Welcome to My Red Cape. Long ago in another time my husband Jack and I lived in a little old red house. It was the stuff of dreams to us for the few years that we were there. I live there still a number of hours every day in imagination, with old dolls and paintings and fabrics and feather trees. I draw inspiration and happiness from the memories of that space in time and share some of it here with friends who remember how to step with Alice through the looking glass and take delight in whimsies and antiquities.

For more than sixty years I have studied, collected, repaired, and loved antique dolls. They have been back ground music in my life at every stage, sometimes louder, sometimes subdued, but always there with me. To see only the posts about dolls on this blog, click the banner on the right titled Dolls for My Red Cape. Keep clicking “Older Posts” to see more. From time to time items are offered for sale under the banner “O’Neill’s Antiques” which was our shop name for many years. ~Edyth O’Neill

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Mulberry transfer print

A story is told of Roger Bacon, talking excitedly about how great a certain table was, but a listener protested something to the effect  "But Roger it is missing a leg!" To which the renowned dealer and collector replied "Don't look at what is gone, look at what is there!"  (I am writing from memory  here as I do not have his exact quote before me.)
This was before the time of the Antiques Road show's popularity, which stresses pristine original condition almost to the point of excluding other antiques from being worthy of importance or value.
As people and objects age, most become less than perfect and untouched by the passing of time.  I offer here a plea for old and imperfect pieces, still useful and worthy of regard. I think of our many well loved antique furnishings almost all imperfect or mended, if only having a newly woven chair seat or piece of replaced molding.
My late father-in-law, John senior, was almost 99 years old when he left us and he was still a great lover of antiques, having retained much of his sharpness and knowledge. He loved old English ceramics, and a few months before his passing he brought home a thrift store find, a lovely piece of flow blue ironstone, a sugar missing one handle.   He gave it to me and I treasure it as a container for bluebonnets each spring, and the rest of the year it sits in a cupboard along with our much older Delft.

Also among the things we have from my husband's parents is a piece of so called flow mulberry.  Mulberry transfer print is also the name used for a purple or plum color printed tableware the latter being a clear print and not the heavy flowing look. I believe this flow mulberry English sugar bowl dates about 1850.  Flow Mulberry is almost black, not plum or purple.  This heavy old piece of Ironstone missing the lid is now a pretty spooner in our kitchen.   I know that dozens of collector friends who read here are adept at repurposing!   E

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