You may have heard of the famous "Nelson" pattern: a bold Imari design from the very early 19th Century, first designed by Chamberlains in Worcester. When I say "designed" I need to qualify this: it was of course imitated from an original Japanese Imari design from the early years of the 18th Century. It became this outrageously colourful design no. 240 that Chamberlains called "Fine Old Japan". It became very popular as soon as it came out in early 1802. When Admiral Nelson
This week I have been into all things Neo-classical... perhaps my grandfather, who was a scholar in the Classics, was speaking through me? Or perhaps I was simply inspired by the visit I paid last weekend to beautiful Hylands House in Essex, near Chelmsford. Thanks to @rupert.dixon, who made me aware of this architectural beauty on Instagram a while ago it has become a regular place where my husband and I go for walks in the weekend, as it is not far from where we live in Nor
Dine like a Duke
As someone who grew up in a notoriously egalitarian country, the British ranks of nobility are to me as fascinating as they are puzzling. You see, there is noble, and there is really noble. There are many levels of nobility, the highest one below that of a Royal Prince being a Duke - but a Duke can be Royal or not (and I offer no comment on the current troubles of some of the Royal Dukes!). In Britain everyone knows the various members of the Royal family by the name of their
A romantic interlude...
Happy New Year everyone! After a wonderfully relaxed break we are taking the new year by storm with new stock, and new writings... As magazines have the funny habit of coming out one month early, my piece on putti and cherubs in honour of Valentine's Day has just been published in the new Homes & Antiques. Go have a read to find out more about these adorable beings that have adorned our tea and dinner tables for many centuries! Putti and cherubs have been with us for a long t