Overcoming gremlins

Oh…dear… we have had a spot of bother! You might have wondered where I have been?

I did say that I wouldn’t be around for a while as I was attending a couple of fairs. True. I did. And when I returned I was all ready to post something to find to my dismay that Facebook ( to which I thought I had linked my posts- only linked mind you -) had overwritten all my WordPress blogging functions. Mmm? Count to ten.

Tearing out of the hair! What little I have left!

It was a long while before I could get it all back again. So here we are at last. Better late than never.

IN my e mail tray this morning ( amongst a few rubbishy missives – it’s amazing how many squeeze past the spam filters over an unpoliced weekend 🙂 ) was a very nice e mail from one of my French ‘spies’. The Professor, as we shall call him, is a dummy board fancier. He is very good at spotting them when he is out and about on his travels and when he does, he takes a picture for me.

This is what he sent this morning. It was in amongst all the rubbishy Viagra adverts.

Two probably 19th century 'early' dummy boards

The young lady is trying hard to convince us that she is 17th century, the young man is playing at being 16th century!

Now we know, don’t we, that dummy boards were only ‘invented’ in the 17th century and that anything as obviously ” Elizabethan” as this, is bound to be a pastiche at best, at worst a fake !

He is also the wrong shape with that rather effeminate arm. He isn’t convincing anyone. We hope.

We don’t know anything about these two figures, except that they are for sale in an antique shop in Belgium and they are expensive. They may be classed as antique – and that to my mind means anything over 100 years old. Some things that are labelled ‘antique’ nowadays have barely reached 50…and if that is truly the case, then I am an antique too! ( Alright…if you insist.. 🙂 as long as I can be rare and beautiful, well crafted, expensive and downright desirable! )

What’s that?

You want to know if I have got Queen Anne legs? Cheeky!


They are, actually, more likely to be 20th century. The faces tell us that. That is one feature it is very hard to fake. Every age has its face and these look a bit 30’s to me.

So – now things that are 1930’s are antique…? No, more properly “Vintage”. There is a huge fashion for Vintage at the moment. Vintage fabric crops up everywhere. We are encouraged to fill our kitchen with ‘Vintage kitchenalia’. ‘Vintage furniture is all the rage.

Vintage Kitchenalia...is it hygienic?

Someone somewhere might think, then, that these two dummy boards are just the thing to add to their ‘ Vintage collection’. Me, being a somewhat suspicious type, I do hope that they are not being marketed as ‘The Real Thing’…. the genuine article….the ‘historic dummy board’. Sadly a lot of figures were made in the 30’s and they were made to deceive. Could they catch us out now?

I have a theory.

I think that Vintage is the new ” antique” because genuine antiques are getting quite hard to find and they are beyond the pocket of most people. Dummy boards were definitely beyond the means of Hoi Polloi when they were new and sparkly back in the 17th century. And it won’t be long before some of these ‘fakes’ can be labelled genuinely the real thing. Real Antiques. They will be old enough with a price tag to match. How time marches on….

There is no doubt they have a certain charm and, as long as they are labelled as 19th/20th century we will be able to admire them for what they are – reproductions, “about as Elizabethan as the ‘genuine Elizabethan’ warming pans that fill the gift shops today” ( Dummy Board Figures – Amoret and Christopher Scott, Homes and Gardens Magazine 1974

"Elizabethan man" maybe a Theatre figure? late 19th century possibly 20th.

Liz and Walt. Elizabethan dummy boards -Hollywood style!

Even things made in the 1970’s are Vintage now…. goodness me! I AM antique!

One Response to “Overcoming gremlins”

  1. Black, white and colour « Pastmastery's Blog Says:

    […] Overcoming Gremlins is the post where you last saw them. Liz and Walt…yes you have seen them before….in Overcoming Gremlins […]

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