Mantelpiece June 2018
By Joy Jolliffe, Jun 8 2018 08:38AM
Zoom in to the tangerines. I think our eyes do that anyway with this particular still life. An arrangement of colour, texture, pattern and form. With the Most Modest nod to the classic Dutch still life and interiors paintings. The light in the room is soft and forgiving and the creamy white background has helped too.
The blue glass comport is softened subtlely by an all-over treatment that leaves the exterior dull and the interior still shiny. The incised pattern of overlapping circles varies the transluscence still further. Orange and blue? You can't go wrong there.
The pale wood of the vintage vegetable masher sits in between and helps hold the little unit together. A perfect still life within a still life...
Moving on, another lucky combination happens on the far right of the mantelpiece. The elegant, painted floral comports sit comfortably with a gritty rustic pot. This time it's the two tulips that help to make it work. The pot is truly rustic and truly gritty and I love it. It has a rough surface and lots of impurities and colour variations in the clay. And then you see the pale blue line that runs almost all the way around the shoulder and that takes it from the ordinary to the magic. I don't know who made it but I do know it's beautiful.
The ruby red borders on the two comports are edged with a fine gold pattern adding to the deep warmth of their colour. Each has a delicately painted spray of flowers using a perfectly chosen palette of colours. There's a chalky yellow and a soft turquoise in both that'll make your heart sing.
Next, we have the tale of two pots, but only one has a happy ending. The blue and white Poole coffee pot was a gem. Did you notice the past tense there? We do love this deep dark blue range and were very pleased to discover a little clutch of pieces. We always give our china finds a gentle handwash and that was when a piece of the rim simply fell away into my hand. I hadn't noticed the repair and I'm glad that we found it before a disappointed customer did.
The Kiln Craft tea pot has the happy ending. It's big, it's balanced and it's pristine clean. The 'Bachuus' border print is period perfect and the lid closes tight with a neat little twist.