If you’ve been following the story of our antiques buying trip in France and Belgium, you’ll remember that on our last stop we arrived in England where our hotel overlooked the fantastically beautiful Lincoln Cathedral.
Now it was time to hit the road and go antiques hunting! Greg managed to drive us around all day on the wrong side of the road from the wrong side of the rental car and not hit anything!
We were in Lincoln to meet up with antique clock dealers, and we were especially on the hunt for handsome antique grandfather clocks. We found them!
We also visited Hardwick Hall, built in the 1590s by Elizabeth, Countess of Shrewsbury, or Bess of Hardwick as she is often known. Bess of Hardwick is one of my favorite historical figures as she was the second wealthiest woman in England after Elizabeth I, which was unheard of during Elizabethan times.
“Hardwick Hall, more glass than wall” is a local saying, because it was so rare for houses to have glass windows back in Elizabethan England. Glass was very expensive and of course it is fragile, so you had to have lots of money to afford it.
Bess of Hardwick was a shrewd businesswoman and she had both the cash and the vision for this innovative house. You can just about see her initials ES on top of the turrets of the house. This is a portrait of her.
Inside the house there are many fine Elizabethan tapestries and embroidered textiles, Ming dynasty ceramics, 17th and 18th century tester beds and other antiques.
The Sea-Dog Table is one famous piece, made in Paris in about 1570. It is ornately carved in walnut with mythical beasts — winged dogs with fishes’ tails
Fast forward from the 16th century to the 20th century… During our trip to England we also enjoyed a day off with a visit to Bletchley Park where Alan Turing and the code breakers worked during World War II. It used to be a top-secret location but now it’s open to the public. It’s a very different house to Hardwick Hall and a very different piece of history, but just as fascinating.
I can’t wait to share photos with you of the antique clocks and furniture and vintage chandeliers we bought in Europe on our buying trip, but that will have to wait until the container arrives and we can unpack everything!
Aimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with EuroLux on Google+. Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.