CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM. REPEAT IF REQUIRED
The experts on the antiques programme Bargain Hunt, which we generally watch at lunchtime, tell us that silver items should not be polished, for that activity eventually obliterates the hallmarks. Many antique book dealers also believe that uncut book pages should be left in their pristine condition because taking a knife to them reduces their value.
This poses the question whether treasures are to be preserved in figurative amber and never used, or to be enjoyed for what they are
I had no qualms about taking a sharp kitchen knife to the pages of
a delightfully told political fable.
It is always interesting to speculate on who has read an old book, or indeed whether it has been read at all. In the old days when books were still well made to last, the pages were often joined at the edges and required cutting, as indicated above, in order to read them. So, if, as in this 1921 publication, you found uncut pages, you knew no-one else’s fingers had left their marks on the virginal leaves. It is such a pleasure to know that you were the first, and gives you a responsibility to take great care of your chosen treasure.
Although this slender little volume from The Bodley Head is illustrated throughout, I have chosen to restrain any impulse to scan the internal pages; because straining the spine to flatten the book in the scanner seems too high a price to pay; and because the woodcuts don’t appeal to me, as they display the heaviness I associate with Black Forest carving, thus denying the elegance of the text in translation by J. Lewis May.
Without our double glazing I may have been able to eavesdrop on this avian conversation through the sitting room window.
My contribution to the general garden maintenance of the day was to hold the steps and otherwise assist The Head Gardener in retraining clematises at the front.
This photograph was executed with one hand on the steps, and the other on the camera.
Clematises such as this one don’t yet need such mountaineering feats to support them;
and the hanging baskets are within easy reach.
While tidying her containers behind the shed, Jackie has found a nest from which the chicks have hedged and flown without our knowing it was there.
She has also found the thalictrum’s true element in the Cryptomeria Bed.
Visible in the Dragon Bed in the centre of this Shady Path view,
we have a new peony bloom.
This view along The Phantom Path leads us to the Rose Garden,
up the entrance of which Madame Alfred Carière and Summer Wine are speedily making their way;
and within, Jacqueline du Pré displays various stages of life.
This evening we dined on Jackie’s delicious chicken jalfrezi with egg fried rice. She drank Hoegaarden, and I drank more of the Fleurie.