Tuesday, 1 May 2012


Didn't have much luck thrifting today.  Just got these -

Three vintage antimacassars in beautiful cream linen with a lovely lacy edge. 

Macassar oil was a hair oil used from the 19th century.  Makassar is actually an Indonesian trading port where the raw ingredients for the oil - often coconut or palm oil - were gathered and shipped to Europe.

Antimacassars were pieces of fabric, often embroidered, used on the backs of chairs or sofas to protect them from hair oil.  They remained popular into the Brylcreem age.  I remember my Granny having them as well as protectors for the arms of the chairs too!

I think these could be incorporated into cushions or bags - if I ever get round to it!

 What I Didn't Buy Today!

This was going to be the alternative title for this post because I saw some things which I would have loved to have bought, but couldn't justify!

(a)      Gorgeous 60s bureau for £15 just waiting to be tarted up - would have been gorgeous in a teen's bedroom or hallway.
I don't have the room for more pieces of furniture!
(b)      Vintage floral sheets and curtains - bright greens and purples.
I haven't done anything with the other
vintage sheets I have collected ... yet!
(c)       Pretty 40s/50s bureau in need of an overhaul - £20!
Same answer as (a)!
(d)      Lovely little china display cabinet - needed a bit of tlc.
Same answer as (a) again!

What's a girl to do?????  Shows I've got will power I suppose!

What would you have done?

Love, Liz


Jaynebeth said...

I'd have bought the older of the bureaus (or should that be bureaux). I recently bought one and filled it with sewing stuff - I found the space for more furniture by having a ruthless sortout!

Mum said...

There comes a time when we have to say 'no'. That time is when stuff is overflowing and you know you'll never get through it all in one lifetime. The trouble is there are so many temptations out there. Now what are you going to do with the antimacassars? Very pretty.
Love from Mum

Jan said...

I always wondered where that name came from-thanks!

bellaboo said...

Oh,well done for resisting temptation,I'm not sure I would have! :0)

Jacqui said...

What a fascinating piece of knowledge to share, Liz - I had no idea that was why they were called that! makes perfect sense. I ahve my eye on a lovely wee glass fronted bookcase which I just don't have room for either but...

Missy said...

Bravo for not buying things you don't need! Well done!

Jem said...

I'm pretty admiring of your self control, Liz! You're doing infinitely better than I am on that score! :-)

Jem xXx

VintageVicki said...

At the moment I'd have walked about too - because I am trying hard not to buy stuff just because its lovely - its got to have a place/purpose/use - trying hard to save my pennies.

Used-to-Bees said...

All sounds very tempting! Maybe you could start a renovation business - you still seem to have bargains available to buy near you! I often use anti-macassars in my sewing as many of them were never really used, so fab linen to use now.

lavender attic said...

Hi Liz
I had a luckless thrifting day too - 5 town centre charity shops -very poor stuff and overpriced cheap clothes. I think you were very disciplined to resist those items - I would have had the green floral sheets for the caravan though!
Best wishes

Unknown said...

Oh My im the last person to ask ;-) I would have bought the vintage sheet and hid a way ;-) And im terrible buying vintage furniture even if i haven't got room it gets put in the loft or i give it to my friend. Love the linin you bought today though very pretty. dee x

keshling said...

Liz, I have lots of vintage linen like you, just waiting for me to get around to doing something with it all. One day, maybe....!

K xx

Nick said...

I did not know those little facts about hair oil...I knew the reason for the antim's but had no idea about the history. What a mounthful, you would have thunk they would have come up with a shorter name.
Lovely items

orchid0324 said...

Hello, dearest Liz.
I didn't know what "Antimacassar" is, haha. Enlarged the picture and I think they are delicately made♬♬♬
You gave me a bit of of smile with the list of the items you didn't buy. Yeah, you must have a will power!

Love you always, xoxo Miyako*

vintage grey said...

That is a beautiful antimacassar! Love the history lesson if it too!! I love learning about all these vintage treasures!! Have a great day! xo Heather

My Vintage Mending said...

I just love what you didn't buy. It makes me think of all the I pass on. Have a wonderful week...smiles...Renee

Claire said...

Liz do you have an attic or garage, surely you could've found a spot for those bureaus, hehe.......

Well done on the will power, it must've been hard !!

Love the lace on the antimacassars......I knew what they were used for but never knew the real story behind them....thankyou. I love collecting little bits of trivia like this.

From a ☁☂ corner of Oz,

Claire :}

becktovintage said...

Ohhh dear Liz, The antimacassars seem so romantic and so soft. You have a great treasure..
I like to look your blog so much. Thank you dear Liz...

Shortbread and Ginger said...

I've not often been noted for my willpower! In a way I'm glad I don't have a garage or shed or I would have it full of vintage furniture. Wish I had a shop!

Kelly Jackson said...

Wow, thanks for the interesting history lesson - I love stuff like this. I always wondered why people of the older generation but what I called "doilies" on the headrests of their chairs - assumed it was a decorative flourish of some sort .... :)

Rachael said...

This made me smile, I nearly always come home lamenting something I didn't buy. Rx


Maria said...

Hello! Give your self a big pat on the back my dear...you soo resisted temptation and left for another...Lovely blog!!

Rose H (UK) said...

I love the lace edging on them Liz.
Sometimes it's very hard to walk away from a bargain isn't it - I hate being sensible :o(
Rose H

GardenOfDaisies said...

Hi Liz, I never thought of it before, but now this makes total sense! My Grandma had them too. The lace is just gorgeous!
The reasons for not purchasing the other finds are very valid. Good for you for being strong enough to walk away. Although they do sound like they were wonderful!
I sent you an e-mail asking about the total I owe you for the tea cozy. Let me know asap. Thanks so much! I really LOVE it!

thriftwood said...

Isn't it awful when you see lovely pieces, that you just know you could transform, but don't have the room for them? I've just seen a gorgeous dressing table with a rail with curtain hooks running round it, but nowhere to put it! Can't get it out of my head... have a lovely day, Claire xxx

Ruth Kelly said...

Very pretty. I'd like to see some in person.

Jooles said...

Lovely post, i remember my gran having those, i didn't even consider that that had a name!
good luck next time.
happy weekend
love jooles x

*Susycottage* said...

Sometimes it is better to have too much space,
otherwise we'll fill the house too,
It takes great strength of volantà ihih ...!
Good weekend, Liz
Susy x

Kristen said...

I would have bought them all and then been filled with regret. Your way is better. :)

sky-blu-pink said...

I so admire your resolve! In a few months I 'll be looking for furniture, so hard to resist the temptation to do it now, but it is a case of having nowhere to put it as storage is fit to bursting already!!