Features

Mythology and mystique

Just as the magic carpet in the Persian tale The Three Princes and the Princess Nouronnihar (from One Thousand and One Nights) could transport its owner across distant lands, the real-world Persian carpet holds the power to do the same through its design and motifs.

A bit about the boteh

More widely known in the UK as ‘paisley’ the boteh motif dates back thousands of years to the ancient Persian Empire. It adorns the columns of the 9th century Noh Gonbad Mosque and is present on the crowns and clothing of Persian kings in numerous portraits.

Not for reading

Fake books and their hidden contents. I think the idea of fake books is right up there with priest holes in Tudor buildings. Chopping out the middle of an old book to hide some trinket inside is something many of us probably tried as children, before realising it was quite…

Guess the auction price (Winter 2021)

Featured below are a selection of lots sold at Bainbridges of Ruislip sales held this year. Purely for amusement, try to guess the hammer price (pre-27% commission & VAT) at which they were sold. Answers at the end. A 9ct gold and three-stone brooch, a green stone single-stone ring and…

On the walls of Balmoral

A rare look at a very special wallpaper. Good weather and Scotland aren't two things we'd usually associate with each other, but in the September of 1848 Queen Victoria was enticed to Balmoral, Aberdeenshire, by the promise of blue skies after enduring a stint of terrible weather in Loch Laggan.

Fire away!

1930s-1950s printed playfield bagatelle games. Pinball was a tabletop board game. The origins of pinball can be traced to games like bocce and ground billiards in which balls were rolled on a course. Ground billiards evolved into the tabletop game with which we are all familiar, and often refer to…

The soundtrack to Windrush

Mid 1960s to late 1970s ska and reggae record labels. Featured here are a number of mid-1960s to late-1970s ska and reggae record labels. They are from a collection owned by DJ and graphic designer Shernette Daly, who worked for seminal reggae label Trojan Records in the noughties.