The annual singing of the Mary Poppins hit happened yesterday!
"Chim chim-in-ey, chim chim-in-ey, Chim chim cher-ee!
A sweep is as lucky, as lucky can be, Chim chim-in-ey, chim chim-in-ey
Chim chim cher-oo! Good luck will rub off when I shakes 'ands with you."
For nearly 20 years every September we have our chimney swept in preparation for the winter to come and the lighting of the open fire and, as in previous years, the magical moment when the sweep's brush appears through the top of the chimney is accompanied by that verse. Many would say it bought infamy to Dick van Dyke whose torture of the cockney accent brings tears to many true Londoners' eyes!
I did shake the sweep's hand and I think the good luck has already started to rub off onto me with the purchase of a delightful Regency Period Mahogany Duet Music Stand with original candle holders etc. I think this will go nicely into my November Exhibition "The Gentleman's Library".
I thought you might appreciate the invitation to the Esher Fair next month as I am not sure whether I have your postal address. Please do print this and use it to gain entrance to the fair if you are in the vicinity when it is on. I enjoy doing this fair as it has a nice atmosphere with good dealers in a prime area within easy distance from London and of course I am always delighted to meet new clients. I have spent some time this week deciding which items to take to the fair and it is always a bit of a juggling act and amongst others making the journey will be the Kingwood Cabinet on Chest , George III Serpentine Chest, Chippendale Period Carved Mahogany Tripod Table, Oyster Veneered Chest of Drawers and Marquetry Longcase Clock . All of these are recent acquisitions and none have been to the fair before. The full list comprises some 25 pieces of furniture with pictures, mirrors and works of art, candlesticks, fenders, fire-irons etc.as well.
One of the things about Antique Furniture Dealers is that we all spend lots of time on our hands and knees but the rewards are seeing sights like this support for the tripod table. It really is about as good as it gets and the rest of the table is equally superb. Another table which I intend to show at the Fair is this very pretty Sheraton Period Mahogany and Satinwood Dressing Table which is taken directly from designs in Thomas Sheraton's Cabinetmaker and Upholsterer's Drawing Book.
The beauty of these items is of course that when people acquire expensive fitted bedrooms they seldom think " and what do I do with this when I move house?" In the case of a dressing table like this or a chest of drawers such as the ones I am taking to Esher the answer is simple - they move with you. Fitted Furniture is for now, antiques can be for life!
I started my day with a stroll across a meadow with the fresh dew heavy on the ground and the spiders webs all sparkling with moisture captured by the early rising sunlight. The day will finish on a very different note as I must see the England v Wales Rugby World Cup clash which promises to be titanic affair. As it doesn't start until 8 o'clock this evening and there is an autumnal chill in the air, I may well be disposed to testing if the sweep has done his work properly by lighting the fire. There is something comforting about the scent of woodsmoke accompanied by a glass of beaujolais!
I hope your weekend is as good as mine or as Bert the Chimneysweep in Mary Poppins had it,
"Though I spends me time in the ashes and smoke
In this 'ole wide world there's no 'appier bloke."