Possible alternative title for this post: You need three before it counts as a collection, right?
A trip to an antiques and collectibles fair recently ended up with me bringing home another vintage sewing machine:
It is another Singer, this time the hand-cranked No. 20. It is probably not clear in the pictures but it’s only about 6″ high since it was designed a child’s machine.
Like my first vintage machine, it was in pretty good condition when I bought it and just needs a little bit of oil and cleaning.
There are lots of nice little touches due it to having been designed as a first machine, like the clear numbers shown below to guide you in threading the machine…
… and the arrows to show you which direction to turn the hand-wheel.
Unfortunately, these machines don’t have serial numbers so they’re not quite as easy to date as the full-size Singers. A little bit of internet research leads me to believe that this machine was probably made some time after 1926 and before the 1950’s so from the same time period as my treadle machine.
One of the best things about this machine is that it still has its original box:
The caption above the picture on the front says “As the twig is bent, so the tree is inclined.” The machine itself is described as being both “Practical and instructive” and “Useful and amusing”. I certainly hope so!
Someone asked for details of whether or not my vintage Singer machine folds into itself so I thought I’d take some quick photos to show how it works.
The “extra” bit of wood in the picture below usually attaches to the left-hand side of the table when not in use. Otherwise the picture shows the machine set up for use.
The machine tips back slightly so that the piece of table-top in front can be lifted.
With that out of the way that machine swings right down into the body of the table.
With the machine inside, the first piece of the top can be replaced.
Then the “extra” bit fits into the remaining space to complete the table-top.
I’m slightly ashamed to admit that this is how the machine currently spends most of its time. I did get a quick lesson in how to use the treadle last time my mum visited so I just need to find the time to practise.
… of the book variety.
This was my absolutely awesome Christmas present from Steven this year – a reproduction set of the first ten Penguin paperbacks ever published, which was created for the 50th anniversary of their launch. Since the launch was in 1935, this means that the set is 25 years old!
The set is in almost pristine condition (especially for its age), just some minor fading on one end where it must have been sitting in the sun. The books themselves look like they’ve never been read. As well as the books, the set includes a pamphlet with short blurbs about each of the authors and press clippings of reviews from the launch.
The books are:
Ariel: a Shelley romance, André Maurois
A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway
Madame Claire, Susan Ertz
The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club, Dorothy L. Sayers
The Mysterious Affair at Styles, Agatha Christie (her first novel and the first appearance of Poirot)
Twenty-Five, Beverley Nichols
William, E. H. Young
Gone to Earth, Mary Webb
Carnival, Compton Mackenzie
(Where I’ve included a link, the book is available from Project Gutenberg, but I should point out that both Agatha Christie and Compton Mackenzie are still under copyright in the UK, even if some of their work is public domain in the US.)
Amazingly, I had never read any of these, although I’m now well on the way to rectifying that.
Our Christmas tree with everyone’s presents ready to go:
One purchase that we made in Brighton that I didn’t mention in my last post was a huge pile of brown paper that someone had saved from parcels from department stores in Brighton and Hove. Steven had already been considering brown-paper based wrapping (apparently I’m no longer the only person in the house who gets the crafting bug at Christmas) so when we saw the collection of 1950s paper, we decided it was fate and it had to come home with us.
I love the various old labels that were still attached. (If you click through to the larger version of the bookseller’s label, you can see it’s date-stamped 28th December 1954.) In fact, I loved the labels so much that I carefully didn’t use any pieces with labels to wrap my presents so that I can use them for something else in future — not that I know what yet!
Speaking of stamps, Steven created some lovely rubber-stamped gift tags for us to use.
I know I shouldn’t be, but I’m still amazed that something this simple looks so amazing! I foresee lots more rubber-stamping in my future.
For now, however, I’m going to go enjoy the rest of my Christmas day. Merry Christmas!
Steven and I spent a lovely day last Saturday in Brighton. We wandered round and round and in and out of lots of little boutiques, galleries, and craft and design shops, which Brighton seems to have by the bucketload. We also hunted through lots of the antique-vintage-junk shops and came home with some interesting purchases.
I know it doesn’t look like much now (particularly in this photo) but I have big plans for this workbox. I’m going to strip it down, re-paint it, polish it up and replace the fabric lining. Once it’s done, I think it will look really good alongside the vintage sewing machine.
We haven’t decided where we’re going to hang this next find, yet. I think it would add a nice little touch of colour to our black and white bathroom and it would certainly be appropriate in there! Steven seems to be pushing for it go somewhere a bit more prominent but I’m not sure I’m up for that.
We also picked up a box of Christmas decorations. They are not terribly posh or fancy but they are a bit jazzier than our usual decorations and have really brightened up the tree.
Speaking of vintage decorations, look what else has found its way on to the tree this year: