Tuesday, 29 April 2014


Daniel & Sarah Cordory
setting out all the steam engines
very early Sunday morning
The weather was quite bad for the model steam engine event but it did not put anyone off.  We had a fabulous day with Hungerford Arcade stallholders, Daniel and Sarah Cordory together with members of their club who kindly came along with their model steam engines and gave their support. Daniel specialises in model steam engines and also builds them from scratch.

Melvina Esplin proudly received the raffle prize
on behalf of her dad, Mr. Harris
Daniel and Sarah raffled one of their model steam engines to raise money for the Arcade's sponsored charity, Walking With The Wounded, which caused a great deal of excitement.  The lucky winner was Mr. Harris, who was highly delighted. Unfortunately, he was unwell on Monday and not able to come to Hungerford Arcade for the presentation of the prize.  Instead, his lovely daughter, Melvina Adlem proudly received the model steam engine on behalf of her dad.

We would also like to thank Louise Esplin of The Thames Valley Farmers Market for supporting this wonderful event.  It was great having the Hungerford Farmers Market back in town.

Hungerford Arcade Manager, Alex Rogers
putting the money raised into the
Walking With The Wounded collection box

For all the latest news go to our Newsletter at www.hungerfordarcade.co.uk

Friday, 25 April 2014


We had a fabulous St. George's Day at Hungerford Arcade.  It was a beautiful warm sunny day and everyone was very happy. Hungerford High Street looked spectacular with all the St. George flags flying high above the buildings.  It was a wonderful sight.

"Follow your spirit, and upon this charge Cry 'God for Harry, England, and Saint George!'"

For all the latest news go to our Newsletter at www.hungerfordarcade.co.uk


The British Grenadiers
We have another valuation day tomorrow when Sean Flannagan will be at Hungerford Arcade to give a valuation on all your lead soldiers, farm animals, cowboys, indians and any others that you may have.  Come along and meet Sean and his lead soldiers and find out what yours are worth.

For all the latest news go to our Newsletter at www.hungerfordarcade.co.uk


Don't forget tomorrow (Saturday) is Teddy Bear and Doll Valuation Day.  Soft toy and doll expert, Gillian Trotter, will be at Hungerford Arcade tomorrow so bring along all your treasured teddy bears and dolls and introduce them to Gillian and she will be able to tell you all about them and what they are worth in terms of money.  Of course, we all know that they are priceless in love terms.

For all the latest news go to our Newsletter at www.hungerfordarcade.co.uk

Thursday, 24 April 2014


We are very fortunate at Hungerford Arcade in that we meet lots of fascinating people who wish to share a part of their lives with us.  Wil Edge aged 22 and his girlfriend, Tena Sokcevic aged 21, are two of them.  Hungerford Arcade co-owner, Adrian Gilmour, spotted Wil as he came through the door.  He called to me, Rita quick get the camera!  I stopped Wil and asked if he would mind me taking a photograph of him for our Blog as he looked so fantastic.  He did not mind at all and thought it was a good bit of fun as did Tena. They had come up to Hungerford from Bournemouth to see Tena's sister and her family.  You will see from the photographs why Wil caused a stir.  He is a lovely young man and looked fantastic.  Thank you Wil and Tena.

Wil and Tena

Wil with me!

For all the latest news go to our Newsletter at www.hungerfordarcade.co.uk

Friday, 18 April 2014


We are very busy this Easter at Hungerford Arcade and it seemed very appropriate to Blog an article written by television antiques expert, Mark Stacey who you will know from the BBC's Flog It, Bargain Hunt, Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is, Antiques Road Trip and many more shows.  Mark kindly wrote this wonderful article for our Newsletter some time ago on Faberge` eggs.  It is a fascinating article which I am sure you will enjoy.

The first Imperial Easter Egg, The Hen Egg, was created in 1885 for Czar Alexander III to give to his wife the Empress Maria, possibly to commemorate the anniversary of their betrothal 20 years earlier. 
It had a simple white enamelled outer simulating eggshell and opened to reveal a golden yolk that itself contained a surprise - a varicoloured gold hen with ruby eyes. Inside the hen was a gold and diamond miniature of the Imperial crown, and suspended within the crown was a tiny ruby pendant.  
Fabergé was given complete control over the designs, which were a closely guarded secret, and each year the Imperial Easter Eggs became more imaginative and more extravagant. Even the Czar was unaware of what Fabergé was planning. However, each kept to his desire that they contain a surprise.

The Hen Egg

The Rosebud Egg
This tradition was continued by the Czar’s son and successor Nicholas II who, each year, commissioned two Easter eggs, one to give to his mother the Dowager Empress and the other for his wife, Alexandra. Following Czar Alexander’s death in October 1894, Fabergé had to work quickly to create an egg for Czar Nicholas to give to his new wife for their first Easter together.     
The Rosebud Egg, the first Imperial Easter Egg received by the new Czarina from her adoring husband Nicholas II, is only 3 inches high with an enamelled strawberry red outer which divides into 4 vertical panels. The top section of each panel is decorated with laurel wreaths and ribbons set with diamonds, the lower section has laurel entwined with diamond-set Cupid’s arrows.  On the top of the egg is a miniature portrait of Tsar Nicholas II. The surprise inside was another symbol of the couple's love for one another - an enamelled golden yellow rosebud. For the homesick young bride, this was also a reminder of her native Germany where yellow was the most prized colour of rose. Inside the rosebud was a tiny diamond-set Imperial crown, representing her new life as the Empress of Russia.
Each of the Imperial Easter Eggs is full of symbolism important to the two Empresses Maria and Alexandra, and to Russian culture in general. For example, the Coronation Egg with its miniature replica of an Imperial coach commemorates the coronation of Nicholas II and Alexandra Fyodorovna on 26 May 1896. 
Fabergé also produced 12 eggs, equal in standard to the Imperial Easter Eggs, for other select private clients, including the Duchess of Marlborough, the Rothschilds and the Kelch family. 
After the Bolshevik revolution the House of Fabergé was nationalised and Fabergé escaped from Russia, finally taking refuge in Switzerland where he died on 24 September 1920.
During the 1920's and 30's Stalin authorised the sale of Imperial Easter Eggs to raise much needed foreign currency and fourteen left the country to buyers such Armand Hammer, president of Occidental Petroleum, and Wartski, a family owned firm of antique dealers based in London.
Naturally anything connected to Fabergé is highly sought after and generates wide interest. In November 2007 Christies auctioned the Rothschild’s Clock Egg, which had never been seen in public before - it fetched £8.9 million. 
The exceptionally large gold and translucent pink egg has a clock for a face and a diamond-encrusted cockerel which nods its head and flaps its wings on the stroke of each hour.
The Rothschild Clock Egg
Stuart Devlin Hedgehog Egg  
For buyers with a more limited budget why not look at the work of well-known silver designer Stuart Devlin. 
Born in Australia, Devlin became part a group of designers that turned their back on working for large silversmith and produced the very recognisable bark finishes of the 1960's and 70's. Throughout his career he has produced distinctive limited edition silver and silver gilt eggs that contain surprises and gifts in the interior, these have became very collectible and now range from £300 - £1,000.
Well I know what I would to like find on my Easter hunt, but alas it will probably only be a small chocolate Easter egg.
Mark Stacey 

For all the latest news, go to our Newsletter at www.hungerfordarcade.co.uk


All the Staff and Stallholders here at
Hungerford Arcade Antiques & Collectables
Wish all our Readers across the World a..
Very Happy Easter

Wednesday, 16 April 2014


Our wonderful writer, Stuart Miller-Osborne has written this wonderful article about the English Diarist, Francis Kilvert. I loved reading it and am sure that you will too.


Royal Crescent in Bath

Of all the cities in England, Bath must be one of the most beautiful. Whether you approach it from Bristol or Wiltshire the effect is the same, the gentle Bath Stone soft in the light of the day.

I was lucky, as I spent my early years living near Bath and grew to know and love the city. Indeed my sole aged parent does not live far from this lovely city and I have occasion to visit its Georgian splendour quite often

It was during my days at school, that my then not so aged parent took me on literary trips and trips of interest around the city and beyond. Whether it was to see William Beckford’s folly that stands high above the city or tracing the footsteps of Jane Austin these were jolly days.

Robert Francis Kilvert
However one name stood out for me above all others. This was a member of the Victorian clergy who died at the very early age of thirty nine. His name was Francis Kilvert.

You may, or may not have heard of him, but if you have not then you are in for a treat as he kept a diary (which he never intended to be published) that detailed the minutiae of Victorian rural life and gave us a window into this lost and lamented world.

In the days that he kept his diary the British Empire stretched from India to most other parts of the globe. Yet for all the many miles governed by Britain his diaries are very intimate as to the everyday happenings of his flock and the landscape that surrounded them.

There are a number of very good books on the market about Kilvert and there is also an appreciation society run by some friendly folk who arrange tours of Kilvert Country  and collect memorabilia to ensure that it is preserved for future generations.

The book that I am reviewing here is simply called Francis Kilvert by David Lockwood and was published in 1992. This is a short biography beautifully written which is not surprising as the author knew William Plomer who edited Kilvert's diaries which were published between 1938-1940. Indeed by questioning Plomer about what was left out he has been able to give a sharper picture of Francis Kilvert. The book which runs to some one hundred and sixty pages does not bog itself down with trivia which some current biographies trap themselves in. I recently read a biography which detailed the health of the author in question in such detail that I felt that I knew more about his constipation than poor writer himself. To me, unless the wretched writer died of an illness connected to constipation this was unnecessary detail.

Lockwood biography of Kilvert does not bog itself down with such detail and the richness of his life comes through. Kilvert was not alone as keeping a journal. Indeed the brothers John and Charles Wesley both kept journals. So did Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn amongst many others. So why was Kilvert special Lockwood asks ?

The answer lies in the simplicity of his observations. There have been other members of the clergy, most notably Gilbert White and Parson Woodforde who have both been published over the years. White’s The Natural History of Selbourne (1769) is really a collection of letters whilst Parson Woodforde’s journal of 1770 is entertaining, but is too Epicurean for my taste. Kilvert is a distant relative of these two but is nearer someone like Fanny Burney and Dorothy Wordsworth with his eye for detail and feel for the environment.

Lockwood’s biography brings this to light in subtle ways and at times you think you are in a time warp sharing the life of Kilvert during this period in the latter part of the nineteenth century. If you at all interested in this I urge you to read this biography (you should be able to get this from Henley library) and also read Plomer’s edition of the diaries. You are in for an experience.

I will close this review with a short account of Kilvert’s life to give you a feel of the man should you tackle the biography or the diaries. I have also added a couple of references, which may help you in your studies. 

Francis Kilvert was born near Chippenham in Wiltshire on the 3rd of December 1840. His father was a member of the clergy and he was subsequently privately educated in Bath with his uncle, before going up to Oxford in in June 1859. These were indeed happy years for him. During his time at Oxford, he resisted the overtures of The Oxford Movement and remained Low Church throughout. After he left Oxford he became a rural curate and soon ended up in the border counties between England and Wales. This is the slightly mysterious part of Britain which spawned such writers as A.E Houseman (A Shropshire Lad) and Peggy Anne Whistler  (Margiad Evans, whose visionary novels are set near Ross on Wye). A little further away from here in St Asaph in North Wales came Gerard Manley Hopkins the Jesuit poet (If you are to read one poet before you die, do read Gerard Manley Hopkins extraordinary work which is different to anything else written, before or since. My views about poetry changed totally after discovering Hopkins many years ago)

From 1865 Kilvert was curate Clyro in Radnorshire in an area he loved a great deal and this is reflected in his journals. Later he became vicar of St Harmon again in Radnorshire and later still he became vicar of Bredwardine in Herefordshire until his untimely death. He actual death from peritonitis was very sad as it came on the 23rd of September 1879 some ten days after returning from his Scottish honeymoon with his bride Elizabeth Anne Rowland, who he had met in Paris some years previously.

Kilvert did not have an ego and this is reflected in his diaries. He saw to be alive was a luxury. He loved the simple things of life, the landscape and people of the border counties. There is always truth in his record of those times. His gravestone I think sums him up

“ He being dead yet speaketh"

Stuart Miller-Osborne

For all the latest news, read our Newsletter at www.hungerfordarcade.co.uk

Wednesday, 9 April 2014


What a wonderful surprise we had at Hungerford Arcade when Virginia Crane, the lady Mayoress of Hungerford dropped in to see us wearing her beautiful chain of office. Virginia, alongside her husband, Martin Crane OBE, the Mayor of Hungerford, (pictured below) have attended many functions over the course of the three years he has been in office.  One of the most memorable moments was when they attended a function at Henley College and met Her Majesty the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. Virginia said it was a very special occasion.  

The Lady Mayoress' beautiful Chain of Office
Showing the Hungerford coat of arms

Martin Crane OBE
Mayor of Hungerford
For all the latest news and events go to our Newsletter at www.hungerfordarcade.co.uk

Sunday, 6 April 2014


As you know, I am a great fan of Stuart Miller-Osborne,  I came across this wonderful article he wrote some time ago and thought you might like to read it.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Paula Modersohn Becker  (A Short Life) 

I am of the opinion that every time that you enter an antiques shop or arcade that you leave knowing (maybe unconsciously) a little more. It may have been that odd shaped inkwell or that oriental wall hanging that took your fancy. Sometimes one has a “Eureka” moment when something hits you between the eyes and you wonder how you have lived without the knowledge throughout the years. 

I have had a few but, one of the first is one that has stayed with me for nearly forty years. In late 1973 I decided to visit some of the Charles Holden underground stations in London. I had ticked a couple off of my list when I found myself in Southgate. It was when I was searching for a café to have a cup of tea that I chanced upon an antique shop. As the day was getting colder I decided to pop in to have a look. 

It was when I was looking at a few old prints, I came across a small battered (the frame was broken) print of a woman wearing an amber necklace and holding a flower. It immediately attracted me although I did not know who the artist was. The owner of the shop noted that he thought the artist was German but was not sure who had painted the work. 

I cannot remember how much I paid for the print but if I remember my later cup of tea was more expensive. In 1973 there was no internet so researching anything was quite hard work. I looked through various art books but found no trace of the artist until one day I had a brainwave and decided to go to the Tate Gallery in Pimlico. It was there that I met a very helpful curator who told me that the artist was the short lived Paula Modersohn Becker. He recommended a couple of art books (neither of which were in English) but it was a starting point. Within weeks I had found out a great deal about Paula and also discovered a poet that I still study, Rainer Maria Rilke.

Paula (Becker) was born in Dresden in 1876 to an enlightened family who, to an extent, encouraged her interest in the arts. In 1895 she attended an exhibition of the paintings by Worpswede group of artists. This back to nature school of artists made a big impression on the young Paula and by 1897 she decided to join the group at Worpswede in Northern Germany (some fifteen or so miles from Bremen) in 1898 she settled there permanently. 

The Worpswede school of artists had quite a romanticised view of the countryside and countryside life. And after a while Paula began to reject their values and respond more to spiritual values that realistic subjects could project. She was attracted by Paris and left for the capital on the 31st December 1899 arriving there on the first day of the new century. 

1900 was a very busy year for Paula, she had been rapidly seduced by Paris but returned to Worpswede as she was engaged to Otto Modersohn a fellow painter. It was during this time that she met Rilke for the first time. They were attracted to each other but as Paula was engaged to Otto he soon became romantically involved with Paula’s best friend the sculptress Clara Westhoff. Both couples married in 1901 and Clara gave birth the following year. Sadly the marriage faded during the following year. Paula and Otto stayed together but she had a restless artistic spirit.

In 1903 she returned to Paris on her own and again in 1905. This placed great strain on the marriage. Whilst he respected her art, Otto was quite traditional and by 1906 Paula had left for what she thought was the final time. She had always been close to Rilke and during the early part of that year they spent a lot of time together. This was a very productive time for Paula and she painted her memorable portrait of Rilke during this year. Rilke believed that some women artists were not meant to bear children. The creation of their art would be their lasting offspring. Paula did not necessarily agree with this. She wanted children but felt there was a great deal of work to be created before she could contemplate having and caring for children. 

Not to be put off by his wife’s frequent visits to Paris, Otto travelled to the capital in the autumn of that year pleading with Paula to return to Worpswede. She was financially dependent on Otto and a great deal of pressure was being applied for her to return. In the spring of 1907 she returned to Worpswede. She was also pregnant. On the 2nd November 1907 Paula gave birth to a daughter Mathilde. Eighteen short days later on the 20th November 1907 she died, the victim of an embolism. During her short working life she had completed some six hundred paintings and well over a thousand sketches.

Rilke was shattered by Paula’s death and over a few frantic nights ( October 31st - November 2nd 1908) wrote the haunting Requiem for a Friend as a tribute to her (there are various translations on the internet and it is well worth a read). 

The reason I like Paula’s work is really personal to me. There is an incredible stillness to her work. I can see the influences of other artists but there is an originality that bites you as you view her paintings. Her painting of Rilke is almost mask like, his eyes are featureless but see everything. It is a portrait of silence and of noise. Her self portraits are searching and very honest but incredibly soft. I could write chapters about her paintings but I will let you make up your own mind. 

Sometime in the future I plan to visit Worpswede. A lecturer I once knew visited the area in the 1980s and told me that it was bleak even in high summer. I have seen photographs of Worpswede and it seems a place of wild moors and wild brushes (A place that Emil Nolde would have appreciated). From those images and from Paula’s landscapes it appears to be a place that welcomes you and expels you at the same time. 

I no longer have my print as the frame soon fell to bits and I placed the work into an art book which I unwittingly gave away a number of years ago. I still have a number of books of poems by Rilke which I purchased at the time and since. If you are interested  I do urge you to read his Duino Elegies and his Sonnets to Orpheus at least.

As far as I am aware ( I may be wrong) there are no paintings by Paula in this country, but there is a museum in Bremen dedicated to her work. If you like her paintings, as I do then prints are available on the internet and there are a number of fine books (thankfully in English) to be found. 

If you are ever in Bremen and have the time, then do pop into the museum, perhaps I will meet you there and we can compare our thoughts.          

Stuart Miller-Osborne

For all the latest news and What's On, read our Newsletter at www.hungerfordarcade.co.uk


Model Steam Engines

On Sunday, 27th April, Hungerford Arcade are holding a Model Steam Engine event. There will be lots of wonderful working models on display and Daniel and his wife, Sarah will be there to answer your questions and demonstrate how the engines work. There is also a raffle being held and the prize is a working model Steam Engine. The proceeds of the raffle will go to our sponsored charity. Walking With The Wounded.  So don't miss your chance to win one of these fabulous working models.  

The very popular Hungerford Farmers Market will also be outside Hungerford Arcade from 10 a.m to 3 p.m.  This is a brilliant market with a fantastic range of home grown produce, meats, cheese, breads, wines and much more.


26-27 High Street, Hungerford, Berkshire RG17 0NF

Sunday 27 Apr 2014

For all the latest news go to our Newsletter at www.hungerfordarcade.co.uk

Thursday, 3 April 2014


We are very proud to introduce you to the newest and youngest antiques dealer ever at Hungerford Arcade.  Dan is 17 years old and specialises in quality silver items.  He plays rugby for the Colston & Clifton team in Bristol where he is the Prop.  Dan and his team are off to play in Portugal next week so we wish them all good luck from all of us at Hungerford Arcade.

Hungerford Arcade co-owner, Adrian Gilmour said, "It is wonderful to see the young people of today showing such a great interest in the antiques business".  You can find Dan at Unit 30W.

L-R Young Dan, me and manager, Alex Rogers

For all the latest news, read our Newsletter at www.hungerforarcade.co.uk

Wednesday, 2 April 2014


Lovely Margie Cooper with Adrian
What a fabulous day we had at Hungerford Arcade when the BBC came to film Antiques Road Trip. The two experts were Margie Cooper and Paul Laidlaw.  They were both brilliant and such good fun.  Arcade co-owner, Adrian looked after Margie and I took care of Paul.  The Arcade is an amazing place filled with fabulous things for all pockets. 

Wonderful Paul Laidlaw with me
Paul was brilliant.  He knew exactly what he was looking for, found it, haggled for it and bought it.  A brilliant antiques expert who was a lot of fun.  

Margie too was brilliant.  She wasn't sure what she wanted so studied everything that took her eye. She did buy wonderful things and its going to be great viewing watching to see who will come out on top.

The film crew were excellent.  Very professional in their work and were such fun to be around.  In all, a fabulous day and we look forward very much to welcoming them back to Hungerford Arcade.

Film Crew: Paul, Barteck and Stuart - Great!
Camerman, Oli having a laugh!

Oli filming Margie and Paul

Lovely Stuart

Paul with camerman, Jim

Liam has been waiting all day
for this moment!

For news and events read our Newsletter at www.hungerfordarcade.co.uk