Sunday, 5 July 2015

French bronze wall plaques

Despite a Methodist upbringing I am not by nature a very religious chap, yes I happily leave others to their beliefs but man's interpretation of religion often leaves me cold as sadly it's used to forward the ends of power hungry fools or very selfish people and I don't single out any's just not for me!
That isn't to say I don't appreciate certain parts of religion especially it's art and iconography, these circa 1920 French bronze wall plaques are one such example.
Found recently at a local flea market after a particularly poor days hunting finds wise!, I saw them and instantly had to buy them even though they weren't signed, something just spoke to me and said buy them so after a bit of fairly easy haggling I did!

They are roughly 9"x 7" ish and very heavy being about 1/4" thick.

I guess that they were meant to be hung on a wall originally as both have remnants of solder and the impression of a wire on the rear of the plaque.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Coaching /Pocket Candle.

It's been a while but hopefully things are now back on an even keel again, 
So here's an interesting item I found recently up in picturesque North Yorkshire, in fact I'm lying the good lady wife found it.
At first we weren't sure what it was but it looked old and interesting, on opening it it became apparent that it was a pocket or coaching candle.
I guess it was made around 1900 or maybe even of WW1 manufacture, though there is no mark to be found anywhere not even a patent number so I guess it could be earlier?

It seems to be bright nickle plated brass, I say nickle as black co mes off when you polish it and chrome doesn't really do that so that's what makes me think pre 1930 as by then chrome was coming into use. 

closed up.

opened up showing attachment spikes.


it's component parts.

In use though I can't bring myself to light it as yet, note the spikes 'grabbing' onto the wooden rail which would be ideal for a headboard in a coaching inn or a bit or WW1 trench woodwork!

Friday, 26 December 2014

familiar unknown: The All-Time Greats

I've not posted for a while due to work and family commitments, however a brief sojourn for Christmas should enable me to take some photos and write a few lines?
It's not even as if I've not had some new to me vintage & retro items come my way over the last few months!

In the meantime if you're into vintage & retro you probably like old films, here's a link to a site a friend and fellow old movie fan sent me recently....well worth a look, cheers Rob!

familiar unknown: The All-Time Greats: 'What do you mean, 'I'm not in it?'  The top ten greatest British character actors of all time? A purely personal c...

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Vintage shawl lapel tuxedo

It never ceases to amaze how cheaply these can be had!  I managed to find a c1930's-1940's double breasted version a while ago and was impressed by the quality and weight compared to more modern tux's.
I didn't even realise I needed another one but when I came across this c 1940's?shawl lapel version in almost NOS condition at a bargain price then I couldn't say no.

sadly no labels at all are present so unsure who made it but fit is pretty much perfect save the normal for me shortening of the legs and arms by an inch or so.,

front view showing shawl lapels in crosgrain silk.

rear view- unvented skirt

inside of lapel showing crosgrain construction.

under collar detail.

3 button cuff.

jetted jacket pocket.

hand sewn internal shoulder lining in white and black silk?

trouser rear right pocket and front fob pocket detail.

other side showing twin inward facing pleats.

waist closure fitting.

button fly closure, waistband in white silk?


pocket watch 'fob' detail.

rear 'notched' trouser back showing one of the brace buttons.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Vintage photo finds-Aster flash and Philips flash bulbs

I've not posted in a while so apologies for that to all dedicated followers of this blog, I've been rather busy what with our first grandchild, the dreaded business of work and a nice almost month long holiday in Spain.

Whilst in Spain I visited a couple of car boot sales as there's always something to be had, however not a lot really took my fancy this time save for this unused 1960's? Aster battery powered flash unit from was 5 euro and even came with a full box box of unused Philips flash bulbs.

As found with Philips bulbs.

Flash unit.

Rear view.

Opened out.

Swivel 'hot shoe' mount arrangement.

Pristine battery compartment.

Bulb close up.

Back of bulb box.

Monday, 23 June 2014

L' EROICA Vintage cycling festival

When I first saw this event advertised some while ago I was somewhat sceptical thinking it would be little else other than a corporate franchise event ...a poor facsimile of the Italian original....however how wrong I was!

Due to family commitments I couldn't make the weekend anyway and as I live fairly close in Chesterfield and get to cycle the very same roads and hills (oh those hills!) on a fairly regular basis I wasn't too worried about missing out.

The event is basically a British version of the original Italian L'Eroica held in Tuscany since 1997 and has certain 'Day rules' namely that;

only the use of 'Heroic' bicycles built before 1987 can participate (some exceptions allowed)

gears, wheels, pedals, toe-clips, straps and machine equipment will be in keeping with the pre 87 ethos. 

Full list of rules etc can be found here;

The British version was to be held in the heart of The Peak District and as luck would have it we managed to go up to Bakewell to the agricultural show-ground where the event was held on the Saturday, first thing we both noticed was that to the public entrance to the site was...wait for it FREE, yes absolutely free...not even a pound, FREE!

The site was very well set out and lively with many food stalls selling quality produce, shops selling vintage and retro clothing- some excellent men's vintage clothing for sale and plenty of it, vintage cycles and cycle parts, picnic sets you name it and it was there...outstanding!
There were musicians, bands and get this pianos located around the site for impromptu piano players, I mean where else would you see that?
Anyway all things considered the entry cost of £70(£55 for the first 500 entrants) seems very good indeed.

The entry fee included;
1. site entry
2. 3 days secure camping
3. free car parking for 1 car
4. event number for jersey and machine
5. Road book to get stamped along the way
6. retro refreshment stops en route
7. event souvenir
8. post ride food
9. pitch for tent caravan or motor-home
Here's a couple of photos of a Holdsworth liveried Ford Cortina with a couple of their newly released Holdsworth machines, sadly my phone battery died after I took these but I am sure there will be loads of photos on the net very soon!

Here's a link to the site;

and the original Italian site here;

I have no affiliation or connection to the event but do have a great love for cycling especially vintage machines and clothing.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Vintage shaving kit 2

Once you start collecting old shaving kit it quickly gets out of control, first it's for the whole kit, the leather case itself, then the different razors, then shaving brushes then the soap and brush container tubes, then you can't decide if you prefer the chrome plated ones or the earlier Bakelite...decisions, decisions anyhow it matters little as it appears my razor acquisition disorder is out of control an, here are a few recent finds I've gathered here and there about the shires;

A very nice and larger than usual gentleman's travelling shaving/bathroom set in calf hide case,the small tin on top contains an unused American made 'Eveready' 1912 razor bought at the same time.

contents, would originally have been two hair brushes, a long clothes brush in one of the side centre pockets opposite is the long cylindrical toothbrush holder, the two tubes in the centre contained a shaving brush in one and shaving soap in the other, also a brown plastic comb and opposite would be a nail fine, the two containers next to the comb are one for a bar of soap the other chrome tin contains the 3 piece razor, the brown bakelite box shown contains a Darwin razor and is not original that is where the other brush would be.

both razors, one is a rather rare Sheffield made 'Darwin' and the other another Sheffield made open comb 'Gillette' copy, also shown is the apparently unused badger bristle shaving brush.  
The Darwin bakelite box after cleaning/polishing.

The cap unscrews via the razors handle end allowing a blade to be fitted.

The nickel plated all brass 'Eveready' 1912 single edged razor.

This razor shaves beautifully.

A 'Two Tix' set found recently completely unused NOS.

Shaving soap still in it's gold foil, shaving brush and razor with 7 'o' clock blade in it's original case. 

The Sheffield made razor built up.

A very recently found and unused English made Gillette 'Rocket' Twist To Open(TTO)

Front end shot, you twist the handle end which opens the head silo doors allowing a blade to be inserted for shaving. 
A job lot bought cheaply off Ebay, the photo wasn't great but worth a bid as they were cheap and appeared to contain an Eveready 'Streamline' and an Eveready blade stropping machine, the left hand two...the three others are various incarnations of Eveready 1912's.  

The 'Streamline'

in component form with an unused NOS single edged blade.

The stropping machine.

and with strop inserted.