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I am currently bidding on this lot of antique English lawn bowling balls and have had to explain to Bubby, that no, I have not lost all leave of my avian senses!

Apparently he was under the misguided impression that there was some kind of design strategy happening with the flat, and has now come to the realisation that, instead, the theme is just plain random ‘I like-y, therefore, I want-y’, with the belief that it will all tie in somehow in the end!
At my first car boot sale a few weeks back I saw a woman selling these for £8 each. She had them stacked in a big bowl, like below. They looked lovely.
Here are some more basket shots:
What a fantastically styled flea market stand! Yum.
They do seem to look better in a basket/bowl when you have enough to pile up on each other. This display below looks a little lonely.
images above via Velvet and Linen
Here are a bunch of mixed balls in a grouping.
If you only have a few, this minimal kind of display is more effective. The row of three looks quite nice.
A solitary minimalist one?

Or maybe a pair, like these two ‘nailed’ (or cloutées) antique French boules.

image via Home and Design

During my research on the different kinds of lawn bowling, from country to country, I discovered something interesting. The French balls are a little smaller than the English, and they frequently covered them in metal nails to make them stronger and also to repair cracks.

They developed an amazing array of techniques with different nails to cover them, some looking like fish scales, other like hob nailed little wonders. Of course, decorations began popping up and everything from numbers to initials were worked into the designs.

Here is a gorgeous old sign from a French Boules manufacturer in Paris via website on the history of boules, Les Boule Cloutées. You can see the star and circle designs that they would have done in the illustration.
The workmanship is absolutely stunning. Here is an real example of the star design:
An example of the overlapping ‘fish scale’ method:
It is pretty amazing to see the difference in before and after restoration of the boules.
Here is the rusted, neglected before:
And the carefully polished after:
images above via Les Boules Cloutées

How satisfying a project would that be?! Below are some boxes awaiting restoration. Would love to get my claws on these.
Some lovingly restored examples.
images above via Joy of Bocce

images above via Ruby Lane

What beautiful objects, with such a rich history!

It makes you wonder what will happen to this sport over the next few years as the few, older people still playing the game trundle off to aviaries in the sky.

Maybe it is time to take up a new, gentle on the joints, sport as we creep into our own old age?

Boules, anyone?

A few months ago I scored a fabulous vintage white ceramic fish jug (sometimes called a ‘glug jug’ because of the noise liquid makes when it pours!) for a mere pittance on ebay.

Thrilled with my purchase, I turned to my good friend, Bubby (the house elf), and expressed my joy, only to be confronted with scorn and ridicule.

This post is my virtual ‘two feathers up’ to the scorn of others when you are convinced that something will look amazing!

Here is the jug I bought:

I love how stylized and abstracted he is compared to others I have seen. (please ignore the Finbarr sign, as said orangutan left his perch during the photo shoot and lumbered off to eat bananas.)
Now, some other shots of the exact same fish from other sites and books… (so THERE, Bubs. I am not the only one who thinks they are fab!)
From the home of the blog writer for Pink Wallpaper
Detail of the grouping. I like how she uses the tray to contain the grouping of objects. Makes the display more sculptural somehow.
Here it is again, in the Domino book

According to Gluggle – a UK company who currently sells the jugs- these pitchers are traditional British housewarming gifts and have been produced since the late 1870’s. They became popular collector’s items after 1958 when the Queen and Prince Phillip were presented with a special pair on their visit to the Britannia Naval College. Unfortunately, I can’t find any images of the royal jugs, but we will just have to take their word for it!

Here are a few contemporary jugs from The Love List
Love the multiple groupings of colours below. Yumma.
The jugs are also called ‘gluggle pitchers’ or ‘koi pitchers’, and are being produced in the US under the latter name.
Ok. Now I have gotten all my self righteous hooting out and will just finish this post with one last…
so there.


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