Category Archives: Uncategorized

taking care of tapa cloth

Tapa cloth has always played a big role in New Zealand decorating due to its ready availability. Go back thirty years and there was barely a student flat in which someone didn’t have a large tapa (or at least a … Continue reading

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The Balloon-back chair (1830-1850)

No other piece of furniture has had quite the same fall from grace among collectors as has the balloon back dining chair. Once the most highly sought after piece of colonial furniture – a set of ballon-backs, however pert, not … Continue reading

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Shine on Hester Bateman

Because I’m lucky enough to have birthday and Christmas close but not so close that the presents are combined, I have recently been on the receiving end of a few small silvery items gifted by thoughtful friends. Together they tell … Continue reading

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Interesting things with lamps

When I first moved into this house I really only occupied one room – now the Studio – which was then somewhat exposed to the street. This more so once we took out the aluminum joinery and put in enormous … Continue reading

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The secret power of RINSO

As the season of entertaining approached, it was becoming increasingly obvious that the family silver was getting itself into something of a state. Without an army of footmen to keep the silver clean, pieces were slowly descending into a certain … Continue reading

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Merry Christmas from Normie

I have always had an ambiguous relationship to Christmas cards. This may date from the competition I had with my best childhood friend about whose parents were most popular and she effortlessly won. Or it may have been those weird … Continue reading

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The Gloags – twenty five forever

I recently acquired a small book called Simple Furnishing and Arrangement (1921) by Helen & John Gloag. I’ve seen the Gloags’ books in second-hand bookshops over the years but I’ve never really bought them because they seemed a bit fusty. … Continue reading

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the wedding march

Just the other day I was in a fret about the ultimate fate of all the neglected glass and crystal in the world. I was worried enough to take this photo of small, essentially useless, sherry glasses collected on a … Continue reading

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The great silver rush of May 2013

Recently we spotted a little silver tray – three legs and in good solid plate with a little copper showing through – but otherwise unmarked. It was lot 2 in the local sale so it didn’t take long to acquire. … Continue reading

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Setting a handsome table

Setting the table for lunch or dinner, especially when there are guests involved, should be a pleasure. It’s an opportunity to match the type of food being served to the occasion in which it will be eaten.  This is where … Continue reading

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