Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Regency Lovelies at Poppies Cottage

The lovely owner at Poppies Cottage has some awesome Regency items for sale over at her online shop 'Poppies Cottage'. How she finds these incredible pieces, I'll never know!!

So at the moment there is a stunningly beautiful and almost perfect Regency Reticule with ribbon and chenille work on offer (and the price is extremely reasonable!). The wonderful part of shopping at Poppies Cottage is that 1) this lady knows her stuff, and 2), as much provenance and information as possible is given with each item. Also, if she is not sure, the owner will say so, so you feel very safe when choosing what to add to your antique fashions collection. Even if you are not looking to purchase, and you are simply a fan of the Regency period and its fashions, you will learn much.

Now I must admit to being a bit ignorant when it comes to the various forms of embroidery. She writes along with the piece:

"Ribbonwork is always beautiful, if well done. Often it is difficult to date, because the revival of the craft in the late 19th Century was also very fine.
However, just one look at this superb reticule or pouch tells us immediately that it is Regency. This is because the delightful ribbonwork is joined by fine chenille work, the 'pipecleaner' chenille threads being carefully couched with the finest of silk thread to form flower heads and the structure of a flower basket to one side.
Each side is a different picture, both equally gorgeous. The flower heads of ribbonwork would include fine silk ribbons from France, in pinks creams and citrine yellow, so typical of the Georgian years.
The centres of each flower are French knots in silk thread and all of the larger flowers stand proud of the surface, some by the build up of ribbon, but one or two being padded and stuffed from below."

The other very interesting piece that she has on her site at the moment is an intriguing Regency Gentleman's Nightcap - so fascinating.

"The cap is labelled by a collector as wool and early 19th Century. It doesn't look or feel like wool, but wool would have been far warmer. Imagine the draughty, unlit and unheated bedrooms of the Regency period! Brrrrrrh! As the head looses more heat than any other part of the body, no wonder that a bed cap was essential! Clever Regency people!
The most interesting part of the cap is the top. Although there are no seams along the length, the knitter clearly had no idea how to reduce the sides to meet in the middle, so created 4 squared short joins to the pinnacle, so as to bring it to a peak! And how are there no vertical seams? was 'knitting in the round' possibly 200 years ago? I really need to research knitting."

She writes with such enthusiasm and fun, that she often makes me smile!

There is also a gorgeous Regency shawl, with no damage, and a Romantic Era dressing sacque! Wonderful!