On the 15th of each month one of my favorite thrift shops marks everything in the store half off. For several months I missed going there on the 15th. It is almost an hour's drive from home and I usually forgot or had something else going on that day. This month I was ready. I marked my calendar and was ready to go thrifting on my way to get chair rail and corner trim at Lowes.
The main reason I wanted to go to the thrift shop this time was to buy a basket full of white, antique, hand embroidered handkerchiefs. As soon as I went through the doors, I was heading straight to the basket and a couple of large velvet covered frames caught my attention. Hmmm, I picked them up, turned them over, noting the worn velvet, which I love. I really didn't have any place in mind for them, and realized I had better get to that basket before someone else got to it first. The place was full of shoppers and I didn't want to come all the way here for nothing. I put the frames back down. As I began culling the newer handkerchiefs that I didn't want, my eyes strayed back to the prints. I was trying to decide what I should do about them ~ the portraits were mostly sepia with a very faint tint of color when you took a closer look. I left the basket and picked up the print of the female. It was missing the glass, but the other one still had glass. I'd only have to buy glass for one. But then again, where would I put them? I set her back down, again, and went back to the handkerchiefs. I ended up with more than a dozen lovely old embroidered pieces, thinking ahead to the dolls that I would create this summer and imagining what types of dresses this delicate cloth would make. I made a quick (make that semi-quick) tour through the shop, coming back around to the front and asking one of the ladies behind the counter to remove 5 old silver serving pieces and a glass shaker with silver top from the case. I definitely could use them... in something... or display in my collections... sooner or later. Ok, I know you are thinking that some of my last few posts were about having a junk sale because I was acquiring too much stuff. Well, I am, but I am being a bit more particular about what I acquire... sort of. So, I get around to the register, and while I am waiting on the lady in front of me to check out, my eyes make their way to the prints, for the third time. And for the third time I pick them up. I hadn't noticed the watercolor border on the mat before ~ it was a beautiful aged robin's egg blue ~ one of my favorite colors! I then realize that the velvet on the frames matches my living room furniture. I don't know how old the prints are, but according to the notation near the bottom, the first prints were printed in 1812 and the originals are in His Majesty's Collection! Ok, I'm sold ~ by this time it's my turn and I place the prints on the counter with my silver finds and sweet handkerchiefs. I am so glad I bought them and that I looked at them a third time. I'll hang them sometime next week as soon as I decide where they will go. They are 16" x 19". And you know how much they cost? Seven dollars for the pair!
Above left: William Sharinton
Above right: M. Souch
Below, you can see the taupe and robin's egg blue, hand painted, watercolor border. There's also a very thin strip of paper that's been applied. It has a greenish cast in the photo, but in person, it looks like a mottled, tarnished gold paper.
It reads: In His Majesty's Collection, London Published by J. Chamberlaine, Jan.1st 1812.
The artist was Hans Holbein and the engraver, S. Freeman.
On the back, there's a few tiny remains of paint, evidently it stuck to the wall where it was hanging.
The paint looks as if it would have been a close match to the robin's egg blue border. I'd love to have seen it hanging in such a gorgeous room!