Homes & Antiques February 2021

Homes & Antiques is the magazine for people who love great design and beautiful objects from every era, providing a unique mix of the very best of the old with the very best of the new. That's why, as well as being the official magazine of the BBC's Antiques Roadshow, every issue delivers an inspirational blend of heritage and lifestyle.

United Kingdom
Immediate Media Company London Limited
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1 min
editor’s letter

As shop windows fill with boxes of chocolates, and pink and red hearts abound, it’s tempting to dismiss the traditions relating to the 14th of February as a modern contrivance. However, St Valentine’s association with love and romance goes back to the Middle Ages, and the day itself has a surprisingly rich and varied history, as Luke Honey reveals in his witty column (p31). Sticking with the theme of romance, Janet Gleeson explores the wonderful world of acrostic jewellery, and the secret messages of love contained in the clever arrangements of precious gems (p46). With the excitement of Christmas and the New Year behind us, the end of the season can drag, so Selina Lake has compiled a selection of inspiring styling tips to see you through the winter blues…

1 min
this month’s contributors

Luke Honey is H&A’s columnist and this issue he has written about Vinegar Valentines Luke is a former auction specialist turned antiques dealer, writer and blogger. He lives in London with his wife, Venetia, and their book-munching whippet. ‘We always cook pancakes on Shrove Tuesday. How do I like them? Thin and crispy, with lots of lemon juice and sugar.’ Emma Longstaff wrote ‘48 Hours in North Norfolk’ Emma spends far too much time every day looking at auction catalogues, and every holiday drags her family around antiques shops, sales and scrap yards. ‘Every Sunday breakfast is like Pancake Day. It’s become a family tradition, and is a combined effort: my husband does the flipping, I chop the fruit, and our daughter Elisabeth is in charge of the chocolate spread.’ Charlotte Metcalf wrote ‘A Fine Romance’ Charlotte…

3 min

Homes & Antiques, Eagle House, Colston Avenue, Bristol, BS1 4ST Daily Bread I was interested to read your article on collecting breadboards in the October issue. While I can hardly call my two breadboards a collection, they are very special to me. The one pictured on the left was my grandmother’s, possibly a wedding present (c1919). The one on the right was my mum’s, made by my dad for her ‘bottom drawer’ in 1952. I still use them both regularly for cutting and serving bread, cheese and pickles. They are a delight and bring back many special memories every time I use them. Thank you for including tips on how to care for them so that I can continue to enjoy them for many more years to come. Nicola…

2 min
enjoy 20% off a tetbury bed from the cornish bed company

A beautifully crafted bed really is the finishing touch to a stylish bedroom scheme, and we’re over the moon to be teaming up with The Cornish Bed Company this month to offer H&A readers 20 per cent off its cast-iron Tetbury bedstead. Traditional yet elegant, the Tetbury bed is hand cast to order by master craftspeople at The Cornish Bed Company’s UK foundry. It’s also completely customisable, so you can choose a size, finish and design that works perfectly with your home. With a simple cross-bar design and decorative brass finishes, the Tetbury bed has an authentic finish that’s reminiscent of Victorian designs; making it perfect for an antiques-filled bedroom. The Cornish Bed Company aims to make beds that will last for generations – antiques of the future, if you like. All…

3 min
the month february

1 the ANTIQUE SAILORS’ VALENTINES Centuries ago, seashells were a popular material for making everything, from long, sautoir necklaces and cameo brooches to fancy boxes and ornaments. One of the most spectacular examples of ‘shell work’ can be seen at the National Trust property A la Ronde in Devon where, in the late 18th century, two cousins, Jane and Mary Parminter, decorated the upper gallery with 25,000 shells. Shell work souvenirs were also purchased by mariners, who would bring home mementoes from their travels to give to loved ones. To meet the demand for shell work from visiting sailors, shops sprang up at ports on major trading routes. Local women made little shell-strewn pictures to hang on the wall, including heart-shaped Sailors’ Valentines. The origins of this lovely example (bottom right) are not…

1 min
1,000 fox talbot watercolours now on view

A wonderful collection of watercolours and preparatory sketches, drawn and painted by the Fox Talbot family of Lacock Abbey in Wiltshire, has been digitised and made available online for the first time. Henry Fox Talbot (1800–1877) was the inventor of the photographic negative, and it was perhaps thanks to his family’s artistic talents that he alighted on his quest to capture images photographically instead of drawing them. While on honeymoon at Lake Como, Italy, with his wife, Constance, Henry found himself unable to draw the view, despite using a camera lucida to project the image onto the paper. His early experiments, including the world’s oldest surviving photographic negative, are in the collection at Lacock Abbey – which is today owned and managed by the National Trust – along with his…