January 2010

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!

And thanks to all who helped make 2009 a successful year for us. Despite the uncertain economy, we've been able to keep food on the table and great pieces in the shop. These two fundamental concerns are the basis of our feature stories this month. Our schedule for this year will be much the same as in 2009, although we've dropped the Guilford show, reducing our total by one. You'll find information about our three winter shows - Wilmington, Tolland, and Concord - in this newsletter. As usual, we plan Spring and Fall buying trips to England, each followed by a festive Opening in our Conway shop. Again this winter, we'll be open only by appointment from January to April, resuming regular weekend shop hours with our Spring Opening on April 24. It's easy to keep track of us through this Newsletter and through the calendar link on our website. If all else fails, e-mail or call.

 

 The new stock listings in this issue focus on a new interest of ours - Chinese country furniture. You'll also find feature stories, pictures, and other items which many find interesting. If you've never done it before, scroll down the page to see what's offered. Regular readers will notice a few changes in format, which we've instituted for the new year.  Have fun!

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The Best of 2009

 The past twelve months have been very exciting for us. We not only made two very successful buying trips to England, where most of our long-term sources are still able to find great things for us, but we also found much to buy here at home. In some cases the objects found us, as an unexpected e-mail or phone call brought us new stock we'd not anticipated. It was sometimes our continuing search for new pieces in old places that brought surprises; one of the best things we bought all year was found at Brimfield!

Although we buy only pieces that we'd be happy to live with, there are always favorites. For a look at some of the most memorable things that passed through our shop last year, click here.

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Our New Year's Eve Feast

 

 

In recent years we've celebrated New Year's Eve with a quiet dinner in our home. Instead of driving to an overcrowded restaurant to be given mediocre service by overburdened kitchen and wait staff, we spend the last day of the year preparing a feast for just the two of us. Reader response to last year's report was so positive that we're doing it again.  For pictures of our five-course, three-hour dinner, click here.

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Pippin's Page

 

 Click HERE for this month's image of the fabulous feline.

 

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The Back Page

 

Click HERE for this month's salute to serendipity.

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February 2010

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About this month's newsletter

Our first newsletter was published six years ago this month. One of our primary reasons for initiating our monthly mailings was to be under pressure to keep our website up to date. It has not only achieved that objective, but also has enabled us to reach buyers from coast to coast and from as far away as Europe. Although its appearance has changed from time to time, its basic goals - information, visual interest, and good humor - have not. As we begin our seventh year of publication, we're optimistic about our future and the prospects for our business.

 

Our first show of 2010, Marvin Getman's Boston Antiques and Design Show and Sale, was a grand success - our best away-from-home show since May 2008. Our Winter show schedule continues this month with shows in Tolland, Connecticut and Concord, Massachusetts. There's more information on these two fine shows later in this newsletter.  We hope that you'll follow some of the links in this newsletter to the latest new stock listings, our shop and show schedules, and other items of interest, including two pictorial pieces designed to relieve the winter doldrums. Enjoy your visit.

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A Day on Bodmin Moor

 

Not far from St. Agnes, where we spent a relaxing week last October, is the desolate Bodmin Moor, an 80 square-mile expanse of rock and low vegetation in the northeast of Cornwall. Read Read more . . .

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Another food story 

 

 

 

We're happy to note that many have enjoyed reading about our annual New Year's Eve feast. At the risk of appearing to be inaugurating a monthly food column, we offer this satisfying and deliciously entertaining tale of the reincarnation of a disused kitchen appliance from the past. Read more . . .

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Pippin's Page

 

Click HERE for this month's image of our favorite feline.

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The Back Page

 

Click HERE for this month's salute to serendipity.

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Well, that's about it for now. Thank you for taking the time to read our little monthly - and thanks for being a customer.  John and Jan

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March 2010

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About this month's newsletter

 

After one of the coldest winters we can remember, temperatures have eased somewhat, which seems to have generated an endless succession of dreary, snowy days. This month's newsletter includes a few pictures taken the morning after our biggest snowstorm of the season. We also have a story about Marvin Getman's Wilmington show and some of the aggressive steps he's taken on behalf of his dealers. You'll find a link below to our (first annual?) Cabin Fever Half-Price Sale - an online only event featuring an assortment of smalls. All of the usual things are here, as well: shop and show schedules, Pippin's Page, and more. We hope that you'll take a few minutes to explore things of interest to you. Enjoy your visit.

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March Cabin Fever Sale

 

For online buyers only - selected smalls at 50% reductions

 

In less than a month we'll be on our annual Spring buying trip to England. Needless to say, a few additional pounds in the bank will enhance the experience for us and for the shoppers who come to our Spring Opening. So we've reduced prices by 50% on a range of good smalls. The sale will last through March 15th only.

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SPRING OPENING

After being open by appointment during the winter months, we'll begin the Spring and Summer season with our annual post-England Spring Opening on April 24 and 25.

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A Late Winter Snowstorm

 

A late February snowstorm that stalled over New England produced some beautiful scenery. It also felled hundreds of trees in Western Massachusetts and caused major disruption of power and travel. Without electricity for twelve hours, we spent some time outdoors. Click here to see some of the pictures we took.

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An antiques show for our times

 

Marvin Getman's Greater Boston Antiques and Design Show

 

Three years ago, when Irene Stella's Americana at the Piers was cancelled because of scheduling issues at the piers, we decided to exhibit at Marvin Getman's Greater Boston Antiques Show in Wilmington, Massachusetts. more . . . .

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Pippin's Page

 

Click HERE for a picture of Pippin and a new Internet friend.

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The Back Page

 

Another pet photo from a friend. Click HERE for this month's back page.

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Well, that's about it for now. Thank you for taking the time to read our little monthly - and thanks for being a customer.  John and Jan

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April 2010

SPRING POST-ENGLAND EDITION 

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It's sometime in the middle of the day on Sunday, April 11. We're cruising at 32,000 feet somewhere over the Atlantic, and this is the view from my window. While looking at clouds from above has an undeniable appeal, I must keep my eyes on my computer screen. We need to get our newsletter out on Tuesday.

 

We're returning from our annual Spring buying trip to England. Thanks to good sales during the winter months and a strong dollar, we were able to buy very well. The first of our two shipments is already in Memphis and, although it is being held by US Customs (again!!), we expect that we'll have it by midweek. The second should arrive shortly thereafter.

 

The two shipments contain nearly one hundred new smalls and a few dozen pieces of early jewelry. These and the twenty-odd pieces of furniture purchased in the US during the winter and set aside will ensure that our Spring Opening on April 24 and 25 will offer shoppers a great variety of excellent English, American, Continental, and Asian antiques. If you're anywhere nearby, you might consider coming by. Details will be found by following the link later in this newsletter.

 

This month we also have news of the antiques world in Britain, including the latest chapter in the Newark/Swinderby epic and a report on the struggle to prevent Portobello Road from becoming just another chic retail mall. We'll list no new stock this time, since we're saving so much for the Opening. Look for new stock listings and pictures in our May Newsletter.

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Annual Spring Opening

 

Each Spring and Fall, upon our return from England, we hold a festive opening in our shop, at which we unveil new stock acquired abroad as well as choice pieces found in the US and reserved for the opening. If you're nearby and have never come before, you might plan to stop in on the 24th and 25th.

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NEWS FROM THE ENGLISH MARKET

 

It's not an understatement to point out that English antiques dealers are feeling the effects of a shaky economy and changing collecting patterns even more than we are in the US. We've also been watching two additional struggles, both motivated by greed, that exacerbate the difficulties for many of our English friends. For the latest development in the Newark/Swinderby/Lincoln saga as well as frightening news from Portobello Road, click here.

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Pippin's Page

 

Click HERE for this month's image of our favorite feline.

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The Back Page

 

Some of you may be wondering how we could publish a newsletter after two weeks in England without a single reference to that great English tradition, cask ale. Well, we couldn't, after all. Click HERE for a small gift from Marston's, one of England's great breweries.

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Thanks for spending some time with us. Don't forget our Opening on the 24th and 25th. And thanks for being a customer. John and Jan

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May 2010

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About this month's newsletter

It feels as if Spring is finally here. We've already begun three of our six major Summer projects, have had another fantastic Spring Opening, and have resumed our regular weekend shop hours. We've posted photos of our post-England Opening as well as our April drive through England's Peak District. We also have new listings of about three dozen pieces, information on our next two shows, and our schedule of shop hours for the next two months. These and our usual features can be accessed through links below. Happy surfing!

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Spring Opening 2010 

 

 

The 10:00 Club

 

Last month's Spring Opening generated a great deal of excitement, with consequent strong sales and many happy buyers. For a few pictures of our post-England event, click the picture above.

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Discovering England's Peak District

 

 

On a free day last month, we discovered one of England's lesser-known wonders - the Peak District.

Click on the picture above for part of our pictorial souvenir of a memorable drive.

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Pippin's Page

 

Click HERE for this month's image of the fabulous feline.

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The Back Page

 

Jan's flower arrangements contribute added beauty to our semi-annual Openings.

Click HERE to see a collage of this year's posies.

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June 2010

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About this month's newsletter

 

Spring is here, and summer is just around the corner. Our shop is open on show-less weekends, and our website is open day and night. If you're in the neighborhood, we hope you'll stop in. After an extraordinary Opening in May and a winter of strong sales, we're rebuilding the inventory galleries on our website. This newsletter contains a nice assortment of furniture, paintings, and smalls, and we'll have even more in our Update, which will appear in about two weeks. We hope that you'll follow some of the links in this newsletter to the latest new stock listings, our shop and show schedules, and other items of interest. Enjoy your visit.

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DEALER SELLS RUG

 

It wasn't exactly "Man Bites Dog," but a very amusing sale occurred across the aisle from us at the Rhinebeck show last weekend. Click here for the story.

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England update

 

We've been commenting occasionally about the troubles at the Newark and Swinderby fairs in the English midlands, where wanton aggression being carried out by the IACF, who produce the Newark fair, threatens to destroy this important resource for antiques dealers from around the world. An English friend and colleage, who reads our newsletters faithfully, sent us an e-mail with his insightful observations about the IACF and the state of the Newark fair. Although we had a bit more luck than he did, the truth in what he says is very upsetting. To read this note, click here.

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Pippin's Page

 

Click HERE for this month's image of the fabulous feline.

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The Back Page

 

The beautiful scene that we see daily through the windows of our office is also a favorite playground for many birds. To see pictures of two recent residents, click HERE.

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July 2010

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About this month's newsletter

 

No, that's not either of us on the tractor mowing the pasture next door, but this summer we've been keeping almost as busy around our house and yard. We've spent scores of hours in the gardens and, for the first time in a decade, they appear to be approaching their potential.  When we're not coated with insect repellent and covered with mud, we've had good luck buying in shops and at shows.

 

We're thrilled to announce that once again, our online inventory will include a few landscapes by one of our favorite American painters, Dennis Sheehan. You'll find a story below explaining why we removed them from our website three years ago.

 

Last month we acquired more than 2000 additional back issues of The Magazine Antiques, which encouraged us to thin our inventory of 15,000+ issues, lest the barn collapse. You'll find a story about our magazine business below. And, of course, the usual news, views, and pictures.

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Newly listed paintings by Dennis Sheehan

 

We love the paintings of Dennis Sheehan and have several in our inventory. But for the past three years we've agreed not to feature them on our website. Click on the painting above to find out what's changed.

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Another observation on early buying

 

A strange encounter at the Tiverton show got us thinking again about early buying, which we deplore nearly as much as preview parties.

 

Click HERE to read the tale.

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Magazine Antiques Back Issues

 

Although we are probably the best source on the planet for back issues of this cornerstone of journalism for the collector, we're sure that many of our readers are unaware of the fact that we have an inventory of nearly 15,000 individual issues of the magazine, spanning the eighty-eight years since its first publication in 1922. We mail regularly to dealers, researchers, collectors, and museums in all parts of the US and have sent issues to Europe, Asia, and Australia, as well.  Whether or not you're looking for a back issue or a complete run of this magazine, you might enjoy reading about this interesting sideline to our business. More . . .

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Pippin's Page

 

Click HERE for this month's image of our favorite feline.

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The Back Page

 

Only in America would you find the sign we spotted on a child's carriage at the Holyoke mall.

 

Click HERE for this month's Back Page.

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Thanks for taking the time to read our little monthly - and thanks for being a customer.

John and Jan

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August 2010

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Announcing our third annual TAX-FREE WEEKEND SALE

This weekend -- August 14 - 15

 

WHY SETTLE FOR A MERE 6-1/4% SAVINGS?

 

Saturday and Sunday, August 14 and 15 has been declared a Sales Tax Holiday Weekend by the Massachusetts legislature, with the goal of stimulating business in the state. Any item valued at $2500 or less purchased during the weekend will be exempt from sales tax. We feel that our business wouldn't be harmed by a little stimulation, so-o-o-o-o . . . . . .

We're going to sweeten the pot a bit by offering a 20% discount on EVERYTHING in our stock - including items on our website as well as things in the shop, AND, as an added bonus, we'll be offering reductions of up to 50% on several pieces that have been in the shop for long enough to make us think of them as "old friends". These special reductions will be posted on our website and announced in a special mid-month UPDATE at 6:00 p.m. on Friday the 13th and will only be available during the weekend.

We'll be open all weekend - from 10:00 until 4:00 on both days - with sweets and snacks. If you'd rather shop online, we'll be happy to accept VISA/MasterCard/AMEX/or PayPal charges throughout the weekend and hold purchases until you can come and pick them up (or let us ship to you, if that's more convenient), but payment must be made on either the 14th and 15th to be eligible for tax-free status.

If you've been thinking about something you've seen in a newsletter, on our website, at a show, or in our shop, take advantage of Mass. Tax Holiday Weekend!

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Auction Estimates - a disappointing tale 

 

We recently visited a New York state auction gallery, which was selling the estate of a long-time collector. After previewing the auction on the gallery's website we had identified more than a dozen of the nearly 600 objects that appealed to us. Since the pre-sale estimates seemed within our grasp, we decided to preview the sale. More . . .

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Rhinebeck Summer Magic -- A Vanishing Act?

 

We've just finished a string of three consecutive weekend shows - something that's rare since we've reduced our show schedule to fewer than a dozen. Although the Vermont Antiques Dealers' Show, in its new venue, was beautiful, many dealers reported lackluster sales. Little Compton, this past weekend, was well attended and a pleasure to be a part of, but large ticket items didn't seem to be moving. But the biggest disappointment of the three was Rhinebeck. For this dealer's view of the weekend, click here.

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Pippin's Page

 

Click HERE for this month's image of our favorite feline.

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The Back Page

 

One of the best things about the Little Compton Show is spending a weekend near the sea in one of the most beautiful towns in New England. On Sunday morning, before the show opened, we took a drive to Sakonnet Point, where we took several pictures of the coast on the one of this summer's most beautiful mornings. Click HERE for a breath of ocean air.

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We hope you've enjoyed this month's newsletter. Remember to look for our Tax Holiday update on Friday at 6:00 p.m.  Thanks for being a customer.

 John and Jan 

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September 2010

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A Report on Last Month's Tax Holiday Weekend Sale

 

For the third successive year, we've just held a sale to coincide with Massachusetts Sales Tax Holiday weekend, offering discounts of 20% to 50% on everything in our shop and on our website. More . . . 

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More Auction News

 

Perhaps we were a bit too harsh in our criticism of auctioneers who use unrealistically low estimates to encourage participation in a sale. Another auction has given us reason to reconsider. More—

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Pippin's Page

 

 Click HERE for this month's image of our favorite feline.

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The Back Page

 

As we were walking from our van to our room at the Quality Inn in Hyde Park, we just happened to notice this unusual licence plate on a car in the lot. We're still not sure how it got that way. Can anyone help? Click HERE.

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We hope you've enjoyed this month's newsletter. Remember to mark your calendar with the dates of our Fall Opening - November 13 & 14. Thanks for being a customer.

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October 2010

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Fall Post-England Opening

 

We've just returned from our annual October buying trip in England. Our shipment has arrived and is all unpacked.

 

We now have more than two hundred new acquisitions which we'll unveil in our shop at our  Fall Opening Saturday and Sunday - November 13 & 14, 2010. Click the picture for details. (But don't wake John.)

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Notes on our recent trip

 

There's no point in being sheepish.We've just gotten home from a fabulous buying trip to England and an exciting rail journey to four great European cities. We had a wonderful time, and we'd love to tell you a bit about our travels and show you a few pictures. If you're interested, just click on our friend Ba-a-a-a-sil.

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Pippin's Page

 

Click HERE for this month's image of our favorite feline. 

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The Back Page

 

At dinner in a village pub in the Cotswolds, my duck came with a surprise condiment. Click HERE to see what it was.

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We hope you've enjoyed this month's newsletter. Remember to mark your calendar with the dates of our Fall Opening - November 13 & 14. Thanks for being a customer. John and Jan 

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November 2010

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We're very excited about this newsletter - because in it we get to tell you about our astonishing Fall Opening and, more importantly, we get to fill some of our website's empty galleries with fresh items. We hope you'll take a few minutes to browse. We think you'll be glad you did.

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On The Eve Of Our Fall Opening --

a brief pictorial 

Click on the picture for a look. 

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Our Fall Opening - a (mostly) unbiased report 

 

The first car arrived in our driveway at 9:00. In one hour our Fall Opening was scheduled to begin. more. . . .

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 Pippin's Page

  

Click HERE for this month's image of our favorite feline.  

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The Back Page

We're still enjoying one of the most beautiful Autumns we can remember. We'd like to share some of it with you. Just click HERE.

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We hope you've enjoyed this month's newsletter. We'd like to remind you that we'll be open Sundays from this weekend until December 19th, and then by appointment until our April Opening. Look for December's Newsletter around the 7th. It will list dozens of fresh smalls and gift ideas.

 

Thanks for being a customer.

 

John and Jan

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December 2010

 

Holiday Issue

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In our November Newsletter we featured some of the large items, sold and unsold, that were unveiled in our November Opening. This month, our emphasis is on smaller, less expensive pieces that are being added to our website. Our hope is, of course, that you'll find a gift or two among them.

 

We're listing 47 new pieces in this newsletter. Nearly half are priced below $100, and all are fresh to the website. Click on the wreath for a look at these new listings.

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A Holiday Gift to Our Readers

 

On our recent trip to England, we visited the moors and dales of Yorkshire. We invite you to click anywhere in this image of farmland near the village of Thornton Rust to see some of what we enjoyed.

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Not enough candles for all of your period candlesticks? Perhaps we can help. Click the candle for information and prices of our 6" ivory tapers.

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Pippin's Page

  

Click HERE for this month's image of our favorite feline.  

 

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The Back Page

 

Pumpkin Hollow Brook, which flows near our home and shop has recently become a nesting ground for an ever-growing family of beavers. Septic systems have been rendered useless, and roads have been blocked by rising water. The threat struck even closer to home on Tuesday afternoon, when we went to our mailbox to pick up the day's junk mail. Click HERE to see what we found.

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We hope you've enjoyed this month's newsletter. We'd like to remind you that we're open on Sundays until December 19th, and then by appointment until our April Opening. Our monthly newsletters will, of course, continue. After all, we still have pictures of Bruges, Venice, and Florence.

 

Thanks for reading -- and thanks for being a customer.