Wednesday, June 10, 2009


One of the huge pleasures of coming back to Santa Fe is re-encountering all one's things here - furniture, pictures, books, kitchenware, mugs... opening the cupboard and encountering this collection is like meeting little slices of one's past.   The mug on the very left was one that I bought in Santa Fe in 1997, at Ohori's - the shop that we still get our coffee from (even when we're in NJ - very much recommended).   Next to that is a geometric patterned Deruta mug from a store called Ceramica of Vail, that doesn't seem to have a website, and that has  - or did, when I used to ski there regularly - have the best selection of Deruta mugs that I've ever seen, even in Italy (that being said, I've just unearthed a Deruta website that says "order by phone from the USA," which could prove a lethal temptation.   One of my former colleagues in Oxford, Ron Bush, and his wife actually went to Italy to order their very own unique plates directly from Deruta themselves, which would be quite something to be able to do).   Then there's a bone china mug with images of engravings of tulips, from Liberty's, in London, which is probably my favorite store of all for lusting after objects for the home, and, especially, textiles - not their own, but ones from such UK fabric designers as Osborne & Little.   Lurking behind that is a Mexican mug that I can't quite remember where I bought it - in Santa Fe, I think - and then two more Deruta numbers, one traditional, and one a spectacular one with figs on it, a present from Alice.   Both came from the Clay Angel, which was a great pottery store in town, but is now, sadly, defunct (not a recession casualty - it disappeared a couple of years ago).

In taking pictures of these, I'm inevitably reminded of Fox Talbot taking a photograph of his china collection.   "The whole cabinet of a Virtuoso and collector of old China might be depicted on paper in little more time than it would take him to make a written inventory describing it in the usual way".   I think he especially had in mind the idea that should his china get stolen, then this would act as an accurate record of possession in a court of law - but because photography was so new, its status as evidence had yet to be determined.   I can't imagine anyone stealing these, and them then being recoverable - a better-than-usual Eldorado yard sale, maybe?   but even if we somehow, heaven forbid, manage to break every single one of them, there's now a record of them for sentimental memory - something that Fox Talbot didn't seem to be bothering himself about.

No comments:

Post a Comment