We love going to Saffron Walden... One can find fabulous things if one is interested in ephemera, antiques and beautiful things from other eras!
Arts Decoratifs is a small shop, but it is a real treasure trove and we managed to spend absolutely AGES browsing in there. We came out clutching lovely postcards and prints, and I also purchased a stunning copy of Christina Rossetti's Goblin Market and Other Poems, illustrated by Florence Harrison (I have just stumbled upon a wonderful website dedicated to this great illustrator). The black and white as well as the colour illustrations inside are just so incredibly gorgeous...
I have done a little bit of research and my book seems to be the 1910 edition, and I probably haven't paid the price I should have paid for it, as it seems to be quite special...
We couldn't go to Saffron Walden without paying a visit to the lovely Fry Gallery - we go each time we are in town. The gallery is full of wonderful artworks by a variety of artists - The Great Bardfield Artists - and especially Edward Bawden and Eric Ravilious.
The exhibition we saw this time - ending 24th June - was put together to coincide with the publication of Long Live Great Bardfield and Love to You All, the autobiography of Tirzah Garwood, Eric Ravilious' wife. This amazing limited edition book, edited by Anna Ullman, Tirzah's daughter, is published by the The Fleece Press, a "one-man enterprise" that endeavours to publish sumptuously handmade books. Turning the pages of the copy in the gallery was a real pleasure. The book is full of lovely pictures of the artist at work and at play, with her family and friends. The reproductions of her artworks are simply gorgeous. Unfortunately, at £235 a copy, this hefty tome was not within my budget; but it is worth it, believe me... I loved her work, from her delicate paintings to her lively wood engravings.
A nice article about Tirzah and some more pictures of her and her work HERE.
But a visit to Saffron Walden wouldn't be the same without going to the nearby Audley End for tea, and so we did... As we were there late in the afternoon, we had the lovely gardens all to ourselves and could really appreciate the quiet and beauty of the place... How I love my National Art Pass! We will be back for sure!
I will end this blog with one of the postcards I found in les Arts Decoratifs. I have just finished reading Laura R. King's wonderful The Language of Bees, and as soon as I saw this postcard I thought of Mary Russell, Sherlock Holmes' wife. The girl in the postcard looks exactly as I imagine Mary Russell to look! (by the way, this book - and indeed the whole series - would make an/several absolutely wonderful movie(s): a strong, free-spirited, fearless scholar marries iconic detective and they have mad detective/action adventures all around the world and the country... The dynamics in their relationship are hilarious, the dialogues sharp! I have been thinking that Keira Knightley would probably be terrific in the role of Mary! For Sherlock, I still have to think...)
I think therefore I write.
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