Pastimes | Mark Goodger Antiques
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September 3rd 2020

Dear Friends,

A warm welcome to our new subscribers, and as always thank you all for taking the time to read our fortnightly newsletter.

Once again our previous newsletter had a great response with sales across the board! So a huge thanks for your support and custom. Another thank you for your comments and feedback, which we always welcome.
Many have now taken advantage of our LAYAWAY payment process; making what would normally be outreach purchases more affordable. For more details, please contact us here

Olympia Winter Art & Antique Fair
As life continues to return to, an albeit new, normal we wanted to announce that we will be attending the Olympia Winter Art & Antiques Fair during November.
We are celebrating 30 YEARS of this prestigious fair so it is not one to be missed! Make sure you have it in the diary!
If you ever miss a newsletter or are a new subscriber our previous newsletters can be found in the “catalogue” section or our website. They are added a few days after the initial email as we like to give you, our subscribers, the first look.


A “stitch in time” proverb is well known. It means that if you address a small problem with a bit of work it will save you from a big problem that requires a lot of work. This metaphor is based on the practice of sewing. A skill which requires patience and hard work. Sewing and needlework have always been an important part of life especially in the crafting of clothing and furnishings and even works of art.
It would also be an enjoyable pastime for many, from cross stitching pictures and patterns to creating clothing or useful and decorative items for the home.
With sewing being such an integral part of life through the last few centuries its no wonder that sewing boxes were (and in many cases still are) so popular. Having all your sewing supplies in one easily accessible and often eye-catching box!
Veneered in exotic woods…

.. or tortoiseshell and other precious materials.

Sewing boxes, compendiums and cabinets come in all shapes and sizes. Often fitted with various compartments for storing sewing supplies, thread reels, thimbles, scissors, needles, tweezers etc. Everything a keen seamstress would need!

As sewing is still the same as it always has been, these boxes are as practical now as when they were first made!

Sewing was predominantly a female skill and pastime, which is why sewing items would often be incorporated into Vanity boxes.
Also known as dressing boxes they are fitted with vanity products, perfume, jewellery and often the tools for garment maintenance. This way the owner could make sure that their hair, makeup and clothing is perfect.

It wouldn’t be until the late Victorian era that jewellery boxes would be a standalone item. Fine jewellery would be strictly reserved for the higher classes. Meaning when it wasn’t being worn it needed to be stored somewhere safely, away from the wandering hands of untoward servants. So beautifully veneered lockable jewellery boxes were the perfect blend of practicality and purpose!

The same higher classes would often partake in numerous pastimes, as their time was not consumed by work. These would often be social events for friends and acquaintances to gather.
Afternoon tea became popular with the rise of tea as a fashionable drink. This lead to tea caddies being incorporated into other creative pastimes. Many whitewood tea caddies would end up being decorated in a method known as penwork.

This method of decoration can vary from the naive decoration most likely done as a hobby or pastime at home. To what would be considered a professional finish, whether commissioned or done by a box-maker/retailer.

An example of professional penwork decoration.

This form of personalisation would naturally be found on other boxes that would be linked to leisurely pursuits, so the penwork decoration can also be found on sewing boxes like the two pictured below. Sometimes it would be to decorate an entire box or compliment a print or other preexisting box decorations.

Painting plain boxes would also be commonplace to add a personal touch to an otherwise plain box like this beautiful chinoiserie example…

…or this beautiful sycamore tea caddy.

Another type of decoration, often done as a leisurely pursuit, is the art of paper scroll. Using tiny rolls of often coloured paper to decorate otherwise plain and simple boxes. Again, as this would be most commonly a female pursuit this decoration can be found on items relating to the social pastimes that ladies would partake in.
In keeping with the theme of pastime in this newsletter, we thought we would show a selection of relevant stock.
We are listening to your feedback and appreciate some items are a little out of reach, so we are now accepting layaway payment methods.
Contact us for more details about the item you’d like to purchase.

+44 (0) 1604 863979     
Rosewood Jewellery Box
Burr Yew Tea Caddy
Henry Clay Tea Caddy
Rosewood Sewing Box
Asprey Vanity Box
Folk Art Tea Caddy
Paper Scroll Sewing Box
Antique Silk & Glass Sewing Box
Papier Mache Sewing Box
Sycamore Tea Caddy
Coromandel Vanity Box
Folk House Sewing Box
Tortoiseshell Tea Caddy
Coromandel Jewellery Box
Looking for something specific? Don’t forget to use the search bar on our homepage!
Mark helping with another project was asked by Ronati for an online video produced by them for them and us to use where ever we want. Mark’s first to say he has a face for Radio and hates cameras, so if you want to cringe with Mark please take a peek.

This video comes with an isolation hairstyle warning!…        


More and more of us are shopping online during these times, which has unfortunately seen a surge in rogues out there keen to prise you of your hard-earned money. Please be careful when buying antiques online, fakers have been extremely busy and making lots of money!

So many flaws hidden by clever photography, added inlays, period caddies re-veneered and turned into what appear to be rare unusual designs – these unscrupulous fraudsters giving us dealers a bad name! 
So please, do your homework thoroughly on the person/dealer and the item you are looking to buy.

I am happy to give my opinion and will not charge you for my time especially if you’re a customer of ours. I do this for many of my collectors, after all, I am as keen as you to help build the best collection money can buy. 


Following government guidelines our showroom is now open, this is as always by appointment only. All government guidelines have been taken to make sure your visit is safe. However, our online services are still the best way of purchasing.

Certain postal restrictions in place due to the coronavirus. Before purchasing, if you are uncertain of any postal restrictions where you live please get in contact and we will look into it for you.        

Tel +44 (0) 1604 863 979
Mob. +44 (0) 7779 654 879


Mark Goodger Antiques
Don’t forget to check in to the website regularly so you don’t miss out on our new stock!
We can reached by phone:
01604 863979 (Monday – Friday: 9am – 4:30pm) 
or by email:
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Mark Goodger Antiques

Please don’t hesitate to let us know of any glitches on our website, or how we can help improve your online experience.   

Visits are by appointment only. If you have any questions relating to future appointments or an item you are considering purchasing please get in touch.

Email Address:

Telephone:         +44 (0) 1604 863 979
Mobile:               +44 (0) 7779 654 879

Our 2019 brochure can be viewed by clicking on the image below. A complimentary copy will be sent with all purchases. Please contact us if anything is of interest.
We now accept payments for items online! So if you see something you like please go ahead and purchase the item before it gets snapped up!! 
This can be done by clicking on the “Add to Cart” button on the item you would like to purchase.
Then click on the shopping cart icon at the top of the page and click on “proceed to checkout” button on the dropdown menu.
Payments can also be made by bank transfer, PayPal, or by credit/debit card through a telephone call to our office on +44 (0) 1604 863979. Please bear in mind that the facility to deliver an item to an address other than that of the registered card-holder is only available for existing customers.

Send us an email with as much information as possible and we’ll get straight on the case for you. We may even have that coveted piece in our ‘special reserve’! Click the link to get in touch:

And finally…. thank you for taking the time to read our newsletter. Please forward it on to friends & colleagues who may be interested.

Mark Goodger
& all the team.

Email Address:

Telephone: +44 (0) 1604 863979
Mobile:       +44 (0) 7779 654879