An Indonesian textile from the collection of Anthony J Sargeant

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man's mantle from Indonesia

man’s mantle from Indonesia

These large dramatic ‘cloaks’ or ‘mantles’ were woven using a warp ikat technique on the Island of Sumba in the Indonesian archipelago. In a complicated and time consuming technique small bundles of the warp threads are tied-off to prevent their being dyed in sequential immersions in each dye bath. Wonderful stylised animal and plant images abound. Living in the Netherlands for many years Tony has a large collection of Hinggis.

Anthony Sargeant read The School at the Chalet by Elinor Brent Dyer

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Elinor M Brent Dyer published this, the first book in The Chalet School series, in 1925

Elinor M Brent Dyer published this, the first book in The Chalet School series, in 1925

Tony Sargeant first read some of the Chalet School series when he was about 11 years old in the 1950s. He was a member of ‘The Children’s Book Club’, an imprint of Foyle’s, which sent out monthly hard back but cheap editions of suitable books for children. Since you were joined by parents as ‘a boy’ or ‘a girl’ the books were gender specific – so mostly Tony got “boys’ books” such as ‘Biggles’, but sometimes mistakes were made and “a girls’ book” would arrive. So it was that he received, read and enjoyed some Elinor M Brent Dyer ‘Chalet School’ books. Sixty years later he re-read this ‘The School at the Chalet’ re-issued by Collins in their Modern Classics Series (good cover by the way – very art deco-ish) and was reminded what a good writer for children Elinor M Brent Dyer was. The book is pacy, fun, good vocabulary, occasionally challenging (but not too frequently as to interrupt the flow), for an 10 or 11 year old. It even includes a smattering of German and French words which a child would be amused to learn the meaning of. Some period schoolgirl expressions “Crikey”, “Gosh”, “Good Show”, “Chin-up” etc – but that just adds to the charm. It had a curious side-effect in that it almost resulted in Tony choosing to go to an London County Council Boarding Grammar School when he passed the 11 plus examination in 1955 – seeing that as an escape from his home life on the edge of The Bellingham Council Estate in South London.

Anthony Sargeant added this photograph to his collection – “A Room with a View”

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Early October morning in Reading, Berkshire, UK

Early October morning in Reading, Berkshire, UK

Tony took this photograph from his hotel bedroom window in the early morning of the 4th October 2015. (Novotel Hotel, Reading, Berkshire, UK. 7.22 am). The street is very quiet because it is a Sunday morning.

Anthony Sargeant photographed this butterfly (3) in his Shropshire Garden this summer.

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Photographed in September 2015

Photographed in September 2015

Tony Sargeant took this photograph of a Small Tortoiseshell butterfly (Aglais urticae) in the garden of his Shropshire (UK) home in September 2015. It has particularly lovely pale blue little arrowhead markings along the trailing edge of its wings. It is feeding on a buddleia (often known as ‘The Butterfly Plant’ – and for very good reason).

Anthony Sargeant photographed these Red Admiral butterflies (2) in his Shropshire Garden this summer.

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Photographed on 25th September 2015

Photographed on 25th September 2015

Red Admiral Butterfly - another view

Tony Sargeant photographed this Red Admiral butterfly on the 25th September 2015 in the garden of his Shropshire home. Although called a ‘Red’ Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) the markings are more orange than red.

Is this another example of a plant or animal being named in English before we had a separate name for the colour orange ? Hence we speak of the bird as ‘Robin Red-breast’ – when clearly it has orange not red on his breast plumage. I think the first use of orange as a colour doesn’t appear in English until the 16th century.

Anthony Sargeant photographed these butterflies (1) in his Shropshire Garden this summer.

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Photographed on 29th September 2015

Photographed on 29th September 2015

Small White butterfly another view

It has been a very strange summer with cool weather and breezes affecting flowering of many plants (sweet peas did very badly in our garden this year). As a consequence pollinating insects were also affected – butterflies in particular were late in appearing. Tony Sargeant photographed these Small White butterflies (Pieris rapae) at the end of September. They are quite difficult to capture on film because they seem to dwell on briefly on the blossoms and seem more sensitive to any movement in the vicinity.

Anthony Sargeant bought this curious old chinese rug in auction in The Netherlands

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An old pictorial chinese rug.

An old pictorial chinese rug.

Tony Sargeant is not sure what this rug is or its date – the central panel seems to be a bridge from ‘The Willow Pattern’  Any suggestions on date or origin would be appreciated. It is in excellent condition except for one very small area of moth damage in the top medallion. The photographs below show details of the central medallion and the back with a white stencilled inventory number.

Old Chinese pictorial rug central medallion (detail)

White stencilled inventory number for Z ...(Dutch dealer?)

White stencilled inventory number for Z …(Dutch dealer?)

This is really interesting and unusual – any help in establishing date and precise origin would be greatly appreciated. The overall field is charming and the wool pile is in excellent lustrous soft condition with the exception of a very small area of moth damage to the central medallion field.