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LETTERS Have your say

Your Letters

Memories of a cult film and the answer to a mystery piece of furniture are among this month’s letters

Our star letter receives a copy of Bulgari Treasures of Rome by Vincent Meylan worth £55. Write to us at Antique Collecting, Sandy Lane, Old Martlesham, Woodbridge, Suffolk, IP12 4SD or email magazine@

Star letter

After my parents passed away, the family has had many antiques and collectables to share among us. One piece is the christening mug pictured above, which has my father’s initials JAH. It was, of course, not his actual christening mug, but a find he and I made in an antique shop in Marlborough near his home. It is not in perfect order, but it has a lovely look and style, it was very cheap and bearing those initials we couldn’t leave without it. Now in my own home in Carmarthenshire, not far from Nantgarw and Swansea, I was interested to see your article Welsh Rare Bits in the March edition of Antique Collecting. The mug has a similar style to the pieces illustrated and, although it has no maker’s mark, I am wondering if I have a piece of Welsh porcelain? Valerie Burke, by iPhone

Above right The famous telephone box has a visitors’ book

Above left The christening mug has the initials JAH

Right Uncle Monty’s sofa sold for £15,000

Below The mystery item has been identified as a purdonium

Article author and Welsh porcelain specialist Ben Rogers Jones, writes: “Sadly no, it’s not Nantgarw I am afraid. Staffordshire I should think.”

In response to the letter from S. J. Green in the April edition, the item pictured is a purdonium, an indoor coal cabinet that would usually have a removable metal scuttle. Many were ornately decorated with carved and inlaid panels. I myself owned one for several years and used it as a magazine rack and telephone table before moving it on. A very useful and decorative piece of furniture. Ian Troughton, by email


How I enjoyed reading about the sale of props (or rather, actual furniture) from my favourite film Withnail and I (Around the Houses, April issue) which I well remember seeing as a student in London when it first came out.

How I would have loved to have put the winning bid in on Uncle Monty’s famous sofa.

Readers might be interested to know the Cumbrian phonebox from which Withnail phones his agent wasn’t a prop either. It still stands in the village of Bampton in Cumbria. Its place in cinematic history is marked with a visitors’ book inside the booth. Josh Blackson, Herts

Answers to the quiz on page 30 Q1 (a) – (3) Beswick; (b) – (2) Willow; (c) – (5) Moorcroft; (d) – (1) Falcon; (e) – (4) Goss. Q2 (b). Q3 (c). Q4 (b) It was seen as a novel way to reward front-line troops after the first campaign of the Civil War. It was of silver with the king’s head on one side and an image of the Prince of Wales (the future Charles II) on the other. Q5 (b) Scotland – the score was 0-0. Q6 (c). Q7 (a) There were many barrel styles although in the 19th century the ‘sham damn’ was considered only fit for export. Q8 (b). Q9 (a). Q10 (d). Teen’s couch = escutcheon; hippy sling = Philip Syng; trump’s wok = stumpwork; cease rinse = necessaire.

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