Sunday, May 15, 2016

A Myth Which Was Founded In Fact

This weekend Mr Shoestring and I had to stay in town instead of making our escape to Shoestring Cottage.  I had heard vague murmurings from many people about an Eldorado of a thrift shop, but it was the kind of thing which seemed to be too good to be true and I had discounted its existence.  I figured there abound these kind of whisperings about treasure troves full of fabulous goods at wonderfully tiny prices.  But since we were prisoners in the city we decided to set out on an exploratory mission to see whether there really was such a place , fortified first in true Jaffa fashion by large lattes.  It turns out that there is indeed a bargain hunter's paradise in Auckland!  Habitat for Humanity in East Tamaki is just about the best op shop I have ever visited.  Not only is there a dedicated (large) area for vintage goods, they are reasonably priced and beautifully displayed.  Cabinets full of twinkling glassware arranged in colour families, tidily sorted fabrics and cushions, gorgeous furniture from all periods attractively set out like room displays, this place is a Mecca for the treasure seeker.  I saw a beautiful oil painting to add to my collection but Mr Shoestring didn't like it and vetoed my choice, instead insisting on his own selection.

He did allow me this gorgeous art deco lady though as a kind of consolation I suspect,

 and also the marquetry sailing boat which I thought charming.  It reminds me of a 1920s children's book illustration and I think its simple outlines are very appealing.

  But perhaps the best buy in money terms was this wonderful little glass (50 cents) which I fear will set me off on another collecting jag.

 I already have an old magazine about the Queen's visit to New Zealand in 1953 and part of the appeal of the Putaruru Hotel was that it was specially decorated for Her Majesty in the hope that she would spend a night there.  But now I have my very own commemorative glass to recognise the occasion and I feel sure that there must be other similar items languishing in dark and dusty corners all around the country, just awaiting my loving attention.  And if it takes me a long time to track any of them down so much the better really, because to be honest we're not sure of a glass or two, but what fun in the search.

I don't know why but Mr Shoestring has always had a great fondness for coats and jackets and yesterday he excitedly showed me this amazing black wool coat with a fur trim.  (I'm not sure what this fur is, perhaps it is lamb's wool?)

  I resisted buying it because it is so warm and I can't actually imagine any occasion when I might wear it without turning myself into a red faced, sticky, hot and bothered grumpy old lady.  However he insisted it was too good to pass up so we duly bought it and dragged it home to our lair.  I was in need of a restorative cup of tea by this time, let me tell you (as Winston Peters would say), it is extremely heavy.

 But beautifully made and it turns out it is the work of one Aubrey Segal and his work has been mightily praised in English Country Living magazine in the 1970s as being worthy of wear by Princess Anne.  (A bit of a royal theme emerging this week it seems.)  The other two coat makers were Aquascutum and Hardy Amies, so Segal is in good company.  They mentioned that it is reminiscent of the style of the late 1940s and I thought the same, especially because of the buttons and the beautiful triangular trimmings.