Antiques Magazine - June 2023, Antiques and the Great British Summer - ANTIQUES.CO.UK

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    Antiques and the Great British Summer

    Posted by Chris on 23/06/2023

    Antiques and the Great British Summer

    Inspired by Wimbledon and The Ashes, we look at a variety of antiques and vintage pieces celebrating the quintessential Great British Summer: from cricket and tennis to beaches, strawberries and cream, Pimms and Champagne.

    There are so many things that make up a Great British Summer. The FA Cup Final and Epsom Derby marks the start of our summer, followed by an international football tournament every other year, and cheering on our athletes at the Olympics every fourth. But there are a few very special sports competitions that are the cornerstones of our summer: Wimbledon, and The Ashes.

    Wimbledon is perhaps the epitome of Britishness: strawberries and cream, lawn tennis, Pimms and lemonade, getting sunburnt. The Ashes, not for any faint hearted cricket enthusiast, represents the pinnacle of competitive relations between England and Australia (although to tell the truth, it’s always a bit of surprise if England actually win).

    Throw in trips to the beach, and picnics in our glorious British gardens, and you have a fair encapsulation of what it means to be British over our slightly warmer months.

    In honour of this, we’ll be looking at antique pieces which, to us, represent the best of the Great British Summer.

    In this article:


    Antiques and the Great British Summer



    This lovely collectable is vintage solid silver gilt, made in Birmingham 1932 and engraved with the crest of Kensington Cricket Club, ‘Quid Nobis Ardui’. We aren’t Latin specialists at, but we think this means something like, ‘what is the difficulty’, or ‘what is difficult for us’. Howzat?! Price: £PLEASE ENQUIRE

    For a slice of English Cricket history, this superb print by Andrew Festing commissioned by MCC (Middlesex Cricket Club) in 1992 shows some of the greats of the country’s sport, titled ‘Conversation Piece’. Price: £275

    Or for something more adorable, how about this Staffordshire statue of this once famous cricketer now long forgotten, Leonard Wilson, still in remarkable condition. Price: £195

    > View all Cricket antiques


    Antiques and the Great British Summer



    You can’t be serious?! This pair of antique lawn tennis posts conform with the net height regulation of 3’6; are English, cast iron 'Stadium' net pole mounts – and made by London-based company, Slazenger. One drawback though: you’ll need your own tennis court to really put these to use. Price: £2,400

    Another vintage tennis collector’s item, this Ladies Champions Tennis Cup dates to the 1920s and is hallmarked for London – believed to be for Upper Harrow Club. In exceptional condition and quality. Price: £975


    Antiques and the Great British Summer


    Strawberries & Cream

    There could be no classier way to present your strawberries and cream for your guests watching this year’s Wimbledon – or even for a Sunday afternoon tea – than with a choice of two beautiful late Victorian silverplated strawberry and cream sets. This one (pictured), dated 1892 by Hukin & Heath; and another c.1895 by Daniel Arter. Price: £PLEASE ENQUIRE

    Even earlier in the 19th century, we find a fantastic and affordable strawberries and cream set, with a touch of elegance, as was the style in early Victoriana. This ceramic set is designed in the rare ‘Old Crow’ pattern and priced just £245.

    > View all Strawberry themed antiques


    Antiques and the Great British Summer


    It's not just strawberries that the Brits love in the summer - we're basically a big fan of most fruits (as long as they're served with some sort of dairy).

    And there are plenty of great fruit-related antique and vintage pieces on This Georgian (c.1800) Fruit Wood Treen Bowl might only share its name with our beloved fruit, but it's certainly a collectable worth considering. Price: £475.

    We also love this 12 piece Mother of Pearl Handled Fruit Cutlery set - silver plated dessert or fruit knives and forks - perfect for preparing those strawberries at £315.

    For something a little bit different, these Florentine Polychrome Fruit Basket Wall Lights are just the ticket, featuring an Italian design with beautiful patination. Price: £1,250

    At the lower end of the price scale, this Moorcroft Pottery Orchid Pattern Fruit Bowl is a great find, at just £145.

    Finally, there are some lovely silver fruit knives listed, such as this Silver Hallmark Fruit Knife, at just £45 (pictured)

    > View all Fruit themed antiques


    Antiques and the Great British Summer



    If you’re entertaining of a summer’s afternoon, you’ll absolutely need to serve some Pimms.

    Our favourite item has to be this beautifully decorated early Victorian porcelain punch bowl, c.1860. The skilful artwork includes English summer flowers and an armorial crest (if you’re not keen on punch or Pimms, this could easily serve as a fruit bowl, or object d’art). Price: £700

    Pick up this vintage cut glass Pimms jug for £475; a stylish vintage Belgian punch bowl at just £160; or this really stylish Edwardian punch set for £425 (pictured).

    > Search all ‘punch’


    Antiques and the Great British Summer



    Not everyone likes Pimms however – you may prefer some nice chilled champagne instead this summer.

    Enhance your summer dining experience with this lovely, good quality late Victorian silver plated champagne pourer by Mappin & Webb, c.1880 (pictured). Features an extendable handle and butterfly clip locking mechanism – and a great price, at just £325.

    We have plenty of antique ice buckets listed on, but this large cut glass Edwardian example looks superb, at £895.

    We also love this very stylish Edwardian silver plated champagne cooler – and this adorable pair of silver plated champagne bottle coaster carts by Maple of London. Price (both): £PLEASE ENQUIRE

    Finally, for something more rustic, we spotted this exceptionally fine quality coopered teak and brass bound Champagne Bucket Holder made by London Cooperage H M Champion & Co, dating from somewhere between 1850-75 (or you could use it as a jardiniere). Price: £285

    > View all Champagne antiques


    Antiques and the Great British Summer


    Afternoon tea

    It’s all very well serving your guests a delectable English afternoon tea – but what will you serve it to them on?

    Unlike the Georgians, who had a menagerie of servants to cart heavy tables and chairs to their various follies, few of us enjoy the luxury of grounds large enough to warrant furniture solely for that purpose. But you could pick up some serving trays – which the Victorians and Edwardians were keen on.

    This rather fine Regency Butler's serving tray (pictured) is over 200 years old, and should give your guests something to talk about with its beautiful crafting from walnut and mahogany. Price: £895

    Or, this Oriental, Japanned afternoon tea platter, dating to the late Victorian period, circa 1900. An eye-catching serving tray with strong Japanned taste, and desirable aged patina. Price: £725

    To serve your Earl Grey alongside the obligatory scones, cream and jam, we like this 12-person German antique tea service, dating to c.1910. Price: £1,195

    You could also pick up a vintage art deco set of 12 cake forks for £595; a silver plated afternoon tea service for £545; and an aesthetic period afternoon tea table for £945.

    View all afternoon tea antiques


    Antiques and the Great British Summer


    Summer treasures

    Fruit, flowers, the verdant rolling hills of the English countryside, beaches – all are integral parts of our summer.

    You could enjoy this ‘Lincolnshire Summer’ oil painting for just £275, whether you’re a fan of Lincolnshire or not.

    Summer Harvest’ is a small but charming Victorian oil study of our favourite summer fruit. Price: £Please enquire.

    We always love seeing Clarice Cliff’s work at – including this pristine condition ‘Bizarre’ Summer House vase, at £425.

    There are some great antique art pieces depicting beaches: we love this Beach Scene by David Rylance, who was part of the St. Ives School and known for painting numerous coastal scenes around the South West. Price: £Please enquire.

    For a more stylised piece, James Downie’s ‘Busy Beach Scene at St Michael’s Mount, Cornwall’ (pictured), is superb and likely to be a collectors piece in the future. Price: £Please enquire

    Finally, ‘Lovers at the Beach’ (1987) by Lorenzo Maria Bottari is a unique and interesting piece – with such vibrant colours, it would look superb in a quality frame. Price: £180

    > View all summer antiques and beach antiques


    Read more like this

    We hope you enjoyed this article. You can catch up with our previous blogs on Flowers & Antiques, A Brief History of Garden Sculpture, and Must-Have Antique Furniture and Ornaments for your Garden.

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