Our mantelpiece is an ever changing composition. Change one thing and everything changes. When the picture is taken that moment is held.

Life is stilled. A still life.


This is a shop window for the ok corral.


We created the ok corral because we find so many lovely things but we didn't want to keep all the lovely things - just some of them.

By Joy Jolliffe, Sep 20 2019 10:52AM

That 1887 plate. A redware body with colourful slipware decoration and in the middle, the date it was made. The floral design, in soft cream, yellow and mint green, flows like a river and was created by an experienced hand. Can it possibly be 130 years old? I love the thought of it and I'm going for a 'yes'!

Next to the plate another studio piece stands. A mid-size grey and brown jug that comes to us from the 1970s. The ridges from the maker's wheel are still visible and are part of the texture of the decoration. I love the mellow soft colours and the simple contemporary feel these pieces have. They're very quiet. No maker's mark unfortunately.

Small mirrors are so easy to live with and bring extra light into the room. As we head towards winter that's something we'll start to appreciate again. We have two very different styles here but equally lovely depending on your personal taste. The small wrought-ironwork mirror is very decorative. The metal frame avoids being fussy as it's fairly heavy gauge with lots of age and patination. The bevelled glass is beautiful too and adds elegance to a strong design.

The colour of the wooden framed mirror has aged to perfection. It's warm and golden brown and frames glass that is foxed and speckled. The old glass gives a mellow reflection, something that I love.

The divided box came from a workshop and was very dirty when we found it. It stands up as you can see for display or lies flat on its back for small-piece-storage. There's a groove along the raised side that once held a sliding lid. Such a nice thing but really, you would not have liked it in it's grimy state. It's been vigorously cleaned and brushed over with a grey/green oil based paint and is now fit for use again.

The long grey tin is a masterpiece of tins. Sadly the text on the lid is beginning to wear but I can tell you that it's a Doctor's Set sponsored by Elastoplast. We'll post it onto our website soon and then you'll see the full glory of the interior. It has a double lid, I guess for hygiene, and is divided into sections. These sections used to house bandages and First Aid equipment and the contents are listed on the inside of the lid. Battleship grey with black lettering, strong and utilitarian.

The bowl on the extreme left of the mantelpiece is Dutch. It's base is full of information and it's stamped GOUDA HOLLAND. It's highly decorative and richly coloured. The bold central floral design is circled by a fine line pattern in brown and ochre which runs around the smooth wide rim. Highly original and showing a little age we decided to pop it onto the website and see if anyone else likes it too.

By Joy Jolliffe, Aug 9 2019 12:38PM

The neat cane basket on the left is an interesting one. I really like the colour. The cane is bleached and it may well have already spent many hours in the sun. It could be from a tropical island, a souvenir from a sun-drenched holiday. It's rigid and in very good condition. It has a hinged lid so would be good for picnics and it can easily carry two large flasks or piles of sandwiches or a towel, sun cream and books.

If all that talk of sunshine has made you thirsty, we have that covered too. The two tea canisters have very contrasting styles. The one on the left is a pierced metal container with lid. The whole point of the chinoiserrie style decorative piercing is that it sits over the red liner. These two pieces often get separated which is a shame, they're made for each other!

The green tin is perfect too, in it's own way. The canister has a ridged surface and is mellow faded vintage green. TEA is written in gold lettering which is still shiney and clear. It's a proper kitchen canister, that's to say, clearly used every day for many years. All the wear and fading testify to that fact which is why we love these things. This is living domestic history. Who owned it? What kind of kitchen did it sit in?

If tea's not your bag then prepare your coffee beans in this cheerful red and white grinder. The metal's all good and the finish is just getting chippy. Red and white just shouts Switzerland to me but there are no labels and no branding to support me on this. Sheer guesswork on my part but it's still a nice looking piece.

Mid-century mirrors surface fairly regularly but this one's a little bit different. It's better than average quality with a wooden back and strong secure metalwork. I like the elegant, slim, oval shape too. Also, it has two hooks, one on either side, integral to the design. The mirror looks so pretty with jewellery hanging from the hooks, adding extra glam and glitter.

The large round tray is stunning, in lovely condition and decorated with a very intricate multi-coloured design. It's made from rigid papier-maché and it looks great propped up on a shelf in amongst your other treasures and so pretty as a table centrepiece.

Pop in to our online shop soon. You'll find all the Still Life Interior mantelpiece items for sale there.

By Joy Jolliffe, Jul 3 2019 12:58PM

Two small groups, one at each end of the mantelpiece, not quite meeting in the middle as the colours didn't 'work'. Several of the usual suspects are here but we only ever choose the best and we have some absolute treasures this month.

If you like flowers (don't we all love flowers?) these should make you happy. The floral tray is summer on a ... tray! It's an excellent example, in such good condition, wipe clean - all of those practical things - and it's COVERED in roses. Lots of pink and big, blooming flowers. So decorative but useful too. Cup of tea in the garden? Perfect.

The gorgeous peachy/orange roses, an oil on canvas in vintage style, has just SOLD. I'm sorry, but it's hardly surprising, it's very lovely. Each rose is a mass of colours - yellows, reds, pinks - and gorgeously dramatic against the moody background.

Equally glorious is the amber glass pitcher, (I felt 'jug' was too humble a word). It's lived a long and charmed life, glowing and glistening in a quiet corner waiting for this moment. It's perfect and deserves to be centre stage on someone's table.

When we choose enamel pieces the term 'perfect' has to be qualified. There is a moment of perfection when vintage enamel has retained it's colour and practical usefulness but has gained a few chips and knocks. Then it feels truly genuine, vintage and loved. This sky blue, shallow dish has reached that stage of perfection.

The little bird print, framed by the sky blue dish, is another perfect piece. A neat little goldfinch resting among the pink flowers. The bird's colours are bright and beautiful and the whole lovely thing was originally painted by Vestey Rich.

The red box at the other end of the mantelpiece is in fact a tin. It too has reached that state of patina perfection, with a brick red painted surface that is worn but wonderful. The lid is closed with a sturdy clip and the handle is secure. The interior is divided into two sections, which begs the question - what was this tin made for? Something mechanical? Something scientific? If you know, we'd love to hear from you.


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