Thursday, 29 March 2012

And the winner is……

Do you like my pretty bowl?  

Congratulations's you!

Well done Claudine an email is on the way to you.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to enter. 

Monday, 26 March 2012

Mabel Lucie Attwell - please remember - don't forget - never leave the bathroom wet!

Back in the nineteen fifties no home was complete without a Mabel Lucie Attwell wall plaque or biscuit-tin money box. Sadly, my sister, brother and I missed out on the money box but we did have a rather rusty tin plaque in the bathroom. I loved the words on that plaque and can still recite them some 50 years later –

Please remember - don't forget - never leave the bathroom wet.
Nor leave the soap still in the water that's a thing we never ought'er.
Nor leave the towels about the floor. Nor keep the bath an hour or more when other folks are wanting one. Please don't forget - it isn't done! But if you really do the thing, there's not the slightest need to sing.

You can still buy reproduction plaques like the one pictured here, but they omit the last two lines of the poem.  – See updates at the end of this post.

Mabel Lucie Attwell was born on the 4th June, 1879 in Mile End, London and was educated at the Coopers’ Company school. Later, she funded her own studies at Heatherley’s and St. Martin’s school of art (1895-1900) but disliking formal training, completed neither course.

Turning to commissions for illustrated gift books, she produced the first of her highly successful children’s annuals in 1922 and three years later, was elected to the Society of Women Artists.

A prolific worker, with a keen business sense, she also designed postcards, posters, figurines, advertisements and calendars. Later her designs were used on ornaments and crockery.

Thanks to Bevi Kinnear from Woolvey Antiques for the following information - Both Mabel Lucy Attwell and her husband Harold Cecil Earnshaw were seeing some success in their respective careers as illustrators when they married on Mabel's 29th birthday, June 4th 1908. Their first child, a daughter, was born on May 13th 1909. Marjorie Joan, known as 'Peggy', was the inspiration for Mabel's "Chubbies". Peggy Earnshaw became an artist in her own right. She married Michael Wickham and went under Peggy Wickham for much of her work. The family moved to the south of London before adding two brothers for Peggy; Max (known as Peter) in 1911 and Brian in 1914. In the mid 1930s, Mabel lost both her youngest son, Brian (1934), and her husband Harold (1937).

At the end of the Second World War, she settled in Fowey, Cornwall, with her son Peter and remained there until her death in 1964.

Mabel Lucie Attwell illustrations were extremely popular when I was growing up, and no birthday or Christmas was complete without a card featuring one of her winsome children. I recall carefully pasting them into a scrap album, but I've no idea what happened to it when I grew up. Such a shame, I would love to look at it again.

Further reading; Chris Beetles’ biography of Mabel Lucie Attwell, published by Pavilion Books in 1985.

Updates to this post;

I’ve just received an email from ‘John’ reminding me of another line  –
 "And as you've been so often told, Never let the hot run cold"
 Thank you John, I'm not quite sure where the line fits, but I remember it too.

Several people have asked me where they can buy a Mabel Lucie Attwell plaque. My reply is always the same – I've seen them advertised on Amazon and on eBay in the past, but I don't know if there are any available at the moment. The other places  to try are vintage markets/shops. If you know of any other suppliers, please let me know so I can pass the information on. 

Thank you to ‘Shirley’ (see comments) for adding another line - Who will forget the chain to pull
Who leaves the basin nearly full of dirty water, suds of soap and such like things. Not you I hope?
Further update January, 2013.

Florence contacted me to say she also remembers the ‘and as you've been so often told never let the hot run cold’ line and thinks it goes like this;

Please remember - don't forget - never leave the bathroom wet.
Nor leave the soap still in the water that's a thing we never ought'er.
And as you've been so often told never let the hot run cold.
Nor leave the towels about the floor. Nor keep the bath an hour or more when other folks are wanting one. Please don't forget - it isn't done! But if you really do the thing, there's not the slightest need to sing.

It's always worth reading the comments section underneath this post to see if more information has been added.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Primroses and Flower Fairies

Primroses flowering in our garden.

The Primrose Fairy from Cecily Mary Barker's Book of the Flower Fairies

The Primrose opens wide in spring; her scent is sweet and good: It smells of every happy thing in sunny lane and wood. She's dear to folk throughout the land, in her is nothing mean, she freely spreads on every hand her petals pale and clean. 

Primroses and fairies on the front cover 

I adore spring flowers and you? Happy Spring!

The book of the flower fairies is now sold, thank you for your interest. 

Friday, 23 March 2012

A very good week!

A quick rundown of events;

Mother’s day on Sunday included a visit to Terry’s parents, lunch out and a book fair. Mum-in-law loved her gifts and card; the lunch was excellent, and the book fair exceeded expectations. I bought lots of lovely stock to keep me busy for the next few weeks. We don’t see our son on Mother’s day because he lives in  Australia, but we had a long chat on the ‘phone on Saturday, and our daughter in law keeps us up to date by email and Facebook.

Monday was a gorgeous spring day, chilly but with beautiful sunshine and a deep blue-sky, so a quick walk around the magnificent grounds at Stourhead was a must. Stourhead is just half an hour from where we live and being members of the National Trust we can visit as often as we like.

Tuesday saw us making a return trip to Bristol to purchase more stock from a family we visited last year. I wrote about that first visit here. Terry had only just come out of hospital on that occasion and as the books are housed on the top floor (the servants' quarters - as they once were) of a four-story town house, we had to leave a lot behind. We promised to return at a later date and on Tuesday; we fulfilled that promise.    

Wednesday – blogging, Tweeting, Tribber, Pinterest, oh yes and listing some of the lovely new stock.

Thursday included lunch with a friend in Wimborne Minster. Wimborne is a lovely town, and the perfect place to meet. Felicity retired on Tuesday so this was a celebratory lunch. We have been friends for almost forty years, and although we only see each other once or maybe twice a year we always pick up the conversation exactly where we left off! We had lunch in a pretty Italian restaurant – pasta (of course), a nice glass of white wine, profiteroles and a delicious cappuccino – perfect. It was just a couple of hours out of a busy day but thoroughly enjoyable. 

On Thursday evening, I noticed this Tweet from Zoe at Playing by the book RT @Tesco Magazine here's the Kids' Book Clubs round-up of top 10 book blogs big excitement when I found my blog on the list!

Tesco Kids’ Book Club

Thank you Zoe and Tesco a perfect ending to a perfect day! There are some amazing blogs on the list. I’m familiar with some but others are new to me. I plan to spend the weekend getting to know them all.    

Now it’s Friday, and I must knuckle down and list some of the new stock. Never a hardship, but it does take me ages because I find myself reading at least part of every single book.

One corner of my office with books waiting to be listed.

I hope you’ve all had a wonderful week, thanks for taking the time to call in.  

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Book of the week; We've tales to tell published by Raphael Tuck c1894

We've tales to tell; a collection of stories written by Helen Marion Burnside, Edric Vredenberg, E. Nesbit, Clara Thwaites, Elizabeth Day and E. M. Chettle.
Published by Raphael Tuck & Sons, London, Paris, New York. Undated but gift inscription 'for dear little Dorothy with love from Uncle Noel & Auntie Chick Feb 13, 1894'
Featuring seven very fine chromolithographed illustrations and numerous black and white line drawings.
Illustrated by Harriett M Bennett, Jane Willis Grey, J Pauline Sunter, Ellen Welby, Fanny Bowers, Inez Warry and Fanny Moody.
The tales are; the queen of a castle, the fairy stone, Miss Janet, how Jack came to tea, Bevis, Simpkins, and a crooked tail.

Raphael Tuck & Sons; 

Raphael Tuck and his wife Ernestine opened a picture framing shop and art gallery in Bishopgate, London in October 1866. Three years later they moved to a larger shop in City Road, and Raphael began to produce lithographs and colour chromolithographs. By 1870, his sons had joined the business, and the focus was turned to the import and publication of printed paper products, including books and postcards. By 1881, Raphael had retired and his sons were running the company. It was at this time that the now-familiar company trademark, an artist’s easel and palette, was registered. The company was awarded its first Royal Warrant by Queen Victoria in 1893. Ernestine died in 1895, and Raphael’s health began to fail.

By the end of the nineteenth-century Raphael Tuck & Sons were major publishers of Christmas cards, scraps, paper dolls, books, calendars and prints. In 1899 a new head office (Raphael House) was opened in the City.  Raphael died from influenza in March 1900 but his sons continued to expand the business and were later joined by their own sons.

During the Second World War the company headquarters, archives and many original artworks were destroyed. Work continued in several small locations around the city, and at the end of the war things returned to the fortunes of pre-war days. The business continued through to the 1960s when it was acquired by Purnell & Sons.

If you would like to find out more about Raphael Tuck and sons, there is a very good website here

I hope you enjoyed seeing some of the illustrations from this very pretty antiquarian book.

Update January 2016.  'Wendy' contacted me to say she owns a copy of a book with the same title as the one I show here but with a completely different front cover. Wendy tells me her book is printed on very heavy paper and has only one colour illustration. Her copy also has an inscription with the date 1935 (see images).

From the cover, I can see this is a book from the Raphael Tuck & Sons “come to life” series with one pop-up panorama. Wendy doesn't say what stories her book contains so I'm unsure if her book is a reprint with fewer illustrations or a completely different book with the same title. I suspect Raphael Tuck & Sons reused titles as did/do many other publishers. Sadly, in 1940 Raphael Tuck was bombed in the blitz of London, and the records from the business were destroyed.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Three gifts one lucky person; a brand new book, a vintage book and a postcard!

Oh! Poor Amelia Jane!  The Heritage Card Company sent me a copy of this new edition of a popular Edwardian children’s story written and illustrated by Kathleen Ainslie. It tells the story of the accident-prone Amelia Jane in ‘hand-written’ text, and bright colourful illustrations.

A Sunday trip by E. J. Romanes with four black and white illustrations by ‘H.R’ published by S. W. Partridge, London, undated but a gift inscription ‘to Hilda, from Ralph Xmas 1914’. The postcard that follows was found in the above book so I’ve included it in the giveaway.

Mere et enfants (Mother and children) by Auguste Renoir. Frick Collection, New York. Editions Hazan, Paris. Unused but it does have two small pin holes in the top edge.

Now for the fine print:
· giveaway runs from friday 16th March to Thursday 29th March 2012.
· one winner will be randomly selected.
· the winner will be announced on Thursday 29th March 2012.
· open to readers worldwide.
· to enter, please leave a comment and follow this blog.

Good luck!

Giveaway now closed, thank you for entering. 

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Added Value: Things found in books - Calendula Officinalis

A supplement to the Amateur gardening magazine dated 4th January,1936. Calendual Officinalis "Orange King" a popular variety of the the old Scotch Marigold. A single sheet with a poem written on the back;

Before the beginning of years,
There came to the making of man
Time, with a gift of tears;
Grief, with a glass that ran;
Pleasure, with pain for leaven;
Summer, with flowers that fell;
Remembrance fallen from heaven,
And madness risen from hell;
Strength without hands to smite;
Love that endures for a breath;
Night, the shadow of light,
And life, the shadow of death.
And the high gods took in hand
fire, and the falling of tears,
and a measure of sliding sand
from under the feet of the years; 
And froth and drift of the sea; And dust of the laboring earth; And bodies of things to be in the houses of death and birth; And wrought with weeping and laughter, and fashioned with loathing and love, with life before and after, and death below and above. For a day and a night and a morrow, that his strength might endure for a span, with travail and heavy sorrow, The holy spirit of man.
From the winds of the north and the south, they gathered as unto strife; They breathed upon his mouth, they filled his body with life; Eyesight and speech they wrought for the veils of the soul therein, a time for labor and thought, a time to serve and to sin; They gave him light in his ways, and love, and a space for delight; And beauty and length of days, and night, and sleep in the night.His speech is a burning fire; With his lips he travaileth; In his heart is a blind desire, in his eye foreknowledge of death; He weaves, and is clothed with derision; Sows, and he shall not reap; His life is a watch or a vision. Between a sleep and a sleep.

Chorus from 'Atalanta in Calydon' by Algernon Charles Swinburn (1837-1909) 

Found in The silent playmate a collection of doll stories. Published by Victor Gollancz, 1979.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Jack and Me illustrated by Helen Jacobs

One of the joys of searching for second-hand books is receiving catalogues from other booksellers. One such catalogue dropped through my letterbox recently and one book, in particular, caught my eye.

The catalogue description was fairly brief; Jacobs, Helen (illustrator) Jack and me a story for Children by Maude S. Forsey, 1st 1919. Four colour plates, including a frontispiece. A Little boy and girl living in London have measles, go by train to Dorset and gradually sense they are growing up.  

I haven’t read anything by Maud Forsey, and a quick on-line search came up with only two matches. One, an unpublished manuscript held by Southampton University and the other a book called Mollie Hazeldene's schooldays published in 1924.

Helen Jacobs, however, is a well-known and popular illustrator so decision made, book ordered, and here it is...

Jack’s sister Mollie is the ‘me’ in the title; she is also the narrator.

The lamplighter and the muffin man with his cry of “Hokey, Pokey, Penny a lump” are all part of Mollie and Jack’s life in Victorian London. Mollie and Jack live with their mother, father and two sisters in a ‘tall London home’ where they entertain numerous cousins, aunts and other relatives. The story is told in the form of a diary with each chapter concentrating on one or two incidents.

One chapter deals with the issue of a little doorway on the landing. Mollie is sure a lion lives behind the door, but Jack insists it’s the home of a bogeyman.

Another chapter talks about the death of Mollie and Jack’s kitten. "There was our Jet, weak, panting, and dying. He seemed to recognize us, and then he rolled over dead."

Happier episodes concentrate on Mollie and Jack’s summer holidays spent in Devon with their aunts and grandmother. Their parents don’t accompany them on any of these holidays, and it’s left to the reader to surmise why.

When the story ends Mollie is fifteen and about to be sent away to finishing school. It’s at this point that Mollie and Jack’s surname ‘Hazeldene’ is mentioned.  So I assume Mollie Hazeldeen’s schooldays is a continuation of their story. The more I think about it the more I wonder if the story could be autobiographical. Is it possible that Mollie might, in fact, be Maude Forsey?

I could be completely and absolutely wrong but the story certainly reads more like a factual account than a made-up tale.

Has anyone read Jack and me or Mollie Hazeldeen's schooldays or anything else by Maude Forsey? What do you think? Could it be autobiographical?

Update February 2014.  I always enjoy receiving emails like this one from John:

I know a little about Maud Forsey. As a child, aged c.6, I stayed at her cottage in Bridport, Dorset. My father was killed in the war and one of my Guardians was a Brian Forsey, her nephew. We always called her Cousin Maud. She was a great story teller, and used to read from "Jack and Me" – I remember how she explained why it was Jack and "me" and not "I"!   I thought it was slightly autobiographical. 
We exchanged Christmas cards until 1950ish, I may have one somewhere, always signed, in v. neat writing, “Cousin Maud".

I’m very grateful to John for allowing me to share his memories.

Update October 2015. I'm pasting this comment here in case anyone should miss it.

Maude Forsey was at Truro Training College with my Grandmother Gwendoline Carveth, and was my Mother's Godmother. All 3 books are based on her life: She was 'Mollie', 'Jack' was her brother, Emeritus Professor of Classics at Southampton University. Mollie Hazledene's friend was based on my Grandmother (same initials), Norah O'Flanigan is dedicated to my Mother. 

Thursday, 8 March 2012

The Cecil Aldin painting book and a gay dog

I was lucky enough to find not one but two Cecil Aldin books last week. This beautiful edition of a gay dog (the story of a foolish year), and The Cecil Aldin painting book.

William Heinemann published a gay dog in 1905 later editions were re-named the Rascal.

From the moment this little bulldog puppy is taken home in a hansom cab, he finds himself in trouble.

This heart-warming tale set in Edwardian London follows a year of his life, as told by the dog himself. He is very fond of Pammy his new mistress but can't help getting into mischief. Silk stockings and nail polish are so much fun!

Visits to Ascot and Henley Regatta

end in tears.

When his mistress gets a part in a play, the little dog gets stage fright! Visits to Ostend lead him into all sorts of adventures and yet more trouble. In the end, it's decided a life in the country might suit him better. The little dog is sad to leave the gaiety of London but soon settles into a simpler way of life.

My second find was the Cecil Aldin painting book, engraved and printed by Henry Stone in 1915.

One of the paintings has been neatly completed, but the fact that it has survived at all is quite incredible.


Update July 2016: The featured books are now sold, thank you for your interest. March House books closed on my retirement in 2015, but I am still happily blogging here at March of Time Books. Your visits are always appreciated.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Farm Fun

A selection of farm related books for children young and old;

Farm Fun: Seven stories from Green Willow Farm, including farewell to the swallows, in the woods, fun in the snow, and the scarecrow. Published by Blackie c1944. Written by Elizabeth Gould with super colour and black/white illustrations by Eileen Soper.

The Tractor by Pamela Rogers; The old tractor has broken down once and for all. It seems as if the only answer is to sell it, but Grandpa won't give up, there must be some other way. Portrait of a Country Artist: Charles Tunnicliffe was raised on a small farm in Cheshire. The only son of a country farmer, he was expected to take over his father's smallholding, but his talent as an artist set him apart and instead of farming he took a scholarship to the Royal College of Art in London. His first major success came in 1932 with his illustrations for Tarka the otter from this brilliant start he went on to illustrate dozens of books for well-known authors. He also produced several books of his own. This book features a sample from Tunnicliffe's enormous output of work. Ian Niall's portrait described the life of a down-to-earth countryman and totally dedicated artist. Charlotte's Webb by E. B White; Children will be entranced with Charlotte the spider, Wilbur the pig and Fern, the little girl who understands their language. 

Charlie on the run by Elizabeth Rose; Nobody can plough a straighter furrow or manage a wagon load of hay better than Fred the ploughman and Charlie his old horse. Charlie and Fred do everything together, even eating their lunch at the same time. However, one terrible day a snorting monster comes roaring across the yard with Mr. Greenshanks at the wheel. Mr. Greenshanks is sure the new tractor will plough twice as fast as Charlie and plans to sell Charlie at the next horse fair...

Strangers at the farm school by Josephine Elder The Farm School has become so popular it needs to be enlarged to accommodate more students, among the new students are two Jewish refugees.Annis Best and the older pupils must unite to welcome the newcomers and preserve the unique character of the school. Timothy John and Mr. Murphy by George Nash: Mr. Murphy is an Irish farmer and Timothy John his unpredictable donkey. Timmy the donkey can roller-skate and talk and is therefore, much coveted by Mr. Fracklestein, the manager of the circus... Down on the farm by R. & M. Polkinghorne Jerry goes on a visit to Dovecot farm. Pretty book with illustrations by Ernest Aris.

Among the horses by Chas Herbert; While staying with Farmer Bicknell the twins Judy and Jude learn to ride a pony. Old MacDonald had a farm illustrated by Prue Theobalds; Sing along with Old MacDonald as you follow him through the year, from lambing in the spring to the Christmas celebrations. Lucy Mouse keeps a secret by Jane Pilgrim; The very popular Blackberry Farm books were first published by the Brockhampton Press in the 1950s; this one is a reprint from 2002. The series described events on a fictional farm and the lives of  Mr. and Mrs. Smiles and their children, Joy and Bob.

Do you have any farm books in your collection?

Update July 2016: All the books featured are now sold. March House books closed on my retirement in 2015, but I am still happily blogging here at March of Time Books. Your visits are always appreciated.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Toot Toot!

Do you hear that? That’s me blowing my own trumpet!

I was browsing online and happened upon the beautiful Uber Collection website.

This is the introduction from the homepage -

The Uber Collection is the UK's foremost website showcasing a wealth of information about the items and services required for a lifestyle of luxury and exclusivity. We have carefully selected a range of exceptional providers covering areas as diverse as travelling, home interiors, finance, schools, jewellery, yachts and more.

So out of curiosity I typed ‘antique books’ into the search box, and up popped four listings, including March House Books! Thank you Uber Collection, March House Books is delighted to be part of your stunning website.

Definition – Uber
Word: German, from über over, beyond
1: being a superlative example of its kind or class
2: to an extreme or excessive degree

If you have the time don’t miss a visit to this beautiful site, a place where dreams really can come true!

That’s quite enough of my boasting, normal service will be resumed tomorrow. I’ve got farm books on my mind!
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