The 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 there are so many lovely things but we didn't want to keep all the lovely things - just some of them.

Mantelpiece November 2016

By Joy Jolliffe, Nov 13 2016 03:35PM

We're just edging into Christmas here at the OK Corral. Sparkly things and gorgeous gifts are being added gradually to the shelves. Laid out along the front of the mantelpiece is a line of vintage tree baubles. They survive because they're so treasured. The colours mellow and the images have become unfashionable and they linger in the box in the loft. They hold such precious memories tho' that we can't actually throw them away. Fortunately, this group made their way to us, where they know they'll be appreciated.

The two silvered goblets have a mellow twinkle too. We love their tarnished antique glory. We wouldn't dream of polishing them and much prefer the patina of age. In candlelight they make magic.

While we're on the subject of twinkle and light, let's talk about the enamel candlestick, candle holder, chamber stick... They carry a lot of social history too on their chippy shoulders. They look well used because they were well used, vital and comforting in the days before universal domestic electricity. Often produced in strong bright colours, they fit in so well with our contemporary interiors. This deep red is warm and Christmassy and it's earned it's place in the picture.

If you love coastal things (we do) then you'll love the Palissy sauceboat, from the red Regatta design range. The image of a yacht in full sail is echoed by the generous curved handle. On the back are some screaming gulls. More red, it must be the time of year!

We have the last of our fibreglass-tray-haul on the mantelpiece. It's the largest and the most decorative. The stylised plants scramble and spread over the surface and that fuchsia pink is extremely glam. They're very light to carry even when they're laden with Christmas drinks but they work beautifully in the bathroom or bedroom too, for all those bottles and trinkets.

Right in the middle I think we may have our biggest ever tin. It is stunning, with a display of the prettiest flowers on the lid. Unfortunately, you can't see the best bit in this picture. The base and sides are printed in pink and white candy stripes. The exact colours of traditional seaside rock or sweetshop sunshades. The tin will be for sale on the OK shelves soon and you'll be able to see for yourselves.

The lovely Tulips print was snapped up the minute it reached the shelves. SOLD already and only on display for moments. It's not surprising tho' it's gorgeous. From a watercolour by R.A.Foster, expertly observed and elegantly painted. Beautiful glowing warm colours again, so comforting in the cold dark days of winter!

Underneath the candlestick we have a little pile of treats. The ABC book is a great find. They're very sought after and this one's in great condition. It's a guide to garden flowers and more than 100 are listed and illustrated. Recommended by Vita Sackville - West, no less, it's hard to beat.

It's not all about winning tho', it's the taking part that counts! We have a small selection of vintage games available for Christmas stockings and two of them are under the book. Ingenious, low tech and very entertaining they're just the thing for post-dinner moments. Good luck!

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