' she breathed, lifting eyes in which now were neither fear nor other need, but only the readiness."



Harry Rountree

I'm gradually (very) getting more pictures on to the website to replace my sold items and this one is a "work in progress" by Harry Rountree. 

It's at Stage 3 and you can see the final version on the right, with Rountree's signature.  These were done for The Art of the Illustrator, in 1918.


I rather like this midway version, soft and subtle.


The Foolish Virgin

My first post of the new year and, no, I'm not talking about myself

(well, except for the foolish bit).  


John Emmet Sheridan, the illustrator, did a number of covers for the

Washington Evening Post in the 1920s and 1930s.  This is not one

of them, but a cover for a book - and believe it or not, you can still

buy the book today.  See some personal reviews.



Sorry ...

Children's nursery print
He Knows He's Been Naughty

I'm sorry I've got so many "Sold" pictures on my website at present

(although obviously I'm pleased at the sales!). 

I shall have a good clean-up in the new year and get some prints online.


In the meantime, I wish all my customers a merry Christmas and a happy new year.

Here We Are Again
Here We Are Again

Naughty ... but nice

These lovely things are from La Vie Parisienne.  I have to describe them as looking a little worn (though they look fine behind glass), but there's no wonder really as they were printed in France during and after the 1st World War.



Menacing Father Christmas

Is it me, or is this sailor about to land one on Father Christmas?

The artist

"Line and perfect form to me is everything.  

I don't go so much for colour."


Illustrated by G L Stampa (1875-1971) in 1933,

this is from Punch.


More Punch illustrations to come when I can get 

them online.

You are so dreadfully slow!

This illustrator did the famous Start-Rite shoes ad - S B Pearse.

While looking through other ads, I saw one featuring Jimmy Savile,

so that's perhaps best forgotten.


I'm not sure who's telling who in this picture,

but I know the feeling - I've staggered through

many a piano piece at funereal pace.

Goodbye Whimsical Walker

Aah, there you go.  I mounted him for Christmas, but it's taken until midsummer for someone to take him away.


Born in 1851, his name was Thomas Dawson Walker and he was the son of a circus manager.  As well as this character, apparently he had a singing donkey act, which must have been a sight. 


He worked until his death in 1934 - pretty impressive.

"The soap with a secret"

The secret in this advertisement for Cidal Soap

being that it contains Hexachlorophene -

which has now been found to be toxic

and is banned!


This a 1950s ad, however, so I'm sure Cidal

no longer contains anything toxic

(just being a bit careful here).

Goodness! Has It Really Been That Long?

It's been over 3 months since my last blog.  

And I know that sounds as if I've joined Alcoholics Anonymous,

but I am desperate to get back to my lovely prints.

The stories behind the sales

"Eyes Right! Shoulder Arms!"
"Eyes Right! Shoulder Arms!"

My favourite thing about selling (apart from the money of course!) is hearing the reasons why people buy certain pictures.

For example, this print sold at the Sunday Supplement yesterday and the lady who bought it said she was one of four children and she was buying this for her sister.  "I know she'll just get it", she said to me.  "It's perfect."

The previous week I sold a print with a monkey being hit by a snowball, which was bought for someone in Australia who likes monkeys and hates snow.  Who'd a' thought?!

Best Sellers

Smith's Antiquities
No. 10416 - North View of Westminster


Undoubtedly, our best sellers at fairs and markets are the advertising prints.  

Sometimes, though, it's good to stop and reflect that earlier prints had an enormous amount of individual effort put into them.


Take this early 19th century etching, for example.  Taken from Smith's Antiquities of Westminster, J T Smith must have stood on the roof of Banqueting House at Whitehall to draw this, with all the activity going on below, and then painstakingly etched it to make it suitable for printing.


Nowadays, we just take a selfie.


I love Punch

"Yes, my dear, things have changed a lot.  

I remember  when this used to be

the Old Girls' Friendly Society"

(Punch, 1934)


Nursery print
Lawson Wood, illustrator

I expected people to find Gran'pop a bit scary when I put some of these #Lawson-Wood prints out just before Christmas, but no.  Admittedly this is one of the cuter ones.

I'll put some of the others on the website over the next few weeks to show you.  

Considering it's at least 75 years old, it shows that the youngsters of the day were quite robust.  

If anyone remembers them and was scared, let me know.


Found: more Water Babies

No. 10391, Warwick Goble, The Water Babies
No. 10391, Warwick Goble, The Water Babies

Just found four more Warwick Goble prints from The Water Babies in the depths of my filing cabinet.

Watch out for five Mabel Lucie Attwells on the same subject.


Christmas elves - compare and contrast

I feel I should just say that photo is not me - that's our lovely Synchronicity Dance teacher, Helen.  We met up at the Sunday Supplement street market and I was saved from having to wear an elf hat and dancing by having a stall selling, among other things - elves. This one is by Rosa C Petherick and is dated c1910.


Kensitas - that's good!

There's enormous nostalgia in some of these adverts, even for someone like me who doesn't like looking back.

My mother smoked Kensitas, and I remember when her silver wedding anniversary was approaching she knew I didn't have any money for a present, so gave me the Kensitas gift coupons she had been saving up and with them we "bought" a stainless steel (so much more with-it than silver in 1963) candlestick.

I still have the candlestick, as it happens.


Bovril, the new Christmas party delicacy

Bovril advert

Believe it or not, this is an advert for Bovril.  "Perfect for Sandwiches" apparently.  Dated 1928, there's a certain innocence about assuming that Bovril would be what makes the party go with a swing.

Of course, nowadays it might be an alternative for Marmite, should there be a shortage ...


Longstone Lighthouse and the story of Grace Darling

On Longstone Rock, off Seahouses, sits Longstone Lighthouse. It was built by Trinity House in 1826 for the welfare of shipping off the Northumberland coast. It's the site of a famous rescue by Grace Darling (1815-1842).  She spotted a wreck in a terrible storm and went out with her father in a boat to rescue survivors.  There's a poignant story of a woman clutching her two dead children and having to leave them behind.

Capstan Navy Cut Cigarettes were made by WD & HO Wills from the late 1800s and are still made today.  Described as a "blinking ferocious smoke" recently, you might be healthier just collecting the memorabilia.



The "Yacht of the Road"

Early motor cars
10065 Eric-Campbell car

On first seeing this, I thought Eric Campbell was a relation of Donald Campbell (ignoramus!).  It is, in fact, a car designed and made by the team of Eric Orr-Ewing and Noel Campbell Macklin.  The car was made between 1919 and 1924, but the company came to a sad end in 2016, when it went into receivership.


Macklin was awarded a knighthood for his services to the Navy during World War II.

Oh - and there is a relationship to speedy drivers - Noel Campbell Macklin was the father of Formula One racing driver Lance Macklin.


Damn Mambrino

This was first published as "Damn Bucephalus!", referring to a racehorse which ran, and nearly beat, the famous horse Eclipse at Newmarket in 1770. Lord Grosvenor's horse Mambrino had a successful career, but broke down in 1779 and it's thought this is where the change of name to Damn Mambrino came from. 

It was etched by Henry Bunbury, described in a book on and by Oliver Goldsmith and Sir James Prior as "celebrated for the powers of his pencil".

Of no particular relevance to the picture, but I found it interesting, is that this comment was drawn from a "jocular" letter from Bunbury's wife to Goldsmith, which Goldsmith seemed to feel necessary to criticise at length.  I don't know how he'd manage with Facebook.

New venture

I've decided to expand my prints business to be online as as well as face to face.  So: introducing Arcadian Prints - a crossover between antiques and crafts.  Antiques is the prints themselves, all genuine, no repro, and dated wherever possible.  Crafts is the mounts that surround, protect and enhance them.  

I used to do this 25 years ago and, because my husband is an antiquarian bookseller (and an inveterate hoarder), we now have far more stock than I could possibly sell in a lifetime.  Still, I welcome the challenge.

I should just say that we don't "break" good books, just rescue prints from damaged ones.  And not just books - magazines, Victorian scrap albums, posters, other ephemera etc.