The strange things you find as an antiques dealer!

If I am not working, which believe me, is rarer than a hen’s teeth these days, I like to go out for a rummage, a furtle and a general fussick about.  Strange words you may say, but they do describe what I do…

I have an endless fascination with peculiar objects and spend a deal of time collecting, examining and researching them.  Most recently, I went to Wilmslow Antiques Fair, a small discreet venue with some talented dealers and attractive goods.  One round one, where you visually tick things you may be interested in later, I added to my wish list for the NEC, a beautiful silver Art Nouveau bon-bon dish, a WMF posy vase (with cherubs) and a fabulous Art Deco Miro inspired box.  Finished the outer tour, then completed the inner gaze and tick.

Completely missed the bizarre article I found on the final loop.

Stopped to chat to Phil and saw a round piece of marble(ish) rock on four pillars.  Intrigued.  Asked if I could look at it and once I had it in my hands, knew I had to have it, even though I did not have a clue as to its purpose.  HAd a bit of a chat about it and was informed it could be a desk object for wetting stamps.  Though I thought not ( with a derisory pah), I bought the object, which was made of  red and green Serpentine, a type of granite only found on the Lizard Peninsula in Cornwall.

Internet research beckoned.

Spent quite a long time examining it and talking to some dealer friends, who offered both outlandish and useless suggestions.  I decided that the Internet was best (and not quite so vocal).

It became obvious that this was quite a rare item, though one or two had appeared over the last few years.  So what did I have in my possession?

It is a travelling priest’s font, for those parishioners unable to attend church, early Victorian in date, as there was little decoration on it.  An exquisitely carved, four pillar font in red and green Serpentine.

So now you know, a real gem of a find, outside of my expertise. Tickled my research antennae and added another glob of knowledge.  What a wonderful profession this is!