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.

By Joy Jolliffe, Jan 26 2017 02:52PM

Piles of blue. We must have had Springtime on our minds, gentle candlelight and brightening skies.

Our customers bought lots of candlesticks around Christmas time and we've been lucky enough to find more. Three pairs, all pressed glass, all gorgeous.

The tall pair are actually quite dainty. They have narrow bases so don't take up much room. They've got nicely ridged columns, bamboo style and a clever little drip 'shelf' near the top. They are purest Powder Blue.

The two shorter candlesticks are even more ethereal. I'm calling the colour Ice Blue as there's just a hint of frozen water there. The domed bases have a flower relief pattern and a butterfly on either side of the column. This pair is particularly good for long candles, their low wide design makes them very stable.

Our third pair stands at the extreme other end of the mantelpiece. Made from clear glass they have a detailed 'cut glass' all over design. Their bases are wide and stable too and they elegantly hold long candles.

We also have a little group of prints that work well together. Their colours are warm with a touch of pink in all four prints. The tall one at the back is called 'Japonica' and signed 'Vera'. The flowers are sensitively and delicately painted in a mixture of pinks and creams. The dramatic mottled background is created by a loosely mixed group of blues. The shape is slim and elegant and it's useful, when grouping pictures, to have one with extra height.

Two of our favourite painters next - Peter Scott and Vernon Ward. Both prolific and both majorly talented. The Peter Scott print is typical of his subject matter: Wild fowl in the air and dramatic skies and landscapes. The Vernon Ward print depicts a harbour in Cornwall. It's a quiet and peaceful place empty of people and gulls. This is an evening picture too with warm colours held just before dusk.

The fourth print is callled 'The Fal River' and is from the original by Lamoriva Birch. That's a new name to us and it's a beautifully painted scene. A spring morning this time with fresh skies, a hint of blossom and the whole fair day ahead of us. Come on in April, we're ready!

The remaining item on the mantelpiece has earned its place in this selection because of that blue lid. It's one of those perfectly balanced vintage/contemporary designs that 'Johnson Bros' do so well, decorated with a neat little stylised floral group which also echoes that blue. I think I'm back to where I started, dreaming of Spring mornings under piles of fresh blue skies.

All the items on the mantelpiece will be for sale at the OK Corral soon. Meanwhile please contact us for further information .

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!

By Joy Jolliffe, Oct 6 2016 09:56AM

Embroidered pictures are very popular with our customers and they are with me too. We unearthed a little stash of pictures recently and included was this lovely example. It's beautifully worked, with a variety of stitches and a colourful palette. A harbour scene that had something extra that I didn't register at first. Then I saw it; areas of the backcloth are dyed in different colours to further enliven the scene. The sea area is blue, the hills are green and it really does add a lot of depth to the composition.

Directly beneath we have two shiney metal containers. One is marked, 'Preserves' and the other, 'Tea Time'. The Preserves pot has masses of surface pattern and will hide that ugly old jam pot. The Tea Time pot is charming and has sweet tea time images on the surface: A tray set with tea things and a little clock permanently held at 4 o'clock. Tea and toast, perfect!

We're clearly thinking in pairs this month, with two FORSTER jars balancing the mantelpiece at the opposite end. Just like the more familiar Kilner jars, tho' these are heavier. The mellow metal lid rims have gentle vintage ageing and with the glass lid it's an airtight jar. Perfect for bottling fruit but they look brilliant filled with all sorts of edible or decorative things.

We don't often find vases in pairs but the green glass duo in the middle of the mantelpiece did arrive together. They've known each other a long time and we don't want to split them up! 1940s, mid height, with wide uneven rims. They display flowers in a pretty and natural way and are perfect for our over enthusiastic Michaelmas Daisies.

The painted tray behind the flowers is very special. The more I look at it the more I love it. I think it's made from papier-mache as it weighs very little. It's coated with matt black and then decorated in the most exquisite way with hand painted flowers all around the rim. It shows a selection of some our loveliest flowers; cowslips and crocus, bluebells and snowdrops, tiny strawberries... breathtaking and completely delightful.

The Trevi Fountain. A must see for travellers and this print is a gem. We love these loosely illustrated pieces. It shows a perfect day's sightseeing with elegant tourists and a wonderful sky. Optimistic and cheerful, yes we like this. It's a nice big example too in its original frame and ready for that space on your wall.

The clear glass candlesticks, our final pair this month. We like pressed glass a lot. These are mid-height so safe on the dining table and still able to hold long elegant candles. We mix and match the colours of the candles and the candlesticks as they group so beautifully. Candlelight is always a little bit magic and as we head towards winter it feels warm and cheerful too.

All the items on the mantelpiece will appear on the OK shelves soon.


Contact us at to be added to the mailing list, join us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @okcorralvintage