Wednesday, 30 January 2013

A Most Serendipitous Vintage Find

It was one of those strange weeks last week where all routine goes out of the window. I was lucky enough to benefit from a snow day on the Monday, and then my working days for the rest of the week were shuffled round, and so it was I found myself ambling round Chesterfield Flea Market on a Thursday.

Having arrived with my parents, and stopped off for a quick chinwag with Debs of Once Was... Beatrix and I soon wandered off on our own, noseying at stalls packed with vintage crockery, lace and linen, books and brass.

Bea pulled me over to one particular stall having cottoned on to the potential for fuss and attention from three male stallholders (such a flirt) and it was there I spotted this.




I could tell it was Beatrix Potter, but couldn't immediately recognise the scene. All I knew is that any picture by Ms. Potter depicting guinea pigs was meant to be mine. Anyway, at three pounds I took the curious framed print home, did some scouting and pootling about on the internet, and lo and behold, it turns out to be a picture of the scene from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, in which Bill the lizard is bundled down the White Rabbit's chimney, and where he is booted out again by a rather enlarged Alice. Potter seems to have added the guinea pigs herself, as they don't appear in the book.




I may have done a happy jig at this discovery, as it so happens that not only am I a huge fan of all things Alice and Beatrix Potter, but I have been known to impersonate Bill the lizard's terrible Cockney accent in the Disney film ("Why, guv'nor, I've cleaned more chimneys...") and when life throws situations at me that I can neither explain nor do anything about, you'll often hear me muttering, "Well, there goes Bill..." (I may also have a slight infatuation with the dodo - "No co-operation, no co-operation at all.")




A most serendipitous and interesting find; this one will be joining my new collection of pictures on my alcove wall. Once it's had a good clean and I've untaped the print to see if it has anything else to tell me, of course!



14 comments:

  1. A lovely find ... so sweet. I always think unframing a pic is the best bit - the anticipation of possibly finding something squirreled away behind! M x

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    1. I appear to be putting it off, not sure why! I'll take the plunge this weekend. x

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  2. Wow - what an amazing find. Hope you find something else really exciting :)

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  3. Isn't it great when you find something that is meaningful to you! Fabulous!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

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  4. What a great find, I love anything Beatrix Potter

    been reading through your blog and like the thread spools also

    Also like you happy dog

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    1. Thank you very much, from me and my happy dog! x

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  5. What can I say?! It's Alice in Wonderland and Beatrix Potter rolled into one, life is complete! I think I have this illustration in one of my Potter biographies, and it, as is all her work, is gorgeous! xx

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    1. I knew you'd like it! Interesting it's in one of the biographies, I had to Google 'Beatrix Potter + guinea pigs + lizard' to get anywhere and still only know the very basics about it. x

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  6. ooh and let us know if you find anything behind the frame!! xx

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  7. It's beautiful! Oooh I'm curious about anything being behind the frame too :)

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  8. Oh what a fantastic find. Really beautiful picture. Find anything behind the frame yet??
    Rosie

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  9. Alas, nothing behind the frame I'm afraid! I will clean and re-hang it and enjoy my serendipitous find, though :)

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