December 2016

This month’s featured item is the bow-front china cabinet shown below.  Can you imagine how nice that would look in a dining room when it’s filled with your best china?  This is the time of year we use our dining room more than any other, so a great time to update that room.  This piece is oak and dates from the early 1900’s, though it has a timeless, elegant look.  See photos of all the recent acquisitions at http://irongateantiques.com/recent-acquisitions/.

 bowfront

You know, many of our Christmas traditions—to include a special Christmas dinner, often of goose or roast beef—date from Victorian times.  They revived a jolly Viking winter figure naming him “Spirit of Christmas;” later, of course, he became “Father Christmas” and then our “Santa Claus.”  They revived the ancient pagan custom of bringing evergreens into the home.  They brought back caroling; many of the Christmas carols we sing today date from the Victorian period. Similarly, they brought back the ringing of bells that originated from pagan mid-winter festivities.  Cold, sunless winters supposedly made evil spirits more powerful, but the way to drive them away was to make a lot of noise.  Bells became popular as you could also sing or shout while ringing them. The Victorians created the first Christmas card, which is a tradition we follow, but given trends in social media, are not sure how long that will last!  Interestingly, the first Christmas cards were produced in England in 1843; that year they printed 1000 of them and sold them each for a shilling.  That venture failed and it wasn’t until the 1870’s that sending Christmas cards became popular.  Altogether the Victorians turned a once riotous free-for-all into a family-friendly celebration.

Whether you celebrate Christmas or follow another tradition, we wish you the happiest of holidays!  We will be closed on the 3rd, the 24th and 25th, but hope to see you soon.

Lynne & Bob McCann