IN THE years of writing this column I have never come across a pattern book from a Dundee textile manufacturer. Perhaps they were not required for ‘out-of-sight’ jute products, such as sacking, bagging and carpet backing, and possibly the linen lords, like Baxter Brothers, who preceded the jute barons, felt their exports spoke for themselves.
THE COURIER’S recent feature on ‘The Blackwood Magazine at 200’ exhibition in Edinburgh, courtesy of our writer Caroline Lindsay, enticed a friend to twist my arm into introducing examples from my own collection of periodicals.
You may have read the news about the Jack the Ripper postcard which sold down south for £22,000. The card had been received by Ealing Police Station in 1888, written by someone claiming to be the Ripper. It was estimated to reach just £600-£900.
“SEND ME my pistolls…”
Swann Galleries in New York inadvertently achieved one of the highest prices ever paid for a British poster last month when they knocked down a wonderful London Underground promotional example for the equivalent of £90,000.
“Show me another” is a well-trodden phrase in the antiques world when a spectacular or uncommonly rare item appears for sale. It’s a saying that adds value normally, but not in every case.
Tea was once a luxury. Its price, heavily taxed, placed it beyond all but the well-to-do. The Female Spectator in 1745 declared that the tea table “costs more to support than would maintain two children and a nurse.”
TODAY’S ITEM is offered to mark the 220th anniversary of the Battle of Camperdown, one of the most significant engagements in naval history, as well as the 20th anniversary of a landmark event at the McManus Galleries.
ILLUSTRATED IS Woman by a Leaded Window. It was painted in 1958 by Glasgow School of Art-trained Robert Colquhoun. Oil on canvas, it is a couple of feet square and was presented to Dundee not long after its paint had dried.
CALL IT a sheltered upbringing...I have been on a motorbike only once. This was on the back of my brother’s 1950-ish BSA Bantam when I was at primary school, or just into secondary. Goodness knows what I was thinking.