Homes & Antiques November 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.

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1 min
editor’s letter

Winter has arrived, and to celebrate the beauty of the season Jo Rigg has created simple arrangements of architectural seedheads and faded flowers for this month’s style story (p41). Our focus on the natural world continues throughout the issue, from Luke Honey’s fascinating column on piscatorial taxidermy, to our decorating special, which includes wallpaper designs inspired by nature, small-batch producers and an update from the British paint companies who are working hard to reduce their industry’s impact on the environment. And in our travel section, we take you to the wide open spaces of the majestic Yorkshire Dales – what better place to head for a bracing winter walk? As ever, we have a fantastic collection of houses, five in all, from a 1970s family home in south London to a…

1 min
this month’s contributors

Alfred is a furniture designer and maker based in Sussex. He is inspired by historic pieces and rural vernacular design, and uses traditional methods and processes. Each piece is made in his workshop on the edge of the South Downs, using sustainably sourced materials. ‘My favourite colours for interiors are currently colour blocking with greens and blues.’ Jane is a freelance homes journalist. Her favourite way to start the day is walking the dog on the beach near where she lives in Brighton. ‘I’ve always been a big fan of colour in what I wear and how I decorate my home, so I’m loving the trend for going bold. I’m into colour blocks rather than pattern at the moment, mixing vibrant teal with indigo blue and mustard gold.’ Tallulah writes features on interiors, history…

2 min

Sweet Memories I was interested to see Gillian Stein’s recommendation of the Maramia Cafe in Golborne Road, North Kensington, in September’s edition of Homes & Antiques. My father ran a grocery shop here at number 48 from 1953 to 1960. In the photo, my sister and I are standing in the doorway of the shop and my mother is looking out of the window. Milk bottle crates outside the shop were used as missiles in a street fight one night, in the run-up to an election when the fascist Oswald Mosley was seeking election to Parliament in October 1959. Then in the early 2000s the shop became a Jocasta Innes Paint Studio, before becoming the present-day Maramia Cafe. My father sold the three-storey property with extensive cellar for £3,000 freehold in 1971. Liz…

5 min
the month november

the ANTIQUE 1 FIREDOGS As autumn turns to winter, our focus turns indoors and to keeping cosy. If you’re lucky enough to have a real fire with a log cradle you can indulge in some serious decorative antiques shopping by your choice of ‘firedogs’, also known as andirons. These pairs of portable legs and feet were, and still are, used to lift and hold logs, a log cradle, or a fire basket above the floor to improve air circulation beneath the fire, with the four-legged appearance of this arrangement giving rise to the name ‘firedog’. The firedog is a very ancient fireside accessory, dating back thousands of years. But in the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries, their design became more elaborate and decorative in tandem with the furniture, paintings, carpets and…

1 min
princess margaret’s bracelet sells for £396,800

A pretty Art Deco bracelet that Princess Margaret wore for her official 19th birthday photograph taken by Cecil Beaton in 1949 has sold for £396,800 at Mayfair saleroom Dix Noonan Webb. Featuring a double row of cultured pearls bordering a millegrain-set line of circular-cut diamonds and finished with a diamond and pearl openwork geometric clasp, the bracelet was estimated to fetch £30,000–£40,000, but furious bidding on the phone and via the auction house’s website pushed the price up to almost 10 times the upper estimate. It was eventually bought by a private collector. The portrait was the first of six that Beaton took of Margaret before her marriage to Antony Armstrong-Jones in 1960. Taken on 8th July 1949, the photograph was published on her birthday, 21st August. Cecil Beaton wrote in his…

3 min
behind the scenes at the museum

“I’ve only been in this post for three months. The last role I had was at the Bank of England Museum, but I’ve also worked at the Tower of London and Society of Antiquaries. My academic background is in Victorian interior design and culture, so being curator at Tyntesfield is my absolute dream job. Four generations of the Gibbs family have lived at Tyntesfield and every family member has put their stamp on it. Bring to mind anything and we’ve probably got 12 of them. Oil paintings, decorative art, marble sculptures, incredible textiles, and lots of mundane objects too, like cooking pots and hair pins – there’s something new everywhere you look, and I’m still exploring. There’s a cupboard right outside my office, which is crammed with loads of items, but…