Sussex by the Sea
If I ever become a rich man,
Or if ever I grow to be old,
I will build a house with deep thatch
To shelter me from the cold,
And there shall the Sussex songs be sung
And the story of Sussex told.
I will hold my house in the high wood
Within a walk of the sea,
And the men that were boys when I was a boy
Shall sit and drink with me.
by Hilaire Belloc.
Long ago I gave up the notion of becoming a rich man, though being an antiques dealer of course there is great wealth in the chapter and verse of daily life. Though I still aspire to a period cottage of deep thatch, home sweet home is currently a tiny cottage at the foot of the South Downs in West Sussex, but alas no thatch! But whether I toast this Sussex idyll with beer or not; I’ll pour it from a Sussex pitcher to a Sussex pot.
The antique furniture, period needlework, pottery and works of art we buy are all objects we live with, so generally speaking they are things of a small scale, though often with large personalities and not without a potency known to arouse a passion in us, that when we are parted can make us feel that they have been wrenched away from us, as if they were some cuddly warm bloodied creatures.
Nevertheless the ebbing and flowing of this our great heritage brings us a living that we are more than grateful for as we strive before times-arrow within this shadow box of life. There is a naive character to some of our purchases, but not all, though all things are carefully selected with the idea of adding more charm to our home, making it richer, more homely and we absolutely guarantee the authenticity of the objects we sell.
American Folk Art & Welsh Furniture
On a good day you may find us with examples of wriggle-work pewter or other objects that fall within the folk art genre, Slipware, Delftware, Sussex pottery, early needlework, stumpwork, cabriole-leg or primitive Windsor chairs, period oak and early painted furniture, naive paintings or farm animal portraits. Welsh furniture is also a great favorite and I have been known to become quite flushed at the sight of an untouched canopy dresser! In the past we have also had items of American folk art in stock…the possibilities are endless – the excitement of it all is – you just never know what you may find!
Personally I have been dealing in antiques in Sussex for thirty five years and have previously had shops in Arundel, Cowfold and Petworth and although passionate about what I do, it took me some time to work out that I am not really a shopkeeper. So here’s hoping that now we have clambered upon the internet bandwagon that we may be able to add you to our client-base. Obviously if we can help you in anyway either my wife Shirley or I are just at the other end of a phone or an email.
The Earl of Oxford
The only remaining thing you should know about me is I am a passionate Oxfordian.
So strike no rose head nails in riven boards for me
For in time I will turn from this circle of life
My berried bones entwined beneath an ancient tree
Where sap will rise to the loftiest leaves of light
Budding chaplets will spring with sprites across my brow
Reborn of Earth – child of leaf – mystic man of green
Idol found of oaken core wild beneath the cloud
Grotesque in writhe and wreath a solemn sighing breeze
’till withering gathers and mistletoe is gone
Where the Magpies chattered before the setting sunne
Extract from my poem ‘The Petworth Oak’ Philip Cooper.