In one of my first posts I mentioned my fascination with charity shops and the curious discoveries that can be made in them. Well here are another two, demonstrating the delightful serendipity that can occur, perhaps more often that one would expect.
About 50 years ago my grandmother spotted a plate, The Doctor, in an antiques shop and liked it. It hung in her home for many years (I didn’t like it then, the man frightened me). In due course it moved to my parents’ house, then ten years ago I found The Parson in a local market and bought it for my mother. The two plates hung together for the next decade, first by her French windows and latterly in my study.
Then in a local hospice’s charity shop I discovered The Squire, a third plate in the series. Now the three plates can hang together in my study. No great age or value, but an intriguing family collection.
Yesterday, I was in Salisbury, and in the Oxfam shop I found this.
It is a perpetual calendar, it can give you the day of the week for any date in the past two hundred years. It was almost certainly made in India at the beginning of the last century (I have seen dated examples from about 1910 to 15) and was probably invented there. It certainly works as far as I can see, as long as you remember how many days there are in the month, and in the case of February if it is a leap year (also it works on the Gregorian calendar so before 1752 there might be problems).
Here is the calendar in its natural habitat, a scholar’s desk. Someone asked what my desk was like, so here it is. For those who know me, the desk hasn’t been tidied, I just need to keep the space on the blotter clear for the times I put my laptop there.